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Notes from April

May 9, 2009

Buy Local – Athens Farmer's Market

The Athens Farmers Market returns to Bishop Park starting Saturday, May 9.  The market will operate Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – Noon, through October 31. 

Shoppers will be able to purchase fruits, vegetables, and much more. 

The live music this morning was a nice touch. I picked up some fresh flowers, whole wheat bread, sweet carrots, kale & 2 batches of granola (from 2 different vendors).  It was fun shopping in the open market & seeing so many warm friendly (and familiar) faces.  I love Athens!

Thanks Christy Baker-Jenkins (Board Member) for all your hard work-it was a hit!! 

May 9, 2009

Buy Local – Athens Farmer’s Market

The Athens Farmers Market returns to Bishop Park starting Saturday, May 9.  The market will operate Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – Noon, through October 31. 

Shoppers will be able to purchase fruits, vegetables, and much more. 

The live music this morning was a nice touch. I picked up some fresh flowers, whole wheat bread, sweet carrots, kale & 2 batches of granola (from 2 different vendors).  It was fun shopping in the open market & seeing so many warm friendly (and familiar) faces.  I love Athens!

Thanks Christy Baker-Jenkins (Board Member) for all your hard work-it was a hit!! 

April 30, 2009

Note from a Boot Camper

Just got this email from a Boot Camper. It shows you how adopting a healthy lifestyle can rub off on those around you! – April

I got home from boot camp with Helen and my roommates had cooked dinner (actually healthy: tilapia, roasted tomatoes, and basmati rice with strawberries, cool whip, and angel food cake instead of bday cake)…. They had the table all set and did the pt system on my behalf! How sweet! And so supportive.

April 14, 2009

"How to Motivate Yourself"

Great chapter from the book The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. Definitely worth reading! Download it here (pdf).

April 14, 2009

“How to Motivate Yourself”

Great chapter from the book The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. Definitely worth reading! Download it here (pdf).

April 8, 2009

Answers to questions like…does pasta make me fat?

Every time you turn around it seems like someone’s offering diet advice. From People Magazine to friends or family. Take it from someone who’s lost 40 pounds & kept it off (ME!) that there’s no quick, easy or magical way to lose weight. It takes exercise & burning more calories than you consume! (we’ll talk about the “mental” battle next time)

Following are some very simple answers to questions that come up quite frequently from WoW! Boot Campers….

Do carbohydrates make you overweight?
If you eat more calories than you expend in energy, then anything can be stored as fat – protein, fat, or carbohydrate.

Will eating fat make me overweight?
As with the myth that carbohydrates make you fat, the answer is the same. Calories ingested and absorbed above expenditure contribute to increasing fat stores. However, there is some evidence that would suggest it is easier to get fat when consuming a high-fat diet. It seems the human body has a difficult time regulating food intake on high-fat diets, making it is easier to accidentally eat excess calories. Also, because fat provides a lot of calories for a small volume (nine calories/g vs. four calories/g for protein and carbs) you may have a harder time feeling satisfied with the smaller food volume a high-fat diet would provide.

Will eating past 7 p.m., especially carbohydrates, result in weight gain?
The body does not have an enzyme with a watch that after 7 p.m. preferentially stores items, especially carbohydrate, as fat. All of us have a certain number of calories we can consume without gaining weight. If you happen to change your daily schedule and end up eating a final meal or snack later in the evening without changing your calories, you are in no danger of accumulating weight as a result of that minor alteration. Ideally, however, you would spread your allotted number of calories throughout the day to prevent hunger and wild fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can sap your energy levels.

What is insulin’s role in storing fat?
Humans, as periodic eaters, need insulin to survive. Following a meal, insulin is secreted, with its job being the storage of energy (glucose, amino acids) in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue (fat). We will always eat more at a meal than can immediately be used for energy, making this storage necessary. As the hours after a meal go by, this stored energy is released to fuel the continuous needs and activity of the body.

The predominant fuel source for the human body during normal daily activities is fat. As insulin levels diminish after a meal (within an hour), another hormone, Glucagon, is secreted. It signals the body to begin releasing stored energy (glycogen from the liver and fatty acids from adipose tissue) into the blood stream to fuel the body’s energy needs, even though no new energy is coming in (from food). The cycle is repeated with every meal.

Whether you increase or decrease the size of your fat stores day to day depends upon the relationship of calories consumed and absorbed versus energy expended on metabolism and daily activity. If you were in a caloric deficit at the end of the day, then more fat would have come out for energy than went in for storage, so your fat stores would be decreased. However, if you were in caloric excess, then more would have gone in than went out, so your fat stores would increase. As you can see, insulin is only a mechanism for fat storage. It needs material to work with to cause fat stores to increase and stay that way. That material is the calories we eat.

Do protein drinks build muscle?
No. Appropriate exercise and adequate nutrition build muscle.

Should you cut all fat from your diet?
No. Dietary fat calories should never dip below 10 percent of total caloric intake. Dietary fat can add to palatability and satiety. Dietary fat carries our necessary fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

So, dietary fat isn’t bad for you?
Some fats are actually good for you, in moderation. Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, found in some fish, can assist in lowering cholesterol as well as other positive physiological and psychological responses.

So, high-fat diets pose no peril?
Diets high in saturated fats generally raise cholesterol levels and leads to overeating. Total fat intake should not exceed 30 percent of the total caloric intake.

Can high-fat diets assist in weight loss?
Remember, you lose fat when you consume fewer calories than you burn, regardless of whether they are fat, protein, or carbohydrate calories. However, diets that contain more than 30 percent fat generally slow metabolism and lead to overeating.
A very small portion of the population appears to feel and function better on a higher-fat diet (above 25%) while pursuing weight loss. This is due to bio-individuality and the satiating power of fats for this group. Most people would not benefit from a high-fat diet.

Does fruit or fructose make you fat?
No, excess calories make you fat. Fructose is the sweetener of choice for fat loss because it does not elicit a strong insulin response. It is expensive, so most companies do not like to use it.

Does wheat make you fat?
No. Wheat does not make anyone fat, excess calories do. Wheat may cause bloating in a small percentage of people who are allergic to it.

Is it true that when attempting to lose fat, you shouldn’t eat fruit, wheat products, and/or dairy products?
No. Fruit and dairy products lack the substance or bulk of complex foods, so they don’t contribute to satiety when calories are extremely low. But calories are calories.

If insulin resistance causes weight gain, then is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet recommended?
No. Weight gain from high-fat diets usually leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to other health problems such as coronary artery disease. The scientific recommendation for almost all insulin-resistant individuals, genetic or acquired, is a low-fat diet, moderate amounts of protein, high in complex carbohydrates, and exercise. Insulin resistant individuals gain weight like anyone else – when they eat more calories than they burn. Insulin resistance may depress satiety signals, leading one to overeat.

Does pasta make you fat?
No, pasta is a carbohydrate. Excess calories make you fat.

Why does switching from a high-protein diet to a high-carbohydrate diet cause some people to feel bloated initially?
Each part of stored glucose (as glycogen) contains 2.7 parts water. With a high-protein diet, glycogen stores are consistently low and therefore water content is low, which decreases the cells’ efficiency. The bloated feeling will eventually normalize when the body recovers to a properly hydrated state. The gain is water in the muscle cells (good), not fat.

April 8, 2009

Great Work!

“We all have the extraordinary coded within us waiting to be released.”
-Jean Houston


Fear not the place of deep comfort – “the flow zone” – and discomfort.

April 7, 2009


I’m almost finished with Jennette Fulda’s book: Half-Assed a weight-loss memoir.  I love this excerpt:

Jennette’s talking to an overweight middle aged woman….

“How do you stay motivated?”  Carol asked.

I should have just told her to screw motivation.  If I waited for motivation to do the dishes, I’d have plates stacked on my counter so high that I couldn’t open the microwave.  Which I currently did.  I was never motivated to do my dishes.  Yet I turned on the faucet and poured out some dish soap anyway.  It wasn’t because I wanted to have fun with bubbles; it was because I had to.  I couldn’t bring myself to eat off paper plates.

People waited for motivation to find them, but they needed to go out and find motivation.  It’s doubtful that you would get to the bottom of that pint of ice cream and find the message “You need to lose weight” written on the bottom.

This was all easier said than done, of course.  It’s hard to get unstuck, but it takes even longer to pull your feet out of the gum left on the sidewalk if you wait for someone else to come along with Goo Gone.  You just have to do it, even though you don’t want to.  If you saw diet and exercise as optional, you were screwed.  It was nonnegotiable. (p 223)


April 7, 2009

Spot Reducing

Spot Reducing: can I lose weight just in one spot? (ie. butt, arms and face etc)

Spot reduction is simply the idea that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area. The most common example of this is people focus on abdominal exercises in an effort to lose weight in their stomach area.

In reality, there is no such thing as spot reduction. You will never attain a flat stomach just by performing abdominal exercises. The reason for this is simple: a muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. Sit-ups, for example, will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. To lose fat anywhere on your body you need to burn calories by following a program that involves both cardiovascular training and weight training. In doing so, you will decrease fat stores throughout your entire body, including the problem areas.

You may notice that you sometimes lose fat in some areas more quickly than in others; this is simply due to a genetic selective pattern rather than a particular type of exercise. It is a well known fact that men tend to gain weight in their abdominal region, whereas women tend to gain weight in their gluteal region.

If fat was mobilized, or used from the stores near the exercising muscle, then you would expect both men and women to lose weight in the same areas when following a similar program. However, losing weight in the gluteal region is much more difficult for women than it is for men.

Another common myth is that muscle gained during a strength training program will turn to fat once you stop strength training. Again, muscle and fat are two different tissues which are completely independent of each other. If you stop weight training, your muscles will shrink because the stimulus to increase or maintain their size is no longer there; but by no means can they, or will they, turn into fat.

If you feel your body is becoming less toned or, for lack of a better word, more “soft” it is simply because your proportion of fat to muscle has changed. Fat, although you may not have gained any more of it, is now dominant simply because you have lost muscle. Another possible reason for the change is a common problem that exists with many people, primarily athletes. The problem is that they stop exercising, but maintain their eating habits, and thus slowly begin to put on weight. If you had been exercising but stopped, be sure to make dietary changes to compensate for the decrease in daily energy expenditure.

April 7, 2009


Whether you’re a boot camper that’s attended 1 class or someone that’s been with us from day 1 (2 yrs & 5 mo ago!!) we have choices to make EVERY DAY!!  Without a clear understanding of our GOAL(s) and the REASONS we want to accomplish them – it’s all too easy to give in-to settle-do nothing!

Yesterday-I had choices to make!  Which ultimately turned into an opportunity for growth.

It was raining & cold (much like today!)  and I’ve got a 6 mile run on my training schedule.   A FAR cry from the beautiful weather we had at SSI!  My day started with a text message from my sister-in-law.  Not good.  I’d done something that hurt her feelings.  (super ick..someone’s mad at me & doesn’t like me right now!)  Then came a long ass email from my accountant.  A “to do” list that made me want to go back to SSI (or as far south as I could get!!)  and I’ve got a 6 mile run on my training schedule!  Also on tap was “Defeat Diabetes Day” at ARMC.  We had to lug tons of “stuff” from the car in the rain to set up-at 7am!  Then the kids schedules…baseball practice, birthday parties (which means a present!), etc.  The dogs (wiping their feet every time they want to come in & out the house-like 1 million times-from the rain & mud-‘cause we need sod and another reason for me to feel “bad”!  Thought:  “my back yard looks like trailer park trash” Nice!)  And time to pay some bills!  And all the freaking letters from any camp the kids have EVER gone to and that I MUST send them back to or surely I’m not a good parent!  Which led me to think “I should call my parents more”-translation-“I’m the worst daughter ever”!  Michael’s out of town (working on his USTA certification) and I’ve got a 6 mile run on my training schedule! He won’t know if I miss it-I could lie!  (I don’t know where that girl was that qualified for the Boston Marathon, but she was NOWHERE to be found yesterday morning and late into the afternoon!  I felt like the girl in my “before” picture!) Wah! Wah! Wah!  I was drowning in self-pity & negative thoughts!!    Crappy, mean & hurtful  thoughts that were taking me as far back as middle school.  Could I possibly dig up 1 more dirty ugly bone?  YES!  I could have had this mental masturbation of self loathing for hours or days or months  (just like I used to live) And it’s those thoughts & “stuff” (accompanied by the “poor me” attitude!) that use to make me go straight to the cereal box!  And/or skip a workout!  In the past, I’ve often times “dealt” with these life situations/thoughts by nibbling (or sometimes downright CHOWING!)my way through them.

But…I’m not that girl anymore!  (and YOU don’t have to be either!)  I don’t have to stay stuck in that place (and YOU don’t have to either!)

At any moment-we can chose to change our thoughts –which will affect our behavior.  By 11 o’clock I literally said “Stop it!”  out loud.  I had to dig deep into my arsenal (‘cause you need some heavy artillery when you’re dealing with “bones” from middle school.)  I would not permit myself to think another bad thought about myself.  If one popped up-I changed it.  It’s the most powerful, life changing of events.  Change your thoughts and you change your world!!
I also had to take some action.  I chose to come from a place of humility and apologized to my sister in law.  I left the accountant a voice mail.  I took care of business-even  though I felt like hiding under the covers!!  I ate a healthy b’fast.  I baked some sweet potatoes for the day and packed some healthy snacks for ARMC.  I can’t tell you how many fast food (and other wise) quick food fix thoughts I had…but I didn’t do it!  I came home and made a LaTortilla turkey wrap with crunchy bell peppers.  I kept going through the motions EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T FEEL like it!!  Again..what I felt like doing was giving in, giving up, settling (like the girl in my “before” picture!)  I saw Marti, Rachael, Becky & Cory running on Prince Ave-in the cold rain.  I got a boost!  They inspired me!

At 3 o’clock I made the decision to put on my running shorts.  I’m going to the Y.  (I felt some relief that I didn’t have to run outside in the rain-and honestly, I felt downright brilliant.  Why didn’t I think of this before?)  Now some of you may be thinking… “HAVE” to run?  And the answer is Yes-It’s on my training schedule and My goal (and my motivation for the goal) is to have a certain time, and a certain experience at the Boston Marathon April 20th!  (It’s this homework exercise that got me to the gym!)   I can’t just show up on April 20th without preparing!  I can’t just do that 19 mile run in the snow with Karen & be done with it!!  It’s too bad you can’t put a marathon (or any race for that matter) in your pocket & just pull it out when you need it.  EVERY day you have a choice to make.  You work towards your goal(s) or you don’t!  You keep your eye on your PRIZE -and come hell (or some really crappy thoughts, emotions, experiences) you do it!!  Even if you procrastinate ‘til the last minute and have to pull out every mental “weapon” you’ve got to fight those nasty negative thoughts…You do it!

I willed my car to the Y and I finished my run yesterday at 4:59pm.  (The Y closed at 5pm!)  I had a good solid run (that started out 1 step at a time-just going through the motions) with some new tunes I downloaded from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.  By the time I finished, I was a bad ass ready to take on the Boston Marathon and that mentally broken middle school girl was nowhere to be found!!

Why do I tell share this with you?  Because I believe it has to be said.  It’s my burning desire for YOU to experience positive changes – dreams-goals…for you to KNOW that change IS possible for YOU.  That your world changes when you change your thoughts and that ACTION IS REQUIRED on your part-whether you FEEL like it or NOT!

Yesterday-I had choices to make!  Which ultimately turned into an opportunity for growth.

I’m JUST like you-We’re all in this together, right?!?

Now…on to today’s 12 miler.

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