Monday, April 27, 2009
For someone who frequently suffers from insomnia, I came across a link that has 100 different ways to get some decent sleep.
Some are worth a try....who knows....they might work! :)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
By SANDRA AAMODT and SAM WANG
Published: April 2, 2008
DECLINING house prices, rising job layoffs, skyrocketing oil costs and a major credit crunch have brought consumer confidence to its lowest point in five years. With a relatively long recession looking increasingly likely, many American families may be planning to tighten their belts.
Interestingly, restraining our consumer spending, in the short term, may cause us to actually loosen the belts around our waists. What’s the connection? The brain has a limited capacity for self-regulation, so exerting willpower in one area often leads to backsliding in others. The good news, however, is that practice increases willpower capacity, so that in the long run, buying less now may improve our ability to achieve future goals — like losing those 10 pounds we gained when we weren’t out shopping.
The brain’s store of willpower is depleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals. Psychologist Roy Baumeister and others have found that people who successfully accomplish one task requiring self-control are less persistent on a second, seemingly unrelated task.
In one pioneering study, some people were asked to eat radishes while others received freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before trying to solve an impossible puzzle. The radish-eaters abandoned the puzzle in eight minutes on average, working less than half as long as people who got cookies or those who were excused from eating radishes. Similarly, people who were asked to circle every “e” on a page of text then showed less persistence in watching a video of an unchanging table and wall.
Other activities that deplete willpower include resisting food or drink, suppressing emotional responses, restraining aggressive or sexual impulses, taking exams and trying to impress someone. Task persistence is also reduced when people are stressed or tired from exertion or lack of sleep.
What limits willpower? Some have suggested that it is blood sugar, which brain cells use as their main energy source and cannot do without for even a few minutes. Most cognitive functions are unaffected by minor blood sugar fluctuations over the course of a day, but planning and self-control are sensitive to such small changes. Exerting self-control lowers blood sugar, which reduces the capacity for further self-control. People who drink a glass of lemonade between completing one task requiring self-control and beginning a second one perform equally well on both tasks, while people who drink sugarless diet lemonade make more errors on the second task than on the first. Foods that persistently elevate blood sugar, like those containing protein or complex carbohydrates, might enhance willpower for longer periods.
In the short term, you should spend your limited willpower budget wisely. For example, if you do not want to drink too much at a party, then on the way to the festivities, you should not deplete your willpower by window shopping for items you cannot afford. Taking an alternative route to avoid passing the store would be a better strategy.
On the other hand, if you need to study for a big exam, it might be smart to let the housecleaning slide to conserve your willpower for the more important job. Similarly, it can be counterproductive to work toward multiple goals at the same time if your willpower cannot cover all the efforts that are required. Concentrating your effort on one or at most a few goals at a time increases the odds of success.
Focusing on success is important because willpower can grow in the long term. Like a muscle, willpower seems to become stronger with use. The idea of exercising willpower is seen in military boot camp, where recruits are trained to overcome one challenge after another.
In psychological studies, even something as simple as using your nondominant hand to brush your teeth for two weeks can increase willpower capacity. People who stick to an exercise program for two months report reducing their impulsive spending, junk food intake, alcohol use and smoking. They also study more, watch less television and do more housework. Other forms of willpower training, like money-management classes, work as well.
No one knows why willpower can grow with practice but it must reflect some biological change in the brain. Perhaps neurons in the frontal cortex, which is responsible for planning behavior, or in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is associated with cognitive control, use blood sugar more efficiently after repeated challenges. Or maybe one of the chemical messengers that neurons use to communicate with one another is produced in larger quantities after it has been used up repeatedly, thereby improving the brain’s willpower capacity.
Whatever the explanation, consistently doing any activity that requires self-control seems to increase willpower — and the ability to resist impulses and delay gratification is highly associated with success in life.
Monday, April 13, 2009
So in total the loss is 12.2kilos or 26.8lbs.
The initial weigh in, rules and what we can expect to achieve from the month long programme.
A run warm up, I manage half the run before puffing hard out. Various exercises and running, running and more running. Up stairs, down the Normandale Hill road. I try my hardest but it was a lot of walking as well.
We get introduced to the various exercises we are going to do, and the techniques. Squats, crunches, press ups, and burpies (which I just have no knack for!), step ups amongst a couple of others.
There are various things such as a variation of what I remember of Duck Duck goose or parachute where when your number is called you have to run into the middle, complete a set of an exercise and then run out.
And then it happened - we got told the last team to get to the chair would run up the Normandale Hill - I'm thinking I have to go hard out - don't let the team down (I am the slowest one there). So on go, I take off like a rocket and before I knew it, I'm tripping and rolling and hit my knee on the concrete.
By then - I've hit my wall - I burst out crying and apologising to the team. How embarrassing! I actually injure myself as well which makes it worse, and spend the next ten minutes on the concrete before trying to walk it off while unfortunately my team ran up the hill.
The rest of the day, I had an ice pack on my knee and was hobbling...great start.
On the Tuesday I went for a session with my trainer. As long as I didn't put weight on my knee, I was generally ok. He took me through a modified shuttle run/exercise boot camp to complete while I am away in Dunedin for 6 days. I'm bummed I am going to miss the camp as I already feel on the back foot. I'm the slowest, the biggest, and one of the most unfit. I explained this to my trainer, and he simply explained that everyone is there for their own reasons. Goals are individual. Anyway I need to remember that, and so on to day 2 - Wednesday.
Wednesday was split between the river bank and Normandale park. Shuttle run/ exercises and more running/walking. We got t-shirts for boot camp - nice. I felt good to do more running, however overdoing it made me dizzy, so am working out the limits when I can still run/jog but also perform the best I can. Even had tyre running in this session! It was good, and although wasted, it was a good type of wasted.
I missed the morning session due to a migraine - I'm thinking from not sleeping and the end of term. So I slept through the morning and in the afternoon when it was better, I completed the combo set for me to do when I was away on the river bank. Anthony kept me in line and I actually surprised myself by having the determination to complete it. That feeling of finishing was awesome.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
With the sweetest of all holidays upon us, sugar will be on the brain this weekend, threatening to rot your teeth and widen your waist. When you OD on candy, your pancreas has to work overtime—it pumps out massive amounts of insulin, causing the body to build up a resistance to sugar. Translation: The more sweets you eat, the more you need to feel satisfied.
Worst Calorie Offenders:
Cadbury Cream Eggs – 140 calories
Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs – 180 calories
Worst Sugar Offenders:
Jelly Belly Assorted jelly beans (35) – 28 g sugar
(Small) Cadbury Chocolate Eggs (12) – 26 g sugar
Worst Fat Offenders:
Nestle's Crunch Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny – 36.2 g of fat
Reese's Reester Bunny – 42 g of fat
The Worst Easter Candy:
Hershey's Hollow Milk Chocolate EggThis hollow egg is a tricky one--just the shell hides a shocking 570 calories. Eat the four Hershey’s kisses inside and you’ll hit 660 calories and 41 grams of fat.
Leave this egg and it’s diet-destroying agenda out of your basket and scramble up a plate of healthy, real eggs, instead!
Not-so-sweet sugar facts:
If overdosing on calories is what worries you, reaching for a Diet Pepsi isn't the solution: Artificial sweeteners may be almost as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup. In 2004, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that rats ate more after consuming an artificially sweetened drink than they did after sipping sugar water. Researchers say that might be because calorie-free artificial sweeteners act like stomach teasers: As you down your diet soda, your body anticipates the calories. When they don't arrive, your body sends you looking elsewhere for them, often in a snack bowl. And get this: A 2005 study by researchers from the University of Texas found that people who drank a can of diet soda per day had a 37 percent greater incidence of obesity.
Healthy replacement treats:
A 2003 Brazilian study found that three apples a day can keep weight gain at bay--and can even help you lose. "There's no magic compound," according to Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D., an apple researcher at Cornell University. "The best way to lose weight is to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. That increases volume and decreases calorie density." If you've got 5 minutes and a knife, cut your apple up and mix it with some chopped walnuts and a teaspoon or two of maple syrup. Or eat it with a tablespoon of peanut butter to add about 100 calories' worth of the satiating power of nuts.
Frozen juice bars:
Unwrap a frozen juice bar and you can practically hear the ice cream truck rounding the corner of your cul-de-sac. "They're sweet and tangy, and anything frozen takes longer to eat," Gidus says. "They're just a few calories, and they've even got some vitamins."Our favorite: Edy's Tangerine, with flavor as bright as its color — and a mere 80 calories.
Decio Armanini, M.D., who did the research at Italy's University of Padua, explains that there are two ways licorice works. The first is complicated and involves blocking an enzyme that plays a role in fat accumulation. The second is simpler. "Licorice can reduce appetite," he says. "The effect is probably related to the agreeable taste of licorice, and for that reason people do not need to eat more." We're not talking Twizzlers here; go for the real thing, preferably with licorice extract high on its ingredient list. (Look for it in grocery stores, not convenience stores.) A handful is about 150 calories and will keep you busy chewing something sweet, flavorful, and satisfying for twice the time it takes to down a bag of M&Ms.
And if you must have chocolate: Try Hershey's All Natural Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate with 60% Cacao. They're individually wrapped 45-calorie squares so you won't go off the chocolaty deep end. Plus, cocoa can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and possibly even prevent cancer. But be sure to stick to the dark chocolate -- it retains more of the bean during processing and generally has slightly less fat than the milkier version.
Interesting reading...trust me to have cream eggs as my favourite though! At least I like apples and licorice :)
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Pleasantly surprised, and good losses by both me and hubby.
Hubby lost 2.4kilos making a total of 7.9 kilos lost.
I lost 1.3 (2.9lbs) kilos to total 11.7kilos (25.7lbs). Yay!
How do I feel after losing this much?
More energy would be the main thing. I'm still tired (since it is now the last week of term) but its different now. I've booked in with consultant about the hyponotherapy on the 22nd April, so that should be interesting. My mindset has changed a little. I don't craved chocolate anymore and Im more wary of what I eat. I chose to not drink last night with friends - opting for lite and non alcholic beverages. I still had a blast and no hangover today. I can't guarantee that will always occur but for now I feel good about it. There was also the fear of not being on my A game for boot camp which starts tomorrow morning....6AM!
Other thing - clothes are looser. I took measurements yesterday, and while the initial drop was around my waist, this time there was quite a drop in my bust (hubby not that happy about that one ;) ) There were losses (even if small) everywhere which was positive.
Last week of school - hanging out for the holidays!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
One way to put you off your food!
5 days until bootcamp!
Just had two days of personal training (normally one or two per week but not in a row). Im a tad sore, but it's good sore. Even did shuttle runs - I hate the thought of running, and today there was a lot of puffing. However I was impressed with my recovery. Must be getting fitter! Yay :)
My trainer has referred me to a lady who thinks I will be a good candidate for some sort of mental training calling the programme "Get the fat out of your head" I am skeptical, however it is a free consulation so what the hell?? Updates as they come to hand on that one.