Extreme Makeover features a celebrity trainer helping very overweight individuals reach their weight loss goals. Sometimes, their attitudes aren’t great, but other times, the people on the show are truly amazing, like Sara. Sara is a little person, standing at only 4’5″. She was a nutrition speaker on local television shows at the start of her journey, but ashamed of herself. Not only had she spent her life dealing with her short stature, but she had suffered greatly at the hands of her sister. She turned to eating and by the time she was 37 years old, weighed over 200 pounds.
When she began her time on Extreme Makeover, her first challenge was to climb the stairs of an amphitheater holding an 80 pound weight. The stairs came up past her knees. But she didn’t complain once. She kept going. Slowly, all the people in the theater started to watch her. By the time she reached the last step, the crowd cheered for her.
Her trainer gave her the goal to run a half marathon 6 months after starting her diet and exercise program. Sara said no. She wouldn’t run the half. Instead she would run a full marathon. Her trainer advised against it because it would be extra hard on her body. She’d have to take many extra strides due to her short stature. Sara didn’t care. She ran the whole marathon.
She succeeded in loosing more than half her body weight and becoming a runner, like she had always dreamed.
If you would like to follow Sara’s example and lose weight and begin your inspirational journey of change, be sure to contact our office to get the details on our ChiroThin diet. It is doctor supervised and is amazing in its ability to not only help you lose weight but also learn new and healthier eating habits! What a win/win! Office phone number: 406-652-3553.
Story is shared from the following website: https://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories
Beating the Odds: How Some People Stick with Diet and Exercise Plans
How long did your last diet or exercise plan last? If you’re like many people, your answer is “not that long.” In fact, one UK survey found that the average length of time a person stays on a nutrition plan is 19 days. A slightly more positive poll found that women tended to quit their diets after five weeks and two days. If these statistics sound distressingly familiar, it might be time to reassess how you approach your own diet plan.
How Do People Stick with Their Diet and Exercise Plans?
If you want to make sure your diet and exercise plan doesn’t become just another statistic, a change in attitude can make all the difference. In order to create a diet plan you can stick with, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what types of changes will fit into your lifestyle. Diet plans with long lists of “bad” foods might help you cut back on calories in the short term, but do you really plan to go the rest of your life without cake? People who stick with their diet plans take a more moderate approach, making small changes that they can live with in the long term.
Exercise plans can be just as difficult to carry out. People who stick with their exercise plans view physical activity as a regular part of life, not something they do only when they have the time, energy, and motivation. Of course, sticking with physical activity is much easier when it’s enjoyable. Rather than slogging it out on the treadmill, try yoga, martial arts, or another exercise program that stimulates your mind as well as your body. And variety helps too!
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Whether you’re building a diet plan or an exercise program (or are making changes in both areas), the people around you can make a huge difference in your level of success. If your spouse, children, or friends tend to turn to food in celebration or out of boredom, it’s easy to forget about your diet goals. Getting enough exercise is a lot more difficult if the people around you would rather watch TV than go on a walk.
Fortunately, when it comes to sticking with your diet and exercise plan, the people around you can also be a huge help. Making dietary changes as a family can help everyone involved lose weight and improve their health, while exercising with a friend can make the time go by much more quickly and pleasantly.
Having the support of a chiropractor who really understands the power (and challenges) of making healthy lifestyle changes (think nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management, for example) is another way to help you meet your goals. The staff here in Billings at Oblander Chiropractic can work with you to make targeted, realistic adjustments that you’ll be able to stick with in the long term. Sticking with a diet and exercise program isn’t always easy, but you might be surprised by just how easy it is to make the changes you’re looking for with the right type of advice and support!
Muscle tension occurs when a muscle (or group of muscles) remains contracted for an extended period of time. This might be characterized as a low-energy or low-intensity muscle cramp. Such tension in the muscles constricts blood flow, which in turn keeps oxygen and nutrients from reaching the muscle tissues and tendons. Muscle tension also keeps cellular waste from being carried away. The result is more muscle tension, spasms and damage. Why does this happen? There are actually several possible causes.
One key source of muscle tension is stress or anxiety. For our ancient ancestors, stress was a simple fact of everyday life, and their ability to response effectively to imminent threats (predators, hostile neighbors, natural disasters, etc.) was an integral part of their survival. As a result, their bodies evolved a set of short-term physiological changes that helped them to meet sudden life-and-death challenges by increasing their alertness, strength, speed and stamina. Today, we refer to these changes collectively as the “fight-or-flight” response, and they’re part of our evolutionary inheritance.
Unfortunately, there is now a kind of mismatch between the kinds of modern threats (real or perceived) that most of us encounter in our day-to-day lives and our bodies’ primitive fight-or-flight response. Instead of short-term physical dangers, modern stress is much more likely to come from social or financial pressures that are (usually) lower-intensity but more prolonged. Mounting bills, insane work deadlines and relationship problems are all great examples. This is a problem because our fight-or-flight response was really designed to be “switched on” only for very short periods of time—essentially, just as long as it took us to either defend ourselves or escape from a physical attack. It turns out that the human body pays a high price for the fight-or-flight response, and this price is especially high when the response is activated continuously over long periods of time, even at relatively low levels. Chronic muscle tension is just one potential result.
Muscle tension can also be the result of underlying structural problems or injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system, especially in the back or neck. When the spine is misaligned or there is an injury, the body may compensate by activating other muscles or muscle groups to stabilize the area and prevent pain. These muscles are put under additional strain for which they were not designed, leading to chronic muscle tension.
Chronic muscle tension itself can lead to new kinds of discomfort and pain. The pain can lead to an increase in anxiety and more muscle tension. This becomes a vicious cycle—an unhealthy, downward spiral. Luckily, there are a number of different ways to relieve muscle tension.
One of the best ways to relax your muscles is to exercise. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but muscle use increases blood flow and, accordingly, reduces the tension caused directly from lack of such blood flow. Exercise also produces endorphins which help to relieve stress and anxiety.
Heat is another method of relief. It can help by opening up blood vessels and relaxing the tense muscles. Use care when applying a hot pack. With heat, you can do too much of a good thing. Use a cloth between the pack and the skin so the heat remains measured and soothing. If you use an electrical heating pad, do not lie on the pad, but lay the pad on the tense muscles.
Water therapy can also help reduce muscle tension. Floating in a swimming pool or on a waterbed can prove to be extremely therapeutic because of the relaxing nature of wave action on the body.
Of course, a massage therapist is an expert at helping muscles relax. A truly good therapist can adapt his or her technique to your specific situation and will be skilled at gradually building up the intensity of the massage so that you’ll receive all the therapeutic benefit without losing the relaxation benefit.
Remember—it’s important to understand the underlying cause of chronic muscle tension so that it can be addressed in an effective way. Your chiropractor is specially trained to determine if the underlying cause is structural. If it is, he or she may be able to perform adjustments to correct the problem. Depending on your specific situation, your chiropractor may also recommend a treatment plan that includes several of the therapies mentioned above in order to relieve your pain and restore your mobility as quickly as possible.
“The Mood Food Connection” Part 1: Emotional Eating
What do you call it when your feelings affect what, when and how you eat? In healthcare circles, we refer to this very common phenomenon as “emotional eating.” Over time, it can become a very destructive pattern that leads to poor nutrition and unhealthy weight gain. If you suspect that you may be prone to emotional eating, the key is to recognize the kinds of circumstances that trigger it and then to use a handful of mindfulness strategies to change your behavior in ways that protect your health.
What Causes Emotional Eating?
Studies have shown that many different feelings can trigger emotional eating—anxiety, loneliness, sadness, boredom and anger, to name a few. While these types of negative emotions can sometimes be triggered by traumatic life events such as the loss of a job, a divorce or a death in the family, they can also be a response to exhaustion or the pressures of daily life. It is also true that many people will over-indulge when they’re celebrating, especially in social settings. This is hardly surprising—after all, we learn early in life to associate food with special occasions like birthdays and holidays.
When we eat for reasons like these (that is, for reasons other than being hungry), we usually do so without thinking very much about it. At its best, emotional eating can be a “food fling”—an occasional indulgence. But at its worst, emotional eating can become a mindless, automatic activity that we use regularly for coping, distraction and avoidance. Food can become both a reward when things are going well and a consolation when they’re not. This is the kind of pattern to look out for.
The Warning Signs
Awareness is the first step. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether you’re an emotional eater:
Do you often eat when you’re not actually hungry?
Do you think specifically about what you’re going to eat and whether it’s good for you before you eat it?
Do you find yourself especially attracted to sugary, fatty or salty snacks?
Do you often eat without actually tasting the food or forget that you’ve eaten?
Do you often feel guilt or regret after eating between meals?
If you suspect that you’re an emotional eater, there are several do-it-yourself behavioral interventions that you can use to break the pattern. In general, these are designed to promote mindfulness, reduce the damage caused by emotional eating or help build new habits.
Record your emotions and read to yourself what you’ve written before you visit the refrigerator or open the pantry door.
Make a list of the things in your life that are stressing you out and write down what you can do to address them productively or to think about them differently instead of using food to distract yourself or avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
Wait 15 minutes whenever you feel the urge to eat between meals so that there is time for the impulse to pass and for you to understand what’s triggering it.
Create a healthy snack dish containing cut up vegetables and fruit and keep it where you can get to it during the day. At the same time, make sure that your go-to unhealthy snacks are either stored in inconvenient, hard-to-reach places or aren’t in the house at all.
Substitute a walk around the block, 10 push-ups, 25 sit-ups or 50 jumping jacks for a trip to the refrigerator.
Schedule occasional “snacking date nights ” to give yourself permission to enjoy the foods you love—deliberately and in moderation.
Find new hobbies to help fight boredom in your downtime.
The Comfort Food Trap
When we eat emotionally, we also tend to reach for so-called “comfort foods” that usually contain large amounts of sugar, fat or salt. So it’s a nutritional double-whammy: we’re eating when we’re not really hungry AND we’re also eating calorie-dense foods that aren’t very good for us.
It turns out there are a number of physiological reasons why many of us crave things like chocolate and macaroni and cheese when we’re down. Over the past few years, scientists have found that particular types of food can indeed have a very real influence on our state of mind through mechanisms such as brain chemistry and blood sugar levels. In part two of the Mood Food Connection, we’ll explain in more detail how the foods we eat can affect the way we feel.
If you’re interested in learning more about healthy weight management techniques that help you feel and perform at your best, call or visit our office today! We’re here to help!