(no subject)

Looking for a new fitness program? How about trying the Presidential Fitness Challenge. This challenge comes in three varieties:

1. The Active Lifestyle Program - For those of you who aren't active on a daily basis yet, this is a great way to begin. The rules are basically to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week, for a total of 6 weeks.

2. The Presidential Champions Program - If you're already active and want a new challenge, this program is for you. Your goal is to see how many points you can earn by staying active. Points are based on the amount of energy each activity burns. So the more active you are, the more points you'll get. When you reach 20,000 points, you'll earn a Bronze award. Then you can continue on in the Presidential Champions program for a Silver or Gold award.

3. The Advanced Performance Presidential Champions Program - This is basically the same system as the Presidential Champions Program, except that the award goals are higher. For instance, you need to get 40,000 points to earn a Bronze award.

The Presidential Champions Fitness Program Website (where you can log your progress and also order your awards when you've reached your goal)

Also, if you want, come join the LJ pres_challenge community to chat with others who are challenging themselves with this program.
Green Lips

(no subject)

Ladies and Gentlemen. I have an announcement.

I have days where I am happy with my appearance.

Weight loss is completely worth it. Completely. I weighed myself a little while ago when I really wasn’t happy, and I was about 155lbs. (I’m 5”5’, so this is just on the borderline between healthy and overweight, so it isn’t TERRIBLE, but I’m never happy at this weight.)

I got into a slump and ate lots of food that I really shouldn’t have, and although I was still cycling to school, I cycled really slowly without putting any effort in, so it practically wasn’t exercise anymore, and I gradually stopped doing any of my other exercise. Then I was REALLY unhappy with how I looked, so I decided to change. I went for a jog. I went out in the evening before I had supper, so no one could see me run, (I even crossed over to the other pavement if I saw someone coming, so I wouldn’t have to pass them) and I ran to my local green and ran round it a couple times (the green is only about 5 metres by 15 metres, so this wasn’t difficult at all) and then I ran home. It is so much easier to go for your first run when you know you don’t have to go very far before you turn back, as you then realise “What am I afraid of?” and once you’ve had the first run, the whole idea is a lot less scary. Even if you’re only going to run round your block a few times, or even once, it’s a start, and that’s all your first run needs to be.

It kick-started me as I realised how unfit I’d become, so I started putting effort in again, and watching what I ate. I’m now capable of finishing a meal without eating everything on my plate. Before, I was so convinced that I had to eat everything in front of me. And I’ve learnt how easy it is to tell my parents “No thanks, I’m full” or “I’m saving room for desert” (even if I’m not).

I’ve recently had the confidence to wear skirts again. SKIRTS! Or occasionally a strappy top. And people have been telling me how good I look, and how I’ve lost weight. One person even told me that I shouldn’t lose anymore, but I get the impression that it’s because she’s a few inches shorter and twice my width, and although I love her dearly, I suspect that she says it out of jealously more than concern, as my weight is now perfectly healthy, and I only want to lose much 5 more pounds anyway.

I had my 18th birthday party, and I picked out the perfect dress for it. It’s red, and off the shoulder, with little sleeves that just cover the flabby part of my arm, and it’s tight over my top half, and then gets big and poofy from my hips downwards, and then ends just above my knee. I was terrified of wearing it, but everyone said I looked fantastic. And I must have, as I got a new boyfriend at the party, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t look awful. (wow – there’s optimism for you) I may post a picture. I may be too lazy.

This morning, after Christmas (am I crazy?) I was in my parents’ bathroom, and I saw the scales, and realised that I hadn’t weighed myself in AGES. I decided to just hop on and see what I weighed. I didn’t bother taking off my clothes, or even my SHOES, (they’re pretty flimsy and probably don’t weigh much) and my weight was just under 142lbs. It’s been so long since I’ve been less that 65kg. I KNEW I could feel a difference.

I had yesterday and today off from dieting, because it’s Christmas and I’ve done so well, but tomorrow I’m back on. I don’t want to lose a significant amount, and I’ll definitely stop at 135lbs, I just want slightly less tummy (and hopefully slightly less arm fat. DAMN YOU, ARMFAT!)

Seriously, guys, any tips for losing arm fat? There’s this arm bike at my gym, but it doesn’t feel like much is happening, and it takes about 5 minutes to burn a calorie, and I’m pretty sure that I’d have to lose about half a pound from each arm, which totals 3,600 calories, so it might take a while. Should I just stick with the arm bike or is there a better option?

  • Current Music
    Bush - Jesus Online
An Optimists Guide

10 Reasons To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

By Carolina Diaz-Bordon
eDiets.com Staff Writer

You are getting sleepy. Your eyelids have transformed into 100 pound weights; your mouth opens up like a lion and lets out one silent roar after another. Gravity is pushing down hard on your entire body. Your neck begins to give into demanding pressure. Your head begins to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sounds become distant echoes as you fade into the silent whispers of the zzzzz’s.

WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! You hear the words trespass through your slumber. They are so loud that your eyelids startle to consciousness. You notice a big black pen staring at you and a luminous computer light glaring in the background. Suddenly, the cozy white pillow you dreamed you were lying on becomes stacks of paper on your desk.

You heart races to your throat, and you jump out of your seat. You are at work and your boss is not happy.

Unfortunately, in today’s everyday hustle and bustle of modern life, sleep time is usually the first to be cut out of your busy schedule. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders, 40 million Americans are chronically ill with various sleep disorders.

When you deprive yourself of sleep, your judgment, reaction time, and other functions are impaired. Sleep deprivation can lead to severe consequences, including losing your job, failing out of school, and -- the most dangerous of all -- falling asleep behind the wheel and causing an accident.

If you don’t take the time to snooze, your health will lose. Different factors affect the amount of sleep each person needs, including age, health, and physical exertion. For most adults, seven to eight hours a night is a sufficient amount of sleep.

Not only will getting proper shut-eye help you stay clear of dangerous accidents, but it will also help you look younger, get stronger and stay mentally alert. Here are the top 10 healthiest reasons you should make room for sack time, and tuck yourself in for a change.

1. Fewer Colds and Flus
2. Weight Management
3. Increased Muscle Growth and Repair
4. Better Skin
5. Increased Energy
6. Better Memory
7. Improved Mood
8. Better Sex
9. Better Stress Management
10. Faster Recuperation

src: eDiets.com
An Optimists Guide

Things to Remember...

... when trying to lose weight and/or fat.

Water! Drink a lot of water.

"The amount of water you drink plays a key role in healthy weight loss as well as water retention in the body. All living things require a lot of water to maintain normal life processes, and also must maintain its water supply near normal, or death will occur. If the body loses more than 20% of its normal water content, a painful death will occur.

Water is the basis of all the bodily fluids including digestive juices, blood, urine, lymph and perspiration, digestion, circulation and lubrication. Water is also an essential transport mechanism for several nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. It serves an important role in all cellular activity. A diet deficient in water results in thirst, and dehydration." ~Women Fitness

Calories Count

"Losing weight will always require a calorie restriction but how much do we restrict calories in the diet?

When trying to lose weight many dieters tend to restrict calorie consumption too much too soon, sometimes with a belief that a sudden calorie restriction will shock the body into burning fat quicker. The body does adapt to any calorie restriction quickly however, it does not force increased fat burning, greater fat burning is the result of higher fitness levels or an increased metabolism. Restricting calories too much will only result in a lowered metabolism as the body burns protein from lean muscle.

When dieters restrict calories too much it also develops a stronger appetite. Many believe this is because they are eating less however, it may be caused by a slight deficiency in essential nutrients. The appetite may be driving the individual to seek more food in order to gain the required nutrition.

With these possible factors in mind it is essential that calorie restriction is a gradual process developed over many months and not something done within a week or two. A true calorie restriction is also more effective when nutritionally dense foods are eaten in small, frequent meals. A diet void of nutrient dense foods may only cause further cravings and a greater appetite!

Restricting calories by eating healthy, low energy meals regularly is the best way to lose weight permanently. Introducing healthier varieties into the diet gradually ensures lower calorie consumption with the benefit of providing the body with enough essential nutrition to maintain an effective fat-burning energy system.

Studies show that many dieters restrict calories as low as 1000 per day. This is way too low and often reached by cutting out complete meals rather than developing a healthy eating calorie restriction. Calories should always be restricted slowly and never go below an average of 1200 per day for women and 1500 for men. A calorie restriction of less than 1000 increases the chance of nutrient deficiency causing further potential health problems, it also may cause a lack of vitality which is an essential requirement if exercise is part of the weight loss program." ~ WeightLossForAll.com

Weight training is a must for long term fat loss

"One of the stupidest pieces of advice I've heard is that overweight people shouldn't weight train because it will build muscle that will push the fat out more. It's very hard to build that kind of muscle mass in a short time, or ever. In fact overweight folks are perfect candidates for weight training.

Any loss of bodyweight involves a loss of both fat and muscle. The key is to maximize the fat loss and minimize the muscle loss. You do this through both your diet and your training. In terms of training, cardio alone doesn't cut it. Extended bouts of cardio are catabolic to muscle, which means they contribute to muscle mass loss. So you might lose some fat, but in the long term, your metabolism is compromised because you've lost muscle too. For long term body recomposition, nothing seems to get results that measure up to weight training combined with other activity (if desired) and sensible nutrition.

Weight training has other benefits besides retention of muscle. It helps keep you motivated as you see strength gains quickly, as most newbies do. Many folks report that strengthening the muscles results in less joint pain and less difficulty in moving around.

This doesn't mean you should run into the gym and start killing yourself. The beauty of weight training is that it can be easily modified to every trainee's needs, and adjusted as the trainee becomes stronger and more familiar with technique. Many overweight beginners are surprised to discover how strong they actually are." ~ Stumptuous.com

Spot Reducing is a total MYTH!

"That bulge always shows up where we don't want it. On men, usually around the waist. On women, the hips, thighs and buttocks. These areas are the first place we see fat accumulate and the last place we see it disappear. This one you can blame on genetics.

The first place we usually lose fat is on our face (so our mothers can tell us we look too thin). Unfortunately, it is not possible to direct our bodies to burn fat from a particular area.

Take sit-ups for example. It is important to keep your stomach (and back) muscles in shape, and firm abs can even help to hold in your stomach. But to reduce the size of your mid-section, you would do just as well to perform any exercise that you enjoy.

Burn the calories and the fat will come off right where you want it to. It just may come off there last." ~ CaloriesPerHour.com

x-posted to my journal
Green Lips

(no subject)

Ok, I've been away for a month and I came back to find that no one has posted since my last post mid-august, so I think it's time to leave this community. If anyone is looking for more active communities, check my userinfo.

Green Lips

(no subject)

I’m afraid to weigh myself, as I know that my month in France has done terrible, terrible things to me.

Most of my clothes don’t fit comfortably anymore. I have bulges over the top of jeans that used to be a little loose. I can’t wear them around my hips anymore, they only fit over my waist, and they just look stupid there. I was starting to like how I looked before the holiday.

I got my AS results yesterday, and drank a lot. I’m now going to avoid alcohol for a week or two to let my body catch up, and because I’m not used to cycling anymore, so I’ll need to be really healthy to help get my fitness back.

My legs and bottom ache from what I used to call 2 normal days’ worth of cycling. I’m letting them rest today and maybe tomorrow if they still hurt. And, of course, trying to eat lots of protein.

*Sigh * My poor, poor botty.

I HAVE to get a passport photo next time I’m out so I can get that ISIC card and join my gym at a discount. I’ve left it too long already. I may even pop out today and get one, as I’m not doing much.

And I have to stop using the fact that my friends are eating loads as an excuse to eat myself. Either they’re way thinner than me and can get away with it, or they’re way bigger, so I shouldn’t be doing what they do.

Off to make myself lunch: Stir-fry vegetables with a chicken breast.

  • Current Music
    Zak and Sara - Ben Folds Five
Green Lips

Fat Fat Fat

I’m back from holiday. I went to France for a month, so, of course, I gained weight. I’ll know tomorrow how much I’ve gained. I know it’s enough to make my stomach look noticeably fatter.

I’ve managed to encourage my overweight friend to join the same gym as me so we can go together. She’s in the year above me, and she has left school while I’m in the last year of 6th form, so we’re hoping it’ll keep us in touch.

I missed my bike so much while I was in France. And I got a tan and freckles even though I was wearing factor 60 most days, and a sun hat and shades and I was covered up most of the time. I’m not liking how I look at the moment.

But moving on from my sad, depressing complaints, toward... The Future! (DAM da da DAAAAAM) Back to life in London, where I cycle everywhere, eat sensibly and sort out that gym membership asap.

My AS level results are arriving on Thursday, and I will not be held accountable for calories consumed through alcohol on that day. But apart from that, what I put in my body and what exercise I do is officially My Fault, and no longer the fault of being in France, the land of fine cuisine, without any means of exercise other than swimming lengths. (Dull.) I swam loads of lengths, but swimming just doesn’t feel like proper exercise to me. And it didn’t seem to have the effects that proper exercise should have. My overweight friend, who I was on holiday with, lost weight from the same amount of swimming, but she doesn’t do any exercise at home, so her body wasn’t used to it, whereas I was doing way less than usual.

Anyway, Again, Enough of the complaints. On to the positive. In London, I am limited to the food in my house, and therefore, it’s way easier to diet.

I hope everyone’s doing well. I shall weigh myself tomorrow and hopefully not spiral into a deep, dark circle of depression, angst and Gummi Bears.

Love Harriet
  • Current Music
    Ben Folds Five - Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
An Optimists Guide

Week 17 Wrap Up

Weekly Rating (scale 1-5) - 1

Cardio0 sessions7/25: ---
7/26: ---
7/27: ---
7/28: 60 min - Circuit Training w/ PT
7/29: ---
7/30: ---
7/31: 60 min - Circuit Training w/ PT
Strength/Tone2 sessions, full body
Mind-Body0 sessions

Nutrition: lost track again, but I know counts were high
Avg. Daily Cal. - unknown
Fat % - unknown
Carb % - unknown
Protein % - unknown


As of 7/31/05Original measurements (4/4/05)Current MeasurementsChange from lastGoals
Hips:40"37"↓ 0.5"37"GOAL!
Upper Arms:12.25"12"--11"
Weight:152 lbs141 lbs↑ 0.5 lb135 lbs
Resting HR:75-80 bpm57↓ 2 bpm<65 bpmGOAL!

I went up half a pound, but still maintained or lost inches, which indicates higher muscle/lower body fat count. Yay!