Sunday, March 30, 2008

April Showers Bring.....

me back to do some serious catchin' up - if Ms. Johnson hasn't fired me yet!!

Hey all!! Tax season, audits and the usual first quarter b.s. is just about finished, so I will make my return on April 1st! Bigger (yep) and better than ever!

What was that Dolly Parton song "Starting Over Again"? .......


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Body Image: A Balance Between FIT and Body

One of the goals of FIT-Body Ezine is to help redefine what Fit looks like on US. In other words, we can be both FIT and have a Body (without giving in to the pressures to be super thin). It’s about living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and appreciating the beauty of our form.

I’m not really saying anything that most of us don’t already know deep down, despite the constant pressure to be thin. I remember growing up wishing I had a figure like Janet Jackson! She was not what mainstream America would have called FIT back then with her hour-glass figure. Culturally, we tend to associate beauty with a “healthy” (like your grandmothers used to say…) body. It is this mentality that has significantly influenced mainstream America.

I have noticed in recent years that several companies are using fuller figured women in their advertisements to better represent the average woman. Many people agree that it is about time! Of course, in all things there is a balance. Extreme thinness or obesity is never a healthy state to be in. But, these ad campaigns and African-American women’s positive perceptions of their own bodies are having a huge impact on society.

I did a little research and came across a study published in December 2006 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology on this very topic. The authors were trying to determine whether Black women are still more satisfied with their body images than White women as has been suggested in previous research. They found that the gap is actually closing between the two groups. What was concerning about their results is that one of the possible explanations that they offered to explain this involved Black women becoming less satisfied with their body images as a result of the pressure to be thin (yet another reason why FIT-Body Ezine is so important….). But, the authors also suggested that another reason why the gap was closing between Black women and White women in terms of body image satisfaction could be that White women have a healthier attitude about their bodies as a result of the influence by minority cultures. There was a precaution in that this new acceptance of a heavier body-type could lead to obesity. Again, it’s all about maintaining a balance between healthy body image and healthy living. It’s probably fair to assume that both reasons contribute to why the gap is narrowing.

The good news is as we become more accepting of our bodies, we help women of other races become more accepting of their own. The bad news is we may be losing the positive perceptions we had about the balance between FIT and Body. The bottom line is there is a balance between being healthy and appreciating the beauty of our form and as soon as we begin to believe this then we can begin to define what FIT looks like on all of our Bodies.

Treza Brooms-Johnson

Fit-Body Ezine, founder

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

If you want a cookie, eat a cookie. It's my opinion (and only my opinion) that most people with weight problems have a very bad relationship with food; this goes for those of us who overeat as well as those who are anorexic or bulimic. What happens it we separate foods into two categories: good and bad. Then we make a point to eat only the "good" foods and to stay away from the "bad" ones. The problem with this way of thinking is the bad foods become the only ones we want.

Anytime I've taken this tact to lose weight, avoiding the bad foods, it worked--for awhile. But eventually all I wanted was the "bad" foods and I would gorge on them: eating whole packs of cookies, cheese cakes and eating Popeyes every night for dinner (hey I'm a southern gal who LUUVS her chicken and biscuits). Of course I was never satisfied. As a matter of fact I was always disgusted at myself and my lack of self control. I would spend days beating myself up over the mounds of junk I just ate, only to repeat the cycle again the next day or week or whenever I was back to depriving my self of the "bad" stuff.

After years of repeating this vicious cycle, it finally hit me: Deprivation doesn't work. It only makes you want what you're not "supposed" to eat even more. It's like when your mother told you to leave that boy alone. And if even if you weren't that interested in him before, once your momma told you to leave him alone, he became the only boy you had eyes for. So now my philosophy is simple: If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie. Now those cravings I used to have are gone - poof - it's like they never existed. The reason being is that I know I can have a cookie (or cheese cake or Popeyes) whenever I want, so I don't have to eat the whole cookie jar at one time. Talk about liberating. I haven't felt this "free" in years. If ever.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trying to Lose/Maintain Your Weight? Be Active like the Amish.

We really do make losing weight harder than what it is. It really is as simple as burning more calories than you eat. The more active you are, the more weight you will lose and the easier it will be to maintain. From MSN:

University of Tennessee researchers studied the Amish community because the Amish, who use no electricity, are highly active in their daily lives. Amish men—many of whom are farmers—reported an average of 10 hours of vigorous work activity per week and, according to pedometers they wore, took an average of 18,425 steps per day. One man took more than 51,000 steps in a day by walking behind his horses in the fields. Women—who engaged in more moderate intensity activity such as gardening, cooking and childcare—tallied an average of 14,196 daily steps.

The researchers observed that the Amish diet is typically high in calories, fat and refined sugar foods such as meat, potatoes, gravy, eggs, vegetables, bread, pies and cakes. But only 4 percent of those surveyed were obese (compared to nearly 33 percent of modern adults) and only 26 percent were overweight (compared to around 65 percent of modern adults), as determined by their body mass index. This study suggests that the Amish were able to maintain healthier weights because they move so much.

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Don't eat out of the container. Be it the pint of ice cream or the bag of potato chips, don't eat out of the container. Studies show you eat more, much more, when you eat out of a container, instead of taking some of the food and putting it onto a plate or a napkin. It seems the only way your brain knows you're done is when it hits the bottom of whatever you're eating on/out of, regardless of whether you're physically full or not. So take a couple scoops f ice cream and put it in a bowl or a handful of chips and put them on a napkin to eat. If after you're done and you some want more...get some more. But never eat out of the bag/carton itself.

So now you see why its so easy to finish off that pint of ice cream when you were only going to have a few scoops.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back in the Driver's Seat

I am very happy to report that after a pretty destructive though enjoyable Christmas, I'm back in control of my food intake. I never weighted myself after Christmas, so I don't know how much damage I did, but my clothes told everything I needed to know.

As mentioned in my previous post I am back in GSA. After a month of eating well, my weight returned to my pre-Christmas number of 82kgs/180lbs and my clothes fitted normally again. In fact I now fit into a UK14/US12. I am very pleased about this. I'm still a long way away from my goal of 120lbs. but I feel much more confident now that I'm moving in the right direction again.

Now that I have my food under control, I'm turning my attention this week to my water intake and exercise which have been negligible. These are two key components for successful weight loss and now that I'm 45 days into eating perfectly, I feel ready to incorporate them. Besides, my honey and I are off to Tunisia next Monday for 3 weeks and I need to get myself ready for all the hiking we plan to do.

I will be reporting in again at the beginning of April after we get back and I hope then I will have lots of positive news to report regarding my weight loss journey.