Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Thought, Scary Stuff

Today is Halloween. The stores have been full of candy for well over a month, and that’s just the beginning. You know there will be leftovers. Here’s what’s really scary about Halloween. We’ve chosen a sample of favorite Halloween candy, and it’s not unreasonable to expect that one person could (would?) eat this much in one day (or one night) if it’s sitting there in the “treat bowl” or if you happen to be raiding your child’s treat bag (but surely, you would never do such a thing).

  • 20 pieces of candy corn
  • 2 Hershey’s Kisses
  • 2 Brach’s caramels
  • 1 mini Tootsie Roll
  • 1 Fun-size candy bar (Milky Way, Butterfinger, Snickers)
  • 1 mini bite-size candy bar (Milky Way, Butterfinger, Snickers)
  • 1 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
  • 1 Fun Size M&M packet
Total calories: 515

Think of the above as little fat bombs, with almost no nutritional value and a ton of calories. To burn off those 515 calories you will need to walk 5.15 miles or 10,260 steps, assuming you cover one mile in 2,000 steps. And, Halloween candy isn’t just a “one-night stand.” The tempting bowls everywhere you go have been out for weeks, tempting you to have “just one more” as you pass by. Then, after Halloween, your evil co-workers will bring in their leftover candy—all those small, colorful, innocent-looking treats.

It’s true that just a few pieces of Halloween candy won’t derail your long-term weight loss efforts, but it’s the “just one more” temptation that over time will pack on the pounds. 

Scared yet? It only takes nine small fun-size candy bars to put on a quarter-pound of fat.

Keep in mind this isn’t about complete denial, or complete abandon. It’s still about making mindful choices. Each of us on average makes more than 200 food and beverage choices every day. The majority are not triggered by hunger. Maybe it’s something to keep in mind when you look at those cute plastic pumpkins full of treats—or tricks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Excuses

There are probably millions of quotes in the world, and every once in awhile, it seems as if one speaks right to you (or to me). This quote from Kenneth Blanchard speaks on many levels, but since this is a wellness Blog, think of it in a wellness light.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

So, how does this actually relate to wellness? 

Think of processes and outcomes. You might be interested in losing weight, smoking cessation, improving nutrition, becoming more active or other wellness (or lack thereof) behaviors. And, chances are good you’re probably looking at the outcome and what that outcome will mean to you. But switch it around and look at the process—it’s the doing that reveals your real commitment to your goal. Moving the focus from the goal itself to the process means you’ll be committing yourself to a positive direction that will ultimately lead to results.

Now, when you’re fully committed (to your own wellness), your time, your energy and your focus become a part of the process—and you’ll be amazed at how this commitment spills over into so many of your behavior and lifestyle choices.

Are you ready to move from an interest in wellness to a commitment to your wellness behaviors? No excuses.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Well, Well, Well . . .

Are you eating well? Are you feeling well? Are you moving well? Only you know the answers to these questions, but there’s growing pressure from outside (work, friends, family, physicians) to answer “yes.”  Yet, you should be the one who most wants to get to yes. Does it seem like you’re juggling all this wellness pressure, all these wellness balls, not really getting anywhere, but not wanting to let them drop? Maybe it’s time to stop juggling and let them land—then you can begin to work with grounded and real solutions.

Wellness isn’t just losing weight, getting enough sleep, becoming more physically active or reducing stress. It’s more than the absence of illness. We all know healthy living doesn’t happen at the doctor’s office. The road to better health and wellness is paved with the small decisions we make every day. It’s paved with the choices we make at the grocery store, where we park, whether or not we take the stairs, whether or not we go through the drive-thru, whether we walk the dog or sit in front of a TV or computer screen, whether we pop a frozen pizza in the microwave or instead choose to steam some vegetables. These are the choices we juggle—and the decisions we make.

Almost 80 percent of all chronic disease is caused by three preventable health behaviors—physical inactivity, poor nutrition and overeating, and smoking. Chronic diseases are responsible for more than half of all deaths in the world and are projected to account for two-thirds of all deaths globally in the next 25 years. Preventable deaths. In fact, consider just one component of the choices we make that lead to chronic illness—food.  

The foods we choose to eat on a daily basis contribute 80% to whether we will develop diabetes, heart disease, or canceror not. Are you willing to make those better, more positive choices? 

What have you done to live well in the past week? Can you do more? Most certainly!