From Chapter 4 "Exercise Hogwash"
"Exercise won't help...I'm shaped like Aunt Gertrude!"
Ooooo…this one is my all-time favorite Hall of Famer!
Let me get this straight: Your Mom’s Dad’s Uncle’s Cousin’s Daughter looks like an upside down
egg with legs and there's nothing you can do about it? Uh-huh…and the fact that you both
enjoy butter pecan ice cream and cheese enchiladas a little too much has NOTHING to do with
Putting all sarcasm aside, yes, there are indeed
genetic factors involved — like body type (see
section in Chapter 4 for further explanation).
This simply means that you just might have to
work harder than your string-bean-figured best
friend to shed weight. But, I'm sorry to say that
laziness or inactivity cannot be blamed on
Case study in "Genetic Blame Syndrome"
This dear lady explained to me that she weighed
200 pounds because “everybody on Daddy’s side
struggled with weight their whole lives.” She had me going until she whipped out a picture
album showing slim photos of herself from 20 years ago. I decided to dig a little.
The conversation went something like this:
“Wow, look at your physique here,” I commented.
She replied, “Oh yeah, that’s back when I was raising kids, working full time, and
“Hmmm…and what are you doing now?” I humbly asked.
“Oh, I’m retired and pretty much just sit here in my recliner and read and watch my soaps."
Certainly, I am no genius. But, could there possibly be a connection between her weight gain
and current activity level? After a some more probing, I also discovered that not only had
sedentary living played a part – but a weakness for ice cream and too much peanut butter
contributed to this “genetically” blamed enigma. :)
"I'm sorry to say that laziness and inactivity
cannot be blamed on genetics. You just might have
to work harder than your string-bean-figured
best friend to shed weight!"
From Chapter 6 "Muddy Waters"
"Why am I hungrier after a sleepless night?"
Would you believe that above everything else, sleep is the #1 most important component of health? No, this doesn’t mean you can just forget about the food and exercise suggestions in this book and go back to bed!
Hunger and sleep deprivation
Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center,
in their Dec. 7, 2004 issue of “Annals of Internal Medicine”, found that "Partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense,
high carbohydrate foods”
Yep, that’s enough proof for me. But, if you need more
convincing, lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your body in other ways:
- Weakened immune system
- Irritability (due to increase in stress hormone, cortisol)
- Slower reaction times
- Higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
I’m one of those who has always dreaded going to bed. There’s so much to do and enjoy:
15-17 waking hours just isn’t enough. Personally, I hate reading advice about how the room
needs to be dark, 68 degrees, bed used only for sleeping and sex, no television, etc. I’m sure
those points are true, but there can be other factors too. I can’t help but wonder if the experts
who came up with these ideas have EVER lay awake counting sheep for hours.
"Partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating
levels of the hormones that regulate hunger,
causing an increase in appetite and a preference
for calorie-dense, high carbohydrate food"
Solutions for sleep
I’ve found that diet and exercise help tremendously (you knew that was coming). Since
exercise can be stimulating, working out early in the day is generally the best option. And,
what about diet? Avoid those monster pig-out meals for dinner…and CAFFEINE! That one really
affects me. If I drink the leaded coffee or soft drink instead of the unleaded too late in the
afternoon – or even too much throughout the day, I tend to stay awake.
The number of hours spent snoozing directly affects your health. So, if you are one of those
who continually has trouble with sleep, talk to your doctor.