Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goal: A Positive Body Image

I have never been skinny and being skinny has never been my goal. Despite all of the images of waif skinny models and extremely thin actresses, I have been able to keep clear and realistic, personal goals for myself regarding my weight. I know the weight range that I am comfortable with and I know the way that I like to look.

My goal is to be healthy and have a positive body image and to promote that among anyone that I come in contact with. A person has a positive body image when they are happy and satisfied with the way her/his body looks. A person has a negative body image when they feel dissatisfied and unhappy with his/her body.

Being skinny is not synonymous with being healthy, in fact being too skinny can be down right dangerous. Many of us have turned to plastic surgery and eating disorders in order to look like some of the ladies and men in the magazines because we have a negative body image.

Thankfully, we can turn a negative body image around while promoting healthy lifestyle changes:

1. Healthy eating can have a positive affect on our weight, promote clearer skin and healthier hair.

2. Exercise boost our energy levels and releases endorphins in your body which makes us feel happy and good about ourselves.

3. Adequate rest (minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep) fights depression and stress and boost the immune system.

Let's all work on having a positive body image together, shall we?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lost Weight And Lost Love

I have to share the story of the friend, of a friend of mine, who was finally successful at losing the excess weight but then became unsuccessful in her relationship.

I'll refer to her as Tanya. Tanya was at least fifty pounds over weight the majority of her life when she finally decided to get serious about losing weight. Her live in boyfriend of three years, "Joe", always told her that he loved her just the way she was but she was often the butt of his fat jokes. He chuckled when she joined a gym because he had seen her go through all of this before to no avail.

Tanya was fed up with being overweight. She was also fed up with her boyfriend's lack of faith and his fat jokes. She worked out and she ate less and the weight finally started coming off. As she got closer and closer to her goal weight and started to look really good, Joe became increasingly insecure. He suddenly wanted to keep tabs on her and no longer wanted her to go out with her friends.

Prior to the weight loss, she had no idea that he even had a jealous side. She did, however, begin receiving quit a bit of attention from men including the type of men who, she had no idea, could ever be attracted to her.

Joe's insecurity and jealousy became so unbearable that Tanya eventually left his corny butt, d with complete confidence that she would be dating again soon.

Tanya realized that Joe had taken her for granted for the majority of the three and a half years that they had been together. It also became clear to her that she let him get away with mistreating her because she did not have many other dating prospects. She felt that she was lucky to have him because most of her overweight friends were single and lonely. She preferred to be with Joe than be alone.

This is one instance where the weight loss, which is positive, evoked a negative reaction from a loved one. The end result was not negative, however, because Tanya's confidence boost allowed her to free herself from a toxic relationship.

Unfortunately, your personal improvements will not always meet the approval of others.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Personal Tricks and Tips

This is not a "How To Lose Weight" list. It is simply a list of the different things that have worked for me over the years.

1.The first weight loss method I ever used as an adult was counting calories. This method worked very well for me because it was a very simple formula: I ate 1200 calories a day for 11 days and lost 5 lbs. It required a short commitment and the results were accurate.

2. I personally can never lose weight by exercising alone. I must control my food intake or I will not get any results. I can actually lose weight with out exercising at all but I will not have the benefit of a more toned body.

3. I must eat breakfast in order to lose weight. Skipping meals has never worked for me.

4. I have lost weight by eating the same amount of food that I usually would but always substituting water for any juices, drinks or sodas that I would have had with my meals.

5. I usually do fifty to seventy crunches every other day.

6. Walking with a friend or while listening to music helps keep the weight off. I am not a power walker, I am talking about regular walking.

7. When my family wants fast food, I usually order a chicken sandwich with a salad and low calorie dressing, then I bum a couple of fries off of each kid.

8. I still use steps but now it's in my two story home, when my four year old is occupied, otherwise she will attempt to follow me up and down and kill my rhythm.

9. When I eat at a buffet nowadays, I eat half as much as I normally would at one time so that I can go back again for seconds and not feel deprived.

10. I snack on carrot sticks.

11. I keep fruits and vegetables in the house.

12. I drink lots of water.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ideal Weight: The Life Long Challenge

Though I have never gained back enough weight to ever be considered fat again, there have been times when I had to "diet" because I was heavier than, my personal definition of, my ideal weight. My "ideal weight" has also changed as I have gotten older.

I spent the majority of my twenties at my ideal weight of around 122 lbs. I had my son at age 25, gained 30 lbs during the pregnancy, and then went right back down to 122 lbs but there was some regular weight gain throughout that 10 year span and I had to "diet" every now and then. My scary weight was 130 lbs. If I went anywhere near 130 lbs. I would have to lose some weight. I usually gained weight anytime I went on a vacation where there was an unlimited supply of food like on a cruise. I always allowed myself to enjoy a buffet because I knew that I was capable of successfully and easily losing the weight.

Now that I am deep in my thirties and have had two additional children, 130 lbs isn't so scary anymore. I am comfortable as long as my stomach is flat, my legs are toned and my weight is between 127 to 132 lbs.

I can't believe that I just admitted that I am knocking on forties door. I am usually in, big time, denial of my true age. Probably because I still feel so young and because I am blessed to not really look my age. We are all blessed because women and men are no longer considered old at thirty anymore. Actresses like Halle Berry and Jennifer Anniston are, also, making forty look darn good. I am thankful to be alive at a time such as this.

I guess my point is that weight will probably be a life long issue for me. Although most people think that I am naturally thin, I always consider the consequences of what I am about to eat and then I either go for it or I don't.

In my next entry, I will list the weight loss techniques that have worked for me over the years.