Bethy’s thought of the day: Put down that obesity bar right now!


Could this be any more profound?

Snickers - obesity bar
If you're in the mood for a snack, there are lots of things you can reach for instead of an empty-calorie-laden candy bar.

What do I eat? Click here, here, here, here, here, and here. What do I avoid? It's right here. (You have been paying attention, right?)

So what healthy alternatives do you eat when you're craving something like the above? Leave your tips in a comment and share them with the rest of us!



The test you want to fail

My client and friend Diana found this in her mailbox:

Scooter test
It was a direct-mail letter for, you guessed it, mobility scooters!

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time (like more than a week), you know that scooters are one of my pet peeves.

Don’t get me wrong, there are probably a handful of truly disabled or older folks that truly must use an expensive scooter. Uhh…maybe less than a handful. But they’re not the ones I’m kvetching about! I’m referring to the ones who can easily find their way to their fat-filled refrigerators—on their own 2 legs—but sit on their assets the rest of the day. Don’t get me started! I feel a “Bethy tangent” might be coming on soon!

For those of us who live in central Florida, you just need to spend an afternoon at Disney to see what I’m talking about. You can practically get run over by all the mobility scooters—and trust me, most of the people on them are not disabled; they are simply very overweight and on their scooters because they’ve forgotten how to move their assets. (And they may be able to move to the front of the line more quickly at Disney…hmmm, maybe not such a bad idea!)

Just kidding…bad idea!!

Diana took the "Mobility Assessment" test—and thankfully she failed it miserably—probably because she moves her assets with me 3 times a week—and she even moves them without me. She’s lucky she “failed” because I would have put her through even more grueling torture than I do now! Diana, the purple discs of death would be just the beginning!

In case you think Diana is a 20-something, she's not. She's 63.

Trail Mix 1-29-11
That's Diana on the far left–and she's not the oldest one in the picture, either. I have clients in their mid 70s and they'll never need scooters to get around because they move their assets on their own every day. (You'll read about them in my upcoming book.)

So take the test yourself and see how you score

Personal Mobility Assessment Test

1. Do you sometimes feel left out by not being able to get together with family and friends?

Bethy replies: Uh…I always feel left out, but I don’t think a mobility scooter will solve this. Maybe my shrink will!

2. Do you have health-related issues that limit your mobility?

Bethy replies: Ok, now I’m fired up and have to go off on a “Bethy tangent.” Actually, this question should read, “Do you have heath-related issues because you have limited your mobility?"

If you have not moved your assets in 30 years, it is of no coincidence that you have a handful of hypokenetic diseases and that your legs have forgotten how to move your oversized torso around. Incidentally, hypokenetic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are caused by living a sedentary lifestyle. The word hypokenetic literally means "decreased bodily movement."

3. Are you having trouble getting to your kitchen or dining facility by yourself for a meal?

4. Is it difficult for you to get to the bathroom on your own?

5. Are you unable to easily access your clothes and dress yourself each day?

6. Have you lost the ability to operate a manual wheelchair inside your home?

7. Are you feeling like a bother to others due to limited mobility?

8. Have you fallen in the past 12 months?

If you answered “yes” to more than one of them, you don’t need a scooter—you need to read my book, Move Your Assets: From the Chair, Not the Bank. Ok, it’s not ready yet, so you can read my inspirational, motivational no-nonsense blog posts for now (or hire me to kick your assets in person…if you dare). If you are one of my “victims,” err I mean, clients, I am sure you will fail this test like Diana did!

The scooter promo ends by saying:

“You can’t imagine how much a scooter will add to your well-being, independence and happiness.”

No, what will add to your well-being, independence and happiness is reacquainting yourself with your unused, atrophied body parts so that you don't have to depend on pills, doctors and machines to get you through the day or even just to your bathroom, kitchen or dining facility!

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So we now have a “society” for obesity???

What’s next?? A month dedicated to Childhood Obesity? Oh wait, that was last month.

You know how I’m always “kvetching” at you to get up off your assets, even if it means standing up and reading this article on your laptop?

Standing while typing
And I’ve been warning you that 30 or even 60 minutes on the treadmill may not be enough to offset the “damage” that 10 hours of sitting on your assets can do to, well, your assets (as well as many other body parts!) 

Sitting 3
I even posted an article a few months back about "sitting as a disease" in hopes that the word “disease” would frighten you into moving your “tuchas” out of the chair and into the air!

Sitting 7
You’re still not convinced that you should spend the majority of your waking hours on your feet? What else do I have to do to convince you to Move Your Assets: From the Chair not the Bank? Oh, write a book with that as the title?? 

Ok, I’m working on it, but til it’s ready, I’m going to keep posting articles on my blog as “warnings” so that you won’t ever become a member of the Obesity Society, which actually met here in Orlando, Florida, last week!

Here’s what they found about fat-fighting—and they could have just read this blog and saved themselves the meeting! Duh, we all know this stuff already…

The average American sits nine to 10 hours a day, said Dr. Marc Hamilton, professor of inactivity [Wow, is there really a Ph.D. for inactivity??? Must be a huge field nowadays!!] at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Most people underestimate how much they sit until they add up time spent sitting while driving, eating, working at a computer or desk and watching television.

In a study of 17,000 men and women comparing those who sat hardly ever to those who sat almost all the time, those who sat most had a much higher rate of death from all causes than those who hardly sat, said Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, an epidemiologist from Pennington who also specializes in inactivity.

Exercisers aren't immune. Even if you exercise regularly and vigorously, that doesn't offset the hours a day spent sitting.

The findings were so consistent, and convincing, that researchers think sedentary behavior, which for a long time has been linked to cardiovascular disease, should be classified as an independent risk factor.

Diet and exercise are still important, but they're not the antidote for sitting, Hamilton said. "Low intensity physical activity for as many hours a day as possible is the prescription." 

More here: Obesity Society shares latest fat-fight findings

DUH!! How long have we been talking about this, people!!

We don’t need fancy-pants doctors and surveys to tell us what we already know…we need to Move Our Assets if we want to able to play with our kids, walk up the steps (with a dozen eggs from Piggly Wiggly) without getting out of breath and not DIE from a man-created illness such as Type II diabetes!

So get up out of your seat and deliver that message! Don’t let me catch you emailing to the person in the office next to yours!!!

Cubicles 1
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(wow is there really a PHD for inactivity??? must be a huge field nowadays!!)

Please tell me this statistic isn’t true…

Did you figure out which “little tyke” was me in the pix in my last post?

Hint: I was tall, so I stood in both pics and I’m NOT in the top row!

We’ve come to the end of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month — and I hope this is the last year we ever have to “celebrate” this holiday.

Teaching kids at an early age how to eat right and keep moving is especially important because of a new study — and a horrible statistic.

It predicts the percentage of the US population that will be obese by 2030.  Can you guess what percentage that is?

a.  10%
b.  25%
c.  50%

The answer is c! If current trends continue, HALF the US population will be obese (not just overweight, but obese) by 2030! That’s 164 million Americans! And that’s just 19 years away!

"How do I know if I'm obese, overweight, or just fluffy?"

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy, and/or increased health problems. 

A great way to determine whether you are considered “normal” weight, “over” weight, or obese is to determine your Body Mass Index (BMI).

In general, if more than 30% of your body weight comes from fat, you are considered obese.

Since “you are what you eat,” I highly suggest that the total calories you consume have less than 30% of them coming from fat! Simply read your labels…

First look for the number of calories. Right next to (or under) it are "calories from fat." You want the "calories from fat" to be 30% or less of the "calories."

So if that slice of American cheese you're about to put on your sandwich has 90 calories, and 80 "calories from fat," that means 90% of those calories are from fat (80 divided by 90).

Startling statistics

Here are more startling statistics from the study:

  • 32% of men and 35% of women are now obese in the U.S.
  • Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various cancers, hypertension, and high cholesterol, among others.
  • In the next 2 decades, obesity will add 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. alone.
  • Among the world’s leading economies, obesity is most widespread in the US and the UK.
  • Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases.

You can read more here.

Meanwhile put down that donut, PLEASE!!

Donuts 2

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You are ABSOLUTELY what you eat!

Whenever I go to a restaurant (especially at a buffet or on a cruise ship,) I LOVE to observe what and how much people are consuming.

I watch people consume 1,500-2,000 calories in a matter of minutes, and they probably haven’t a clue, because to them all they ate was a “salad” or "protein." In reality more than 50% of that meal was from "fat" calories! Thirty percent or less of your consumed calories should be from fat!

The scary thing is it will take (way) more than 2 hours of intense exercise to “burn” that same caloric value–no, I’m not kidding! 

In my upcoming book, Move Your Assets: From the Chair, Not the Bank, I go on and on about how Americans are (cluelessly) eating WAY too much for their activity levels. 

The US Department of Agriculture links obesity to eating at restaurants, which are both on the rise. If you’re trying to figure out where those extra 10 pounds came from, could it be this?

  • A third of the calories Americans eat come from restaurants, including fast-food franchises. That’s almost double what it was 30 years ago.
  • Eating 1 meal away from home each week translates to roughly 2 extra pounds a year.
  • The recession is not making us eat out less, but we’re eating out cheaper, choosing more fast-food and takeout options over restaurants with tableside service, where you can choose to eat healthier.
  • Restaurant portion sizes are larger than you’d serve at home. A bagel 20 years ago averaged 3 inches in diameter and had 140 calories. Today's bagels average 6 inches and 350 calories.
  • Restaurant foods tend to be higher calorie and more “obesity promoting” than what you’d serve at home.

Obesity-promoting foods include sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, processed grains and trans fats—all cheap ways that restaurants add flavor. These foods lead to changes in blood sugar that cause cells to store food energy rather than burn it, according to Cynthia Buffington, director of research and education for Florida Hospital Celebration Health's Metabolic Medicine and Surgery Institute.

There’s more here: Eating at restaurants boosts risk of obesity, experts warn

How much and what you eat are as important as how much you Move Your Assets!



Hey, America! Get Up and “Move Your Assets”!

Last month I spent 10 wonderful days in Provence, France. One of the most profound things I noticed is that people walk everywhere, not for exercise but for transportation! (Hmm…walking for a purpose other than exercise? Does that even exist here in the US?) 

One of my major philosophies, which I elaborate on in my upcoming book Move Your Assets, is that if you move for a purpose (other than for fitness) the fitness and weight loss will come! 

Everywhere I went in France, I snapped pictures of crowds. What do you (not) see in these pictures?

France continued 082
  France continued 083

France continued 084
You guessed it; not one obese person! (And I have a bunch more photos like these!)

Not so in the US. Congrats to us…we just won the title of  “Fattest Developed Country in the World.” For the most part, Americans drive everywhere: to the supermarket a half mile away, to the drive-thru (for a 500-calorie coffee LOL), and more.

Heck, kids don’t even walk to bus stops anymore like in the good old days. In my neighborhood, parents drop their kids off at bus stops two blocks from their house. 

We leave our shopping carts in the parking lot because we don’t want to walk 100 feet to return them to the store, let alone to the cart holders that are two spaces away! Hey, we even move our car around the mall parking lot because we’re too lazy to walk!

Do I sound a little frustrated? Well, yeah, I just got another ding on my car because someone let a cart slam into it at the grocery store the other day. How do I know? The cart was still there!

The bottom line? We move (way) less and at the same time eat (way) more. And it’s affecting OUR bottom line. We are the only country in the world to be increasing seat sizes in theme parks, restaurants, theatres, and airplanes to accommodate larger “assets.” And we're the only country where residents can acquire motorized scooters by being too overweight to walk. Congrats again!

According to The Orlando Sentinel, all three area theme parks—Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld—have all had to work to accommodate plus-size customers.

Don’t believe me? Read it yourself: Orlando theme parks, businesses work to accommodate plus-size customers

In 2009, more than 60% of Americans were overweight and half of those were “grossly obese.” This is the average American. Is this where YOU want to be?

Get up right now! Windex your kitchen, walk the dog, play catch with your kid, walk to 7-Eleven. I don’t care what you do; just "move your assets" and don’t be a statistic!