Posts filed under ‘Reasons Why’

Testing The Watchers Waters

If you’re curious about what goes on at a Weight Watchers meeting or if you’ve been thinking about joining but don’t want to commit just yet, February is your month. The company is hosting free open houses at participating locations from 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday during the month. Leaders will be around to answer questions and talk about the program, they’ll help you calculate your body mass index (if you want them to) and MOST IMPORTANTLY, there will be raffles and giveaways. Who doesn’t love free stuff? For a list of participating centers, click here or call 1.800.480.6767.

In my opinion, WW is a fantastic program that really teaches you how to live healthy (and still have fun!). It has helped me get where I am today; maybe it can help you?

January 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

You’re a Cookie Monster? Blame Your Friends

C is for control, right?

Pick your pals wisely: A new study says that the people you hang around with directly help — or hinder — your powers of self control. “If you spend time with people who exhibit self-control — resisting the death-by-chocolate cake after a restaurant meal, for instance — you can expect your own self-control to be pretty good, too, according to new research,” Kathleen Doheny writes on BusinessWeek.com. “But the opposite seems true, too: Spending time with people with less-than-ideal self-control will influence you negatively, the researchers found.” (Thanks to Heather at scienceandreligiontoday.com for the heads-up.)

How about in your own life? Do your friends help you toward your healthy goals, or do they block them?

January 19, 2010 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

Shoud Haul-d Acquaintance Be Forgot…

So maybe you had some big ideas right around the end of December. Maybe you thought, “This is the year I’m actually going to do all of the stuff I always say I’m going to do.” As the champagne bubbled and 2009 waned, you were full of promise. You were going to organize your closets, run your first 5K, learn how to use mascara and liner to properly execute the smokey eye look. You would lose weight, stand up straighter, buy only organic and drink 32 oz. of water a day.

I know. I’m that way, too. As I told a friend this week, I know the idea of starting fresh at the new year is a little cliché, but I still love it: I’ll grab on to any new beginnings  — with their sense of promise — that come my way. I’ve had years where I’ve set monthly goals and met them. I’ve had many more years where my ambitious January plans fizzled before Valentine’s Day. So, sure; I’ve got stuff I’d like to achieve and accomplish this year. But the only thing I’m going to hold myself truly accountable to is this: relentless positive thinking.

I’m going to do my best to be positive about everything and everyone. I’m not saying I won’t have moments of all-out bitchiness, but let’s hope they’re fewer and farther between than in the past. Even in situations where you’d think only a crazy person could find something positive, I will find something to smile about. Yes, haulers: I will be that crazy person.

Along those lines, if you’ve already tripped up on your grand plans for the new year, here’s a little positive present to start off the second week of January: I’m granting all of us a do-over. Life’s not all or nothing, so why should our 2010 game plans be that way? If one day of football-watching and eating chips seemingly derailed you, DO OVER. If you just can’t seem to find 15 minutes for a much-needed walk during the day, DO OVER. Take as many do overs as you need; just keep moving forward.

And if you need something to make you laugh, check out how I rang in the new year. The headgear isn’t mandatory at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park, but I think it’s rather flattering.

Photo credit: The Boyfriend

Haul on!

January 10, 2010 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

In Your Off-Hours…

Hmm… When it’s rainy and blech outside — as it is at this very moment in northern New Jersey — how does a Haul Buns girl pass the time? After all, you can’t be running/walking/swimming/biking/dancing/sculpting/group fitnessing every moment of the day…

Shopping can provide something similar to that exercise high, especially when you take advantage of the fabulous online discount Reebok is offering to its friends and family until Sunday. And since you’re all my friends, go ahead and use code REBOKFF at discount to receive 30 percent off your entire order PLUS free shipping! I may or may not have been checking out their hot pink yoga bag, or this classic blue number…
reebok-gym-bag

If you’re looking for a little inspiration,  watch Spirit Of The Marathon, which is now available for free online at Hulu.com. This awesome documentary is all about the Chicago Marathon and a few runners — some amateur, some elite — who are preparing for it. Really cool, totally inspirational. And best of all, it’s free!

spiritofmarathon

A good diversion at work way to spend your time is to calculate your health footprint at the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield site. Answer a bunch of questions about your lifestyle and your fitness routine, and the site will tell you how many people you affect through your healthy choices and activities — similar to a carbon footprint, but this one won’t make you feel guilty for opting out of the work carpool. Even The Biggest Loser’s Trainer Bob is doing it!

That should keep you occupied until the sun shows its rays again…

August 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

TIME To Throw In The Towel?

timecover

At first glance, Time magazine’s Aug.17 cover story, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin,” is enough to make you want to hurt an elliptical machine through a plate-glass window. Seriously?, you might think, I’m busting my buns at the gym or logging miles on the road or twisting myself into Gordian knots at yoga just for the heck of it?

But John Cloud’s piece isn’t actually advocating the abandonment of all workouts. Instead, he drives home a no-duh point… that 99.9 percent of us exercisers have ignored at some point: Those of us who move our bodies vigorously often eat more because of it. At best, we’re nullifying our workouts. At worst, we’re adding on hundreds of calories in addition to those we’ve burned.

And here we thought we were doing so well! Bummer, right? But don’t set fire to your Nikes just yet. “Public-health officials have been reluctant to downplay exercise,” Cloud writes, “because those who are more physically active are, overall, healthier.” What’s more, “In addition to enhancing heart health and helping prevent disease, exercise improves your mental health and cognitive ability.”

What are your thoughts? Do you tend to eat more if you’ve worked out that day? I work really hard not to overeat my exercise, but it definitely happens from time to time. Do you reward yourself for energy expended? Tricks to avoid doing so? Leave a message and confess all!

August 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

Words To Work Out By

running1I’m loving The New York Times’ online Running Voices series, in which ordinary people share their thoughts on running. And by far, my favorite observation posted to the series’ comments section so far is this pearl by a viewer named Allison, who describes herself as going “from couch potato to runner:”

“Always remember that Dead Freakin’ Last is better than Did Not Finish which is way better than Did Not Start.”

Amen, sister!

May 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Screw The Broccoli, Pass Me The Cheese Fries

chili-cheese-friesFile this under Stuff We Know But Don’t Want To Acknowledge: Recently published research finds that greater numbers of Americans are choosing not to follow a healthy lifestyle. It’s not that we don’t know how to eat and what to do, doctors at the Medical University Of South Carolina find. We just don’t wanna do it.

Investigators in the university’s Department of Family Medicine followed a large group of people in the U.S. from 1998 to 1994 and then from 2001 to 2006. (The research is published in the June issue of The American Journal of Medicine.) Their body masses and alcoholic intake went up, their exercise rate and fruit-and-veggie consumption went down. A lot.

So what does this mean for the rest of us? This is my take: I’m sure the people involved in this study didn’t just wake up one morning, decide they suddenly didn’t want to be healthy, skip the gym and order a calzone for breakfast. But when you let little things slide — you go a few days without making yourself sweat, you ask for extra dressing on your salad — it becomes even easier to let the big ones go, too. I’m a big believer that keeping yourself on the right path is all about little choices. I saw a quote recently that I just love:

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” — Robert Collier

What small efforts are you going to make today?  Post a comment and make your commitment for the whole world to see!

May 28, 2009 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Clutter = Pounds?

Just to be clear, this isn't my clutter.

Just to be clear, this isn't my clutter.

Anyone who’s been to my apartment or office can attest to my horrible tendency towards clutter. “Organized chaos,” Courtney — one of the cool chicks who visits this site — called it last night, watching bemusedly as I burrowed through a pile of backpacks in an unfulfilled search for my heart rate monitor. I’m nothing like those crazy stories you see on the news, where people fill rooms with discarded pantyhose, newspapers and tinfoil balls. (Want to be horrified? Click here.) But I often pile papers to deal with later, stack books until they’re ready to fall on some unwitting bystander and toss just about anything into my gym bag until it’s a workout just to lift it on my shoulder. But could that clutter be holding me back in other ways?

This New York Times piece (which originally ran in January, a month famous for people trying to streamline their lives) suggests that clutter-free homes makes for healthier, happier people. Lynne Johnson, a professional organizer quoted in the piece, says organization sometimes equals weight loss. “I think someone decides, ‘I’m not going to live like this anymore. I’m not going to hold onto my stuff, I’m not going to hold onto my weight,’” she said. “I don’t know that one comes before the other. It’s part of that same life-change decision.”

Are you a Messy Molly or an Organized Olivia? Have you found a link between ordered living and your health?

April 14, 2009 at 6:30 pm 2 comments

Don’t I Look H-h-hot?

mittens300The good news: A few new studies show that adults may be able to reactivate the kind of fat that burns calories and could possibly reduce obesity. The bad news: You have to be really freaking cold in order for this “brown fat” to do its thing. “In addition to eating less and exercising more, people may one day be able to stimulate their bodies to get rid of stored energy — in the form of ordinary fat — purely as heat,” David Brown (no relation to the fat) writes in today’s Washington Post.

Before you run over to turn down your thermostat, you should know that “the only safe way to activate brown fat is to stay chilly, right at the verge of shivering, for prolonged periods. That reproduces the conditions that led to the evolution of brown fat — namely, life-threatening cold in babies and small furry animals that cannot put on clothes to keep themselves warm,” Brown writes.

So what’s it going to be, chicas? Thin or warm?

April 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

That Donut Just Cost You Five Minutes

pink_sprinkled_donut1

I have to admit, I’m in the throes of a really bad baked goods frenzy. It’s been going on for two days, and I’m hoping that it’s just about done. But when I read that a new study proves that even a little obesity takes years off your life, it gave me even more incentive to drop the luscious lemon-poppyseed muffin I’d been craving. The study found that “those who are extremely obese, about 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight, could be shortening their lives by as many as 10 years,” USA Today reports. And those who are 40 lbs. overweight are effectively taking three years off their life. So what’s it going to be? Another serving of french fries or years of happy memories with your grandkids?

March 18, 2009 at 12:36 am 1 comment

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