Accountability; portion control, or out of control? Not what you think…

Accountability or liability? They are linked.  Liability for some, fearfully so, puts them on a path to accountability.  The physician, nurse, personal trainer, invests in insurance in case they are sued.  As a nurse, you adhere to standards of practice, in my case the ILLINOIS NURSE PRACTICE ACT, which dictates reasonable care by a nurse, in given circumstances.  Yet insurance as well as that practice act, speak only to legalistic reasons for accountability.

Accountability for some must be dictated; for others it is an innate sense.  It’s a personal compass which guides their actions.

How well does that compass perform when translated to nutrition?  Does it stagger along the spectrum– thinking of food choices as liabilities?  Or does accountability take precedence?  “I’m accountable for my choices; whether it’s the food on my plate, the exercise I skip or do, or whether that extra whipped cream horn is calling my name.”  But I digress.

That continuum is at best for most, a balancing act.

I was recently watching a promo for a weight loss book, on a cooking show.  Sounds a little ironic, but made sense if you saw the show.  What the author said was quite reasonable.  She recommended if you want that candy bar or cream horn, you add 15 minutes of cardio to your routine.  Cookout splurge? Add an extra mile to your walk.  Palate of food combinations?  Had that covered.  She took a paper plate, and divided it with colorful lines, kind of like a pie chart.  It depicted recommended percentages of what should be starches, fruits & veggies, & protein.  I thought it was pretty clever.  All of these ideas are very workable and realistic.


Again, I find these ideas are doable.  They are like breadcrumbs or markers, helping you find your way.  But colorful lines, percentages, adding this or subtracting that staggers between the accountability/liability spectrum. It’s a start–a way to make you more accountable, and put thought into your plate before you put the food in your mouth.  Getting back to my question, however.  Now what?

In my opinion only, this is where many get stuck.  They can’t get off the endless merry-go-round of push this, pull that, eat more fish (yuck!!) eat more protein, this portion is fruit & veggies, no carb, low carb, high fat, low fat….you get the idea.

Very few of us live our lives on portion control.  Those who do, I have found, bust out of their constraints like a double DD cup forced to wear a training bra.  Why?  More often than not, their portion control was out of control.  Their accountability had become a liability.  So you ask “Can you cite any examples Ms. Nurse & Personal Trainer?”

You bet I can.  More to the point, I bet you can too.


What is that balance?  How do I find it?  Is this my license to eat whatever, whenever I want?  Tune in next time boys and girls.  We’ll have a sit down and a look-see.


All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

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You better think….

alone on a swing  Feel like you’re caught in a web?  Perhaps the quest for health, harmony, and six-pack abs makes a search for the Holy Grail more plausible.  If you’re female, the added pressure of “how you should look” is somewhere in the back (maybe even front) of your mind.  There is no shortage of diets, exercises, gadgets, supplements, humiliation and scare tactics to aid you in your quest.  However if these were consistently working, no one would be overweight.  We would all be a svelte size whatever, munching our gluten-free crackers/bread, dining on wild salmon with a side of avocado every other night, and working out 60-90 minutes 6 days/week.  Scrap the first two for me.  Not gluten sensitive, and I hate fish and avocados.  I do enjoy working out ALOT, but this schedule even for me, is a bit times.

A good personal trainer, in my opinion, needs to help you do you; KICKED UP a few notches.  When you finally part ways, you should have a solid repertoire of exercises, nutrition basics, and a plan for weight loss/maintenance.  Exercises to help you get the body you want, portion and food label constructs, and follow-up/maintenance.  Now as a nurse and trainer, I have my own ideas of what should be included.  But that’s for those who seek my personal assistance.

Following up with STOP AND THINK from last post, is part two.  PORTION CONTROL–perhaps not four letter words, but for many they may as well be.  Portion control is at the forefront of my jumpstart program.  Once my assessment on a client is complete, we talk weight loss, exercises to help them get the body they want, and yes–PORTION CONTROL.

From nutrition classes, access to dietitians, and working with patients in renal failure, I can say this.  Very few know what constitutes a portion.  While labels do give this information, the confusion I see stems from the “calories per serving” index.  If a package states there is 150 calories/serving, and the serving is a 1/2 cup, yet the package contains 4 cups, many feel the entire package is 150 calories.  So…they consume the entire package.  Never the wiser about the 1200 calories counting towards their daily intake.

You may feel this is elementary.  Yet not so much from what I’ve seen.  Of course, working with CKD patients it gets a little trickier– potassium, sodium, and fluid intake must be considered.  But the challenge for all of us remains–portion, not feeling hungry/deprived, and eating on the run.  Yes, the latter can take a toll, even if we are ordering that healthy salad.  But..what exactly is on that salad?  With some, you may as well be ordering a steak dinner with baked potato.  Might even be a better choice.

For those of you on the slimy green stuff craze–better known as avocado, you may want to check out the calories.  As one client told me “but it’s a healthy fat!”  He’s right.  My question to him was “what part of that healthy fat do you want to hit your midsection?”

Ladies, I hope this brief introduction to WOMEN & HEART DISEASE answers a few questions; especially regarding PREVENTION.  Navigating this maze of healthy eating, calories in/calories out, exercise, and food choices is no easy task–for me and many on this path.  There is no “one size solves all prescription;” and I will not pretend there is.  What there is however, is choice.  That’s where it all begins..and ends.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

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