Fitness success – and I go off on a tangent ;-)

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Bootcamp, Nutrition, Whole Foods and Organics

I didn’t get much of a chance to go over personal fitness goals during this weeks classes. I tend to get a lot of questions in the second half of my Bootcamp sessions in regards to weight loss, plateaus, and what foods are good foods to eat when you are working towards a particular goal. Today I want to address these questions and touch on a few other ideas.

First off, by signing up for my class, or any class for that matter, you have taken it upon yourself to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. You have made the decision to put yourself first; your physical health, your mental health, your overall well-being. That alone deserves praise. Joining a gym, signing up for a workout class, and purchasing organically grown produce, all of these things cost money. If you did not join my class, you most definitely would have saved some money. You may save a few dollars here and there by picking your produce from the non-organic section at the grocery store. You will save some money, and time by getting your meat from the grocery store cooler than driving to the farm and picking out your cuts of meat from a local organic farmer. These facts cannot be denied. Something else that cannot be denied is the fact that the choices we make today directly effect our future lives. If we make healthy choices today, though they may inconvenience us at times, or cost a few dollars more… ultimately we are saving ourselves money in the long run in form of prescription medications, doctors visits, and hospital stays. Pay a little now, or pay a lot later. Scary thing is, in the future you may be paying your health debts with your life, and not money. So I again, praise you for making the choice to be here, and make the investment in your future selves!

Secondly I say that good health does not have a starting point and an ending point. If you want to lose weight that is a great way to focus your goals and steer your efforts in your day-to-day life. Otherwise though, being healthy, physically fit, “skinny”… it’s a lifestyle. One of my favorite fitness sayings is “Don’t work out because you hate your body, work out because you love it”.

As for weight loss specifically, it is simple. To lose weight you need to consume less calories a day than you burn. Go to the Metabolic Rate Calculator here. Plug in all of your info and hit submit. You will then get a rough estimate as to how many calories your body requires to sustain itself during the day. To maintain your current weight you need to eat this amount of calories a day. To lose weight, you need to eat less calories. To gain weight, you will need to eat more calories than this number. It is that simple. Calories in calories out.

Lastly, I want to talk about what types of foods that you choose to put inside your bodies. I am a believer that eating less of a whole food is better than eating more of a processed food. For instance, let’s look at butter vs margarine. The stick of unsalted butter in my fridge has one ingredient, cream. In the popular brand named “Smart” Balance, the list of ingredients looks like this Natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit, canola, and olive oils), water, contains less than 2% of whey (from milk), salt, natural and artificial flavor, vegetable monoglycerides and sorbitan ester of fatty acids (emulsifiers), soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, dl-a-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), lactic acid, beta carotene color, and potassium sorbate, and calcium disodium EDTA (to preserve freshness).

Looking at these ingredients further I can tell you that the soybean and canola oils are almost certainly genetically modified. The natural and artificial flavor is where that “buttery taste you crave” part comes in. The oy lecithin is yet another genetically modified ingredient. The vitamin A palmitate is a synthetic form of vitamin A and therefore fake. The beta carotene color – the normal color for factory produced margarine like Smart Balance is a very unappetizing grey, so color is definitely needed here to fool the masses. The potassium sorbate is a supposedly safe food preservative that inhibits microbial growth. Safe at least until they find it isn’t. The calcium disodium EDTA is an organic pollutant which breaks down in the environment into ethylenediamine triacetic acid and then diketopiperazine (try type that three times fast!). Diketopiperazine is a persistent organic pollutant, similar to PCBs and DDT. Not only does Smart Balance pollute the bodies of those who eat it, it pollutes the environment too! Who doesn’t want to spread some DDT on their toast???

Speaking of, check out this ad campaign from the 1960’s

All of the big words aside and looking beyond my butter vs margarine example, it is my philosophy that real food is better than fake food. sure you can find a margarine that has 40 calories per serving vs butters 100 calories. When you are counting calories it is important to be mindful of how much of a food you are eating. You will need to figure that 100 calories of butter into your daily calorie count if you choose to eat that toast with butter. You can eat less butter and save yourself some calories. You can opt for unsweetened (be wary of “sugar free” labels, more chemical madness there), jams or preserves. If you have high cholesterol, guess what, butter is not a good choice for you but neither are the chemicals that you will find in the alternatives. DDT was FDA approved for use as a pesticide until 1972 when it was proven to be a known carcinogen.

There is just so much we don’t know, so much that we don’t even KNOW that we don’t know about what we are feeding ourselves and our kids.

If you are at all interested in this topic I highly suggest reading In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.

I am officially getting off of my soapbox now. I actually didn’t intend to go on about this today, but it just sort of happened. Oh well.

I do want to end on a positive note! We had a GREAT first week of the Spring session in Bootcamp. I will be working on a new plan for classes next week. Remember to bring some weights that you find challenging – don’t underestimate yourselves!!!

  1. tlbflowllc says:

    “Don’t work out because you hate your body, work out because you love it” – great quote!

    Also, I fully support your statements about eating real foods. As humans, I think we often become overly confident in ourselves and in our level of understanding.

    In addition to what you said on margarine (which was fantastic), margarine also introduced us to the “trans-fats” we know and love today. The kind that New York has now banned. At the time, the food companies made trans-fats so that their margarine would have the consistency of butter without the saturated fat. They didn’t realize that a few years down the road scientists would realize that trans-fats are one of the worst things you can possibly put into your body.

    Keep your food natural, and you know it’s something that your body was designed to digest. If it came out of a factory, you may not have been designed to eat it.

    I love this post! Sorry that I went off on my own addendum to your soapbox. Ha.

    • Stephanie says:

      How could I forget to mention trans fats! Thanks for your added thoughts and there is no need to worry… there is plenty of room up here on the soapbox 🙂

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