26 Feb

Why Weight-Loss Efforts Fail

Twice the Man over at Second Time Around linked to an interesting article on MSN titled “Why Weight-Loss Efforts Fail.” While the main focus of the article regards things that cause a person to fail, there are some good weight-loss strategies listed, too:

But the ones deemed most effective were the simplest — reducing calories and increasing exercise. Other rules that worked included: decreasing sugar intake; increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, vitamins and water; watching less TV; and eating at home more often.

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to diet many times, Dansinger suggests getting a “coach.” A coach can be your doctor, another health professional, or a friend who’ll hold you accountable to your goals, he said. He also suggests recording your intake of calories every day, limiting calories, and exercising seven hours a week, including cardiovascular and weight workouts.

Quite a few of those suggestions are also on my action plan for losing weight. And the ones that aren’t should be. For example, the exercise. I still haven’t figured out how to get myself back up and going with that. And we even own a treadmill! I think I need to start going back to the rec center for exercise. I dunno how I’ll fit that into my schedule now, but being there created a situation where I could not slack off, where I could not procrastinate, where I had to exercise. And, more importantly, where I enjoyed exercising.

I think I just need to start going once the kids turn in for the night. Load up my iPod Nano with a bunch of podcast and then head out. Force myself to juggle the rest of my schedule…

26 Feb

Weigh-in for February 26, 2007

Weight: 333
Difference from last entry: +3

That was most definitely a fast month-and-a-half. It actually surprised the heck out of me that it has been 5 weeks since my last weigh-in. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. This year is already getting away from me. And it is only (already?) February. I am perpetually behind. Le sigh…

Anyway, the end of January was very stressful, as my wife and I had to say goodbye to one of our foster children. I’m very happy that he and his mother are living together, but it was very sad to let him go. That whole couple of weeks was super emotional and super stressful. And, of course, I did my standard emotional eating.

But that was quite a while ago. It is now time for me to get my head right. And one thing that I realized can help me out a lot is having a new anchor. I’ve mentioned anchors here before: in short, it’s a physical object that you wear that helps remind a person to resist temptation. I had tried using my wedding ring as an anchor, but I am too used to wearing it. I’ve been wearing my wedding ring for more than 5 years now. I don’t even really notice it when I have it on. And that is counter the idea of an anchor. An anchor is supposed to be something that one is consciously aware of. And so I decided I need something brand new.

Being a huge Doctor Who fan, I often look for cool DW memorabilia. I ran across the pendant shown in the photo on eBay, and fell in love! It’s a replica of the Doctor’s key to the TARDIS. It’s ultra-cool, something I really want, and it will work wonderfully as an anchor. So I ordered one! It was only $22 shipped from England, which seemed like a good deal to me.

One other thing I wanted to mention today: goals. Because of my backsliding in January, my goals for the year have been thrown off a bit. So I am moving my goal dates a bit. I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of March, 10% of my body weight (or 33 pounds) by the end of May, and be down 50 pounds by the end of summer. That gives me six months to drop 50 pounds: this is a very attainable goal, if I am good.

Now I just need to be good.

05 Feb

Metabolic syndrome?

I first read about Metabolic Syndrome in Wired magazine (issue 14.10: The Thin Pill). When I first read about it, I was torn, thinking both Wow, that could be me! and Hmmm… sounds like a hoax. For those who don’t know:

metabolic syndrome is just a new way to think about a cluster of well-known and increasingly prevalent conditions. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by five risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides (fatty acids in the bloodstream), low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and obesity. Of the five, obesity – which is itself often referred to as an epidemic – is the most important, because the rise of the morbidly overweight is directly driving the rise in the syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is, in fact, almost indistinguishable from obesity – at least 85 percent of those who have the syndrome are obese or overweight.

I’m torn for a lot of the reasons that are listed in the article linked above. Is wrapping all of the complications that come from being obese under a new name a good idea? Is it beneficial at all? Or is it another way to deny the problem, to hide it by not facing it? Does it help to call this Metabolic Syndrome, or just to say, “hey, you are obese and you need to change that?

Obviously, I don’t have an answer to that question. But I do have an answer to whether this is a hoax or not: My insurance company (I won’t name their name, but it sorta sounds like sigma)  is doing surveys and calls right now for people who may have metabolic syndrome. If the payer is going to acknowledge this as a syndrome, then it’s definitely beyond the hoax stage.