Procrastinating all year may have worked out in your favor this time. Just about every gym is offering a New Year’s special, or waiving or discounting costly, inexplicable initiation fees to reel in new members looking to fulfill their weight loss resolutions.
Even Equinox, The Best Gym Ever (imo) is waiving their initiation fees. If they weren’t $150/mo, I’d consider it. Planet Fitness is still the best deal in town at just $10/mo, but as I’ve repeatedly stated here, you do get what you pay for.
Around this time of year it’s essential to keep multiple memberships because every facility will be packed. Try working out first thing in the morning or very late at night to avoid the flock of newcomers.
Here’s to a great 2012!
Apparently, joining the corporate weight loss challenge, or announcing on your Facebook and Twitter feeds that you’re trying to drop a few pounds will sabotage your sexy. It’s an interesting revelation, as I myself tend to be a doer. Running a site like this, I probably should let folks in on the daily process, but I do think once you ink a thought, it holds you accountable in ways you may not be prepared for.
Take yesterday for instance. I had a great ride around Brooklyn–mostly for cost-effective commute purposes, admittedly, and also because I can get just about anywhere faster on my bike over the bus and sometimes the train. The health benefits are a plus, I enjoy it, and my legs are looking better than I expected.
But then I got hungry. Instead of eating a salad like one would expect, I headed to KFC and ordered a crispy strip combo with potato wedges (and a Diet Pepsi, of course). It’d been a while, and I just wanted to eat something that tasted good even if it’ll slowly kill me. I don’t really want to have to answer questions, or have a discussion as to why I’m eating fast food when I’m watching my weight. Sure we talk about it here, but in my daily life, folks aren’t really in on this conversation. Just do what you have to do, and STFU about it.
There are a number of ways to avoid this phenomenon.
“One is simple — you can keep your mouth shut,” Gollwitzer says. “Another one is to form different kinds of intentions, not only say what you want to do but also when, where and how you want to do it.”
Such planning helps create situational action control, he explains. When you find yourself at the gym before work, the situation you mentally mapped out controls your behavior instead of your intention to exercise more.
The third way, Gollwitzer says, is to tell only one or two people who hold power over you (metaphorically) so that they help you stick to your intentions. [SOURCE]
It’s Veteran’s Day! Thank a Veteran for his or her service today; buy that person a drink and give them a hug! It is possible to support the troops but not the war for those of you misdirecting your anger today.
Veterans eat free today at Applebees! Just make sure you come with proof of service to choose one of seven different entrees (including the Fiesta Lime Chicken!) All details are listed on their site.
I’m about to head to Groupon to search for deals on fitness classes, but here are some articles to occupy you in the meantime:
How Exercise Can Strengthen the Brain [NYT]
How to Fend off Food Cravings [EH]
11 Foods for Healthy Bones [Health]
Train Better: 10 Exercise Machines to Avoid [WH]
Looking for a Fitness Buddy? Get a Dog [Reuters]
Diet and Depression: Can Food Help Fight the Blues? [ABC.au]
I stumbled upon a rant by a Yahoo contributor who seemed very upset at the prospect of KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, etc. accepting food stamps. He’s not alone. There are folks out there ready to (keyboard) protest if McDonald’s lets poor people use their benefit cards to get a happy meal—with a toy even! These are the same people who seem to think being poor is a sentence, rather than a circumstance. Or that it’s somehow enjoyable to not know where your next meal is coming from. Maybe the feds should bring back powdered milk and government cheese. While we’re at it, why don’t we produce Soylent Greens (including the special ingredient)?
Sure there’s gross abuse of the system, and allowing KFC to accept food stamps seems like one of them, but if you are at a poverty level where you don’t have access to maybe even a hot plate, why can’t you get a 2 piece dinner?
Perhaps they should limit it to ‘healthier’ selections if it’s that much of an issue, but if you qualify for the benefits, I say you eat what you want.
If that means you run out of your food stamps in 2 weeks, then next month you’ll be wiser, and cop that hero and free soda from the bodega instead.
I’d much rather eat Hamburger Helper in my middle class apartment with middle class comforts, than eat a bucket of chicken and have to find a vacant bedbug infested subway bench.
Here’s the opposing perspective:
“Welcome to Taco Bell, will this be cash, charge or food stamps?”
Just when I thought I’d heard it all, now fast food restaurants want Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to be eligible to use their food stamp benefit at selected restaurants. Restaurants such as Taco Bell, KFC and Subway believe that there are certain types of SNAP recipients who are homeless or living in conditions that do not allow them hot meals and these people would benefit from being able to use their food benefit at fast food restaurants.
Fresno, Calif., officials are considering legislation that would permit SNAP benefits to be used at fast food restaurants in their area. Arizona, Michigan and other parts of California already allow the practice and Kentucky is currently considering it.
I already object to the many things that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. Junk food, soft drinks, pre-packaged frozen foods and candy are all permitted under current law. This is really a no-brainer. The law should restrict use of those taxpayer-provided funds to the basic staples: meat, starches, bread, milk, vegetables and cheese. Maybe there should be even an allowance for toiletries. But, it’s a moral crime to have public aid recipients eating better then the very taxpayers who pay for their benefit and a sad reflection of just how far this sense of entitlement has penetrated into our society.
There have been too many times that I watch someone in front of me at the checkout lane pile steaks, roasts and even lamb chops into their cart and then pay for it with a food stamp card. They’re eating better than me, and I work two jobs just to keep my head above water. And, the last time I went grocery shopping, the person even had a birthday cake from the bakery in the cart as well. All paid for with food stamps.
Soon middle class workers will find themselves driving home from work to eat a box of Hamburger Helper because payday is still a week away and the money is gone. Meanwhile, Joe Homeless person is standing in line at KFC waiting for his bucket of original recipe chicken, hot biscuits and two sides. Oh, and he can super size his soft drink too. [SOURCE]
A new UK study has shown that exercising is key in preventing the recurrence of cancer in survivors. This challenges the recommendation that survivors should get more rest and take it easy.
All patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week, says a report by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Being advised to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view, the charity says.
Research shows that exercise can reduce the risk of dying from cancer and minimise the side effects of treatment.
The Department of Health says local initiatives can get people moving. Macmillan’s report, Move More, says that of the two million cancer survivors in the UK, around 1.6 million are not physically active enough.
Adult cancer patients and cancer survivors should undertake 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, the reports says, which is what the Department of Health guidelines recommend.
In the report, the American College of Sports Medicine also recommends that exercise is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment and says survivors should avoid inactivity.
It doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous, doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or a swim, all count”
Getting active, the report says, can help people overcome the effects of cancer and its treatments, such as fatigue and weight gain.
“The evidence review shows that physical exercise does not increase fatigue during treatment, and can in fact boost energy after treatment.” [SOURCE]
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation offers free fitness classes in all five boroughs through their Shape Up NYC program. You can search classes by borough, zip code, and even skill level. Popular classes like yoga and zumba are available.
There are classes offered everyday of the week, and no registration or membership is required. Just show up to shape up!
So you’ve finally hit your goal weight, and you look amazing! What now?
While you’re well aware of what type of commitment it takes to reach your goal, it also takes a huge commitment to stay there.
A new study shows that using “rewards” and “reminders” can help you maintain your weight loss.
The researchers found two techniques that helped with weight maintenance (but not necessarily weight loss): reminding yourself why you need to control your weight, and rewarding yourself for sticking to a diet and exercise plan. [SOURCE]
Here are some excellent tips via FitSugar:
Reward yourself. Scheduling rewards when you are maintaining weight loss is different than when you are losing weight. Going shopping for a cute outfit once you’ve reached a weight-loss milestone, for example, is easy to justify, but how do you reward yourself for just following your normal lifestyle routine? Don’t forget that regularly rewarding yourself for maintaining your fitness regimen is important. Find a way to reward yourself if you hit your target number of workouts for the week or tie in something you love with your exercise plan. Try only allowing yourself to watch mindless TV during or after a workout, for example, or scheduling a fun weekend activity after a long week of gym sessions to help keep you motivated.
Remind yourself. Once you hit your goal weight, it can be easy to think that a splurge is in order. But the study found that those who reminded themselves about why they needed to control their weight were more successful in keeping it off. While you shouldn’t have to forgo all indulgences in order to stay at your goal weight, try reminding yourself of the consequences of straying off track before ordering the most unhealthy thing on the menu or skipping a run in favor of couch time.
In a previous post, my heart sunk mighty low as it’d been brought to my attention that diet soda has been linked to heart attack and stroke. Since then, I’ve curbed my consumption, and now “only” drink one diet soda a day. I’ve managed to stop drinking caffeinated sodas completely, but if heart attacks and strokes couldn’t stop me, this latest news will!!
More bad news, diet soda drinkers: data presented recently at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Scientific Sessions suggest that diet drinks may actually contribute to weight gain and that the artificial sweeteners in them could potentially contribute Type 2 diabetes.
In one study, researchers from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, looked at aggregate data from 474 older adults in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, or SALSA. At the time of enrollment and at three follow-up exams thereafter, all participants reported their diet soda intake and were measured for height, weight and waist circumference. The researchers wanted to track any association between diet soda drinking and body fat over time.
What they found was that all participants saw their waistlines expand, but those who reported drinking diet soda had 70% greater increases in waistline growth than non-drinkers 9.5 years later. Among frequent drinkers — those who consumed two or more diet sodas a day — waistline growth was 500% greater than among non-drinkers. Researchers said their results were adjusted for other contributing factors like diabetes status, leisure-time physical activity level and age. [SOURCE]