BLOG 291 RELATIONSHIPS & YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY
Whatever the goal(s) of your fitness journey, the adventure is mental and emotional. To succeed, certain behaviors, priorities, and choices do change. These new habits also affect our spouse, partner, best friend, siblings, parents, and so on. Our attempt to change means what was done in the past will not continue. With this change in ourselves, we find change in the dynamics of our relationships. We want people on our “good side” as we fight this fight. As we assert ourselves about what we eat, how we spend our time, and with the incorporation of exercise, not everyone is as supportive or understanding as we wish they would be. I’m sure you can relate to one or more the following scenarios.
We want the people in our lives to be cheerleaders, not coaches. If we wanted a trainer or coach, we would hire one. Picking apart what we are doing wrong is not the feedback we want to hear.
We want our network to participate. If we are dining out, let’s go somewhere friendly to healthy eating. Eat a clean dinner with me, don’t make we cook separate every time. It wouldn’t hurt you to hit the gym with me.
We want the person to listen, not judge. This is an emotional challenge to us, so sometimes we need to just hash out a bad decision. We don’t need criticism, advice, or empathy, just acknowledgment that they are aware we are trying and mama said there would be days like this.
We want to do non-food friendly hang outs. We don’t have to meet for lunch or a drink every time we see each other.
We don’t want to be tempted. Please don’t offer bites or nibbles. Please don’t try to convince me it’s okay this one time.
When you see me exercise at home or the gym, I don’t need your input. I don’t need you to laugh or question me.
We do not want them to be the food police. Support is great but this isn’t your role. I will let you know if I need law enforcement to catch me.
Communication is the key. We can’t expect our relationships to know how we are feeling each moment. It’s like when someone asks you if you are okay, you say you are fine, and then you explode at them. We can’t expect more, less, or really anything from someone close to us unless we openly and honestly express the message. This is not to say it will be understood, but when you assert your goals to others, you are also boosting your confidence that this journey is happening and you are doing it. As part of your journey, change the way you communicate to others as well. You will benefit physically and mentally from this.
BLOG 290 ACUPUNCTURE
The 1970s introduced the exotic and interesting field of acupuncture to the world of medicine. Yet, this needle practice has been around for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. I have me a number of clients who use this form of treatment for various reasons, but have never fully understood the pros and cons. The fitness learning fanatic in me had to do some research.
The goal of acupuncture is to heal. And of course this approach is very controversial in terms of scientific backing of its effectiveness. Thus, “The traditional explanation for acupuncture’s effectiveness is that it modifies the flow of energy (known as qi or chi) throughout the body, but there is no scientific consensus that this is actually its mechanism of action” (https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/wellness-therapies/acupuncture/). But the good news is that it has worked for many, and when researching this blog there aren’t statistics to show results. That debate may lie in Western medicine’s lack of acceptance of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is used for a number of reasons. Here is what I found, “The benefits of acupuncture can extend to a wide variety of conditions, from emotional disorders (anxiety, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome). It can be beneficial for pain syndromes due to an injury or associated with chronic degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be helpful in treating neurological problems like migraines or Parkinson’s disease, or as a rehabilitation strategy for individuals who suffered a stroke. Respiratory conditions, including sinusitis and asthma have been relieved with acupuncture, as have many gynecologic disorders and infertility. Acupuncture has also proved beneficial for reducing fatigue and addictions, and for promoting overall well-being (https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/wellness-therapies/acupuncture/) .
There aren’t many serious complications from using acupuncture. Bleeding and soreness could occur from the points of insertion and needle manipulation. I can say that I can certainly get a tattoo but have a fear of trying this out. Sometimes traditional methods aren’t getting the job done, so acupuncture can become an option to remedy the problem. We want to be at peak performance on our fitness journeys so do what is best for your body to accomplish this. After all, science doesn’t indicate you FEEL.
BLOG 289 PROCESSED FOODS
We live in a world that has turned fast-paced, favoring convenience and time efficiency into priorities. We have learned to compromise nutrition for what is easier, and have created an entire new realm in grocery stores with an abundance of processed foods. And these products have quite the shelf life once you get home. Not exactly “fresh” by any means, but readily available and assessable for sure. So let’s take a look at how processed foods have bombarded our eating habits.
Let’s always start with the definition. Here it is: “ ‘The term processed food includes any food that has been purposely changed in some way prior to consumption,’ says Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways” (http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/avoiding-processed-foods). Think about how much of these types of food are part of your daily regime or have been before. How many frozen pizzas have you had in your lifetime?? For example, I never even considered all the sodium canned corn or kidney beans contain in order to preserve their shelf life. Pretty disgusting and they need to be rinsed off to help. Which then made me think about all the salad bars or restaurants where I have salad and thought I was eating totally clean and making a great choice, when in fact, most of the vegetables probably came out of can. More bang for your buck I get that part on the business side, but our bodies can only take so much of this and the growing obesity rate is a reflection.
Not all are as bad as others and I found a good reference to consider. Here it is:
Processed food falls on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:
• Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — often are simply pre-prepped for convenience.
• Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
• Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
• Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, granola and deli meat — are more heavily processed.
• The most heavily processed foods often are pre-made meals including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.
It seems as though the concept of eating food to nourish our bodies is lost. We have to look out for added sugars and sodium that’s for sure. It is odd that we are eating “altered” food. Food has become industrialized. Bottom line it’s about money: “First, most of the processed food created is not food in its conventional meaning. Food is our source of energy and nutrition, without it we can’t survive. However not all of the modern foods are created for that purpose. They are created to allure you, excite you and addict you to become a consumer of their product. The food companies’ goal, just like any other company, is to make more money” (http://www.myfoodandhappiness.com/processed-food-and-why-is-it-the-main-cause-of-obesity/).
The truth is that it is hard to avoid processed foods at some point in your eating be it beverages or condiments. Looking back, I ate plenty of foods out of a box, especially cereal. The more informed we are, the better choices we can make (purpose of my Blogs). Fresh is best and hey it might take a little time, but treat your body like a temple because you only get one and you have to live in it for the rest of your life.
BLOG 288 OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS
BLOG 288 OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS
Food is a battle many face on their fitness journeys, mainly because we have to eat to live. Unlike other aspects of our lives that we can work to eliminate that could be causing us problems, food is not a factor we can just get rid of. Overeaters Anonymous is a program aimed to help with a number of eating problems including overeating, undereating, anorexia, binge eating, over exercising and bulimia. Let’s explore what OA has to offer and how it can help with the battle of food.
When I scoped out the general website, there were 15 questions one could look at to see if OA might fit a description of what a person is looking for. These questions focused on eating behaviors. From there I was drawn to the Overeaters Anonymous Preamble: “Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer” (https://oa.org/newcomers/how-do-i-start/program-basics/twelve-steps/).
The program follows the 12 Twelve Steps. Sharing stories and empowering one another with tips, tools, and resources creates an anonymous, help seeking, environment. It’s human nature to not want to feel alone during struggling times. It can be reassuring to not feel like an alien about issues with food because those who have not experienced a similar situation may not be able to grasp your state of mind. Success comes in all forms: (https://oa.org/newcomers/for-the-professional/)
BLOG 287 JUICING
Juicing has become a popular craze among fitness and nutrition fanatics. Having a juicer at home is just about as common as having a toaster these days. The power of fruits and vegetables does wonders for our internal health and it is unlikely to consume the recommended daily totals (17 each). The reasons one might start to juice include weight loss, lowering blood pressure, or detoxing. It is no healthier than eating the same content, but a popular trend is a trend and jumping on board happens to the best of us.
Personally, I like the texture and chewing action of eating. I feel satiated longer and feel that I’m getting more bang for my buck. Liquid doesn’t fill me up, at least not for long. So if I were to eat an apple vs. drink an apple you can see my point…. 5 min to chew an apple vs. 2 seconds to drink that sip of apple. And I do have to say from my research for this, there aren’t many claims other than being able to consume more fruits and vegetables per day that justify the benefits of juicing. So why so popular??
Adding to this, I watched a documentary called, “7 Days 2 Guys 1 Juicer”. In this film, Chad and Kenny were two obese middle-aged men, who for 7 days were put in a hotel to complete a 7 day juicing cycle. When they arrived the refrigerator was stocked with nothing but fresh produce. Not one item was in the freezer. From the gate, the men noticed how much work juicing really was with prepping the produce and then cleaning up after. This was quite the lifestyle change for them both, coming from backgrounds of fast food, no activity, and very little motivation to be healthy and make changes. Taken out of their environments, the men were forced to follow the plan precisely. They underwent withdrawal, headaches, and hunger pains.
According to the documentary, juicing dates back to the ancient Greeks who used pomegranate juice as a love potion. In the U.S., juicing was introduced in the 1920s when there was a new popularity to be vegetarian or vegan. In the 1970s, Jack Lalanne sold his famous juicer. Today, people in their 20s and 30s have created a $5billion business out of juicing. There’s a status associated with high end juice bars connected to yoga studios.
In the end, Chad and Kenny lost about 9 pounds each. I really anticipated a higher weight loss considering their past, which goes to show that juicing isn’t entirely weight loss oriented and the weight can be gained right back after stopping. Here’s the concept: “Doing the math, on average, an ounce of ‘mixed juice’ contains about 15 calories. If you need 1,400-1,500 calories daily to achieve weekly weight loss, you could drink a whopping 96 ounces of this juice (about 12 cups) each day and still stay in that calorie range, which should result in weight loss. On this sample juicing diet, you would, however, only be getting 9 grams of fiber (36% of your need) and 25 grams of protein (41% of your need) each day, which is far from ideal. This unbalanced nutrient intake would result in immediate muscle mass loss and an increase in hunger and food cravings. Other nutrients such as fat, vitamins and minerals would also be severely lacking. Successful and safe long-term weight loss would not be achievable on such a plan” (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1800).
Obesity causes over 25 diseases, so we do want to make sure proper nutrition is in place, but the type that is sustainable. In a world that praises fat-free and all natural that comes out of a box, something isn’t right with our food. Fresh is always best. Have a juice here and there to compliment your eating. It can be a nice, cold, refreshing, sweet beverage. Take your fitness journey tips, use them to your advantage, and make those changes the best you can, each and every day!!!!!