BLOG 315 Eat BEFORE or AFTER
Food provides us the fuel to exercise. We need energy to be able to perform at our best. Nutrition plays a critical role in our fitness journey. Clients often ask when is the best time to eat….before or after the workout?? There are several factors to consider when deciding which approach is best for you, because of course there is no straight answer to this question. Feeling totally full before a jog is never a good idea. On the other hand, feeling ravenous before a jog might make you more irritable then motivated to sweat.
Carbohydrates are probably the most controversial nutritional fitness topic, but they are the main source of energy for our bodies. We need them in order to sustain a quality workout, but that doesn’t mean we should have a plate of spaghetti or baked potatoes at free will. In summary, “You want every gram of carbohydrate you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source or to restore glycogen levels—you don’t want it to be stored as fat. Don’t eat more carbs than you need and don’t worry about spreading them evenly throughout the day. You can eat the majority of your carbs around your workout” (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/a-beginners-guide-to-workout-nutrtion.html).
Ideally, we are eating our snacks or meals every 2-3 hours, so if we were to workout 2 hours after having a snack, we wouldn’t need to eat again before the workout. On the other hand, if you have not eaten for several hours, then a snack before the workout is in order. For example, if the last time you ate was dinner and you are a morning workout person, a light snack would help energy levels to be able to sustain your workout. This snack should be 100-200 calories, and should have a small amount of carbohydrates and protein. For me, a rice cake with almond butter does the trick. When lifting weights, the body usually requires more energy so certainly have a snack at least 2 hours prior is necessary. A protein shake or 1/2 Quest bar are my go-to lifting snacks. Fast absorbing protein, particularly Whey sources, are best because they contain higher levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
After a workout, there is a 60 minute time window that our muscles are vulnerable and ready to absorb nutritional components, which means, “They absorb carbohydrates readily to replace lost glycogen, energy stored in your muscles, as well as amino acids found in protein to help repair tissue you break down while working out” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/399834-is-it-better-to-eat-before-or-after-a-workout-to-lose-weight/). When our muscles repair, they grow. More muscle means a higher metabolism.
Set yourself up for optimal results by meal planning and having snacks available to help you strategize your approach. Don’t go all day at work without eating for several hours then head to the gym with no fuel. My approach is to eat half my snack before and half after. So I might drink half my protein shake before or during, then the other half after. Or I might eat half my Quest bar before then the other half after. That way, my body has fuel before and is also receiving the BCAAs and protein after for muscle repair.
BLOG 314 WINE
This BLOG is for all my wine-os who I love dearly even though you put up a good fight with this drink. I understand that nightly glass takes the edge off, it’s that nice addition to a meal, and wine is your choice of beverage socially. You all tell me what wine might means to you haha. And it seems like each week a new study comes out saying whether wine is in fact good or bad for you. I’m going to play neutral here and discuss the pros and cons of wine consumption.
Let’s look at red and white wine and I know there are a million subcategories but let’s just place them in these two categories to develop an understanding.
Beginning with red…. On the plus side, red wine does contain antioxidants (resveratrol and flavonoids) which are heart healthy and can help prevent “blood vessel damage as well as reducing LDL cholesterol” (http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Pros-Cons-Drinking-Red-Wine-White-Wine-Champagne-14656661). Red wine may prevent cancer and, “According to a study in the British Medical Journal, individuals who have one alcoholic drink a day are up to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who drink no alcohol at all” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#04). Red wine might make you ageless: “According to a study published in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine, women in their fifties who indulge in one drink a day or less on a regular basis may age better and be healthier for longer. And research from the University of Texas, Austin, found that drinkers outlived their sober peers — more than half of moderate imbibers were still alive within 20 years of the start of the study, compared with only 30 percent of nondrinkers” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#08).
Before I start with white wine, I must interject with this public service announcement haha that I have preached before but I’m still being neutral (maybe): “Alcohol itself doesn’t necessarily add inches to your waistline, but it does change the way your metabolism works, which, combined with the extra calories you’re consuming in every cocktail, could lead to a bigger waistline. When you drink, your body stops metabolizing everything else in order to first excrete the booze, so carbs, fat, and protein aren’t processed as efficiently” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#05).
White wine didn’t seem as popular a choice, so not as much information was prevalent. Many foods pair well with its sweet flavor. It contains much more sugar. Most information pertained to if this choice should be served room temperature or chilled, not whether it helped your heart or not etc. Some of the studies merely stated white wine has many of the same antioxidants as red wine and that white wine is comparable to champagne.
Well I was surprised to find that most of the studies done on red wine that I found were performed on mice. So the small doses given to mice were comparable to about 2 glasses of wine for a human, but you must agree this is an odd comparison (mice to human). For example, here is one study: “A chemical compound found in red wine and the skins of grapes, prevented the growth of cancerous tumors in mice with a high risk of developing cancer, according to scientists from the University of Leicester. A daily dose of resveratrol equivalent to what humans would get from drinking two glasses of red wine reduced the rate of bowel tumor development in mice by 50 percent, according to a press release. The researchers will present the findings at the Resveratrol 2012 conference (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#02).
Some clients claim that wine helps them relax and settle down for the evening. However, “Many people mistakenly believe that because alcohol is a depressant, a glass of wine before bed can help you sleep. In fact, the opposite is true. Drinking may help you fall asleep initially, but research shows that it disrupts REM cycles, making it hard to both stay asleep and fall back asleep once you’ve woken up. This is especially true for women, according to a study published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#07). Another piece of information I found was that white wine is very acidic so it is really bad for your teeth and my findings didn’t link it to the possible cancer preventing qualities or red wine.
Well in my conclusion, I say that my findings were just like what I hear on the daily news and talk shows…. the opinion of whether wine is good or bad for us changes constantly. The research isn’t as solid as I hoped. So this takes us back to the rule that everything in moderation (if we can keep it in moderation) won’t be all ending and destroy our fitness journeys. To my wine -os…. Grrrr I wish I had way more ammunition to just out rule wine haha. But for now, let’s keep it to just a couple nights a week, set ourselves up to plan ahead for special occasions when we know we will consume more, and sip sloooooowy to make it last haha. The less frequently we can consume empty calories, the better off we are on our fitness journeys and I’ll be here one food journal check at a time, just like one rep at a time, to keep you accountable.
BLOG 313: HIGHEST SUGAR DRINKS
Liquid calories are dangerous and are often times they go underestimated or neglected. Yet the truth reveals itself on the scale or waistline. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men should consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar per day while women should consume no more than 25 grams per day. Here are a list of sugar filled drinks that you may or may not consume, but might think twice about next time.
1. McDonald’s Frappe Mocha: one 8oz has 62 grams of sugar
2. Rockstar Guava: one 8oz can 32 grams
3. Sunkist orange soda: one 8oz can 35grams
4. Starbucks Salted Carmel Mocha Frappacino: 8oz has 33 grams
5. Mountain Dew: one 8oz can 30 grams
6. Newman’s Limeade: 8oz has 34 grams
7. Sobe Greentea Energizer: 20oz bottle 51 grams
8. Minute Maid Cranberry Grape: 8oz has 38 grams
9. McDonald’s Chocolate Shake: 8oz has 42 grams
10. Cold Stone Peanut Butter and Chocolate shake: 8oz has 47 grams
For women, the number of sugar content is easily surpassed. For men, having one of these drinks and a banana makes the daily sugar done for the day. The trouble is that sugar is in so much that we eat, even bread. This means that consuming a large quantity in one choice, leaves the rest of the day chaotic for choices if starting to watch your sugar. Diabetics have to be especially careful. We learn as we go and can see that if these drinks are consumed regularly, how much damage can occur.
Eating too much sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome which encompasses weight gain, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar levels, increased bad LDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure. No matter what sugar is called or hidden as, even in breads, sugar is sugar to the body. The brain likes the dopamine feeling. Your mood raises then crashes and burns. Sugar can rot the teeth. Eating lots of sugar has been associated with inflammation in the joints. Skin can even age faster. The heart become stressed because insulin levels raise int eh blood stream. This can lead to heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Kidney damage can occur. The pancreas can also go into overdrive producing insulin.
Any little cut back in sugar is better for you both inside and out. We have to prioritize our sugar intake and understand that sugar is all around us. It adds up quickly. Awareness is the knowledge we need, and action is what we must do to be advocates for our health. Don’t ignore labels and don’t ignore the changes that are needed to improve your health. Sugary drinks only offer temporary satisfaction but can have long term damage.
BLOG 312 SIMPLE vs COMPLEX CARBS
One of the most controversial nutritional elements are carbohydrates. Diets for decades have either ruled them out, praised them, or come up with complicated ratios we should abide by each day. Carbohydrates are an essential component of our daily nutrition, but of course there are choices left up to us as to what we will be consuming and how much we should have. Most people consume between 40 and 60% of carbohydrates each day as part of their total daily intake of food. They are our main source of energy which is derived from the glucose of these foods. As you know, some carbs are better than others. So let’s take a look at the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates in order to provide some guidance for your choices.
The best initial explanation I found was the following: “There are three types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar and fiber. Starches and sugars provide your body with its main source of energy. They’re all comprised of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, which are organized into single units. Sugars contain just one or two of these units and are “simple,” while starches and fibers have many units of sugar, making them “complex” “ (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/carbs/simple-vs-complex-carbohydrates.html). Let’s start with simple then move onto complex.
Simplex carbohydrates are made of one or two sugar molecules. Our bodies digest them very quickly, so they’re an instant source of energy. Some basic examples include table sugar, brown sugar, fruit drinks, soft drinks, candy, jellies or jams, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, and molasses (http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/carbs_versus.htm). Other type would include white products like bread or pasta, baked good made with white flour, and most cereals (http://howtothinkthin.com/instincts2.htm). I would say that 3pm hour is probably the time most folks want that simple carb source.
Complex carbohydrates are the better of the two types. They’re full of fiber and take the body more time to digest, leaving you feeling satiated and fueled for longer periods of time. Blood sugar remains more stable instead of a quick spike from simple carbs for that instant energy boost. They also contain more vitamins and minerals. Examples include green vegetables, whole grain sources from oatmeal, pasta, or breads, potatoes or sweet potatoes, corn, beans, peas, lentils (http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/carbs_versus.html). Apples, oranges, grapefruit, and yogurt are other good sources (http://howtothinkthin.com/instincts2.htm).
On your fitness journey, we want to aim to fuel the body as best as possible. I would classify simple carbohydrates as “sometimes foods”. Unfortunately, they are those quick and easily accessible little snacks that make life convenient. However, having complex carbohydrates really isn’t that “complex”. Shoot 7-11 is starting to sell Quest Bars and they often sell fruit, so no excuses. Be an advocate for your health and make the necessary swaps. Not only will you benefit, but the whole family will when you stock your shelves full of better complex carbohydrates sources. Think about it… if the majority of what we eat are carbohydrates then let’s make the majority of our choices that much better. One choice and one rep at a time, we are on our way to being the best versions of ourselves.
BLOG 311 FOOD WASTED
Food thrown out, gone bad, or not eaten, has become a wasted resource in America. Some studies have put food waste at 30-40% which is almost 1/3 of our national food supply. Of course, the perishable food items, specifically fruit and vegetables, are the most commonly thrown out. It can be tempting to point the finger at restaurants or grocery stores, but the reality is that food waste is a household phenomenon. Food distribution can also be considered part of the problem.
Shockingly, Americans are throwing away nearly 6 billion pounds of food every month. The main reasons for this include:
1. Cosmetic reasons: Foods such as fruits and vegetables have blemishes on them or lose their appeal becoming discolored over time.
2. Over-purchasing and over-stocking: Buying in bulk is the new fad and stores cater to saving money when this is done. The consumer feels they are getting the best value for their dollar, even if they don’t eat all they have purchased.
3. Sell-dates and expiration dates: There can cause confusion about how long a food can be stored for, and most people are overly cautious and better safe than sorry when it comes to this factor.
The problem is that hunger and food insecurity are a problem in America. Nearly 40% of food supply is being lost. There are nearly 50 million people who live in households that do not have adequate food supply. Our food supply costs nearly $165 billion and 25% of our fresh water supply is used for this production. That means that water supply is also wasted.
We might have been raised and told to finish everything on our plates. Yet today’s food culture displays the bigger the better, making portion distortion a leading cause of the obesity epidemic. It is important to learn how to shop, cook, and store food properly, even if it takes added time or extra dishes to clean. Get behind the movement of legislation that supports lowering food waste helps our society as well. Donating extra food is always highly recommended. Someone who is looking for their next meal at a shelter, on the street, or at the food bank, are in need. These facilities are primarily volunteer based, and every little effort will help. Check the shelves at home before grocery shopping to see what you truly need first. Buying in bulk is resourceful, but this may be more applicable to processed foods with a longer life that allow for more time to eat them. Food is our fuel and the body needs nutrients to function. Don’t waste such an important resource we are lucky to have.
BLOG 310 NIGHT vs MORNING PEOPLE
In this world, there are morning people and there are night owls. Our body has a natural 24 cycle called circadian rhythm. This is a person’s internal clock that wakes them and puts them to sleep. Some people have a naturally longer cycle and others have a naturally shorter cycle. This cycle isn’t always set in stone and can change throughout life. Young children tend to be early birds, teenagers tend to stay up late, the college years are very late, and then adulthood seems to change people back to the morning time.
A person who is a night owl might not be able to survive a morning without caffeine. This is especially true if there is a day job that makes the early alarm clock go off. Night owls have been said to be more depressed and consume more alcohol. At the same time, night owls have been said to be able to stay more focused throughout the day without getting tired.
Morning people tend to have more regular sleep patterns because they arrange their bedtime to align with the early risings. There’s err on the side of caution of staying up too late. They have been said to feel better overall than night owls.
There are a number of traits that differentiate these two types of people. Just for fun they will be revealed, but that does not mean they’re scientifically backed.
1. “Early birds get the worm” vs “Even owls catch the rodents and insects they want with their amazing senses, even without sunlight”.
2. Early birds are perfectionists vs night owls are go getters: morning people live a more strict regime while night people are more impulsive and spontaneous
3. Early birds wake up with smiles, while night owls wake with frowns: The morning doesn’t mean ready to start the day for everyone.
4. Early birds are proactive vs night owls are smarter: early birds operate on the hours most of the world does between 9-5.
5. Early birds like tea while night owls like alcohol: these are beverages associated with time of day
6. Early birds like breakfast vs night owls like dinner: Time of day and time of eating just work in that favor
7. Early birds are older vs night owls are younger: seniors are known for waking before the rest of the world while young kids stay up much later and enjoy the night life.
The body and time should be friends, but variety is the spice of life. Early birds might drift towards friends who are early birds too and this could be said for night owls too. We all have to sleep, I guess it’s a matter of when.
BLOG 309 BODY CONTOURING
The recent spike in advertising for body contouring procedures sparked my interest to find out more. That’s probably the point of the commercials right haha?? I was lured in for sure. There have been a few new innovations for skin tightening and getting rid of fat (body contouring) in the plastic surgery world. Getting rid of cellulite, make skin more attractive after weight loss, and other methods are now readily available. Of course I am an avid supporter of our lifestyle changes and fitness journey habits, but just like when a lady gets her nails done, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little nip and tuck that makes you feel better about yourself.
Body contouring post dramatic weight loss include (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-contouring-after-major-weight-loss.html) :
Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
Arm lift: sagging of the upper arms
The common candidate is over the age of 40 and then the rest of the qualifications seemed to be rather general (https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-contouring-after-major-weight-loss.html?sub=Body+contouring+candidates):
In general, good body contouring candidates are:
Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
Cost varies by surgeon and ranges between $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the type of procedure being done. Insurance does not necessarily cover these types of procedures as they are considered for “vanity” purposes. Unless proven medically necessary, most are financed out of pocket. An initial consultation will likely help a person determine what exactly they can afford.
The draw to procedures like these is that they are non-invasive and recovery can be quick. In general, “Body contouring procedures such as liposuction and tummy tucks usually take a few days for a person to recover well enough to return to work. Doctors recommend that patients stay away from cigarettes or anti-inflammatory medication during recovery, and may have additional requirements for compression bandages used to reduce swelling after a procedure. More intensive procedures may require longer recovery times, but many patients can often return to regular exercise routines within three weeks of a procedure” (http://www.bergmancosmeticsurgery.com/learnfaq/faqs/how-long-does-it-take-to-recover-from-most-body-contouring-procedures/).
Like I say, if it makes you feel good and you can afford it, it your choice to have the procedure done. Just remember though that the root problems still have to been addressed for long term success. Our reflections are important to us and body image is no easy feat to feel 100% positive about. Hey, even I was interested in this subject. So if the Workout Queen took a second look, I know that we are all human and see our flaws as we see them. I’m on your team regardless. As always, you are in control of your choices on your fitness journey. Find what works best for you and own it!!!!
BLOG 307 ACCOUNTABILITY
A great element of performance management is having accountability. When we have someone to answer to we have an added level of responsibility to complete the designated task. Sometimes we view this term with a negative connotation like we are being punished. But let’s face, accountability does have a positive impact on our fitness journeys as well as others aspects of our lives. For many, it is part of the reason you hired me.
Let’s start with the dictionary definition of “accountability”: “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property”. (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/accountability.html) . I love this term. Accountability requires honesty, humiliation, vulnerability, responsibility, communication, obligation, and a sense of promise to do what you said you would do. One must follow through with the plan and meet the outlined requirements. Guess what?? That’s what your fitness journey is in a nut shell. I like this description: “Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another, how we measure and report our progress how we interact when things go wrong, and how much ownership we take to get things done. It is, in essence, the nerve center that runs throughout every part of the organization and through every working relationship to every member of every team” (https://www.ozprinciple.com/self/why-accountability/) .
Having a personal trainer, such as myself, helps lead to your success and betters your performance along the way. Your session hour is your meeting with me. There is a sense of guarantee you will get your workout done. When left up to yourself to hit the gym or be active at home, there can be room for error like hitting the snooze button or just deciding to relax after a long day at work. You are accountable to me to be at your session. And then there’s the MyFitness Pal app many of us incorporate. It is an essential tool to truly be accountable with you and I. During this new bodybuilding experience I have undergone, I too, have to be accountable to my coach with my tracking sheets, weekly photos of my body’s progress, and adhering to the assigned workouts. There’s something about taking the time to fill in my chart and report to him what I have done that keeps me aligned every day. Not only to I want to be incomplete, but I want to prove to myself and him that I am capable of meeting all requirements.
Positive results can be achieved when accountability is in place. The following are just a few of those results that can occur in a business or can be applied to yourself: “improved performance, more employee participation and involvement, increased feeling of competency, increased employee commitment to the work, more creativity and innovation, and higher employee morale and satisfaction with the work” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/), In the book by, Mark Samuel, The Accountability Revolution, Samuel states, “Accountability can result in increased synergy, a safe climate for experimentation and change, and improved solutions because people feel supported and trusted” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/).
Together we can create achievable goals, be open to transition and modification as needed, and be in a trusting and honestly communicating relationship on your fitness journey. I’m accountable to you to create a program tailored to your needs and abilities. I’m accountable to see you be successful. Sounds serious huh?? No, it’s just the facts. So let’s keep being accountable to one another, praise one another’s successes, and build each other up when needed, because one rep at a time…. we are getting better together on your fitness journeys.
BLOG 306 FIT SHAMING
You workout. You eat right. SO what’s the problem?? The stares, the glares, the FIT shaming. Health is a priority and should be. Not everyone feels that exercise, turning down a drink, or choosing a salad over fries is appropriate. How can health be looked down upon??
Ever been told you like fine how you are?? Is working out being self-absorbed?? Is working out pregnant being selfish?? Is leaving the kids at daycare an hour longer so you can hit the gym bad parenting?? Is spending money on memberships and trainers not putting family first?? Is taking a gym selfie of your progress vain?? These are all FIT shaming related topics.
When health is a priority, you make time for it. You wake up earlier, stay up later, spend extra time to prepare food of nutritional value, and this doesn’t mean you are taking time away from anything or anyone. Why does this have to be an either/or situation??
Even I have been told to eat something or get the demeaning tone questioning my working out so much. Eating clean is somehow not normal. It is possible to have work/life balance. It is possible to utilize your time and still accomplish what responsibilities need to get taken care of.
Where do we draw the line between too fit or too overweight?? Polar opposite yet still frowned upon depending upon who you ask.
On our fitness journeys, we have to consider the source of the remarks. Surrounding ourselves with encouraging and supportive people sets us up for better results. We are all entitled to give and take criticism and opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re fact or truth. The lesson would be to understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of these words and to not reciprocate or repeat this behavior towards others. We need to LIFT each other up. Otherwise, we continue to build walls, lack communication, and regret not living to our fullest due to fear. Inspire those who need your motivation and ignore those who don’t understand your journey. It’s not for them to understand, it’s for YOU to feel and be your BEST!!!!
BLOG 305 PAIN KILLERS
Every BODY has their own level of tolerance for pain. Sometimes we need assistance to overcome a hurt or sensation that is terribly uncomfortable say from the dentist, a surgery, or from an injury. Doctors will then prescribe medications to alleviate this discomfort, understanding this is a temporary solution for a medical need. But somehow, the use of painkillers has become an apparent problem in our habit forming society who rarely does anything in moderation. On our fitness journeys, pain can occur from injuries and setbacks, thus, let’s take a look at these pills and inspect what they do to our bodies.
Our body detects pain and tells us and boy oh boy we feel it. Here’s the low down: “When part of your body is injured, special nerve endings send pain messages back to your brain. Painkilling drugs interfere with these messages, either at the site of the injury, in the spinal cord or in the brain itself” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork). Aspirin and opiates are the two types which are the foundational ingredient. Aspirin comes from willow bark and it helps alleviate pain from inflammation. It helps with swelling. Opiates come from the opiate poppy and are the more dangerous form: “The most active substance in opium is morphine – named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Codeine, a less powerful drug, is also found in opium. Both these opiates relieve pain, relax muscles and cause drowsiness. All opiates mimic your body’s own painkillers. Morphine is a very powerful painkiller, but it is also very addictive” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork/whatareopiates).
The reality is that when something makes us feel good, we like it and want more. Human nature at its finest. In fact, “In the last ten years, stimulant prescriptions have seen an increase from 5 million to 45 million, while opiate/opioid prescriptions grew from 30 million to 180 million” (http://drugabuse.com/). Even worse check this out: “n 2012, 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Opana, were written in the U.S. When used improperly, these legal opioid drugs can present some of the same risks as illicit heroin sold on the street. While 467,000 people in the U.S. struggled with heroin addiction in 2012, over 2 million were estimated to abuse opioid painkillers” (http://drugabuse.com/featured/the-effects-of-opiates-on-the-body/). Veins can collapse, heart lining can become infected, sedation can occur, breathing becomes slowed causing respiratory issues that can be fatal, you can actually become more sensitive to pain, and your immune system becomes suppressed. The liver is greatly damaged trying to process all this.
Pills and drugs are quick fix solutions and band aids, not part of the life style changes we are aiming to create. Know yourself and your personality when faced with pain and let your doctor know. Communication is critical. Body awareness and self-control are troublesome when tested with convenience but you are so much stronger than you think you are.