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ON A DIET? GOOD! STFU ABOUT IT

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]

SHOULD PARENTS LOSE CUSTODY OF THEIR OBESE CHILDREN?

Whenever I watch those episodes of Maury where these morbidly obese children are rolling around the stage chewing on Fruit Loops and furniture, I wonder where these parents lost their power. Since when can two and three-year-olds tell you what they are and aren’t going to eat? As a parent, it’s your responsibility to introduce the appropriate foods to your children.

Is having an obese kid child abuse though? Should these children be taken away from their parents? It’s a slippery slope. Removing them from their homes and forcing them to eat better foods could also lead them to associate healthy eating with separation from their families.

The only reasonable solution in my opinion would be to educate the parents of the obese about the benefits of a healthy diet, and how to prepare tasty, yet nutritious meals. Snatching those big ol’ kids out of their custody and stuffing carrots in their mouths, though? I don’t think so.

Should parents of extremely obese children lose custody for not controlling their kids’ weight? A provocative commentary in one of the nation’s most distinguished medical journals argues yes, and its authors are joining a quiet chorus of advocates who say the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases.

It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, said the point isn’t to blame parents, but rather to act in children’s best interest and get them help that for whatever reason their parents can’t provide.

State intervention “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting,” said Ludwig, who wrote the article with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

“Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child,” Murtagh said.

But University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan said he worries that the debate risks putting too much blame on parents. Obese children are victims of advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying — things a parent can’t control, he said.

“If you’re going to change a child’s weight, you’re going to have to change all of them,” Caplan said.

Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese. Most are not in imminent danger, Ludwig said. But some have obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties and liver problems that could kill them by age 30. It is these kids for whom state intervention, including education, parent training, and temporary protective custody in the most extreme cases, should be considered, Ludwig said.

While some doctors promote weight-loss surgery for severely obese teens, Ludwig said it hasn’t been used for very long in adolescents and can have serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

“We don’t know the long-term safety and effectiveness of these procedures done at an early age,” he said.

Ludwig said he starting thinking about the issue after a 90-pound 3-year-old girl came to his obesity clinic several years ago. Her parents had physical disabilities, little money and difficulty controlling her weight. Last year, at age 12, she weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

“Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity,” he said. After a year, she lost 130 pounds. Though she is still obese, her diabetes and apnea disappeared; she remains in foster care, he said.

In a commentary in the medical journal BMJ last year, London pediatrician Dr. Russell Viner and colleagues said obesity was a factor in several child protection cases in Britain. They argued that child protection services should be considered if parents are neglectful or actively reject efforts to control an extremely obese child’s weight. [SOURCE]

SHAPE UP NYC OFFERS FREE FITNESS CLASSES IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS

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!

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT LOSS

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.

US LIFE EXPECTANCY REDUCED DUE TO OBESITY & SMOKING

A recent study has shown that life expectancy in hundreds of counties, mostly in the South, has decreased. Obesity and smoking have proven to be contributing factors.

The study found that life expectancy for women fell significantly in 702 of the nation’s more than 3,100 counties. The largest declines – by nearly 2 years – were in Mississippi’s Madison County, near Jackson, and the adjacent Hughes and Okfuskee counties in eastern Oklahoma.

Life expectancy dropped for men in 251 counties, by more than 2 years in Kentucky’s Perry County in Appalachia and Mississippi’s Madison.

In 158 counties, it dropped for both men and women. In some cases, counties with plummeting life expectancy were next to or very near counties with rising longevity.

There is some debate about why life expectancy estimates rose and fell more in some counties than others.

Murray and his colleagues said they checked issues like poverty or racial makeup, and those didn’t explain the difference. They believe high rates of obesity, smoking and other preventable health problems may be main reasons. [SOURCE]

Take care of yourselves people! What you choose to put in your body may slowly be killing you!

BLACK GIRLS CAN BE FIT

Welcome to BlackGirlFit.com! The purpose of this website is to motivate Black women all over the world to adopt a healthier diet, as well as a responsible fitness regimen.

In the United States nearly 80% of African-American women are overweight, while approximately 50% are obese. You read that right. 1 in 2 African-American women are obese!!

There are a multitude of factors that contribute to this number—including little to no access to fresh fruits and quality ingredients, or simply a preference for junk food and overconsumption.

I am not a size zero; never have been, never will be. I’ve been as big as a size 16, and dieted myself into bobblehead status. I’ve been skinny-fat and fat-solid!

One thing I have learned through my personal journey is that the weight ain’t gonna keep itself off whether I’m 145lbs or 190lbs. You have got to get up, get out, and get moving! You have to follow a balanced diet, and say no sometimes. No that doesn’t mean eat rice cakes and drink  Crystal Light for the rest of your days, but it does mean if you’re going to have a value meal, substitute the fries for a salad, the soda for diet, or learn to indulge every once in a while instead of  everyday.

None of us are perfect, hence the reason why I created this site. What we are is responsible for our personal health, and I want each and every one of you to reach your goals with support from your sisters across the world!