Archive for February, 2009

Emotional Eating

In college one of my roommates was always stressed the night before a test. We had chemistry, statistics, and abnormal psychology classes together. Statistics seemed the most challenging for us to study. As quickly as the class term had started, we wanted it to be over. Many times we would study all night before an exam. My roommate would be on pins and needles as she tried to prepare. Usually when she felt really stressed she would eat sugary foods. She seemed to always calm down after that.

Stress, sadness, frustration, anger, anxiety, boredom and loneliness are all emotions that some people tend to eat in response to. Whether truly hungry or not emotional eating tends to make some individuals feel better. This feeling is temporary, however, and, more often than not, results in weight gain. The weight gain is due to consumption of excess calories. The key to conquering emotional eating is determining what triggers it.

What triggers emotional eating?
Like my college roommate, for some individuals emotional eating is triggered by stress that leads to consumption of foods high in sugar and fat. When you know what triggers your emotional eating, you can begin planning new ways of responding in a healthy manner. For example, create a food journal. Describe your mood, and the after effects of overeating or eating foods laden in sugar or fat. Food journaling will help bring the unconscious action of eating to the forefront of your mind.

Change the way you cope with the triggers.
Everyone experiences stress, but how we respond to it determines our health and state of well being. Once you know what leads to your emotional eating change the way you cope with it. The body’s natural inclination is to revert to the behaviors that have made us feel better. Eating a bag of chips or cookies will release hormones called endorphins that create a feeling of calmness making us feel better. Change, however, is uncomfortable, and though your new behavior may not feel as good as your old habit, remember you are making a conscious decision for the betterment of your health.

Implement conscious actions
Eliminating coping foods right away will likely make it very difficult to develop new behaviors. Instead begin to reduce your intake of coping foods daily and implement healthier food choices, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and water. Also try to eat slowly and you will discover the amount of food necessary to satisfy you is much less than you may think.


February 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm 2 comments

Achieving Weight Loss

Research has shown that more than 80% of all dieters end up regaining any weight loss within three to five years. Some believe that if they could find the right diet achieving their weight loss goal would be easy. For the most part though, weight loss diets just don’t work and usually become nothing more than a memory. Read LiveLiving’s article on Achieving Your Dream Weight.

February 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Being Broken

Have you ever worked out really hard only to find yourself barely able to move the next day? I remember when I first started weight training or any new workout program. I felt sore at least 24 hours afterwards. It was a challenge for me to roll out of bed to stand up or to try to sit down. My legs felt like they were going to fall off. It was the kind of pain that makes you not want to move, but the irony is, moving is the only thing that will make the pain go away. You soon find that the more you move, the easier it becomes, but the very minute you stop moving the soreness comes back. I have found that spiritual growth is the exact same process as physical growth. Let me explain!

Did you know that when you are lifting weights you are actually tearing your muscle fibers apart?
When you are working out in a way that stresses your muscle tissues, you are actually breaking them down. It is during rest, after the workout, when the muscle tissues grow back together stronger. The muscles do not grow back together the same way, but the muscles response is to grow back stronger, so the same amount of weight you previously used will not be enough to break it down again. In order to keep gaining strength and build muscle you will have to increase the weight with each workout to get your muscles to grow stronger.

Spiritual growth is much like muscle growth. We all face trials and tests that come upon us to challenge our faith and trust in God, our heavenly Father. When we first begin our Christian journey, our workouts or should I say our test and trials are small and just a little painful, but then we grow and the weight of our trial and test becomes much heavier as our walk with God gets closer and should I dare to say “stronger”. This is the same as lifting weights. There is pain in our trials; they come to break us, to humble us and to teach us that our strength comes from the Lord. The heavier the weight of the trial, the stronger we become spiritually. We must also remember just as there is physical pain with working out there is also pain with spiritual growth.

Physical and spiritual growth give us a new look. Spiritual growth gives a new character; we begin to take on the characteristics of Christ: We treat others with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Physical growth gives you a new look on the outside and makes a strong house or temple for the Holy Spirit. Although these processes are painful in themselves, the results are well worth the “pain”!

February 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm 1 comment

Getting Back on the Bandwagon

Have you fallen off the bandwagon? Get tips on weight loss, nutrition, and more in LiveLiving’s Christian health and wellness eMagazine. Click Here To Read More

February 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Healing Powers of Asparagus

And now for our $100,000 Final Jeopardy question!

Q. “On farms in some parts of the world it is the extra mule named Gus, but on our farm what is the vegetable that is most beneficial to our body?”

Click Here To Find Out The Answer

February 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Where There is a Will, There is a Way!

I grew up in a very small town. When I say small, I literally mean SMALL! Fortunately, God gave me the gift and talent to be able to play basketball. Playing basketball gave me the opportunity to travel to many places I would have never been able to see at such a young age. Most of all, playing basketball gave me a very real since of discipline and dedication.

I will never forget the night I broke my foot in a game. I had stolen the ball and was dribbling down the floor with no one around. It was my opportunity to make a lay up. So I jumped off my right foot to lay the ball in the basket and as I was landing on my left foot, my foot rolled in. POP!! Everyone in the stands knew it; everyone on the bench knew it, but I had no idea that I had broken my foot. So I began to hobble up looking at my coach and the athletic trainer. I said, “I am ok, I will walk it off!” And that is exactly what I did. I began to walk and jog and any other movement I could bare to do to get rid of the pain. Believe it or not, I actually finished the game.

Playing basketball had become that important to me. A few hours later, 3:00 in the morning to be exact, I woke up in screaming pain. I had no idea what was wrong with my foot. I tried to stand up but couldn’t. I tried to walk, but I could not stand any pressure on my foot. To make a long story short, I had so much adrenaline running through my blood during the game that the actual pain that I had produced from breaking my foot had diminished, and so I did not know how bad my injury was until my nervous system had calmed down.

I thought my life was over as I knew it. I couldn’t believe I had broken my foot. Such an injury would take way to long to recover, but I did and the doctor put my foot in a cast.

During those weeks of recovery, I worked out 2 times a day– morning and afternoon. I was determined to stay in shape with one foot and two hands. I used the cast as a weight and performed leg lifts. I rode an UBE, which is a bicycle for your arms, 30-45 minutes a day. I did everything I could think of to keep training without causing harm to my body. Once the cast came off, I began training in the pool to build up my strength before returning to my usual way of training because my joints in my foot and the rest of my body could not handle the impact that running would cause.

The point to this story is that we can all find excuses to ignore our bodies and our health. I could have sat back and just “healed”. I could have given up, but I didn’t. I was determined to return to basketball. I was determined not to just sit by and be content with the situation but to fight back. Do you feel like you are in a position where you can’t reach your dreams and goals? Have you given up? It is all a matter of determination and discipline for your mind, body and soul. It is a question of how much you love the life God has so graciously given you. Will you run the race before you with endurance or will you just give up the fight? I promise you it won’t come easy and I promise you that some days, you will fail, but I also promise you that when you fall if you get back up and keep going eventually you will succeed. Even Michael Jordan, who was cut from the high school basketball team his freshman year and was told he did not have the ability and the talent to make it, did NOT give up but only worked harder to become the most famous and talented basketball player to play the game.

Where there is a will there is a way. We can help you find ways to overcome the obstacles in your way to achieving your goals. If you have a will to be healthier, we can find a way to help make it happen.


February 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm 1 comment

Food Demons at the Office

Wednesday morning I impatiently waited in the break room while my food heated in the microwave. I was having chicken, brown rice and steamed collard greens. Yes, I know it’s not the typical breakfast, but I like starting the day with vegetables, lean protein, and quality carbohydrates. While I continued to wait on the microwave count down, in walked a coworker with a giant coffee mug in one hand and two platters filled with fruits, pastries and bagels in the other. We greeted each other, and I said “you have quite a load there.” He smiled and said, “Yeah, the guys in the front office area were all done so I figured me and the guys in the back would eat the rest.” He then offered me whatever I might like, but I kindly declined. So he grabbed some utensils and napkins and off he went.

Recognize the commonalities
Thursday morning I again impatiently waited on the microwave. This time I was having a ground turkey breast patty that I overcooked the night before with Birds Eye Steamfresh veggies and a cup of rice. In strolled the same coworker from Wednesday with his giant coffee mug. I said “what’s going on today my friend?” As we talked he poured his coffee and proceeded to add what looked like half a pint of cream and a quarter cup of sugar. He poured so much sugar that I became disturbed. I instantly offered him some of my breakfast instead. It was the first thing that came to my mind and all I had to offer. He said, “Oh, no, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I know you.” I said “what does that mean?” He said, “You probably have a whole bowl of broccoli or something else really healthy in that microwave.” I chuckled but recognized that there was a commonality between Wednesday’s breakfast trays and Thursday’s coffee. It was sugar. So I suggested some other options to him to make his breakfast healthy and less sugar loaded.

With knowledge comes the responsibility
There is another young man in the office that eats chicken biscuits and gravy for breakfast regularly. One morning we met in the break room. He had a Mrs. Winners’ bag in one hand and a coffee cup in the other. After inquiring about what I was having for breakfast, he proudly told me of how there is nothing better than biscuits with gravy in morning. Sounded like slop to me. I told him how as a child I also ate some of those kinds of foods. My brother, sister and I would eat Bojangles’ chicken, biscuits and dirty rice. They call that rice dirty with good reason! I explained foods like those were high in fat, carbohydrates and calories. Eating them regularly will wreak havoc on your health and physical appearance. I gave him suggestions on a gradual track toward improving his diet and told him that with knowledge comes the responsibility to do better.

Eat in Moderation
Then there is Orville, as in Orville Redenbacher. That is not his real name, of course, but he’s the guy in the office that eats popcorn everyday at exactly 3:30p.m. The name was given to him in humor by another coworker because he eats so much popcorn. He grabs and seemingly devours the popcorn by the handful. Most would say popcorn is healthy and there is truth to that when consumed in moderation and not loaded down with butter.

Recognize and take responsibility
There is also a young lady who used to walk around the office with a box of Krispy Kreme donuts every week. As part of her training the person she succeeded must have told her to bring donuts every Thursday. I say that because he used to bring them every Thursday as well. For Halloween she walked the office in costume smiling as she offered donuts. During Christmas she wore reindeer antlers and continued offering the donuts with the usual smile.

I, the buff chick, who loves to workout and wouldn’t dream of eating a Krispy Kreme today must admit that I once was a ‘Krispy Kreme – phen.’ Of course, I was much younger, in my teens to be more precise. It’s seemingly true what they say, “ignorance is bliss.” I would have six ‘Krispies’ and drink a pint of milk. It all seemed delicious at the time. My mother would shake her head and warn, “It might not show up on you now, but keep eating and you’ll see.”

It is important to recognize and take responsibility for not only our own health but how we influence other people’s health. In stressful places, such as work, it is paramount to eat healthily and to exercise regularly in order to function in optimum condition. Yes, sweets are delightful, but we must cultivate an atmosphere of life and health by promoting good healthy practices that would be beneficial for everyone in the long run.

The donuts haven’t been distributed around the office in a while and needless to say I am glad.
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February 6, 2009 at 10:27 am 1 comment

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