Archive for November, 2009

Losing the same pound(s) over&over?

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

For those of you that have lost and regained the same weight several times – this is for YOU!

I lost 1.5 lbs exactly this week.  I’m proud of my effort.  However, negative thoughts crept in on “weigh in day”, which is Saturday morning for me.   

In 3 weeks I’ve lost 4 pounds.  (Very proud of my effort.  It’s taken saying “No” to a lot of snacking & “Yes” to more activity/exercise.)  But even with that success, I started having defeating thoughts.  I was thrilled and then it hit me:  this puts me at the point where I was when I wanted to lose 7 pounds (which has been for about the last year or so!! over & over again.) 

So essentially, all my effort these past 3 weeks was to get me back to where I started.  STILL wanting to lose those same 7  damn pounds!  (For you, it may look like 5 or 50 or anywhere in between!)

 

So what did I do??

I did NOT beat myself up about the extra 4 pounds I’ve gained since my latest injury.  It simply came about because bad habits (like eating my kids leftovers, going out to eat more frequently, not measuring food – granola & nuts especially, over snacking and way too much pity & defiantly not enough exercise! 

To quote my husband’s favorite saying:  “IT IS WHAT IT IS!”  Determined, I just hunkered down & dealt with “it”!

  1. I concentrated on the positive.  I’m proud that I dealt with the extra weight.  I respect myself for doing what it takes to get it off.  I feel better for it. 
  2. I realized the weight loss has given me momentum.  Without hitting my bottom (I couldn’t believe the # I saw on the scale) I might still be on the roller-coaster ride of losing the same 7 pounds over and over again.  This time I’m going to succeed.  There’s no doubt about it.  I will reach my goal!
  3. I’m more determined than ever to be in better shape come the New Year.  I will make healthy choices and stay active during this busy holiday season.
  4. My pain is your gain!  I’m happy to share all the gory details in hopes that you will learn from my honesty.  I know what it takes and most people (even doctors-except Alan Glassman, he’ll give you an earful!  Huge advocate of exercise & maintaining a healthy weight for adults and children) are afraid to tell you!
  5. WoW! Boot Camp works!!!  I love the workouts.  I’m sore, I’m tighter and I’m getting stronger!  Boo ya!
  6. Taking it one day at a time!  I realize that my choices today WILL affect my success for tomorrow.  Sometimes it’s saying “NO!” one chip at a time.  (That same big ass bag of Blue Corn Chips for the kids lunches keeps tempting me) & saying “YES!” to more activity.  It may be something little like getting up and getting something for myself verses asking the kids to get it for me.  (No wonder they’re so skinny – HA!)  I am taking it one pound and one exercise session at a time.  I will not be overwhelmed by the daunting task of 7 pounds.
  7. I keep visualizing my ideal self (I’m assuming it’s 7 pounds because that’s what I weighed when I had my picture taken for Athena Magazine 3 years ago.  But it’s really a pair of jeans I want to fit back into and a certain way I want my abs to look & a return of that smooth bra line on my back!  I know I have to burn that blanket in order to see the muscles underneath!
  8. Every day, I feel better & better.  I’m more creative & energetic.  Even though the results are slow (by tabloid standards) as long as I’m doing all the right things, I will continue to progress towards my goals.
  9. I have a good attitude.  This is not a chore.  This is a choice.  It’s a healthy way of life & I am better for it (just as I am certain you will be!)!!

These are pictures of me at the TUGALOO Triathlon – 4 years apart!

April before Comin' out the water_resized

My first Triathlon. Hard, mostly because i was overweight, out of shape and didn't train very much. But it was a start!

[caption id="attachment_1195" align="aligncenter" width="137" caption="Same race - 4 years later. Still hard! But this time it was because I raced fast enough to go Top 3! "]After 4 yrs. of consistant effort!  [/caption]

Losing the same pound(s) over & over?

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

For those of you that have lost and regained the same weight several times – this is for YOU!

I lost 1.5 lbs exactly this week.  I’m proud of my effort.  However, negative thoughts crept in on “weigh in day”, which is Saturday morning for me.   

In 3 weeks I’ve lost 4 pounds.  (Very proud of my effort.  It’s taken saying “No” to a lot of snacking & “Yes” to more activity/exercise.)  But even with that success, I started having defeating thoughts.  I was thrilled and then it hit me:  this puts me at the point where I was when I wanted to lose 7 pounds (which has been for about the last year or so!! over & over again.) 

So essentially, all my effort these past 3 weeks was to get me back to where I started.  STILL wanting to lose those same 7  damn pounds!  (For you, it may look like 5 or 50 or anywhere in between!)

 

So what did I do??

I did NOT beat myself up about the extra 4 pounds I’ve gained since my latest injury.  It simply came about because bad habits (like eating my kids leftovers, going out to eat more frequently, not measuring food – granola & nuts especially, over snacking and way too much pity & defiantly not enough exercise! 

To quote my husband’s favorite saying:  “IT IS WHAT IT IS!”  Determined, I just hunkered down & dealt with “it”!

  1. I concentrated on the positive.  I’m proud that I dealt with the extra weight.  I respect myself for doing what it takes to get it off.  I feel better for it. 
  2. I realized the weight loss has given me momentum.  Without hitting my bottom (I couldn’t believe the # I saw on the scale) I might still be on the roller-coaster ride of losing the same 7 pounds over and over again.  This time I’m going to succeed.  There’s no doubt about it.  I will reach my goal!
  3. I’m more determined than ever to be in better shape come the New Year.  I will make healthy choices and stay active during this busy holiday season.
  4. My pain is your gain!  I’m happy to share all the gory details in hopes that you will learn from my honesty.  I know what it takes and most people (even doctors-except Alan Glassman, he’ll give you an earful!  Huge advocate of exercise & maintaining a healthy weight for adults and children) are afraid to tell you!
  5. WoW! Boot Camp works!!!  I love the workouts.  I’m sore, I’m tighter and I’m getting stronger!  Boo ya!
  6. Taking it one day at a time!  I realize that my choices today WILL affect my success for tomorrow.  Sometimes it’s saying “NO!” one chip at a time.  (That same big ass bag of Blue Corn Chips for the kids lunches keeps tempting me) & saying “YES!” to more activity.  It may be something little like getting up and getting something for myself verses asking the kids to get it for me.  (No wonder they’re so skinny – HA!)  I am taking it one pound and one exercise session at a time.  I will not be overwhelmed by the daunting task of 7 pounds.
  7. I keep visualizing my ideal self (I’m assuming it’s 7 pounds because that’s what I weighed when I had my picture taken for Athena Magazine 3 years ago.  But it’s really a pair of jeans I want to fit back into and a certain way I want my abs to look & a return of that smooth bra line on my back!  I know I have to burn that blanket in order to see the muscles underneath!
  8. Every day, I feel better & better.  I’m more creative & energetic.  Even though the results are slow (by tabloid standards) as long as I’m doing all the right things, I will continue to progress towards my goals.
  9. I have a good attitude.  This is not a chore.  This is a choice.  It’s a healthy way of life & I am better for it (just as I am certain you will be!)!!

These are pictures of me at the TUGALOO Triathlon – 4 years apart!

April before Comin' out the water_resized

My first Triathlon. Hard, mostly because i was overweight, out of shape and didn't train very much. But it was a start!


After 4 yrs. of consistant effort!

Same race - 4 years later. Still hard! But this time it was because I raced fast enough to go Top 3!

Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

A neurons in the brain.
Joubert/Photo Researchers, Inc A neuron in the brain.

Researchers at Princeton University recently made a remarkable discovery about the brains of rats that exercise. Some of their neurons respond differently to stress than the neurons of slothful rats. Scientists have known for some time that exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells (neurons) but not how, precisely, these neurons might be functionally different from other brain cells.

Phys Ed

In the experiment, preliminary results of which were presented last month at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, scientists allowed one group of rats to run. Another set of rodents was not allowed to exercise. Then all of the rats swam in cold water, which they don’t like to do. Afterward, the scientists examined the animals’ brains. They found that the stress of the swimming activated neurons in all of the ’ brains. (The researchers could tell which neurons were activated because the cells expressed specific genes in response to the stress.) But the youngest brain cells in the running rats, the cells that the scientists assumed were created by running, were less likely to express the genes. They generally remained quiet. The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

For years, both in popular imagination and in scientific circles, it has been a given that exercise enhances mood. But how exercise, a physiological activity, might directly affect mood and anxiety — psychological states — was unclear. Now, thanks in no small part to improved research techniques and a growing understanding of the biochemistry and the genetics of thought itself, scientists are beginning to tease out how exercise remodels the brain, making it more resistant to stress. In work undertaken at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for instance, scientists have examined the role of serotonin, a neurotransmitter often considered to be the “happy” brain chemical. That simplistic view of serotonin has been undermined by other researchers, and the University of Colorado work further dilutes the idea. In those experiments, rats taught to feel helpless and anxious, by being exposed to a laboratory stressor, showed increased serotonin activity in their brains. But rats that had run for several weeks before being stressed showed less serotonin activity and were less anxious and helpless despite the stress.

Other researchers have looked at how exercise alters the activity of dopamine, another neurotransmitter in the brain, while still others have concentrated on the antioxidant powers of moderate exercise. Anxiety in rodents and people has been linked with excessive oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death, including in the brain. Moderate exercise, though, appears to dampen the effects of oxidative stress. In an experiment reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, rats whose oxidative-stress levels had been artificially increased with injections of certain chemicals were extremely anxious when faced with unfamiliar terrain during laboratory testing. But rats that had exercised, even if they had received the oxidizing chemical, were relatively nonchalant under stress. When placed in the unfamiliar space, they didn’t run for dark corners and hide, like the unexercised rats. They insouciantly explored.

“It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion. “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.”

The stress-reducing changes wrought by exercise on the brain don’t happen overnight, however, as virtually every researcher agrees. In the University of Colorado experiments, for instance, rats that ran for only three weeks did not show much reduction in stress-induced anxiety, but those that ran for at least six weeks did. “Something happened between three and six weeks,” says Benjamin Greenwood, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, who helped conduct the experiments. Dr. Greenwood added that it was “not clear how that translates” into an exercise prescription for humans. We may require more weeks of working out, or maybe less. And no one has yet studied how intense the exercise needs to be. But the lesson, Dr. Greenwood says, is “don’t quit.” Keep running or cycling or swimming. (Animal experiments have focused exclusively on aerobic, endurance-type activities.) You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will begin, Dr. Greenwood says. And eventually, he says, they become “profound.”

Efficient Running Made Easy

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

A note from Michael Williams, USAT Certified Coach

Efficient Running Made Easy
 
Running is the simplest and most convenient form of exercise there is. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and off you go. No driving to the gym, no tires to pump…..shoes on and out the door you go.

Once you are out the door, work on developing the proper type of running form that will make running not only convenient but enjoyable as well.

Focusing on these five elements of running can help you run faster and more efficiently.

1.Stride Length and Stride Rate

The most common inefficiency in the average runner is over-striding. This is typically visible by a heavy heel strike and a low stride rate. The target stride rate for most age group runners is between 88-90 foot strikes per minute. (how many times one foot hits the ground per minute) By targeting this rate, (or higher) athletes will often shorten their stride to become more efficient and lessen strain on their joints.

2.Foot strike

This is very closely related to an athlete’s stride. The optimal foot strike is mid foot or in some cases forefoot. A heel strike is the runner’s way of putting on the brakes. This is also very hard on hip and knee joints.

3.Arm movement

Arms are an essential part of running. They provide balance and often additional power. Keep arms close to the body, elbows bent about 90 degrees, not crossing the center line of the body. Keep movements “quit” and relaxed.

4.Body Position

Forward lean or lack thereof can play a major part in efficiency. The best general thought to have while focusing on body position is: “Run Tall.” This means run with your head high, looking 15-30 feet in front of you. Run erect with your shoulders back and arms at your side (remember #3). A slight forward lean of about 5-6 degrees is often optimal to assist in proper foot strike and cadence.

5.Shoes

Yes, shoes! This is one of the most often overlooked yet essential aspects of running well. Many foot shapes, gait types, and stride techniques require many different types of shoes. Buy your shoes from a reputable running specific store that will analyze your foot along with your run technique to offer an optimum shoe.

Now Run For It and Feel WoW!

Michael

USATCertifiedCoach_resized


Laura Ryan – way to go girl!!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Laura Ryan – lost 25 pounds!
(I love the running shoes in the background!)Laura Ryan
Happy 1 yr WoW! Anniversary to Laura…and what a way to celebrate!  She just completed her 2nd Triathlon last month and weighed in 25 pounds less than she did when she started WoW! Boot Camp exactly 1 year ago.  

Laura’s big losses:
25 pounds
7 % body fat
4 1/4 ” off her hips
3 1/4″ thighs
2 1/4″ waist
2″ chest-above the breast-which really measures your “back fat” (lovely!)
1 1/2″ bicep

For 8 months Laura showed up at WoW! – consistantly – but only lost a few pounds here and there.  It wasn’t until the last 4 months that the weight literally started “falling off”.

I asked Laura to share with other WoW! Boot Campers what changes she made – especially in the last 4 months – to see te weight come off.  Here’s what Laura had to say!
#1-I quit going out at night.  Meaning – she cut way down on consuming alchohol.  She said there were two main reasons.  First, she started working longer hours and started attending grad school.  Second, she started training for a Triathlon.  “You can’t get up and have a quality workout if you’ve been out the night before”. 
Which leads to #2-I bought a bike and started training for a triathlon.  Laura  found that having something to train for made it easier to choose to exercise on her off days from Boot Camp-so she was getting in 5-6 days of exercise per week.  She added swimming, biking and additional runs to her regimen.  Nothing drastic.  Just 30-45 min of swim or run.  A little longer on the bike.
#3-I changed my diet-BIG TIME!  Laura said she dusted off her WoW! cooler pack and started using it.  She takes her snacks and lunches to work and school with her.  “In the morning (or the night before) I plan what I am going to eat for the entire day-then I take it with me and stick to it!”

WHAT CAN YOU CAN FIND IN LAURA’S WOW! BAG?
Always an apple!
String Cheese
1 cup of grapes
Low fat yogurt
8 Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks
Veggie Wrap-La Tortialla w/ 2 T hummus, cucumber, carrots and any other veggies she has on hand.
Turkey Wrap-La Tortialla w/ Honey maple turkey & low fat pepper jack cheese.
Lean Cuisine Pannini-Chicken, mushroom & spinach

Laura says she always makes time for breakfast!
BREAKFAST
Mini bagels with WW Cream Cheese
2 egg whites with serving of cheese and topped with salsa
Fiber One muffin from Fiber One muffin mix
DINNER
Pastaroni (Tomato parmesan) with tons of sauteed veggies.  Like squash, zuccini, mushrooms.
Veggie Bowl from Transmetropolitan (Because it’s across from where i live).  It’s literally a bowl of veggies.  You can choose steamed or sauteed and it comes with a serving of bread.

All the time at boot camp prior to these last 4 months were not in vain though!  Laura would have been gaining weight had she not stuck with the WoW! program.  Additionally, she was building the cardiovascular strengh and endurance she needed to progress.  And she was learning-getting inspired by others & making small changes that were getting her ready for bigger ones!  REALLY BIG CHANGE happens when YOU are ready to put forth the effort necessary to take the next step!

Callaway TriSusan Little (WoW! girl!), Stephanie (WoW! 5:30 & 8:30am instructor) & Laura Ryan get ready for their first TRIATHLON!!

 

a note from Laura:

I just wanted to talk about the impact WoW! Boot Camp has had on me. When attending my first boot camp with a friend I felt like I was attempting the impossible. My first month was difficult, but I “truly” believe it was the power of WoW! Boot Camp that has motivated me to regain control of my body. Every single woman at WoW! has inspired me and kept me going when all I wanted to do was quit. This summer, I completed my fist sprint triathlon at Callaway Gardens.  April was there to watch me, Stephanie and my friend and fellow boot camper, Susan Little, compete in the race. I can’t explain how incredible it felt to run through that finish line; an accomplishment which I give credit to WoW! Boot Camp for providing me with the support, training, and motivation I lacked. It has seriously changed the way I live my life, and I feel so much happier than ever before.

So thank you April, all the instructors, and every single boot camper for being the inspirational people you are! – Laura Ryan