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October 08, 2008

For Healthy Weight Loss, Read a Book?

According to a women's health website, Duke University researchers this week released results of a study that showed young girls (age 9 to 13) who were part of a weight loss program fared better after reading a novel that featured a story line about a young large size girl who worries about going on an outdoor school trip but ends up doing well on the trip, improving self-esteem and physical activity levels along the way. The researchers said that the study shows a novel way (pun intended) to reach young girls with positive weight loss information.

In my book (pun intended again), it sounds like this is all about identifying with others, finding others that deal with similar issues and seeing how they successfully navigate their way to taking care of themselves. We see that all the time at Green Mountain. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of taking part in our healthy weight loss program is bonding with other women who are here, learning that we are not alone in our search for how to take care of ourselves and gaining the powerful support of like-minded women who can help us see our options.

Peggy Elam, PhD, clinical psychologist, is founder and president of Pearlsong Press in Nashville, Tennessee. It's a wonderful source for fiction that features story lines starring large size women that may be able to help provide inspiration, insight and support for other large size women. At the least, they're entertaining reads.

Posted by Marsha on October 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2008

Healthy Living: Is Wall Street Bad For Your Waistline?

ImagesIt’s impossible at this juncture to be unaffected by the recent events on Wall Street. With an election just around the corner, our financial markets are a mess, Americans are losing their homes, the country is at war, and we’re still dealing with shortages of oil and rising fuel costs, not to mention the rise in unemployment. Gee, did I miss anything?

No matter if you’re young and just starting out, or your retirement is looming just over the horizon, all the recent news makes gaining a few extra pounds seem like childs play, doesn’t it?

Turning on the news may give you an upset stomach. Or, like many Americans, cause you to reach for your cupboards for solace. So, with all this anxiety out there, I thought it might be well worth it to direct you to a Green Mountain at Fox Run Update that was published in the winter of 2002.  Food for thought…

Craving Comfort Foods in Times of Crisis – Update 2002 | Vol. 28 No. 1

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Posted by Cindy on September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

Healthy Eating - Who Says Deprivation Leads to Overeating?

Apple9_2Oh yeah, we do!

I'm late posting again. I've been very busy lately and what happens to me when I'm busy? I forget to eat. And by the time those old hunger pangs are panging, I've waited too long. Dang it, foiled again!

And as sure as I want my apple candied, I'll miss the opportunity to eat a little something in the afternoon because I've had a late lunch just an hour before I'd normally grab a healthy snack.

Let's face it, nothing goes right when you don't feed yourself. It's happened to me more than once this week. In fact, most nights this week, I've arrived home and barely slipped my briefcase off my shoulder before I'm rummaging through the refrigerator for something to eat...anything...'Just get me some food, I'm starving!!'.

I know better. We all know better. But still, it happens. I will say this, at least these days I'm aware of what I'm doing. I can feel it happening. The anxiousness when I'm finally around food - what am I going to eat, will it be what I want, can I get it fast and will I get enough? Usually, I'm 'picking' while I'm deciding. Another tell tale sign of mindLESSness!

There is typically more than one culprit when my behavior goes all willywompus. First, I've skipped breakfast. Second, I've allowed myself to say yes to some kind of business comitment too close to lunch, so it gets pushed back an hour...or two. I eat a late lunch. I skip an afternoon snack. And that's all it takes to get the ball rolling.

The old saying, tomorrow is another day doesn't apply here. There's no such thing as a perfect day, a perfect eater. So, even though I'm not that hungry right now, I'm off to get an apple, because history tells me I'll enjoy and it will allow me to get back on track before dinnertime. Besides, I need a break.

Tommorrow? I'll be packin'! (A lunch and snack, that is).

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Posted by Cindy on September 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 02, 2008

A Simple Step towards Positive Thinking

We've talked plenty about positive thinking over the years we've had this blog. Most often it's focused on helping ourselves overcome negative self talk that really cuts into our ability to take care of ourselves, to do the things that we need to do to make ourselves feel well and achieve our goals whether they be about weight loss or living happily.

My Daily OM horoscope yesterday suggested a very simple strategy that I've already employed a couple of times since I read it. Just repeat to yourself periodically (or come up with something similar that 'speaks' to you):

Things are wonderful.


My life is joyous.

The horoscope then goes on to say,

Inner satisfaction comes from a realization that we already possess everything we require.

Say these things to yourself a couple of times today, or whenever you think of it. Where do your thoughts go? For me, it's all positive.

Posted by Marsha on September 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 27, 2008

Accepting What Is

I just kissed my high school senior as he left for his first day of his last year of school (next year, it's college, not 'school'!). That's after putting my daughter on a plane last weekend, off to her second year of college. And we're taking our Belgian 'son' (my daughter stayed with him and his family for a year in high school) to send him back to Europe for his first year of college (or whatever they call it in Belgium). It is definitely a week for endings and beginnings. And, for me, the best way to weather the change is to accept it and make the best of it. I could find a lot of things to be sad about, but instead, I'm looking at the positive -- how I choose to look at life as much as possible.

This time mirrors the ups and downs we all go through in life, with just about everything. Certainly, with how we do in taking care of ourselves, trying to live a healthy lifestyle and be the best we can. When it comes to healthy weights, if we can take a step back and be more accepting -- loving ourselves and our bodies for what they are instead of aiming for unrealistic goals and taking care of ourselves in that manner -- we'd surely find healthy weight loss if it's in our cards (that is, if we are indeed at unhealthy weights) and we'd definitely find greater peace with eating and physical activity and life.

It mirrors, too, the change of seasons we're facing right now in Vermont. Fall has come early, it seems. Cool mornings, moderate days, cool evenings foreshadow the time most of us kinda dread until it's here -- winter. But when it gets here, I for one find it lovely. It's just getting there -- the change -- that hurts a bit. Accepting what is would help me get rid of the hurt, I am sure.

Karin Kratina, a consultant for our healthy lifestyle program, and a great thinker in this area, has sent in one of her periodic e-letters a list of quotes that help us with acceptance. I share a few here, and encourage you to visit Karin's website for more great insight into healthy living.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

"Each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its own terms." ~Gloria Steinem

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~E.E. Cummings

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." ~E.E. Cummings

"Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

"Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul." ~Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Posted by Marsha on August 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

Healthy Living: Becoming a Master of Joy II

I've had an old, dear friend visiting with her husband this week, and it has been a delight, enhanced by the gorgeous weather we've had in Vermont. I've known Patti since I was 18 -- we became best friends early on, and even though separated by a continent, we stay in touch so that when we get together, it's like we saw each other yesterday. Although more stories to catch up on. :-)

Anyway, in searching for a quick post to put up this morning (we're off on another day of sightseeing soon and I haven't even showered yet -- although I did do my morning Nordic walk -- more on that next week!), I thought I'd just search for an oldie but goodie that I did in the past. I chanced upon the title of this one and thought it surely expresses the tone I'd love to communicate today. I am having a joyous week, and if I could help you do the same, well, all the better.

So I'm repeating this old post on feeling good about ourselves (which will help us with all kinds of emotional eating, binge eating, disordered eating, exercise resistance, boredom...and endless list) and wish you a happy, no, joyous rest of the week, month, year, life. Just click on feeling good about ourselves and go, girl (and boy, too)! This is truly what healthy living is all about.

P.S. The picture on this post isn't what Vermont looks like right now -- it's just a promise of things to come!

Posted by Marsha on July 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 23, 2008

Doctors, Body Weight & Shame

We've posted on the subject of doctors and weight several times before so when a colleague forwarded me an article from the New York Times titled "Should Doctors Lecture Patients about Their Weight?," I skimmed it without expecting to learn a lot. But I was wrong. I found a delightful blog written by a physician "Dr. Rob." The name of the blog: Musings of a Distractible Mind.

I haven't had a lot of time to browse the blog but thought Dr. Rob's musings about shame over body weight were worth sharing, especially his closing comments.

Is obesity a problem? Sure it is. But we need to get off of our self-righteous pulpits. Obese people should not be made into a group of outcasts. The “them” mentality and the finger-wagging are no more than insecure people trying to feel better by putting down others.

Sounds like a doctor I'd like to visit. Although I am blessed with doctors here in Vermont who don't feel like they need to lecture me about anything, much less my weight. We are all adults and as Dr. Rob says, " Obese people are rarely under the impression that it is perfectly fine that they are overweight. They rarely are surprised to hear a person saying that their weight is at the root of many of their problems. Obese people are the new pariahs in our culture; it used to be smokers, but now it is the overweight."

The only thing I'd say about that quote is that I think many more problems are attributed to overweight than is actually the case.

Read the rest of his post, and if you find any other great musings, let us know. I'd be surprised if you didn't.

Posted by Marsha on July 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008

The Post Holiday Foodie Blues

Although its officially the 'day after'. I thought it might not be a bad idea to revisit a post about holiday eating  from a couple years ago. Even though the recent long holiday weekend is over, it's not unlikely that there are some of you out there who are dealing with some post holiday eating blues. If that sentiment rings any kind of tinkling truth, take a peek at what we had to say on this issue in 2005. Some things are worth repeating.


Don't Nit Pick at the Picnic!

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Posted by Cindy on May 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Mindful Eating for Healthy Living

Mindful eating was all the rage a week or so ago after the NBC Evening News did a segment on it and then the Wall Street Journal followed up with its own version. The NBC segment was woefully inadequate -- didn't really cover much, but I guess that's the evening news for you. All about soundbites. The Wall Street Journal did a more in-depth piece, but I was disappointed they just used the same sources as NBC did for their piece. A lot more people have been promoting mindful eating -- and for a lot longer time -- than either of these media outlets gave credit for. Of course, I rank Green Mountain at Fox Run among those other people.

Another person who has been at the forefront of trying to change America's attitude about eating and food -- change it back to normal! -- has been Ellyn Satter. I've posted about her work on healthy eating before, and continue to respect her efforts to help in planning healthy meals and then eating them. Here's an example of her thinking from a piece she posted this week on her website about healthy eating.

Eating is a complex brew of preference, habit, attitude, intuition, knowledge, and physical necessity. All must be considered in addressing eating, and critical to them all is enjoyment. Enjoyment of food and reward from eating are essential to having eating and feeding turn out well. When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers. The common themes in all four parts of ecSatter are permission and discipline: the permission to choose food you enjoy and eat it in amounts you find satisfying, and the discipline to provide yourself with regular and reliable meals and snacks and to pay attention when you eat them.

With summer coming on, many of us start to worry even more about eating, given we'll be baring our bodies more while we're enjoying the wonderful times -- and food -- of summer. But if we approach it all mindfully -- understanding that mindful eating helps us eat in a way that truly supports us in feeling well -- we'll help ourselves sail through a fun summer free of distorted attitudes about eating and health...and our bodies will respond positively.

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

- photo by Patricia Dekker

Posted by Marsha on May 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008

Binge Eating & the College Woman

CollegewomanbingeeatingAll binge eaters struggle with their weight, right? Wrong.

Studies show many binge eating college students appear to be at a healthy weight. So how do we know if we – or our college age daughters (and sons) – struggle with binge eating? And why do we care if it doesn’t make us fat? Our FitBriefing this month “Binge Eating & the College Woman” answers that question and more.

A brief excerpt:

Very different from the occasional overeating episode, which is part of normal eating, binge eating has psychological consequences also. People with binge eating disorder may also become depressed; research shows they report more problems with stress, trouble sleeping and more suicidal thoughts than people without eating disorders. Binge eaters often feel badly about themselves and isolate themselves to binge eat, missing work, school and social activities.

If you suspect you are a binge eater, or your daughter (or son) is one, seek help. It's not always about weight loss and it's not a problem to be ignored.

Posted by Marsha on May 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack