The Secret to the Age Old Weight Loss Question…and a Little Motivation

If you know me, or read my blog, you know I am much softer than the above quote.  But it’s true!  Stop looking for secrets and start moving.  Today is SOMEDAY!  Let’s get busy!

This morning I am motivated by Hugo Radelat, Kyle’s best friend Eric’s dad, who completed the Ironman Augusta yesterday!  Congrats to you Hugo!  I am motivated by Rose Brickman who blew it out in the NGA Champions & Challengers Pro/Am 2014.

Mostly, however, I am motivated by those that wake up physically challenged and still set out to accomplish goals that others might consider impossible….individuals like my public school friend Jan’s son, Levi,  who lost a leg after a motorcycle accident a few years ago and went on to train for triathlons.  Just last week he came in 3rd place in the Tempe para-triathlon.  All of these people inspire me to push myself every day and I am grateful to be impacted by all of them.

Get out of your own head and let your body show you just how much it is capable of.  It will change your head in ways you never thought possible.  Go get em!


Get Real About Your Calories………

Last week I posted a bit about the Labor Day weekend, and the loss of my old friend, co-worker and mentor, Bob Considine.  This morning, I found a comment from his niece, Chantal, which made me really happy and reminds me that I never know who’s taking a peak into  Thanks for leaving a comment, Chantal.  It brought me a little closer to your uncle, this morning, and that is a gift.

Ellen will be back to the gym today, and back on her regular schedule, as will I.  Two weeks from today, September 22, is the party for Charlotte.  They have named her the Regional Winner of the Richard Swanson Award.  For those that are curious, the award was started by Mary Swanson, who created the SilverSneakers program and named her dad, Richard, as her inspiration.  The party will be a light luncheon at the gym at about 12:30 (immediately after my class, which we will end a bit early that day).    All students, friends and family are welcome to come on out.  If you read my blog and live locally, if you are a student in another class, or a friend, you are welcome to come join us and see what 95plus looks like!  For those of you who live a distance, and worked so hard at helping with the voting, I promise that I will bring your awesome energy with me…and I will take some pics of the event.

English: My calculator, it's good to use.

English: My calculator, it’s good to use. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With only one minute left online, I have to share (because I was asked) my favorite weight loss tip.  GET REAL WITH YOUR CALORIES.  Get a journal (or a scrap of paper, or an app or message pad on your phone) and start writing down your food intake.  Don’t guess.  Look up calorie counts.  If you have to guess, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it…..and don’t overestimate your calorie burn, either.  I jog a mile or 2 in between classes and feel like I am working so hard, sweating my butt off, only to learn I have burned between 100 and 2oo calories per “run.”  We can eat that in no time flat, so don’t let your fitness be a ticket to eating more!  GET REAL WITH YOUR CALORIES and you will start to see that scale moving in the right direction.  Write em down.  Add em up.  Most weight loss programs suggest about 1200 calories a day for women and 16-1800 a day for men.  Of course this is just an approximate.   After a few weeks of trial and error, you will find your own magic number.

Monday.  Always a great day to start anew!  Go get em.

You Can Call Me…..

Mrs. Potato Head

Mrs. Potato Head (Photo credit: Onion)

It’s one thing to be watching calories and another to live on a plant-based diet but when you combine them, you obviously create a smaller list of foods that you are comfortable eating.  For years I struggled with the potato.  I absolutely love potatoes (any way and every way) but with the whole anti-carb hype, anti-”white” hype, I limited them for quite a while, reserving them for days of indulgence.

I admit I dreamed about an optimal nutritional plan that would include the potato, but all the “experts” made me pessimistic about the reality.  Then, a dental woe temporarily caused me to further limit the foods I could comfortably eat and I had to include baked potatoes.  In fact, for a few days, I was eating them more than once a day.  I was so happy.  And because eating was challenging, the scale dropped, no doubt because my calorie intake was lower than usual.

This prompted me to reconsider the white spud and I have been eating them a few times a week, ever since.  And the scale continued to reflect weight loss.  What I found was that by continuing to keep my calories at about 1500 a day (I approximate all this) I can still get in all my nutrients, keep from being hungry, sustain the energy I need for my athletic day AND enjoy my potatoes, too!

We all know that sweet potatoes are a great food for everyone and they are still a smarter choice, but for me, nothing compares to the plain old baked potato.  If I am feeling more indulgent, I will cut them up and toss them with some olive oil and kosher salt and grill them in a tin.  That side dish is always a treat and goes a long way when feeding a family or company.

So while there is no consistent info on the potatoes nutritional value (because no 2 spuds are quite the same) it is enough to know that a medium sized one is somewhere around 160 calories, provides about 1/4 of your days needs for all important potassium, about half your days needs for Vitamin C, and about 1/3 of the vitamin B-6 you require a day.  It is cholesterol free, fat free and eaten with the skin, gives you close to 5 grams of fiber, which is a lot for one food!  Remember, fiber is not only necessary for a healthy digestive system, but also helps us to continue to feel full well after a meal is over.  Though the potato is a high carb food, it provides about 5 grams of protein as well.  We need to stop thinking of foods as just carbs, or just proteins and understand that foods are a combination of nutrients and we need them all!

Clearly is you are on a high protein low carb diet, a potato will give you way too many carbs.  I am not a big fan of those diets, personally for a bazillion reasons, but that’s what works for me and I am a big fan of choice.

If you are a fan of the potato, don’t be afraid of it.  Instead watch what you adorn it with!  I use a bit of Earth Balance “butter” and lots of nutritional yeast which I love and gives me a lot of added nutrients.  That said, I could just as easily enjoy one whole, like an apple.  As my father-in-law always says, “You have never met a potato you don’t like.”

So I will simply sign this,

Mrs. Potato Head

Yes, I am sad about King James leaving our Miami Heat.  I am not bitter.  Like I said, I am a fan of choice and I wish him and his family well, though I will miss him as he has been my favorite! 

Yes, I will be at the gym this morning for class.  Next Saturday class is cancelled as I will excitedly be attending my soon to be daughter’s bridal shower.  3 weeks till the wedding!!! WOW


Don’t Believe Everything you Read (or SEE on the TEEVEE!)

Dr. Öz at ServiceNation 2008

Dr. Öz  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Dr. Oz is up on the hill, supposedly helping to sort through the swamp of marketers claiming their supplements are the miracle solutions to weight loss.  Oh, Dr. Oz.  I (and many others) think he, himself, might be the biggest part of the problem.  Way, way back in the day, I looked forward to the doctor’s appearances on the Oprah show.  Once a week, he had a lot of valuable info to share.  Even when his show began, it has some valuable information and I still found him credible.  Over the years, I quickly began to get impatient with his show as it became mostly a show about miracle weight loss supplements and foods.  He contradicts himself so much, often within the very same hour, certainly from day to day.  It makes me crazy when he says things like “yes, today I am giving you permission to eat _____________.”  (fill in the blank with fat, sugar, caffeine, etc.)  And don’t even get me started on his demonstrations and animations.  They confuse the life out of me, even when I totally understand what he is trying to show.  It’s a crying shame, because he often has some super interesting people on like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Furhman and Dr. Ornish.  My guess is, those people, if they have an ounce of integrity, won’t be making future appearances on the show.  If you still enjoy watching (and trust me, I dvr the new episodes to skim through and look for my favorite guests) please be aware of the products he is pushing as they relate to the advertising sponsors.  (Notice how he tells us regular fiber isn’t good enough and how we have to take Metamucil …etc.)  So watch if you like, but be smart and BEWARE!

Another show I have grown detached from, that I once loved, is Extreme Makeover Weight Loss with Chris Powell.  I had NO clue, when I blogged a few weeks ago, and mentioned that I felt Heidi was going to be a bigger part of the show, that she was going to be his co-trainer aka co-host.  She is sweet and in awesome shape, but it totally changed the dynamics of the show, at least for me.  Now, it’s like the “Chris and Heidi Hour.”  I don’t need to watch them working out in their garage.  That’s not why I tune in.  Additionally, 2 weeks ago when the guy had a goal of 100 pounds in 90 days and he was shy by ONE pound, Chris’ reaction made me want to jump through the tv and ring his neck.  He looked sadly at the young man and asked, “Dude…what happened?”  WHAT HAPPENED????? HE LOST 99 POUNDS in 90 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That should be totally applauded!!!  I also dislike how “cookie cutter” like the format of this show is.  It’s just a fill in the blank situation in the editing room.  No creativity at all.  GIVE ME BACK MY BIGGEST LOSER!!!!!

Well, thanks for letting me rant.  I try not to do it very often, but this upbeat, peace loving, fitness chick has her moments just like the rest of us!!!  And I don’t like to see people being misled or mistreated.  As for my gripe with the Dr. Oz show, it clearly doesn’t boost ratings to just remind people that healthy nutrition, watching calorie intake and daily exercise are the only real safe way to achieve and maintain goal body weight, but it’s the truth and a reputable cardiologist like Dr. Oz, should not be telling people fairy tales.  It’s just wrong.  And Chris Powell, shame on you for making someone feel they failed when they took off over 1 pound a day for a solid 90 days in a row.

“With great power, comes great responsibility” (from Spiderman)….These people need to use their power in a much more positive way………..

I’ll be at the gym for my regular 11:30 class today, 9:30 tomorrow and for both of my classes as well as to sub Ellen’s class on Monday morning.   The service for Ellen’s dad is this Sunday at the Star of David at noon.  She will be back to teach the rest of her classes after Monday.

If you are doing the ab challenge, today is a rest day. Enjoy it…and have a happy Friday one and all!