Overweight and Obesity Rates Soar

000 obesity

Catching up on my reading today, I came across this report on NBC news on-line about obesity and overweight rates that have soared since 1980 figures were recorded.

The line that caught my attention explained that from 1980 to 2013 overweight and obesity rates soared 28% for adults and a whopping 47% in children.

Our current interactions with food are killing us, but we Americans are not the only ones suffering from this obesity phenomenon. I was surprised to learn the Chinese are in second place behind the USA when dealing with the problem of oversized humanity. What is the answer? For some it is gastric bypass. For others, diet pills and excessive exercise. For still others, controlled eating.

Please give this article your attention and if you have any thoughts after reading it, I would love to hear them.

Are you concerned with the staggering number of Americans who are obese at this time in history? What do you think could turn this problem around for many, especially our children?

Advertisements

Race Weekend

Still in pursuit of some good intel on foot racing, I attended another race this past weekend. This one was a fund-raiser for a pregnancy care center that has recently opened in our area. They are offering free pregnancy testing to women and limited free first trimester ultrasounds.  The money raised will help to keep the doors open for the care centers and fund the ultrasound project, so that women in our area can make informed decisions about their pregnancies.  I’m a big fan of women’s education, so I’m a fan of the EMPCC.

The race on Saturday was the first event of this kind for the Endless Mountains Pregnancy Care Center and it drew 218 participants. Not bad for a first time race.  The course for the run was a well-established city route, which helped a lot, and the race organizers offered a stroller walk and Fun Run for the children 9 and under, which also helped with attendance. There was a silent auction, a bake sale, and a chicken BBQ dinner available for sale after the event.  A local DJ offered his services free of charge, and even the weatherman worked in the races favor. It was much cooler this past Saturday than two weeks ago, when it was warm for the observers of the Gallop, not to mention the runners. Too warm!

I thought I would share a few pics from the weekend event with my blog readers today.  This race reminded me that organization and passion working together can get ‘er done.  I’m a pretty organized gal and I’m passionate about health and getting fit, so these principles are what I’m applying to my weight loss efforts these days.  I’m also continuing to plan for a race in the fall.  Will keep you updated on that.

 

DSC_0811

Nice banner. reusable. Hopefully it sees a good amount of use in the future.

DSC_0804

Registration table early in the morning between 10K and 5K.

DSC_0812

Gatorade for after the run–hydration is sooo important!

DSC_0826

Is she cute, or what?  This gal awarded participant ribbons to everyone who ran at the point of the finish line. The blue ribbons had white baby socks hot glued to the ends, with a medallion that read: Pound The Ground for First Look Ultrasounds.  Such a cute idea.

DSC_0836

There were lots of folks milling around between the race events.  In the background of this picture you can see the library and maybe a lil smoke coming off the BBQ pit.  Everyone seems to enjoy the chicken as a quick pick-me-up lunch after the race.

What do you do for exercise these days?  Are you passionate about it, or just lukewarm? 

 

Did Margaret Thatcher get this addiction started?

000soft serve

I have a confession to make.

I love soft serve ice cream.

I know, I know…

It’s not good for me.

It’s full of sugar.
It’s full of air.
It’s full of chemicals.
It’s not at all raw, or clean, or whole, or a vegetable, and I should never eat it, but I love it.

I just learned today that Margaret Thatcher, yes that Margaret Thatcher, was instrumental in the invention of soft serve ice cream. Back in the days before her political career soared she was a food chemist, experimenting with shoving air into ice cream in order to increase profit margins for her employer. Little did she know at that juncture that her work with cream and eggs was going to result in a food addiction for me.

Oh, Margaret, what were we thinking when we took up the challenge to find a substitute for hard scoop ice cream?

My piece of the problem started when, as a child, I was raised on a dairy farm in upstate PA.  As a dairy baby, I learned early to love all things dairy.

Milk.

Cheese.

Butter.

Sour cream.

Sweet cream.

Ice cream.

And eventually, soft serve!!!

These items are full of fat and full of calories, so I know I’m supposed to hate them, but I don’t. I do limit them in my diet, but I have never been able to eliminate them completely.

I probably never will.

The best I can foresee myself doing is moving them (well, really, mostly ice cream) from the category of nasty food habit/guilty pleasure, to “an occasional snack” designation. I’m working on that, but for now I still love soft serve–kiddie size–plain vanilla–any day of the week and not just on weekends.

There, I’ve said it. Now to go on with my day…

What guilty pleasures do you have with food? Which dairy products have you taken out of your diet? What results have you seen?

I still want to eat like a kid

Eating like a kid is a problem, because I don’t have a kid’s body, a kid’s metabolism, or a kid’s energy level any more.  I’m an adult woman, with a sometimes aching body who struggle to eat right.

This morning a friend shared with me her efforts to change her eating habits.  She only half jokingly said that those efforts were giving her a migraine.  That comment made me think about how difficult it is to quit old habits and develop new ones when it comes to eating.  And if, like me, you were never taught how to eat as a kid, making those changes is even harder.  You’re now on your own to define for yourself what good eating habits are and should look like.

Some days I feel like my childhood was stunted.

I don’t mean to say that its all my “mommy’s” fault that I overeat.  It’s my choice to eat what I eat and eat it for the reasons I eat it.  I’ve ceased blaming others for that–its a loser’s game.  Instead, I own the fact that I’m a big girl with big girl choices to make in this world, and I’m learning to make them as best I can. What I’m trying to say here is that it isn’t always easy, but change is possible.  For thinking, rational, reasonable adults, it is.

My childhood has left me struggling to catch up in some ways…

With regards to discipline.

And balance.

And accepting my shortcomings.

And forging new pathways.

And facing my fears.

But I digress.

What my friend was trying to say this morning is that change is hard–migraine inducing hard sometimes. I agree, but I also know that we are all stronger than we think we are!!!  I first learned that at the gym. We also have a Helper we can call on whenever we need extra assistance.  Your Helper might be different from my Helper, but if you’ve been trying to get healthy for any length of time you know that HELP is EVERYWHERE.  You just have to want it and be willing to accept it.

As I have become willing to accept the help offered to me, I’ve seen some encouraging things take shape in my life.

I’ve seen…

Patterns emerge that help me to better know myself.

I’ve seen…

A Game Plan develop.

I’ve seen…

Real commitment on my part to follow a plan.

And I’ve seen…

A sense of empowerment come from stating a goal, working to reach that goal, and achieving that goal.

Goals Rock, especially when they are achieved.

I’m getting stronger!!!

Finally, I’ve seen…

Relationships between me and others that were once strained find healing.

Because of all this change–change that never would have happened had I not wanted to get better–I have come out on the other side of sickness stronger, more confident, and better prepared to deal with the future.  I’m ready to move forward with new tools and put new strategies in place, understanding myself and others in a way I never could have if my thinking and acting (and eating), were still reflecting that childish willfulness that used to be the hallmark of my personality.

I’m excited for the future.

I’m wearing a size pant that I have not been in since high school, and feeling pretty good about that.

When others make a comment on the changes they see in me, I respond with, “Find a plan you can stick with for the rest of your life, then keep pushing, keep leaning into God, keep believing in the process, and keep trusting yourself. Oh, and take a few aspirin for the pain.  Cuz ‘life is pain, highness.  Anyone who says differently is trying to sell something.'”

Gotta love that Princess Bride.  😉

Do you still want to eat like a kid sometimes?  How have your habits changed over the years? What is the most adult thing you do when interacting with food these days?

 

 

Race Research

Last Saturday I got my tired self out of bed and into the car early, then drove seven miles and parked under a shade tree.  It was warm in NEPA–too warm to participate in a foot race, I thought. But, then again, I wouldn’t be running. Instead, I was doing research.  I grabbed my camera and a notebook and pen and made my way to the start line for the 10K, already in progress.  There would be a 5K beginning in about an hour, but before that a children’s Fun Run was scheduled.  I was excited and ready to record my thoughts.

DSC_0632

 

 

 

 

 

 

I headed over to the registration table straight away and introduced myself, telling the volunteer I talked to that I was doing research in anticipation of organizing my own race.

350 runners means 350 race bags to fill

The kind woman manning the table explained the race packs to me, handed me a flyer for another race to occur in two weeks (I have volunteered to help clean up after that event), and shared some info with me about the township/boro regulations for races that I will have to check out in the future.  I hope she is wrong, because she told me that only three races will be issued permits for the boro this year, which is a problem, since this route is well-known and therefore the route I had hoped to use for my race.

Oh, I hope she’s wrong!

I took lots of pictures while at the race, mainly because I knew they would jog my memory later, and I wouldn’t have to make as many notes, but then I made two pages of notes.  Some discoveries I made include the fact that this race provided 3 port-a-potties for runner, one large trash bin for waste, a tent of professionals giving free massages before and after the race, a food tent that included bottled water on ice, and a paid professional keeping time for the event and providing electronic records for the runners.

I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to attend the race.  Like I said, I’ve never been to a race before.  What I saw was a well-organized event, with a lot of participants, and a large and helpful staff of volunteers. What I “felt” as I milled around with camera in hand was this kinship between runners that I hadn’t seen before, and a spirit of competition that I had not felt since childhood.  I got misty-eyed a couple times.

When I observed runners cheering each other on even though they were competing against one another.

DSC_0652

When couples stood, concerned and waiting at the finish line for their loved ones to come around that last corner, and head down the home stretch.

DSC_0676

When tikes no more than 2 yrs old kept pace with their grandpa and/or parent, in order to cross the finish line.

this lil guy was 2 yrs old

this lil guy was 2 yrs old

When two skinny lil, pencil-legged brothers-perhaps twins-stretched on the lawn, their Captain America and Superman t-shirts revealing another love that filled their days.

Captain America's sidekick was Superman, to his left

 

 

 

 

 

When a mom with her 3 month-old crossed the finish line in the 10K, stroller in tow. My word—how does a new mom do something like that? I was astonished by her.

DSC_0690

When the air fairly dripped with support, something I personally find encouraging and could use more of in my life.

I left the race having gained valuable information about the running community, and what it takes to pull off a race of this magnitude.  I also had a new appreciation for competition, determination, perseverance, and the freedom a healthy lifestyle provides for all those who are willing to do the hard work to pursue running.

I have one more race on my schedule for May 24th.  At this event I will be observing again, but also working with the clean-up crew to spruce up after the race has ended. It will be interesting to see the differences between this race and the one I attended last weekend. This race is running for the first time this year. Last weekend’s race was a 30th anniversary event. Huge difference in scope for these two fund-raisers. I can’t wait.  I’ll report on what I find out next week.

Have you ever run a 5K or 10K race? If you don’t run, what do you do to keep fit?

 

Why?

Why can’t I do it?

Why can’t I get momentum going again?

Why am I stuck on this blasted plateau, again?!

Why can’t I quit the habits that have me craving sweets?

 Why can’t I find a way to eat sensibly before others, as well as when I’m alone?

Why am I never happy with the success I do achieve?

Why do I want more?

These are the questions that circle around in my head on the days when my mood and my food are in the dumper.

Like today.

Actually this whole week has been a challenge.  I’m not sure why, except that I have just come off a month of insane activity wherein I was juggling three projects at the same time, and doing lots of promotion for each one of them, in addition to helping with signage, play programs, and actual service work at one of the events.  I work full-time too, but ya know what?  Everyone is busy.

Let me say that again–EVERYONE is busy!

So that’s not an excuse, just an explanation.  My mood affects my food–it’s just how it is–and I’m trying to learn how to cope with it and be more effective in my efforts for me.

I love helping others, but…

…I hate feeling this way!

My weight has not gone up.  My weight has not gone down. I am still doing the same things I have been doing to stay steady with my recovery from food obsession, but lately I have felt like I whine more than I progress.

And now its time to shut ‘er down.

I will be observing a 5K this weekend, and helping with clean-up for another in two weeks.  I still hope to organize my own this summer, or in the fall, but until then I am trying to learn as much as I can about the process that goes into a race/fund raiser.  If you have any insight, do tell.

I went to the orthoped’s office this week and had my devices adjusted.  I’m hoping to get out and try them on the track soon. Also hoping to do some biking to see how that works with my back, and looking to plan a summer vacation. I’m so ready!

Do you ever allow your mood to affect your food choices?  How do you balance helping others with taking care of you?