Tag Archives: health and fitness

Sorry, but Childhood Obesity IS the Problem

I read this today and it got me a little worked up.

“Childhood Obesity is Not the Problem”

Click here for the rest of the article

I wanted to reply to the article, but there wasn’t enough room on the website comment section, so I have opted to make my response a post here.

To summarize, here is the simple response:

Childhood Obesity IS THE PROBLEM

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I agree the images in the media tout the virtues of being a small size but I think that the commercials for fast food, sugary cereals, the latest candy trump any of the skinny images.

I disagree that there is a demand to be skinny. There are messages and images but everyone has their own filter.  We take the message we choose to take.  So many people are overlooking the “be healthy” message because their minds are being bombarded with the messaging from fast food outlets or food manufacturers.

Sorry, but childhood obesity is not a symptom…it is a result.  It is the culmination of having an unhealthy lifestyle, which includes poor nutritional choices, a sedentary lifestyle and or a combination of those with many other underlying issues.

While skinny may not always be synonymous with healthy, obesity WILL always be synonymous with unhealthy.  We should create a generation of kids that are terrified of being obese.  They should want to be healthy, fit and have a body that looks good.  No, not skinny, but good.

I was a fat child.  I was an obese teenager.  I never desired to be skinny.  I dreamed of not being fat.

Ever since the eating disorders rage of the 90’s, society has been looking for a softer, gentler approach to pointing out the problems associated to over-eating, being lazy, poor choices and the like.  Could it be that all the sugar-coating has helped lead to the epidemic that we are facing today?  Perhaps all the kid glove, touchy feely approaches are allowing many people to think, “It’s ok.  We don’t want to hurt their feelings.”  The bullying that they receive from being over-weight is way worse than the tough approach.  Trust me, I know!!

Do I think that some chubby kids are upset on the way they look and feel, yes. But, when their friends call and say lets meet for pizza or burgers they’re not second guessing that decision.

The psychological effects of me being an overweight child and teen have left a lasting effect on my life as an adult. What I would have given for someone to tell me to put down that donut or not to go to McDonalds and super size everything. It would’ve saved me years of pain. No one said anything. In private, I am sure I was a topic for discussion about what a shame it was that I was so overweight but no one stepped in—not the schools and not my family because they didn’t want to upset me.   Guess what…a little upset done then with love, could have saved some later life pain.

A tough stand with love, compassion and caring will go a long way.

There is more than enough evidence and research to support the facts that childhood obesity increases the likelihood of adult obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and premature death.

Remember the question that was posed at the end of the article, “Do we want healthy kids or just skinny ones?”

By asking the question as a one or the other, you are saying that we could have healthy obese kids and the two just don’t go together.

The answer is, we want healthy kids…healthy mentally, physically and spiritually.  The result of obesity doesn’t fit into any of that.

runDisney Marathon Weekend – Part 2

There has been a lot written about the runDisney 20th Anniversary Marathon Weekend and the experience that people, including myself had in the worlds most ‘magical place’.runDisney-logo

You can read about the runs, the training, the entertainment and everything you would expect to read about a running event.

What hasn’t been talked about much is the Health & Fitness Expo that started on Thursday and ran through the weekend.IMG_2618How important is the Expo?  Well, it’s the location that you need to attend to register your attendance for the running events and pick up your race packets.  So that makes it pretty important by itself, but there is much, much more.

The Expo is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which naturally is on the Walt Disney World Resort Property.  It is an amazing place with 30 sports fields, and several buildings that house world-class sporting events and competitions.  It’s home to the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Camp, several summer sports camps for kids and some of the best athletic research minds can be found there.  Oh, and FREE parking!

The Marathon Expo is held in two building within the complex and believe me when I say…they are packed full of everything you could think of for the runner in all of us, with the main emphasis of the Expo held at the Jostens Center.

But, there is more than just great shoes, stylish compression clothes and accessories to make your run “all blinged out”.  You can pick up official runDisney Apparel there as well.  There are some excellent speakers that can change how you train, prepare and approach running whether it’s for a marathon, a lifestyle change or just to burn off some calories.

The ‘Who’s Who’ of running, fitness training and nutrition were on the stage over Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the Expo.  I loved listening to the sessions and thinking how I could apply the learning to my own training as well as how I could help my friends out with new techniques, tips and maybe a little terror!!

I won’t expect you many of you to recognize these names, but in this group are Olympic Champions, running legends, world-renowned coaches, NFL players, world record holders and nutrition specialists.  They were all speaking throughout the Expo giving of their time and knowledge to help each and every person who wanted the information that offered to share.

I have been following many of these people for years and know the reputation they have, so when I received my speakers’ list and saw them all in one place…well I was in awe.

I was able to pull myself away from the speakers stage long enough to do a little shopping and talking with the vendors.  (Did I mention I got a new pair of shoes? Love them!)IMG_2587

I love to listen to music when I run but I get sooooo frustrated with ear buds falling out or headphones bouncing around.  Well, I think I found the solution after talking to the ladies from SnuggBudds.  Ever heard surround sound quality in an ear bud?? I have now and I can tell you for all the running I did over the weekend, not a problem from them at all!  Love them!

SnuggBudds

SnuggBudds

I spoke to some experts in the compression wear industry…you know, tights, but for every part of your body.   I was never much for them, but after learning some of the science behind them and the potential benefits, I figured I’d have to give them a try so I bought a pair of leggings.IMG_2648

There were people who could analyze your gait (the way you walk), your spine and your feet.  You could buy headbands, shirts, food, supplements and so much more.  Credit card was smokin’ at the end of the aisles.

I know many people blow off trade shows and expos for conferences and events, but to me there is so much you can take away from them that I don’t miss an opportunity to spend some quality time at them.

Make sure you check them out!

Here’s a few more pics of the experience…

IMG_2666 IMG_2662 IMG_2650 IMG_2649 IMG_2621 IMG_2641 IMG_2642 IMG_2646 IMG_2616 IMG_2602 IMG_2597 IMG_2590 IMG_2574 IMG_2575 IMG_2582 IMG_2585 IMG_2572 IMG_2569 IMG_2567 IMG_2566 IMG_2648 IMG_2556 IMG_2557 IMG_2563

 

 

What I learned (observed) in the emerg yesterday

So this germaphobe spent yesterday in the emergency room…makes me shiver just saying that, you should’ve seen me sitting there.

My son was sick and he had gotten worse over night. We went to the walk in clinic in the morning, they sent us directly over to the hospital.

He is on the mend and he was very patient with his germaphobic mother. He kept saying that we could leave because he knew I was so uncomfortable, bless his little heart.

There were a few moments that I wasn’t all consumed with the fact I was surrounded by sick people. In those few moments, there were many glaring observations I was able to make.

The ER was packed-PACKED. The health care system is busting at the seams. Why is it busting at the seams?  A couple of reasons…because people are abusing the system and people don’t give a dang about their health.

To take the load off of the ER-health care system one easy answer is PREVENTION.

In yesterday’s visit from the people who I saw, 80% would not be there if they had taken care of their health.

I will spare you the rant about how some of those people said their illness/issues weren’t obesity related.  Suffice to say that 20 extra pounds of fat around your heart is a big deal.

What is sad and maddening is that those people who are “ill” or are suffering don’t care. They are fine with taking 7 different kinds of medications, seeing the inside of an ER monthly but heaven forbid someone say to them, “Stop eating hot dogs drinking pop and start exercising.”

So many diseases can be prevented that’s the kicker.  

Ignore your health, keep eating the way you are and putting off getting fit is like getting a run in your pantyhose; it will just keeps getting worse.

What else did I see in the ER…

I saw someone come in with footie pajama’s….for the love…I can’t even begin to express what shock I was in. Yes, It was an adult!!! Being out in public in your PJs?  Come on. Listen, before you say anything, I know when you are sick and you don’t feel like getting dressed but footie pj’s…the dirt and germs….no shoes, just footie pj’s that they will likely walk around the house in when they get home….tracking in all of those sick germs–GAH!

Another eyebrow raise came when I saw half a dozen hospital staff working in the offices walking around in business attire and wearing shoes that they could not walk in. Trust me, I get wearing cute shoes…but when you walk in shoes that are too high or don’t fit…you just look crazy.  You look like you are walking an invisible tight rope. You lose that professional image in every teetering step!

It is an unspoken law that when you are sick, cough in your elbow or use a kleenex or even in your hand. I am not sure what turnip truck you fell off that you think it is ok to cough with your mouth wide open and not cover your germ spewing hole!!!  GAH!!!!

Being unhealthy is a choice….harsh, perhaps. If you live a healthy life, eat real food and exercise you have better chances of not being ill. If you are overweight, continue to abuse your body by neglecting it and eating food you know darn well isn’t food then you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.

Prevention…so many obesity related diseases are preventable. If you think that the 20-30 pounds you have been carrying around for the last year is no big deal, think again.

You’re in the driver’s seat…if you are unfit and unhealthy…that’s all you. You and your excuses will get you another 20-30lbs

Yes, I’m fired up because I had to sit in the ER all day with a sick little one, when more than half of the people there should not have been there in the first place!

Happy with where you are?  You probably don’t want it bad enough.  Content with carrying extra weight?  Think about the people who love you.  The ones who don’t want to have to visit you in the hospital or who don’t want to dole out your medication.

Take care of yourself–be in control of your future.

No wonder people are confused about health and fitness

Over the last week I have read several articles about and a couple of studies about health and fitness. Specifically, diet and exercise were my primary focus.

The differences in the pieces that I have been reading are like night and day and it got me to thinking that because of the garbage that is out there, no wonder so many people are confused about the best ways to reach their health and fitness goals.

Hmmm… are you confused?

Diet

According to what I read, the best way to lose weight is through the foods you eat.  If you eat well-balanced meals, if you drink a shake, if you take these supplements you can lose weight.  You don’t need to even think about exercise while the pounds and inches just magically disappear.  Really?

Pills, potions and lotions

Exercise

According to several top researchers, all you need to do to lose weight is exercise.  Lift heavy weight, lift light weight lots of times.  Run for miles on a treadmill, take a yoga class, spin on a brass pole, air box.  These will guarantee rapid weight loss…so some people say.  Who cares about what you eat! In fact, eat lots of food and don’t worry about it being good and healthy food, just eat! Really?

Donut think so

The TRUTH

  1. No amount of exercise will make up for a crappy diet.  Food is fuel and if you are going to exercise, you have to re-fuel your body with the stuff.  You don’t put diesel fuel in a gas engine right? So why put crap in your body?
  2. Exercise builds and maintains lean muscle mass.  The muscles are where you will primarily burn energy (aka fat) when you are losing weight.  The more lean muscle mass, the more fat you can burn, so it stands to reason that by exercising you can burn more fat, faster.
  3. Your body is a genius at figuring out how to get by with what it has going for it.  Not enough food? It slows down metabolism and stores every bit of extra energy (fat) that it can to get by.
  4. Your body will adjust itself to your caloric intake so that it works with what is available and pretty soon, you’ll be putting on weight again (unless you starve yourself).
  5. Proper diet + Sensible Exercise = Health & Fitness

    This PLUS

This EQUALS

THIS!!

That’s it! There you go.  Confusion gone.  A proper diet is incredibly important for proper health and exercise is necessary to use that nutrition to make a better, stronger healthier you.

They go together, so forget the garbage about one or the other…the answer is both!

Oh and by the way… wonder what the reason “experts” have such different views?  That’s easy.

  • Food manufacturers and food product suppliers depend on you eating crappy food.  They have a vested interest in you eating more.
  • Gym facilities depend on you spending your money there but never walking through the doors.  They bank on that and lock you into contracts then if you do go there, introduce you to someone who texts their friends during your time and counts to 10 while looking at everyone but you!
  • Who do you think is funding the research that is skewed?

Determination, Dedication, Desire and Disney

Last week I got to experience the thrill of going to Florida to enjoy one of my passions…running.  Yes, I know, running for some people is a four letter word, but to me it’s relaxing, mind clearing and great for your body in so many ways.

Sure, Florida seems like a long way to go for a run, but this wasn’t your normal running adventure.  I went to Walt Disney World to take part in the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon!  That’s right, 13.1 miles or 21 kilometres of pure fun and excitement!

Sounds kind of funny to describe running the equivalent of the length of Manhattan Island as fun and exciting, but we are talking the magic of Disney and the experience of runDisney.

This is not the first time I have ventured to WDW to take part in a runDisney event and I can say each time has been better than the one before.  Even with a rough start to this weekend, I had a great time!

Did I mention I dropped  vacuum on my foot a few days before leaving? Yup, two broken toes and I was planning in running a half marathon.  I went to see my Chiropractor for a little TLC who suggested that my plantar fasciitis was really bad and I shouldn’t be running around the block, let alone around WDW.

Friday afternoon I went to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the fan expo and to register.  The set-up is great.  Product demo’s, training, seminars and experts at every turn to help everyone from the novice to the advanced runners, the weekend warriors to the hard-core roadrunners.

As I was leaving the expo, I started to feel a little queasy…which was quickly replaced by really queasy followed full blown, from the toes puking!  Yay, only 12 hours to go and I was worshiping at the porcelain altar.

By 7pm on Saturday night, I was on my way back to ESPN to line up for the 10pm start.  A little weaker, a little lighter, a little sore and a lot excited!

You see, there really is a magic feeling I get when I run.  It’s hard to explain, but I think back to when I was well over 200 pounds and I couldn’t run more than a few feet.  I couldn’t have dreamed of being able to run half a marathon.  I was a prisoner to my weight and my lack of health and fitness.  It seems like a lifetime ago but a day doesn’t go by when I don’t relish the joy and freedom that I have not being tied down by obesity.

So you can understand that not much would stop me from running…not broken toes, sore feet or food poisoning.

And Disney and runDisney put on a great show.  When you think you are a little tired, you see the Tree of Life.  When you’re legs are heavy, you see the Tower of Terror where gravity seems to disappear for a little while.  When your lungs are burning, you see the place where the magic of Fantasmic takes place.  Every step, there are voluntEARS clapping and shouting support and along the route your favourite Disney Characters are cheering you on.  Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and of course Mickey!

The finish line was just outside Epcot and the cooling off walkway was into the park where I saw the best characters waiting for me…the 3 Bs and big Daddy!

How could I run with the triple play of toes, feet and vomit?  Determination, desire, dedication and Disney.

  • Determination to achieve a goal
  • Desire to finish what I started
  • Dedication to a lifestyle of health and fitness

Disney…there really is magic there.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give big congrats to some very special people:

To my fellow boot campers, Janice and Nikki and to my fellow WDW Moms Panelist, Mo. Congratulations for doing what you put your minds to.  I’m so proud of you!!