Tag Archives: exercise

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 my 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 my 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 the 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 yo-yo 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 >>

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

High Blood Pressure – The Hidden Killer

by on August 5, 2014

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On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sitting in his living room having his portrait painted by artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, who later became most renowned for “Unfinished Portrait” of FDR. Also present was Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary, but most notorious because of her affair with the president. His dog, Fala, and two cousins were in the room as well according to biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin. At 1:00 pm, FDR complained of “traffic pain at the back of my head,” and collapsed, unconscious. His cardiologist quickly arrived and recognized the signs of a cerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke. One could argue that one of FDR’s visitors that day triggered his stroke, but it is much more likely that years of untreated high blood pressure led to FDR’s demise at the age of 63.

High blood pressure or hypertension still remains a hidden killer at large. It is estimated that high blood pressure kills approximately 1000 Americans each day due to its effects on Continue reading

Rule No. 1 – Warm Up

by on March 3, 2014

We all should know the importance of warming up before a workout. Your body needs to prepare your muscles and joints to withstand the added pressure and to avoid injury. Get your body ready for your workout with this multiple joint warm-up.

This fitness tip from PJCC Personal Trainer, Herman Chan.

Video by Teddi Kalb

The Secret To Being Happy

by on February 27, 2014

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It’s not surprising that many people these days are stressed or, dare I say, unhappy.

Take a newspaper, for example.  You’ll find negative, and downright depressing, headlines regarding the state of our government, the environment, even the economy.  It’s license enough to put anyone in a funk.

So what’s the secret to being happy?

The answer is far simpler than you would think.  According to NYU professors, Lerner and Schlechter, the secret to happiness is not one singular secret at all, but rather a series of proactive choices you make to fill your life with joy and meaning. Now for many of us, knowing how to identify those decisions can be difficult.  But the field of positive psychology has shown that the following positive interventions can help give you that “happy” head start:

Conscious Acts of Kindness: Hold the door open for someone, stick a dime in a meter about to expire, volunteer to wash the dishes for your spouse or parent.  These acts may seem small, but they reap big benefits.  According to Lyubomirski, Sheldon, & Schkade’s research in 2005, five acts of kindness during one day can contribute to people feeling much happier – with those feelings lasting for several subsequent days.

Gratitude Visit: Take stock of what you have in your life worth being thankful for.  This can be done in a multitude of ways: Keep a daily gratitude journal in which you write down three things you are grateful for or write a gratitude letter to someone you care about.  Researchers found that actively exercising gratitude significantly raised levels of happiness and lowered levels of depression (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).

Exercise: This is a no brainer.  Aside from the physical benefits, exercise also releases neurotransmitters in the brain that enhance mood and act as a natural antidepressant, making exercise the ultimate stress reliever!

Meditation & Mindfulness: Part of the reason why a lot of people are so stressed these days is the busy, hectic schedules we keep.  We’re multi-taskers, which after awhile can tax our mental well-being.  Meditation is a phenomenal way to quiet the “noise” in our minds, to better connect with our bodies and to become more aware of our present.  It also has been shown to improve one’s stress reactivity and recovery, attention, concentration and positive affect.  If you are unsure of how to best practice meditation and mindfulness or want to meditate with a group, the PJCC offers mindfulness meditations led by our own Rabbi Lavey Derby, Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 pm.

Now, go on.  Try something!  You can’t guarantee happiness will happen organically. So start small and see if you find yourself with a smile on your face.

 

Are You Ready For Ski Season?

by on January 27, 2014

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Prepare to hit the slopes (once we get some more snow) by working those thighs and glutes. One way people generally get injured when skiing or snowboarding is by going to the mountains after a long summer and autumn with likely no pre-conditioning. Avoid muscle fatigue and potential accidents by preparing yourself and your body.  Monique Molino, PJCC Pilates Coordinator, shows us one fitness tip to help you prepare.