Tuesday, September 30, 2008

09.30.08: Biggest Loser Grand Lessons

IMG_0351, originally uploaded by fat woman on the mountain.
This is me on the last mile of the 10-mile journey up the Bright Angel Trail on the Grand Canyon's South Rim.
It was the longest -- and the best -- mile of my life!

I loved what the show's host, Alison Sweeney, said about how the Grand Canyon was formed. She had the contestants up on one of the Grand Canyon's countless vistas, looking below at the mighty Colorado River. She said that the river worked year-by-year to shape this magnificent sight -- just as the contestents were working to re-shape their own lives.

One of the most amazing experiences I've ever had was hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and making it back to the top. There is something so awesome about seeing what only a fraction of the Grand Canyon visitors see, and to know that I made it.

Return to: http://www.fatwomanonthemountain.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

09.29.08: Walk the Walk

On Saturday, I'm going to walk the walk.

I'll be one of 2,000 walkers in the The Start! Somerset-Hunterdon County Heart Walk, presented nationally by Subway, Healthy Choice and AstraZeneca, and locally supported by Ethicon, Inc. The walk is Saturday, Oct. 4 in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater.

The average person can gain two hours of life expectancy for each hour of vigorous, regular exercise, according to a release from The American Heart Association.

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke — the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers.

Each year, about 780,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, according to a release from The American Heart Association. An estimated 1.2 million Americans will suffer from a new or recurrent coronary attack this year and an estimated 38 percent of the people that will experience a coronary attack will die from it.

Study after study show that participating in physical exercise leads to many health benefits, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. The easiest and most affordable activity for most? Walk.

To make a donation on behalf of my walk, go to: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=269658&supid=234383158

To learn more, visit http://www.somersethunterdonheartwalk.org/ or call the American Heart Association at 609-208-0020.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

09.28.08: The Holy Grail of Weight Loss

During an Advertising Week panel last week in New York City, members of the Coalition for Healthy Children, lead by moderator Devika Bulchandani of McCann Erickson, converged to discuss the issue of childhood obesity. They talked about their combined efforts in the advertising world to educate kids about the need for a healthy diet and exercise.

The panelists -- Penny Royall, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Disease Prevention & Health Promotion; Mark Waller, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales for the National Football League; Mary Sophos, Senior Vice President & Chief Government Affairs Officer for the Grocery Manufacturers of America; and Kerry Hughes, senior vice president for advertising sales and partnerships at qubo --seem to agree that the message is getting out there.

The true challenge is changing other people's behavior. That is the Holy Grail of the obesity issue. What makes people want to change?

They believe these messages must be reinforced again and again before people will make true change -- and before obesity levels in adults and children drop.

If you're already well on your weight loss journey -- What did it take for you to change? Was it something you learned? Something you did? Or something that happened to you?

If you're feeling stuck, what is preventing you from changing that behavior?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Is 11 Pounds A Failure? Biggest Loser Recap

In last night's episode, Coleen -- a youngish girl with long blond hair -- made a bet. She bet that she, and her father Jerry who was suffering from his own ailing health, would lose at least 2.4 percent of their weight -- or a total of more than 12 pounds -- that week.
If she won, in addition to the dent in the weight loss, she would have taken home $10,000. If she lost, the father-daughter team would fall below the dreaded yellow line, and be in danger of elimination.
This bet was extremely risky as it was the second week of the competition when the body tends to freak out and plateau from the massive drop in pounds from the first week. The average weight loss is 2 percent. Some people even gain.
Together, the father-daughter team lost 11 pounds. And so, yes, despite losing the equivilent of a human head, they lost.
Coleen's face, which had been glowing, looking beautiful and slimmer, showed such disappointment when she realized that she was just a little more than a pound away from $10,000. And yet, they had just lost 11 pounds.
This is the problem of getting stuck on the number on the scale, instead of the overall goal of getting healthier and moving forward in life.
Suddenly, all Coleen accomplished that week was forgotten. She worked her tail off with Jillian the kick-butt-and-take-names trainer who was not pleased that she had taken the bet in the first place. Coleen finished strong in this week's challenge which had her sliding down a hill on a giant slip-and-slide and sprinting back up. Most of all, both she and her father looked a million times healthier than when they stepped on the Biggest Loser campus.
Just remember, your weight loss journey moves far beyond the scale. If you get stuck on the numbers that's where you'll stay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

09.16.08: New Identity

I love these two Passport photos. One was taken at my peak weight -- about 360 pounds -- as I was about to go to Switzerland. (Yes, a seatbelt extender was required, and the person next to me on the plane was not pleased that I was spilling over my seat). The other was 120-pounds later, taken as I was about to go to Africa on my trek up Kilimanjaro.

The images are a decade apart. That's right, 10 years from point A to point B.

I have to wonder, what would that second photo look like if I hadn't made positive changes in my life? If I didn't start on the path to better health? Where, if anywhere, would I be going?

Sometimes the path to weight loss is slow going. But if you keep moving forward, eventually you'll get there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

09.07.08: Are You Too Sweet?

The World Health Organization says only 10 percent of our daily calories should come from added sugars.

This can be hard to do since sugars appear in foods under the guise of brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrum, fruit juice concentrate, honey, malt syrup, molasses, syrup and other forms.

To keep your sugar-load in check:
- Choose fresh fruit or fruits canned in fruit juice (not heavy syrup AKA sugar).
- Watch your intake of items that are high in added sugars. Culprits often include ice cream, soft drinks, cookies, cakes and pies.
- Snack on whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese, yogurt or vegetables.
- Buy unsweetened cereals -- so that you can control the amount of sugar.
- Hold -- or limit -- white sugar, brown sugar, honey, jelly and syrup.

Return to: http://www.fatwomanonthemountain.com

Monday, September 1, 2008


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.