Archives for July 2011

Six Benefits Of Slow Weight Loss – Part #1

snail representing slow weight lossToday it’s all about losing weight quickly.

TV-shows like Biggest Loser set us high expectations regarding how fast it’s possible to lose weight. However, fast weight loss isn’t possible without drastically limiting your calorie consumption. Making drastic cuts leads to problems that make it hard to maintain your weight loss result in the long run.

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Before I list the benefits of slow weight loss, I want to define what I mean by “slow”. By slow weight loss I mean losing no more than a pound per week. Losing two pounds a week is plenty. At this slow rate you’d be able to lose 22-45 pounds a year (10-20 kg/year). Depending on how much you have to lose, the whole process may take 12-24 months. [Read more…]

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind – Review

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin NeffIn an earlier post about controlling your eating, I mentioned I was reading Kristen Neff’s book Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind.

My fitness blogging buddy Marion Shaw asked me to write a review on the book, so here it is!

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On the surface, Kristen Neff’s book has nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. Despite that, I  think it could be relevant reading for people who are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes.

And I think  it should be required reading for people who wonder why their attempts at motivating themselves by harsh self-judgments lead nowhere.

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Kristin Neff is a psychology professor at the University of Austin, Texas. She started studying self-compassion after discovering Buddhist mindfulness meditation during her last year of graduate school. Because of Neff’s background, her book is a an interesting and – in my opinion – successful combination of western psychology and Buddhist tradition. [Read more…]

When Is It Too Late To Get Fit?

senior coach potatoesEarlier this week I came back from my summer vacation, thinking about the “inevitable” physical decline that is a part of aging.

[highlight]How much of our physical decline is really age-dependent and how much of it is a consequence of your sedentary lifestyle and lousy habits?[/highlight]

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What got me thinking about the issue was spending time with my mother. She’s a 65-year old baby boomer who retired in early 2008. She’s only a little overweight, but her physical fitness has been on decline ever since her retirement.

One moment during my visit specifically stuck my mind: we were getting off a bus and my mother had a hard time negotiating the last long step from bus to curb. After that she briefly remarked that soon she won’t be able to board a bus on her own.

In my opinion, it’s a really bad sign if at age 65 your leg and thigh muscles are so weak you can’t carry your weight when you go up and down stairs. Next you’ll be to weak to get off the sofa! [Read more…]

My Summer Vacation Fun: Planking And Cinnamon Rolls

I was on a short, 7-day plus summer vacation. I visited my family and relatives in Southern Ostrobothnia. Below are a few choice snapshots!

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I didn’t set any real weight loss or fitness related goals for my vacation, even though I modestly hoped that I would eat sensibly. I don’t think that quite worked, because I started Saturday morning by eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a couple of ice cream cones for lunch!! 🙂

I spent a couple of days with my sister and her two little daughters. I got plenty of exercise when I played hide and seek, acted as a pupil at my niece’s “ballet school”, ran around the yard (20-some times in a row) etc. Take 8-10 hours of that a day, and you’re physically and mentally exhausted.

A Niece Plank

I love the fact that children are so willing to try silly things without much reasoning and persuasion. 🙂

I discovered planking before I left for vacation and immediately decided to teach it to my little nieces. Below is my niece Siiri (5) performing a plank . See how her ankles are properly pointed! That is something you learn if you study ballet. I think she has a great talent for planking. 🙂

[Read more…]

The Best Way To Control Your Eating Is…

control your eatingBest way to control your eating is not trying to control your eating at all. Period.

Weird, isn’t it? I’m quite aware you don’t probably agree with me, but bear with me for a moment so I tell me what led me to draw that conclusion. 🙂

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I was reading Kristin Neff’s Self-Acceptance: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind when it really struck me: we’ve really gotten everything mixed up.

What I mean is that the key to controlling your eating and weight is not self-discipline and dieting.

When we decide to lose weight and stumble, we tend to endlessly berate ourselves for our perceived lack of self-control. If we just had enough self-control, we wouldn’t cave in front of that slice of cheese cake in the evening. Yes? No!

We seem to be blithely oblivious to the fact that there might be something else going on. Something that practically forces us to give in to cravings.

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Let me tell you a little story.

My sister Hanna, 35, had always been slim till she started putting on weight a few years back. You know the story: she has two little kids, a demanding job and a husband who works night shifts. [Read more…]