Downsizing Body Fat

copyright Kai UL
My son took this picture of me, and I didn’t recognize the person in it.

The photo is me at an unrecognizable weight. It’s a total embarrassment to me that I let myself slip so far into poor self-esteem, unhappiness, and over-eating to compensate. I don’t know what I weight, but I’m sure I topped 200 pounds. This is where my weight loss journey began in 2008.

This year, I woke up and realized that the extra weight needed to come off now. The other option was to die. It might seem dramatic, but my mom died at 56 from cancer. I’ll be 55 this year. I’m too young to die! I have a son that’s still in school and a disabled husband, who both depend on me.

Added to this, my dad dropped dead from a massive heart attack at 72. There are possible health issues in my family. In addition to this, there is obesity, addiction, and depression issues. In the extended family, there is stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer, alcoholism, drug addictions, and cancer.

So, the solution is to lose body fat, eat right, and increase fitness. Many of the risk factors for these diseases include sugar intake, unhealthy fat intake, excessive weight, and lack of fitness. Changing these things contributes to weight loss, and decrease in body fat. Exercise is the biggest contributor to losing body fat.

Our society breaks it down to Cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and weight. Each of these things are important, but there is more to it. Many of our ailments can be changed through the food we consume.

What to downsize your body’s fat stores? Then, you need to change your food intake and add exercise.

You already eat healthy? Then, decrease the amount of food eaten during meals, and try 4-6 small meals a day. This helps maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day, and helps with the need to binge eat.

Cannot exercise? Exercise is moving your body more. It could be walking further to the grocery store. Or, getting up from your desk at work. Or, stretching more often. Or, taking a walk in the park (with or without your family). Or. . .I think you get the picture.

One thing that helps me is to count daily steps. I put an app on my phone (Pacer). I have the free version, and just track my steps. It gives me a picture of what I am doing, which allows me to make appropriate changes in my daily activities.

Challenge to Those Who Accept. . .Think of 3 ways to increase your body’s movement throughout the day. Then, implement them into your life.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Tips for Self Care

EmbraceYourDreams

Self care is the foundation of fitness and wellness. Both are part of self care.

Some tip ideas. . .

  1. Take 5+ minutes a day to still your mind.
  2. Walk a little further each day.
  3. Turn off the television by 9 pm.
  4. Go to the park.
  5. Eat less Fast Food.
  6. Decrease sugar intake.
  7. Replace food with a walk or meditation to cope with stress.
  8. Get enough sleep (6 to 8 hours per night).

Challenge for those who accept. . .Try one or more of the items listed above, and notice the small changes in your life. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Food is Energy

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Food is energy for our bodies. What we put in shows in our energy levels, health, and feelings. Our level of wellness is directly reflected by our food choices.

Processed foods are high in sodium (salt), refined sugar (usually sugar beet), and chemicals. It’s best to read the label on all processed foods purchased. The items listed at the top are the biggest part of the product.

Raw foods are wholesome, and contain more nutrients than processed. The differences here depend on whether the food is organic, conventional, or GMO. The tomatoes above are organic, and sold at the local Farmer’s Market every summer.

GMO produce tends to have the highest amounts of pesticides, and some have been modified to carry pesticide substances in their genetic make-up.

Conventional produce uses traditional fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals are usually on the surface of the food.

Organic produce uses organic methods of fertilizer and pest control. The use of chemical mixtures is not used on the food.

Challenge for those who choose to – Document the types of foods you eat for a week. Look at the list of foods, and decide if you want to change.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Note –
Definition – A pesticide is usually a neurotoxin, and kills bugs though stopping their nervous system. These neurotoxins affect good insects and wildlife too.

It Takes Belief

BelieveWithEveryFiber

To change, we must believe we can change. Every fiber of our being needs to be on-board for change, especially when it is a major lifestyle change!

The biggest yet littlest way to change is to start with one small item. It could be walking 20 minutes a day more than normal, or drinking one less mocha per day. These small changes add up in the long run. The idea is to increase good habits, and decrease bad ones.

Simple change ideas are eliminate processed sugar; eat more fresh fruit; stop eating fast food; eat unprocessed food (meat, cheese, yogurt, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, etc.).

Challenge to those who chose to accept – Quit one small negative habit and add one small positive habit. There will not be an immediate change, but over time the changes become noticeable.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

All or Nothing?

NothingIsTrulyBW

Often, we approach changing with absolutes. There is nothing in the world that is truly black and white, except in the world of art.

Do you want to change? Lose weight? Eat better? Get in shape? Something else. . .

Extra weight seems to be one of the biggest changes most people wish to make in their lives. The hardest part is the time and effort it takes to lose the weight. At some point, it may even seem like a futile undertaking.

The biggest question to ask is how long did it take to gain all this extra weight?

The next question needs to be what am I willing to do to lose the extra weight?

The thing to remember is that the extra weight is fat stores. Fat stores are unused calories that were consumed, not burned through activity, and turned into storage as fat to be used another day. Each pound of fat contains 3500 calories of fuel for the body to burn through activities.

So, weight loss is a total lifestyle change. It requires good nutrition, proper amount of caloric intake, physical activity (walking, fitness program, gardening, etc.), and belief.

Are you ready to commit to your health and well being?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Goodbye Processed Sugar!

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I have to admit, it is easy to become addicted to processed sugar. It is in many processed items, and we don’t see it unless we read the label. Processed sugar is an addictive food source with no nutritional value. Natural sugars come from fresh fruit, like the strawberries in the above photo.

I’ve cut about 95% of the processed sugar from my diet, and the remaining sugar is organic. It’s important to understand that the single word “sugar” on a food product is usually GMO sugar beets. This means that the sugar is from a source that is sprayed with an abundance of chemical pesticides.

The words “cane sugar” is still conventional, but there is a good possibility it is not GMO. I use organic sugar. It will say organic sugar in the list of ingredients on the label.

It can be challenging to cut out the sugar, but I did it easily. I started Shakeology, and I no longer craved the sugar. It was easy to stop my twice daily mocha, and choose healthier items to consume.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach