How to Get in Shape after Pregnancy

 

 

When the entire thrill about the new baby has passed and the initial shock and awe is gone, you realize that you are now a loving mother and your life has improved and changed significantly. However, you also realize that your body has changed as well. Nobody is slim and fit after pregnancy, and nobody expects you to be, but it is nice to make the change as little as possible and to try and get back to being your fit self. Here are some ideas about how to achieve that in a healthy way, without any harm to you and the baby.

Prevention

First of all it seems that having a fit body soon after pregnancy begins even before the childbirth. While you are still carrying that bundle of love inside you, you should never try and cut back on meals or reducing your calories below what your doctor said. You are not only cutting back on yourself but also on your baby. However, try to hold reigns on those cravings for sweet food and the like. Don’t cut back, but take only what you need. It will ease the process afterwards.

Nutrition

Don’t even think about trying any of the diets before you hit the sixth week after your childbirth. You will need around 2000 kcal a day to be a healthy mom. The precise number will be given to you by your doctor if you ask them. However, you might consider breastfeeding as a really good option. The math behind this activity is as follows: You burn 600-700 kcal by breastfeeding while you will need to take in about 500 kcal extra by day. This means that you will be losing weight and getting some quality time with your kid by breastfeeding him.pregnancy-exercise

Exercise

Don’t overdo it, especially if you had difficult delivery or a C section. Naturally, your first step is to ask your doctor what you can or cannot do. However, the first thing you can do to shed some weight is to take your kid for a walk. Walk and push that stroller and if you make just a bit faster pace with it, you will burn around 150 kcal in 30 minutes. Of course, if you can, the best thing is to find a personal trainer that has a certificate in postnatal exercise.

 

Skin Care

Let’s say that everything is going according to plan and you are slowly shedding that weight. Your skin needs attention as well, as all those changes are affecting its tightness. Consider using some of the skin tightening products to make it nice and tight and to avoid those pesky stretch marks.

Dieting, breastfeeding and active post-natal life are keys to a great body if you are keeping it in the right pace and consulting with your doctor. However, don’t compare yourself with celebrity mothers because their lifestyle is nothing that you would like for yourself and your baby.

 

Sophie Andersen is a beauty blogger from Perth. Sophie is a contributor for several health and beauty blogs. Sophie enjoys writing and sharing her experience. Follow her at @andersen_sophie.

 

20 Pounds Lost Me

I four short weeks 20 pounds lost me.  I am so excited!

I went to see my favorite doctor.  He’s a chiropractor and nutritionist who does CRA or Contact Reflex Analysis.  This is a fascinating process of asking the body what it has and what it needs in terms of nutrition – vitamins, minerals, etc.  The body cannot lie.  It is incapable of only speaking the truth during this process. I found that I was severely protein deficient, my immune system was low, my heart and lungs were tired and I had leaky gut, which is a sickness in the small intestines where it allows all of the bad stuff to enter the bloodstream.  Nothing gets filtered out.   Also, the vertebrae in my back and neck where beyond subluxation. I was an exhausted, physical mess.

The solution was to start taking supplements that gave my body the nutrients it needed to heal itself.  AND – a change in diet.  I could not eat bread or wheat for that matter.  The daily Coke-a-holic in me had to disappear immediately and I had to focus on eating three meals a day with protein and vegetables and fruit had to replace cake, cookies and donuts. At the job, we keep a steady supply of cookies.  People bring donuts in to share regularly and during winter storms they buy us lunch always with some kind of dessert.  The refrigerator stays stocked with soda – Coke being one of them.

Initially, I walked around looking and thinking about food and saying to myself.  “I can’t eat that.”  “I can’t eat this.”  But, then I decided to have a mindset change and started looking and thinking about things that I could eat and saying “I can eat this!  I can eat that!” I have never been a fruit eater.  It was nice to discover how tasty fruit really is.  I think pears and cantaloupe are my favorite thus far.

After I made the mindset change, it was easy to look at donuts and cookies and not want them.  The mind battle and struggle with temptation was gone.  I also eat “mindfully” now.  Looking back, I realized that I would just shove cookies in my mouth not thinking about it – moving on an impulse that I just wanted to eat something.  The days when we had donuts and/or bagels at the office, I would eat them all day long – for as long as they were there. I was a sweets demon! At lunch, sometimes I would go out and buy tuna grinders (and by the way, I can’t eat tuna fish because I saladhad too many heavy metals in my body that were not being flushed from my system and tuna is heavy in metals) or Chinese food (which is actually a healthy choice).  But if I did not go out to get lunch, I rarely brought my own and would just eat junk and junk food throughout the day.  I didn’t think about it;  I just ate. Now, I only eat free range chicken and fresh vegetables.  I have always enjoyed salads, so now I had the pleasure of creating super salads which included bits of advocado, radish, mushrooms, etc.

I cook my food twice a week to ensure I can bring a really tasty lunch of my own creation to work every day.  I purchase organic salad dressings that are exciting to me.  The doctor says to stick with olive oil and vinegar, but I allow myself nice salad dressings.  My meals have become exciting to me again.  I truly prefer not to eat meat but have to do more research on protein substitutes.

The result of all of this is that my body is healing.  I am feeling better and I am living a little bit more consciously by thinking about what I am eating and why I am eating it.  I eat three meals a day and keep dinner a little lighter than the early day meals.  I don’t feel like I am missing anything by not eating the cookies.  I do have “dessert day” every Saturday where I allow myself a slice of cake or a few cookies.

My greatest challenge in all of this was and is not to drink Coke.  It was my morning coffee and at times it was an entire meal. I think about it all day, every day, but I am able to to just think about it and to let the thought go.

This has all been very fun for me at this point and along with all of the health benefits, 20 pounds lost me in four weeks.  I am so excited about that.    I can put my belt on the third hole again, where previously it was on the last hole.  My goal in this diet change was not to lose weight but to help my body to heal.  The weight loss was a natural result of good, healthy, mindful eating.

At this point, I am down to 145 pounds.  Ten more pounds and I am back to my standard weight of 135 lbs and comfortably in my size tens. I am anxiously waiting for the doctor to tell me that my back is well enough to start doing aerobics again.  Right now, all I can do is walk, period.  No other exercise than that.  I know that once I’m back to the jumping jacks and leg lifts, etc., that the balance of the weight that I would like to lose is simply going to melt away and I can start firming back up. Hopefully, you are inspired to take a look at your own eating habits and can start approaching your food mindfully.  And, hopefully, you can find a doctor that does CRA in your area and begin your own journey to full health and wellness. Any other success stories out there?  I would love to hear them.   – Tomaca

Learn How to Dance

Submitted by Ann Forlawn, “dancer in life” from Los Angeles, USA

My dance experience began when I was two years old in the arms of my father.  Somehow I remember the feeling of being held and swung around gently by this big, wonderful man when I was tiny little tot.  My father was heavy into ballroom dancing and swing.  I don’t know how popular this is with a lot of people, but the classes or sessions that I go to seem to always have enough people.  The people come and the people go, but there are always people coming.  Whether it’s couples who want to learn how to look graceful on the dance floor for their first “very public wedding dance” or women who just want to learn how to move, there are always people coming.

I started taking swing dance lessons when I was in my teens after having done ballet.  Ballet was okay, but it wasn’t as freeing to me as swing.  In swing dancing there is a closeness with the person that you are dancing with that gives me a feeling of …. just niceness.  It’s – I want to say that it’s sensual, but without the sex and without the feeling of sex – so I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.  But, it’s nice because the two of you move as one person.  I can’t describe it.  It’s like the leaves dancing in the wind, one can’t do what it does without the other.

When I’m not dancing I miss it greatly.  I took time off for children – like most women do – we put ourselves on the back burner for our kids – and now I’m back.  I’ve missed the freeing feeling that it gives me.  All the stress just melts away and disappears into nothing while I’m dancing.  I am free.  I am simply motion and nothing else.

I hope other women will share what kind of dance they like to do and how it makes them feel.

Thanks for letting me share WMTS!!

 

Comfort for Your Butt

Man wasn’t designed to sit all day.  Our bodies just were not made to do that.  Sitting in chairs all day is unnatural.  Our ancestors were very physical and in a lot of countries that are not westernized, a physical and more natural africanwomentype of lifestyle still exists.  African women are a prime example.  They stand erect and have perfect posture moving with the grace and poise of a lion.  They are the strongest women in the world.

For those of us who sit in a chair all day long, as typical office jobs require, has us putting our bodies in a position that adds stress to the spine.  To avoid developing or compounding back problems, it’s important to have an office chair that’s ergonomic, supports the lower back and promotes good posture.

Things to consider are:

  • Seat height. Should be easily adjustable. A pneumatic adjustment lever is the easiest way to do this. A seat height that ranges from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. This allows the user to have his or her feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk.
  • Seat width and depth. The seat should have enough width and depth to support any user comfortably. Usually 17-20 inches wide is the standard. The depth (from front to back of the seat) needs to be enough so that the user can sit with his or her back against the backrest of the ergonomic office chair while leaving approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The forward or backward tilt of the seat should be adjustable.
  • Lumbar support. Lower back support in an ergonomic chair is very important. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, and sitting for long periods without support for this curve tends to lead to slouching (which flattens the natural curve) and strains the structures in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back.
  • Backrest. The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide. If the backrest is separate from the seat, it should be adjustable in height and angle. It should be able to support the natural curve of the spine, again with special attention paid to proper support of the lumbar region. If the office chair has the seat and backrest together as one piece, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to secure it from going too far backward once the user has determined the appropriate angle.
  • Seat material. The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface.

There you go.  Now armed with a few facts you can go find the right comfort, not just for your butt, but also for your back.  Posture and comfort is everything.  Remember too that a regular exercise program is key.  Exercise does not have to be strenuous and gut wrenching.  Simple daily stretches and walking are very helpful to the body that sits all day.
familydinners.org

Simple and Effective Tips To Help Anyone With an Underactive Thyroid Lose Weight

 

Submitted by Avelina Kongoi, London
Obviously if you have been suffering with an underactive thyroid for any amount of time then you will know and appreciate just how hard it can be to lose even a tiny amount of weight. The reality is that this condition is affecting more and more people every single year!

As of this very moment there are about 27 million Americans all over the United States who are suffering from hypothyroidism but, even more alarming is the fact that there are many more millions out there that have still not been diagnosed with the condition!
thyroid_diagram
Subclinical hypothyroidism is another condition that is getting more and more common and it results in the person experiencing symptoms such as fatigue etc without actually having an underactive thyroid in the first place. This condition usually comes about as a direct result of poor nutrition and if the person improves their diet then the symptoms will slowly but surely disappear.

When you have hypothyroidism you’re going to find that your metabolism will become extremely slow, which will result in you not being able to burn the calories you need to burn to lose all that excess fat!

Anyone out there that has thyroid glands that are just not working as they are supposed to be working will find that they will struggle to lose weight. This is because your thyroid glands are responsible for producing two very important hormones known as T3 and T4. These are the very hormones that are actually responsible for maintaining your body’s rate of metabolism.

If you don’t have enough of these hormones in your body then you’re just never quite going to be able to burn the calories you need to burn in order to get into shape, hence the reason why people with an underactive thyroid tend to find it harder to lose weight.

Simple and Easy Tips To Help You Shed Fat Even With Hypothyroidism

Tip 1: Get Your Local, Fully Qualified Doctor To Diagnose and Treat You

You have to make sure that you get down to your local doctor to get an official diagnosis because this will be the key to getting your health back to where it needs to be.

Your diagnosis is going to largely depend on the results of the blood test you’re given by your local doctor. The blood test will basically measure the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH),T3, and T4 you have inside your body. You will be diagnosed with having an underactive thyroid if you have high amounts of TSH and low amounts of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4).

If you’re one of the people that has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism then you’ll more than likely be given some medication that is known officially as levothyroxine. Taking this medicine will help to get your levels of thyroid hormone right back into the healthy range, which will ultimately get your metabolism boosted up! Exactly what you want when you’re trying to lose weight.

Tip 2: Start To Consume Healthy and Nutritious Meals Full of Protein and Vegetables

Losing weight is all about making sure that you consume highly nutritious meals every single day of your life. This means you’re going to want to start consuming a ton of vegetables and protein because it’s the key to shedding all that excess fat in record time.

From personal experience and from reading a ton of research studies out there, I can tell you that protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients out there, including fats and carbs. This will literally mean that hours and hours will go by before you feel the need to consume food. The other bonus of consuming a healthy amount of protein is that it will preserve all that metabolism boosting muscle mass, which is extremely important!

Tip 3: Cut Out The Processed Junk and Instead Focus on Consuming Fiber Rich Foods

All those processed junk foods are just empty calories that are not benefiting you in any way. In fact they are just preventing you from losing the weight you need to lose to get into great shape. Instead of consuming all those junk foods, I’d recommend that you start stocking up on foods that contain a lot of fiber in them.

Fiber rich foods are not only very satiating but they will prevent things like chronic constipation from occurring… which is very common among people who have hypothyroidism.

Tip 4: Exercise as Much as You Possibly Can

Once you have really nailed your diet, I’d recommend that you start focusing on implementing a really solid fitness routine into your life. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block or you can be very serious with it and join the local gym… but, whatever you do, make sure that you do something!

From a results standpoint I’d recommend that you focus on lifting weights because not only will you shed a lot of calories when you’re engaged in the actual exercise but you’ll be working to build up a lot muscle mass which will inevitably result in your metabolism rising and rising.

The higher your base metabolic rate, the more calories you’re going to end up burning… it’s as simple as that my friend. So over time you’ll be getting in better and better shape, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to get into incredible shape fast!

Remain consistent with your effort and believe me it will only be a matter of time before you end up in the best shape of your life.

Nothing in this world can stop you from getting amazing results accept yourself. You have to get out of your own way and make sure that you take massive action every single day of your life. Keep doing this and believe me you will find that getting into shape even with an underactive thyroid is easier than you think!

If this article was on that you enjoyed then you will really love http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org because the information there will truly help you overcome hypothyroidism for good!

 

Avelina Kongoi maintains the website http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org and blogs about effective ways to control this condition with nutrition.

 

 

Spring Break! Activities Your Kids Will Always Remember

 

Submitted by Annette Hazard

 

Spring break is right around the corner. Have you planned a few activities to keep your kiddos occupied and having fun? Need some ideas?

Go On an Adventure

Plan a visit to a local museum or zoo. A trip to the museum or zoo can take a child on a learning adventure and provide hours of fun. To get even more out of the experience, request a guided tour.

Arts and Craftsspring-break2

Help your child get in touch with his or her artistic side. Stock up on paint, glitter, scissors and glue. Embrace the mess, and enjoy yourselves.

Get Wet

If you live in a warmer climate, you might enjoy splashing in your own pool or a community pool. Has your child taken swim lessons yet? Could they use a refresher course? Spring break swim lessons such as those found at http://www.swimjim.com/loc-houston-tx will get your child ready for summer pool fun.

Get Active

If you want to get outside and get moving, then biking and rollerblading are great options. Consider a trip to the batting cages or a game of putt-putt golf. If it is raining, hit the roller rink or a local climbing wall.

Catch a Movie

What is new on the big screen? Spring break is the perfect opportunity to catch the latest kid’s flick. If a trip to the movie theater is not in the budget, consider renting a dvd or watching something new on Netflix. Do not forget the popcorn!

Shop

Summer is right around the corner. Hit the mall to help your child choose a new warmer-weather wardrobe. If the mall is not in your budget, visit your local consignment or thrift shop. You are sure to find a treasure at a price you can afford.

Get GameChildren Playing a Board Game

Spring break might be a good time to let your children choose a new video game. Add to the fun by letting them have their friends over for a gaming party. Split the group into two teams, provide some snacks, and let the competition begin!

Sleepover

Between homework and extracurricular activities, sleepovers can be difficult to schedule throughout the regular school year. A spring break sleepover could be just the answer. Be sure to include your child in the planning process. Let him or her make the invitations and help plan for fun food and games.

However you and your child decide to spend spring break, enjoy your time together and keep the focus on fun!

 

Young Panther, Ghofrane Jabloun – Wushu Champion

 

 

Ghofrane Jabloun is from Tunisia, North Africa.

Ghofrane, or Young Panther as we call her, is a martial artist and not just any martial artist – she earned the title of Kung-Fu Wushu Champion in 2008/2010 & 2011.  You would not look at this nice young lady and think that she has a serious ability to defend herself and you!  Her story tells us that when you put your mind to it, anything is possible!

 

What made you decide to learn martial arts?

I joined martial arts to be able to defend the people that I care about and anyone that might need my help someday (and for lots of other reasons that I prefer not to mention).  It’s funny but I don’t believe in violence at all and till this day I still don’t, but I learned that sometimes you need to fight fire with fire when there is no other option. But, of course you must remember that you always have a choice; you need to think before you act. Plus, you should never intentionally hurt someone.

Of all the different disciplines, why Kung Fu Wushu?

To be honest I was always attracted to it from a very young age.

How did you make your decision about that specific form?

Well, I consider it to be the best of all types martial arts, mainly because it contains all sort of different styles. Kung-fu is within everything that we do.

You mentioned you had to make sacrifices in order to train.  What kind of sacrifices did you make and was it worth it to you?

I should start by saying that my parents were against it and still are because they think it’s too violent and since I’m a girl it’s another reason why I shouldn’t be “playing.”  That made me  want it even more.

When I put something  into my mind, I do it no matter what.  I gathered money all by myself, and I was lucky to have such a wonderful teacher.  He let me train as long as I wanted.  He was simply just an amazing man, adding to that the team was amazing.  It was more than just training with them, they were my second family and we still see each other.

I enjoyed it.  It’s more than just a game or sport, it is a way of life for me and definitely worth it.

Did you actually have hand to hand combats with other students as part of your training?

Oh yeah! The first time that we got into it, it was more like a street fight. And by my luck on that day the only other girl on our team didn’t show up, so my trainer asked me if I wanted to get into this. And i said: “Bring it on!”  I had to fight one of the guys. I picked one of my friends and we started. It was normal at first but then we decided to have some fun and it became really brutal.  Our teacher was so impressed and lots of people started to pay attention to us – needless to say “best training  day ever!”

The next day, I woke up with bruises everywhere, and everyone were asking me what happened.  I was like, ” I was just messing with my friend on training !”

The following day I was waiting for my friend to show up and he didn’t make it. He showed up three days later saying :”look what you did to me!”  We end up laughing and making jokes about it as if nothing happened.  It was fun!  We both got what we deserved! lol!

You started to do competitions?

Yes.  I trained because I wanted to learn kung-fu for myself – nothing more. I didn’t go there to compete but my teacher told me that I should, so I did it for him.

What is competing like?

First time I went, I was a bit nervous, but then I got used to it. In every competition you can get injured and you never know what the other is cooking for you, so you need to expect anything at any time and never underestimate your opponent.

What did you have to do to earn the championship title?

I needed to be the best, so I used to train for hours. Sometimes I could start at 2 pm and finish up at 9 pm without having any rest whatsoever.  Then waking up early in the morning so I could go for a run and still have time to train when I got home.

Does knowing martial arts give you more confidence?
It definitely does.  It kills your fears, and it frees you in a way. You can feel in control and that no one really can get to you – well, not easily.

How about knowing that you have the ability to defend yourself against an attacker?
It makes me more relieved to know that if someone were to attack me, it wouldn’t be as easy as they think it would be for them. At least I would be able to fight back and have a chance to win and possibly beat the crap out of them. I can walk anywhere I want at any time because I am not afraid to be in such a situation. I would advise people who got attacked before, abused or raped, to take at least a couple of classes.  It will make you feel more safe and conformable and you’ll be able to have that confidence in yourself again to do what you like and you’ll stop being afraid.

 

There is a big difference between learning martial arts and self defense.   Could you describe what you think the differences are and how you think a woman should determine which she would rather learn?

I would advise you to go for martial arts because it has both – but that’s just me.  You should choose whatever makes you feel more comfortable. At the end you’re just trying to learn how to protect yourself from possible situations where you must use these techniques. Just make sure that you like what you’re learning.

How to De-Stress Without Comfort Food


Submitted by Melissa Woodson

 

With the onset of autumn and the impending holidays that are often unfortunately associated with stress and unwanted weight gain, it is important to be proactive in recognizing not only stress triggers, but past patterns of behavior in response to these triggers. Many Americans turn to comfort food when it comes to de-stressing, and the variety treats that are available during the fall and winter holidays are comfort foods for many of us. With that in mind, here are five great tips for de-stressing without food this year:

 

1. Exercise

It cannot be emphasized enough: Exercise is hands-down the most effective way to deal with stress. You don’t need to go overboard. Don’t plan on running a marathon or setting a Guinness World Record in swimming. Fitting in at least 30 minutes a day of brisk walking or jogging will keep your body physically active and able to more successfully cope with stress.

 

2. Journal

It may seem silly, but beginning and ending each day with 10 minutes of free-association writing about your day will help. It allows you to start fresh in the morning by getting anything that might have crept into your subconscious overnight off your chest, and it will let you sleep well at night by relieving your mind of the day’s events before bed.

 

3. Get Outside

Make sure you get at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day. During the fall and winter months, sunlight is much less plentiful. Forcing yourself to get outside when the sun is up — even if it’s simply to sit on a park bench — will do wonders for your mood and stress levels.

 

4. Plan

Acknowledge and plan for stressful holiday moments with a self-care approach and reward system. If you know that big holiday dinners with extended family or shopping and spending money is stressful, allow yourself enough time to prepare mentally. Make sure you are taking care of yourself in the days preceding these moments, and reward yourself with some self-care when you make it through without turning to food. Treat yourself to some alone time, a movie or a trip to a spa or salon.

 

5. Talk

Lastly, do not overlook the positive benefits of therapy. Talking to an unbiased third party can relieve stress as well as provide you with very specific tools and support. There is no shame in seeing a therapist. These days, therapy is commonly used in dealing with the stress of everyday occurrences, and finding one before you are overwhelmed is a great way to be proactive with your self-care.

As difficult as it can be to break the habit of de-stressing with comfort food, the benefits of doing so are clear. By taking advantage of these five ways to deal with stress now, before the holidays are in full-swing, you’ll not only be taking care of yourself, but allowing for a positive holiday experience for you and all of your loved ones.

 

Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, aMaster of Laws offered through Washington University in St. Louis that is considered a premierLLM in US Law. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and making half-baked attempts at training her dog.

 

Jennifer and Her Fitness Pal

 

 

 

It is so encouraging to find so many different ways to lose weight and to motivate yourself to lose weight.  Jennifer wanted to share this with everyone on Women Move the Soul:


 

Image from MyFitnessPal.com

 

My sister-in-law gave me the link to a website that she says is her saving grace. She uses it, as do her friends and they stay connected and offer support and encouragement to each other. You see, my sister-in-law is literally fighting for her life. Her goal is to loose ½ of her current body weight. WOW!! I thought, how brave and how Great for her!! I should note here that she is on a “Doctor Supervised plan” and they are taking good care of her.

Well to start with I was curious about how she was loosing weight, but it quickly turned into Inspiration! I must say, I am truly amazed by her dedication to her plan and to . . . well, her life! She doesn’t know this yet, but she has truly inspired me!

So the website is: Myfitnesspal.com. It offers helpful tools for tracking exercise and loosing weight. For me personally though, what I found was a very useful tool that lets me see just how many calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein I am consuming on any given day, at any given meal. It lets me see how many of those calories a brisk walk will consume. It gives me choices.

It was a bit of an eye opener for me and continues to be a learning process as well. Most surprisingly, I find that I actually enjoy using the site. That is a Big Surprise for me, I’ll tell you, BIG!!

So there is it, the long short story of how I came to be using the Myfitnesspal.com website. Check it out, connect with your friends too if you wish. You might just be the inspiration that someone might need!

 

 


Just to mention that Jennifer found WMTS through facebook and lives in North Dakota. Welcome Jennifer!

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Tammy – “About Being Fat”

I don’t consider myself a writer.  But then again, maybe I never had anything interesting to write about.  I can’t even say if what I’m writing is interesting.  But it is very personal to me, and lots of women I’m sure can identify with it.  I want to tell you about being fat.  I’m not making a judgment, nor am I using the word in a derogatory sense. Rather, I am speaking in terms of fact.  Based on healthy guidelines, BMI, health weight ranges etc., I have been fat on and off for my entire life.  For a lot of women I know, it can be endless source of frustration…trying every diet known to man.  But for me, turning 40 was what woke me up.  No longer was I interested in “looking good” (although that is a benefit!).  I was now more concerned with my health, and the lack of it coming down the road in the future if I didn’t change something.  It required a lifestyle change…not a diet.

 

And so…cliché, and like so many other folks, my New Year’s resolution for 2011 was to get healthy.  I joined Weight Watchers and attended my first meeting on Sunday January 2, 2011.  I had a friend who had lost quite a bit of weight, and had found the program worked for her.  She was my inspiration to get started…I figured if she could do it…so could I.  Now let me tell you that because I’ve tried very diet in the world, I can also tell you that I tried Weight Watchers almost 20 years ago.  Although I did lose some weight, the program was difficult to follow and more importantly – maintain.  I gained what I lost, and then some.  Many of you will shake your head in agreement.  You’ve been there.  And so I was determined that this time would be different.  I am not a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, so I am not in the position to endorse this for everyone, but it has been my vehicle on my weight loss journey.

 

I know exercise and eating right are the 2 components of being healthy.  For me, I could only start one at a time.  I decided to focus in on the healthy eating first.  It took some reading, some homework and time, but the PointsPlus Plan on Weight Watchers has truly made it easy for me.  I don’t feel like it’s a diet.  In fact, I never say, “I can’t have this because I’m on a diet.”  Any maybe that’s why this time it’s working for me.  For me, it’s been slow, but steady.  To date I’ve been on the plan for 10 months, and I’ve lost 32 pounds.  For a 5-foot tall woman, that’s 3 sizes!  Think of bags of sugar at the supermarket.  They’re 5 pounds each.  I was carrying around 6 of them on my body everyday!  I feel so much better now.  Aches and pains that I had are gone.  I have more energy.  I can do everything my kids want to do.

 

I added the exercise component 7 months into the plan.  I started slowly.   I still don’t get as much as I should though.  With 2 kids and a full-time job, it’s hard to find the “me” time.

My son goes to religious school for an hour once a week.  What can you do with an hour?  Not much.  So one of the other moms suggested that we exercise during the hour.  We’re there anyway….what a great idea!  She found a Zumba instructor to come to the school and teach a group of moms for an hour.  I love it!  I look forward to Tuesday every week…I feel energized after.  I only wish I had more time to do more.

 

I haven’t reached my weight loss goal yet…. It’s not so much of a destination as it is a journey.  I still would like to lose another 10-15 pounds.  I expect that I will always need to monitor my healthy eating and exercise habits…so as not to be on the endless merry-go-round of weight loss.  But I’m on my way…..

Tammy lives in Arkansas, USA with her husband and two children.

Get Walking Ladies!

Indigenous people are so much healthier physically than americans and europeans.  Look at the magnificent posture of these women and consider their physical strength and balance.  They are carrying loads on their heads and children — and probably are walking for great distances on a daily basis.

 

If you are not working out regularly or walking on a consistent basis, you need to be.  If you work a desk job and sit all day, then go home and sit all night until you go to bed, that’s not good.

 

For those of us who are physically able, walking is easy and it’s natural for our bodies.   We must consider mobility more than a means to be able to function and move around; it is a gift.  We must cherish and respect this gift and use it often.

 

Being physically healthy is important.   Walking is easy and it can be fun if you allow it to be.  Don some headphones or earbuds and walk or dance to your favorite music.  You will lose weight, firm up, improve your cardiovascular system, your lungs, your muscles, your confidence, your smile…. your everything!

 

You can walk with a friend or friends; walk alone, or even start up a girl’s walking group.  Local high schools have tracks that are usually open to the public, or go to your favorite park, choose a city street.  There are church walking groups, job walking groups, school walking groups and friends who walk together.

If you have a dog, running and moving about is one of their favorite things (next to eating).  Take the dog out for a little walk or trot.  They will keep pace with you.  They’re good like that!

 

Just remember to be safe!  Walk facing the traffic.  Wear bright colored clothing and very importantly, if you are walking in rural areas or areas where there are not a lot of people, please take precautions to be safe.  We hate to mention predators, but they are real.  So, be careful with yourself. You can buy ankle weights, hand weights (or not) and get out there and get moving.  Just do it!

 

– Tomaca

 

Can the Firmness Come Back?

by Tomaca Govan

A 46-year-old woman just asked me if the firmness of the muscle can come back.  Absolutely yes!
One of our problems, especially in America, is our sedentary lifestyle.  We sit, sit, sit – at our desks at work and at home in front of the television.  Sure we may do some running around – grocery store, cleaning the house – but those things don’t really use the body in a way to keep it crisp and sharp.

There’s a blog called Mark’s Daily Apple, Primal Living in the Modern World, where he talks a lot about how mankind has shifted it’s living practices to those that are unnatural and unhealthy for the body.  He even suggests using a desk that allows you to stand as you work because sitting for long periods of time is unnatural and unhealthy.

In many places in China, there is no such thing as “exercising” because the people there ride their backs to get where they need to go; they are actively working in their gardens to grow their food.  In other words, they have a very healthy and natural lifestyle.  They live the way that we were intended to live – the way we were designed to live.

My daughter is a dancer, fitness expert and body expert.  She can look at the way that you stand, walk and move tell you what is off balance and what you need to do to correct it.  She’s given me target exercises and practices to firm up areas that bother me.   But, of course Ms. Know It All has also given me advice that I don’t want to hear, and, because I’m lucky to be her mother, I get all the nagging that goes along with it!

But yes, Jackie, to answer your question, yes you can regain the firmness that you had when you were younger.  It will take dedication to some work, but if you are willing to commit yourself to that, then you can rebuild muscle and get rid of flab.  So, if that’s your goal, go for it and don’t give up.  We are what we eat, we are what we do and mostly, we are the product of our own thoughts and emotions.  So, think well, move well, do well and become what you want at any age!