Saturday, December 12, 2009

what happens to us in the winter?

Did you know that the 4th quarter of the year is when gym memberships decline? This is the months of October - December. Did you also know that this is the time when the average American gains 10 pounds? Then in January Gym membership sales spike to crazy levels as everyone tries to work off the weight they gained through the Holidays. It's true! If you have ever taken a look at membership reports for a gym you can view these numbers.
During the Spring and Summer we work hard to get our swimsuit bodies and then we relax in the winter and wear sweaters and long pants and hope no one is looking at that bulge in our midsection).
Now look back at your own habits and how long ago this started for you or if you have ever been a victim to this habit in the past and see if it is true. take the age you first started getting out of shape or gaining weight. If we take the current weight gain trends, we will look at a 12 year old kid who now plays video games instead of goes to the park for fun. My son is 100 pounds which is pretty normal.

Now add 10 pounds every year of his life until he is 40 years old. He will be 40 in
28 years. if you put on 10 pounds a year until then you would add 280 pounds to his 100 pounds. That would be 380 POUNDS! He would be morbidly obese.
This sounds ridiculous, but it's true! It is happening all across the nation!
Normal weight gain will occur ust from growing. SO let's say he hits his ideal weight and finishes growing at 20 years old and stays normal wieght until 20 yrs old. Let's say he is 180 pounds and 6'1" at 20 years old. If we do not change his holiday habits as a typical American and allow the typical weight gain that occurs year after year, by the time he is 40 he will be 380 pounds still!!! so even if he does not have unusual weight gain as a kid this trend to gain weight during the Holidays is still unhealthy no matter how we look at it.
Unfortunately, we now need to look at another aspect. Let's say he is following the trend of Child hood obesity we now have to add 20 pounds a year From age 8 - 18(normal wight is around 70 pounds at age 8)
the 8 year old goes from 70 pounds to 270 pounds at 18. Look around, is this happening to people you know?
Now take the 18 year old that is now gaining 10 pounds a year if they are careful except for the Holidays when they decide to let go of self-control just once a year:
in 22 years they gain 220 pounds added onto their 270 pounds = 490 pounds at 40 years old. Way off the charts as morbidly obese.
So we need to take a look at our Holiday eating habits.

Unfortunately, I deal with quite a few people who fit this description and are now fighting for their lives just to be able to move their bodies at all.

Here's what happens during the Holidays:
#1 - It's cold outside and we don't feel like doing anything but eating, sleeping, watching TV, and play card games.
#2 - We can't offend anyone and not try that special dessert they made. how many Christmas parties, new Year's parties, Thanksgiving meals, etc... do you attend that have an extensive array of desserts? How many times have you filled your plate and then gone back for more? have you ever had someone say "did you try my (fill in the blank) chocoloate coated, cookie crust, cream... etc... dessert I made from scratch? you don't want to miss it." (yeah, thanks a lot! I am sure it was good, but I already had dessert TWICE!)
#3 - more parties where noone wants to worry about calories. I love the parties, I had 3 parties in one week with dessert buffets AND this cheesy yummy saucy casserole that I knew I shouldn't eat. how come it was at all 3 parties that week? does everyone have the same casserole recipe?
#4 - cancelled gym memberships. if you fit the stereo typical Gym Member - you cancelled your membership in November or December because you either quit using it or you wanted to save money somewhere.

so now that you know the tendencies of the Holiday season habits, you can fight it!
#1 - Move even if you don't feel like it! Nurses often times get patients that have been in bed to long out and moving because they know this helps their recovery. it also helps fight off sickness! hmmmm... could there be more to flu season than we realize? something else to study later...
#2 - DO what Barbara Bush told you to and "Just say NO!" (politely of course)
#3 - offer to bring something yummy and healthy to the parties you attend, or hit the healthy food first. Fill up on the veggies and fruits and water. Take a small sampling and do not try to fill up at every party. Remember - you are not trying to clear off the buffet table on your own.
#4 - Get to the gym or fitness center (hopefully mine) or workout with friends at home. NO MATTER WHAT! you will feel better, you will fight off diseases (I have not studied that, but I believe it anyway) and you will not regret the Holiday Season.


One Phazes Client told me her family thought she was crazy for doing winter bootcamp during the Holidays. Her response "what are you talking about? This is the BEST time to do this! If I can get through the Holidays without gaining any weight for once, this will have been a success!"
Someone has finally figured it out! Good Job!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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