Monday, October 10, 2005

No One Will Love You: Oh, really?

No One Will Love YouOh, really?There is some tiny part of me that admires spam authors. They used to be unimaginative hacks with four selling verbs under their belts. They had no idea how to lure someone at all, whether they peddled mortgages or biophysical miracles, websites or drugs. But lately, just lately, a new breed of spam peddler has surfaced who can write truly compelling headlines. Real grabbers. I got one today. The headline read:No one will love you if you are fat. And I thought, Oh, really?I mean, yes, there will be people around who mock, think less of, avoid, ignore, feel sorry for people who are fat. Sure. That happens. But being without love because we are fat? No. No, see, that’s not the way it works, ever. I mean, there are plenty of reasons a person can be unlovable, but fat isn’t one of them.Still, many of us are raised to believe it, and so with extra fat on our bodies, we feel unlovable. And feeling unlovable has a way of fulfilling itself. We react in two main directions. One way to go is by overcompensating, overreaching, over-nurturing, overdoing for others, over-performing at work. Or we react by shutting down, shutting out the world, other people, relationships, opportunities. Or maybe we do both. A very few of us manage to maintain a strong self image without swallowing this line of horse poo-poo.What could possibly be unlovable about fat? It’s energy. That’s all it is. It’s potential energy. Storage. Walk-in closets, full of energy. Bins and boxes and barrels full of that which makes us go. It’s warmth, it’s heat. Sure, too much of it hurts us. No doubt about it. But that’s another issue for another day. Stop and count up the big people in your life who you love. Would you say you would love them more if they were thinner? Silly question, right. Absolutely.Do you think you’d love yourself more if you were thinner?Is that question not so silly?Fat can be a problem in a lot of ways, but making you unlovable to other people? No. Actually it can’t do that. Some people may not find fat sexy. That’s okay. Many others do. Fat is mainly a problem when it makes you unlovable to yourself. And that’s what this wily spam writer knows. The spam headline wakes and shakes that little driveling fool that lives in all of us, big or small, that fears going through life without love. Silly old fool.So, got a little extra hanging around? Hating yourself for it? Maybe spend a little time soon writing in your journal or body log to consider what fat does to your ability to care about and for yourself. Write out some memories of how you’ve felt about your extra weight. Where did those feelings come from, do you think? Read them over.When you’ve really had a chance to analyze them, decide to change your mind about what you think about your own fat. We can do that, you know. We don’t have to live with every little feeling that shows up. We can reprogram our thinking. Spend a little time actively apologizing to yourself for giving yourself too hard a time about your weight. Apologize for beating yourself up. Apologize for punishing yourself excessively. Apologize for making yourself a doormat or shutting yourself off from the world. For being angry or defensive or bitter about it. Consider all the people you love who carry extra weight, and decide to put yourself in the same boat with them. All of you go on a nice cruise somewhere.Then promise yourself you’re going to see your fat and anybody else’s for what it is, plain old stored energy, and nothing more. There is no magical person-shifting aspect to stored fat. You will not change for better or for worse by having it or not having it. And so, there’s no more poor you. No more poor unlovable you. Just you with energy to burn. Want to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/11/2005 1:53:12 AMContent source:

Maude's Beloved Buckwheat: A grain you can love

Maude's Beloved BuckwheatA grain you can loveMy grandmother, Maude Williams Garlinghouse, was an osteopath, a whole-body doc back in the early half of the last century. She was a friend of Adele Davis,' and preached from the same food gospel. That is, she spurned packaged foods, believed in eating lots of veggies. And she wanted us to use more buckwheat in our diets.She made buckwheat pancakes instead of the white-flour sort. Nutty, intensely-favored things. I never had the chance to taste them, but my mother did, remembered them well, hankered for them. So we found and tweaked recipes to make one we feel closely approximates Maude's simple griddle cakes. They were a hit among three generations around our table that morning.Why was she such a buckwheat nut? Why do we care now? Well, a whole lot of us are sensitive to wheat products. Refined wheat, whole wheat, it doesn't matter. If we have it, we have trouble. So we look for other things to eat. Many, many more of us are insulin resistant and looking for healthier carbohydrates that don't send our insulin production into overdrive with every bite. Those of us in that category cut most grains from our diets at least until we get our blood sugar back in line. Buckwheat offers one exception to grain restriction for those of us in that boat. Well, it's not a grain at all.I started making my own pasta from buckwheat flour awhile ago. Easily done, you just whip up an egg per person you're serving, then knead in enough buckwheat flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Run it though your pasta maker as you would any pasta. Dry anything you don't want to cook right away. Buckwheat has a slightly more distinct, nuttish, vegetable flavor that loves stronger sauces. When you cook it, in pasta or griddle cakes, it has a chocolatey look to it, or at least that's how one 14 year-old in my house described it. Aside from tasting good, it's a higher fiber, higher protein, gluten-free, grain-like food rich in magnesium (we're nearly all deficient in magnesium) and potassium and lots of other goodies. There are compounds in it shown to lower your bad cholesterol and help people with Type II diabetes. What I'm saying is, grandma was right. Again.*Use in place of wheat flour in recipes that call for regular flour but don't require the gluten of a wheat flour for rising. Think muffins, crusts, quickbreads, crackers. You'll find buckwheat wants more moisture to work well, and the doughs will be very soft, needing a light hand. I've had great luck with a tart crust, and will soon share my buckwheat morning muffin recipe. *Make your own pastas from it. Involve kids, who love to cut noodles.*Eat buckwheat groats, kasha, cooked for breakfast or as a side dish. *Exchange buckwheat flour for wheat in your cornbread recipe for a delicious difference.Try Maude's pancakes:For Maude: Simple Buckwheat Pancakes, 6 servingsMix:3 cups buckwheat flour2 T. Stevia powder1 tsp. salt1 T. cinnamon4 tsp. baking powderWhisk together:2 eggs3 cups water (or milk if you're not carb careful, or milk and cream if you're not calorie nervous)2 T Grapeseed oilHeat your non-stick griddle until it's hot enough for droplets of water to dance like you remember dancing oughtta go. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet stuff. Use an ice cream scoop (If you can find it, because you're not really eating much ice cream any more, are you? That stuff can kill you.) to drop batter onto your griddle, which you may wipe with a smidgen of grapeseed oil or butter if you like. Cook those cakes until they're dry around the edges and bubbling a bit, then flip them. Let them brown on the other side, then serve them up to someone hungry for something real. This mixture will thicken as it stands. You can loosen it with water or milk as you make your cakes. Lowcarb folks, these are not without carbs, so you may want to wait for your maintenance plan, or enjoy them on special occasions. They won't tank your program, though. Consider topping them with whipped cream or whipped cream cheese sweetened with Stevia, and a few strawberries. Other folks, go easy on the syrups, will you? I worry about you people. Everybody, keep track of the calories. Overeating matters. And these will encourage overeating.Nutrition info, based on pancakes made with water, from Servings: 6Calories per serving 267, Calories from Fat 72Fiber 6gCarbohydrates 43gFat 8gProtein 10gBuckwheat flour facts from Nutritiondata.comDoc Weil on buckwheatWant to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/11/2005 12:54:11 AMContent source:

Those Wussy Athletes: Suck it up and move just a little

Those Wussy AthletesSuck it up and move just a littleI encounter this guy, Fred, everywhere. Fred very much wants to get back in shape, lose weight, regain his fitness. He hasn't exercised in years. He's tried. He laces up his old Keds and runs a few miles, he hurts himself. He gives up. I suggest to Fred that he try something a little easier, kicking laps in the pool. No, he's not getting in the pool with a lapboard. I suggest to Fred he try an elliptical machine. He crosses his eyes. No. Videos, no. Aerobics class, heckle no.So, I have to ask, "Fred, by any chance were you at all athletic while you were growing up?"The answer, of course, is yes, absolutely. Fred was a part of one team or another from about the age of 10 until marriage, the job, the kids came along. Fred can tell me his handicap, his averages, his speed, his distances, his events, his medals, the big game, the big night, the things his coach would say to him. He can recall to the most infinite level of loving detail the special piquant smell of his own beloved high school locker room, the taste of the victory steaks, the feeling of the pads as he geared up for a game. Fred can't exercise now because anything short of his early performance just feels ridiculous. He's an athlete. He doesn't belong on an elliptical machine. He's a jock, he doesn't belong in a therapy pool. For Fred getting in shape involves exercising until you puke. His recollection of "workouts," meant wind-sprints until he fell over, teammates fainting in their gear in the heat, running endless laps, doing endless pushups. Hours of practice every day, for a season. He tries to go back there. And of course he gets hurt. Or he makes a valiant effort for about the length of one season, and then his inner clock tells him to stop.Just try to get this guy to go for a half-hour brisk walk every day, forever. Just try to hand this guy a set of 10-lb. dumb-bells for a few reps. A maintenance level of exercise does not compute. A metabolism-boosting level of exercise has no place in the mental model for "workout" that Fred locked into his brain many, many years ago.You may at this point have a pretty clear picture of Fred in your mind. But I need you to understand I meet Fred in the most surprising places. I meet Fred in high school girls. I meet Fred among girlfriends at lunch. I meet Fred at the retirement village. I even meet Fred among fitness professionals. You might have a little Fred lurking inside you somewhere.And I say to your inner Fred, and mine, and to all Freds: Just get over yourselves.Your body needs to move every day. It doesn't have to move perfectly, dramatically, endlessly, or until you throw up or fall down. It needs to move some. Every day. Some movement every day, some strength work, some sweat. A bit. It never, ever has to hurt you. Just, get over yourself, Fred, and move today.Advice for the aging athlete from active.comMore advice for geriatric jocksWant to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/11/2005 12:06:10 AMContent source:

Sugar Shark: What sets off your feeding frenzies?

Sugar SharkWhat sets off your feeding frenzies?An all-day meeting. No, wait. An all-day brainstorming session. A room, a big table, 15 to 20 colleagues, a whiteboard. A time keeper. The charge: think hard all day while never losing focus. Be brilliant. Come out with a plan for the department, for the year.Between you and me, I'm not very good at this. Not the thinking all day part, not the focusing part, and actually, not the brilliance part. Yet somehow I was invited to the meeting, because… Oh, because I own a watch. I was asked to be the time-keeper. Somehow, the most easily distracted woman in the room was charged with keeping us on task. We turned off our cell phones. We instructed everyone we were not to be disturbed. We would stay focused. No distractions at all. Except for that large pile of scones, chocolate chip cookies, and sugary drinks in the corner over there.Normally I can look right past these foods. I see them, say inwardly "I don't eat that stuff," and I move on. I wasn't born being able to do that, but have worked for years to recognize and shun high-sugar, low-fiber foods. They are not good for me. They are not on my diet. That's what I did when I arrived at this day-long meeting. I cased the joint, noted what was available, helped myself to the coffee, and decided snacking was out of the question this morning.And that worked for the first couple of hours. Thinking, developing strategies, probing, expanding. These might not sound like the most active verbs, friends, but it was work. We were a unit of high-performance professionals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, taking one day to set a new direction for a whole department. I don't know about the others, but speaking for myself, I was working so hard, thinking with such intensity that tiny beads of sweat popped out on my upper lip and chin. The room became warm with the force of my own professionalism. Or maybe it was the heat of so many bodies. Or possibly it was the glitchy furnace. Whatever the reason, by 11 a.m., I was hot, drained, hungry, my blood sugar dropping through the floor, a headache coming on, my memory going fuzzy, and lunch was still a good hour or more away.I normally have a mid-morning snack. I normally pack my food the night before a meeting like this, knowing I won't be free to go find something good to eat. There won't be cheese, nuts, veggies, fruit at this meeting, or any meeting. There will be cookies, donuts, baked goods, chips. No brain food, no sustenance, just white flour and sugar. At meetings, conferences, clubs, we humans have made a tradition of offering one another insulin releasing, non-nutritive substances, with the choice of corn syrup, caffeine, aspartame or nitrates to wash them down. We love this stuff, even as it kills us. I'll choose the caffeine, or water if I'm feeling strong, and take breaks to nibble on nuts or string cheese or dried vegetables or fruits I nearly always carry in my bag to pull me through between meals. But this morning I had no snacks in my bag. I had forgotten to pack anything. Failed to plan for this day. I looked over at the scones. They smiled back at me with love, all greasy, doughy innocence.No, I reminded myself, I don't eat those things. Another few minutes went by, and my head began to throb. In an hour I would have a full-blown migraine and be unable to finish the day. That would not do, I told myself. That would be irresponsible. Just a little sugar isn't going to kill me, I reasoned. Just a corner of one of those scones may be all my body needs to push through, until lunch, until veggies and protein come along. Here's the impressive part. I was able to hold this debate with myself in my head for several minutes while simultaneously listening to my colleagues, reacting, and recording our entire transaction on the white board. While my reasoning mind was hard at work, my needy little prehistoric inner eyes kept darting over to the snack table, fixating on those scones. Not on the orange juice. Not the tomato juice. Not the far lesser of the evils set before me. The scones.I saw my chance when one of us launched into a lengthy opinion. My inner predator made up its mind. A little sugar, in this instance, I was sure, was taking one for the team. I would be bad to be good. I went to break off a corner of a cranberry scone, one of those pound-and-a-half scones, which are really sugar cookies in disguise, that trendy little bakeries produce these days, and darned if a whole half of one didn't fall into my hand. I ate it. I was immediately sorry. It didn't fix my headache. I found and swallowed my medication for that. Lunch arrived 20 minutes later, accompanied by large chocolate chip cookies. I ate one of those too. And I ate another one after the meeting, on the way home. Calculating my calorie load while finishing my cookie, I decided to skip dinner. Heaping terrible decision upon terrible decision, I went to bed early, sick, tired, hung over.I am a classic sugar shark. And I'm not alone. This behavior is common among us. If we can stay away from the sugar, the white flour and potato snacks (sugar in disguise), we're fine, but once we have a taste for it, once there's a bit of it in the air or on the tongue, a feeding frenzy commences, and we're not happy until it's all been consumed. It took me days to recover from this feeding. I didn't have too many calories, but too little protein, no good fats, no fiber, no sense. I made my headache worse, sent my blood sugar spiking and plummeting repeatedly.I know my body, know how it responds to this food, I know all of this about myself, but for some reason, I just didn't behave. I just didn't plan. I should have healthy snacks with me always. Always. Knowing at the start of the morning that I would need food, I should have excused myself from the meeting until I found some. And why am I writing all of this now? Just a cautionary tale. For you and for me. I hope to remember this adventure the next time I'm scheduled for a long meeting, so I'll plan for it. I'll ask the hosts to provide something other than sugar. Why not? I hope you can think about your options the next time you're faced by a snack table or charged with filling one. If it's your meeting and you want to get the best out of people? Feed them veggies, nuts, fruit, cheese. Offer water and teas among your drink choices. If you're headed for a day-long trip, visit, or seminar, pack along foods you know you can nibble without difficulty. Never let your inner shark do the thinking for you.University of Hawaii Healthy Meetings ChecklistDoc Weil on fighting the energy slump Want to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 11:35:50 PMContent source:

Living the Low Carb Life: Jonny Bowden's field guide

Living the Low Carb LifeJonny Bowden's field guideFirst, understand who Jonny Bowden is. He's a nutrition and fitness writer, educator, and advisor, the weight loss coach on iVillage's popular diet and fitness site. And if you asked him to draw a map of the contentious and fiery world of nutritional theory, he would not only draw it, but could clearly demarcate all the borders, rivers and passages, reveal the history of the indigenous tribes, name all the treaties, disputes, wars and skirmishes, pillagers and peace makers. And if you asked him where he fits into the picture, he would place himself in a pirate ship running the borders of this warring continent, gathering what riches each country offers, and giving them away. If you don't mind me mixing a few metaphors.He doesn't mind being on the fringe. He abhors inertia, politics, loses patience with policy and protocol. He can smell an agenda on the slightest wind, and will call it out. He doesn't pull punches, he doesn't always adore the same people I do, he doesn't agree with some people he respects and doesn't respect some people he agrees with, and he's never unclear about any of that. That makes him an awfully fun read.With all of that, he's just the nicest guy. On paper and in person. I mean, for a pirate, he's just awfully peace-loving.What he always is, what I trust him to be, is fair and clear. And funny. And kind. And smart enough to sort good research from bad, and clear results from unclear, then distill it into useful, doable things for those of us who can't possibly predict or dodge the magma of nutritional science that flows forth daily.And in Living the Low Carb Life (Sterling, 2004) he's done what we needed someone to do. He has gathered up all the most popular of the Low-carb diets and created a field guide. You know the field guides we use to tell one bird species from the another, the edible mushrooms from the poisonous ones, the groundhogs from the woodchucks? Yes, well, here Bowden draws out 14 low carb diets, from the earliest ones that far predate Atkins, all the way up to South Beach. You'll read the difference between the Zone and Somerciszing, the Paleo Diet and Neanderthin and recognize a Gittleman from a Schwarzbein at 20 paces. He lays out the structure, history, influences of the diet, describes its essential principles, and then gives his opinion and rating of each plan. It's enough to give you a sense of which plans might fit your lifestyle best. And that was a lot of good work, alright. But what I like best about this book is the fore- and after-matter. His first two chapters give the history of the low carb movement and the clearest description of why low carb diets work and for whom that I've ever enjoyed. His last chapters are a terrific guide to nutritional supplements (the value of this advice far exceeds the price of the book), great chapters on myth-busting and FAQs and tips, and a useful description of eating when you eat this way.Finally that last little, innocuous looking chapter. Sneaky little bugger wrote his own low carb plan, all of 14 pages, and snuck it in to the back of the book. This little plan is all the low carb diet anyone really needs. Combined with his resources section (Yes, full disclosure, SDP gets a plug in there.), these last chapters will guide you to a low-carb way of eating that is the closest description to my own way of eating that I have ever seen. It's not dissimilar to the one he described in his popular Shape Up! Diet and fitness program, followed by many thousands through iVillage and many thousands more who buy and use his books. That one was the most useful book I read while losing my 100.He also posits his own eating-and-lifestye pyramid, suitable for photocopying and taping on your refrigerator door.Smart, sensible, clear-eyed, funny, warm, and doable. I like this guy. I recommend the book.Living the Low Carb LifeJonny Bowden's PracticeShape Up!Want to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 9:59:49 PMContent source:

Kid Stuff: Are you up to it?

Kid StuffAre you up to it?I went to our community pool the other day. That's not unusual. I have belonged to the pool for a couple of years. My pool time is early in the morning, weekdays. Grownups everywhere. But this was a Saturday afternoon, and I was under the wing of my niece. I am still recovering.I had no idea what my pool looks like on a Saturday afternoon. Kids. Everywhere. From tiny little tykes who have a hard time walking a straight line on a good day, much less while shivering and wet, to gigantic lugs who lope quickly enough around the edges of the pool to force the lifeguards to actually use their whistles. I've never heard the whistle in use at that pool. But on a Saturday afternoon it goes off almost constantly, because the pool is crowded with wet young people.My pool experiences take place in much emptier lanes where I churn dutiful laps in varying sets and strokes, alternating counts in a feeble attempt to keep things interesting. I usually pick the same lane, and swim at the same time with the same people.But my niece works the pool this way: First you go to the water slide, and climb the stairs and slide down a half a dozen times, and then you go whirl in the whirlpool (not the hot tub, but the swirly thing that spins you around to anchor the nausea you picked up from the slide), and then go stand under a thing that dumps buckets of water on your head, and then dive into the big pool to toss a basketball around, and then over to the T-Bar, where you glide through the air for the length of the pool while hanging like a monkey and then back-flop into the water when you get to the end, and then you take on the big float-walk, where you try to walk across a floating sausage roll without slipping off into the water, and back onto the T-Bar, and then back to the slide and around. A few laps in between. I'm not sure, but I think you can burn 780 calories per hour doing the pool this way.Well, it turns out there is not upper age limit on this equipment. And she didn't want to do these things by herself. And I have given myself an able body, after all. What good is a functioning body if you aren't going to use it? Right? Sure, I felt a little silly. Sure, I behaved in an age-inappropriate way. Of course, I was triple and quadruple the age of my nearest playmate. But I did it. Because it was there. Because I could do all of these things. It wasn't long ago that maneuvering any of this equipment was outside of my ability and functionally impossible. I would have stuck in the slide, would have been too big to whirl, would not have tossed a basketball while treading water, because I couldn't tread water. The T-Bar. Well, we don't have to discuss the T-Bar.While my nieces stay with me, we're having fun horsing around on my exercise balls, dancing, or trying to imitate the dancing we see in the movies we're watching. We're playing. I have friends who kid me about my new exercise routines. They wonder why I work so hard, when the body I need is one that can comfortably sit in front of a computer all day. Am I not overshooting my necessary fitness level? And they make a valid argument. We don't need to work as hard as Amish folks do. We don't need to grow our food or chase it down. Most of my days do not require the upper body strength I've been working so hard to develop.But there are a few of those days. Raking leaves days, splitting wood days, clearing the garage days, washing dogs days, and days when your niece insists on gliding over a bright blue pool on a T-bar and back-flopping into the water. On these days having strength enough to do what must be done is a great thing.I wasn't strong enough to play with these kids almost the entire time they were growing up. I missed a lot. I am so grateful I had the chance to get my strength back before they became "too old" for play. I hope to stay in shape so that I can play with their kids. And you? Do you remember playing? Are you able to play with the kids in your life? Would you if you could? Are you able to play at things that you know you would enjoy if you were strong enough, fit enough, confident enough? Or have you given up things you wish you hadn't?Play is a very good reason to get in shape. A functioning body lets you face water slides and wave pools without fear. Well, okay, not without fear, but without excuses. And while that might not sound like a good thing? Trust me, it is so good.Amish diet and fitness planHow water slides workMy poolWant to discuss today's Post? Visit The Skinny Daily Forum at more...

Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 9:17:43 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 7:46:42 PMContent source:


If needed, due to injury or strain in the other and you have the option to do only one arm resistance stays smooth and steady throughout the arm press action, Identify your fitness needs the equipment should suit your interests and fitness level The fly wheel movement was not smooth in my short test drive, the bowflex and crossbow systems created uneven resistance and more...

Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 6:03:39 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 4:47:19 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 3:13:18 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 1:57:54 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 12:48:50 PMContent source:


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Originally Posted on 10/10/2005 11:49:47 AMContent source:
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