It’s harder than I thought… but it has to be done…

People have been asking me- how do you stick to your plan? Well the answer is… I do… mostly. And it’s showing on the scale. Yikes! I had to face the fact that in the last month I could have lost more, had I followed the plan religiously. Soooo frustrating. However, along with my growing pains (or shrinking pains), I’ve also made some really positive changes. For example, I was eating out a restaurants 24/7. Now I eat at home, or if I have to eat on the go, I’ll grab and go fruit, veggies, and proteins from Kwik Trip. I also keep my supplements in my car so I have them on hand all the time.

Today, I made a food plan for the week. It was hard at first but not terrible. So this week, I am focused on eating more seafood, adding in brown rice, and making smart choice with fruits and veggies. Actually cooking is teaching me about appropriate portion sizes… and they are much smaller then the ones I ate in the past. If you think about it, restaurant food portions are XXL. And if you don’t want to be, XXL, you need to adjust accordingly!

My goals for this week include weighing in 5 times; following my PT plan; cooking every night; and making sure my portions are in check. Food scale, anyone? Sometimes, you have to carry it with you.

Do you have any other suggestions to keep me motivated? I’d love to hear them! Message me or comment below!

Everybody’s working for the weekend, Meg ūüėČ

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Drumroll please…

I did my weigh in today, and since last Friday I am down… 7.5 pounds! Woo hoo!

I wasn’t able to get my measurements and pictures done today, so we will do those on Friday.

This certainly makes me feel better. My weight had been stagnating, and I wondered why it wasn’t moving as quickly as I had hoped. First off, my particular plan has a lower weight loss goal than some of the others. So a 2 pound per week loss is the average, versus 4 pounds with Physician’s Fast, which was my original plan. I have been on the program for approximately 1 month, so I’m more on target than I thought. (Sighs with relief). Total weight loss since August is 17 pounds or so. So we are on the right track.

I met with my Physical Therapist this morning and he told me I am doing too much. Between working through lunches and oftentimes in to the evening, finishing my MBA, getting all my weigh ins in at Physician’s, and taking care of my son, and everything else on my plate, I had not noticed that my back issues were becoming aggravated.

That said, I can come up with a million excuses why to not stay on plan, or why to not follow my PT program. But I am not going to do that. My health comes first from now on. Why? Well, I can’t be a very good parent if I am not around. I don’t like to think that way, but life is short enough as it is, and I don’t want to waste any more of it being overweight and in poor health.

If you’re on the same page as I am, give PWLC a call at 781-THIN. They have several plans and will pick the one that is right for you. Don’t wait another day.

Yours in good health, Meg

Thanks for reading!

I wanted to thank everyone for reading my blog. As of today I’ve had over 1000 visitors. Wow! I didn’t think I was that popular. ūüėČ

I hope that I can inspire people. Whether you need to take off 20 pounds or 200 pounds, sometimes it can be hard to give it a go and just get started. It certainly is scary to try new things, and it’s easier to not admit that you have a problem. Losing weight and talking about it can be embarrassing, and it’s especially stressful when all eyes are on you.

If you’re thinking about losing, call Physician’s Weight Loss Center today. Not only do they have friendly counselors and doctors, you will find someone you can relate to. Especially if you don’t have the support in your life that you need. People that haven’t struggled with losing weight or gaining weight can find it hard to relate. “Just stop eating so much.” “Go to the gym more.” are ones that I often hear.¬†

Weight loss goes deeper than that. It’s a struggle, as more and more adults and children are obese than ever before.¬†

I know personally how difficult it is. I decided to jump in and share it all with you, good and bad. Are you ready to make the commitment? Get on the horn.

Call them Physician’s Weight Loss Center at 608- 781- THIN or online at Onalaskaweightloss.com.

What are the benefits of swimming?

What are the benefits of swimming?

What are the benefits of swimming?

 

There are plenty of reasons to swim! Here’s a list that should get you¬† motivated.

Low impact

There’s no ground impact when you swim, and so you protect the joints from¬† stress and strain. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation strongly recommends¬† swimming and water activities for this reason, so much so that they sponsor¬† water classes all over the country (check http://www.arthritis.org for information).¬† Water aerobics classes are also desirable for this reason, because even if you¬† do jump and hit the bottom of the pool, you do so with less force because you’re¬† buoyant in the water. Not only that, but if you wear or hold a flotation device¬† during a water aerobics class, the impact is even less.

Can be continued for a lifetime

Because there’s no impact with swimming, it can be continued for a lifetime.¬† If you check the United States Masters Swimming (http://www.usms.org/) Web site¬† for age categories of their swim competitions, you will find a 100- to 104-year-old age group! And the master of fitness, Jack La Lanne, still swims one hour every¬† day at age 93!

Builds cardiorespiratory fitness

Swimming improves endurance. In one study of sedentary middle-aged men and  women who did swim training for 12 weeks, maximal oxygen consumption improved  10% and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped with each beat which indicates  heart strength) improved as much as 18%.

Builds muscle mass

In a study of men who completed an eight-week swimming program, there was a¬† 23.8% increase in the triceps muscle (the back of the arm). My take on muscle¬† mass and swimming is that if you have been doing no resistance exercise at all¬† and you start to swim, you will certainly get more toned and you may even gain¬† mass like the men in this study. But even without the gain in mass, it’s well¬† worth the strength and tone that you will almost certainly gain.

An alternative when injured

When athletes are injured, particularly in the lower extremities, they are¬† frequently told to swim to maintain their fitness level. Swimming helps them¬† stay in shape, and it’s even part of the rehabilitation. That’s because the¬† resistance of the water makes the muscles work hard without the strain or impact¬† that is experienced on land.

It’s a break from the summer heat

There’s nothing like it during the hot days of summer, whether it’s at the¬† beach or in the pool. It’s relaxing, the movements are smooth and rhythmic, and¬† it’s a great workout.

It’s a family affair

Swimming and other water activities are something the entire family can  share. With rising levels of obesity in children as well as adults in the United  States, family physical activities and good role-modeling may be one way to stem  the epidemic of inactivity and obesity facing our nation.

Burns calories

Swimming burns lots of calories, anywhere from 500-650 per hour depending on¬† how efficiently you swim (you burn more flopping around than swimming cleanly!)¬† and how buoyant you are (the more body fat you have, the more you float and the¬† fewer calories it takes to swim). Very early and original research on swimming¬† and calorie expenditure showed that swimming, regardless of the stroke, burned¬† about 89% of the calories burned during running and 97% of the calories burned¬† during cycling for the same time period. Stated another way, swimming burns¬† about 11% fewer calories than running but only 3% fewer calories than biking.¬† One important caveat about this data is that calorie expenditure is dependent on¬† the intensity of exercise, and so it’s entirely possible to burn more calories¬† swimming than running in the same period of time as long as you swim hard¬† enough, and particularly so if compared to running at light intensity.

¬†Do you like to swim? What’s your favorite exercise?
 
Comment below. -Meg

“How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life”

“How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life”

The slow insidious displacement of home cooked and communally shared family meals by the industrial food system has fattened our nation and weakened our family ties. In 1900, 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home. In 2010, 50 percent were eaten away from home and one in five breakfasts is from McDonald’s. Most family meals happen about three times a week, last less than 20 minutes and are spent watching television or texting while each family member eats a different microwaved “food.” More meals are eaten in the minivan than the kitchen.

Research shows that children who have regular meals with their parents do better in every way, from better grades, to healthier relationships, to staying out of trouble. They are 42 percent less likely to drink, 50 percent less likely to smoke and 66 percent less like to smoke marijuana. Regular family dinners protect girls from bulimia, anorexia, and diet pills. Family dinners also reduce the incidence of childhood obesity. In a study on household routines and obesity in U.S. preschool-aged children, it was shown that kids as young as four have a lower risk of obesity if they eat regular family dinners, have enough sleep, and don’t watch TV on weekdays.

We complain of not having enough time to cook, but Americans spend more time watching cooking on the Food Network than actually preparing their own meals. In his series, “Food Revolution,” Jamie Oliver showed us how we have raised a generation of Americans who can’t recognize a single vegetable or fruit, and don’t know how to cook.

The family dinner has been hijacked by the food industry. The transformations of the American home and meal outlined above did not happen by accident. Broccoli, peaches, almonds, kidney beans and other whole foods don’t need a food ingredient label or bar code, but for some reason these foods — the foods we co-evolved with over millennia — had to be “improved” by Food Science. As a result, the processed-food industry and industrial agriculture has changed our diet, decade by decade, not by accident but by intention.

That we need nutritionists and doctors to teach us how to eat is a sad reflection of the state of society. These are things our grandparents knew without thinking twice about them. What foods to eat, how to prepare them, and an understanding of why you should share them in family and community have been embedded in cultural traditions since the dawn of human society.

One hundred years ago all we ate was local, organic food; grass-fed, real, whole food. There were no fast-food restaurants, there was no junk food, there was no frozen food — there was just what your mother or grandmother made. Most meals were eaten at home. In the modern age that tradition, that knowledge, is being lost.

The sustainability of our planet, our health, and our food supply are inextricably linked. The ecology of eating — the importance of what you put on your fork — has never been more critical to our survival as a nation or as a species. The earth will survive our self-destruction. But we may not.

Common sense and scientific research lead us to the conclusion that if we want healthy bodies we must put the right raw materials in them: real; whole, local; fresh; unadulterated; unprocessed; and chemical-, hormone- and antibiotic-free food. There is no role for foreign molecules such as trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, or for industrially developed and processed food that interferes with our biology at every level.

That is why I believe the most important and the most powerful tool you have to change your health and the world is your fork. Imagine an experiment — let’s call it a celebration: We call upon the people of the world to join together and celebrate food for one week. For one week or even one day, we all eat breakfast and dinner at home with our families or friends. For one week we all eat only real, whole, fresh food. Imagine for a moment the power of the fork to change the world.

The extraordinary thing is that we have the ability to move large corporations and create social change by our collective choices. We can reclaim the family dinner, reviving and renewing it. Doing so will help us learn how to find and prepare real food quickly and simply, teach our children by example how to connect, build security, safety and social skills, meal after meal, day after day, year after year.

Here are some tips that will help you take back the family dinner in your home starting today.

Reclaim Your Kitchen

Throw away any foods with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats or sugar or fat as the first or second ingredient on the label. Fill your shelves with real fresh, whole, local foods when possible. And join a community support agriculture network to get a cheaper supply of fresh vegetables weekly or frequent farmers markets.

Reinstate the Family Dinner

Read Laurie David’s “The Family Dinner”. She suggests the following guidelines: Make a set dinnertime, no phones or texting during dinner, everyone eats the same meal, no television, only filtered or tap water, invite friends and family, everyone clean up together.

Eat Together

No matter how modest the meal, create a special place to sit down together, and set the table with care and respect. Savor the ritual of the table. Mealtime is a time for empathy and generosity, a time to nourish and communicate.

Learn How to Cook and Shop

You can make this a family activity, and it does not need to take a ton of time. Keep meals quick and simple.

Plant a Garden

This is the most nutritious, tastiest, environmentally friendly food you will ever eat.

Conserve, Compost and Recycle

Bring your own shopping bags to the market, recycle your paper, cans, bottles and plastic and start a compost bucket (and find where in your community you can share you goodies).

Invest in Food

As Alice Waters says, food is precious. We should treat it that way. Americans currently spend less than10 percent of their income on food, while most European’s spend about 20 percent of their income on food. We will be more nourished by good food than by more stuff. And we will save ourselves much money and costs over our lifetime.

To learn more tips for taking back the family dinner and using your fork to effect change in our world visit www.drhyman.com.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

Do you think the health of our planet and the health of our diet are linked? How?

Which of the steps outlined above have you taken in your own life and how have they worked for you?

What ideas do you have that will help us reclaim the family dinner and revive the tradition of eating real, whole foods?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.

One step forward, 2 steps back?

Step forward: I’ve been following my Physician’s Weight Loss¬†eating plan to a “T”.

Steps back: A sick kid and major back issues resurface. ūüė¶

So unfortunately, I am not able to go to Root Down Yoga– YET. I had to enter Physical Therapy again this week due to major inflammation at the site of my back surgery. I am also on 60mg of Prednisone daily. ICK! Also, Matt got my flu. Tis the season I guess. BUT I am not going to let that get me down.

I am headed to the YMCA for daily swimming and grocery shopping way more than I have in the past. I have actually been cooking and plan to buy some new cooking items from Kohl’s today… new pots and pans, here I come!!

I plan to do measurements on Wednesday of this week and I will have a weigh in on Monday.

I should have more posts next week as well.

This weekend, look for posts about the importance of cooking at home; the benefits of swimming; and how to bounce back from injury and illness. Special thanks to Bret at PWLC for helping me stay on track.

Yours in good health, Meg ūüôā