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This afternoon I saw a coworker for the first time in a few months, and she immediately said “you look so skinny!” to me. It was definitely meant as a complement, but can make me feel uncomfortable. My immediate response goes one of two ways: (1) Thanks! Wow! That’s awesome, because I HAVE been working hard on my healthy behavior. OR (2) Oh no no, I’m just the same, Its no big deal.

Even if I have been working on creating healthy habits, its not necessarily something I am going to talk to everyone about. No one ever says “Wow, you look so good! You’ve gained weight!” – at least, not to me! However, I do have a few friends who are significantly under weight for a variety of reasons, and it is only appropriate to say something to them because I know that they are trying to gain weight.

Mostly I try not to make comments to others about their weight – either weight gain or weight loss – because I know that it can be a touchy subject for a lot of people. Even when my intentions are good to try to encourage someone’s healthy habits, I only feel comfortable commenting when the topic is one I have discussed at length with that good friend. I have known other individuals who lost weight and continued to lose too much weight with what had developed into an eating disorder, so I tend to be cautious about the topic. I wonder if there are other tactics which we could adapt as a culture in order to be supportive of healthy habits.

-Kelli

How do you support your friends and family in their healthy habits?

Did any of you make a New Years resolution to eat breakfast every day? If you’re still looking for a commitment in 2010, breakfast might be a good place to start. Eating breakfast improves your weight control/loss and helps give you energy all morning long. I never have a problem with eating in the morning, but I do struggle with getting out the door in time, so I am a fan of easy breakfasts that can be made in advance. I recently discovered Bircher Muesli at brunch a few weeks ago. Bircher Muesli differs from the Muesli you might have seen in the cereal aisle of the grocery store, and is much healthier. Bircher Muesli is made of uncooked oats, soaked overnight, and mixed with yogurt and dried and fresh fruits. It was developed around 1900 a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who was a very early pioneer in eating raw and whole foods. It’s easy to prepare, delicious, and keeps me full all morning long. There are many variations on this dish, below is the recipe that I have been enjoying: Read the rest of this entry »

CNN posted an article last week entitled “Is the fat acceptance movement bad for our health?” which I found interesting and wanted to share. One of the questions posed by the article is “Can you be fat and fit?” I bet the author of the book I read in high school health class “Fit or Fat” would argue a resounding NO, though that series has changed over two decades.

The CNN article reminds me that BMI is not the only way to define healthy, though it is often relied upon as a standard. Since many women struggle with “yo-yo” weight loss and gain over their lifetime, I wonder how that impacts one’s body compared to just being somewhat overweight – but at a steady weight – for a long period of time. Additionally, one important part of the article I noticed is that the medical community does not have “solutions” for obesity:

“Where else in medicine do we offer a solution — dieting — that is going to fail and then point to the end user and say, ‘You are weak-willed; you don’t have enough willpower’?” Read the rest of this entry »

I wasn’t sure I was going to make any resolutions this year. I failed pretty miserably at the ones I set for myself last year. So I decided to make some basic ones for this year and to try not to get down on myself if I do not follow them to the letter. What is important is that I do try and make changes every day to live a better, healthier life.

2010 Resolutions

  1. Continue to go to the gym regularly. Do not beat myself up over not going, especially if I am sick or in pain. Try to get a minimum of three good workouts in as I do feel better when I am working out.
  2. Try one new class or activity a month.
  3. Run the Timlin 5k on 6/19/10.
  4. Lose a minimum of twenty pounds.
  5. Eat healthier foods that are less processed and incorporate more fruits and vegetables.

So the five things I have chosen should not be difficult to incorporate into my current lifestyle, thus allowing me to be successful with my resolutions. And this time next year I certainly should be pleased with my results!

-Cindy

Do you make resolutions? If so, share in the comments!

New Year’s resolutions are obviously a very important aspect of health clubs, as most common resolutions have to do with losing weight, sticking to an exercise program, etc. In my experience, this means large crowds flocking to the gym in the beginning of January, and then eventually petering out by mid-February. I read recently that only 20% of people actually end up keeping their resolutions!

So the good news is that consistent gym-goers will probably see attendance return to normal in about a month or so.

The bad news, of course, is for those 80% of people who end up making resolutions without sticking to them. If you are serious about making an improvement in your life, now can be a great, motivating time to make a commitment.

The old advice about sticking to resolutions is true – start small. Really, really, small, in my opinion. The only New Year’s resolution that I ever actually stuck with was Read the rest of this entry »

This past week I tested out Jakki’s Bootcamp Blast. Though my morning started way, way early, I did pick up a new workout technique.

I learned about add-ons and after trying them, I think they are a great way to change up an exercise and work more muscle groups.

An add-on defines itself. You start with one exercise and then add on another and another.

Here’s a good and simple one to try:

1- Inch worm (walk hands from feet out to a plank and then walk hands back to feet) repeat 5-7x

2- Inch worm and push up, add on a push up at the plank stage of your inch worm and then walk hands back (repeat 5-7x)

3- Inch worm, push up, add on T-pose by staying in plank position and raising one arm toward the ceiling, creating a T shape with your body, switch arms and return to plank and inch back (repeat 5-7x)

4- Inch worm, push up, T-pose and then add on a burpee by jumping forward in your plank and then into the air, then jump back into plank and walk hands back (repeat 5-7x)

-Kate

Do you have an add-on exercise that you like to do?

As I’m sure you all have noticed, the weather is definitely acting more like winter lately. Normally I’m very happy to be outside, preferring to spend my lunch break on a long walk than indoors in the cafeteria, but lately it’s been getting brutal! Now, more than any other time of year, it is so important to make it to the gym and raise your body temperature and get your circulation moving. I find that I automatically tense up when I’m walking around in the cold, which makes me feel tired and uninterested in exercising. I motivate myself by remembering that I will feel ten times better after a workout, even if it’s a short run or a gentle yoga class. Plus, exercise is a proven way to raise your mood and reduce anxiety levels – something that you can need more of in the winter, especially if you suffer from Season Affective Disorder (SAD).

In addition to making sure that I get moving every day in some way, I’ve also been making some healthier versions of wintertime comfort food. Because probably the best thing about winter (in my opinion) is how good it feels once you’re warm inside. The other night I trimmed the fat from a Shepard’s Pie recipe with really good results. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I joined Healthworks, I have taken advantage of the wide variety of classes that are offered. Since September I have had the opportunity to take BodyPump twice. I enjoyed it, but it hasn’t been a priority.

I know the benefits of weight training. A higher metabolism, a more toned body, and stronger bones are just a few benefits and I know that I need to incorporate it more into my workouts. So, when a friend asked me to come along with her to the new BodyPump 72 in Brookline Tuesday night, I readily agreed.

It was just what I needed. Read the rest of this entry »

As a way for new members to get better acquainted with Healthworks, the club provides something called the Unstoppable Pass.

Complete the activities on your pass and get a Healthworks T-shirt and water bottle. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

So, what are the activities? Well there are eight total tasks to complete.

Here is what you must do to get your shirt and water bottle:

Healthworks 24/7

Set up an account online with Healthworks 24/7. It’s easy to do and has lots of great resources. You can take a health assessment and use a special nutrition and workout tool to track the food you eat and even find a work out buddy.

Two (2) Personal Training Intro Sessions

Complete two intro sessions with a trainer. This is a great way to learn about the personal training program and get to know the trainers. In these sessions you set up your goals and learn to use machines and other equipment found on the gym floor. Read the rest of this entry »

I am really lucky: I get to spend the next 3 weeks traveling! On Monday, I’ll make my way to Paris, where I’ll meet up with my sister. She’s spending the year there, studying and working. We’ll spend a few days in Paris, and then jet over to Prague. I have to say, I am really really excited about this part of the trip. It’s supposed to be a beautiful city (and cheap – not on the euro!). After that, we’ll go back to Paris. From there, I’ll leave my sister and go on to Tel-Aviv, where I will be attending a seminar through my graduate program. The seminar is really cool, it’s a traveling seminar, so we move all over Israel for different meetings. Finally, before I head home, I’m going to spend a few days of glorious vacation on the Sinai Peninsula. I’ve never been to Egypt before, so this is really exciting!

There’s a huge challenge in being away from home for so long. I exercise much less, because of restricted access to any facility (sometimes hotels have gyms, this is true. Hostels don’t, though!). I think that while in Europe I will naturally get in a lot of exercise because of how much walking is required. My guidebook says that Prague is a city of hills, and cautions tourists to make sure they bring comfortable walking shoes. In terms of exercise, my time in Israel will be a little more difficult. During the seminar, my time will be very scheduled, and any exercise I’ll do will probably have to happen in the early morning. I hope I can make myself wake up!

Sometimes, the basic fact that I’m not at home in my normal routine makes me feel like I can eat like a fool. Read the rest of this entry »

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