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fleetfootedfox

fitness and weight loss

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Being a scout leader can be pretty physically demanding depending on your position. I am wondering what other scouters do to stay in shape?

 

The latest thing I am doing is a DVD workout that also came with a diet plan. My wife is on Weight Watchers, which is somewhat different from my diet plan, but close enough that I can eat what she is cooking. I tried low carb dieting in the past and found it difficult, because my wife and kids love high carb food. It's hard going it alone and not being able to eat what the rest of the family is eating.

 

The DVD workout I am trying is called Power 90. So far, I have lost about 10 pounds and an inch off my waist. It is enjoyable and convenient to be able to do at home. I am not mentioning this as an endorsement of their product. Just comparing notes.

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I ride my bike, swim, hike. I've started to use some machines at the rec center to get my upper body ready for NTiers this summer. Other than that, just watching my portions keeps my girlish figure in check.

 

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I have tried several differant fad diets in the past, some worked, some did not. I have joined a weight loss program at the YMCA, work out when I can at the Y and I am eating smarter now. I am counting calories, I am keeping my calorie intake 1000/day or less, lots of salads, Veggies, staying away from breads, (which is hard for me). Seems to be working, down about 7 lbs in 2 weeks. Gotta get fit for Summer camp, can't let the boys show me up when I go huffing up those hills!!

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To keep ahead of my charges, I get several workouts in during the week. I'll get in a 2-3 mile run a couple of times a week and hit the gym usually twice a week where I do the eliptical thingy ( like x/c skiing ), lift a little and then play some hoops.

 

And when I do yard work at the house I try to keep the pace up so I get a good sweat going.

 

Diet wise I do try to stay away from sugar, but I can't stay away from bread... I'm in SF often and too close to the best sourdough in the world...

 

 

 

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Walking is actually great exercise, and not as hard on the knees and back as running (esp. on pavement in suburbs) can be. I walk a lot, probably 4-6 miles most days. I park a good mile away from my office and trudge in/out. Others complain about parking on the university campus but I never have a problem, parking in the far lots (and they're well-lit so few worries). I hike 5-10 miles on many weekends although this winter I've kind of hibernated instead and need to start doing that again. When I do all of that, dropping 10 lb or so isn't too tough. More than 10 lb requires more serious workouts though, at least for me.

 

I don't like diets and don't really think they work, long-term, for many people. Most people seem to make only temporary changes in their eating, which results in grumpiness (during the diet) and rapid weight gain (after the diet), culminating in self-defeating tendencies. But I admit good bread is a big weakness. Happily (I suppose) there aren't any really good bakeries near my house and I guess I'm a bread snob. Grocery store bread isn't worth bothering with.

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Unfortunately, I've been ill for the past three years and only last summer received the diagnosis of lupus, so my fitness level has fallen off. I used to be a marathon runner and some days now can barely walk a mile. Still, I keep walking. I also do a variety of stretching exercises every day - even when it hurts - to keep my muscles and joints from seizing up. I lost about 30 pounds very quickly last spring because of a bad reaction to some medications which landed me in the hospital. I've gained about 10 back since and am now holding steady, although I've never regained the appetite I used to have. I have to watch what I eat because certain foods seem to trigger the lupus flares.

 

Husband started a diet with me last spring which my doctor prescribed to help me with my symptoms. He doesn't stick to it's strict limitations - no bread, no pasta, no caffeine, no sodas, only certain types of fruits, and so on. He's modified it a bit so that it isn't so much a diet really, but a better food choices. Not too much bread, rice, or pasta these days, but it's whole grain when we do. Lot's of fruit, veggies, chicken and fish. Let me tell you, that man can create some fabulous meals with boneless chicken breasts. Younger son is benefiting from better eating too. Husband walks daily as exercise.

 

Since last spring, he's dropped 50 pounds. "That's great," people say. He says, "yes, but unfortunately I had it to lose." His reason for shedding the pounds was because he wanted to better keep up with the boys on the backpacking trips. They are getting more adventurous, planning longer and harder treks. He feels so much better now and can zoom along with the best of 'em.

 

 

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I'd been having trouble losing weight, despite following a low carb diet that had worked for me in the past. I had some other symptoms, too, so went to a clinic that specializes in nutrition and natural remedies. They did a blood screen and found I had food sensitivities (not allergies). When they were eliminated from my diet, I started losing weight again. Under their program, I can try some of these foods again after 3-4 months. The sensitivities often arise from eating the same foods a lot.

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It's been a long hard road for me, but I'm finally starting to get in shape now that I know I can't tolerate gluten (Celiac disease -- it's much more common than was once thought). I used to be exhausted and in pain all the time, and the more I dieted and/or exercised the worse it got. Now that my body and metabolism are working right, I'm resisting the temptation to go on a real restricted-calorie diet, and instead trying to just develop new life-long habits. Next week I intend to start getting on the treadmill EVERY day; I'll start with 30 minutes (which is comfortable for me now, but I used to have trouble with 5) and work up to an hour a day. I'm generally just getting more active already, spending more time outside, shouldering more of the work around our little hobby farm, and just going places instead of staying home all the time.

 

-Liz

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Liz, Congrats on getting a helpful diagnosis.

 

BTW, I got a heart rate monitor watch for my birthday. I've found it very helpful as it tells me when my heart rate is in the right zone for fat loss and how many calories I've burned.

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A New England Journal of Medicine article last year compared several diets for initial weight loss, glycemic control, lipid control, and long term weight loss. The low carbohydrate (Atkins) diet was the best in each category. When I had an out patient medicine practice, I had the same results.

 

The differences between the diets was not great so whatever diet allows you to consume fewer calories than you burn daily will allow you to lose weight. Exercise is very important and is best if vigorous and daily.

 

 

 

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"Liz, Congrats on getting a helpful diagnosis."

 

I still don't have an actual on-the-record medical diagnosis... and I probably never will. My friend who is an RN who also has Celiac Disease talked me into trying a gluten-free diet. I can't even begin to describe the difference... first the IBS symptoms went away (but would come back every time I thought I could eat just "a little" gluten) and then after a few months 100% gluten-free the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome disappeared, and then the Fibromyalgia symptoms... wow! But... because I'm not eating gluten any more, there is no meaningful test I can take for diagnosis. I'm not willing to make myself sick again just for a test. BUT... after seeing the dramatic difference in my health, my sister and my mom both got tested (blood test and intestinal biopsy) and were positive for Celiac disease. They're now on the road to recovery... although my mom's Celiac-caused neuropathy (previously considered idiopathic) may never heal entirely. I've also had my boys tested, but so far they're ok (we'll re-test every few years so if they develop a problem we can fix it before it causes permanent damage).

 

So... yes. Hooray for a finally helpful diagnosis, even if it wasn't my doctor who provided it! The diet's a pain in the toosh, but it's nothing compared to being sick, tired, and in pain all the time.

 

-Liz

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I guess I'm the biggest loser so far. After MANY years of different diets which all resulted in the yo-yo syndrome described by LisaBob, I'd pretty much given up. Until last June, when I opted for a surgical technique: the LapBand. I'm a believer. I've lost 110 pounds and I feel absolutely GREAT. I've taken 10 inches of my waist, 2 1/2 inches off my neck, and went from wearing 2X sizes (almost 3X) down to a straight L (bypassed the XL!). Now my wedding band falls off - have to get it resized! The LapBand isn't magic - it's only a tool to be used in conjunction with dietary changes (like eating only about 1 cup of food at a meal), concentrating on protein, eliminating most carbs, all caffeine and carbonation. But it works. Now I can keep up with my scouts instead of their having to wait for me! And I'll be around to enjoy grandkids in a few years. A former couch potato, I now supplement my scouting activities with frequent trips to a gym.

 

Thanks to the surgery, my sleep apnea has been cured, and I'm off of almost all the meds I was taking. That's direct savings in my pocket. Best of all, I'm not crabby like I was with other weight loss attempts (just ask my wife and kids).

 

If you want to pursue what I consider to be an excellent solution for some people, go online and find a Center of Excellence in bariatric surgery (see www.surgicalreview.org). Also check out www.obesityhelp.org. The multidisciplinary aspects (physician-guided weight loss, psych workup, dietitian, cardiologist, exercise, pre- and post-op support groups, etc.) are what make it work. It's the ONLY thing that has worked for me.

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