Saturday, January 30, 2010
This past week our activity day girls had a Book Review trying to encourage the young ladies to read more and watch less. My partner shared some interesting facts about screen time in kids ages 8-18. They spend an average of 4.5 hours watching TV, 1.5 hours in front of the computer, and 2 hours listening to music. YIKES! There is a reason they call it the boob tube and the electronic babysitter. All the girls who were in attendance adamantly proclaimed they NEVER spent that much time in front of a screen. Even if that is true, that means there are kids out there spending even more time in front of the idiot box- hence the term average. (I will admit that during middle school years I was probably in this high category when there was no adults regulating my TV time. I was bringing up the average.) We had a nice little chat about our favorite books and they all went home with a list of books they might want to check out and read.
So, the follow up. I was interested in adult screen time to see how it compared, assuming it would obviously be less since we lead much busier lives. ::buzzer noise::WRONG! Gleaning a few facts from some recent newspaper articles, Ball State University found that adults spend an average of 8.5 hours in front of a screen per day, with 5 of those hours coming from TV. This was in a shadowing study since most people tend to under report the actual amount of time they spend in front of the screen. (Its sort of like food diaries, people can under report calories by as much as 50% and often over estimate the amount of fruits and vegetables they get probably due to social stigmas. Did you know you burn more calories sleeping than watching TV because at least your body is doing repair work in bed.) But I digress, in another study it was found that for each extra hour spent in front of the TV it increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 18% and from all other causes by 11%. The numbers held true even among people who have a healthy weight and exercise. If you watched more than 4 hours you were 80% more likely to die from CVD and 46% more likely to die from all other causes. WOW!
The kicker, where did I get this information? Off the computer. How am I sharing it? On the computer. What are you doing right now? Sitting in front of a screen. So get off your bum and go do something! I am, I'm going to go play in the snow with the boys.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Same pair, almost two years ago
This is my new little baby. He smiles but I haven't quite got it on film yet.
I just recently got a new-used camera. A great upgrade from the one we had before that took 5 seconds before it would take the picture. We'll see if it improves the quality of my photos. A great camera does not a photographer make.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Millions of Americans are anxiously getting started on their goals. For many of those individuals weight loss is one of their primary aspirations. In light of this I am teaching a weight loss enrichment class at church. Here is the first week's lesson summary:
Lesson 1: Getting Started
What does a healthy person look like? Most healthy eaters still nibble on chips or cookies or are slightly heavier than they set out to be. Set realistic goals so you are not hungry all the time. They are leaner, fitter, happier, and more confident than in the past, but they are probably not what you would call thin. They eat at least 3 meals a day and may include snacks. If you eat haphazardly you are always sort of hungry. Healthful eaters make a concerted effort to eat regular meals. Don’t define how you eat as dieting, but rather as a consistent eating plan that you live with for life.
Severe dieting numbs the hunger response so that people lose the ability to know when they are hungry or full (starvation). It also slows the metabolism so when you start to eat again the same calories as before you burn less fat and you gain the weight back and usually 5-10 lb more. 4 out of 10 women are dieting as we speak. Give up the diet mentality and relearn how to feed yourself. In general, a healthy weight is one at which you gain no more than 10-15lb after the age of 21.
Everyone wants to be skinny, not many people want to lose weight. Losing weight takes work. Most success stories settle for less than ideal bodies.
If there was a magic pill to slow aging, help prevent chronic disease and memory loss, and the secret to leaner figure would you take it? Of course! Its healthful foods and physical activity. Try to focus on health not weight.
Choose the description that best matches your diet:
- Really good. I make healthful food choices almost all of the time
- Pretty good. I make healthful food choices most of the time.
- Not so good. My unhealthy choices probably slightly outweigh the healthful ones.
- Horrible. My food choices are a dietary train wreck. I love fast food, junk food and chips. Next to no healthful choices grace my lips.
90% of women think their diets are reasonably healthy but we consume about 300 kcal more than in 1985. 66% of Americans are over weight, which means their diet could use improvement.
Top 10 Reasons for weight loss: Prevention is much more effective than treatment- “Its better to prepare and prevent than repair and repent”
10. Reduces your risk of chronic disease including- many cancers and cardiovascular disease. At least 35% of cancer deaths could be avoided y diet alone, with fruits/veg and lower fat leading the pack in cancer prevention.
9. Reduce strain on back, hip, and knee joints. Also reduces pressure on feet.- Less weight and a regular exercise program reduces risk of arthritis.
8. Better sleep- Many people have sleep apnea and don’t even know it. They wake up after 8 hours still tired because they could never get into deep sleep and their body was waking itself up at night- up to 400 times. People that exercise also report better sleep at night and being more rested.
7. Decrease in stress level
6. Look better
5. Have more energy
4. No more feeling self conscious
3. More job prospects
2. No more feeling guilty that you should be taking care of your body better.
1. You can fit into the “skinny pants” again. (everyone has those, the pants you used to fit into and are keeping just incase you do again.)
All these things combined will hopefully have the ultimate effect of what- being happier. Other reasons to live healthfully: Obesity leads to decreased fertility. Being healthy will inevitably increase your self-esteem. Weight can also limit your activities.
Weight and measurements. Don’t obsess, only weigh yourself once a week and do it in the morning (when you weigh the least) wearing the same thing.10 pounds = one pants size approximately. Your weight can change by up to 5 lb during the day due to food and fluid balance. Weight isn’t the best measure of fat, its just the quickest and easiest way to keep track of progress.
Expectations: 1-2lb loss per week = deficit of
Water weight- what it is and when it comes off. Glycogen, one of the body’s sources of fuel, is stored with water in the body. It is one of the first sources burned and when it goes so does the water. It’s the first to come back on too.
Food diary- time of day, what you ate, how much you ate, how hungry you were when you ate it (not hungry at all, slightly hungry, hungry, very hungry, starving) what you were doing/where you ate it (table, living room, car, work desk, with children… try to only eat at the table or in the kitchen. Break patterns of association like TV-food. Car-food. Clock-food friends-food) By keeping an Honest food diary you will automatically eat less if you have to write everything down. Don’t write it up at the end of the day. You will forget and leave out snacks and drinks. Keep it with you and every time you eat, you write it down. “Eat write” That means keeping it in a pocket or in the kitchen. If you forget the actual paper, write it down on scratch paper right after you eat and transfer the data. You can measure in weight or amount. It doesn’t matter.
What, how much, who else was present or if you ate alone, where, how you felt before and after you ate (Mood, Food,) and Time- any patterns that you noticed? Especially if you skipped breakfast? Be specific: I ate 5T of rocky road ice cream out of the container while watching a rerun of “ Gilmore Girls” on TV. Then I came back at during the commercial and ad another 4T with a 8 oz of 2% milk.
Be Honest- your food records are only as valuable as the information in them. Patterns only pop up when you’ve written down everything. I’m not the food police and I’m not going to be grading your diary. It is to help you!
Be prompt- Write it down right after you eat it. If you wait till the end of the day you will inevitably forget. If you have to keep the journal with you or keep more than one- at home and at work.
Time: I will look at it if you want me to but not if you don’t want me to. Most of the time people can notice their own problem areas. They just need strategies to help fix those areas. If you e-mail it to me or come before class next time or stay afterwards we can talk about it.
Goal setting Unrealistic goals set you up for failure. A comfortable body weight or a healthy diet is one you can maintain without obsessing over food all the time. Visualizing- create a clear picture in your mind of what you ultimately want your diet to look like and how you want to feel and look as a result of eating that way and how your life in general will be different. Then divide that goal into little, manageable steps such as including three servings of whole grain, limiting your fast food to once a month, and soft drinks to 1x/week or refraining from eating off other’s plates. Plan to take one or more years to make all the changes and to reach your vision. When you reach the end of your days heaven forbid that your main accomplishment was that you agonized over your diet!
Set minigoals- Every week set a new minigoal like switching from 2% milk to skim or from regular to low-calorie salad dressing. I see that I’m eating 2 fruits a day and 2 vegetables, I’ll make a goal to eat 3 vegetables a day this month and next month I’ll up it to 3 fruits. Over the long haul these small changes will make a huge difference in your health. Continue this as long as you need to until eating healthfully. We hold tightly to our food habits because we practice them daily, don’t run faster than you can walk. Change them a little at a time.
Recommended goal for the week- only eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full, and keep an accurate food journal.
Eating well is not about deprivation or denial. Taste buds will change with time. I'd rather your goal not be lose 1-2 lb per week. That is not a goal; that is a result of one or more goals.
Being committed for life- This is not a diet, this is a permanent change. I do not advocate pills potions, lotions, quick fixes or any temporary life style. I’m not saying no to any foods. Just reasonable modifications that can be sustained over the long run to improve your health.
Happy eating and a happy new year!
Happy eating and a happy new year!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Zach and I drive a 1996 Honda Accord. Its sandy colored with pealing paint. We have fondly called her Ethel because names like "Speedy" and "Lightning" just seemed inappropriate. Last week our car hit the 200,000 mile mark. We've prayed it would last through graduate school. So far, so good. Zach was prepared for the momentus event and pulled over to take a picture of our speedometer when it happened. Way to go Ethel! We're so proud.