Day 54

Article from today’s Toronto Star: Don’t resign yourself to the pound-a-year rule

August 17, 2011

Does this sound familiar? You open your closet one day (maybe yesterday) and realize that the amount of too-tight clothes has mysteriously multiplied. How did that happen?

Gaining weight with age often occurs so gradually — a pound-a-year creep is the rule in North America — that you’re not quite sure when or why it happened. But 20 years equals 20 pounds. Yikes! Don’t resign yourself to it.

Here are six things that have the biggest impact on weight gain as you age. Prepare for some surprises.

1. Potatoes. Yep, if you tend to eat a lot of fried potatoes, potato chips and mashed potatoes, you’re more likely to gain weight through the years than someone who favours 100 per cent whole grains and other complex carbs, says new data.

2. Red meat. All meat (regular or processed) makes you gain. Fish (as long as it’s not fried), fruits and vegetables don’t.

3. Sugar. Okay, no surprise here. Sugary drinks and desserts (and other highly processed carbs, like white bread) make you bulge. Naturally sweet fruit doesn’t.

4. Lifting only light things. Like forks. Weight training builds muscle. Muscle burns more calories 24/7 than soft stuff. Make push-ups and squats an every-other-day habit. No equipment needed.

5. Lack of sleep. It affects your waistline. Not least because you eat for energy when you’re tired or stay up late. Aim for 6.5-8 hours.

6. TV. Watching three hours a day adds five pounds every 20 years. Exercise does the opposite. But you knew that!

Day 53

Healthy Groceies

Healthy Choices

WW day 3

I am so glad that I started with WW again. I needed the proper guidelines for proper nutrition and food intake. I went out on the weekend and bought all the ingredients to make proper take-to-work lunches. My good friend and motivator has sent me this WW newsletter below about keeping up your mood. She told me along with this, she also takes daily Vitamin B complex, to boost her spirits, and keep her out of the moody blues.

Mood Food

  • Article By: Carole Ann Rice

When was the last time you were happy? If your answer is “who cares? I can’t remember anyway” then maybe your diet is affecting your memory and mood in more ways than you think.

It sounds incredible, but put simply, we all know how, albeit temporarily, we feel good after eating something truly delicious. Like that wonderful high we feel after a chocolate binge, for example. This shows us how food can affect our moods and lift our spirits.


However, it’s a sad fact that often these high sugar and high fat feel-good foods have the adverse effect of lifting our blood sugar levels only to have them come crashing down and causing us to feel low or lethargic shortly after.

It’s no wonder we can’t always put our roller coaster moods down to hormones or time of the month.

Experts say that your intelligence and memory aren’t purely determined by your genetic programming. What you eat can make a big difference to your mental abilities.

You are what you eat
Keeping your blood sugar balanced is probably the most important factor in maintaining an even energy, mood and concentration as well as weight.

When the level of glucose in our body drops we are likely to experience a whole host of symptoms including fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, nervousness, depression, excessive thirst, sweating, headaches and digestive problems.

This is when we crave sweet, starchy foods, or tea, or coffee, to give us a lift and before we know it, it becomes a vicious circle of artificial highs and real energy draining lows.

But there are a whole variety of feel good food enhancers that you can supplement your diet with to aid memory and to help ward off those blue moments.

Calcium and magnesium are particularly good supplements to take if you are feeling ragged and your nerves are shot to pieces and zinc has been proven to be one of the most powerful nutrients for mental health.

Patrick Holford, best-selling author of The Optimum Nutrition Bible says that every one of the 50 known essential nutrients, with the exception of vitamin D, has a role to play in promoting brain function.

“The B complex group of vitamins are vital for mental health. Deficiency of any one of the eight B vitamins will rapidly affect how you think and feel,” he says.

“As they are water-soluble and rapidly pass out of the body so we need a regular intake throughout the day to keep us topped up.”

This is where your variety of fresh vegetables comes in via salads, crudités and soups.

Vitamin C, he adds, not only helps boost your immunity against colds it also helps the brain to balance neurotransmitters so start getting your daily dose of carrots, parsley, oranges and berries.

So remember that if you stick to a healthy vitamin and mineral-packed diet you will soon see how quickly your short-term memory improves and nothing beats that feel good buzz that comes with reaching your target weight.

Below is a checklist supplied by the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, which is designed to boost your memory and your mood.

Mood and memory action plan:

  • Eat a serving of fish at least every other day – particularly oily fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel
  • Use (sparingly!) cold-pressed sunflower, pumpkin seed or flax oil on salads
  • Eat one heaped teaspoon of ground seeds daily – on cereal, soups, salads or casseroles
  • Eat plenty of B vitamin rich foods – whole grains, beans, lentils, fish, seeds and vegetables
  • Eat plenty of zinc-rich foods – nuts, seeds and whole grains
  • Try to cut out, or limit, stimulants such as tea, coffee and cigarettes
  • Avoid too many sugary foods or processed foods with chemical additives
  • Load up on glasses of water, diluted juices and herb or fruit teas
  • Try to avoid frying foods wherever possible
  • Avoid processed fats

Day 50

Portion Control!

I met a good friend last week that has been with Weight Watchers for 3 years now. We actually started our journey together 3 years ago, her route, WW’s and mine, exercise. She is still on track and has not gained back the weight she lost.

As we were talking I mentioned the ‘ Diet’ word… and she immediately said, no Wendy it’s called a permanent life style change! I haven’t gained my lost weight back because I have learned the biggest lesson of all …. Portion Control!

She is wanting to lose the last 5 pounds to reach her goal, so she can become a ‘ life – time member’ this would result in her fees for WW meetings would be waved… but she says she doesn’t put a time limit on it. In 3 years she has lost 68 pounds. She took her time!

I asked what a typical day of eating was like for her. I was shocked actually how little portions she eats, but she did point out as long as I stay within my ‘ points’ I pretty well can eat anything, even including  a scoop of ice cream and  2 daily Arrowroot cookies.

HERE IS MY PROBLEM!

Even though I am now exercising every day, weight training and walking, I still am not on track with my eating! So… I pulled out my Weight Watchers kit, that I still have and calculated my daily points according to my weight and now I am using my iphone app, iWatcher again, and from today on I am back to tracking my points ! I need this discipline!

My friend mentioned that with the ‘ new WW point system’ that ALL fruits and Vegetables are now zero points! So go ahead and bring out that bowl of grapes or plums and munch away!

Day 45

Feeling fresh!

So I”m back! Having survived the construction mess, and now that it’s all behind me, I can get back to my new routine. I don’t do well with not having control of my personal space, and also started my new job this week.

I am totally a type ‘ A ‘ personality…

Type A personality

Type A individual are ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

So now my house is done, and my dear friend Rob came this morning. He didn’t bring the scale, he knew there was no point, and me too, so we went straight up to the transition room, didn’t dwell or talk to much about the last 2 weeks of non progress. He said, it’s normal to have dips now and then…  just think about today, and the future. So then we got straight to working on our brand new 1 hour workout.

So now it’s back to routine= 1 hour cardio in the morning, weights at night.  Enjoying my new job, new work outs and a new feeling fresh me!

new pushups with weights

Rob's new push up exercise with 10 lbs weights.. Milo is not so impressed!