Tag Archives: engage

Half My Size: A Weight Loss Journey

by on January 28, 2015

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By Randi  Reed, PJCC Assistant Camp Director

Everyone asks me what happened. How did I do it?

As a teenager at age 16 I weighed 350 lbs. If that sounds like it would be hard to overcome, it was.

I had PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) and I knew if I kept going and growing the way I was, I would have died. With help from my doctor to get the PCOS and hormones under control I worked on my diet! I drastically reduced my CALORIE intake and started moving my body. In 9 months I dropped 90 lbs! From there I continued watching what I ate and portions and kept exercising. I hit plateaus and still had some bad eating habits but I remained dedicated and continued to lose.

FLASH FORWARD 6 years! Down to 215 lbs…I lived in NYC, I was active and healthy yet still a big girl! I decided it was time to get PCOS checked again. Low and behold I no longer had signs of this disease! Could the weight loss have something to do with it! YES! Weight loss can help reverse and eliminate PCOS. But I was still OBESE. Staying motivated with so much to lose is hard. I finally joined Weight Watchers in September 2010 for the additional support and motivation!

FLASH FORWARD to today!  I’m at 165 lbs. and STAYING THERE!
I am a healthy weight. My heart, lungs, joints and brain are all a lot happier, healthier and free from the stress of extra weight. By drastically reducing my CALORIE intake, CONTROLLING my portions and paying attention to how much I consume, paired with lots of interval training, free weights, walking, jogging, yoga, anything to get me to move, and move more, I did it! This is not something that was a fad diet. It was a full on lifestyle change!

This, in a nutshell, is what I did to get where I am today and stay this way. I didn’t yoyo diet. I slowly lost and gained at times over a 10 year time span, but I CHANGED my habits. I now can control this food addiction and obesity! This is a disease you give yourself and you can CHANGE IT! You can do it too but you have to want it. You have to know that your beautiful heart should keep pumping and bringing the world that beautiful you! Don’t make it work so hard pumping extra hard for your fat! Love your heart, love your body, love yourself and change for the HEALTHIER! I did.

Q & A

What are the key components to losing weight?
S.M.A.R.T Goals:

  • Specific – Target a specific area for improvement. If you want to lose weight HOW MUCH? if you want to wear new pants WHAT SIZE? Don’t just pick a random number or random goal, BE SPECIFIC, give it Value and it will be easier to remember and work for. VALUE IS KEY.
  • Measurable – Quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. I will lose two pounds a week; I will go on a walk 4 times a week. My pants are currently this size, I currently weigh this much. Measure these things and set those goals. And see how they change. Weight is one measurement, but clothing size, underwear size, and cardiovascular capacity (I can walk for this long till I have to stop and rest) are all good to use too.
  • Achievable – Specify goals that are reachable. Trying to lose 30 pounds in month is not possible. You need to understand what is possible and work for that. Setting yourself up to lose 10lbs in a week will ultimately make you frustrated if you fail. 1-2 lbs. a week is a good and safe rule of thumb for weight loss that is sustainable achievable.
  • Realistic – State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. Can you really workout for 3 hours a day? Or would working out for an hour be possible with a long walk later? If you are realistic you will be better able to keep up.
  • Time-related – Specify when the result(s) can be achieved. If you give yourself a timeline, then you have goals you can reach. Big goals and small milestones. Take things week by week but have an overall goal.

What got you back on track when you cheated a bit?
I don’t like the word cheating, it’s not a test! We are all grownups and we make choices. If I choose to have a cupcake then I am going to eat all of the cupcake? What am I going to eat the rest of the day? Will I make a healthier choice later today? How will this affect me? Will I be ok if I eat this? Will I be ok if I don’t eat this? What I can have instead of this?

You are not a bad person if you happen to not make a healthier choice; you are not a bad person if you eat some pizza, or cheese, or a cupcake, or lots and lots of gummier bears at the movies. Just be AWARE of what you are eating and HOW MUCH. Don’t play the game of “well I ruined my diet today oh well” and then go on and eat anything and everything you can get your hands on. If you never allow yourself a treat or something you enjoy and deprive yourself then you will go overboard and overeat. I like to have a little, be satiated and WALK AWAY! And as my brother in-law always says “you can’t out run your mouth”, so be aware of what you are eating! For example if I am going out for dinner I make sure everything I am eating during are healthy choices, veggies, fruits, lean meats and drinking lots of water. That way when I get to dinner that evening I will choose something sensible on the menu and enjoy that and maybe a glass of wine with dinner! Losing weight is not easy and it takes work. But it can be done you just can’t sabotage yourself.

It took a long time to reach your goal. How did you stay motivated for the long term?
Every time I run a mile, or bike up a big hill or complete a race of some kind I think back to where I was. I could not do those things even though I wanted to. My motivation is my health. Each and every day I make the choice to treat my body well. And my body gives me so much. I can help it and keep it moving like a well-oiled machine. I make the choice every day to doing something good for my body. This can be done, no one is perfect and it takes time, patience, and determination.

Visit Randi’s blog to read more about her journey.

Need some help meeting your weight loss goals?  Try the PJCC’s new program with a holistic approach to food!  Visit Weight Loss Your Way >>

Wellness Coaching. What’s In It For Me?

by on January 6, 2015

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As a wellness coach, I am asked this question on a regular basis. I like to respond by relating the coaching I do to that of any other coach: A coach is someone who can help you make specific improvements to your technique which will add value to your overall game.  A good coach does this by shining a new perspective on an activity or simply holding their pupil accountable to their goals. You use a running coach to improve your running skills and timing. And if you want help to improve your wellness, you hire a wellness coach.

Defining Wellness

Generally the term “wellness” is to have a healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.  Relationships, sleep, exercise, work and spirituality (to name a few) are all areas in life that can cause a great deal of joy as well as stress. They feed our energy and vitality, much like eating food does. To achieve long-term wellness one must take care to keep all these elements in balance.

When practicing full mind/body wellness it helps to go beyond the surface to tap into the root of your internal roadblocks and inspirations. Take note of areas in your life that are out of balance, what makes you happy and compels you forward versus what brings you down and derails your plan.  But seeing  and/or acknowledging areas that need work may not be as easy as it sounds.

Education + Accountability = Success

A wellness coach is trained in techniques which help you take that deeper look at what you would like “more” or “less” in your life. What brings you joy and what causes stress. In other words, we work with our clients to identify areas in life that could use a positive facelift. Using this as a starting point, the coach then becomes a mentor to help educate and motivate you to take the baby-steps to a more balanced life.

In the supportive and self-empowering environment provided by a wellness coach, you begin to succeed in areas you’ve been wanting to change or improve upon for a long time. Together with your coach, you will create a plan and schedule that will allow you to keep things on track, allowing for more succeed.  It’s truly amazing how even the slightest changes can have dramatic impact on a person’s lifestyle balance and health. Developing a history of success only creates positivity which leads to self-confidence and is often followed by more success. But at times we all need a helping hand to take the first step and keep moving forward. That’s when it’s time to enlist a wellness coach.

Here are a few questions to help you get your wellness plan started:

What is your stressor area you need to work on?

What is one thing you’ve done in the past to deal with this issue?

What is one thing you can do today to help your wellness picture became more balanced and how will accomplish it?

Visit the PJCC website to see all of the classes and activities that can help you achieve your goals!

Depression — The Lowdown

by on December 2, 2014

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News of Robin Williams’ suicide was a shock. How could a man devoted to making others laugh take his own life? His death brought the disorder of clinical depression to the forefront.

Depression is a common mental illness that is manifested by prolonged sense of sadness, and other symptoms such as loss of desire to do pleasurable activities, irritability, insomnia or oversleeping, change in appetite, loss of energy, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and sometimes thoughts of death or suicide. Depression affects 1 in 11 adults, and nearly twice as many women as men. Sadness and depression are different. Many people feel sad after losing a loved one, or losing a job, or ending a relationship. People who are depressed, however, can usually differentiate normal grief from the disabling continued weight of clinical depression. Although there is excellent treatment for depression, many people do not seek help because they mistakenly construe it as a personal weakness rather than a legitimate illness. Many celebrities have publically acknowledged their own battles with depression in hopes that others Continue reading

A Healthy Spin on Latkes: The “No-tato” Pancake

by on November 21, 2014

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Traditional potato latkes are delicious but more and more people are looking for healthier ways to make these wonderful fried patties.  We’ve come up with a recipe that is heavier on protein and veggies and light on the carbs.  And, as a bonus, they taste great! Enjoy!

Quinoa & Veggie Latkes Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

3 cup cooked quinoa (use 1 part quinoa to 1 part water)
1/2 cup grated onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1 cup each finely grated zucchini and carrot
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste Continue reading

In Search Of Sleep

by on November 4, 2014

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But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”  Robert Frost

A relative of mine, Stewart, (not his real name) was driving home from LA, and fell asleep at the wheel. Stewart was 18 years old at the time, and on winter break from college. He drove to LA in the morning, and then, after spending the day there, drove home that night. Although he knew he was drowsy, he made the decision to drive home. The last thing he remembered was listening to a 49er Monday night football game before he dozed off without warning. His new 1996 Toyota Corolla was totaled when the car crashed into a barrier on the side of the highway Continue reading

Pink & Powerful

by on October 21, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Everyone is wearing pink to bring attention to a disease that will touch over 280,000 women per year in the US alone.  Odds are high that everyone knows at least one person effected by breast cancer. While fighting and beating cancer is  the main goal when one is diagnosed, there is a long road of rehabilitatation following surgery that is so important to regaining strength and mobility.

In the following video, we hear a few inspirational stories from women who have taken on breast cancer and come out the other side with more strength, courage, and lust for life than before.

The PJCC is doing its part on October 26, 2014 with our Pink Ribbon Day.
We invite the whole community to come and support a great cause.

RESOURCES

Pink Ribbon Program @ PJCC  - Postoperative workout designed to enhance recovery
Check Your Boobies – Dedicated to early detection and prevention

 

 

Hepatitis C – A Stealth Killer

by on October 14, 2014

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I recall my Great Uncle Sidney.  He loved to devour a delicious steak for dinner.   Eventually he had to undergo coronary bypass surgery for cholesterol-clogged arteries of his heart.   Within a decade he died!  His heart did not kill him.  He died of cirrhosis of the liver because of a blood transfusion contaminated with hepatitis C virus which he received during his bypass surgery.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is one of those conditions one hardly hears about because most people who have it don’t know they do.  Of the 3.2 million Americans who have hepatitis C, only 5-6% of them have been successfully treated.   It is 3 times more common than HIV in this country, and it is the leading cause of liver transplantation and liver cancer.  The mortality from HCV has Continue reading

Cultivating Good Health

by on October 10, 2014

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Any time is a good time to cultivate good health by developing a wellness plan that will help you flourish. Don’t know where to begin? Draw inspiration from your garden and apply the same concepts to your health.

Preparation
Planning your garden is the first step to its success and the same holds true for your health. Buy a notebook and name it your health journal. Begin by writing down two goals that are attainable and aren’t overwhelming. For example, start preparing your afternoon snacks to bring to work instead of buying from the vending machine. This action alone can save you 200 Continue reading

Sukkot: Traditions of Wonder, Gratitude, & Justice

by on October 2, 2014

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Traditions of Wonder, Gratitude and Justice:
Reflections on Sukkot from the PJCC Garden Manager

‘Among the many things that religious tradition holds in store for us is a legacy of wonder.’ –    Rabbi Abraham Yehoshua Heschel

The fall is a season of abundance in the PJCC garden. Thanks to the hard work and heart of many volunteers, our garden is bursting with greens, tomatoes, squash, peppers, figs and strawberries – to name a few. Beginning my new position as Garden Manager during this rich time of year has given me a lot of joy, especially as it coincides with Sukkot. The holiday offers Continue reading

Homemade Honey & Oats Granola Bars

by on September 12, 2014

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Healthy, Tasty, Portable.  What’s not to like?

Finding a snack that will provide you with energy and is easy to pack and carry isn’t always easy.  Granola Bars fit the bill but can be pricey. This recipe for homemade granola bars will be satisfying and easy on the pocket book!

And, an added bonus, oats are known to lower cholesterol levels, provide fiber in your diet, Continue reading