Progress, Not Perfection.

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As much as I try not to, I can be a perfectionist.

If someone had told me this about myself 10 years ago I would have laughed (one quick peek in my closets and dresser drawers, for example, would set them straight!).

Truth is, I am very much an All-or-Nothing person. Either I do something perfectly or not at all. It’s something  I recognize in myself and have worked hard to overcome. Not only was this something I dealt with in my journey to lose weight , but I can see it in other areas of my life and that includes blogging!  But I refuse to give in to old habits that say “if you can’t do it right don’t do it at all”. I’ve decided to jump back in and not wait for some perfect moment when I have more time and become a better writer (both of which probably are never gonna happen!).

So, get ready for more posts and more ramblings on my life after losing weight and keeping it off.

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AMA Recognizes Obesity as a Disease (causing ugly prejudices to surface- film at 11)

AMA

While leisurely checking my Facebook feed Wednesday morning, before jumping in the shower for work, I saw a post from NBC News CT discussing the AMA’s (American Medical Association) decision to recognize obesity as a disease.

While this is not news to the World Health Organization, FDA, and the IRS (just to name a few) all whom already recognize obesity as a disease; it seems to have brought to the surface the long held prejudices of many people.

Now, I know from first-hand experience that people who are overweight and obese are treated differently and looked down upon by many people, but to see these viscous and, frankly, ignorant comments in black & white were quite a shock.

For your consideration:

“Honestly; obesity is too nice a word. Lets call it Human Pig Syndrome (HPS) and see how long it takes these fattys to find a treadmill and some carrots.”

Or how about this gem?:

“I’ll have to pay for people who are too fat and lazy to take care of themselves. The next time I see an obese person eating an ice cream I’m going to slap it out of their hands.”

I could go on and on but I’ll spare you.

To say this made me angry is an understatement.

These comments, which typify the beliefs held by many people, need to be addressed.  Education on the nature of disease needs to be explained.

Definition of Disease by the AMA:

“1) an impairment of the normal functioning of some aspect of the body; 2) characteristic signs or symptoms; and 3) harm or morbidity”

How does this apply to Obesity?

Read on…

“Congruent with this criteria there is now an overabundance of clinical evidence to identify obesity as a multi-metabolic and hormonal disease state including impaired functioning of appetite dysregulation, abnormal energy balanced, endocrine dysfunction including elevated leptin levels and insulin resistance, infertility, dysregulated adipokine signaling, abnormal endothelial function and blood pressure elevation, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, dyslipidemia, and systemic and adipose tissue inflammation”

Obesity has characteristic signs and symptoms including the increase in body fat and symptoms pertaining to the accumulation of body fat, such as joint pain, immobility, sleep apnea, and low self-esteem; and hormonal and metabolic abnormalities not reversible by lifestyle interventions that will likely require multiple different risk stratified interventions for patients.”

These statements are taken directly from the AMA’s report which can be read in full here.

It’s time to put to rest the notion that obese people are simple lazy and weak.

It’s time to stop viewing obesity as some kind of moral failure or character flaw.

It’s time to stop throwing stones and finally provide help to people struggling by giving them the care and support they need.

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Just got back from the ASBP Obesity Conference in San Diego.  Great info to come!

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Dear Scale: It’s Not Me, It’s You.

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When something like a number on a scale can take you from confident & hopeful to self-loathing & hopelessness, it’s time to break up with your scale.

Believe me, I understand! We are all so conditioned to want to see that number go down, but your body weight is only one measure of your progress.

What are some others?

Consider these:

  • Are you sleeping better?
  • Do you have more energy?
  • Are you less moody or depressed?
  • Have your cravings dissipated?
  • Do you recover faster from exercise?
  • Have your symptoms or medical condition greatly improved?

Just because the number on the scale hasn’t moved enough for your liking does not mean your program is a failure.
It means there may be other things going on, like changes in body composition, that aren’t necessarily being reflected by the weight of our body.

So, be patient and feel good that you are doing something positive for your health and know that, eventually, it will show up on the scale.

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The First Thing You Should Do If You Are Serious About Weight Loss…

(image from To-Do List blog)

(image from To-Do List blog)

 

 

The best advice I can give may seem simple, but the most effective things usually are:

Write down a list of ALL the reasons why you want to lose this weight.

Be as honest as you can and don’t leave anything out (no one else has to see it).

I had about 30 reasons on my list- from wanting to wear clothes I actually like instead of those that just fit, to wanting to have sex with the lights on!

Then, you need to read that list every daytwice a day… however many times it takes to keep those reasons in the forefront of your mind.

Because, when you are looking at that “thing” that you want- all you can think of is eating it and all those reasons you initially had seem to go out the window.

 Until, that is, after you are done eating! Then the temporary pleasure you had is followed by guilt which leads to the entire cycle repeating.

I now have a list of all the reasons why I want to Keep It Off, and you know what? I Read that List Every Darn Day!

I can probably recite it off the top of my head, but there is something in the act of taking the time to write down and read the words.

You can do this. I was like you- up and down- then I realized that motivation comes in the “doing” and it needs to be reinforced every single day.

 

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Linda Armistead:

Dr Dea Roberts gives an excellent blueprint on approaching weight loss and weight management.

Originally posted on it's the satiety:

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones (Photo credit: Rich Jacques)

Satiety-Focused Weight Health

A walk through …

This is not specific advice to be used without consultation with your personal doctor. This is presented for the purposes of discussion.

This is “the middle part”, which belongs within a larger context of each person’s unique health and medical situation, their resources and circumstances, and their goals, preferences and values.

For example, if you have any problems involving foods, such as digestive issues, gallbladder problems, food allergies, celiac disease, etc., these must be taken into consideration. Be aware that sometimes these only become newly apparent when eating patterns change. If you have, or suspect you may have, an eating disorder or food addiction, please seek personal knowledgable professional care.

The short version -

It’s all about:

  • finding what things may be pushing up your appetite
  • finding what things you can do to get the most satiety (fullness, sense of satisfaction of appetite)…

View original 2,817 more words

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Struggling with Motivation?

 

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Staying motivated can be a struggle — our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future.  “Why bother, I’ll just go back to how I ate before.”  “Well, I messed up today, might as well keep on eating.”

A key to maintaining my motivation during my weight loss journey was writing down a list of all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight.

I read that list every day… twice a day…sometimes more than that depending on the stress of the day.

Why?

Because when I was looking at that “thing” that I wanted, I needed those reasons to be at the forefront of my mind.

It used to be easy to forget why I really wanted to lose weight when that decadent dessert, or burger, or….was staring me in the face.  Easy for me to erase from my mind the fact that eating that “thing” was not going to get me where I wanted to be.  I’d end up inevitably feeling worse afterwards and beating my self up, which would set me up for more failure and a further lessening of motivation.

 We can be our own worst enemy at times or our best cheerleader. 

Now that I’ve lost my weight, I have a list of all the reasons why I want to keep it off.  I can probably recite that list off the top of my head, but you know what?  I still read it every day!  Reminding myself of all the good things that I have, because of my weight loss, is what keeps me going.

“Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.”

I also kept my motivation going by reflecting on how far I’ve come, not how far I need to go.  If I focused on the fact that I needed to lose 100+ pounds, it would have felt too big…unsurmountable.  Instead, I focused on all the things I had done *right*, all the things that I chose to do that were leading me where I wanted to be.  Did I make a better choice than I would normally have? Great!

We shouldn’t wait until we reach our goal to be proud of ourselves.  We need to celebrate every decision we make that leads us one step closer to our ultimate goal.

If we allow doubt to enter our minds, we create an “inner-struggle”.  Our thoughts start to go down a path that creates conflict in our minds.  And when that happens, our motivation starts to waver.

 “Progress, not Perfection.” 

That mantra has gotten me over many challenges.  I don’t have to wait until I’m “perfect” to give my self credit.

Perfectionism is what leads to feeling guilty or defective, and beating up on yourself–and that’s about as helpful as a broken leg is to a runner. Sometimes, cutting yourself some slack is just what you need.

 So, here’s my advice: stop wondering where your motivation went, and kick all that negative self-talk to the curb. Instead, write down all the reasons why you are really doing this and give yourself credit every time you do one thing that gets you closer to your goal.

 

 

 

 

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Out with the Old, In with the New (Big News!)

big news

Well, 2013 is almost here.

Time to take stock of the past year and look forward to the next.

2012 had its share of challenges, but I finally have some wonderful news to share!

I was fortunate enough to meet the owner and Medical Director of a new state-of-the-art medical weight loss clinic in West Hartford, Connecticut.

The name is Pounds, Medical Weight Loss Transformation.

Physician Assistant, Michelle Cavo, and Dr. Charles Cavo are as committed to the health and success of their clients as I am.
Together we are launching Pounds, MWLT on January 2nd.

This program is everything I would have wanted when I was starting my weight loss journey:

- A staff that is completely committed to the support and success of each and every client.

- Specially trained clinicians who follow the protocols of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP)

- Support through weekly private sessions with a Medical Provider who understands and focuses on my specific needs.

- Available Group Classes, which would have been a tremendous asset! There is nothing like meeting other people going through the same journey and providing support for each other.

- Being able to safely view my electronic medical record remotely at any time.

- Most importantly, gaining the skills and knowledge to Keep the Weight Off for Life!

This is a dream come true.

I am forever thankful to ALL the people who have supported and encouraged me throughout the past year. Your love and support has helped me to remember that I am doing what I’ve been called to do.

Here’s to 2013; THE BEST YEAR YET!

 

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Surviving Holiday Eating

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Ah…the Holidays! That time of year when I would gain at least five pounds and never lose them. According to a report from The New England Journal of Medicine, neither do most people.

It was a time to splurge! Indulge!

Besides, January 1st was right around the corner with its’ promise of New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions.

I’ve been down that road countless times.  Now, I see the Holidays as a time to spend with friends & family. It’s not all about the food! Besides, it’s a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK or holiMONTH.

So, what do I do now?  First off, I don’t restrict myself all day to save up calories for my holiday meal.  I eat according to my normal eating plan, which for me is eating some protein every three hours and drinking tons of water.  That way, when it’s time for my special meal I’m not starving and ready to inhale my plate without barely tasting it.

My major holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  I make a plate of all the things I really want.  I don’t waste precious real estate on food I truly don’t love- it’s just not worth it.  Then, I sit down with my family and enjoy every single bite guilt-free.  When I’m done, that is it. No going back for leftovers. I just move on with my regularly scheduled eating plan.  For me, this works.  The thought of never again tasting my mother’s homemade lasagna is just too sad of a thought.  I know it isn’t realistic for me to think like that, after all it was all-or-nothing thinking that got where I was in the first place!

So, my wish for you, whatever holiday you celebrate, is to enjoy the time you have with your family & friends and to enjoy your food, too.

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Book Recommendations for Weight Loss Success

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books and am an avid reader. I have read many books over the years on losing weight and want to share my favorites with you.

First one up is The Beck Diet Solution by Dr Judith Beck PhD.  Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a “diet”.  It uses Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (Dr Judith Beck’s father is Dr Aaron T. Beck who originally developed CBT) that teaches you concrete skills to stay on whatever eating plan you choose.  I find myself referring to this book often and it has helped me tremendously in my weight loss journey.

Next is Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen.  The subtitle is: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work, and How I Recovered for Good.  Now, I have never been bulimic, but this book was fascinating nonetheless.  It introduced me to the idea that we have a “reptilian brain” which, as I understand it, is the part of our brain that “wants what it wants when it wants it”.  This book gave me ways to talk back to that part of my brain and not let it take over my eating.

Next one up is one sure to be a classic: Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.  I was originally introduced to Gary Taubes via his book: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.  That book really opened my eyes to exactly how food works in our body and is chock full of science and research studies to back it up.  It really appealed to the science-geek in me but for a more accessible read to the average lay-person, while still backed by science, his Why We Get Fat is a must-read for everyone.

Another must-read on my list is: Spark: the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey.  I can’t review it any better than the following reviewer from Amazon, so read it and be inspired, too…

5.0 out of 5 stars A liberating and inspiring source of life transformingknowledge, October 1, 2012

“This book is an engaging and entertaining example of infotainment. You read interesting stories and examples that are weaved together to tell a greater story: the relationship between physical activity, health and mental function. You will learn the why’s that exemplify all of the positive things physical activity does to your body and mind.

Revelation after revelation, this book is a wealth spring of liberating knowledge that will inspire you to become or stay active. The author’s voice is sincere and dynamic. His examples are numerous and well based in both the sciences and the real world. I have recommended this book to dozens of people!

This book is a liberating and inspiring source of life transforming knowledge! I thoroughly enjoyed reading every word of it!”

The book Sugar Nation: the Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It by Jeff O’Connell is a great read.  While there are many books which will extol the dangers of sugar, this book does it in an engaging and readable way.  It especially hit home with me as the author talks about watching his father battle diabetes, and then getting diagnosed himself with prediabetes (something I have gone through also).

Last, but most certainly not least is The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek.  It is practically required reading for anyone interested in nutrition science.  I constantly refer back to it and consider it the “bible” for low-carb living and science.

There are many more books I recommend and I will leave those for another post on another day. I hope you found something that speaks to you and your circumstances in my recommendations.  Please share some of your favorite books on the subject as I am always looking to learn (and read!) more.

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