Monday, January 16, 2012

Rock that Body~the benefits of Exercise

Let's face it~there aren't many of us that started off our weight loss journey saying, "oh yeah, I can't wait to exercise!" If you did I say kudos to you! But me~hell no! I did a bit of walking but didn't feel comfortable doing much of anything til I had dropped my first 50lbs. And let me tell you waiting til I was "comfortable" is one of my biggest regrets.

So why is exercise so important after bariatric surgery? Before I answer that I have a question for you. Did you really have a procedure to alter your body and think you only had to commit to half of the process? Exercise and moving your body is a significant portion of the overall process and here is why
  • When you lose weight quickly you lose muscle. Muscle gauges and controls your metabolism!
  • Exercise boosts your metabolism! #1 reason to exercise!
Exercise is critically important since your body's natural tendency is to slow down your metabolism when you lose weight. By continuing to exercise and keep your metabolism higher you body will burn calories at a faster rate even while your body is at rest! Who doesn't want to be burning some calories while they watch their favorite tv show or even while they sleep!? Are you convinced yet ? No huh?

Other benefits of exercise include:
  • Increased immunity
  • Increased flexibility, strength and balance.
  • Decrease of stress and depression
  • Improved heart health including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Reduces risk of breast and colon cancer.
  • Reduces risk of diabetes.
And if you are like many bariatric patients you either experienced some of the above adversely or have family members who did/do. So you ready to get started yet?

The key to starting a good exercise plan is:
  1. Begin slowly-walking is the best activity you can begin with and work your way up. This is especially good for those who have been sedentary for a prolonged period.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself. No one is asking you to go out tomorrow and run a 5K. If you walked 20 minutes today, try 25 tomorrow and so on. By the end of the week asses those goals and make new ones.
  3. Reward yourself! And I don't mean with a trip to Froyo (oops I said that out loud! Sorry I was speaking more or less to myself there!) If you can consistently workout for one month-go get yourself a massage or a mani/pedi or new walking shoes.
  4. Stay Healthy. Muscles you've never used will be sore. Deal with it! But pain is not acceptable. Stop what you are doing and consult a physician if you feel pain in your joints or ankles.
  5. Keep hydrated. As a WLS patient you always have a water bottle near. Drink it. It is especially important before, during and after. You need to remember to replace the fluid you lost by sweating.
  6. What's the first rule of Bariatric Surgery? PROTEIN first! Make sure you get the recommended amount in to help build muscles and keep your energy levels higher.
As I said previously I started working out ONLY (oh how I detest this word) after I lost my first 50lbs. And the world of fitness classes opened up my eyes to all that was possible. Hello Zumba and Muscleworks. My advice to you is find something you love to do! I became so addicted to Zumba I would drive all over town to find classes to attend. At one point I was going 5 days a week! Excessive? Maybe but it got my body moving! Remember that the "rules" state, 30 minutes a day or 210 a week? A one hour class 4x a week brings you well over your 210 a week!

There are many "superstars" in the WLS community and they all have one thing in common~THEY EXERCISE and move their bodies well over 30 minutes a day and 210 a week. They are consistent with their workouts and they make their workouts and themselves a priority. Someone once commented to me "yeah but they are all runners!" Not true! One of those "superstars" lost 112lbs in less then one year shaking and shimmying in Zumba. She found her passion and made it work for her. The same as the ones that run. They are passionate about what they do! Period end of story!

So here is my overall advice:
  1. Move you body!
  2. Properly fuel your body!
  3. Find an exercise that you love and makes you happy!
  4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone! Challenge yourself often!
  5. Change your routine often for proper muscle confusion. Every 6-8 weeks is appropriate.
  6. Set goals both big & small.
  7. Reward yourself! A new pair of shoes-new exercise dvd-new dumbbells, etc.

    She started over 400lbs~she never gave up and is down 120lbs in 7months! She may not come in first place but she sure as hell is lapping everyone who's ass is firmly still placed on the couch!
    Some run, some walk! The point is that we move our butts even in 25 degree cold weather!
    Frozen Buns Run - St. Louis, January 2012
    Santa Dash 5K - St. Charles, MO, December 2011
    Temps that morning - 17 degrees!
    Jingle Bell 5K - November 2011
    Walk from Obesity 5k~October 2011, St. Charles, MO
    Familes Roc for Ovarian Cancer 5K - September 2011, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

No matter what you do~enjoy it and make it rain sweat!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goals & Why it's Important to have them!

Happy New Year Friends!

As 2011 came to a close I was forced to reflect on the events of the past year. 2011 for me was a year of TRANSITION! Many changes occurred this year. It was truly a year of the good, the bad and the ugly. And my weight loss journey fell into the bad & the ugly category!

I wish I could say that my weight loss this year ended with a tremendous loss but unfortunately I ended the year with a 10lb gain. I could list excuses for that gain but 2012 for me is about positivity, goals, accomplishments and remembering what it means to give back to the community that has given me so much. And where the giving starts is right here.

So let's talk about goals and why they are important in your weight loss journey and the way to go about setting them. First let me share mine with you!

Pam's 12 goals for 2012
  1. I will break into Onderland and stay there by March 1st
  2. I will get down to 165lbs by 12/31/12
  3. I will take up morning spin class 3x a week
  4. I will run a 10K in the spring either in March or April
  5. I will run a 1/2 marathon in the Fall. October 21st St. Louis Rock n Roll.
  6. I will try 3 new fitness classes that I've never done before
  7. I will participate in 2 Adventure Club outings a month
  8. I will exercise 450 minutes a week
  9. I will strength train 3x a week
  10. I will start and finish the P90x program
  11. I will do a Warrior Dash in either June or September of 2012
  12. I will continue to work on my Emotional Eating by continuing the Shrink Yourself program.
Do you have goals you're going after this year? Here are the 5 golden rules to setting your goals.
  1. Set goals that motivate you.
  2. Make sure they are SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time Bound.
  3. Put it in writing. This makes them real and tangible. Use the word will to affirm you "will" get it done.
  4. Make an action plan. Don't be so focused on the end result that you forget our plan of action.
  5. Stick with it! Goal setting is ongoing not just a means to an end.
So what are SMART goals?
  • Specific, clear and well defined
  • Measurable meaning you outline the precise amounts and dates you want to accomplish things. This is to measure your degree of success.
  • Attainable meaning you need to make sure these are possible. If you set something that there is no way in hell you'll achieve you could derail your success. However, don't set goals that are too easy. Always push yourself out of your comfort zone!
  • Relevant meaning is should be relevant to the direction you see your life going.
  • Time Bound meaning your goals must have a deadline. This will help you know when you can celebrate your success. Seeing that looming date will increase your desire to stick with it so you can attain that goal.
So share with me your goals for the coming year and how you are going to go about achieving them!