This next article is one I really HAD to pass along. I think
you will find it comforting... there IS a way for you to be succeed
at improved health, even if you struggle with your weight!
Fit and Fat
by Steven Blair, Miavita Scientific Advisor
Most people think that you can tell if someone's fit, active and
healthy just by looking at them. It's not true! Fit, healthy people
come in all sizes and shapes. The same is true of unhealthy people.
I know several thin people who are unfit and have serious health
problems. Weight Isn't Everything.
How is it possible to be fat and fit?
Quite simple. You may have the genetic predisposition to be "stocky,"
yet you engage in regular exercise. A colleague once asked a 5'
4", 200-lb. woman how she viewed her weight despite routinely
devoting an hour a day to vigorous exercise. She replied, "I
used to weigh 100 pounds more than I do now." In terms of
her health, that's a tremendous difference. I often tell people
that I was short, fat and bald when I started running, but that
after running nearly every day for more than 30 years and covering
about 70,000 miles...I am still short, fat, and bald. But I suspect
I'm in much better shape than I'd be if I didn't run.
Fitness = Longevity:
For much of my career, I've tracked a large group of patients
from the Cooper Clinic. Each individual received a medical examination
upon entering the study, including measurements of height, weight,
body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness. We have followed
these patients over the years to see who gets sick, who stays healthy,
who lives and who dies. The results are fascinating.
Our follow-up has shown that the death rate for women and men
who are thin but unfit is at least twice as high as their obese
counterparts who are fit.
In fact, across every category of body composition,
have a much higher death rate than those who are fit.
Fitness appears to provide protection against
no matter how much you weigh.
Being fit, as defined in our study, does not require high-level
athletic training. It means meeting the consensus public recommendation
of a cumulative 30 minutes of moderate intensity daily activity,
such as walking. Doing more brings additional health benefits.
Overall, our data show about 50% lower mortality in the moderately
fit as compared with the low fit; highly fit individuals lower
their risk another 10 - 15%.
Another interesting finding:
Many people classified as obese by current standards actually
have a good health profile. We see that as many as 40% of obese
individuals have normal cholesterol and blood pressure, do not
smoke and are physically fit. Anyone who struggles with their weight
should take this as good news.
My recommendation is to focus on good health habits, no matter
what number you see on the scale. Give fruits, vegetables and whole
grains a major place in your daily diet. Be moderate about fat
and alcohol. Don't smoke. Work on managing stress. Perhaps most
important, get out of your chair and start moving for at least
30 minutes every day.
Steven Blair is the Director of Research at the Cooper Institute
for Aerobics Research in Dallas.
Prepare Tonight for Tomorrow
(an excerpt from Don't Weight, Eat Healthy and Get Moving
Getting started is tough. It is tough to start exercising. It
is tough to start a different way of eating. It is tough to start
any new habit. Heck, sometimes it is tough to start to get out
of bed! Why is getting started so difficult? There are probably
lots of reasons. One of the major reasons is inertia. A body at
rest tends to stay at rest. Sitting on the couch tends to encourage
sitting on the couch. One sedentary day tends to lead to the next.
Ordering pizza tends to encourage ordering pizza. You get the idea.
If getting started is so difficult, what can be done to make it
Yes, a body at rest tends to stay
However, the opposite is also true:
A body in motion tends to stay in motion.
We can use that fact to increase the chance that we will succeed
in our self-care plans. You might try this: tonight, take a bit
of time to prepare to take better care of yourself tomorrow. If
you plan to go for a morning walk tomorrow, tonight you could set
out your walking clothes and shoes. If you want to eat a healthier
lunch tomorrow, tonight you could gather the ingredients for lunch
in one spot or pack your lunch. If you plan to call a friend you
haven't talked to for a while, you may put the phone number and
a favorite mug by the phone to remind you to sit down and have
a cup of coffee or tea with your friend.
Before you can be successful with this evening preparation for
your next day, you have to tune into your own biorhythms. You cannot
force yourself to prepare for tomorrow at a time in the evening
when you are exhausted. Think about your evening energy. When,
in your evening, do you have the best energy for this kind of planning
and preparation? For some people it will be right when they get
home from work, like a ritual to end one workday and aim for the
next. Some people would hate that timing. Perhaps your biorhythms
indicate that you should use your preparation for tomorrow as part
of your bedtime routine. This may help you relax before bedtime.
Or this might make you start thinking about tomorrow and get stressed.
You need to tune in to yourself and figure out what works best
for you. We are all so different. You need to really notice how
you feel. Experiment and assess the results of your experiments
until you find the best time in your evening to get ready for tomorrow.
Choose a time to implement your evening preparation when it will
be a helpful, not a hurtful, part of your evening. When you find
the right time, you will be more likely to prepare tonight for
Once you have set out your shoes, or packed your lunch, or found
your friend's phone number, or whatever ? what does that give you?
Now you are in the middle of accomplishing your task or goal for
tomorrow. You have already started! Now you are a body in motion,
and you will tend to stay in motion. All you need to do is continue
with what you have already begun and you will succeed at taking
better care of yourself tomorrow.
(Note: If nice fitness clothes will help you take
better care of yourself, check out Junonia.)
My Personal Message to You
Yes, it is true. It is not your imagination. It HAS been a while
since you got my eNewsletter. I would like to tell you why, and
share what I learned as I recovered from these situations...
This summer I faced some business challenges. Then this fall my
family sustained a tragedy. And finally, during much of these difficulties,
my epilepsy was more active. The end result was that my office
became piled 3' high with mess, I had thousands of unanswered emails,
and I seemed to be reacting to emergencies instead of planning
and living my life... the eNewsletter was left in the dust for
Some time last year I had purchased the books: Organization From
the Inside Out, and Time Management From the Inside Out by Julie
Mortgenstern. These are great books, and I highly reccommend them.
But when all these challenges hit at once, I could not FIND the
books and I did not have the TIME to look for them. (Kinda like
needing Gingko Biloba for memory ... but can't remember to take
Each week I would tell myself that I was "going to get on
the ball", that I was "going to make this program work".
Each week I would not succeed. I was reacting instead of being
proactive. I was missing some things that I really want, like writing
All this reacting instead of making
conscious aware choices was familiar...
I have had a similar feeling before...
Oh, yeah, that is what it felt like when I was trying to force
myself to diet or
strong arm myself into an exercise "program".
Will power is not a good motivator for any life change. PUSHING
does not work. Last month I stopped pushing myself and started
PULLING myself toward what I wanted. Instead of making impossible
lists of things "To Do", I made shorter lists of GIFTS
to give myself (like the good feeling I have as I write to you
this morning). I went to my book and read the section on "Procrastination" and
took my own advice. Instead of pushing myself to "get on the
(a huge task), I carefully chose one SMALL doable task and used
the principal of "Just Start". I reached out and got
some more support, both personal and business. Whew! I am feeling
and doing much better.
It feels great to be back. I am doing more writing as the universe
teaches me more lessons on self-care and self You will be hearing
from me every few weeks, sometimes more often when I have some
news I just have to share.