Friday, February 8, 2013
Your weight-loss success depends in large part on your readiness to take on the challenge. If you jump in before you’re ready, your weight-loss plan may buckle under the first challenge. Use these questions to assess your weight-loss readiness.
1. Are you motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes?
Successful weight loss depends on permanent lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods and exercising more. That could represent a significant departure from your current lifestyle. Be honest. Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually doing it are two different things. You may have to overhaul your diet so that you’re eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, for example. You’ll also need to find time to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
2. Have you addressed the big distractions in your life?
If you’re dealing with major life events, such as marital problems, job stress, illness or financial worries, you may not want to add the challenge of overhauling your eating and exercise habits.
3. Do you have a realistic picture of how much weight you’ll lose and how quickly?
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day. You can do that through a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity or exercise.
4. Have you resolved any emotional issues connected to your weight?
Emotions and food are often intertwined. Anger, stress, grief and boredom can trigger emotional eating.
5. Do you have support and accountability?
Any weight-loss program can be difficult. You may face moments of temptation or become disheartened. Having someone in your corner to offer encouragement can help. If you don’t have friends or family you can rely on for positive help, consider joining a weight-loss support group.
6. Have you embraced the weight-loss challenge?
If you don’t have a positive attitude about losing weight, you may not be ready. If you dread what lies ahead, you may be more likely to find excuses to veer off course. Embrace the vision of your new lifestyle and be positive.
What if you're not ready?
If you answered no to more than one of these questions, you may not be ready to embark on a weight-loss program right now. And that’s OK. Explore what’s holding you back and face those obstacles.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge