Friday, October 28, 2011

Gaining to Lose

***Warning! I'm really getting up on my "roost" this morning.***

This morning in my post-run-sweaty-get-up, I was in the kitchen packing Todd's lunch and fixing his breakfast while watching the Today Show. First off, it's kind of nice to have Brian Williams co-hosting with Ann the morning... but then, once I started to tune out the chit-chat, I heard an interesting story. They were talking about a lady named Steffany Sears (202 lbs) and her struggle to qualify for bariatric weight-loss surgery and that ultimately she ended up binge eating to GAIN weight to "qualify" through her insurance company for the surgery!!


I literally screamed. THIS IS JUST ABSURD!

Not that she got the surgery.... entirely. I know several individuals who've had this procedure done. Some were very successful, others... not so much.  You guys know by now, I'm not a hater of "fat people". I'm just a dedicated lover for a HEALTHY person. So, I have MANY issues with this story.

1.) Steffany had already LOST weight on her own. She had been trying. Working. Struggling to lose the weight on her own. Then - she just gave-up and gave in to her insurance company's stupid "rules" (All of which can be broken mind you! I negotiated with insurance companies in a past life, you just have to be overly diligent.).

I'm not even really sure if this process couldn't be considered insurance fraud if you think about it... hmm...

2.) Insurance companies need to change. Why aren't they offering programs and opportunities to reward their policy holders for HARD WORK and proper diet management!? Come on - THOUSANDS of people do it on their own every year.... Why aren't these insurance companies on the side of the policy holder?! (ugh - don't even mutter the fact that it's all about $$. I'll probably come hit you or something. ha!)
3.) I'm even more frustrated with Steffany that she didn't fight for herself more. She is her own best advocate and she let an insurance company dictate what she does with and for her body.

I'm so tired of lazy.

I'm tired of lazy people who don't want to get up, get out and get moving for their own good. I'm tired of hearing stories like this where it's "easier" to gain weight to have SURGERY! I'm tired of lazy doctors who won't help navigate their patients to resources that can help. I'm tired of lazy insurance companies who will do nothing to help the insured. I'm tired of our society being so lazy, so unmotivated and unwilling to change policies for health and health care. (no - I'm not talking "Obama-care")

Why are we so lazy!?

Why would anyone want to sit around and whine about their weight and do NOTHING to change it. Don't tell me it's because fruits and veggies and other "healthy foods" are so "expensive". That's crap. Yes, they can cost more than what you're used to spending on processed foods and simple sugar and carb loaded "goodies"... but you're certainly going to save a whole lot of money (and tax payer dollars) from decreased hospital visits and medical/pharmaceutical expenses.

I don't know about you - but I'd rather spend a little more each week at the grocery store, eat well and LIVE well instead of struggling for months and spending weeks in the hospital.

*** I will slowly descend from my roost now.... ***

This is apparently Steffany's Before & After shots. I stole this from her story online.

I'm proud of Steffany for her overall weight-loss... and I hope she keeps it off. I hope she doesn't resort to bad habits and laziness again and ruin all the hard work she and her medical team have done. I hope she has a wonderful support system to sustain her efforts. I hope she is exercising and eating well to keep what she's got working for her. I hope she isn't suffering psychologically with her new self (like MANY bari-patients do). I hope she LOVES herself. 

Most importantly, I hope my readers are inspired to work hard on themselves. Don't give in to lazy. Don't go the "easy way". Don't give-up.

You have much to gain as you lose.

Keep up the good work friends.
Love - a.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

If Barbie Were a Model

I found this interesting article about Barbie. Take a few minutes and learn how this "role model" of my childhood (and many others) has probably shaped the perception of the female body image.

Interesting. The last quote almost makes me want to cry. Ladies (and gentlemen), we really need to start telling the young ladies in our lives how beautiful THEY ARE!!!

(Matthew Rolston/O Magazine)
The plastic surgery a model needs to look like Barbie

by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:54am (Matthew Rolston/O Magazine)
Here’s a breakdown of what she'd need done to be the kind of doll women aspire to: a brow lift, a jaw line shave, rhinoplasty, a cheek and neck reduction, a chin implant, scooped-out shoulders, a breast lift, liposuction on her arms, and tummy tuck, which would also have to be sculpted as if it were lined in whale-bone from the inside. And that’s just the half of her.
Halchishick doesn’t actually need or want any of these procedures. She’s proving a point: just because our distorted image of how a body should be is medically attainable, that doesn’t mean it should be attained.
We know that Barbie’s body is anatomically impossible. So why are we still trying for it?
Every day a new plastic surgery promise emerges: scooped-out backs, rear-end lifts, sculpted kneecaps. If it’s possible, it’s suddenly necessary. But what exactly would you have to go through to get the 'perfect' Barbie body? In the latest issue of O Magazine, model Katie Halchishick becomes the human diagram.

Posing for photographer Matthew Rolston, her glamorous, Marilyn Monroe-type features are surgically outlined according to Barbie's proportions.

And if you doubt that anyone actually wants to look like Barbie, meet Cindy Jackson, a 55-year-old woman who’s had 52 cosmetic surgeries to look like her plastic idol."This is the way I should look,” Jackson told Good Morning America. "It's evolution. It's medical progress." There's also 10-in-one-day record-holder Heidi Montag, and a revolving door of on-screen personalities who look more like each other and less like human beings by the day. 
Not everyone would call that progress. “The number one wish for all teenage girls is to be thinner,” said Halchishick, a former Ford Model who now mentors high school students about body image issues. “They think what makes a girl beautiful is skinny with big boobs, perfect hair, perfect make-up.” 
Last year a total of 13.1 million body parts were surgically altered. Five percent of patients were under the age of 20.
Halchishick, who co-founded the website Healthy is the New Skinny, doesn’t place all the blame on surgery or a pint-sized rubber and plastic doll. She believes change has to start in schools, as well as in the fashion industry. “Girls want to know how to lose weight so badly, and the schools don’t want to talk about it, because they’re worried they’ll develop a complex,” she told The Gloss in March.
“There need to be models to show [girls] to wish for more.” She now heads up her own modeling agency for women with natural figures. She’s also campaigned to get plus-sized designers into New York Fashion Week. But her spread in O magazine, the first nude pictorial they’ve ever featured, has been the most buzz-worthy. Accompanied by an essay by writer Amy Bloom, the photograph is intended to make women rethink their body image ideals. But it hasn't had that effect on everyone. When one 15-year-old girl saw this photo of Halchishick, her first thought was of her own imperfection, according to a blogger for Healthy is the New Skinny. “I thought if a girl as pretty as that has to change so much to be perfect, it made me wonder how much more I’d have to change.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

E!'s Giuliana Rancic reveals she has breast cancer

Okay - So, in my obession with "junk tv" I have fallen in love with Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Well, that's a lie.

I first fell in love with Bill when he won the first Apprentice show *sigh*... He was just the total catch in my eyes.... then he got married and together Giuliana and Bill started their reality show. I think they are such a cute couple. Together they have shared their struggle to conceive through IVF with the world and it's many highs and lows.

Todd asked me last night if I had heard about Giuliana's diagnosis with breast cancer (of course I hadn't yet, since I had been at work all day) and I almost wanted to cry. Cancer was pretty much the undertone of my entire day yesterday from patients, their family members, friends, and my own loved ones. Then to hear that Giuliana also had this nasty disease?!

Ugh. It's just disgusting. I'm so over cancer.

Take a few minutes to watch Ann Curry's interview with G. Giuliana's very brave, but you can tell the news is still fresh and the wound hurts... yet she is so hopeful. I did cry. I won't lie. My thoughts and prayers are with G and her hottie Bill. I wish them both the best!

E!'s Giuliana Rancic reveals she has breast cancer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Motivational Monday

I thought this was AWESOME. I see the tears and the sweat every week with my GOTR team. But despite the tears, the sweat always pays off more. Wait 'til you look in the mirror after your first 5k/half marathon.... you'll never see yourself more beautiful than you are then! 

Sweat works miracles. Sweat is proof you've worked hard. Sweat is evidence you're making a change. 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just a "Little Heart Attack"

I'm on a women's health kick again. 

Especially when I think about my mom. Honestly, this video is how I see it happening to my mom (and many others). Okay, it's a touch dramatic.... but the point it made. Or it should be. 

I keep asking (now I'm more like TELLING) my mom to take a breath. Relax. Quit saying yes to EVERY damn person that asks you to "help" do something in exchange for a few bucks.... She's too worn out and face it, she's getting too old for that crap. Heart disease is terrible on either side of the spectrum for me. It's bad on her side, but toss in all the other risk factors that compound the matter and she's practically a ticking time bomb. 

Yes, it freaks me out a bit. Yes, I don't want anything to happen to her or any of my parental figures for that matter... but Mom is the one who's worked like she's a "single mother" my entire life. Mind you, she's been remarried for ohh.. ummm 13 years now?! "Ain't NOTHING going to slow her down", apparently

Anyway, Ladies. Enjoy this reality check moment. We aren't as invincible as we think we are... so be prepared. Know the signs. Know the symptoms. Know what to do and DO IT. No waiting. No lollygagging. It's not going to get "better"... Get to the hospital (and please don't drive yourself!)!!!

Make it your mission to make sure the women you love know. I did. :) 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rethink Breast Cancer

So, it's October. 

I should have had a post about breast health WAY before now but of course, like many, I'm also a slacker when it comes to checking my breasts for changes... regardless what month it is. 

In honor of promoting breast health, in a fun and entirely NEW way, I give all my ladies this:

Now, isn't that motivation to be a bit more responsible about our breast health!?!?! :) 

Thanks to Pam for finding this gem and thinking of ME! Enjoy my friends. Share the love and let me know if you actually download the app.... I'm interested to hear about it! 


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Nurses Wishlist...

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous: a nurses' wishlist. Blame the Pollyanna optimist that I tend to be if you must, but I'm quite sure I speak to everyone for every nurse out there when I say this.... well almost:

1.) I wish for more hospital transportation assistance - day and night. It's damn near impossible to get help during the day moving a patient from the ICU to another room... imagine the night shift.
2.) While on transportation: I wish ICU transfer's trumped all other's in the hospital. We don't move 100 people in/out a day, but when we do move someone, it's likely an urgent matter for the person who needs to come in. OH, and if we can't get a "Resource Nurse" for the critical care department... maybe just a few to float around the hospital to help turn, transport, go to procedures etc...
3.) I wish for compliant Dialysis patients. I know it has to suck having dialysis. It's probably eternal torture waiting and waiting and waiting for a kidney transplant... BUT DO WHAT YOUR DOCTOR/NURSES SAY! There are just reasons for fluid restrictions, low sodium diets and regularly scheduled dialysis appointments. Not going to dialysis because you "don't feel like it" is pure stupidity... emergent dialysis isn't a picnic and practically drowning in your own body fluids has got to be freaking SCARY! Why do so many KEEP doing it?!
4.) Also - take care of your fistulas.
5.) Go to the bathroom when your nurse asks if you need to go. Likely, we have time to help you now.... not 15 minutes from now when you finally call out asking for help. Yes, it's kind of like when you make your kids "go" even when they say they "don't have to go".... something will always come out. Usually. 
6.) Keep a record of your medications. This includes dosage and frequency. Also, it's nice to include herbals too. You never know if we're going to need it. 
7.) While you're healthy and of sound mind, make a living will and designate a Power of Attorney (POA) and/or Healthcare Power of Attorney. Especially if you're not married to this person. Legally, your next of kin is your decision maker whether you want them to be or not if you don't have LEGAL documentation authorizing someone else. Just do it. I know you think this won't happen or you won't need it... but this lack of documentation creates a mess for everyone involved. 
7a.) If you're gay and living in a state that doesn't yet recognize gay marriage, DO THE PAPER WORK! 
8.) I wish for online scheduling.
9.) I wish for 6 week scheduling.... 6 weeks ahead.
10.) Smile. Say thank you. Be kindThis is for everyone. Patients. Doctors. Nurses. Transportation. Dietary. Pharmacy, etc .... we're all a team. We all work hard. 
11.) I wish for Computerized MARS.
12.) Keep your weight in check. Yes - the BMI calculation works too. Yes, I'm strong... but I'm certainly not strong enough to move 100kg of flaccid body weight up and around a bed alone. So if you would like to be moved regularly, watch your weight and keep it within HEALTHY levels please.
13.) I wish Starbucks delivered to the nearest hospital every afternoon between 1 and 4pm and for the night shift-ers, when they close the stores.
14.) Better yet, I wish family members would ask their nurses more often if we too would like a cup of joe to sip on when they go to get theirs. :)
15.) I wish for more nursing education assistance.... for higher ed and/or unit based. 
16.) Free water bolus' for each nurse every 2 hours. This chronic dehydration mess we're all in at work is making us grumpy and wreaking havoc on our skin. 

Love, Your Nurse

Okay... well, that's all I've got for now. Fellow nurses: Feel free to add on......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Forward LUNGE

Okay - Everyone loves great legs and a tight toosh.

So, if you want those things... Lunges HAVE to be a part of your workout routine. There are MANY forms of lunges, but we'll start here:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That's one rep.

Eventually, try doing Walking Lunges. You can even add light weights. Just always remember to keep your head up, your CORE STRONG and ENGAGED, and your knee never goes over your big toe.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Motivational Monday

We all have those days where we don't "feel like" doing our workout. But today isn't one of them. GET OVER IT. Face it. One day, you might not be able to get out of that chair without help. Hell, you might not even be able to walk. Get up and get OUT THERE doing what you CAN do! :) 

God gave us this body to keep it. If you don't use it, you will loose it. 

Here's to a successful week Friends!! :) You CAN DO IT! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pour me a cup... maybe two.

Well, it took me a few years AFTER college to develop a love for good coffee. I still have just as much soy or almond milk as coffee usually... but regardless, I love it and now can't imagine my life without our Keurig. Saw this article regarding five benefits of coffee... besides productivity and alertness. :)

And it's better while you sip your coffee as you read. Enjoy!

Delia Lloyd

5 Reasons to Drink Coffee
Posted: 10/7/11 08:45 AM ET
Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, jump in the shower, turn on the radio and hear the best news you've gotten in ages?

No, not world peace, but close.
Apparently, coffee is now good for you. It holds a host of physical -- not to mention psychological -- benefits which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate.
In a household where our espresso machine holds a hallowed place, this is definitely grounds for rejoicing. I haven't been this excited since I learned that sugar made a comeback.
So hear ye, hear ye: Five reasons to drink (more!) coffee:
1. It reduces depression in women. This just in. A new study out of Harvard University shows thatwomen who regularly drink coffee -- the fully caffeinated kind -- have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers. This comes on the heels of previous research showing that the risk of suicide decreases with increased coffee consumption.
2. It lowers the risk of lethal prostate cancer in men. But it's not just the ladies who will benefit from more java. In another study out of Harvard (what are they drinking there? ahem!), men who drank six or more cups per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee. Given that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, that's nothing to sneeze at.
3. It may protect against head and neck cancers. A study from the University of Utah showed that people who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 39 percent decreased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx combined, compared with those who didn't drink coffee. Regular consumption of coffee has also been linked to a lower risk for brain tumors, reduced rates of colorectal and endometrial cancer, as well as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
4. It may ward off Alzheimer's disease. Several studies looking at how caffeine affects brain development in mice have confirmed that caffeine significantly decreases abnormal levels of theprotein linked to Alzheimer's disease. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease were given caffeine -- the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day -- their memory impairment was reversed, according to a report issued by the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre. Should these results be replicated on humans, it might suggest coffee as an effective treatment for this disease, rather than just a protective strategy.
5. It appears to stave off diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that coffee may be protective against Type 2 Diabetes, although the precise mechanism is not well understood. An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, found that people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are 25 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who drink fewer than two cups. In the U.S. alone, nearly 24 million children and adults -- nearly 8 percent of the population -- have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.
Whether these studies will prove robust in coming years -- or be cancelled out by some of caffeine's adverse effects on things like sleep and high blood pressure -- remains to be seen.
But I'm going to blithely hedge my bets and carry on enjoying my cuppa (or two).
Latte or Cappucino?
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Naked Toilet Paper?!

UGH! I have to get this off my chest. I hate this commercial:

I'm sure you've seen it. It's ridiculous.

How long has society lived without this additional piece of decorative clutter in our bathrooms!?!? UGH! Now this commercial makes it seem like you're an idiot if you don't "respect" the stupid toilet paper roll. I mean, yes, it is used to clean some of our... ummm more delicate areas and I don't condone using a roll that's been sitting on the ground or that's fallen in the toilet and is now dry ( ICK! I get a little grossed out thinking about this now... but I swear there were rolls in middle/high school just like this we had to use).

BUT REALLY?! A Cover?!

Okay - I feel better. Anyone else?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Workout Wednesday: X's

It's been a while since I last provided a GOOD workout idea.  This one has ALWAYS been one of my favorites... even my old neighbors and work out partners, Shameka and Jordan (her daughter) can testify. 'Meka loved to hate this one when we'd do it... but Jordan was always there to tell us it'd make our butts look good!

HA! I miss that loud mouth Jordan!!

Yesterday in our warm-up moves I asked for volunteers and one of the girls chose this one!! I like to call this move, the X-Jump-Squat.  Like always, it's a muscle multi-tasker and great to add on to a circuit for a cardio boost.

As the pictures show:

  • A. Start in a low squat position with your legs apart. 
  • B. Jump UP and OUT creating an "X" with your body. 
  • C. Back to the starting position. Repeat.   

I also like to do these with my feet/knees together in the squat position. It's a bit more work on the abductor muscles and the quads, but it's a nice way to change it up for a different challenge.

Mix this move in to your running/walking routine or while you're lifting to help keep up your calorie burn. I also recommend setting a goal of 10 reps to start. Eventually do timed intervals or max out until you just can't do any more. :)

Shiny and "new"

Okay - Soooooo I'll admit. I've lacked LOTS of motivation recently. I'm worn slap out about 80% of the time and the rest of it I'm blaming lazy. I swear I probably get in 10 miles a day at work. Seriously. Well, maybe not quite 10... but really, I should check it one day. I easily get in 5 miles.


Finding motivation has been challenging... Todd and I are both just doing our thing lately. Run, work, eat, maybe workout, sleep, repeat. Honestly, it's boring. HA! But this week was different!!

I FINALLY got to be "Coach Amanda" to 32 elementary school girls participating in Girls on the Run! It was awesome!! I missed our first week due to my work schedule, but after a few butterflies in my stomach and a whole lot of "I don't have a clue what's going on".... the school bell rang and the girls slowly trickled out to the black top behind the school. Each one with big eyes, messy hair, smiles and rushing to put their bags up to come meet me! (I had beat the other coaches to practice.)

They FLOCKED to me!! It was almost like bugs to a light bulb. Each one with the same question: "Are you the NEW COACH!?!?!" Happily I said "YES! I'm one of your new coaches! My name is Amanda."

A few ran their fingers through my redheaded ponytail. Others grouped together to talk about me. Some told me I looked like I could run "really fast". One even told me "I was cool". A few held my hands. One tried to pick me up. It went on and on...

I was on cloud nine all afternoon.

We went through our activities and started our running activity. These girls were so amazing! Of course, there were a few rowdy gals... but for the most part, I've never met a more well mannered group of little ladies in my life. I don't think I stopped running the entire time (Not what I would say of my fellow coaches though!), which I believe helps to make me "different" to the girls. I'm also not a "mother" yet... which helps, I think.

Regardless, I raced the fast girls. I skipped with the little girls. I held hands with a team of 5 while they ran their lap TOGETHER as a TEAM (this group was the ONLY one of all 6 small groups to consistently stay together as a team). I taught 3rd graders how to do push-ups. I praised each and every little smiling face the I saw moving. I joked with them. Made silly faces. Jogged with "the last one" of the group. Teased my fellow coaches for not running...

And before we all knew it. Time was up! :) I still am not quite sure who was more upset that the day was over, me or the girls?!

Several of the girls made sure to introduce me to their parents. But one girl, "Jules", had started to leave and suddenly stopped, told her mom she forgot something, turned around and came to me smiling and said "Coach Amanda, I'm so glad you're my coach" and was gone as quickly as she had come.

Only thing is, I'm SOOOO HAPPY to be their "Coach"! After one day, they've already lifted my spirit and motivated me beyond words!!

I knew GOTR would be amazing.... but actually, amazing hardly describes it.