October 29, 2010
Having your favorite candy in the house for trick or treaters and expecting not eat it is about as likely as Charlie Sheen visiting New York City and not getting a lap dance. For some of you (me included) this is also true for candy that is not even your favorite.
I’m ashamed to say I will eat any candy, even candy I don’t like, even candy with coconut, even stale candy glued to a gingerbread house and even when the tootsie rolls are petrified to the wrapper and they practically break your teeth. I’ve eaten skittles that I discovered in the cracks of the seat of my car although I draw the line at eating those found in others’ cars.
If any of this rings a bell for you, then this article may be just in time to help you think outside the (candy) box for this weekend’s sugary festivities.
I’m going to start by suggesting that you make an exception to my usual “only what you love” rule and advise you to only buy candy that you do NOT like. If you hate coconut, buy it. If nuts give you hives, think Reese’s. Also, mini-sizes are evil.
Sure, regular size candy bars have more calories (around 300 on average, most of which are nutritionally worth zilch and will also take you more than a half-hour of pretty hard cardio to burn off)
but who eats just one mini?
I personally would never sneak a regular size Snickers bar, but I cannot resist the temptation of the tiny size-. The fun size! Then once I have one, I have to have just one more, because they are so tiny. Then just one more but for sure this is the absolute LAST one, and so on.
I love miniaturization; mini ketchup bottles, mini-dachsunds, mini-skirts, mini-liquor bottles. The problem with candy is that once you get a tiny taste, the odds are against stopping with one taste. The taste-bud dam springs a leak, plus the brain starts rationalizing that you can have one more since they are so tiny.
Also, do not buy your candy until the last minute and never open your candy until the first ring of the doorbell. If you do happen to disregard my advice and find yourself unwrapping a Payday for sentimental reasons, one damage control technique you can use is to save all your wrappers so that you can keep track of how much you’ve consumed so far. Put each of your wrappers in a bowl near the candy bowl to remind your crazy self how many calories need to be burned tomorrow.
And finally, make a plan to deal with your leftovers the day after. Find someone or somewhere to donate leftovers to. I personally hate to throw out leftovers so I try to hand it all out. As trick or treaters trickle down at the end of the evening I give out bigger and bigger handfuls. But if you can’t give it out, throw it out. In the trash can or in your mouth, both are a waste but if you throw it in your mouth you are going to be dealing with the junk in your own trunk for weeks to come.
I always say that five minutes of eating can undo five hours of exercise but when you are dealing with candy, you are probably talking about more like five minutes of candy consumption equaling seven hours of sweating. Now tell me, does ANY candy taste good enough to make it worth an almost full eight hour shift of exercising?
Often kids are not thrilled about giving up the majority of their loot so I recommend talking to them beforehand this weekend about the plan that you’ve made and then stick with it. If you are the bargaining type of parent, buy it from them. Let them keep a few of their favorites and extort the rest off of them.
Another tip is to be accountable to someone. Tell someone who loves you how you plan to deal with the sweets and ask them to lovingly hold you to it. Sometimes it gives you some extra fortitude if you know you have to file a candy report in the morning.
Finally, get a workout in on Halloween Day, no matter what. Waking up the day after and feeling good will make all your effort worthwhile.
Heading into the holiday season is a great reason to stay strong through Halloween. You’ll set the tone for the challenges ahead in the upcoming holiday season.
October 22, 2010
If Florence Henderson can make a comeback- on the dance floor- then certainly I can make a come back at my desk. As many of you know, this past summer I said goodbye to my Workout World newsletter due to budgetary cuts mandated by the (nearly empty) United Hoff Kids College Fund.
I admit it, I freaked. But what I didn’t realize back then was that there would be unforeseen emotional costs beyond the financial savings of not having to publish this weekly email. I hadn’t acknowledged that this fitness funanigans of mine actually vented a side of my personality that, when not properly expressed took a toll on the people who have to deal with me on a daily basis. For example, I coerced poor Martha the cashier at The Food Mart into letting me assess her BMI (Body Mass Index for the non-Dr Oz fans) and to detail exactly how many pounds she’s kept off for the last 6 years by rigorous daily walking. I pounded my husband about his avoirdupois, ranting about the recent studies that explained how you could die from sitting still for more than an hour at a time! And Walter the gas attendant learned to quickly hide his can of coca-cola if he saw me pull into the station.
You see, this fitness fuel never stops flowing! There is always a new diet, a better vitamin supplement or a recently discovered breathing technique that will keep you younger for longer. Innovative exercises to keep the abs of steel flame fanned are being invented as you read these words and another research study saying that masturbation should be a daily part of your health regime was just broadcast on The Dr Oz Show! Our Workout World is an amazing place to grow old and I now understand that I hold myself accountable to pass on this fitness trove of knowledge.
I became worried that if I wasn’t writing about it, then you might not be ruminating about how you could feel younger, stronger and able to live a healthier and therefore happier life, which would lead to skipping a workout, which might make you feel fat, maybe your jeans wouldn’t fit, which in turn would aggravate your tendency to be grumpy. Then the kids would react with misbehavior, your husband would look not only away from you but possibly at another woman, leading to seperation, divorce, heartbreak and in the trickle-down theory your life would be ruined and it would mostly be my fault.
So I’m back.
At the bottom you’ll find a few of my favorite links about recent fitness research (I’ve kept them archived on my desktop even when I had no one to share them with. I made copies and passed out a few in yoga class, which gave me no satisfaction at all. I kept telling them to read it while I waited. Thank God I can now delete them) . I hope you missed them.
And now I will leave you with a list.
Top Ten List of Random Fitness Facts That Keep Me Awake at Night If I Don’t Have Anyone To Tell
1.Put the brakes on healthy food too. A new study proved that we eat 40% more if we are told that the food we are eating is healthy.
2. Put your fork down after every bite or take a sip of water. If you do this you can lose 10 pounds a year without eating any different foods
3. Turn off the TV (sorry Larry). We consume an average of 288 more calories if we watch TV while eating.
4. Drink a 2nd cup of coffee. It’s associated with lowering risk of diabetes.
5.Stand up and stretch every hour. Sitting for longer periods makes fat-globbing hormones circulate so you get fatter and it causes heart plaque.
6.Take your vitamin P. 20 push-ups a day (kneeling or full) is the best bang for your fitness buck, even if you have no time to exercise.
7. If you’re trying to lose fat, 45 minutes of cardio every day. If you are stuck on a weight loss plateau and can’t lose, do fast/slow intervals like sprinting then walking.
8. Get a workout buddy especially if it’s early morning. Its harder to hit the snooze button if someones waiting for you.
9. Sleep in a totally dark room. Serotonin and melatonin-those are the good hormomes- are only produced when your retinas sense complete darkness.
10. Here’s my favorite. Canadian researchers found that reading weight-loss or fitness emails can remind you of your goals and help you drop pounds.
And here’s my final secret. I missed hearing from all of you too.