Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fitness Update: Diet Excess Causes Weight Gain

[This article was first published as Meow the Fat Cat Fares Better on Diet on Technorati. Sadly, Meow died after this was written from respiratory complications due to his weight. I was not going to re-post, but since I haven't given a fitness update in two weeks, I thought I would go ahead and run it.]

It's a bit sad when a cat does better on his diet than I do.
Meow the Fat Cat from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has dropped about two pounds since he was dropped off at the Santa Fe animal shelter a few weeks ago where he weighed in at nearly 40 pounds.
Not only that, but he's become somewhat of a celebrity in the last two week traveling to the Big Apple for  guest appearances on the Anderson Cooper show and an appearance on the Today Show where he even met Hugh Grant.
Hmmmm, let's see how my last two weeks have gone–I traveled to Austin, Texas, with a group of high school students for a journalism convention, managed to completely blow my diet by eating Amy's ice cream, some rather excellent salt water taffy from an old timey candy store and topped all that off by some very tasty kolaches from the little Czech Bakery in West, Texas.
As you can see, no weight loss there. Instead, let's post a disappointing one pound weight gain.
I sort of feel like the character Dominick in the Dom DeLuise movie, Fatso when the Chubby Checkers arrive for a food intervention. Called to stop Dominick from blowing his diet, the Chubby Checkers and Dominick manage to go from drinking hot water to hot water with just a touch of honey to a full-fledged, five-alarm food binge.
I think I'm still trying to get all the sugar out of my system.
Perhaps I don't need to be too overly concerned. A recent New York Times article notes that sugar "is enjoying a second act, dressed up as a natural, healthful ingredient" since high-fructose corn syrup is now the new "devil."
OK… so  I figured that was a bit of good news until I finished reading the story that noted that experts found sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are equally bad in excess.
Somehow I think those experts would view the ice cream, taffy and kolaches as excess.
And, I suppose, they would be right since I have that extra pound back to prove them right. Maybe I need to check in to the shelter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Skinny About The Fat Cat

[This article was first published as The Skinny About The Fat Cat on Technorati.]

Meow weighing in at the shelter 
By now many of you have either chuckled over or been mortified by the news stories about Meow, the 2-year-old fat cat at the Santa Fe animal shelter who weighed in at nearly 40 pounds.
And while he doesn't hold the record as the fattest cat on the planet--that dubious distinction goes to Himmy, a tabby from down under, who checked in at almost 47 pounds--Meow is still way over the seven to 12 pound average weight for a cat.
So now he's with a foster family on a special diet, and he's supposed to shed 10 pounds before he can be put up for permanent adoption. His first weigh-in was quite public being duly recorded and photographed. And, as if that wasn't enough, the shelter people said they would post Meow's progress on their Facebook page. So Meow sort of has his own "Frying In His Own Fat" Weight Loss Challenge with public accountability for his weight loss.
10 pounds.
 I still have about 7 1/2 pounds to go, but in solidarity with Meow, maybe I'll make that 10. I think it will be quite a challenge since this week netted zero weight loss, but no weight gain either. Just don't expect me to record my exact weight or photograph the weigh-in process. No siree, Missy.
Howie before going into hiding to avoid weigh-in
However, I did take a gander at my own shelter cat, Howard. He's always been a tad "rubenesque" shall we say (translation: plump) and could stand to lose a few pounds.
I think I'll make Howie join us in this weight loss endeavor and document his progress as well. His weigh-in may have to wait just a bit until I can locate him. I think he caught wind of this latest challenge and promptly hid.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weight Loss Challenge Nears Goal If Sleep Doesn't Interfere

[This article was first published as Weight Loss Challenge Nears Goal If Sleep Doesn't Interfere on Technorati.]
Since my last fitness challenge update was put in another spot on technorati, some of you may have thought I had given up and jumped onto the bandwagon instead of walking beside it.
Fear not. I'm still at it although weight loss has slowed to a snail's pace with just under a half a pound duly recorded this week. The good news is that I am just 1.5 pounds shy of my original weight loss goal since I started my "Frying-in-my own-fat" Weight Loss Challenge on Aug. 15. Even better news is that I think I'm going to try and lose an additional 5 pounds after I knock off that last 1.5 pounds.
Of course that means I'm going to have to pump it up a notch and be more vigilant. Sadly, Howard the Shelter cat is not helping at all with this endeavor preferring to steal and play with the tape measure, and more or less scoffing at my weight loss attempts.
Despite searching for new articles for weight loss inspiration this week, I find only the same old stuff being rewritten, restudied and regurgitated. According to  recent article, a supposedly "new" study shows a connection between interrupted and lack of sleep to obesity. Both are problems for me, and both ideas we've covered before here.
Apparently an irregular, restricted sleep schedule continued over a year period can amount to more than a 12 pound weight gain.
One of the articles quotes Orfeu Buxton, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who headed the research, as saying, “Getting adequate sleep is what we’re calling one of the three pillars of health: sleep, diet, and exercise go well together, and they interact. If you don’t get enough sleep, it’s hard to get enough exercise. If you’re not getting enough sleep, people eat more food. That causes them to gain weight and make inappropriate food choices — sugary treats and snacks.”
Another "new study" from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine tells us that the secret to weight loss is not through fad diets. According to the article, the secret to weight loss is  "a combination of more exercise, eating less fatty foods and joining a weight loss program. What doesn't work? Popular fad diets, liquid diets, and weight loss pills."
Ya, think?
I think Howard the Shelter cat could have arrived at that result. Apparently, though, those brides-to-be aren't heeding any of the logical weight loss advice with the latest Bridal Hunger Games thing. Instead, they are spending hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars, and using feeding tubes, 800 calorie diets, shots, cleansing juices and such.
Don't these people think someone is going to notice when they mushroom back out to their pre-hunger game size?
I'm not saying that I am completely above this  smoke-and-mirrors approach to weight loss. I'm just waiting for the right one. If anyone ever finds a way to carry around a permanent PhotoShop filter, well then, count me in.
In the meantime, I've got my green tea, 100 calorie packet of dark chocolate almonds and exercise to see me through to my goal.