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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 08, 2008

Healthy Living - Get Inspired by Sport!

Those who know me, know I couldn’t let the Wimbledon Championship Men's Final match pass by in infamy without commenting on my favorite sport and player, Rafa Nadal

I’ve been a tennis fan for over 30 years and I’ve watched and loved many players along the way. Rod Laver, Stephen Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Pat Rafter, Monica Seles, Gustav Kurten and now Rafa. All have two things in common: never say die and lots of class.

I’m not sure what happened when I was a teenager that attracted me to the game. No one in my family or any of my friends played tennis. It wasn’t a sport offered at my school and the courts in my rural Oregon hometown were grown over with weeds and used primarily as a soccer field for truants.

I just remember one afternoon watching Rod Laver play Ken Rosewall and I became mesmerized by the athleticism, strength, strategy and intelligence it took to get that ball back and forth so quickly and still set up an unbelievable shot.

Little did I know that this particular meeting between Rod Laver (The Rocket) and Ken Rosewall (referred to as Muscles), would be an epic encounter – just like the one we witnessed this past Sunday. It was 1972 and part of the world championship tennis tour. I had happily stumbled upon the final which would later be deemed one of the most influential matches in tennis history. It was magic and I’ve been watching (and even sometimes playing) ever since. I love this game!

What does all this tennis talk have to do with anything? It has to do with what's really important. It has to do with moving your body for the pure joy of it. It has to do with allowing yourself to be the best you can be and getting the most out of your life. And it doesn't have to be as a professional tennis player.

At times in my life I've been hopelessly lethargic, unfit and unmotivated. And it was tennis that came to my rescue. Every summer there is was - the great motivator. Austrailia, France, England and the United States. It inspired me to get up off my duff. It wasn’t about losing weight or getting a flat stomach, or ridding me of my flabby upper arms. It was about getting out on the court and playing a game I love. It was about being even the slightest bit like my idols – after all, look at the dedication and work they put into their sport. I could at least get fit enough to hit a few balls!

So whether it's tennis, the summer Olympics or your son or daughter's community soccer game. Let sport get you inspired. It can be the best reason you ever had to get in shape and start feeling good about yourself again. Let's play ball!

And what about Rafa? Well, just like the greats before him, he never says die and he's a class act all the way. Way to go, mama and papa Nadal for raising such a great kid.

Posted by Cindy on July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Healthy Body Image: Body Hatred is Learned

Another excellent e-letter from our friend and consultant Karin Kratina. Karin and her colleague Amy Tuttle write how body hatred is a learned behavior:

Have you ever met a baby who hated her body? Somewhere along the way, we learn to dislike, and even hate, our bodies. How did we learn this?

With that provocative statement, they then go on to discuss the effect of advertising, female oppression in the workplace and the power of positive self talk. It's a worthwhile read -- check it out on their website Nourishing Connections.

Read more about positive self talk on Green Mountain's website, too. Giving ourselves positive feedback is a great way to start the day, and the more we do it, the more it becomes a habit that can change our lives for the better. And positive self talk is a key behavior for healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Here are a few suggestions from Karin and Amy for talking to yourself when you pass a mirror:

So, just for today, whenever you see your reflection, say something powerfully positive to yourself. Take a minute right now to decide what that will be. Some examples are:

• “Wow, what a wonderfully powerful woman!” • “Hey, bright and beautiful you!” • “Hello there sweet and wonderful person!”

Posted by Marsha on July 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 18, 2008

Healthy Weight Management - Step One: Stop Weighing Yourself!

1011647_beachMarsha is on vacation this week, so I looked in her archives and came up with one of my favorite Marsha posts. This particular post struck me because I speak to women daily who still struggle with an unhealthy attachment to the scale, calorie counting and exercise.

Here, at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we discourage using the scale as a measurement of success. In fact, when you particpate in our program, you'll only get weighed once, maybe twice, before we send you on your way. We like to celebrate other ways to measure success and there are many.

Here is the post from 2005 which, in my view, is worth another read.

It's Official, You'll Do Much Better If You Stop Counting Calories & Weighing Yourself!

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Posted by Cindy on June 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | 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

April 02, 2008

Celebrating Mom

211845_24966339Good grief, it's April! Before you know it, it will be Mother's Day. At my house, mother's day is celebrated by allowing mom to relax and refrain from her motherly duties for a day, accompanied by breakfast in bed and a fresh flower or two lovingly placed on a tray. Aww...

But what about the rest of the year? Why not spread the love all month long?

Green Mountain at Fox Run invites you to join them for their 5th annual Mother/Daughter/Sister Program beginning May 1st. Think about celebrating your mom, your daughter or sister by celebrating your journey to good health.

• Discover familial, historical and cultural influences that affect how we as women feel about our bodies and, therefore, how we take care of them. The mother-daughter relationship is the earliest and most significant influence.

• Explore more deeply the complex ways in which food and body shape/size impact women of all ages today.

• If you're the mother of a college-age daughter who struggles with eating and eating disorders, you can learn how to be supportive, to make a big difference for your daughter who is under much more pressure to ‘be thin' for today's standards of beauty.

• Enjoy adventures together – just like you used to. Hike forested New England trails, or try Pilates or yoga for the very first time.

• Learn new ways to take care of yourself and each other. At the end of the day, pamper yourself with any assortment of spa treatments.

Enrollment is limited. For more information, call (800) 448-8106 or (802) - M-F, 9am-5pm EST. Or register online to reserve your spot now. Make sure to mention Mother-Daughter Month in the ‘Special Comments’ section.

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Posted by Cindy on April 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

When Is a Diet Not a Diet?

My colleagues on this blog may have already posted on this -- I know we've personally talked about it a few times before -- but regardless, I feel the need to post now. Everywhere I look it seems I see Weight Watchers' new ad that says they are not a diet! What a disservice! Any program that has you counting points, calories, grams or even watching your weight in relation to what you eat is a diet!!!

Karin Kratina, a consultant for our program at Green Mountain, may have said it best on her great site Nourishing Connections:

...is the diet industry simply promoting a diet in disguise? To decide, ask yourself, “Does this program promote looking outside of my body’s wisdom and signals to determine how much and what I should eat?” If the answer even hints of “yes,” then it is still a diet.

Staying true to yourself and your body's wisdom when the diet industry bombards you with messages about what, how, when and where you should eat, how you should exercise, how you should manage emotional eating, etc., etc., etc....well, it's difficult, to say the least. But notice a theme here? Notice the word 'should'? Change it to 'want' and you're getting somewhere.

We've talked about intrinsic fitness motivation before, and I encourage you to go back and review. Mindful eating is the same; it implies that we are eating according to internally-directed desires. When it comes to whether a diet is a diet or not, that's the bottom line. If we're having to depend on external things like points or whatever it is a diet has you count, instead of following the internal cues that guide us, then we're dieting, no matter what the ads say.

Posted by Marsha on March 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008

Healthy Living - Good News on The Type 2 Diabetes Front

TestimonialThere is less than one month left to plan a healthy vacation to Green Mountain at Fox Run, for our 8th annual, A Woman's Program for Mastering Type 2 Diabetes Week. Our nationally renowned program which is offered in partnership with the internationally renowned Joslin Diabetes Center – Harvard Medical School offering lifestyle advice and answers to questions to all women who have been diagnosed with Type Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes and are still wondering how to manage their disease.

If you're interested in attending you can call Cindy at 800-448-8106.

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Posted by Cindy on March 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2007

Holiday Shopping, The Workout

913327_seasons_sale_3When the holidays roll around there’s lots to do. Every year I start out with great intentions, but no matter how well I plan ahead I still find myself running around like a crazy woman, picking up last minute stocking stuffers or trying to find something essential like chestnuts.

When our daily schedules are thrown for a loop like they are during the holidays, other things can get thrown to the wayside – like our fitness programs. Although, it may only be an hour out of your day (counting prep time), with all that juggling it’s still an easy ball to drop.

It’s important to think about activity during the holidays a bit differently. There are many ways to make all that activity work for you. This doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water, it just means there are many ways to incorporate some purposeful fitness activity while you’re running around doing Santa’s business.

Here are some tips to start you thinking:

• While standing in those long lines, remember to keep your feet shoulder width apart and remain soft in you knees. Hold your tummy in tight for 30 seconds and release. If you’re hold heavy bags and they have handles (most bags do), try some curls. (This also works great with laundry detergent in the supermarket).
• Walking briskly, with purpose, to and from stores – hold your head up breathe!
• When taking the escalator ‘up’ – walk, don’t ride.
• Sometimes you have no choice, but park far away from your intended destination. If you normally walk for exercise, you’ll be able to enjoying the benefits of all that all that ‘training.’ Walking will not seem like a chore.
• The ladies dressing room is a great place to get a few stretches in. When your back is aching or your feet are about to give way – sneak in and go through your stretches.
• Remember when you’re squatting or lifting during the holidays use legs and really think about what you’re doing
• Pack healthy snacks and toss them in your handbag before you take off and eat frequently, this will stave off hunger and keep you feeling focuses and energized.
• Wear comfortable clothes and definitely wear tennis shoes!

Here’s to Healthy, Happy, Holiday Shopping!

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Posted by Cindy on December 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack