Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Over the years I have struggled with my weight

Over the years I have struggled with my weight. As a child I never had a problem with my weight and even into my teen years. My mom’s side of the family was a bit on the large size. I thought I had this weight thing beat. Even after I had my daughter I lost all of my baby weight. I felt like I was doing well. About seven years ago my weight started to change.

It started to increase, but I still had that mindset that I had this under control. I was wrong. In 2011 I became obsessed with working out. I was doing combat fitness at least two times a day with private training lessons on my lunch breaks. I had lost 35 pounds in less than four months.

My doctor told me that was too much and to slow down. My weight continues to fluctuate and there are days that it does get me down. I know there is no magic pill or magic remedy that will make me lose. It comes down to eating right and exercising.

But why is this so difficult to do? Doesn’t everyone want to be healthy? In the discussion of Human Natures Perspectives, Ethics in Human Communication (2008), the philosopher Kai Nielson states “We often ‘yearn’ for what not is good. (p.35)” Is this why it is so difficult to lose weight? I know what I need to do to lose weight and feel better, but why is it so hard?

Coming from someone who has never had a major weight problem, I can say I would have never looked twice at your weight numbers on paper. I would not have been the slightest interested. Although, I agree that was an invasion of your privacy.

I am now 64 and have to eat half what I used to to be able to button my jeans. I do weigh every day. That is the only way I can tell over time if I am off course. Far better to track a few pounds each way than wake up 6 months from now 5 - 10 pounds over what I should be. I weigh around 110 so that is a lot for me. Weighing everyday is good because you become desensitized to numbers. For me, it's only a general guide.

I understand the need to want to abandon the obsession with the scale but as a nutrition and health professional, regular weigh-ins are useful in the prevention of a large weight gain. 

Isn't it better to know when you are up a few pounds and try to get that regulated vs 10 lbs or more? Yes, weight is just one tool that is used to evaluate body composition. Using BMI, percent body fat, waist circumference in combination are important tools used to assess and predict risk of chronic disease. It's not just about what you look like in the mirror.

Someone who is logging and journaling food and beverages on a regular basis is most likely weighing themselves on a regular basis, as well.

True, the research says that in addition to regular weighing, keeping a regular food journal will increase your success at reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. There are ways to do both without making ourselves crazy, nothing is easy but it is possible!

Our society's obsession with being ultra thin and having model looks is another discussion altogether.

i recently lost 35 pounds due to a change in a medication i was taking. i'd been taking the medication for 17 years and was 40 pounds overweight throughout. i tried and tried, but i simply could not lose more than 3 or 4 pounds while on the medication.

When i switched doctors, and my new doctor told me that i shouldn't be on this medication, saying that it wasn't good for long-term use, presto, the weight dropped as if by magic. now i am a healthy weight for my height. i cringe at the thought of all of the people who may have been thinking that i was "in denial" or "sad" or a "pig" or worse.

If You Want to Get Fit, Push Yourself!

Here's what people from nytimes are saying about getting fitter and getting healthier. 

My rule of thumb every time I complete a workout of any type--shirt needs to be covered in sweat, I need to stink and require shower immediately--if not, it wasn't a hard enough workout. This is what I call exercise. Most people I know, are just active. 

They go to the gym, fumble around a bit, swing their legs on the elliptical and call it good. Which is fine, but so much of it seems to be smart phone use, from what I presume is finding the right song or texting. Leave the WiFi devices home.

However any activity is better than none so can't be too judgmental.

I just recently read the "Sports Gene" by David Epstine, which explores how gene mapping has allowed scientists to focus on specific sections of human DNA related to certain athletic attributes. Mainly the book is a nature vs. nurture type of dialogue with evidence suggesting a constant interplay between the two, of course. 

However, for geneticists, this type of work is exciting. As for the general public, I wouldn't allow it to influence how we approach exercise too much; we all know that a semi rigorous workout for 20 minutes a day 3x a week is beneficial. If you can push yourself more, great! 

You're probably the one with the six pack, if not, well still, you may even be the 60 year capable of running 3 miles a day 7 days a week.

I keep looking for a an excuse to not work out harder

Some magic new study or six minute workout regimen that will allow me to not really workout yet gain all the benefits. Deep down I know that I really have to push myself very hard everyday to make fitness gains. That's just the way it is.

I used to run hard six days a week when I was younger, meaning ages 25-45. Was in terrific shape. Then slowly, insidiously, my knees started to hurt. I finally went to a sports medicine doctor who smiled knowingly and said he sees people like me all day--middle age fitness freaks with patellofemoral stress syndrome. 

 Also known as an overuse injury. End of running career. I have been swimming for exercise ever since. Keeps me in shape, but what a bore, lap after lap. 

Not the same as running over hill and dale, feeling the wind in your face and the sun on your back. I always wonder what might have been if I had run a little less, and a little slower. Maybe I would still be doing it.

Mark, I switched to bicycling 20 years ago and haven't looked back. Can still feel the wind in your face, new vistas around every bend--and lots less knee/back impact. Plus I use the bike instead of a car for all my around town outings, so there are added eco-benefits. 

Getting a decent road bike is a key--makes it much more enjoyable. I have a Specialized Allez--low-end, but good enough for my purposes.

I believe it is good to try to push yourself, but best way for me is exercise in service of some distracting task, like heavy-duty yard work.

Carrying bags of topsoil, pulling weeds, raking, but esp. chopping down invasive, non-native shrubs that destroy forest biodiversity......I tend to push myself past exhaustion and actually enjoy it. At a gym I'd be counting reps, waiting for an hour to be over and hating every minute of it. Outdoors I lose track of time, a whole afternoon might fly by and I have to force myself to quit.

Maybe the difference is the sense of accomplishment, or even higher calling, that makes service to a task not only endurable, but highly rewarding.
A lot of very useful and intelligent comments for this article - just a few of the ranters which is such a relief. My take away is that you have to vary your routine what ever it is and add some extra minutes or reps or position or laps or blocks or whatever it is that you do to stay fit from time to time if you want to experience the best fitness. 

You also have to take into account your age and health. An intense workout for a 60 year old is not the same as for an 18 year old. 

Those who try to draw some conclusion that this or that exercise type is better ("aerobics are the best, weight training for dumb bells") completely miss the point.  

There are many ways to exercise and they are all good for some people at some age some of the time and not good for others. I wrestle at 60 and do weight training. Do I say that is right for everyone? 

No, what's right has to be figured out by each person trying out different types of exercise. The important thing is to do something, to push yourself sometimes and vary your routine. Pretty basic really but worth repeating with some new scientific evidence.

We already knew that intense exercise is good for you, in humans. The goal of the study was to understand how it does so. Good comment about beta blockers. 

I don't think it has been well studied if they interfere with performance gains, but beta agonists, like clenbuterol, certainly are performance enhancing, thoug we didn't know why.