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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


At our Early Bird Challenge Event, we introduced one of the strategies we will use to address questions you may have but were uncomfortable asking in person - a Question Jar. We want to make this available for everyone, even if you are not participating in the 12 Week Challenge. Here's how it works:
  • Fit for Life Community: It is my Team's desire to provide everyone in our community an opportunity to work with a team of trained professionals, without charge. I thank Westlake High School Administration and Sharon Mardesitch for supporting our cause. We will provide a Fit for All workout beginning with a mile run from 6-6:30 on the track and a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class from 6:30-7:30 in the Dance Room. Plan to enter through the doors facing the parking lot, closest to the tennis courts.  We will have the yellow "Questions" jar available for you to leave anonymous questions as desired. Kathy Kinghorn, certified therapist specializing in addiction, will answer related questions on the blog. I will answer physical fitness/wellness related questions. I know there are others - even challenge participants - who are also certified therapists and specialists. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and add comments. We want to spread the wealth of knowledge in our community as we attempt to provide meaningful perspective.
  • Challenge Participants: Kathy and I will address common themed questions at our Fuel the Flame sessions. Feel free to make a note on your question that you would appreciate specific feedback and discussion from the challenge team at a session. We will provide a venue for verbal discussion if at all possible.
  • Below are the anonymous Questions left in the jar at our event: You'll notice a name next to the question. Jolie will respond with an early comment to the question. Others are encouraged to add to the discussion. Please refer to the question title in your comment.
  1. Sugar Addiction: I am addicted to sugar. I treat myself when I am having a hard time and in the end, I cheat myself. How do I stop treating/cheating myself?  I encourage you to Join my 12 Week Challenge next year (Feb. 2014) to learn how to properly feed your body to stave off cravings. Lack of specific nutrients, minerals and/or vitamins can often be the cause of cravings. I can teach you tools and strategies to systematically work toward achieving balance nutritionally, physically and emotionally.
  2. Foods to Combat Stress: What foods help the most with stress and anxiety? Stressful events—and they don't even have to be big, just the daily hassles of life—cause our cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol causes food cravings, and in women those cravings tend to be strongest for carbs, especially sweet foods, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. The more of them we eat, the worse our mood gets. As if that weren't bad enough, the cortisol then makes more trouble for us, triggering an enzyme in our fat cells (it converts cortisone to more cortisol). Since our visceral fat cells (the ones in our abdomen, packed around our vital organs) have more of these enzymes than the subcutaneous fat cells (the fat on our thighs and butts, for example), stress causes many women to accumulate more belly fat. The more stress, the more this abdominal, or central, obesity occurs. Some research has found that these belly fat cells, which have been linked to a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes, have four times as many cortisol receptors as regular fat cells. The following foods are low in fat and contain omega 3's & antioxidants to combat stress: Raspberries, avocados, asparagus, blueberries, cashews, chamomile tea, dark chocolate (small servings ;), garlic, green tea, oatmeal, oranges, and walnuts.
  3. Depression: Any suggestions for managing depression? (See Jolie's link above.)
    Being depressed can make you feel helpless. You're not. Along with therapy and sometimes medication, there's a lot you can do on your own to fight back. Changing your behavior -- your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking -- are all natural depression treatments.
    Do you want to learn natural depression treatments that can help you feel better -- starting right now? Here are some tips:
    • Get in a Routine:  Depression can strip away the structure from your life. One day melts into the next. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.
    • Exercise: Exercise temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular physical activity seems to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways.
    • Set Goals: When you're depressed, you may feel like you can't accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.  
    • Eat Healthy: There is no magic diet that fixes depression, but watching what you eat is a good idea. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better. 
    • Get Enough Sleep: Depression can make it hard to get enough sleep, and not getting enough sleep can make depression worse. What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom -- no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves.
    • Take on Responsibilities: When you’re depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don't. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can work as a natural depression treatment. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
    • Challenge Negative Thinking: In your fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental -- changing how you think.  Use the negative thought to recognize your dependency on a higher power than yourself, thanking your Heavenly Father for this opportunity for growth. Hold on to the truth that there are spiritual solutions to temporal problems, and allow yourself to seek such solutions.
    • Do Something New: When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Try a new type of exercise. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language class. "When we challenge ourselves to do something different, there are chemical changes in the brain," says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.. "Trying something new alters the levels of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning."
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