Thursday, April 30, 2009
Frustration (Rant Warning)
And I don't want to hear about how I'm "gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat".. blah blah blah. Bullshit!! Muscle helps BURN more fat, and my clothes aren't fitting any better, so don't ask me about inches either. I have to stop going out to lunch with Crusher, when I have no control and no clue the carb/calorie counts, and no more snacking after dinner, unless it's a protein bar after a workout. I can't stomach this anymore. I'm tired of feeling that it has control over me, affecting me, bringing me down and slowly trying to kill my spirit. I know there are areas I slack, and I need to be more consistant and accountable for those things. Guess I want my cake, eat it too, then hope I'll kickbox it off, eh? LOL
I may get a lot of slack and backtalk for this statement, but there's a lot of bigger gal/people websites and news articles that promote "loving yourself at any size", well, I say love yourself enough to DO something about your size!!
Love yourself to not want the extra fat around your heart, around your kidneys and liver, or in my case, the ab fat restricting my pancreas causing me to be on insulin. Love yourself enough to not have the fat in your chest cavity that restricts your breathing.
That's what I'm trying to do for myself. Love myself enough to give me a long life with my son, family and friends. So don't lecture me about how I need to love myself the way I am. I do love the person I am when it comes to my heart, mind and soul, but physically, I could be doing a hell of a lot better job of loving myself and taking care of the vessel that is cruising me through this great thing we call life, tyvm!!
Anywho, I have my personal training session with Eric tonight. I know I need to kick it up and push myself. I just wish I could pinpoint what's going on with my metabolism cuz it's driving me crazy right now!! LOL Have a great day!!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Meet the Gals of Jillian's Team on the Biggest Loser
How they started:
Helen, mother and daughter team (Pink)
Starting weight 257
Current weight 154
“She’s a 48-year-old powerhouse who has kicked everyone’s ass and sent everyone home? and she’s Pink team, if no one has noticed,” Jillian said, referencing past winners Ali Vincent and Michelle Aguilar, who were Pink team members. She's lost 103 lbs on campus.
Tara, former models (Green)
Starting weight 272
Current weight 169
She's won six consecutive challenges on the show and uring Tara’s time on campus, she’s lost 125 lbs. the most any woman has lost on campus in “Biggest Loser” history.
These two women are so inspiring. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I do hope one of them wins!! I'm a sap when I watch this show, because the raw emotions of the contestants are so real. They came onto the show, obese, with health problems, and both had no self confidence or belief in themselves. They had just given up. Now, they are full of life, fit, healthy, and between the two of them have lost 228 lbs in 17 weeksbetween the two of them!! That's just incredible! True, the campus has a lot to do with the amount of weight loss, but at the same time, it does prove that it IS possible. It's all about life changes and being the best person you can be, knowing you are living and leading a fit and healthy life.
Here's a pic from them on last night's show during "Train the Trainer Day", where they got to put Jillian through the workouts she does to them. Jillian and Bob were sweating like CRAZY! It was a guilty pleasure for the contesants.
Also a pic of them and their other teammate Mike in their "goal" outfits they had bought before the show started. They look absolutely amazing and SO happy!!
They head home for 30 days, and have one last weight in before the finale.
This show just inspires hope. Hope and the possibilites of the human spirit. To see more photos, video, episodes and information, go to http://www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser
Have a great day!!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Get a Grip on Insulin's Ups and Downs
By Jillian Michaels
One of the endocrine system's most important hormones is insulin, which plays a critical role in how your body uses food. When you eat, your digestive system breaks food down into glucose, and the glucose circulates in your bloodstream (where it's often referred to as blood sugar). In response to the rise in glucose after a meal, the pancreas releases surges of insulin, whose job is to clean the glucose from the blood. Insulin directs some of the glucose to the body's cells, which use it for energy. Some of the glucose is diverted to the liver, where it's converted into glycogen (stored glucose) for later use by the muscles. Insulin then helps turn any leftover glucose into fatty acids and stores them in fat cells, where they can be tapped later for fuel.
Problems arise when your body starts creating too much insulin, which can happen for several reasons. One of the most common is that you ate too many highly processed, refined carbs, such as white bread or pasta. Such carbs increase blood sugar dramatically, requiring a rush of insulin to clear the blood. If your blood sugar surge is really dramatic (as it would be if you ate those refined carbs on an empty stomach), insulin overreacts and works twice as hard to clean the sugar from the blood. This overefficient removal of sugar means that your blood sugar concentration drops, with the result that you feel hungry again and crave (and probably eat) more carbs. That's the postsugar "crash and binge" cycle, the root of sugar addiction. In addition, when your muscles are still fueled from your last snack, the insulin converts those extra calories into fat. And as long as large amounts of insulin remain in the bloodstream, your body won't have a chance to tap into your fat stores for fuel — so you won't burn any fat, either.
This cycle can eventually lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which your body produces insulin but the cells become insensitive to it — as a result, the insulin can't do its job to lower the glucose concentration in the blood. Insulin resistance is a precursor of type 2 diabetes and is common among overweight people. Elevated levels of glucose in your blood is a surefire sign of it.
There is hope for preventing the problem. The key is to maintain low levels of insulin by eating whole foods, pairing carbs with protein, and avoiding highly processed carbs. When your insulin-release mechanism works the right way, it helps keep your weight in check. When it's not working, you're in trouble. If you can take control of your insulin's ups and downs, you'll be primed to lose weight and restore your body's hormone power!
JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
Muscle Helps, Too!
Every pound of muscle burns three times more calories than does a pound of fat. Muscles scoop up blood sugar and enhance your body's insulin sensitivity — the more muscle you have, the more cells are available to absorb glucose, and you won't have to produce as much insulin after meals. Your muscle cells will be more efficient at using glucose for fuel, so your body won't have to store as much food as fat.
Monday, April 27, 2009
You Spin Me Right Round
I'll be the first to admit, I was a lazy girl this weekend, as I was almost immobile Friday from my workout with Eric. I did take Liam bowling on Sunday, so that was fun. They had cheesy 80's music videos playing on the projection screens they had dropped down over the lanes. Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Right Round" came on, and I caught him dancing to it. Course I got asked why he was wearing so much makeup and a pirate patch, but I digress. LOL We had fun even though we both sucked.
Today, work was manic per usual, but it was a typical Monday. Lots of calls for trade-ins, new cars, people calling and bitching about their rates, etc. I went home for lunch and grabbed my clothes for spin class, and from 1-5pm, I couldn't WAIT to get out of work.
I honestly was nervous, because I wasn't able to get into the class last week, and the week before was the first time I had tried it, and uuuughhh... I could NOT for the life of me do long intervals of standing and peddling. This time went surprisingly well. I was shocked how much I did. My thighs and shins weren't burning and killing they were the first time. I know it has to do with working out more, and also learning the techniques and tension settings. Maybe to, it was the music. She always has great music whether in spin class or kickboxing, but today, the standing/climbing music was a mix of Disturbed and Korn! Rock on baby! Could it have been anymore fun!?!? I know not all people enjoy that kind of music, but man did it pump me up! Right before the cool down, she let us do a free-for-all. We could just sit, stand, jump, sprint, climb, whatever we wanted. Well, the song was "Kickstart my Heart" by Motley Crue. HELLO!!! How can you NOT sprint (peddle rapidly) to this song? Definitely kickstarted something! LOL I really enjoyed it. I look forward to where I feel I'm ready for a full hour class, although.. this was SUPPOSED to be the half hour express, and she went 45 minutes, so I can possibly see me doing 15 minutes more.
I came home, ate, and then while watching Dancing with the Stars, did some arm exercises with my weights. I'm determined to get my arm strength up to par. I'm so weak in this area, and it frustrates me when I can't do push ups or bench pressing.
Anyway, tomorrow is kickboxing again, which of course I love!! I'm heading to bed now in hopes that I can get up and get some cardio in before getting ready for work. I always have good intentions, then that alarm goes off, and I hit snooze!! hahaha! I'll get there eventually!!
(For you 80's fans... here's the video of Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Right Round!! after the lil commmercial of course!)
Friday, April 24, 2009
The Blog of A Remarkable Woman
At 71 years and counting, this woman is just an inspiration and force to be reckoned with. I love her spirit, her drive and her no-nonsense nature. She blogs and twitters, and is just an amazing woman. She doesn't have people doing this for her folks. She backs up that she blogs and does this all on her own on her "The View" appearance under her video section on her page. She just started blogging this year, and between that, and her fitness video, looking as great as she does doesn't come by accident. I just had to take a moment and recognize this remarkable woman. Check out everything Jane at her website here and her blog here.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Brought to Tears
Tonight's workout was tough. With not training with Eric last week from being "out of commission" last Thursday, the workouts that I have done since last week haven't helped keep up my stamina or strength. Most of my workouts are cardio. Weights are usually not involved. Add the weights, and I'm struggling BIG time. That's what Eric does. Almost everything we do, there are 5-10 lbs weights involved. I literally have no arm strength whatsoever. I can barely do push ups on my knees, and never really have been able to whether at my weight now, or even when I was 130 lbs in high school. It frustrates the hell out of me, and I've been trying to do weights and push ups at home too, but I know I should be pushing myself harder, no matter how much I'm shaking and want to quit.
Towards the end of the workout, my eyes started welling up along with the sweat. I'm not sure if it was coming from the frustration of not being able to do something, anger at myself for wanting to quit, or depression of how far I've let myself go physically. Or maybe all of it combined. All I know is I tried to stop them, but they welled up anyway. When I left, I got in my car, and just let loose, crying almost the whole way home.
I called my husband and just talked his ear off about everything. It helped to get a lot of it off my chest, and I thank him for being there to listen and not criticize. I know it's going to take time, and I'm willing to put in the time, but I never imagined it would be this hard. Last time I lost weight, it was just watching what I ate, some treadmill and exercise classes 3-4 times a week. The weight came off so simple then. Now, being back on insulin, it's like fighting an uphill battle, and the scale isn't budging. I'm not quitting, I'm just frustrated as all hell. It's the whole reason why this time I hired a personal trainer. Because I NEED that extra edge. I need to push past and beyond my comfort zone, because obviously the workouts that are IN my comfort zone aren't doing $h!t for me.
Anyway, so that was my experience this evening. Eric thinks I should up the training to twice a week, but in checking his schedule the only evening that was open was Tuesday nights, and that's kickboxing night. I'll have to figure out something. Definitely have to keep doing more weight and strength training, so I can build it up.
As Ralph Marston twittered recently... "Base your sincere expectations not on what has already happened, but on what you would most like to see happen." "Remind yourself of all the ups and downs you've successfully been through. Know that whatever you encounter, you'll make the best of it."
Definitely have to keep pushing myself, and keep my eyes on my goal. Nite All!!!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Get to SHREDDIN'!!
Tonight, I did workout 1 of Jillian Michaels new "30 Day Shred" DVD. What a great workout! It went in circuits of strength building (using weights), cardio and abs. It definitely gets the heart rate up, muscles burning, and the sweat started! Most of you already know I'm a HUGE Jillian Michaels fan, and have her "The Biggest Winner" workout series, and those workouts are no cakewalk either, so this DVD did NOT disappoint.
I look forward to making this a part of my morning workout routine, as these are only 20 minute workouts. I have shorter 20-30 minute versions of my TurboJam and Rockin' Body workouts, so those are good when I don't have a lot of time. After "Shredding" I did put in my quick TurboJam one, as I guess since my workouts at the gym are usually at least an hour, the 20 minutes, although tough, just to me didn't feel like enough. Although it was a terrific workout, after short sessions, within 10-15 minutes, I feel pumped up again and want to do more. Gotta get those workouts in when the vibe is on!!
I do recommend this to anyone that is just starting to workout as well. Very basic, yet effect moves. Loved it!!!
All the Goings On
He and his friend came to the gym with me, and sweated on the courts while I had kickboxing. Surprisingly, there was only about half in attendance of what is usually there, but we did however have three 20-something guys that decided to join the class last night. It was quite comical, but I have to give them credit for trying. I personally like it when seemingly fit young men come in thinking these types of group exercise classes are going to be a breeze, and they end of sweating their asses off and admitting how tough it was to get through the hour. My clothes were soaked with sweat, and if it wasn't for The Biggest Loser being on Tuesday nights, I would have stayed for the Tai Chi.
After getting home, my son talked about how his teacher wasn't in this week because his mom passed. His teacher and parents are clients of ours, and his mom, Cindy was not only a client, but just an angel on earth. Paper say it was unexpectedly, and I know they had just purchased a new house this past year, and she was the principal of the girls Catholic high school here for 20 years, as well as a mentor and leader in the community. She will be sorely missed.
On the upside, today of course is Administrative Professionals Day (formerly known as Administrative Assistant's Day, and before that Secretary's Day.. LOL). My boss and his wife got me a card, and a "Sun & Sand" scented Yankee candle, and a pretty necklace from Belle Arte. The candle smells like the beach! Ahhh.. a reminder that summer is right around the corner.
I went to lunch with Crusher and now I'm finishing out that hour writing to you lovely people. I've jumped on the bandwagon, and my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD has arrived!!! This workout has gotten excellent reviews from a lot of you in blogland, and also a gf of mine on MySpace absolutely loves it. I can't wait to try it out tonight! I guess it came yesterday, but Crusher forgot to tell me, and figured I'd see it sitting on the tv. Grrrr.. LOL. I'm actually excited!
Well, have a great week everyone!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Happy 11th Birthday to my Son
Just taking a moment to wish my lil bubba a happy 11th birthday today. You are my most precious gift, and I love you with all my heart buddy!!
Had to make the cake with the lil "Disturbed" face on it! haha! Have a great Tuesday all :)
Monday, April 20, 2009
Healthy Habits, Healthy Kids
What it comes down to is what you do in your home. Do you rely on fast food? Then in life, chances are so will your child. Do you keep tons of junk, chips, soda, cookies, snack cakes, etc on hand for your family to munch on? Chances are they will continue eating like that in the future. Even if your child isn't overweight now, it doesn't mean that they are 'healthy'.
Keep lots of fruits and veggies available as snacks. I know my counters always have bananas and apples, and he has his own apple slicer that he likes using. Baby carrots, fresh broccoli, cauliflower with ranch, or celery with peanut butter. He's not usually allowed soda unless it's pizza night, but he has a choice of water or Roarin' Waters by CapriSun, which is low calorie, low carb/sugar drink if he's looking for a 'sweet' tasting drink. Other than that, it's milk and water.
With nutrition, and knowing the "good foods" and "bad foods", my son has adopted in a lot of my eating habits just by observing and knowing that his mom is a diabetic. Because of that he knows at 11 yrs old, that because mom is a diabetic, it doubles his chances of becoming a diabetic teen and/or adult. Even if I don't have a lot of time for dinner, nine times out of ten I still MAKE dinner at home. A lot can be said for proper nutrition (and for the wallet) when it comes to preparing meals at home. You are in control of their portions, and what IS and what IS NOT a proper portion of food. They pick that up faster than you know, and it becomes commonplace and second nature to them.
Another lead by example with your kids... exercise. Even if it's kicking them out of the house and away from their video games (as I'm guilty of that every week). Get mad parents!!! Force those kids outdoors on nice days!!! I remember there being days I grounded my child to the outdoors.. lol. "Go play until you're soaked with sweat and need to come in for food and water.
Even now with going to the gym, I invite him to come along. I don't force it, but he usually is more than happy to go or he'll bring a friend with him. He's even become my lil partner in crime at the gym, and will ask me during the week and on the weekends.. "aren't we going to the gym today?"
As parents, we all want our kids to be happy. But sometimes, we have to curb their tendancies to sit in front of the tv, or zone out in their rooms, and get them moving. Get them to start making healthy choices for themselves. It's amazing what a child will choose at the ala carte cafeteria at school after given the right guidance in the home!
Hope you are all having a great Monday! Ciao for now!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Music As A Weapon IV
You can check out the entire Disturbed show by clicking here.
Tomorrow it's back on track with the exercise and a better diet. There's been no further complications, so I feel safe to head back to the gym and continue my workouts as planned.
Hope you all had a safe and kick ass weekend! It was finally a beautiful, sunny, warmer weekend, and I'm glad to see the colder weather stay away for a while. Hope it stays that way :)
Friday, April 17, 2009
Extreme Jump Roping - Amazing!
Complications & Concerts
On a lighter and much more happier note, tonight I'm taking my son to his first concert! We're going to the Music as a Weapon 4 Tour at the BJC, where he'll get to see his favorite band Disturbed. (My lil 10 yr old rocker.. lol) Other bands include Lacuna Coil, Killswitch Engaged ad others, with an extreme sports demo and tattoo fair. He turns 11 on Tuesday, so this was his birthday present. I feel bad though because my husband will not be able to come now because his work has him still on the road. I have an extra ticket if there is no chance in hell he can make it back, but my roommate was going with us as well, so the 4 is now down to 3. I don't think I've ever seen my son get up so quickly and get ready for school so fast as he did this morning. Singing the songs and donning his faded out Disturbed "10 Thousands Fists" shirt that he's overworn, so he'll most likely get a new one at the concert. I'm so excited to be able to do this for him. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
Tomorrow I'll head back to the gym, as 2 days without a good workout in is weighing on my mind. Lots of happy and healthy thoughts for the weekend for all of you! Have a great one!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This morning I had my follow up appointment with my endocrinologist on my blood work results, and I received an A+ lovely from my doctor!!
The best result I could have ever hoped for was my hemoglobin A1C test result. Your A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. A1C is reported as a percentage, and it is recommended that diabetics aim to keep their A1c below 7%. A nondiabetic person will have an A1C between 4% and 6%. The closer a diabetic can keep their A1C to 6% without experiencing excessive hypoglycemia, the better their diabetes is in control.
A1C tests can help confirm self-testing results or blood test results by the doctor, judge whether a treatment plan is working and show you how healthy choices can make a difference in diabetes control. Basically, people can fudge their blood tests daily before they turn them into their doctors, and swear up and down they are doing all the right things, but this test is fool proof, and will tell your doc exactly what you've been up to.
My blood tests back in December when they put me back on insulin, my A1C was 10.8%. (yeah..scary I know!) Today, my results ... (drum roll) ... 6.5% !!!
I was beaming and so proud of myself, because I proved to myself and to my doctor that I was serious about getting healthy, and in 3 1/2 months, I was able to get my diabetes under control and drop my A1C 4.3%! That's an amazing result! In addition, my vitamin d and calcium counts are up, and everything else looks great too. I don't think I've ever seen a doctor smile so much. Felt like a kid that wanted to swing my legs under my chair!
It's one thing to see the physical difference on the scale, or in the mirror, but it's a completely different feeling of accomplishment when you know the changes you're making are affecting your body INSIDE and things are getting better.
It may be overcast, cold and rainy outside, but I'm just full of sunshine this morning and nothing can get me down today! :) Happy Hump Day!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
First Spin Class
Kickboxing is tonight. I'm still not able to get my butt outta bed in the morning to get a workout in, but I'm sure in time I'll slowly start waking up in time to get it in! Happy Tuesday!! Have a great day!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Does "Natural" on a Food Label Mean Anything?
Natural vs. healthy and organic
Consumers often think that “natural” means “healthy” or “organic,” but it does not. According to the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates most food label claims, “natural” means a product does not contain artificial ingredients.
For meat and poultry, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a natural food label means that the product was minimally processed without adding artificial ingredients, such as flavors, colors and preservatives.
For a food to have “healthy” on its label, the FDA has explicit limits on the amount of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium it contains. Also, a “healthy” food must supply a significant amount of at least one of several important nutrients.
“Organic” is a claim regulated by the USDA, which has specific criteria about the source of a food’s ingredients.
What “natural” does not mean
Some people assume that a food labeled “natural” is low in sodium, but salt is a natural ingredient. “Natural” potato chips are often as high in sodium as other versions. If you want to find lower-sodium foods, look for the claim “low sodium,” which means mostly no more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Products labeled “reduced sodium” are generally not that low, but have cut at least 25 percent of the sodium found in the standard product. A “reduced sodium” claim is only reduced compared to the company’s original product; it does not mean it’s 25 percent lower than other companies’ versions.
“Natural” on the label isn’t any help if you’re looking for a heart-healthy food either. Given that the fat in butter and meat is natural, a food can be loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol and still be “natural.” Instead, look for the “healthy” claim, or words like “low in saturated fat” (no more than one gram per standard serving) or at least “reduced saturated fat” (a minimum of 25 percent lower than the original product).
A food labeled “natural” also has nothing to do with its sugar content. Just as salt is natural, sugar is, too, because nothing artificial is added during processing from its original form in sugar cane or beets.
Rules about sweetening from high fructose corn syrup have been controversial. FDA regulations right now allow a label of “natural” as long as the high fructose corn syrup is produced without adding synthetic ingredients.
For meat and poultry, a “natural” label does not rule out other added ingredients that can change nutrient content, including dried beef stock, yeast and partially broken down proteins (such as hydrolyzed soy protein or hydrolyzed whey protein).
“Natural” as a label on meat and poultry has nothing to do with how the animal was raised or fed. Also, the USDA allows the term “natural” on processed meats because smoking and salting are not adding synthetic ingredients.
Focusing on what you want
The term “natural” may sound like the embodiment of everything you want in a food to promote good health, but it does not address recommendations to limit saturated fat and sodium or to include whole grains and other foods supplying dietary fiber. Keep your focus on what you really want as you shop, and look for the label claims that can help you.
(This article was provided by the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. A registered dietician is available to respond to questions about diet, nutrition, and cancer at the free AICR Hotline at 1 (800) 843-8114 during business hours.)
Friday, April 10, 2009
Quick Fixes & the Truth
How many times have you seen it? 8 Minute Abs!! 8 Minute Thighs and Buns! 8 Minute Arms! or how about Give us just 10 minutes 5 times a week and you will be on your way to a perfect shape faster than you ever thought possible!
In a world that is so fast paced and go-go-go, it seems we're always looking for the quick fix.
I came across this link from my friend Jody's blog at Truth2BeingFit.com where she talked about different exercise options. One link that caught my eye was an informative post called "Eight is not Enough". Definitely click it and give it a read after this. The exercises and infomercials geared toward having that thin and sexy body in less than 10 minutes a day.
Problem is, if you've ever gotten these tapes or DVD's (which I own a few myself) and read the recommendations that come with them, these are truly only meant for days that you absolutely have no time to exercise, but still want to get SOMETHING in. These are not meant nor are they intended for you to only do the 8-10 minutes per day. Even if you did them all 7 days out of the week, that would max your fitness time in at 70 mintues per week, which is less than HALF of the 150 minutes the government guidelines and American Counsel of Exercise (ACE) recommend.
These exercises are just "fillers" people. The extra boost in the morning, or that extra before bed after you had that piece of birthday cake you swore you were going to say no too. They are NOT to be total exercise replacements.
My friend Nick Garcia on Twitter (@360Fitness) posted a quote up one day that definitely has stuck with me since the day I read it a couple weeks ago, and it's so frighteningly true...
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. ~Edward Stanley
First Hour Long PT Session
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Cola: Real Thing or Real Junk?
Sure, soda pop is the biggest calorie source in the American diet. Sure, it may be a sugary-sweet drink that is partially responsible for the planet's obesity epidemic, according to a 2007 Yale University study. But frankly, there's not much real about cola. Heck, most American versions don't even have real sugar in it.
To prove this point, we've decided to take a look at the ingredients in a can of cola. Is there anything real in there? You tell us.
Ingredient-wise, this is cola's get-out-of-jail-free card. Carbonated water—water injected with carbon dioxide gas—has received a bad rap over the years, but current studies suggest there's little wrong with it. The idea that the phosphorus (the "fizz") in bubbly water drains calcium from bones was shown to be untrue in a 2001 study by the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Nebraska. So if you give up the soda and stick to the soda water, you'll be in good shape.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
For the uninitiated, HFCS is corn syrup that has gone through enzymatic processing to increase its fructose level. It's then mixed with un-enzymatic processed corn syrup to make a combo of fructose and glucose that can be used as a sweetener. Due to the massive amount of corn our country produces, HFCS is cheaper than white cane sugar and, therefore, the sweetener of choice for just about every American junk food you can think of.
There have been all kinds of theories and studies over the years claiming that HFCS is worse for you than other sugars. Conversely, the Corn Refiners Association has gone to great lengths to dispute this information, but it's a losing battle. They have yet to comment on the latest studies, one published in Environmental Health and another from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, both showing that HFCS can contain mercury.
Whomever you believe, this stuff just isn't good for you. One 12-ounce can (and who drinks just a can anymore?) contains 39 grams of simple carbohydrates, all from HFCS. With no fat, no protein, and no fiber, it's 140 calories of blood-sugar-spiking sweetness. It's like eating 9 teaspoons of table sugar. So no matter what you call it, what vegetable it's derived from, or how you process it, it's bad for you.
Also known as caramel coloring, this is just sugar heated until it turns brown. However, the heating process to make class IV sulfite ammonia caramel coloring, the kind they put in soft drinks, requires ammonia. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this doesn't affect the toxicological properties. A joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization expert committee on food additives wasn't quite as sure and suggested a 0 to 200 milligram per kilogram of body weight limit on the stuff. Most colas don't appear to publish the amount of caramel color they use, so we have no idea how much you'll find in a Big Gulp.
Either way, in the U.S., guess what kind of sugar this stuff is made of? Yes, corn syrup (see: High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS]).
Phosphoric acid is a chemical that gives colas their "tangy taste." It's much cheaper to use than more natural ingredients. The belief that phosphoric acid lowers bone density is contentious. While it's true that a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consume cola daily have lower bone density, that could also be because those soda drinkers were less inclined to drink calcium-rich beverages such as milk. Furthermore, the Creighton University study (see: Carbonated water) suggests that it wasn't the phosphoric acid causing the problem—rather, it was the caffeine.
Regardless, phosphoric acid makes an excellent rust remover for iron and steel. So think about that the next time you have a hankering for a cola.
Most people believe the word "natural" means that these flavors are the good stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eric Schlosser, in his amazing book Fast Food Nation, sums it up best. Basically, just because a flavor is "natural" doesn't mean it's healthier than an "artificial" flavor. In fact, sometimes the opposite can be true. The example Schlosser brings up is almond flavoring. "When almond flavor is derived from natural sources," he writes, "such as peach and apricot pits, it contains traces of hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison."
Conversely, artificial almond flavor "derived through a different process (by mixing oil of clove and the banana flavor, amyl acetate) does not contain any cyanide."
Most colas' secret recipes are safely hidden in their natural ingredients. Given that it's one of the best-kept secrets in industrial history, props to you if you can figure out what you're drinking.
Considering that some of our supplements contain caffeine, it would be downright hypocritical to trash it here. The simple fact is that in small amounts caffeine is fine. In fact, it's an ergogenic aid, meaning that it can increase the capacity for mental or physical labor. However, if you get too carried away, it can lead to everything from peptic ulcers to sleep disorders to the above-mentioned bone density loss.
So if you're at risk for osteoporosis, you're probably going to want to pass on caffeine. Otherwise, you'll want to drink it in moderation.
How does this bode badly for soda? Simple. Pretty much every other source of caffeine around has some kind of benefit. Supplements have myriad benefits. Coffee and tea contain antioxidants. Even chocolate, in moderation, is said to be beneficial, with its antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenylethylamine—a mild mood enhancer. Why get it drinking soda, a beverage without a single other beneficial quality yet several detrimental ones?
So there you have it. Mix that all together, and you get cola. Heck, because it's so natural and "real," you should be able to make it at home with ingredients sitting in your kitchen pantry. Right? Right?
Who am I kidding? This stuff's junk. Real junk, but junk nonetheless.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
by Jillian Michaels
So you know my new book, Master Your Metabolism, is all about hormones and how you can balance them. But you might wonder "What do hormones have to do with anything?" Let me explain.
If I were to ask you what your metabolism is, what would you say? I bet you would answer, "The way my body burns calories." If so, you would be wrong. That's one of the key things your metabolism does. But I'm asking whether you know what it is.
The answer is hormones! Your metabolism is your biochemistry. Some hormones tell you you're hungry; some tell you you're full. When you eat, hormones tell your body what to do with that food — whether to store it or burn it as fuel. And when you exercise, hormones tell your body how to move and consume energy stores, and how to boost or shut down different body parts. Hormones control almost every aspect of how we gain weight — and how we can lose it.
The endocrine system — the group of organs and glands responsible for releasing hormones that regulate key bodily functions — is sometimes compared to an orchestra. Each hormone is like an instrument. Playing together, in tune, they sound amazing. But what happens if, right in the middle of a concert, a violin suddenly goes wildly astray, twanging on its own? And then a clarinet starts shrieking? And then the pianist can't keep up? The music would sound like crap, right?
It's exactly the same with your metabolism. Your body can't work the way it's supposed to if any of your hormones is out of tune. Once one goes, they all follow. That's why you can't just focus on one hormone at a time when you're trying to balance your hormones — you have to work to get them all in tune and playing in the right key again. Next week, I'll talk about how you can play conductor and get all your hormones in harmony again — stay tuned!
JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
It's All Connected
You've probably heard the words cortisol, human growth hormone (or HGH), insulin, and leptin — especially being thrown around on weight-loss infomercials at 1 a.m. Am I right?
Well, those words are the names of hormones that dramatically affect your weight and your health. So the weight-loss products that target them must work, right? Hardly.
The thing is, those bunk "treatments" focus on only one hormone at a time (if they even have any effect at all), which reflects a misleading view and provides an incomplete approach. Unlike the methods featured in those infomercials, my program is all about how you can naturally optimize all your hormones — without taking dangerous or expensive drugs.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Meet My Trainer
First he had me do 10 minutes of fat burning at level 5 on the stairclimber. I've never done the stairclimber, and that 10 minutes could NOT be fast enough. My heart was POUNDING! I was like, ummm.. hello!! Beginner here!! LOL. Then it was into the workout room, where I did 25 push ups off the weight bar and then 50 leg raises, toes pointed straight back to work my glutes. Ya know, to help the tushie out. No problem. After that... Houston, we have a problem!!!
He moves me over and calls one of the girls working out there to grab an 8 and a 10 lb medicine ball. In crunch/situp position, we had to bring the ball back over our head as we laid back, then situp, and switch medicine balls, and then go back down and up.. repeat. 50 times! Then, 15 push ups, and then back to those torturing situps with the medicine balls. Anytime I wanted to break on anything, he was like.. "Ok quick break.. 10..9..8.." Ten second rests! My body was shaking so bad, and I started to actually feel sick to my stomach! Then, we stood up with the medicine balls, standing feet apart, squatted down, touched the ground with the medicine ball, stood, ball to our chest, then raised it over our head, back to our chest and squatted down again. Another f*(&in' fifty of those!!
I swear I wanted to just bolt outta there after the 30 minutes so fast, but I was so weak and worn out, sweating my ASS off! I was still shaking, feeling like I wanted to throw up. Here I did only 30 minutes of this, so I couldn't even imagine what those poor people on The Biggest Loser show go through on their first intense workout. And I've seen them throw up!! Eric told me a rather gross story of a guy he trained for 10 minutes that couldn't make it to the bathroom in time. That really helped settle my stomach Eric!! THANKS! LOL
I grabbed my son and his friend from the basketball courts and we headed upstairs to set this month's schedule. Because I was still shaking so bad, my first thought was my blood sugar count, so I had my son go grab me a small mango smoothie from the bar, as I sat down to test. It was at 98, which was fine, but damn did I feel like dying! It amazed me how I could last through an hour of kickboxing or step class, but in 30 minutes he made me feel like I did a weeks worth of exercise! Chell was there with two of her kids, and stopped to say hello. She had just done some tanning, and I envied the sense of relaxation the tanning beds give you.
So my workout schedule will be as follows: Monday - spin class (when available), Tuesday - kickboxing, Wednesday - Boot Camp and Thursday - PT Hell with Eric. LOL. He said the spin class and Boot Camp will be good for my endurance and help expand my lungs.
Well, that's it folks. I'm friggin dead tired. It's 10pm, and I'm hitting the sack. I have to be up to see my dietitian, and take my fasting blood tests, so since I can't eat, drink or smoke for 12 hrs, sleep will be the perfect solution! haha!
Alcohol - The Harsh Reality
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Friday night we headed over to the local bar to see the live taping of The Underground, which is a local show on Fox about unsigned bands in the region. There was As Summer Dies, Three Score and Ten and The Battle. It was also the birthday of two of our dear friends, one being my roomie, Ryan (Crusher) and Stacey. That's a pic of my friends Natasha, Wendy (my kickboxing partner), me and Rachel. Of course, there was a lot of shots and alcohol being passed around, and I actually had 4 drinks myself within the 4 hour show. I had canceled my fasting blood work appointment for Saturday morning, knowing full well there was no way from 10pm to 10am I was going to avoid food, drink and smoking. Although I've cut down, I haven't "quit" yet, because I've seen the weight I've gained this week, and again, spent time crying and getting down on myself about it. I know when I blogged about crying about my weight last week, friends and family said that I'm too hard on myself, that's I'm beautiful the way I am. Thank you very much, I do appreciate the complimens, but beautiful does not mean fit and healthy. Right now, I know I'm neither of those.
For me, I do focus on the scale, and it's one of my biggest downfalls, but at the same time, for me it's a true test of what I'm not doing and things I need to be doing for myself, for my health and keeping my diabetes under control. I see my dietitian on Tuesday, and once again, I'm freaking out. I hate seeing the look of disappointment in her eyes, and I wonder if there are underlying issues that I need to see a counselor about. Is my weight a safety net for me? Is it something I have that to bitch about so that others can take pity on me? Do I purposely sabotage myself so that I won't feel like I come off as "better" than anyone?
I read the blogs of the more successful people that live the healthy lifestyle I want so bad for myself, and I often wonder if they at one point in their lives had these thoughts as well. I know it's not easy, and with anything you want in life, it will require focus, hard work, determination and drive.
I hope that with my battle plan at the gym, I will succeed. I'll be meeting with a personal trainer tomorrow and really find out if he has any suggestions for me. I was going to try out the spin class tomorrow, but forgot that I had signed up for my new member freebee with the trainer.
It's a new day and new week to prove to myself I can do this.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Cardio for the Social Butterfly
I love that when I just blogged about joining the gym, in my email this morning my daily email from Jillian Michaels just instilled one of the reasons I joined. Check it out!
Haven't found an exercise you absolutely love to do? You've tried them all — rowing machines, treadmills, even the dreaded Stairmaster — and hated every second of it. Well, you're not alone. But that doesn't mean there isn't an exercise out there just for you. Have you ever considered that you just don't like exercising alone? Often, it's the solitary nature of exercise that turns us off. Sometimes we need a support system to keep us moving. Sound like you? Try a joining group exercise class and find out!
The advantage to exercise classes is that they're a whole lot more fun than sweating it out by yourself. Most group classes add an element of fun to the mix — like hooking you into the latest and hippest dance moves and music. Plus, when you join a group, people will look out for you, which can motivate you and help keep you accountable. Whether it's spinning, African or hip-hop dance, step aerobics, cardio kickboxing, or any other cardiovascular class, make sure it involves a minimum of 45 minutes of activity and keeps you heart rate up above 60 percent!
JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
The First Step
Sure, your first day of class may be intimidating. It seems as if everyone is super fit and has known everyone else in the class for ages. They use slang fitness terms you've never heard, set up their equipment in their "spot," and never miss a step during the routines. Keep in mind that they were all once newbies, too. If you feel uncomfortable, get to class a few minutes early — you can introduce yourself to the instructor, tell her about any limitations you may have, and let her show you how to set up your equipment.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Because I'm Worth It
My main problem has always been working out at home. There are too many distractions for me. Whether it's my child, or my dog nipping at my heels while I'm doing the treadmill, or my DVD's, it's always been a struggle. Even if I set the alarm in the morning, I just can't seem to get out of bed in time. I tell myself over and over what DVD I'm going to do after work, or how many minutes I will do the treadmill, and then I arrive home. Next thing you know, my son needs something, or I see dishes laying around, or clothes, and start doing housework instead, and then something comes on the tv and I end up glued to it for the next hour. It's like this vicious cycle I can't seem to break.
Even though money is tight, I've decided for my own health and wellbeing, I'm joining the athletic club here in town. It's the place that I go to kickboxing classes at, and instead of paying $5 a week for the class, it will be $33 a month. That includes member access to a great range of classes from yoga, kickboxing, step and non-step aerobics, Zumba/dance workouts, weight and cardio machines, friends to workout with, and the pool. I really think this is going to help me out a great deal!
When I lost 30 lbs two years ago, it was because I had joined the YMCA, and had my set classes I went to and the workouts I did in the weight/tread room were on days a class wasn't convenient for me. But you know what? I DID IT! I went faithfully, feeling guilty if something came up and I didn't go. It was a part of my daily routine, and part of my lifestyle. The weight came off, and I dropped 2-3 pant sizes, and was feeling so good about myself. Even on days or hours the Y was closed, I actually DID workout at home! I was in the zone baby!!
After we moved, I cancelled the membership and stopped going, figuring I had all the things in the world to workout at home with. True!! I had everything but the willpower at home.
People sometimes say how they have no time, and no money, etc etc. One of the fitness guys I follow on Twitter, Nick Garcia, had posted one day this quote ~ Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. ~Edward Stanley AMEN!!!
At a cost of $1 a day, I'm helping myself get stronger, healthier, leaner, and feeling better about myself again. Only $7-something a week? Hell, I know people that waste more than that at the bar, or on junk/fast food a week. With cutting down and eventually quitting smoking, heck my habit for ONE week will pay for my MONTH membership at the club. Can't beat that exchange!
For me, having a place to GO, and having that environment that encourages and motivates you to workout is what I think helps me. The instructors and trainers, pushing you, wanting to see you do well and succeed. At home, there's no one to keep up with but me. If I feel like shutting off the dvd, no one's there to stop me. In a class, it's more humiliation that keeps me there and finishing it. What am I gonna do? Walk out of the class in front of friends and strangers? Most likely not. I'll push myself and finish it.
All in all, I've contemplated this for over a month now, and I've finally decided.. I'M WORTH IT! My husband should feel lucky, because I'm not materialistic in anyway. I enjoy simple things, and rarely spend money on myself, so this is definitely something I'm going to do for ME!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
JG GREEN TAKES HOME CHAMPIONSHIP!
(a special shout out to Drew D'Auria for all the great pics!! thanks hun!)