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Can TV Make Us Skinny?

Will TV shows about the overweight motivate others to lose weight?

Whenever I watch Biggest Loser (sometimes it is on the stair stepper at the gym) it seriously inspires and motivates me to work out.  I am also a crazy person and actually feel worse when I don’t work out, so I don’t know if it has the same affect on other people.

MTV is launching a new series this week “I Used to Be Fat,” which follows teens during the summer between high school and college.

“I Used to Be Fat” will feature one teen for each hour-long episode as they work with trainers, nutritionists and doctors to achieve their weight-loss goals. The show is from 3 Ball Productions, which also produces The Biggest Loser, E!’s What’s Eating You and ABC’s upcoming Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.

So the real question is…will these new shows make a difference? Or will they just give people another show to watch sitting on their couch?

View the trailer for “I Used to Be Fat” below:

I Used to Be Fat

Battling Childhood Obesity is a Partnership

This week President Obama signed a new law revamping school lunches.  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the first major overhaul in 30 years.

The act will replace junk food in school lunches and vending machines with healthier options.   In the past, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, 90% of American children consume excessive amounts of fat and only 15% eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

What I find amazing, is the opposition to this bill. Sarah Palin thinks it is an example of the government overstepping its boundaries and Michelle Obama’s crusade shows she doesn’t “trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own family in what we should eat.”

In a Washington Times editorial, Gabriella Hoffman attacks both Obamas for doing a parent’s job. She scoffs at the First Lady for calling it a National Security issue. (I am sorry if our armed forces are overweight and unable to do what they need to do physically, isn’t that a problem? That is a different conversation though.)

Gabriella, I agree with you, parents SHOULD be teaching their children proper eating habits. Unfortunately, when you aren’t educated yourself it is hard to do so.

To fight childhood obesity, Food Service administrators believe it needs to be a collaborative effort between what schools are providing to students and what kids are eating at home. I completely agree.

School lunches were put in place to offer affordable meal opportunities to children. For many kids in low income areas, that school lunch may be the ONLY meal they eat all day. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to have HEALTHY options?

Even if they are getting three meals a day, shouldn’t ALL be well balanced?

When Your Marathon Becomes a Sprint

This past week, the poster child for burnout resigned his post. Urban Meyer, the former coach of the University of Florida football team, made it clear that continuing along this trajectory was near impossible.

The road to burnout is not unusual. It can be caused by unrealistically high aspirations, taking on too much work, and illusory and unattainable goals.   Potential for burnout increases dramatically depending on who you are, where you work, and what your job is; if you’re a hard worker who gives 110%, an idealistic, self-motivated achiever, a perfectionist you could be a possible candidate. (Check out the Mayo Clinic to see the signs and symptoms of job burnout.)

I am a prime candidate and heading full steam ahead to burnout.   What may have started as lofty goals or my needing to be the best; turned into who I am at work and what is expected of me.

So what happens if your marathon becomes a sprint?

Is sprinting sustainable?

It is almost like that feeling you get when you are running down hill. You either figure out how to slow down or you end up tripping yourself up.

Unfortunately, I am starting to feel too deep into my run to turn back and it is out of my control. That’s the scary thing.

Urban is stepping aside for a year (or so he says); however I don’t have that option.

How do I get back to training for my marathon?

All they need is 16 minutes…

The difference between normal-weight and obesity could be as simple as 16 minutes. The University of South California and the National Institute of Health looked at 3,106 children’s physical activity over 4 days and found:

  • Normal-weight children ages 6 to 17 are moderately to vigorously active for 59 minutes a day, compared with 43 minutes for obese children

I guess the extra calories the obese children are eating could be burned off with just a few more minutes of exercise? Or is there something else?

More surprising is that boys in the same age range are getting 20 minutes more exercise than girls.

I really thought girls were just as active as boys these days—playing soccer and even football! Don’t get me wrong they are still getting 44 minutes of activity in on average, but that extra 20 minutes could really make a difference.

So is it a lack of motivation or is it just not ingrained in their brains yet?

There is a great program called Girls on the Run (GOTR), which encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. The program combines training for a 3.1 mile race with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts.

Right now there are GOTR groups in 44 states and in Canada. You should check out your local chapter and see about volunteering.