eat it up  This was one of my more popular posts, originating last year.  However, I wanted to re-post it as a follow-up to “What’s in a number?”

You are what you eat.  Most of us have heard this reiterated since childhood.  We’ve probably put it to use ourselves, in an attempt to discourage “unhealthy” eating habits.

Why we eat, is just as important as what we eat. 

You are on your way home from work, which happens to be a 90 minute commute.  Today traffic is being rerouted, bypassing your exit.  Your little one should have been picked up 15 minutes ago, and the sitter wants to know “how much longer?”   Your eldest son has football practice, and is now contending with the sitter for you to pick up his call.  Your husband is also waiting to be heard, but his call gets dropped.  You finally make it off the expressway.  Your husband called back, and is on his way to the sitter.  Your son phones again–but this time it’s to tell you football practice is Thursday; today is Tuesday.  You actually get a unemcumbered trip home.

Even if this isn’t quite your life–you get the idea.

Now perhaps you have had a late lunch, even munched on that “healthy” snack while sitting in traffic.

Yet what will most of us do within the next 30 minutes?  Forty percent of us caught in this or similar scenarios, will stop at McDonald’s, Burger King, Brown’s Chicken, or whatever franchise is nearest and dearest.  A portion of this forty will order take out.  If you are not part of that percentage, there is a sixty percent chance once you arrive home, one of your initial actions will include opening the refrigerator; even if you don’t have to prepare a family meal.

Sound a little more familiar?

Women are usually portrayed as the poster children for emotional eating.  Starting in our teens (and often earlier), we develop a love-hate relationship with food.  Yet if we take a second look at the above scenario, this could have been Dad–caught in the same situation.  Who’s to say his actions wouldn’t include a trip to Burger King or Popeye’s?  Maybe, maybe not.

While our emotions may not be gender biased, perhaps our reaction to them, is.  Either way, taking a step aside as well as one back, is the best way to assess the situation.

While I am not an emotional eater, I fall into the category of emotional non-eater or faster.  If I am truly stressed, I can go for days without eating.  However once the circumstance is resolved, the “flood gates open.”  Also, if I find myself hungry before bedtime, I CANNOT go to bed that way.  There are few circumstances I find worse, than laying in bed hungry.

Before I find myself post-stress, I know I must prepare.  Easy access is key.  Keeping cereal bars low in fat & sugar, and other snacks in the house that will not translate into pounds on my body, are part of my preparation.  Once I feel able to eat a meal, the idea is I won’t want to drive to the nearest rib joint or fried chicken place (though these are always a temptation).

For me, assessment and planning are tantamount to staying on track.  Recognizing my triggers, then preparing for them before the deluge ensues, is part of my plan.

Many ideologies and theories exist on emotional eating.  None of them mean much, unless you realize what is happening, and find a suitable solution.  Hindsight may be 20/20.  Yet that hindsight comes with a cost.  It may mean the difference between the 20 lbs you gain, or 20 lbs you won’t have to lose.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

fitness model male    This post originated in April of this year.  However, I think it is an appropriate follow-up to my last entry.

DO I REALLY NEED A PERSONAL TRAINER?

The short answer may be a “no.”  But, you may want to check out a few guidelines on my ABOUT page, to see if you really do.

A personal trainer can provide motivation, as well as strategic implementation of workout routines, helping you reach your goals.

However, you may want to consider who is training you first.

Who is their target audience?  This is a priority question.  If you are looking to run your 1st marathon, you need a coach/trainer which runs consistently–not one which thinks running supplements his weight lifting routine.  Same consideration affects your choice if you are looking to gain muscle hypertrophy (enlarge your muscles).  You want someone who is knowledgeable, and understands safety is paramount.

Is your personal trainer certified?  This is controversial to some, but certification adds credibility.  It is not a guarantee of client results or expertise in the field; however, it means that the PT has completed an exam assessing his/her knowledge of essential principles.

Who is/was their clientele? Knowing who they have helped and gained results for in the past, can predict your future; and if they are the trainer for you.  My focus and target audience is also listed on my ABOUT page.

Do they have references? There should be someone who can recommend their services to you.  If they work out of a health club, look at the people they have trained.  Watch them train.  Do you like what you see on both counts?

Be prepared…Have a list of questions which are important to you, to reach your goals.  For example, “Do you check in with your clients, even on off days?” or “I’ve been told I am pre-diabetic, but I also have knee issues.  Can you still help me?”  Being prepared also means being prepared to expend more than calories; you should be willing to invest in your health and overall well-being.  It is an investment; and your mindset should reflect that.  Shoe shopping, Starbucks, and eating out certainly add up; and spending money on a trainer is certainly more results oriented.  Also, certifications as well as preparation costs.  Realize this, and be cognizant of your trainer’s time as well as efforts.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

dancer in white  This post originated in August of this year.  It was titled “My favorite reset cleanse.”  Intermittent fasting or “cleansing” has become the latest technique in battling the bulge.  In my opinion, nice and easy does it.  So this is my version of a “cleanse.”

Cleansing can be a vital component in revitalizing your life, your lifestyle, and yourself.

In my last post “Detox 360–body work,” I discussed intermittent fasting.  It is a segway into my favorite “reset.”

SLOW AND STEADY

I’m sure you realize by now, I am not a proponent of a cleanse that doesn’t encompass lifestyle change.  It is why my series is entitled Detox 360, starting with “Clean up your act….”

Yet I do believe there are benefits to hitting the “reset” button.  Your body (for the most part) is quite proficient at digesting, synthesizing, and eliminating food and fluids.  This doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a break.  Hard hitting cleanses coupled with fasting, which induce runny stools and flatulence, isn’t my idea of giving it a break.  It can upset the ph balance in your body, and wreak havoc with blood sugar levels.  Therefore taking your body from meals, to heavy fluids, to finally H20, I believe is a better alternative.

CHOOSE YOUR WAY

This cleanse can last a day or a week.  There are those who make it last longer, by decreasing what’s on their plate, a little at a time.  Know you can shorten or lengthen at your discretion.  If you are diabetic, take medication requiring food, or trying this for the 1st time, consult your medical professional.

Begin with eating a meal you normally consume. Your subsequent meal should be lighter in nature.  Your next should consist of an opaque juice, such as V8 or a blend.  Lastly, you end with only H20.

If you are doing this over the course of a week, remember your meals should progressively become lighter. You then transition to opaque fluids to ever clearer ones, until you reach your H20 phase.  It is essential to keep yourself well-hydrated, once you begin with fluids only.  What does that mean?  Your urine reflects your hydration status; therefore it should be clear, slightly to moderately yellow.  Anything dark is telltale for inadequate hydration.

How long do your fluid only days last?  For me, it is not longer than 1-2 days.  My H20 day is just that–one day.  Again, this is not meant for everyone; especially if you are diabetic or taking medication requiring food.

BRING IT BACK

Your H20 phase doesn’t spell the end of your cleanse.  It is only the “reset.”  It is a reset for your body; but also for commitment and perspective.

Just as the cleansing process was a subtle yet steady progression, so is the reversal.

Starting with clear lighter fluids, you gradually progress to opaque or heavier ones, then to soup (can be thicker or creamed), then to salad/veggies, then a meal.  Again, this can be stretched out for as long or as short as you like.  My last “add back” however are heavier carbs like potatoes, breads, and pastas–then my animal proteins.  You may choose to go with meat first, then your carbs.  This is your body, your cleanse.

I realize for “detox purists,” this is not their idea of a cleanse.  Far from being one of those, is why the post is entitled “my favorite cleanse.”

THE BENEFITS

This is a the pause button for my mind, as well as my body.  It forces me to make a commitment, stick to it, and remember that I made this choice.  After concluding this regimen, I not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but find I am consciously engaging in meals.  I chew my food more slowly (without really trying), savor each bite, and unconscious snacking all but disappears.

For me, this cleanse gives my digestive system the break it needs.  It doesn’t send me sprinting for the bathroom, play “hill & valley” with my blood sugar, or leave me incapacitated to complete a workday.  Yes, there is an adjustment period.  In comparison to some detoxes however, the side effects are marginal.

Have a favorite detox or cleanse you would like to share?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

hair out of H20  This post originated over the summer; however, I believe it’s integral to any exercise routine.  If your workout isn’t working, lack of down time between workouts may be the reason.

You’ve been hitting the gym, pavement, and/or the DVD workouts 5-6 days a week.   If this statement falls into the category of “things that make you go huh?” this post is not for you.

However if you are working with a high intensity routine most everyday, you may be wasting your time.  UNLESS you are inserting a recovery day.

Recovery days are essential.  They are the “pause” if you are in a state of constant “play.”  Exercising everyday at moderate to high intensities, you will burn caloriesYour body will also demand more calories.  Translation?  You will want to eat more food.  Yet this isn’t unusual, nor does it necessarily mitigate your workout.  It simply means your body requires additional fuel for additional work.  It can become a problem though, if you are overdoing either.

Sore muscles or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) may be an expectation if you haven’t worked out consistently.  If you have overextended yourself or tried a new routine, it also maybe the price.  Yet if you have trouble staying awake by midday, achy muscles are a constant companion, and headaches are becoming a part of your post-exercise routine–you are overdoing it. Yes, these symptoms can be attributed to dehydration (more common than you realize among the diligent).  Hydration issues aside, if these sound familiar or persist–slow down.   A check-up may not be bad idea either, if you have not had one.  Your body at this point, is not making a polite request.

RECOVERY–What does it really mean?

Recovery days run the gambit–just like sports.  They mean different ideas to different athletes.  If you are an avid runner, a recovery day may be a “recovery run.”  Check out http://running.competitor.com.  “Workout of the Week: Recovery Runs.”  I found this article very useful, providing insight into recovery as well as running past fatigue.

If the thought of running makes you run the other way–recovery could be that “day off.”  Working towards constructing that chiseled physique?  Check out http://2buildmusclefast.com. “Importance of Rest and Recovery in Muscle Building.”  This should be of particular interest to bodybuilders.  Why?  In part, the article stresses the need for rest, if you want to become sculpted faster.  No rest, no gain, appears to be the theme here.

What if your workouts are here, there, and everywhere?  Not a problem–here are a few suggestions from my “toolbox.”

If you’re a consistent follower of my posts, you realize my workouts vary:  running, INSANITY, gym, hot yoga, as well as ballet inspired.  Because of this, my recovery needs vary as well.  Therefore, a day off for me, literally is “a day off.”  While my teenage son may be into recovery runs (he runs cross-country & track), running is no longer my only form of exercise.  It once was–and still remains my favorite.  However, because my body started to “maintain an even strain” unless I upped my mileage, I had to find something else to get the results/weight loss I once derived running.

Recovery first and foremost–has to entail adequate hydration as well as nutrition.  You will not achieve your goals without either of these.  Yes, eating to fuel “your habit,” is a balancing act.  If you take in more calories than you’re burning, you will gain weight.  And, it may not be the muscle hypertrophy for which you are striving.  My advice?  Start with adequate hydration.  See my post “Not enough? Too much?  A little guidance please…”  Once these needs are met, realize your body is going to demand–not request–higher quality food.  While potato chips, ice cream, and French Silk pie may not be totally eradicated from your thought process, they will not fuel your transformation.  Therefore, be prepared.

On my high intensity days (hard/long run, INSANITY, hot yoga) my drink of choice is electrolyte replacement, supplemented by H20.  My meal?  ONE–not all, of these days includes a meal I really really like.  Otherwise, I make sure I have plenty of salads, fixings for fresh tostadas, chicken breast, & roast beef around.  I am not a fish eater or a vegetarian; nor do I have any plans to become either.  Therefore, my meal plans/snacks include protein in the form of chicken, roast beef, some pork, legumes, or protein bars.  Vegetables, especially snow peas, green onions, mixed frozen, broccoli, and carrots are usually found in my fridge.

Lower intensity days (ballet inspired workout, light run, run/walk) H20 is my drink of choice.  Meals are lighter; and usually DO NOT include a splurge on these days.  My philosophy is lighter workout, lighter food.  While I haven’t the scientific data to purport this rationale, it works for me.

Whether you lift, run, dance, kick a soccer ball, walk, or are a diligent chair exerciser–keep it up.  Keeping it up however, means keeping your body from giving up.  Giving it the rest, hydration, and nutrition it requires are ALL part of RECOVERY.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Be sure to check out my ABOUT page.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

happy apples  This appeared on my blog originally May 11th this year.  However, it is a helpful uncomplicated way to figure calorie expenditure. 

This aired on the Dr. Oz show on May 10th; at least here in the Chicagoland area.

http://www.doctoroz.com

Click on Chris Powell.

Few of us are interested in what works for someone else.  We want to know what works for us.  This method takes the guess-work out of what is already challenging enough.  Based upon your body weight, this equation will tell you exactly how many calories you should be eating.  How few or how many more (if you are looking to gain weight) you choose to consume, is up to you.

Body weight x 12 = amount of calories you need to maintain your weight

Most of us consume 20% more than we need–that for me was not surprising.  What was however, was the amount of fat & calories supposedly “healthy” foods contain.  If the show is still up on the site, you wil be too.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

eat it up  This post was orignially titled “Are you eating because of what’s eating you.”  I posted it 6/22/13.  However, I think this may be helpful if your workout is missing the mark.

You are what you eat.  Most of us have heard this reiterated since childhood.  We’ve probably put it to use ourselves, in an attempt to discourage “unhealthy” eating habits.

Why we eat, is just as important as what we eat. 

You are on your way home from work, which happens to be a 90 minute commute.  Today traffic is being rerouted, bypassing your exit.  Your little one should have been picked up 15 minutes ago, and the sitter wants to know “how much longer?”   Your eldest son has football practice, and is now contending with the sitter for you to pick up his call.  Your husband is also waiting to be heard, but his call gets dropped.  You finally make it off the expressway.  Your husband called back, and is on his way to the sitter.  Your son phones again–but this time it’s to tell you football practice is Thursday; today is Tuesday.  You actually get a unemcumbered trip home.

Even if this isn’t quite your life–you get the idea.

Now perhaps you have had a late lunch, even munched on that “healthy” snack while sitting in traffic.

Yet what will most of us do within the next 30 minutes?  Forty percent of us caught in this or similar scenarios, will stop at McDonald’s, Burger King, Brown’s Chicken, or whatever franchise is nearest and dearest.  A portion of this forty will order take out.  If you are not part of that percentage, there is a sixty percent chance once you arrive home, one of your initial actions will include opening the refrigerator; even if you don’t have to prepare a family meal.

Sound a little more familiar?

Women are usually portrayed as the poster children for emotional eating.  Starting in our teens (and often earlier), we develop a love-hate relationship with food.  Yet if we take a second look at the above scenario, this could have been Dad–caught in the same situation.  Who’s to say his actions wouldn’t include a trip to Burger King or Popeye’s?  Maybe, maybe not.

While our emotions may not be gender biased, perhaps our reaction to them, is.  Either way, taking a step aside as well as one back, is the best way to assess the situation.

While I am not an emotional eater, I fall into the category of emotional non-eater or faster.  If I am truly stressed, I can go for days without eating.  However once the circumstance is resolved, the “flood gates open.”  Also, if I find myself hungry before bedtime, I CANNOT go to bed that way.  There are few circumstances I find worse, than laying in bed hungry.

Before I find myself post-stress, I know I must prepare.  Easy access is key.  Keeping cereal bars low in fat & sugar, and other snacks in the house that will not translate into pounds on my body, are part of my preparation.  Once I feel able to eat a meal, the idea is I won’t want to drive to the nearest rib joint or fried chicken place (though these are always a temptation).

For me, assessment and planning are tantamount to staying on track.  Recognizing my triggers, then preparing for them before the deluge ensues, is part of my plan.

Many ideologies and theories exist on emotional eating.  None of them mean much, unless you realize what is happening, and find a suitable solution.  Hindsight may be 20/20.  Yet that hindsight comes with a cost.  It may mean the difference between the 20 lbs you gain, or 20 lbs you won’t have to lose.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

healthy living waterfall  We’ve all heard it.  Infomercials touting the latest gadget to prepare healthier food, to campaigns in communities to fight the “obesity epidemic. ”  You can’t escape.  Obesity is public enemy number one.

As a renal nurse, I am well acquainted with how most of the dialysis population found their way to their present circumstance.  In short–diabetes and hypertension, and usually a combination thereof.  I’ve seen patients (at times in less than a year) go from losing a toe, to a foot, and eventually become a BKA (below the knee amputee).  So now, they contend with the complications of renal failure, AND face life without use of a limb.

For this reason and many others, I traded my uniform for workout gear.

A major part of nursing is education, as well as preventative care.  I have worked as a dialysis educator, classroom instructor, and now I see myself in the preventative arena.  It may not be the way most of my colleagues see prevention.  But we all play on the same team; just with different approaches.

Every type of disease wreaks havoc in its own way.  However, I wonder how obesity fits in.  Yes, it has far-reaching implications–but does it really fit the description of a disease?  Maybe.  Though I have a few questions.  How would this classification work anyway?  Do we assign stages to it–like renal failure or cancer?  How would insurance companies handle this?  Would they? Should it be considered a pre-existing condition if you begin/change insurance?  Will there be specialists in this field?  Treatment and patient compliance face dilemmas all their own on this one.

Take a look at http://mercola.com. “Why Branding Obesity as a Disease is a step in the WRONG direction.”  The article is dated July 6, 2013.   It has interesting perspectives on who benefits by calling this weighty issue a disease.

In the meantime, consider who benefits by regular exercise, proper nutrition, and a reform in habit.  I can give you one hint–it’s not those who would benefit from calling obesity a disease.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Be sure to check out my ABOUT page.  Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

recovery needed  You’ve been told weight loss, exercise, and nutrition must be your priority.  That monologue is usually followed by an “or else” phrase.  You may be hearing it for the first time from your physician, or the hundred and first from your spouse.  The underlying theme might carry more weight from the MD.  However the meaning remains the same–get up and get moving.

You’ve seen the ads for P90X.  INSANITY pops up on an infomercial at 2am, just as you were starting to doze off.  It promises results in 60 days.  After previewing parts of it on You-Tube, you understand why.  You’ve also seen ads for Urban Rebounder, 10 minute trainer, and Tracy Anderson on nights when the television was your Ambien.  Yet for all of the choices offered; the rigor, intensity, or daily grind wasn’t for you.

Another scenario.  You want to exercise but your joints?  Not so much.  There are days when getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom is a challenge.  Sitting on the toilet and then getting up? Well–that’s another story.  What choices are there for you?

Believe it or not, the advice remains “get up and get moving.”  But how?  With what?  Doing what?  Here’s a few options.

1. Sit & Be Fit.  If the description above is part of your life, even if only a few times a month, these videos offer movement on your “off” days.  You-tube has a few selections; ranging from 5-30 minutes.  The key to remember is that even with altered or limited mobility, you have to move.  Range of motion is essential for ADLs (activity of daily living).

2. T-tapp.  T-tapp is a series of exercises isometrically designed.  They are low intensity, and promise to rev up even the most stubborn metabolism.  Posture and “muscle activation” are the core principles here.  Check out http://www.ttapp.com

3. Yogalates.  This is a video I found on You-tube, which is divided into sections.  If you are looking for a slow-paced introduction to yoga, this might be the answer.  The instructor is soothing, articulate, and moves with intention.  The entire video is 90 minutes, but again, there are 4 sections to choose from.

4. 60 minute Yin Yoga for Spine.  This is another You-tube find.  It may be an ideal start for those wishing to begin a yoga practice.  Even if yoga isn’t quite your thing, it will serve tired, achy muscles well.  Stretch days should not be an option; they should be part of your routine.  You can also check out http://www.eckhartyoga.com for more ideas.

5. Tai Chi.  Tai chi is quite possibly 2500 years old, if not older.  While many videos display smiling seniors performing rhythmic movements, don’t be fooled.  There are more rigorous forms of Tai Chi–including techniques used in MMA.  Whether you are seventy-five looking to improve posture and mobility, or twenty-five using it as part of your Crossfit routine, there is something for everyone.  Meditative as well as restorative, Tai Chi is adaptable–yet its principles remain the same.  Effective breathing coupled with fluid technique.

As with any workout, cleanse, or change in dietary habit, it is always a good idea to talk to your medical professional.  You are responsible for your own healthcare.  However, part of that responsibility means enlisting the guidance of a trusted physician or nurse practitioner.  This is essential if you are just beginning to exercise, have mobility issues, in need of cardiac rehab, or taking prescription medication.

While not every exercise is for every body, every body is in need of some form of exercise.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it. 

Questions? Comments? Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

getting ready  Getting a little bored with your routine?  Perhaps you’ve hit the proverbial wall; your weight loss has stalled, your DVDs hold the same old same old, or maybe you want to spice things up–workout wise that is.  There are many ways to add spice; but for now, mainstream exercise is the topic.

Some clients have asked my opinion on Crossfit.  I ask “what do you know about it?”  Most of them tell me “nothing.”

While employed as a staff nurse, I recall a young patient whose doctor visited her with discharge instructions.  This was highly unusual.  Most physicians leave this task to the floor nurse.  I went to her room to help her pack, as well as clarify anything she didn’t understand.  She informed me she slept through most of what her doctor was telling her.  “Can you ask him to come back?” she asked.  I pulled up a chair for a little “heart to heart.”  Understand that this patient was not groggy from surgery.  She hadn’t had any medication to induce drowsiness.  Nor was she a pediatric patient.  Though not much older than she, I put on my “experienced” face.  I told her I would put out a call for the physician, but she had to explain WHY.  This shook her out of her lethargy.  I also told her what I’ve used as a signature phrase throughout my nursing career.  “You are responsible for your own healthcare.”

And just like that patient, I remind my clients that they are responsible for their well-being.  Whether in the capacity of staff nurse, educator, or personal trainer, I am simply a facilitator.

CROSS TRAINING VS. CROSSFIT

Some confusion seems to exist–there are those who interchangeably use Crossfit and cross training.  Crossfit may be a form of cross training.  Considering the intensity level however, it may not be a fit for everyone.  I think of cross training as a form of exercise to alternate with a normal routine.  For example, my son runs cross-country and track.  He occasionally sports a t-shirt around the football elite which reads “My sport is your punishment.”  True or untrue, running would be their cross training.  Players attempting to catch him, to give him a piece of their mind might be their Cross fit, but I digress.

CHECK IT OUT

Crossfit appears to be a collaboration of weight training, plyometrics, rope climbing, tire throwing, tire carrying, gas mask running, kickboxing, obstacle course phenomenon which appears to be grabbing major attention–for diverse reasons.  However, I’m not  convinced that all of the above activities, while wearing the Crossfit label, are indeed mainstream Crossfit.  Still if you are interested, it pays to keep in mind a few ideas.  I will preface this list with what I say in most posts, when talking fitness.  “Not every exercise is for every body.”

1.  Observe to preserve.  Assessment is the first step in the nursing process.  This is the information gathering stage.  It includes history of present illness, review of systems, as well as medications.  Assessment or inventory can be your best friend when discerning whether a program, or even a trainer is right for you.  By observation, you preserve your resources (time, money, and your body) before signing on the dotted line.

2.  Do your homework.  What’s in the facility?  This includes the trainers.  Are they certified?  I’m not saying certification always implies results or guarantees safety, but it does imply credibility.  Asking questions should never be a threat to a personal trainer.  It helps both client and trainer decide if they are a fit for each other.

3.  Ask for a trial class–even if you have to pay for it.  Not everything is free.  Trainers have expenses.  Their time like yours, is a precious commodity.  But before you commit to package or buy 3 get one free deals, ask to try a class.  The only way to know  if something is really for you, is to do it.

Need a little more info?  Check out http://www.crossfit.com.  Videos, personal success stories, and more details can be found on the website.

Fitness is indeed a journey, and its destination can be uncertain–like life itself.   it is fraught with bumps in the road, boredom, success and setbacks.  And like life, there needs to be challenge to effect change.  Yet there are many ways to challenge yourself, to bring about that change.  Furthermore, the challenges you are willing to face, should never outweigh the benefits you want to reap.  Setbacks in the form of muscle breakdown, joint displacement, or other injuries are not the change most of us desire.  Therefore as with any exercise, workout regime, or even trainer, it is up to the participant be mindful; and awake.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

need rest Most of us realize, though may not put into practice, the benefits of uninterrupted sleep.  Yet did you know that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain?

http://runnersworld.com/weight-loss.  The article is entitled “Sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain.”  It is dated November 27, 2012.

HORMONE HIJINKS

This is a tale of two hormones to be exact; ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin is the hormone which signals hunger.  Leptin is the one which tells you that you are full.  To keep it straight, I have nicknamed them: “greedy ghrelin and laid back leptin.”  If you are not getting your “great 8” your body can become confused.  A confusion which favors “greedy ghrelin.”  Translation?  Larger appetite–which can translate to a larger you.

The article goes on to state that even if you are restricting calories, if you sleep less than six hours, you sabotage your fat burn.  Since muscle is built around rest, this makes sense.  Lean muscle mass is now sacrificed in favor of fat.

It further stands to reason that the longer you are awake, there’s more opportunity to eat.  Example?

Ever heard of the “Freshman Fifteen?”  It’s that fifteen pounds (or so) that awaits many HS students, welcoming them to collegiate life.  Late nights spent studying or otherwise, is often blamed for the dreaded weight gain.

In the battle of the bulge, there is little quarter given, or fair fight.  For most (including the most avid athlete) it is mostly uphill with little downhill, and hardly any coast.  Well, this may be that rare coast.  Yes, fitting more sleep into hectic schedules can be next to impossible.  This I know from personal experience.  Unfortunately, I also know how it affected my appetite.

From late night (seemed like all night) care plan preparations, to early clinicals, to the constant testing and review, obtaining a nursing degree in two years leaves little time for rest.  Once finished, you must sit for boards.  If you fail, two years of hell– I mean study is down the drain.  Next comes your first job as a registered nurse.  Rarely if ever, do you have the opportunity to work a day shift.  An evening or night shift, is more likely where you will begin.  Add to this skipped lunches/breaks (I often worked without one, as many nurses do), and you find your body retaliates.  Sometimes in weight loss, often in weight gain.  For me it was the latter.

Making yourself a priority is not on most of our “to do” lists.  As a caregiver, wife, mother, late night studier, and personal trainer, I get it.  Two certifications and a higher degree in nursing later, I really got it.  Unfortunately by then, twenty pounds had gotten to me.

Starting a new career in personal training helped; after all, you have to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.  However I have found, no one can help you understand self-worth.  Other’s experiences can be a guide.  But it still is a path–pitfall, downfall, slick, slippery and all, you must tread yourself.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

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Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com