Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are You Ready For This Jelly?

I looks like Beyonce is now involved with Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' campaign.  The singer recorded a video of her dancing w/ junior high school students to a remake of one of her songs.  Apparently the song will be distributed to students around the country in an effort to make exercise more fun.  I'm not sure how well this will actually work, but celebrity endorsements can surprise you.  Either way it's a fun idea and I'm always up for a good dance!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Plus Size Acceptance

 There's an article that asks Is Plus Size The New Hollywood Ideal?  Simply put, no.  But the article does talk about how there are numerous shows around now that feature plus size actors and actresses.  Here are their examples:
Gabourey Sidibe's Oscar nomination in 2010, Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva show cast a plus size actress in the lead role, ABC Family's new show Huge boasts a curvy cast and a storyline focused on plus size teens, and last but not least, the hit series Glee is receiving buzz about its plus size character and her increased story line that includes a love interest.
There does seem to be a lot more of a plus size presence in the past few years, and they are all different people to boot. I do think that this is a good step to fat acceptance.  My favorite part of the story was this quote:
But the real message isn't that being heavy or thin is the ideal. Its self acceptance that's ideal. Its being healthy that is ideal.
This is ultimately what we need to be focusing on.  Health instead of weight.  The article even states that a healthy weight varies between people and their frames.  And the best option for all people is not the leanest variation that is usually seen in the media.  It also states that there are studies suggesting that people with a BMI in the overweight range actually have a survivial advantage over people above or below that range.

I feel that on this topic, I have to mention something that happened in my office last week.  Two fellow co-workers were talking to each other in the cube next to mine.  One girl started to talk about a girl that her ex-boyfriend thought was really attractive.  She then proceeded to say that she has met this supposed beauty in person and said to my other co-worker 'I just don't get it...she was heavy.  I guess it's a British thing'.  I hope her snarky demeanor comes across as much as it did in person.  Needless to say, it was the end of the day, so I packed up my things and walked right past her while looking her in the eye.  Of course I then heard whispers and giggles, but instead of feeling defeated for what these girls had said, I let it motivate me to try to change peoples perceptions. 

Have any of you every had real life experiences like this?  What did you do and how did it make you feel?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Too Much Sitting, Not Enough Movement

I don't know if any of you have heard about the articles going around about how even if you exercise regularly, if you have a job where you sit all day, it might not be enough.  This has sparked talk of standing desk and the like.  This article not only explains the health issues of sitting all day, but also offers advice on how to insert a little more movement into your day.  Apparently just standing up a few times a day will help a great deal.  I'm particularly fond of the animation of the man disco dancing at his desk.  Because that wouldn't garner any odd looks...

I personally like to keep things moving a bit by listening to music on my iPod and tapping my feet around. What do some of you do to keep moving throughout the day?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Soda Tax: Yay or Nay?

Obama tried to tax sodas as part of his health care reform package, but it got destroyed by lobbyists.  Now some states are debating putting a tax on soda.  Honestly, at 1 cent per ounce it's not going to break anyone's bank (an extra 12cents per can...go check your couch!), but it could bring in millions of dollars to help fund various healthy initiative programs.  I, for one, think this a great idea.  Some naysayers think this is a slippery slope, that we could start taxing bread and milk next.  But really, soda has absolutely NO nutritional value.  In the scheme of our daily nutritional needs, soda is a luxury...and not a particularly healthy one.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two Myths Debunked

Eating low-fat foods will make you healthy
Verdict: False
A low-fat diet and a healthy diet are not, surprisingly, one and the same. As mentioned above, low-fat foods are often deceptive, containing marginally reduced levels of fat in exchange for a high dose of sugar. You’ll often see it in the office environment: People concerned with their weight will stick with microwaved low-fat meals and never lose an ounce. If you are trying to become healthier through your diet, the rules are simple: Eat fresh, unprocessed foods. Get enough fruit and vegetables in your diet. Remember to balance. An all-protein diet might be the diet of choice for a weight lifter but not for your average Joe. You need to reduce your calorie intake (and sugars contain fats alongside calories). Eating simple, unprocessed food that you have prepared yourself is the best way to take control of your health.

The fatter you are, the unhealthier you are
Verdict: False
If we think about the opposite of this statement (the thinner you are, the healthier you are), we’d be a nation of anorexics. It’s pretty obvious that people who are morbidly obese are unhealthy -- but so are those at the other end of the scale, who suffer from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, among a host of other health problems. It’s worth pointing out that if you are eating "low-fat" products regularly, you should be checking the nutrition labels. These are usually packed with sugar, often more than regular products. Sports fans will have known this from day on. Those linebackers are just as fit as the rest of the players on the field and yet they’re about three times their size. There are, however, a number of illnesses associated with being overweight, so if you are piling on the pounds, get yourself to the gym and dismiss this health myth.

Our Eyes Deceive Us

So apparently now just seeing an overweight person can make others eat more.   Unless they see them eating and then they eat less.  I can just envision a world where are the fat people are hidden away from the rest of society and the only way to see one is behind glass while they're eating.  I jest of course.  I find the psychology of it all fascinating, but I do also hope that this doesn't cause more unfair judgement of overweight people.  It also begs the question of how helpful watching reality shows like the Biggest Loser, Shedding for the Wedding or Ruby really are to overweight people.  Do I need to change my DVR now to help me lose weight?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Great New Online Comparison App

I just found out about this great new site that lets you compare items in hundreds of catagories.  It's called and I'm sharing because they have an entire section dedicated to health comparisons.  They have things like Diet Plans (which only a handful were medically sound), Snacks, Exercises, Frozen Dinner Nutrition, etc.  Check it out and maybe you'll learn something!

Baby Wants Carbs...

I was reading about a study that has been going on about finding a link to what a pregnant woman eats and the DNA outcome of their child in reference to obesity.  Apparently, they have found that women who eat a low car diet in their first trimester can actually alter their babies DNA to make them MORE prone to obesity later on.  With all the low carb hype that is going around these days, I expected the opposite.  As did my fiance, who when I started telling him about this study, said 'Yeah, you'll be eating chicken and salad...'.

I hope they eventually find out enough about a mothers nutrition while pregnant that they can give a good outline for woman to go by.  And hopefully in the next few years so I can use it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Help Yourself And Someone Else

In our everlasting battle against ourselves and our weight, take this time to help yourself and someone else in need.  Instead of buying that unhealthy lunch or whatever your vice may be...use that money to feed hungry children around the world.  The wefeedback Calculator is simple.  Input your favorite food, how much is costs and how many servings you would eat.  The calculator will then tally your amount and tell you how many hungry people that could feed.  Then instead of you spending that money on an unhealthy choice for yourself, you can choose to donate the money to the organization and actually help those children.  Go on, you'll feel good!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Soaps Are Out, The Chew Is In

ABC announced today that it will be cancelling two daytime soaps to make way for two new shows called The Chew and The Revolution.
 The Chew will be produced by Gordon Elliot (Paula Deen’s Home Cooking) and is a one-hour series that enables viewers to “get the dish” on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond.  Hosts will include Mario Batali (Iron Chef America); entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (What Not to Wear); Carla Hall (Top Chef); Michael Symon (Iron Chef America), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz.
 The Revolution is from Executive Producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions (The Biggest Loser) and will be a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors and will feature a “unique concept,” ABC says: “Each week one woman’s five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday.
 Hooray!  More information will be out there for us to consume!  I must say I'm extremely excited about The Chew, and not just because Clinton Kelly will be a host.  I'll be on the lookout for the premiere and I will be adjusting my DVR accordingly!

Get Real, Barbie

I know this stuff has been around awhile, but I just thought I'd share.  I really hope they come out with better doll options by the time I have kids.  But I doubt it.  To see a real life version of Barbie, go read this.

• There are two Barbie dolls sold every second in the world.
• The target market for Barbie doll sales is young girls ages 3-12 years of age.
• A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.
• Over a billion dollars worth of Barbie dolls and accessories were sold in 1993, making this doll big business and one of the top 10 toys sold.
• If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5'9" tall, have a 39" bust, an 18" waist, 33" hips and a size 3 shoe.
• Barbie calls this a "full figure" and likes her weight at 110 lbs.
• At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.
• If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.
• Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" with directions inside stating simply "Don't eat."

Shame On You Doctor

Has anyone else heard about the weight loss doctor who has been charged with indecent assault on his patients?  He apparently told them that having an orgasm would burn calories and help them lose weight.  You can read the full article here.  This is completely shameful.  While I don't want to blame the women, because it is not their does go to show that you should always do your own research and be knowledgeable about your condition.  Although if just having an orgasm was enough to burn calories I can tell you that I would be bringing a tiny little friend with me wherever i went!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Overcoming Nature with Nurture

My future children aren't even a twinkle in my eye yet, but my fiance and I already have aspects of their life planned out.  We know between the two of us they are going to be prone to weight problems, and that terrifies us.  We don't want our children to go through everything that we have.  We were talking the other day about getting them involved in sports and other healthy activities at a young age.  We also talked about implementing what we call Family Exercise Time, but what they would simply know as some fun activity that we all do together.  What are some fun and creative ways to pull this off?

I fear one of my biggest hurdles in keeping my children healthy is going to be to get them to eat vegetables.  Sadly, my fiance does not eat them.  AT ALL.  He refuses to.  How am I going to get my kids to eat them when they don't see their father doing it.  My mother did buy me a cookbook on how to hide vegetables from children and I'm hoping that it will work on him too.

I just already feel like the odds are stacked against my children.  But I pledge to do my best by them!  Does anyone else think about this sort of thing too?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mississippi Offers Its Workers A Weight Loss Challenge

I just saw this article about Mississippi's Paul Lacoste Sports Fit 4 Change Challenge.  Over 200 lawmakers, state workers and community members participated in an intensive 11 week program consisting of 5 am workouts 4 days a week.  At the end of the 11 week session, all the participants run a 5K together in the capitol.  This program is funded by sponsors so it's free to participate!  I think this is a fantastic idea.  It seems that next year they are going to start a version for school teachers and also try to share the plan with neighboring states.  I really hope this kind of idea spreads around the country.  I know yet another issue for people trying to lose weight is the cost of a gym or trainer.  Not to mention it is a lot more fun and motivating to do it with a group of people that you enjoy.  Would you partake if this was offered to you?

Fat Weight Loss Experts Get No Respect

There is an article on about how workers in the health field do not get the respect they deserve because they are fat.  It seems their biggest critics are other health care professionals!  They feel that being fat almost disqualifies you from being a good doctor or nutritionist or what have you.  If we were to honestly not use any doctors that had unhealthy habits, there wouldn't be too many to choose from.  I'm sure they all have their vices that they're dealing with...smoking, drinking and drugs to name a few.  The only difference from being overweight is that you can immediately tell if someone is overweight making it that much easier to make a snap judgement.  I'm putting up a poll to go with this post to see if you guys would use an overweight healthcare professional.  Hit it up!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Late Night Carb Loading

I had a friend send me this article about a study that shows that people who load their carb intake towards the end of the day (on a reduced calorie diet)  had better results on their diet.
After six months the experimental group that ate more carbs at dinner saw more weight loss, body fat mass reduction and lower abdominal circumference than the control group. The experimental group also had higher satiety levels during the day than did the control group.
This might be something worth trying.  And I have to say, I enjoy seeing studies like this over any studies on pills that help aid in weight loss.  You always see ads or articles on these things and it ALWAYS says 'in conjunction with diet and exercise'.  So, you have to diet and exercise anyways...why open yourself up to other health risks?  None of these pills have been tested long enough to determine long term effects on it's users.  Some will even cause you to gain the weight back if you stop taking it.  I say, do it the right way, the natural way.  We have enough health worries looming around in the world to add anymore to ourselves.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Miracle Noodle?!

Being someone who reads the Hungry Girl e-mails everyday, I've definitely heard about these types of noodles before.  For some reason I guess I never grasped how awesome this could be.  And knowing that I'll be near a Whole Foods tomorrow, I think I'll try to go find them!  Have any of you tried these noodles?

By the way, I totally feel like this headline needs a theme song.  For some reason my head tried to put it to Spider Pig from The Simpsons movie.  It doesn't quite work...

Time For Tai Chi

Here's an interesting article about the benefits of Tai Chi.  It's been shown that people gained as much upper and lower body strength from doing Tai Chia as a group doing weight lifting.  Not only that but it improves balance and flexibility while showing decreases in pain, anxiety and stress.  This almost seems like a miracle work out.  While the article admits that more testing needs to be done to back up a lot of these claims, it also says...Why not?  I couldn't agree more!  I think I'll make the suggestion to my gym to add a Tai Chi class to their line up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The 17 Day Diet - Good or Bad?

I've been reading a lot about this new 17 day diet.  You can read about the program and even read the first chapter of the book here.  The very basic premise here is that you cut your calories to 1,200 a day eating natural, unprocessed foods.  They have cycles of 17 days so that your body doesn't get used to one diet and some cycles introduce new foods to spice things up.  When you get to your goal weight, the maintenance plan is to stay on the diet during the week and go buck wild on the weekends.  Although buck wild probably isn't really the right phrase.  You could ruin your progress if you binge.  According to the write up on WebMD it is actually a pretty good plan.  Of course they suggest adding more fruit and a multi-vitamin.  So all in all this seems like it could be a viable option for people.  But as always with any diet, read all the material and follow the plan accordingly.  

A Must Share Recipe

Carne Bistec - Columbian Steak with Onions and Tomatoes

This blog (above, not mine) has GREAT healthy recipes.  I subscribe to her news feed, though I'm going to switch to sending the recipes straight to my e-mail.  You can also sort the recipes by Weight Watchers Points value for those of you that are on that plan.  Check it out!

Yeah, There's An App For That

I would say that now I've seen everything, but with the way technology is advancing into new and innovative products for the masses, I'm sure tomorrow I'll see something else that's new and shiny.  But for today I bring you Meal Snap.  Now here's an app that lets you take a picture of your meal with your smartphone and then like magic, Meal Snap with give you an approximate calorie range!  As the article notes, it is a range and not anything exact.  It also doesn't necessarily take portion size or extra ingredients into consideration.  Despite all of this, I think this is a great tool to use when you're eating out and you need to have some idea of the damage you're about to do!  It looks like this is only available on the iPhone, but hopefully they'll expand it to work on Androids and Blackberries as well.  If any of you happen to have an iPhone and try it out, let us know how you like it!

A Chef In Each School...And Maybe One In My House?

Okay, so that last part is a fantasy, but the first part is on it's way to becoming a reality!  As part of the First Lady's 'Let's Move' initiative, America's chefs are heading to our schools.  So far they've done things like help tweak menus, offer tastings so that kids could try new things and pick out what they liked and also just giving out some good old fashioned information.  I think I was as shocked when I read this next bit as the chef was when she found out!

Ruble said she expected some students to be unfamiliar with the pomegranates she brought in, but some students had never eaten a fresh orange -- or even an apple.

 I think this is a great initiative, especially if the above is true!  I wish we had a program like this when I was younger.  All I can remember in our cafeteria was the pizza slices as big as your head, mozzarella cheese sticks, french fries and deliciously evil cookies.  We definitely need to start teaching our kids about nutrition and healthy habits...because fat kids make fat adults!  I've been both, I should know.


Also, everyone should sign Jamie Olivers' Food Revolution Petition -

The new season starts Tuesday.  I missed the first season but I'm going to watch this year!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Is Just Too Cute

Check it out - Biggest Loser Pets!  Hey, humans don't corner the market on being overweight you know!  This is a really awesome idea and it benefits both pet and owner.

I Don't Know About You, But This Is My New Grocery List

I just came across this awesome article on giving a giant list of super healthy foods.  Not only that but it explains why and gives some interesting information as well.  My new favorite fun fact...Eggs have 14% less cholesterol today than eggs did just 10 years ago.  How they managed that, I'm not sure, but I say welcome back to the incredible, edible egg!

MSG Is Not Our Friend

I just read this article on MSG, Obesity and Rats and I think everyone should have a read.  Although if you'd like the quick summary, then here it goes.  Basically, MSG has been shown to create 'fat rats' when injected into them at birth.  Meanwhile, you can find MSG in probably MOST foods on the market today.  Even in weight loss products themselves!  And to boot, they can be tricky to find since companies will list MSG out in the nutritional list as almost a dozen different names.  So take a peek, and if you have the patience read some labels!

Break The Cycle

I found this great article from the Mom's Council containing tips on how to foster your child's self-esteem.  I know I constantly worry that when I have children I'm going to end up saddling them with my own insecurities and that's the LAST thing I would want to do.  I especially enjoyed the comments from Cristine, one of the contributing moms.

Through trial and error I have learned that the best way to build my children’s self-confidence is by letting them do things for themselves even if the result isn’t perfect. Whether it's watching my son struggle to zip up his coat for 10 minutes or letting my daughter get dressed by herself and the result being a “fashion don’t,” I have learned to let them do things for themselves and feel happy with what they accomplished.

I think that's fantastic, and I'm sure extremely hard to do!  As with most things in life one key to success is to really slow down, take a breath and truly think about what is going on and what potential consequences could be.  But don't over-think either!

Get More Sleep, Be Happy and Chill Out!

I've read a number of articles on some new studies going around about the effects of sleep, depression and stress on weight loss.  This one is by far the easiest to understand.  As you can imagine it basically finds a correlation between all three and your weight loss.  More sleep, more weight loss.  Less depression and stress?  Less weight.  But knowing that information and actually having the tools to effect those factors in your life are two completely separate things.  Changing your sleeping habits is pretty easy, even if you're just getting another 30 minutes a night.  I recently had to start going to bed at 9:30 at night so I could get enough sleep before waking up at 5:00 in the morning to start my day.  The week or two I didn't go to bed earlier I actually gained 5 lbs!  And that was without any changes to my diet or exercise routine.  So I can attest how much of an impact that can make.  Now lowering your stress levels and depression can be tricky.  You pretty much have to find your own source of relaxation.  What works for me might not work for you.  Mine happens to be television and reading.  What are some suggestions for calming yourself down?  Depression is probably the trickiest of them all.  I find it always helps to talk to a supportive group of people, or maybe one trusted friend.  You might also consider therapy.  It might be as small as making one good choice that could lead you down a better path!  Share other ideas and help us all out!

So When Do We Eat?

According to this article, studies are starting to show that eating multiple small meals through out the day might NOT be the way to go.  They're claiming that eating just 3 meals a day that are high in protein will help you feel full longer.  I particularly enjoyed this quote from the article.

Our findings turn that on its head," Campbell said. "There also seems to be a growing consensus that these other dietary habits may not be accurately reported because obese and overweight people tend to conceal how frequently and how much they eat.

Hide things?  Us?!  Never...

Except just last night I found myself hiding a second cup of Dole fruit crisps from my fiance.  He ended up catching me because I failed to rid my mouth of all the granola in time.  This happens way more than I'd like to admit.  Back to topic though, I myself have been eating several small meals during the day because well, that's what I was told to do.  I may try to go back to this 3 squares a day option.  I'll have to seriously rethink my food choices and purchases, but it's an intriguing idea.  What do you all think?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Science Don't Fail Me Now...

I wanted to share this article from Medical News Today about food addiction and substance dependency having very similar brain activity.  Although I think I should start off by saying that this does not necessarily mean that we ALL have an addiction to food.  In fact the article states that this new testing helps tell the food addicts from the over eaters.  I feel I have to say that because I too am guilty of hearing of some new explanation for being overweight and jumping all over it  like a dog in heat.  That being said, I think that it is great news that some people are in fact addicted to food.  I hope that these findings can help spur advancements in treatment for these patients and maybe in the way we approach weight loss in general.  I know that for me at least, my weight loss plan not only includes healthy eating and a good exercise regimen, but also a good look at the mental least it should.  I personally work out 4-5 days a week and try to eat healthy, but like all humans, I slip.  I've been maintaining my weight for months now, but I really would like to lose more.  There is something going on in my head that lends itself to self-sabotage and I need to address it.  Sadly, even if you were to find out that you are a food addict, there's no quick fix in the world of weight loss.

A Step In The Right Direction

Now this is the kind of thing I like to see.  A HMO offering a simple online program for their members to incorporate more walking into their lives.  I would guess that a lot of people tend to feel overwhelmed by all of the diet and exercise options available to us these days.  Hence, a lot shy away from trying anything at all.  But here comes an easy way to start yourself off that also adds some monetary incentive.  You know as well as I do that people will do just about anything to save a buck!  I am all for insurance companies adding healthy incentives to their clients.  I myself started getting yearly physicals just so I could get a discount on my health plan.  I say continue on with this positive reinforcement!  It's something we need as a group that has been continually hit with a lot of negative in our lives.

How Arizona Inspired The Birth Of A Blog

I have to admit, while there are many things in life that I consume heavily, news stories are not one of them.  However, yesterday, I stumbled on an article about Arizona's proposal to tax smokers and the obese on Medicaid.  I didn't pay too much attention to it until I was at work and noticed that one of the newsletters that I was responsible for sending out prominently featured a blog from one of our writers supporting this proposed legislature!  After reading the post, I became hot, red and extremely tense.  In other words I was pissed!  There are so many reasons why this proposal is both unfair and offensive.

The proposal is based on the idea that people should be punished for not taking proper care of their health.  But does this cover ALL people who are unhealthy?  Do they tax those on the other side of the eating disorder spectrum such as anorexics and bulimics?  How about other unhealthy behaviors like drug use or excessive drinking?  There are SO many unhealthy behaviors in today's society that it would be impossible to impose taxes on all of them.  Although if the government wants to try and regulate that I wish them luck.  If you in turn look at this proposal as saying that anyone that puts their health at risk should be taxed then we open a whole new can of worms.  There are people that partake in extreme sports, people with high risk jobs and since we're getting silly here, our very own soldiers...because last time I checked the dangers of war are not good for your body or your mind.

There is another opinion piece I read here that had yet another great point about this proposal.  They talked about how just recently Arizona gave preliminary approval for a law that would make it illegal for any governing body to restrict toy giveaways that promote fast food consumption.  Here is a quote from that article that I particularly enjoyed.

Low-income people eat the most junk food. And the legislature and the Governor in Arizona could not care less. Keep the high-calorie meals coming. There are taxes to be collected. 

 I don't want to go on and on here, even though I probably could, but let's get to how this prompted me to start a blog.  There has been a lot in my life going on recently that has brought my weight and my issues with my weight to the forefront.  These are all topics for later blog posts.  But with all of this being in the front of my mind and with the addition of all this Arizona hoopla, I came to the realization that maybe I had an opportunity to not only share my own experiences, but provide facts and discussions on all topics of weight.  I felt that just sharing my life would not only get boring, but wouldn't provide any hard, scientific evidence of the plight that someone with weight issues faces on a daily basis.  As I mentioned earlier, I don't read the news a lot...if at all.  But with deciding to start this blog, I've dedicated myself to reading up on a subject very close to home.  I've already set myself up on a news aggregater searching for stories with the tags obesity, nutrition,
weight loss, body mass index and body image.  Please feel free to suggest more!

In closing, I hope that I can not only help others with these resources, and maybe change some peoples minds about us fatties, but hopefully I can help myself.  So please, send me your articles, your stories, your tips, your recipes...anything that you want to share!