Monday, March 30, 2009

A new very Helpful diet tool!

Check out this really cool Diet tool !

Did you just wolf down something you shouldn't have??! ... Chocolate is my weakness! 

click on this link, and it will calculate how much you have to work out to burn it off! 

very cool!

3 New Tricks to Lose Weight

3 New Tricks to Lose Weight
By Sari Harrar
Illustration: Jason Lee

Can your cell phone help you shed pounds? New research says yes. Sari Harrar reports on three subtle—and surprising—strategies for achieving your ideal weight.

Ever heard of the twilight zone diet? It's the one where you swear you're doing everything right but still can't drop a pound. Part of the problem may be that your intentions don't match your actions: Recent Cornell University research found that people tend to underestimate the calories they're eating by as much as 38 percent. And they exaggerate how much exercise they get, overestimating calorie burn by as much as 62 percent, according to a University of Texas study. Add these findings together, and you could be 100 percent stuck.  

But researchers are finding new ways to help you get back to reality. With the following strategies, you can start winning at the losing game. 

Strategy 1: Turn Every Meal (and Snack) into a Photo Shoot
Strategy 2: Beat the "Weekend Effect"
Strategy 3: Track Every Step, Measure Every Calorie
 Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation 

Turn Every Meal (and Snack) into a Photo Shoot

When 43 women and men agreed to photograph every morsel before they ate it for one week (and keep a written food diary as well), researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison found the results eye-opening—and diet-changing. The mealtime shutterbugs, all of whom considered themselves healthy eaters, discovered that their portions were too big, their meals bereft of fruit and vegetables, and their snack choices calorie-laden. Rather than continue to photograph their bad choices, many chose to eat something else instead.

"The act of taking a photo made them so much more aware of what they were eating," says lead researcher Lydia Zepeda, PhD, a professor of consumer science at the university. "They weren't trying to lose weight, but many said they didn't want an unhealthy snack or a second helping at a meal if they had to take a picture of it." 

Though the success of keeping written food diaries is well documented (they doubled weight loss in a recent study from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research), Zepeda theorized that a photo diary might be even more motivational. "With a written diary, there is nothing you do in the moment. You eat the food and write it down later," she says. "With a photo diary, you can still change your mind and choose fruit over cake."

Or as one study volunteer said, "Who wants to take a photo of a jumbo bag of M&Ms?" 

Zepeda's group used film cameras, but she recommends going digital—the camera in your cell phone may be the simplest option, and you'll have images to look at immediately. To get a handle on what you're eating, take a picture of everything you consume over the course of an entire day, she suggests. "Don't change anything. Choose the foods you would normally eat so you can see your eating habits," Zepeda says. Then continue to snap for at least a week as you improve your diet. (If you're concerned about your food choices, Zepeda recommends reviewing your photos with a registered dietitian.) And anytime your weight loss plateaus, bring out the camera again.

Beat the "Weekend Effect"

Everyone needs a break. But relax your diet and exercise efforts too much on the weekend and you could offset the hard work you put in Monday through Friday, report researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Susan B. Racette, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy and medicine at the university and the lead study author, documented this phenomenon by carefully tracking the weight, eating habits, and physical activity levels of 48 women and men before and during her 12-month diet and exercise study. Participants kept food diaries (they weighed and measured everything they ate), weighed themselves on laboratory-grade scales every morning, and wore monitors equipped with sensors to measure physical activity. 

The results surprised Racette: Before the study began, volunteers were eating enough additional calories each weekend—compared with their weekday regimen—to result in a gain of 9 pounds in a year. 

Once the study started, participants who were supposed to be following a reduced-calorie diet had a steady weight dip from Monday through Thursday. But beginning on Friday, they simply stopped losing weight. The study also had an exercise-only group, and these people actually gained weight. 

The reason for the gain was that on Saturday and Sunday, nearly everyone cheated a little—eating an extra 100 to 300 calories a day, mostly from higher-fat foods. And while physical activity increased on Saturdays, it was lower than average on Sundays. 

"We thought weekends would present a problem for some people, but it was actually a problem for almost everyone—and these were motivated people who knew they were being watched closely," Racette says. 

The good news is that the gain each weekend was, on average, less than half a pound, the kind of small increase that only becomes a problem over months. Preventing the gain should be easy, Racette says, provided you plan for it. "Set aside some time for a walk on Sunday," she says. "Eat before you leave the house to run errands so you don't end up at the drive-through or the mall food court. Bring snacks if you're going to sit at a child's soccer game all day so you don't buy nachos from the snack stand." 

Track Every Step, Measure Every Calorie

Keeping tabs on all the calories your body burns—at rest, working out, and living life—used to mean joining a research study, becoming a Biggest Loser contestant (they wear calorie monitors on their arms), or shelling out big bucks for a high-tech, bulky armband. 

No longer. GoWear Fit, a sleek monitor, tracks motion, steps, sweat, skin temperature, and heat flux from your muscles, then calculates the input with an equation that takes into account your age, gender, height, weight, and other personal details to reveal your daily calorie expenditure. Worn on your upper arm, the nifty device collects data that you download to your computer via a USB cable, and the data is whisked to a password-protected webpage that displays your calorie information, total daily activity, total daily steps (from running or walking), and sleep time. Manufactured by BodyMedia—the same company that makes the Bodybugg, used by Biggest Loser contestants—the armband costs $199 plus monthly online costs ranging from $7 to $13. For on-the-spot feedback, a $99 display you wear on your wrist will track your data in real time. 

Exercise researcher Stephen Yang, PhD, an assistant professor of physical education at State University of New York College at Cortland, says this innovative armband takes the guesswork out of one side of the weight loss equation. "Until recently, mainly research labs used devices that measured calorie burn this way," he says. "Seeing the numbers can be a real motivator and will help keep you from missing workouts." Use the GoWear Fit to figure out how much additional activity you need to burn an extra 500 calories a day. If you keep up that effort, you should drop about a pound a week.

Sari Harrar is a health and science writer living in Pennsylvania. 

Related Resources

Don't get to skinny!.. you'll start looking really old!

"While hundreds of studies have looked into how environmental factors, such as sun damage and smoking, are associated with facial ageing, conclusive data has been elusive. The reason is that despite the size and thoroughness of the studies, they weren't able to control one of the most important contributors of ageing – genetics. Because the twins' genetic make-up was identical, the differences in how old they looked could be attributed solely to external factors, and not to "good or bad" genes."

The body mass index (BMI) of each twin was was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. The ideal BMI for an adult is between 18.5 and 25. Anyone with a BMI lower than 18.5 is classed as underweight. "The twins were divided into groups based on a four-point BMI difference," explains Guyuron. "A BMI higher by four points was found to result in a younger appearance of between two to four years in women over 40 years old."

Rajiv Grover, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, has welcomed the findings. "It gives scientific credence to what we always thought but couldn't prove, which is that it is not what your mother looks like, but volume-loss that makes you look older," he says. ''The more fat that is preserved in the face, particularly the cheeks, the more you will preserve the facial proportions of youth.

"Excessive dieting will give a woman a gaunt appearance by leading to volume loss in the midface [cheeks]. This volume loss can be compounded by yo-yo dieting, where not only do you create volume loss, but also stretching of the facial supporting ligaments due to repeated facial volume gain and volume loss, which causes deeper nose to mouth lines and jowls.''

Some of the other external factors that influence ageing come as no surprise: for example those who enjoyed an outdoor life, or who were careless with their sun protection aged faster. Twins who smoked and drank also aged faster, and more visibly.

But other findings were more surprising. Marital status was found to be a key factor in the ageing process, with women who have divorced looking older than their married or single counterparts. "The twin who is divorced appears about 1.7 years older than the twin who is not divorced," says Dr Guyuron.

In addition, a twin who suffered from depression and who took anti-depressant medication for the condition looked "significantly older" than a twin who had no history of anti-depressant use. Research suggests that the reason for this could be the ageing effects of stress, and the persistent relaxation of facial muscles which can be an effect of long term anti-depressant use.

While loss of volume in the face can be combated by maintaining a healthy weight, what about the things that are harder to control, such as a predisposition to depression or a partner asking for a divorce?

"Of course you can't control these things, but you can control how you handle them", says Dr Linda Papadopoulos, a psychologist and author of several books on psychology and skin disorders. "The idea that being in a happy relationship is going to keep you looking younger, for me is a no-brainer. Being in a happy marriage, or indeed any social support system, has a protective effect on our health and our looks.

"We accept that stress can cause skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, but research has also shown that one of the biggest contributing factors to skin ageing is stress," she says. "It's not so much the fact that you are divorced that will give you wrinkles, it's how you deal with it. If you are divorced and happy, then you'll look good.

"Emotional stress influences the immune system and this will manifest in changes in the skin. When we are tense, the body produces cortisol which can speed up the metabolism, resulting in stress break-outs on the skin surface and premature ageing. So yes, divorce, or being depressed, could age you for this reason."

Dr Nick Lowe, consultant dermatologist at the Cranley Clinic in London, routinely refers patients with skin conditions to psychotherapists, because the underlying cause of skin problems and deterioration is often stress-related. "Stress interferes with the systems that repair and regulate the skin, and hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol, weaken the skin.

Rajiv Grover agrees that stress and depression are key factors in ageing. "I believe ageing occurs in spurts rather than in a linear fashion. One trigger for an ageing spurt is a period of stress – recent divorce, illness, and bereavement or work problems. All these are related to depression which could accelerate volume loss from the midface, which therefore loses its youthful heart shape." However, he adds that a youthful outlook and joie de vivre are also significant characteristics in those who retain a young appearance.

Dr Papadopoulos says the new findings are positive ''but only if we read them in context. You shouldn't look at it and think, 'I'm divorced and depressed etc, so that's it…' If you turn it on its head, it is really encouraging because it suggests that if you learn to cope with stress, and learn to accept your body, then you cannot only change the way you think, but the way you look, too."

Dr Guyuron agrees: "What we've essentially discovered that is, when it comes to your face, it is possible to cheat your biological clock.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Obesity 'set before age of five'

Obesity 'set before age of five'

Childhood obesity is set before the age of five, ministers will hear from researchers later.

Compared to children in the 1980s, today's youngsters are fatter and most of their excess weight gain happens before school age, they will say.

This suggests initiatives to prevent childhood obesity should be started before school, suggest the authors.

The EarlyBird Diabetes study of 233 children from birth to puberty is being published in the journal Pediatrics.

One in four children aged four to five in England are overweight, latest figures show.

Disease 'of our time'

At birth, the children in the study were of similar weight to babies 25 years ago, but had gained more fat by puberty compared with children of the same age in the 1980s.

“ When they reach the age of five the die seems to be cast ” 
Professor Terry Wilkin 
Peninsula Medical School

The bulk of this excess weight was gained before the children were five.

Weight at five years bore little relation to birth weight, but closely predicted weight at nine years old.

Before an obese girl reaches school age she will have already gained 90% of her excess weight, and boys will have gained 70% of their excess weight.

Lead researcher Professor Terry Wilkin, of the Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, said: "When they reach the age of five the die seems to be cast, at least until the age of puberty.

"What is causing it is very difficult to know."

He said there must be a factor now that was not there 25 years ago which is making today's children obese.

And, given the young age, this is likely to be in a child's home rather than school environment and linked to upbringing rather than schooling.

Diet blamed

Rather than lack of physical exercise, he believes diet could be to blame.

"It is entirely possible that the calorie density of food and portion sizes could be higher."

“ Obesity is one of the few medical problems that can be reversed very, very quickly ” 
Sir Liam Donaldson 
Chief Medical Officer for England
He said strategies to prevent childhood obesity and its associated health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, might do better to focus on pre-school children.

Professor Wilkin said there had been a lot of focus on school meals, PE time, school runs, television viewing and computer games in the development of childhood obesity, but these are all issues for school age children.

But he said the mandatory measurement of the height and weight of all children in England on school entry at the age of four or five could be helpful, not only as a record of national obesity trends, but also as a pointer to future risk for the individual child.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for England, said it was no exaggeration to describe soaring rates of obesity as an "impending crisis".

He said: "We need to get in early and build the foundations to healthy living from a very early stage."

However, he added: "It is never too late. Obesity is one of the few serious medical problems that can be reversed very, very quickly."

Sir Liam said eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day was one of the most important elements of a healthy diet.

David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "It is never too late or too early to intervene. The earlier the better in terms of long-term outlook."

He said early childhood obesity was likely to be down to environment and learned behaviours.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Attention-deficit disorder linked to obesity

( this picture of me was taken at my top weight of 365 pounds, on September 26, 2007)

I read this really interesting article was in today’s Globe and Mail, and I thought it would extremely helpful for a lot of people to see and read!

Globe and Mail - Canada's National Newspaper
March 24, 2009 at 10:02 AM EDT

Paige Gilmore used to be so large she couldn't buckle up a seat belt in a car, or go on a roller-coaster ride with her son. No chair was big enough to hold her 420-pound, 5-foot-7-inch frame.
Dieting had never helped Ms. Gilmore, who has been overweight since the age of 9. "Once you get past 350 pounds, you can't even be weighed on a regular scale," she said. "I was desperate. I was hiding food and eating it for comfort. It was like a tic."

Then her doctor made an astonishing discovery - one that is revolutionizing the way morbidly obese people are treated, and viewed by society.
He diagnosed her with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a neuro-developmental irregularity that causes people to behave impulsively and seek constant stimulation. They nibble to counter feelings of restlessness, explains her physician, Lance Levy, a Toronto specialist in nutritional medicine.

Paige Gilmore's doctor made an astonishing discovery - one that is revolutionizing the way morbidly obese people are treated, and viewed by society. (FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

"ADHD is a primary cause of failing to lose weight for tens of thousands of people," said Dr. Levy, who is with the Nutritional and Eating Disorders Clinic. "Obese people are three to five times more likely to have it than the regular population. And if you treat them, you will see a significant weight loss."Dr. Levy and his co-authors - psychologist John Fleming and dietitian Doreen Klar - have just published their groundbreaking research in the International Journal of Obesity, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.

Their study of 242 obese patients found that 32 per cent had ADHD, compared with 4 to 7 per cent in the general population. When treated for ADHD, the patients were able to lose 12 per cent of their body weight within 14 months. These patients, who were given psycho-stimulants to increase the dopamine in their brains, had tried and failed to lose weight for at least a decade.

Obese people with ADHD cannot respond to the signals in their brains that tell them when they are hungry and when they are full. "Their stomachs stretch and they can tolerate a degree of fullness that would make the average person throw up," Dr. Levy said.

Someone who weighs 420 pounds has to eat about 3,200 calories a day just to maintain that weight. They often suffer from other health issues, including depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain and gastrointestinal problems.
Ms. Gilmore, now 41, calls the diagnosis "a gift" that has changed every aspect of her life. "I used to eat to calm myself down. It was a way to self-medicate," she said. "I don't even remember how much I used to eat."
Weight-loss programs stressing lifestyle and dietary changes didn't work for her because she didn't have the perseverance to follow them.

After being diagnosed with ADHD in 2004, Ms. Gilmore was able to stabilize her health and reduce her blood pressure enough to be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery, which she had two years later.
At 225 pounds today, she is half of her former self. She no longer suffers from sleep apnea, diabetes or high blood pressure. And she has learned to read the hunger cues her brain sends out, and no longer binges on potato chips and chocolate bars, or eats over-large portions.

Better able to concentrate at work, she has also been promoted to administrative assistant in her role with the federal government. Even the nail biting has stopped.
Ms. Gilmore was never screened for ADHD as a child because there was a perception the disorder afflicted only young boys who acted out in class.

"I associated it with people running around crazily. I never imagined it was something I have," she said. "In high school I was labelled a daydreamer and lazy."

Yet all the classic symptoms were there: difficulty absorbing information, managing her time and finishing assignments.

A prejudice against ADHD persists to this day - even though it is a genetic, neuro-developmental problem that shows up in brain scans, Dr. Levy said. Afflicted people have a lack of dopamine and noradrenalin receptors in the area of their brain that is in charge of deciding how they attach and detach their attention. "It was thought that you 'grow' out of it. But it doesn't go away and can even worsen in menopause," he said.

The link between ADHD and obesity is so crucial, according to Dr. Fleming and Dr. Levy, that their centre will open a special screening program for the disorder next month. "Physicians should consider ADHD as a key contributing cause of obesity and the inability to lose weight," Dr. Fleming said.
Today, Ms. Gilmore shops for groceries and cooks healthy meals for her family. She gardens, climbs stairs, and fits into restaurant booths and chairs. "I've even had people flirt with me," she said, laughing.

When her son's weight climbed dramatically a few years ago, she took him straight to the doctor. "Turns out he also has ADHD," she said.

Unlike his mother, he won't have to wait until he is an adult to be treated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fashion and Clothes.. OH MY!

Yesterday I went to the Eaton Centre

( Toronto's largest indoor Mall - 230+ retailers under one roof) and discovered a Store - Reitmans, also has plus sizes... I bought this vest, shirt and shall.. ( vest, shirt size 22 ... wooohooo!!)

A huge milestone for me.. FIRST of all, I haven't bought clothes in any other stores other than Pennington's or Addition Elle or even Mr. Big and Tall, ALL MY LIFE!! .....REALLY !.. and now, kind of off the rack sort of feeling.. I didn't even try them on in the store.. I took a chance, and thought oh well , if they don't fit, I will get into it later... but.. yuup they all fit just fine!! and way, way cheaper too!! + plus size retails chains I think mark up the prices of their clothes by at least 25 % !!!

oh.. boy.. great incentive... as I turns out I do love fashion.. and I know that alot of people are dawning this look now a days... and now me too!! yeepeeee

it's getting expensive though!!!!

( picture of me taken today, in my home @ 235 lbs

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walking down Memory Lane!

This morning I woke up to an invitation to a new ‘ Hyves’ ( Dutch Facebook equivalent ) group on the “Hoofdstad Operette” ( HO) . Oh god.. Here we go, back to some great memories of my life in Holland back from 1983 – 2001. I then got the added surprise from my dear best friend Martin de Deugd in Amsterdam, who was Concertmaster of the HO orchestra, a ton of emails full of scanned pictures from our old HO days! Great fun! Lots of memories! The “Hoofstad Operette” was Holland’s oldest Operetta company. Formed just after WWII; Operetta is very near and dear to the Dutch people hearts, and therefore was a very successful company.

( this picture above, HO orchestra members surronding me and Martin, in the sun glasses, on one of our many tours..)

When I auditioned and joined the HO back in 1983, they had a season of 180 performances a year! This was a touring company. We toured all over Holland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Since the operetta’s we performed were all sung in German, therefore the countries we visited the audience could understand the dialogue. Operetta is a light Opera. But with more dialogue kind of the predecessor of the modern Broadway musicals. Operetta stories were all about people having scandalous sexual relationships with the wrong people. My favorite operetta is “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. My least favorite operettas are all the Gilbert & Sullivans.. I hate them!.. They are just plan dumb! Anyways… we had some great times on our tours… all by bus of course.

I always sat beside Martin in the bus, and we always tried to outdo each other in the types of sandwiches we made, or our newest CD recording that we just purchased and that we would listen together too with our headphone splitters on our Discmans in the bus. Oh, if we had DVD’s movies back then, and a portable DVD player, our trips would have gone by in a breeze ! We traveled an average of 2000km a week! Left on average at 3:00pm and got home at 2:00am, 5 – 6 days a week. We lived with each other basically. A lot of sitting, a lot of bus activity…and I did this for 18 years.. OMG.. I don’t think I could do it now! I can not take the bus any more… I can’t stand them! Always planes for now on!
( in this picture above, Martin and Me, taken on the ' Bodensee' in Germany)

So this fairytale does have a sad ending as the HO did die in 2001, in the hands of a very new and stupid Minister of Culture, who btw only lasted 2 years, but in the mean time created havoc in the Arts world in Holland with cutting the subsidies to many other arts organizations including the HO during his period in office.

So that’s why I packed it in, and moved back to Canada. Otherwise.. today.. I would be blogging a story similar to this on my macbook, and not my life with the HO, but my life in Toronto, all from our HO bus, that would be fitted with Wifi and individual DVD players and screens on the back of each bus chair.. ( well maybe not quite yet, but around the corner I would think…)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Using Your Outdoor Gym…

Getting to the gym can be difficult and is very time consuming in our busy lives. For example tonight I have a board meeting, so I can’t get to the gym. So I go to my local dog park and make up my own cardio exercise. Like for example these great stairs. I go up and down them for 15 minutes solid with out stopping. Huffing and puffing as I go up, but I know I’m burning calories as I go.

This week the scale has been nice to me once again, but I have had to work hard to get over my hump! To date I have now lost 130 pounds!

Here is a list of my TOP 10’s tips I use to lose weight

  1. Buy a digital scale and weigh your self every frick’n morning … a must!
  2. Cut all your meals in ½ by portion! No matter whatever diet program you are on, being Atkins, or Weight Watchers, the biggest reason why people do not lose weight even on those programs is that they are STILL eating TOO much!
  3. Exercise EVERY DAY ! …You must burn 1000 calories more than you consume. So if you burn 3000 a day, you must consume no more than 2000 calories. A 1000 calorie deficit per day for one week equals 1 pound loss.
  4. Buy a bodybugg, and track your calories lost. If you can’t afford it, you MUST write down every single calories you consume, which is very time consuming but necessary.
  5. Eat gum if you feel the urg to eat, or drink a giant glass of water.. I have a Starbucks ( from a old frappacinno, before I  started the diet) plastic container that I fill with water, with a straw on my desk in the office, and with a straw for some reason you end up drinking more!
  6. Bring your lunch with you to work. Eat fruit first, then the protein- NO BREAD
  7. Make your dinner at home 6 days a week. If you have to eat out, at a restaurant with friends, always order FISH, NO pork, or beef. And a small Garden Salade, NO Caesar salads!
  8. I am a total fan of The Biggest Loser show.. start watching it for tips and motivation!
  9. I am a huge fan of walking. With my bodybugg, I have now seen that you can burn as many or even more calories by walking for 2 hours, then working out at the gym for 2 hours. 1 hour of walking = 400 calories.
  10. Stress is a huge weight and water retainer- always de-stress your self at the end of the day, before you go to sleep, go for a 1 hour walk, with your ipod and get rid of your daily stressful ideas, thoughts, kids, husbands etc.. then go to bed, and make sure you sleep for a full 8 hours!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

"What have you done today to make you feel proud!

Yesterday I was talking to my niece, and asking how her new gym membership was working out for her. She replied she goes there about 3 times a week and really enjoys it! I said, ‘ enjoy?’ and she says.. ‘ ya I like the way it makes me feel afterwards, I like that feeling, it feels good!’  I thought – huummm I’m not there yet! Go to the gym just because it feels good? I go because I HAVE TOO! Not because I enjoy it. My niece is a skinny as one could wish to be, but still goes because she is smart like all youth is now a days,  and realizes that health is very important, and that you can enjoy it too! Boy do I have a long road ahead of me! I hopefully too, one day, will enjoy it too! And just go there because it’s fun!

 I found this article on the net, and added my own comments to it… hopefully it will inspire you as well.. it does help me to know I’m on the right track!

 Top 7 Keys To Motivation For Exercise!

By Greg Landry  &  Wendy (with my own comments!)

1. Know the benefits of exercise. We are more motivated to do things that we'll benefit from. The more we benefit, the more motivated we are. For example, if I told you I'd give you a million dollars to take a 30-minute walk tomorrow morning, would you do it? You bet you would! The benefits of exercise aren't quite that compelling, but they are pretty motivating! You will benefit tremendously from consistent exercise. For many people, that's very motivating!

* **For me : 1 million dollars = not  having  to take ANY prescription drugs any more that had to do with obesity!

2. Create your personal "reasons list." Keep a piece of paper and pen handy for a couple of days. Jot down EVERY reason you can think of that you want to get healthy/get fit/lose weight through consistent exercise. Real life example: I spoke to a lady a couple of months ago who could only think of two reasons that she wanted to lose weight and get fit. I told her to think about it for a couple of days and she came up with a list of over 30 reasons, such as: more energy to spend quality time with her family at night to be able to fit into all the clothes in her closet to be able to live a long, healthy life and to enjoy time with her children, husband, and grandchildren (eventually) to not be uncomfortable in public to not become breathless climbing stairs to be able to do "active" things with her family and friends to be able to play on the floor with her children to be able to wear nice clothes Her list goes on, but you get the picture. Make a long, extensive list. This may not seem important, but it is critical to be able to read this list when your motivation to exercise is waning. It's a powerful way to quickly get "re-motivated"!

***For me – my “ reason list” , was not being able to walk for more than 5 minutes without totally being out of breath, and a horrendous pain in my hips. I do not want to be in wheelchair like my mom was at the age of 60! I do not want to die of ‘ Fatty liver disease, what my mom died of because her history of obesity

3. Exercise with a friend. Statistics tell us that people who exercise with a friend are more successful at exercising consistently. You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting or you to exercise with them can be great motivation to show up and get it done!

* **For me – my friend is my trainer! She is my biggest motivator!

4. Exercise first thing in the morning, every morning. Folks, if you're really serious about this exercise thing, then get serious about it. Our bodies were made to be active on a daily basis, and when we are, all sorts of wonderful things happen. We even get healthy and fit! People who exercise 6 to 7 days per week first thing in the morning are much more successful at exercising consistently than those who do the 2 or 3 day thing. It doesn't have to be a huge workout everyday. Get out there and take a 30-minute walk.

*** For me – I work out at night, but have done a few mornings, and I can see the most benenfit is that once you have done it in the morning , at least it’s done! And you can sit on that couch at night when you get home at night! But for me the couch is STILL a very dangerous area! Couch = eating!

5. Train for a local 5K or 10K walk or run in your area. This can be great motivation to exercise on a regular basis. I've seen many people transformed from couch potatoes to lean, mean, exercising machines because they decided to enter and train for a competition like this. Don't think you can't do it...YOU CAN!

***For me – yuup.. last summer I took part in to marathons, the Breast Cancer and AIDS walks… very satisfying and motivational for sure!

6. Reward yourself! Real life example: Claire from Atlanta told me that she puts $3 in a piggy bank every time she exercises. She gives herself the freedom to spend this money on things she normally wouldn't buy for herself. She says she usually ends up with more than $70 per month!

***For me – I buy myself new clothes.. like a reward ! and few household items.. and oh ya.. tickets to concerts!

7. Keep records. Write down your exercise time (minutes) each day. Keep a running total for the month and year. Calculate your average exercise time per day. Set some lofty goals! :)

***For me – that’s done by my ‘ Bodybugg’


Make your exercise as enjoyable as possible. For example, if you're a walker, you may want to get a good cassette or CD player to listen to music or books on tape, etc. If you're exercising inside, set up a TV so that you can watch it while exercising. On the other hand, you may just prefer peace and quiet. Do whatever makes exercise most enjoyable for you.

***For me – yuup.. at home my treadmill is infront of the Computer TV, and at my gym, all the machines are hooked up with new HDTV wide screen TV’s.. plus I listen to my ipod with really good headphones, that cut out the NOISE from the gym around me!

You are much more likely to exercise consistently if you enjoy it.

Wear good shoes that are appropriate for what you're doing. Injuries seriously affect your motivation to exercise. Most people, especially walkers and runners, wear their shoes far too long. Worn out shoes will make you much more prone to injuries. My absolute favorite place to buy shoes is "Road Runner Sports." It has great prices, but most importantly, its catalog includes a great chart for determining which shoes are best for you based on numerous factors. Even if you don't buy shoes from them, this chart is great to have. See results and get compliments. That's really motivating! GO FOR IT!

***For me – I just bought new runners.. I had no idea, but indeed you need to replace your runners every 8 months.. or you will feel the effects.. !! ( not good)



Friday, March 06, 2009

Tracking my Burn

In this image, a screenshot of my bodybugg program on my computer, you can see the results of today's calories burn. What was interesting for me was to finally see how many calories I actually burn while rideing my bike. As you can see, in the bottom section, the blue lines represent the calories burnt. I rode my bike this morning and late this afternoon. Each time I burned about 440 calories. My work out tonight, was a good burn, a whooping 794 calories! lets hope my scale will reflect this hard work today!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Spring in my Step

Today I was able to finally take my bike to work again.. Milo ( my dog, in the ' doggy ride' )  loved it too!! 

The Whipping Cream Effect...

It was my sisters birthday over the weekend. Her daughter Caroline baked a wonderful Dutch Apple Taart. I was asked to ' Klop' the whipping cream 'Oma style!'
(as seen in this picture depicted here... and my mom's picture below.. .)
My sister Melinda said.. " oh my god you looked just like mom whipping that cream!" ...

I miss my mom!

Easter is around the corner ( my mom's absoulute favorite time of the year! ) , and chocolate easter eggs now clog my dreams...

give me strenght.. !!

The diet battle continues.. but lots of inspriations surrond me.. like today, finally spring has hit Toronto, so today I take my bike to work. Burn some more calories.. and just plan get some of the fresh spring wind howl through my lungs!

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Monday, March 02, 2009

New Colours.. New inspirations..

My office has recently undergone a big reno done by the leasing company – Toronto Community Housing. I had been given the option to choose the colour myself, so not just a wash of white! I have always been a huge fan of the primary colours – Red/Yellow/Blue.; and because my office has such a good natural light source with the front of the office all floor to ceiling windows, I choose a royal blue to go on the walls. I have a couple of great paintings that have been donated by a local artist that lives in the ‘ PAL’ residence down the road. I’ve never been afraid of bold colours. My mom was a true pioneer in colour choice when it came to decorating her own home. The colours in her apartment were very vibrant as well. I remember my youngest sister wasn’t too crazy about it… but I just loved it!. She had each room in her apartment painted a different colour. The living room was ‘ Hindeloopen’ red, the Breakfast room was cream Yellow, the Kitchen was lime green, the hallway, Royal blue ( yes of course I was subconsciously influenced by my colour decision) The bedrooms were grey. So now with my office freshly painted this royal blue, I am enjoying its new inspirational powers. Blue is a creative colour. Coincidently yesterday, speaking about being creatively inspired, I was in my office yesterday for 12 straight hours, as I needed finish up 2 major operating grants that are due today. I was able to accomplish this, and now on to the next creative project. I am looking forward to it’s creative powers! Who knows what lies ahead….