Tag Archives: Weight Loss

Benefits of Weight Loss- Not Just Features

feature-vs-benefitYou know, I was reading the other day about sales presentations. I know… this is just one step up from watching paint dry and going to insurance seminars… but I was. Anyway, I was reading this thing and there was a very simple yet profound truth stated. It was, “People don’t buy features, they buy benefits.” It’s true… think about it. The last time you bought a car… it did not make any difference, really, if it had anti-lock brakes- this is a feature of the car. However, the real benefit to having anti-lock brakes is that you don’t make a star in the windshield with your skull the next time you get behind some blue hair, in a monsoon, in the parking lot at Walmart. The point is, you don’t really care about something till it helps you… till it benefits you. (BTW- insurance is the ultimate in this department- there are no features… just benefits)

So, I want to explore some of the BENEFITS of losing weight… maybe you can be sold on the idea.

1. Even minimal weight loss will help with several underlying health issues. Losing 10-15% of your body weight (Say from 256-236) can lead to decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol.

2. This same minimal amount of weight loss will increase your ability to regulate blood sugar… thus decreasing your risk for diabetes.

3. Improve your breathing and mobility. Now, a lot of folks may not be as big as I was… I was getting close to 300lbs… but I have noticed that it is A LOT EASIER to tie my shoes since I lost all this weight.

4. It has helped me sleep better. I was using a CPAP machine (that was the worst, most God-Awful thing ever invented) before the weight loss challenge began with People Magazine. Actually, I was still using it a few months in… then I was able to stop. My sleep apnea was caused by the fat around my neck… it was closing off my windpipe and waking me up at night… sometimes 40 or 50 times an hour. This is one of the big things that keeps me on the right track… the thought of having to use this machine again. Also, when I started working out… I slept a lot better because I was so tired.

These are just some of the things that are real benefits to taking charge. Hope these help sell you on the idea.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.”- Theodore Levitt

Time To Work-Out— Change Your Life!!

weight-lifting-programsI have recently been involved with a Weight Watchers class. It has been, overall, a great experience. However, I don’t think that anyone is really interested in working out. Well, I am not going to lie… I think that you can lose weight if you just go on a Weight Watchers. But I also think that the ONLY reason that I have been able to maintain my weight loss over this past year has been because I work out. I mean, really, I like to eat WAY too much to be on just 35 “points” a day!!! That is RIDICULOUS!!! ONE PIECE OF CAKE IS LIKE 12 POINTS!!!! CRAZY!!!

I want to make a point here also about how to work out. You HAVE to do both!! Now, lots of people think that the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic exercise). So they run a lot- like I do- And that is a great way to loose some weight. Eventually, though, they notice that while their bodies are a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby parts.  Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it’s only half of the equation. I don’t want to downplay the roll of running in my overall success- I think it had a big part in it. But I think that an overall fitness program is very important- meaning running (cardio) plus lifting weights or resistance.

For optimal fitness, weight training is a must. If you avoid lifting weights because you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” – or you just don’t really like it… then you’re missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.

When you’re weight training, don’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. (When I did the People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge– I lost 12 inches in my waist- This might be better than the scale). You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. After all, the muscle will weigh more than the fat. And lets keep our heads in the game here… what is really more important? Your weight or your shape?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights and do cardiovascular exercise, here are some reasons why you should reconsider.

Burn more fat. Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do weight-training- your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s true to an extent, but weight training can slim you down and change the way you look. Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your body. If you keep to your Weight Watchers diet (or just eat sensibly), you’ll burn more fat.

Boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training AND dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

Get stronger and more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

Fight depression. (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SUBJECTS!!!) You’ve probably heard that cardio exercise can help alleviate depression, well, weight lifting has the same effect. So do both. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many people find that regular strength training, in conjunction with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.

I have gotten to where I can tell if it has been a couple of days since I worked out- simply by the way I “feel”.

Reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis.

Heart health. More than 480,000 people die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of people over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that exercise with weights can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure.

Defend against diabetes. In addition to keeping your heart  strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.

So, I know I have kind of hit you with a bunch of stuff about weight training… but really any exercise will help with your overall physical and mental well-being. Do these things  to keep in shape- or get in shape and you can help yourself in more ways than one.

I have a punishing work-out regimen. Every day I do three minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette. -Anthony Hopkins

Make the Change Easy to Hit

I'm not the only baseball fan, am I? It's a change up...

I’m not the only baseball fan, am I? It’s a change up…

You know you should exercise more, right? You know that you should eat better, right? You know you know this… but sometimes, o.k., most of the time it is hard to change. Why do we resist change so much.

Well, for me, it is as simple as one thing… my comfort zone. I don’t want to change because it  HURTS!!!! Physically and mentally.

According to Amy Brooks, L.P.T.A., A.T.R.-B.C., Licensed Behaviorist at the Baptist Nutrition Center, “Making healthy changes is hard work, and many people struggle with turning their good intentions into actions.” (Quoted from the Baptist Health Systems Healthsourse newsletter)

So, here are my tips to making healthy changes happen: (BTW- you can apply these to LOTS of different goals)

1. Get educated- the more you know… the easier it will be. Follow this blog for healthy tips, tricks and maybe something funny about weight loss and change.. Cut through all the clutter that is out there. Even if you don’t regularly read this, there is a lot of good info available right at your fingertips.

2. Join a team- By this, I don’t mean that you have to play flag football. I mean, get some folks around you that have similar goals—-  or at the very least want to stay healthy. These may be people you already know or they may be new friends… just start working on it WITH someone else.

3. Keep a journal- especially a food journal. I talk to people time and time again that say… “I NEVER knew how much I was eating”… and this is true.

4. Take baby steps- it is impossible to run a marathon the first day out there training… but if you work hard… walk– then run… you can train for it in less than a year. Break your goals into small bite-size pieces!!

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”- Jim Rohn

Get A Little Help From Our Friends

Associated press photo- but that is me on the right

Associated press photo- but that is me on the right

So, a couple years ago, I was in this weight loss contest/event/reality show. You can check it out here. It was the People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge. And I won the damn thing!!! The way I did this was really three fold.

1. I had a real tough trainer. Former NFL player- bad-ass.

2. I committed to eating right… right portions, right foods.

3. The trainer had me in a GROUP exercise setting. I had help from all the people in that group. I ended up losing more weight than anyone else in the program… they were not in groups.

So, this past week, I was talking to one of the people that has become a good friend of mine through this process. She started her weight loss trip (SO TIRED OF THE WORD JOURNEY) not long after I started. I was asking her what she felt like was the difference this time around. You see, she told me that she had tried to lose weight several times (just like I had).

She told me that the difference was having a mentor… or a group of mentors that helped her. Now… I was one of the mentors, and I can say from my experience, that it was just as valuable to be a mentor as it was to have one. It was great to have those people to lead, but it was great to have them push us along as well.

So, in order to be successful, at least from our (my friend’s and my) perspective- it is good to help others- this way you can help yourself.

So, find a mentor- find a group of people to work out with, to try to accomplish any goal with. Get some support. We all need our friends- you can help some and be helped by others!

We live by encouragement and die without it; slowly, sadly and angrily- Actress Celeste Holm

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