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Eating Healthy During The Holidays

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 2, 2010

Is it possible to eat healthy during the holidays?  Do you really want to?

For me, the answer is yes and no.

Yes, I know it’s possible to continue to eat healthy during the holidays.  But no, I really don’t want to.  So instead, I’ll try to find a happy medium.

Some say that most people only gain about a pound during the holidays, others say you can gain up to ten…I imagine it depends on the person.

Here are my 8 tips for avoiding holiday weight gain that I wrote last year around this time…

1.  Avoid empty calories – Instead of drinking high calorie beverages, try drinking water with lemon. And limit alcohol whenever possible.

2.   Try not to go to holiday parties hungry. When possible, eat a healthy meal before you attend the party. You will make much better food choices if you are not starving when you arrive to the party.

3.  If you must indulge in holiday treats, remember that portion control is key. Just have one cookie, rather than a handful. Or have a small piece of pie, rather than a large piece. It’s okay to indulge, just try not to over-indulge.

4.  Try making your favorite recipes healthier, just about every recipe has a healthy version.

5.   Burn a few extra calories by having fun and dancing to your favorite holiday music. Don’t just listen to those holiday tunes, burn calories by dancing to them too. Kids love it when mom dances with them.

6.   When possible, avoid stress. I know this is easier said then done, especially at this time of the year. But many of us are emotional eaters, and stress is an emotion that can really pack on the pounds. Do what ever possible to avoid stress.

7.  Dress for success. Try to wear snug fitting clothing, it will make you more conscious of your food intake. And we usually look thinner when we’re not wearing clothes that are too bagging.

8.  As always, avoid processed foods. Remember, you are what you eat.

Of course, I will be trying to stick to these tips as much as possible, but it’s easier to know the things we should be doing than it is to actually do them (at least for me).  Here’s an example of one of my many healthy holiday eating dilemmas…

For Thanksgiving my son wanted me to make the pumpkin cheesecake that I made last year (everybody loved it), so I did.  And since it’s a recipe lower in fat and calories, it seemed like it should be a healthy dessert choice — that was until I realized I couldn’t stop at just one serving (or even two for that matter).  I guess you could say, I over did it a bit.

I know the best thing for me to do is to get over it and get back to making healthier choices.  So instead of focusing on the negative, I’m going to follow my tips on the days I can, and not be too hard on myself on the days I can’t.  I think that’s a pretty good plan.

What about you?  Are you worried about holiday weight gain?  Will you be trying to eat healthy over the next few weeks, or are you going to indulge your cravings and worry about it after the new year?  I would love to know in comments.

Also See:

*cross posted at catherine-morgan.com

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Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Weight-Loss and Fitness: My “Choose You” Update

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 29, 2010

Well, I’m here to admit that I was unsuccessful in my Choose You commitment.  I don’t really consider it a failure though, because I did meet most of my goals.  I’m very happy that I am finally at the point where I am not craving sweets and other junk foods.

I didn’t lose any weight, but I was successful in maintaining my healthier eating habits.  I wasn’t even tempted when my daughter brought back a plate full of deserts when we went out last week.

I have no plans of giving up.  My next Choose You commitment will be to continue my healthy eating while also integrating regular exercise (specifically swimming) into my plan.  Although I hope to lose some weight in conjunction with all of this, I’m not going to hold myself to any number on a scale.  If I lose five pounds that will be a great bonus, but I know the most important thing is that I am choosing a healthier lifestyle for myself.

I recently wrote a post about choosing to see the positive when we are working hard at weight-loss and fitness goals, but not seeing many results.

I find myself in the classic half-full or half-empty mark in my healthy eating plan. I can choose to see my plan as half empty, because I haven’t even lost one pound yet. Or I can choose to see my plan as half-full, because I have had success in eating healthier foods and avoiding sugar. In other words, I can choose to feel good about myself or choose to feel like a failure. It’s totally up to me. And I’ve decided to try something new, “choose” to feel good about myself and take a closer look at all the ways I’ve been successful.

Although I haven’t lost any weight yet, I have had the strength and willpower to maintain healthy eating habits (and give-up sugar) for over six weeks.  In my book, that’s success.

Anyway, that’s my story.  I’ll let you know more about my new commitment next week.

Posted in about me, body image, dieting, Health, life, my life, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tips For Increasing Your Dieting & Weight Loss Willpower

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 12, 2010

How important is willpower when it comes to our ability to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Is it possible to change poor eating habits to healthy ones if you don’t have a lot of willpower?

My answer:  The more willpower you have the easier it will be, but perfection isn’t necessary.

No one wants to admit that they lack willpower or self-control, but the truth is, none of us has an unlimited supply.  Some days we may have less self control than others, but that makes us normal, not imperfect.

When it comes to healthy living, a healthy dose of willpower is helpful.  The good thing is, once you’ve had the willpower to resist certain unhealthy choices and adapt healthy ones, willpower is needed less and less because your new choices become habit.

If you have unhealthy habits, it is possible to change them into healthy habits.  They say it takes about three weeks for something to become a habit (or to unlearn a habit), so those first three weeks are when willpower is most needed.  And there are things we can do to help maintain are willpower during these critical times.  Here are a few tips…

1.  Have a plan for dealing with times of low willpower. Making the plan before you’ve lost your willpower is key.  Think of all the possible problems that could arise, and then come up with some ways to help you overcome them.

For example:  If eating healthy is your goal, make sure you have a lot of healthy alternatives available for the days you’re feeling you must eat something that you know you shouldn’t.  If you don’t think that will work, then go ahead and eat what you’re craving, just limit yourself to one serving of it (rather than the whole box).  If you think it will help, write down your solutions to the possible problems in a journal or on a post-it note, and review them frequently.

The most important thing is to be prepared.  Because it’s not a matter of  will you have a moment of weakened self-control, it’s a matter of when.

2.  Find ways to reduce the stress in your life.  Emotions definitely play a role in the amount of willpower we have on any given day.  If you’re an emotional eater, you know what I’m talking about.  Do what ever you can to reduce stress in your life.  Here are a few ideas…

Do what ever you can do to reduce the stress in your life.  This isn’t just a way to help your willpower, this is a necessary component of healthy living.

3.  Have a glass of orange juice. Studies show that glucose is a key ingredient that your brain needs to help maintain an effective level of self-control (willpower).

4.  Exercise the willpower muscle.  Don’t wait for something huge to come along and challenge your willpower.  Instead, make an effort to challenge your willpower on a smaller scale more frequently.  Doing this actually builds up your ability for having greater willpower at the times you really need it.

These are a few tips that can help you develop stronger willpower.  But it’s important to know that we will all have times we falter, there is no such thing as having complete self-control, and that is perfectly okay.

What are your willpower issues?  Do you have any tips you can share about ways to maintain willpower for healthy living and healthy eating?

Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Dieting, Weight Loss, and a Choose You Giveaway.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 26, 2010

An Update and a Giveaway…My very first give away.

I’m happy to report that even with additional temptations this weekend [It was my mother’s birthday and we got her an ice-cream cake, chocolate volcano cake, and cheese cake.] I was still successful in my goal to not eat sugar.  It actually wasn’t hard at all to resist, I think because it’s been over two weeks, I’m just not craving the sugar the way I normally do.  So that’s a plus!

Do you want to see the Birthday Dance of my mother that I made with the American Cancer Society’s new dance application?  Here’s the link – Frances Ellen Disco Dancing (Feel free to tease her about it in comments, she loves all the attention).

OK, back to my post.

Since I was so successful with my first (two week) commitment, I decided to make a longer and more difficult commitment next.  For the next six weeks I will be continuing to avoid sugar, but I will also eliminate high fat/calorie snacks and junk food, and lose 5 pounds.

That’s a lot…But you think I can do it, right?

So that’s my new commitment.  Now for the giveaway.

Since I know my Choose You Commitment is going to get more and more difficult to stick with, I wanted to do something to increase my online support.  It may sound silly, but I love getting comments of support and tips from my readers.  And the more feedback I get, the more encouraged I get.  So I asked the folks at the American Cancer Society if I could do a giveaway.  Not only did they say yes, but they agreed to donate a Choose You Stainless Water Bottle and a Choose You Lapel Pin.

All you have to do is go to MY CHOOSE YOU BLOG POST and leave a comment on the post and you will be entered to win (I’ll announce the winner when I post next Tuesday).  Any comment will do, but like I said in my first post I could use all the support I can get from you.

Also See:

Catherine is the mother of two teenagers, she writes about health & wellness at BlogHer and catherine-morgan.com.

*cross posted at Choose You

Posted in about me, blog, body image, cancer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eat Healthy For Life, Not For Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 5, 2010

Eat Healthy For Life Not Weight Loss

We know that the food we choose to put into our body can have a huge affect on our health and quality of life, but many of us still choose to eat unhealthy foods.  Let’s face it, the unhealthy stuff tastes really good, and we don’t usually have cravings for healthy food.  That’s exactly why obesity is such a large problem for both adults and children in our country…But is dieting the answer?  I don’t think so.  As we all know, dieting can often lead to a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain, that leaves many weighing more in the long run.

So if dieting isn’t the answer…What is?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, teens, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Carnie Wilson Talks About Her Food & Alcohol Addiction on Dr. Oz

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 11, 2010

carniedrozEarlier this week I was part of a conference call with Carnie Wilson, who was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show to talk about her food and alcohol addiction.

Carnie Wilson has always struggled with her weight.  She even had gastric bypass surgery in 1999.  Then after going through two pregnancies, and gaining 50 pounds each time, she found herself battling the extra weight all over again.

Carnie told us that the show was “very dramatic,” and “the fact that he had labeled me morbidly obese really shocked me.” But, she also says, “Dr. Oz was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”   Carnie was confused when Dr. Oz told her that she was pre-diabetic – “I was actually in shock because I just had blood work done.  All that blood work came back normal.  To this day I am not pre-diabetic,” she said in the press call. “If he wants to call me that, it’s fine, but my glucose levels are at a normal range.”

After watching the show, I can understand how Carnie may have been shocked by some of the things Dr. Oz was saying to her.  It’s funny to me how Dr. Oz seems to try so hard to make medical issues more understandable to the average person, but he didn’t clarify many of the comments he was making about Carnie.  For instance, doctors refer to patients as “morbidly obese” strictly based on their weight and BMI.   But clearly, although Carnie may fit the medical definition of morbidly obese, she is obviously in a much healthier place than she was in the past.   And when Dr. Oz checks her glucose level, he does so by using a method diabetics use to keep track of their blood sugar throughout the day. Carnie’s doctor would be using a much more accurate method that involves fasting blood work, and that’s why she is so certain she is not pre-diabetic…she probably isn’t.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Study Finds Weight Bias In Healthcare

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 23, 2010

I came across a pretty disturbing article today…It suggests that doctors are bias against overweight women, to the extent of jeopardizing their health and well-being.  It’s no secret that overweight people are discriminated against in many ways.  But recent studies have found that overweight women are actually being discriminated by their own doctors and health care professionals.  With two out of every three Americans considered to be overweight or obese, this bias could be putting many people at risk.  Could you be one of them?

How serious is the problem?

It begins with the availability of  quality health care.  If you are overweight, you may have a harder time getting health insurance, or be made to pay higher premiums than your thinner counterparts.  And it doesn’t stop there.  You may be paying more, but getting less.  For instance, an overweight woman is more likely to be misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong dosage of medications.  There is also a greater risk of not detecting cancer early enough for effective treatment.  And, overweight women are also less likely to find a fertility doctor to help them have a child.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, news, opinion, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is your eating style? Do you follow one of the popular diet plans?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 21, 2010

What is your eating style?  Do you follow one of the popular diet plans?

If you’re looking to eat healthy or lose weight in the new year, there are a lot of diet plans out there to choose from.  But how do you know which plan is best for you?  I’m not a fan of fad diets – Even when they work, they are often an unhealthy choice and any weight lost is usually quickly gained back.  But there are diet plans geared towards healthy eating and healthy weight loss.  Maybe you’re already following one.

In this post I thought we could take a look at some of the diet plans that also focus on healthy eating.  Because, in the long run, changing unhealthy eating habits to healthy ones is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BlogHer, body image, cooking, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Cookie Diet: Can you really lose weight?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 31, 2009

cookie dietIs it possible to eat cookies and lose weight?  Well, Dr. Sanford Siegal would certainly like you to think so.  After all, at $56 for a week’s supply, Dr. Siegal is going to make an estimated $18 million this year selling his weight-loss cookies.   It’s called The Cookie Diet, and if you like cookies it may sound like a great way to lose weight.  But is it?

Usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.  And apparently the first deception about this diet is calling it a cookie.  The word “cookie” implies that it’s a yummy treat, but it seems everyone agrees they don’t taste very good.  Also, the meal-plan for the cookie diet restricts the dieter to only one meal a day, and less than 1000 calories.  Anytime you restrict calories that low, weight-loss is inevitable (with or without the cookie).

A friend of mine tried these cookies because someone she worked with seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight using them.  But she told me the cookies were very dry and not tasty at all.  She also said she would never buy them again, because they didn’t work.  When I asked her about the co-worker that had lost so much weight using the cookies, she mentioned that she saw the guy recently, and he had gained all the weight back.

Here is more about The Cookie Diet…

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, opinion, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Diet: Tips For Avoiding Sugar During Halloween

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

Avoiding Candy Cravings During Halloween and Sticking To A Healthy Diet

halloween candyI have been successfully off of sugar since my post Conquering Sugar Addiction:  The First Step Towards A Healthy Diet (and the toughest), but I know I am always just one bite of a brownie away from falling off the wagon.  And now there is another huge temptation – Halloween.  It seems like everywhere I go I am faced with those giant bags of Halloween candy.  The next few weeks are going to be a real test of my new-found willpower.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with Halloween candy temptations.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, body image, dieting, food, Health, kids, life, motherhood, my life, nutrition, parenting, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Birthdays: How Do They Make You Feel?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 22, 2009

birthdaycupcakeBirthdays:  How do they make you feel?

Today is my birthday.  Should I be stressed because I’m getting (and looking) older?  Or should I be grateful for the opportunity to have another year of life?

I know the politically correct answer is – be grateful.  But truthfully, it’s more of a mixed bag for me.  I admit that I like it when people tell me that I don’t look my age (even when I know they are probably lying).  But at the same time, I really am thankful for every day of my life.  And overall, I’m more grateful for turning 23 33 43 than stressed about getting older.

This summer I was honored to be asked to become part of The American Cancer Society’s Blogger CouncilThe American Cancer Society is trying to change the way women think about their birthdays through their More Birthdays Campaign

To most people, birthdays are just a reminder that they’re getting older. But at the American Cancer Society, “Happy Birthday” is a victory song, because a world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays. And that’s definitely something to celebrate.

More than 11 million Americans who have survived cancer—and countless others who have avoided it—will celebrate a birthday this year, thanks to the progress we’re making together to help people stay well and get well, to find cures, and fight back.

So I’ve declared The American Cancer Society the official sponsor of my birthday.  Here is the link to my American Cancer Society Birthday Page

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/catherinemorgan

Let me know what you think, and feel free to also leave a small donation to The American Cancer Society.

Women blogging about birthdays

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in about me, BlogHer, body image, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, my life, personal, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Catherine’s Top 3 Tips For Healthy Living

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 20, 2009

appleHere are three easy tips that can help anyone become a healthier version of themselves.

via Catherine’s Top 3 Tips For Healthy Living.

Posted in body image, children, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, kids, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Interview with LeAnn Rimes: On body image, psoriasis and Michael Jackson

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 15, 2009

LeAnn Rimes Interview:  Her Courageous Battle With Psoriasis

So…A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to interview LeAnn Rimes about her struggles with psoriasis and her awareness campaign Stop Hiding & Start Living. I think it’s a great campaign and I was happy to help bring more awareness to this physically and emotionally debilitating skin condition.

As women we so often feel bad about ourselves because of the way we look. We might be having a bad hair day, or have a bit of acne on our face, or feel like we could stand to lose a few more pounds…It’s really a vicious cycle and sometimes even a pit of despair that we never seem to quite be able to climb out of. I think that’s why stories like the one LeAnn Rimes will share with us in this interview are so empowering.

The American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation have joined together to form the Stop Hiding from Psoriasis public education campaign. This campaign is dedicated to:

  • Educating the general public about how this chronic immune disorder affects nearly 7 million Americans.
  • Motivating patients suffering from psoriasis to Stop Hiding and
    Start Living.
  • Encouraging patients to see a dermatologist and discuss appropriate ways to manage
    their disease.

LeAnn Rimes stands up to psoriasis…

The spotlight has followed singer LeAnn Rimes for most of her life. Unfortunately, so has the embarrassment of her psoriasis. But not anymore. LeAnn is taking a stand to Stop Hiding from her psoriasis and wants you to Stop Hiding and Start Living too.

Earlier this week I spoke with LeAnn…

me1 How difficult was it growing up with psoriasis and at such a young age?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Well yes, I was diagnosed when I was two, so I pretty much don’t know anything other than having it…by the time I was six I was 80% covered, everything but my hands, feet and face. It was very debilitating physically and mentally. Even as a child having people really not understanding what the disease is and thinking it was contagious and trying to stay away from me. My parents really did a good job of covering it up, especially my mom, [with] the way she dressed me. And it was hard, it was hard being in the public eye. ‘Til the time I was 13 I wasn’t really able to wear dresses (short dresses) on the red carpet, or shorts in the middle of the summer…I would always wear jeans. It was really tough; it took a toll on my self esteem for a long time.

me1 Did other children tease you when you were a child?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Yes, I would sometimes miss out on pool parties and things because I would never want to be around other girls with my bathing suite on – because they really didn’t understand what it was.

Read full post and interview with LeAnn Rimes at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in blogging, body image, chronic illness, depression, empowerment, Health, inspirational, life, success, teens, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m Not A Teenager, So Why Do I Still Have Acne? Can Retin-A Help?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 12, 2009

I went to the dermatologist for the first time in my life last week…At the ripe old age of 42, I thought it was about time.    I decided it was time to go for several reasons:

  1. Living in Florida and understanding the seriousness of skin cancer, I thought it was important to have a full body check by a qualified dermatologist.
  2. I have a mild case of rosacea, but I’ve been told that the condition often gets worse with age.
  3. I never seemed to outgrow getting acne, and I figured there must be something better than over the counter stuff.
  4. I also have what I thought were sun or age spots, but the dermatologist actually said they were probably related to hormones.
  5. And of course, I was wondering if there was some way to help my skin age more gracefully.

Even though none of my skin problems were very serious, together they were beginning to bother me.  Since I had insurance that covered most of the cost of going to a dermatologist, I decided to make the appointment.  And I’m really glad I did.

Read full post on Retin-A at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, body image, chronic illness, Health, life, personal, thoughts, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Losing Weight and Getting In Shape For The Summer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 22, 2009

Sunday marks the first day of summer…How are you feeling about getting into your bathing suit?  Personally, I was hoping to be in a little better shape by now.  Even though I’ve been successful at getting closer to my ideal weight, I’ve been playing one step forward and two steps back for the last several weeks.

Since I know I’m not the only mom out there struggling to eat healthy and lose weight, I’m not going to give up.  I’m determined to have my Valerie Bertinelli moment, and it would be great if I could get to it sometime this summer.  And yes, I do have a plan.  It involves a few of the things that have already worked for me, and a couple of new (somewhat unconventional) ideas too.

Here’s an unconventional idea from izzimomBest Weight Loss Tip Ever

I’m not implying that any of YOU need to lose weight but if you ever need some inspiration to keep your eye on the ball and your ass in gear, just put on your bathing suit and look in the mirror. This is especially important if you’re putting on your bathing suit for the first time since it got warm. The impact will be much greater. But possibly more depressing, too. Consider yourself warned.

Then? Repeat EVERY SINGLE DAY so you never, ever become complacent or forget that you have NOT reached your goal…mostly because you sit in front of your computer all day. Ahem.

Check out some of the comments here.

I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to This Mama

From This Mama Cooks! On A Diet – My Weight Loss, Slower Than A Herd Of Turtles

Most weight loss and diet bloggers do a lot of weekly update posts. I haven’t since going back to Weight Watchers earlier this year and starting on their Momentum Plan. You know why? Because reading that I’ve lost 1 pound here, or gained a few pounds back there, is boring.

Well, it’s beyond boring to me that is. In fact, it’s downright maddening.

I know I’m going to need to shake things up a bit if I’m going to get back in the swing of things.  So, here is my plan…

First, something new – I’m going to take the advice of Violette DeSantis from Type-A Mom and try eating a Horned Melon (hopefully they aren’t too expensive)…

If we are not eating right our efforts at dieting and exercise are complemented with fatigue. Truth is we are more apt to work at eating right and continuing on a course of fitness when we have energy and less frustration. One remedy to fight fatigue is iron and a favorite source for most of us is melon. What usually comes to mind is our summer favorite, watermelon but let’s discover a new melon that packs a wallop of iron, the horned melon.

Yes, it looks scary; a puffer fish on a vine. I promise it won’t bite back.

Second, something old – I’m going to get more exercise to try to increase my metabolism, as suggested by Workout Mommy – Simple Ways To Lose Weight

Instead of spending your free time on the couch, walk around and get a few household chores done as you keep an eye and an ear on the television. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs. Park at the end of the lot so that you need to walk longer to get to the office or your home. And get down to enjoy some rambunctious fun with your kids. These are small things, they’re certainly not what we would call exercise, but they do increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.

And third, something unconventional – I’m going to try a subliminal weight loss program that I received a few months ago.  I listened to it a few times, but never committed to using it every day.  But starting tonight, I’m going to give it a real try.

I’m hoping these subliminal messages will help keep me motivated to make healthy food choices and say “no” to the empty calories and angry whoppers.  I’ll keep a journal for the next month so I can report back to everyone on whether it actually worked or not.

So that’s my plan, and I’m going to try really hard to stick to it.  Do you have any plans for staying healthy or losing weight this summer?  Will you be trying any unconventional weight loss methods?  Does the thought of being seen in a bathing suit affect your desire to get into better shape?  Let me know in comments.

Posted in body image, dieting, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

What You Need To Know Before You Fill Out An Online Questionnaire

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 1, 2009

How private do you think your personal medical information is?  You may be surprised (or angry) to find out the truth.

Could you be unknowingly giving away your private information to unscrupulous marketers?  Well, if you’re one of the 27 million people that have taken an online questionnaire to determine your real age, that may be exactly what has already happened.

From Stephanie Clifford at The New York Times

While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing.

RealAge allows drug companies to send e-mail messages based on those test results. It acts as a clearinghouse for drug companies, including Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, allowing them to use almost any combination of answers from the test to find people to market to, including whether someone is taking antidepressants, how sexually active they are and even if their marriage is happy.

From The Great Fitness Experiment — Is Your Real Age Accurate?

At first I will admit I was thrilled with my results. See? That healthy living obsession is paying off in the form of high-kicking organs and a mind that could battle wits against a Sicillian and win (although not in a land war in Asia.) But then the doubt started to creep in. I fussed around with my results and discovered something interesting: the test puts an immense, some might say disproportionate, emphasis on certain supplements. Especially confusing to me was the pro vitamin E stance, considering all the recent research about its harmful effects. A supplement that reportedly causes a 15% increase in early death actually added years to my life according to the quiz. Are they just operating off of old research? After all, Vitamin E used to be the wonder supplement before Vitamin D threw it off the bridge with cement shoes. Or, is something more nefarious going on?

. . .

In addition, The Real Age test, backed by Oprah’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, has branched out into a full online community with mailing lists, chat rooms and even recipes. Boasting a membership of over 27 million, they’ve got a lot of eyeballs. So not only is the test assigning an arbitrary number based on dubious health principles but they’re also creating one of the largest online drug marketing databases in the world.

This is from Cranky Fitness — Find Your “Real” Real Age

Have you taken the “Real Age” test? It’s that site where you sign up and answer a bunch of family history and lifestyle questions. Then the site figures your health risks and tells you how old you “really” are.

Twenty seven million people have taken it so far. And it’s energetically pushed by Oprah’s pal, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Jodie Andrefski wrote Those Fun Online Quizzes May Be More Than You Bargained For

Then, you have sites like RealAge. Oh, this one is nifty. This one is popular for telling you what your biological age is based on your answers to a detailed quiz about health habits and family history. Are you depressed? How often do you have sex? Now, the answers to these rather personal questions aren’t just to figure out your “Real Age” by the way. Ahhhh….no. Your information is then used to market you based on your answers. Depressed? Having problems in that area and Viagra is starting to look good? Well, let us (RealAge) help. We will allow partners to sponsor messages that we will then send to you. Aren’t we ever so helpful? *cough, cough*

“These [types of sites] are data-mining havens where users willingly opt in from the very beginning,” says Ryan Jacobson, an attorney and co-chairman of the Entertainment Media and Privacy Law Group at the law firm SmithAmundsen in Chicago. “I’m afraid that the average user fails to recognize or take the time to understand what privacy rights he or she is actually giving up by responding.”

What do you think about the way this RealAge site is using our basic desire to stay young and healthy, just to turn around and sell us out to pharmaceutical companies?  Is it dishonest?  Or a shrude business plan?  Have you taken the questionair?  Is so…How does it make you feel knowing your personal information  is being used to send you pharmaceutical spam?  Let us know in comments.

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Stalker Nutritionist Ambushes Women For Reality TV Show

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 11, 2009

Stalker Diet Detective Ambushes Overweight Women For Reality TV Show

Yes, you heard right.  There is a new show on We-TV that has many women (including myself) up in arms – It’s called I Want To Save Your Life.  But what could be so bad about a show that wants to save lives?  Well, it gives the impression it is a kind of “intervention” type show…but it’s really an attack on women who are overweight.

This show is wrong on so many levels that I barely know where to start.  Below is a promo clip of this pathetic excuse for reality tv.

I did happen to see this show last week, and it was quite shocking.   I think the worst part about it is how family members (in the case I saw it was the husband), basically “rat out” the women and allow this guy to stalk them and then confront them about their weight and diet on reality tv.   I don’t know who is worse, the stalker nutritionist or the husband who rats out his wife?

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Kirstie Alley on Oprah Talking About Her Weight Gain

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 5, 2009

Kirstie Alley on Oprah Talking About Her Weight Gain

Did you see Kirstie Alley on Oprah?  She was on to talk about her weight gain, and her desire to develop her own weight loss program.   The interview wasn’t at all what I expected.  She talked to Oprah about spending this past year researching weight loss (for her soon to be announced weight loss program), while gaining even more weight than she had lost on Jenny Craig.  It was a bit odd.

One of the biggest questions I got from my post on Valerie Bertinelli’s recent weight loss, was about whether or not she will be able to keep it off once she stops the Jenny Craig diet.  It seems that if Kirstie Alley is any example, the answer might be no.

What do you think?

I’ve known for a while now that Kirstie Alley had gained back all of the weight she lost on the Jenny Craig diet, and I have no judgment of her about that.   After all, most of us spend a good portion of our lives gaining, losing, and gaining again.  I’m no exception.  I just don’t understand why she didn’t seem to make any attempt at all to maintain her weight loss?  Even moving all of her high-end exercise equipment to her garage.  Why?   She obviously had the means to hire people to cook healthy meals for her, or trainers to work-out with her.  Why didn’t she?  I think I could understand a little better if she wasn’t also claiming to be developing her own weight loss program.  I just don’t get it.

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Are You An Emotional Eater?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 27, 2009

Understanding why we overeat is an important step on the road to making healthy food choices.  And for many of us, our unhealthy emotions are contributing to our unhealthy eating.

It’s called being an emotional eater.  Are you one of them?  I can admit…I am. I think if we are being honest with ourselves, we all do this to some degree. And in small doses, emotional eating isn’t so bad. But many of us have gone way beyond minor emotional eating. Many of us are using food to avoid dealing with our true feelings…and not only doesn’t it work, but it also compounds are troubles with feelings of guilt and anger toward ourselves.

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Healthy Fast Food? Help…I’m Addicted To The Angry Whopper!

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 23, 2009

Is there a such thing as “healthy” fast food?

I think if you work hard at it, it is possible to eat healthy at some fast food restaurants.  But to do this you also have to find the willpower to see those giant pictures of burgers and fries all around, and still choose to buy the less attractive healthy item.  It’s not always easy, and recently it’s become a real problem for me.

After doing well at making healthy food choices and even losing weight, a few weeks ago I fell off the wagon.  It’s so bad that I am actually afraid to get on the scale to see the extent of the damage.  The crazy thing is, I’m not a fast food junkie (or at least I never was), but something called an Angry Whopper is turning me into a total addict.   Seriously, I feel totally out of control.  The worst part is, it was just a whim that I even tried this stupid thing in the first place, and every day since I have been wishing I could turn back time and replay that decision.

angry-whopper

I really need to get a handle on this, and even though I know it is sooooo bad for me to eat these things, something is just not clicking.  Ironically, it was about two years ago that I developed a similar problem with a Natcho Cheese Chalupa at Taco Bell.  I think the turning point for me with the Chalupa was when I actually looked up the nutritional value (or lack there of).

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »