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Eat Less-Move More
05/13/2010
IconMy birthday was a little over a week ago, and my husband actually got away with setting up a surprise party for me.' I went to the party location under the guise that we were going to use a 'Happy Birthday' coupon for a free dinner.' It was wonderful to see the many people who have meant, do mean, and always will mean something important to me (and the cake and dancing were great too)!I want to mention one particular gift:' a bocce ball set.' I sent out all my gift 'thank yous,' and when it came to the bocce ball set, I said something like ''Thank you so much for the bocce ball set.' I don't know how to play it, but, heck, learning yet another sport is a great idea!' Ha ha ha!'I added the 'ha ha ha' because I hike, I play tennis and badminton, I shoot pool, do yoga, race a sailboat and work out...and do at least one of these daily .' But then I thought about my 'joke' and realized it IS a very good idea to learn yet another 'whatever' all the time.' Part of the joy of being alive (and a large part of what keeps your brain and body healthy and your mood positive) is having purpose in your life and learning something new all the time.People who don't continue to grow, be challenged, learn and be involved in activities tend to 'contract,' have depression problems, and compromise the quality of their aging and actual life span.So, while this blog is not an ad for bocce ball, it is a suggestion (and don't forget who's making it!) for you to constantly challenge yourself with everything from crossword puzzles to chasing butterflies.' The more you are invested in the opportunities of living, the more you will enjoy it and be alert and happy. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEat Less-Move MoreEducationExercisegrandchildrenHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesValues
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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityEat Less-Move MoreExercisePersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconI was asked the other day what New Year's resolutions I'm making.' I couldn't come up with any, not because I'm in denial about having to change anything about my life, but because it's just that I live each week, much less each day, already making those changes that I choose.'I like the idea of frequent "small course changes," rather than abrupt, major alterations in one's life.' I find that the latter kinds of changes are harder to keep, since they are such a divergence from normal reality and routine.So, I'm not trying to talk you out of losing that 100 pounds, or finishing the roof on your house all by yourself.' I just believe that it's unrealistic to put yourself in front of a 100-foot-tall pile of whatever with a spoon and told to "go at it."If it's weight that you want to lose, forget about that, and just decide not to have salad dressing loaded with fat calories, and just decide to walk 1 mile with music in your ear - iPod-style.' When that gets too familiar (or starts to feel "old"), then decide that you have to eat smaller portions and ride your bike for 1 mile each day (but I recommend doing that without the iPod, in order for you to hear traffic).'Get it? Small things are easier to stay with, because you get instant gratification, which we all love.The weight?' Don't get on the scale more than twice a month.' Just revel in those small changes.' The weight will take care of itself.' And then, you can go shopping for new clothes (yay)! More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCommitmentEat Less-Move MoreExerciseHolidaysNew YearNutritionPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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Tags: AddictionChildrenEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPoliticsSmoking
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05/13/2010
Icon"Stupid is as stupid does." Those are sage words from the fictional Forrest Gump.And stupid does some interesting things in America.' Here are two great recent examples of stupidity:Before I tell you the first story, I want to preface it with a memory from my middle school years.' We Long Island neighborhood children took the bus to school.' I walked two blocks to the bus stop.' In the winter, it was freezing, but fortunately, one of the kids I went to school with lived in that corner house right where the bus picked us up.' The mom would leave the garage door open (the cars were already gone) so we could all huddle out of the wind and chill until the bus came.' It was very kind of her.Now, to today's story:' A mom in Michigan allows the kids from three families to hang out before school at her house for about 1 hour before the school bus comes.' She's not getting paid, although I sure hope she's getting appreciation from the families who have to go to work before they can get their kids off to school.'Believe it or not, she receives a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continues, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operation of unlicensed day-care centers.' She's not getting paid!!' And she's doing the neighbors a favor!!This law says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers.' The Department of Human Services warned her without even finding out the facts.' This is stupid.' Never mind that these kids, if left by themselves for an hour without adult supervision could be food for predators.' It seems also that this stupid stretch would preclude regular baby-sitting when parents go out to dinner and the movies.There is good news here, though.' After the news media got hold of this story (and embarrassed the heck out of the state of Michigan), Governor Jennifer Granholm instructed the agency's director to work with the state legislature to change the law.'Since when is simply being a good neighbor a criminal activity?' Some neighbor (and we've all had this kind of neighbor) made a complaint, and started this non-common sense ball rolling.The second stupid story is from Saratoga Springs.' Adam Marino, a 12 year old in seventh grade, and his mother are defying Saratoga Springs school policy by biking to Maple Avenue Middle School.' The school has a rule that kids can't walk or ride a bike to school.' Adam's mom and other parents want their kids to be less sedentary and to get exercise by walking or riding to school as a fitness activity.'After Adam's mom thought she had an understanding with the school board on this issue, she rode a bike with her kid to school, only to be met by a state trooper and school administrators.' You'd think she had been beating her kid or helping him play hooky.' Sheesh!In reaction to this, other parents joined them in riding and walking their kids to school.' Once again, this got the attention of the news media, and the Board of Education is going to vote to amend this policy this week.These arbitrary rules are just stupid, and frankly, ignoring the bigger picture of neighborhood safety and exercise for children.' Fortunately, however, thanks to the media spotlight, it's all going to change. More >>

Tags: Common SenseEat Less-Move MoreEducationExerciseFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was on a working trip to New York City, some of my staff and I popped into a very lovely open-air sort of restaurant for lunch.' The menu was huge in size (I always wonder how they have all that food on hand), and I noticed something I had never, ever seen before: calorie counts between the description of the food and the price!I read each and every calorie count and was shocked at how unbelievably caloric many of the foods were that I had thought were healthy.' An appetizer of fried calamari had more calories than one should have in a whole day!' Even the veggie meals were stuffed with extra calories from oil, cheese and sauces.' Oh my!Talk about being "scared straight," like those kids in front of convicts who warn them to clean up their acts.' I immediately selected the healthiest thing I could find (boring, but healthy), ending up with a turkey sandwich on rye with lettuce and tomato - no mayo and no dressing, but with some salt, because I normally have low blood pressure.' I give callers high blood pressure, but mine is usually low.'New York City was the first place in the country, I believe, to require calorie posting.' What have we learned from this experiment?Researchers at New York University and Yale discovered that, although 9 out of 10 people who saw the calorie counts claimed they "made healthier choices as a result," when the researchers checked the receipts afterward, they found that people, had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect in July, 2008.The lead research scientist said, "I think it does show us that labels are not enough." What?' What else do you want to do?' Send in the calorie police?' On cityfile.com, someone made a suggestion that restaurants could have scales for people to weigh themselves before sitting down to dinner (ohhhh, what' rude reminder!) or they should post pictures of what you're going to look like if you have that lasagna in addition to' bread, butter or olive oil, a big salad with a cup of dressing and then cheesecake to wrap it up!So, if calorie postings have no impact, except for the people who already are careful and appropriate in their healthy food choices, then what is the point of continuing them?' I still think it's a good idea to continue.' Perhaps with patience, we will see people care about their bodies and their health as much as their family, friends and relatives do, and as much as the taxpayers who are not overweight and are forced to be burdened by the rising health costs brought on by illnesses associated with obesity. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthNutritionObesityPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconAn Australian newspaper columnist mocked actor Russell Crowe for smoking and chowing down on three tacos and a soft drink during a recent bike ride.' Specifically, her piece was entitled: 'Smokes and Fatty Foods ' The Fitness Regime for Rusty.' No, he didn't throw a bike at her (like he threw a phone at a hotel employee several years ago).' Instead, he challenged her to a bike ride.' She went on the 12 mile ride through the city, struggling to keep up, and then she fell off her bike.' She persevered and finished the ride, and had compliments for 'Rusty.'' Instead of gloating (she revealed), the actor was gracious and concerned about her: '...the perfect gentleman as he rolled up my trousers to check on my knee.' Well, the actor has trimmed down of late, and bike riding is probably a part of his new health regimen, but, c'mon, biking with your trainer and scarfing down tacos, sugary sodas and dragging on a cigarette earned him that headline.' That he could outride a non-rider doesn't change the truth:' what he did was very unhealthy.' And considering that two thirds of Americans (Crowe is Australian) are fat or obese because they move less and eat more, it would have been better if he had owned up to the error of his gastronomical ways. More >>

Tags: divorceEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesity
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Tags: Eat Less-Move MorePersonal ResponsibilityResponse To A CommentValuesYoga
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05/13/2010
IconWhile I was having a healthy breakfast the other morning, I became incensed at a particular TV commercial for TUMS.' TUMS itself is a fine product for relieving excess stomach acid, but that's NOT how the commercial was positioning the product.A man, standing in the evening rain, is looking through the glass into a restaurant, gazing hungrily and sadly while the cook is frying up a bunch of meat and pouring cheese all over it.' The music accentuates the man's painful disappointment.' The scene is a "take-off" on the situation where a starving child has his nose against the glass watching rich people dine, while his stomach has shrunken to the size of a raisin.It was not very funny.The next shot is of a TUMS bottle.' The shot after that is of the man who had been looking into the restaurant eating this ferociously unhealthy sandwich of meat fried in a ton of oil with artery-clogging cheese melted all over it.Not very funny, either.So, here is a product which is NOT being promoted as a rescue effort for someone struck with a little excess acid.' This product is now being promoted as an ENABLER of horrible eating habits (Hey!' Eat that rich, fattening food - because now we have a way to get you through it with minimal discomfort!) Since two thirds of Americans (including children) are fat or obese, this is so irresponsible that I am ALMOST speechless.' Showing people they can indulge in unbelievably unhealthy eating with the help of TUMS sounds like something you would see in a comedy movie, but not in an actual promotion of a supposedly healthy product.I liked it better when they were touting the amount of calcium in it for strong bones.It's not the fault of the TUMS tablets.' It's the fault of the greedy folks behind it, who are willing to let people hurt themselves, if it sells a tablet. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamilyMorals, Ethics, ValuesObesityRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconLast Monday, I stayed up late to watch " Dance Your Ass Off ," a new reality series on Oxygen.' I've said many times (and I stand by it), I loathe even the concept of what has been called "reality TV."' I find it generally exploitive, humiliating, demeaning, mean, stupid and guilty of lowering the American consciousness to sub-basement levels.' People are embarrassed, made fun of, attacked, and dismissed with a cavalier attitude of so-called judges or peered out.' These shows make it to air, because they're cheap to produce and because there seems to be no end to the appetite of some of the American public to lick their lips when others are behaving badly or grossly, or when people are being "thrown to the lions."When I heard there was a new TV show in which overweight people would compete in dancing, I thought this would be seriously sickening.' What a scenario for making fun of people!' " Dance Your Ass Off " has some of the elements of the typically disgusting reality format:' judges who have "not too judicious" comments, and someone who gets thrown out after some weeks.' But there is much more to this show in particular (in spite of the spicy title).'The scores are not only for their dancing (they're trained and choreographed by a professional dancer), but for how much weight they lose .' They all have access to a nutritionist who guides them in cooking and food choices and portion sizes.' So at the end of the Olympics-like scoring from 1 to 10 for the quality of their dancing that week, the percentage of weight lost that week is added to their individual score.' Therefore, a person could have been graded poorly for their dance program, but if they lost 5% of their body weight, they potentially could win the whole night!I like that this is just not a typical exploitation of people small or too big.' It's a real challenge for these people to get fit, lose weight, practice dancing, and perform.' The most significant part of the entire program that I appreciated was that there was no competition between these folks.' They all support each other in losing weight and doing their best.' There are no mean manipulations in order to throw somebody off the island or forced fights just for entertainment's sake.' These people work hard, and become quite committed to being fit.It's funny.' I thought this would be an utterly disgusting display, and it turns out it's one which is quite benevolent and fun to watch.' Seeing these folks working very hard in spite of their extra weight and lack of fitness is admirable and not something to giggle about.' Most of the time, the contestants behave quite respectfully when the judges are not that complimentary (and I think the judges are often out of order making demands of non-dancers who are overweight).' Nonetheless, overall, this show is quite supportive of the right behaviors. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesity
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