Information about the body's physiology and how to get the most out of it.
We all need an outlet and one of my main outlets was food. I turned to it so many times that my weight was maxed out around 650 pounds. I knew I had to turn to something else. Even before I started a healthy way with Reshape, my uncle suggested that I start journaling as a way to get my emotions out. I laughed it off at first because I thought only little girls wrote in their diary. It was now a year later and I was starting at the beginning of my weight loss, having a hard time. I didn’t want to binge and ruin my progress like I had in the past. I finally did what my uncle suggested, bought a notebook and wrote on the first page, “How I saved my life, my journal”. I wrote in it mostly at night before bed, but if something came up I wrote it down immediately. My journal got me through some tough times as well as some good times. It’s good to thumb through it and remember how hard it was and realize how far along I have come. I didn’t have to worry about sitting down at a hockey game, because now I could fit in the seat. I didn’t have to worry about not fitting in the front seat of a car. I didn’t have to worry about ever going to a truck stop to get weighed again. If I binged, I now realized the triggers involved and took myself out of that situation. I was amazed someone opened the door for me and smiled. I was laughed at in the parking lot and a long line of people stared and gawked at me while I walked by, but I had still left the house and I was so proud. I have so many memories and experiences that I can recall forever. I now have a healthy outlet through journaling and a remembrance of how I saved my life.
Tonight is going to be a big night in extreme weight loss as Chris Powell, star of Extreme Makeover Weight-Loss Edition and creator of Reshape the Nation, tries to help Wally lose excess weight he’s been carrying around for a long time.
Emotions can run hot for a compulsive eater trying to lose weight. It can seem like an impossible, up-hill battle for most in that particular situation. Having suffered from prior underlying issues such as incest, sexual abuse, child abuse, parental neglect or abandonment, parental substance abuse, and other adverse childhood experiences, these individuals often find that obesity is the solution, not the problem. Let’s begin asking the right questions.
You don’t want to ask an obese individual how they gained weight, however, a better question to ask is “when did they start gaining weight”. The emotions experienced in those underlying issues can rise to the surface when that individual begins to challenge the reason for most of their weight gain. That’s when they start to actually deal with the cause (underlying issue), instead of the reaction, (weight gain).
A seminar was hosted by Dr. Vincent Fellitti at Good Samaritan Hospital in which he spoke poignantly about his research on obesity and how it led to a study that links Adverse Childhood Experiences, otherwise known as the ACE Study, to problems such as obesity, diabetes, chronic health issues, domestic violence, and a myriad of mental health and substance abuse issues. To illustrate how research has missed the boat when it comes to obesity, he shows two photographs of the same woman, one where she weighs over 400 pounds and one after bariatric surgery where she has dropped to 130 pounds. He then asks the question “what is the problem and what is the solution”.
According to Joy Singh, MS, LCPC, once an individual learns that they can fully accept themselves, can they begin moving towards change. That’s when they can then begin to replace unhealthy coping skills with healthier ones which in turn provide for long-lasting change. For the obese individual, this would mean learning self-soothing skills that are not related to food. It would mean challenging negative automatic thoughts and raising self-esteem. It would mean being able to break down defenses and knowing they will still be here and be ok. It would mean the difference between living and existing, which to anyone, is one of the most valuable tools they could learn.
How often do you hear that exercise keeps you young and vital? If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard it so much, in fact, that the information starts to go in one ear and out the other.. An article relating to just that jumped out at me today, and I thought it was important enough to share. The latest studies show a significant decrease in all signs of aging when a person exercises. Exercise is an important part of Reshape the Nation, the weight loss plan developed by Chris Powell to help his best friend David Smith lose over 400lbs.
Not only do people, (well, rats in the study), live longer, they physically age slower. The time it takes to go gray, yes, rat fur turns mottled-gray with age as well, develop an enlarged heart and gonads was exceptionally longer when rats participated in exercise for the whole of their lives. Half the rats in the study, having a genetic disease that caused premature aging, were allowed to run on a wheel for 45 minutes, 3 times a week, the human equivalent of a 50-minute10k, three times a week. The other half led a life with the genetic mutation. The result of the test was remarkable. The rats who were allowed (I use the word ‘allowed’ loosely) to run on the wheel three times a week were more energetic, had more natural colored fur, and lived much much longer than their sedentary counterparts. While the typical lifespan of the genetically inferior mice was 8 months, the exercising mice were still going strong, the little show-offs.
The genetic mutation which causes the mice to age prematurely affects the health of mitochondria, which are microscopic power generators located within cells. They are responsible for combining oxygen with nutrients, providing fuel for the cells. They have their own DNA and multiply on their own, separate from the cell’s genetic material. In the course of a lifetime, mitochondria start developing abnormal genetic material, causing them to malfunction and die. Less mitochondria equals physical aging. The mice in the experiment weren’t able to produce healthy mitochondria, thus leading a shortened and decrepit life. Scientists have found less healthy and a lesser amount of mitochondria in aged mammals. If mitochondria feeds cellular growth, then cellular growth is stunted without healthy organisms.
Suffice it to say we are not mice, and we typically won’t run a 50-minute 10k (6.2 miles) three times a week, but scientists say the amount and type of exercise doesn’t matter, any will aid in a longer and healthier life.
Maybe the next time I stumble across an exercise for longer life article, I won’t be so quick to file it in the stuff I already know.
Regardless of the various health risks associated with being overweight or Obese, a silent killer remains among us, heart disease. Heart disease is still the biggest killer of both men and women worldwide. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the fact of heart disease being the leading killer is not projected to change anytime soon.
We’ve all heard about the health repercussions of a diet largely consisting of trans-fat and sugars, but more common and important is to understand the direct effects of certain diets on heart health. Heart disease is directly affected by heart health, and heart health is directly affected by the choices we make daily.
Guidelines promoting a reduction in heart disease risk largely consist of actions found in the Reshape the Nation meal plan:
-Being physically active
-Consuming more fruits and vegetables
When those guidelines meet in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle choices and the use of (only when needed) aspirin and cholesterol lowering drugs can drastically decrease the rate of risk for heart disease.
Sometimes, even a person considered high-risk normally (overweight or genetics) can decrease their risk for heart disease low enough to not be considered “high-risk”, a very doable feat! While some high-risk threats are genetically inspired, more often than not, the control over risk reduction is greater than most believe. People usually go along with the idea that they have no real control when it comes to things like heart health and disease; whatever amount of risk they had when they entered this world would remain the same throughout their life, without control. Even though heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, it’s not a prognosis and it’s preventable.
Healthy heart equals long life equals long and happy life. Take control of your life, and take control of your health, you owe it to yourself!
Do you ever notice if your hands or feet are bloated after a long airplane flight or road trip? It can make wearing rings uncomfortable to near impossible! Chris Powell discusses in his weekly video blog on Reshape The Nation how travelling can cause water retention bloat in your limbs, and how to prevent it.
No, you didn’t just gain weight in your extremities all of the sudden, it’s water or fluid retention. Water retention is actually an excessive build up of fluid in the circulatory system, body tissues, or cavities in the body. Under normal circumstances, our bodies are in homeostasis, where it self-regulates and balances water levels. When forces beyond the bodies control affect areas where fluids travel, as with the capillaries and blood vessels, the fluids can get stuck in the tissue spaces between cells, creating excess bloat (water retention). This happens when there are capillary pressure changes, travelling by airplane is a common cause.
Another cause of water or fluid retention is dehydration. A lot of people forget to drink the amount of water they need when they’re travelling, which only adds to the bloat in the hands and feet. Remember to bring or drink as much, if not more water than you normally would to stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the less bloated you are, and the more apt you are to frequent the restroom (take an aisle seat if you can)
Like myself, you have probably wandered down the grocery store and drug store aisles, trying to read the fine print on the multi-vitamin bottles in order to discern which one to purchase. Should you get one specifically formulated to whether you are male or female? Liquid, gummy, or pill form? Beneficial or not? These are all good questions and concerns, especially when you may not be getting the nutrients you need from diet alone.
As Chris Powell explains about protein powder, the type or exact brand isn’t as necessary as the fact that you should be including it in your daily routine. The truth of the matter is; most people don’t get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their respective diets alone. The vehicle or way in which you get those vitamins delivered to the system they help is less important than needing to take them on a daily basis. Even on a really clean diet, like in Reshape the Nation, it’s important to supplement for things that you may not be getting regularly; vitamin B12 if you’re vegetarian like myself, vitamin D, A, C, and folic acid are all nutrients that get overlooked easily.
I’ve also found that when I forget to take my liquid multivitamin, I crave junk food. It could be psychosomatic, but, it can kind of make sense. If you are lacking a nutrient in your diet, you are sure to crave something containing that nutrient, or one like it, at some point. Taking care of this issue before it becomes a real “issue”, can be beneficial for the long-term success of your health.
Watch the video Chris Powell filmed discussing vitamins, and cycling between different brands.
The next time you eat something that makes you experience guilt, think about this: The feeling of guilt raises the stress hormone cortisol throughout your body. When your body is flooded with cortisol, your brain thinks that there’s an emergency, causing it to hold hostage all the calories it can, just in case you don’t have any for a while.The next time you eat something that makes you experience guilt, think about this: The feeling of guilt raises the stress hormone cortisol throughout your body. When your body is flooded with cortisol, your brain thinks that there’s an emergency, causing it to hold hostage all the calories it can, just in case you don’t have any for a while or are starving. When your body experiences stress and your cortisol levels rise, your heart beats faster which causes strain to your heart as well. Depending on how your body reacts to stress as an individual will depend on how long it takes your body to recover from the stress or trauma. When you experience the feeling of guilt, you stress your glands, heart, and systems.
Extreme bouts of guilt can cause stress to parts of your body that you don’t even “feel” necessarily. Like the effects on your glandular system. Too much stress to your thyroid or adrenal glands can cause long-term damage, making their response times to handle stress longer and longer, wearing them out. When the glandular systems are worn out, they work less, and in turn, give you health problems beyond your scope of comfort.
Please make sure that if you have feelings of guilt when you on Reshape or any other health plan, that you manage your stress well, so it doesn’t take its toll on your body, making it seem an impossibility to lose any weight.
Some ways to manage stress: (as borrowed from www.medic8.com)
• Relax. It’s important to unwind. Each person has her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you can’t do these things, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music, or read a book.
• Make time for yourself. It’s important to care for yourself. Think of this as an order from your doctor, so you don’t feel guilty! No matter how busy you are, you can try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day in your schedule to do something for yourself, like taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or calling a friend.
• Sleep. Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind. Your stress could get worse if you don’t get enough sleep. You also can’t fight off sickness as well when you sleep poorly. With enough sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower your risk for illness. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
• Eat right. Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Good sources of protein can be peanut butter, chicken, or tuna salad. Eat whole-grains, such as wheat breads and wheat crackers. Don’t be fooled by the jolt you get from caffeine or sugar. Your energy will wear off.
• Get moving. Believe it or not, getting physical activity not only helps relieve your tense muscles, but helps your mood too! Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, before and after you work out. They relieve stress and improve your mood.
• Talk to friends. Talk to your friends to help you work through your stress. Friends are good listeners. Finding someone who will let you talk freely about your problems and feelings without judging you does a world of good. It also helps to hear a different point of view. Friends will remind you that you’re not alone.
• Get help from a professional if you need it. Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems. For more serious stress related disorders, like PTSD, therapy can be helpful. There also are medications that can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep.
• Compromise. Sometimes, it’s not always worth the stress to argue. Give in once in awhile.
• Write down your thoughts. Have you ever typed an email to a friend about your lousy day and felt better afterward? Why not grab a pen and paper and write down what’s going on in your life! Keeping a journal can be a great way to get things off your chest and work through issues. Later, you can go back and read through your journal and see how you’ve made progress!
• Help others. Helping someone else can help you. Help your neighbor, or volunteer in your community.
• Get a hobby. Find something you enjoy. Make sure to give yourself time to explore your interests.
• Set limits. When it comes to things like work and family, figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.
• Plan your time. Think ahead about how you’re going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out what’s most important to do.
• Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.
Ouch! You know the feeling of walking for a mile or so, maybe it’s muggy outside, and with each step, there’s a blister on your heel growing ever larger, taking over your thoughts and your every action?!? (Maybe that was a little dramatic)… But if you like to walk as part of your daily movement, you know the feeling of having blisters, and you know that they hurt! What are you supposed to do, not walk? (Not an option Reshapers!)