Detoxes and Cleanses

I have a very strong beliefs about our bodies and how to be healthy.  Some of these have made it into The New Rules with explanations.

Rule #2 is I will do no harm to my body.  This rule comes for a story about the singer Jewel dealing with her disordered eating.
"I decided that when it came to trying to handle my insecurities, I should adopt the motto of DO NO HARM. Yes, I was a little chubby, I was neurotic, and a bit of a mess, but I would just have to deal with it until I found a healthy way of handling it. Anorexia and Bulimia are not options, and they don't fix anything. They make things worse. I had to fix the problem: liking myself. No simple task."
Lately I've been hearing more and more of my blogging friends, Facebook friends, and "Real Life" friends talking about detoxes/cleanses.  Also there have been stories in the news about celebs doing various dextox/cleanse programs that border from ridiculous to dangerous.

This is my Official FatGirl vs World™ Position:  Why are you punishing your body instead of honoring it?  What are you putting in your body that is so bad that in order to mentally rid your body of it you must starve yourself?

In other words, if you're eating a balanced diet full of fresh/seasonal fruit and veggies (in a multitude of colors), lean protein/fish (or beans/nuts/seeds if you're veggie/vegan), complex carbs (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.), and lots of water (with the occasional visit to the dark side... sweets, alcohol, etc.) why would you need a detox/cleanse?

I really think people say they are doing detox/cleanses because they aren't comfortable with accurately naming what they are doing to their bodies.  What they majority of detoxes/cleanses instruct is to STARVE one's bodies of vital calories, fats, and nutrients.  Under the guise of increased health, the real aim of most of these diets is to lose weight.   I mean seriously, let's call a spade a spade.  These are not medically prescribed elimination diets.

If you think you have done irreparable harm to your body based on what you have been eating in the past, why jump over the whole step of eating healthily to eating nothing?  So you've been eating porterhouse steaks and a six-pack every day for the past year.  At what point is the logical step to immediately switch to a cayenne pepper/lemon water cleanse rather than eating something like some fresh/seasonal fruits and veggies, a little bit of chicken, some brown rice and a nice cold glass of water?

So maybe I've gotten it completely wrong and someone could explain to me why these detox/cleanse diets are good for your body.  However, I highly doubt that anything anyone tells me will make me change my opinion of these detox/cleanse diets.  Fasting for a day won't hurt you, but these things will.

[[Edit: I am reminded of an off-handed comment I made about detoxes (to some @[magazine] post) -- saying that the same women women who do detoxes are probably the same women who douche because they don't believe the vagina is a self-regulating body part, or that douching actually causes harm to the good bacteria that prevent infections...]]


So yesterday I wanted to post but I was just nonstop busy all day.  It makes the day pass by quicker, but man... I had the entry all written in my head, just needed to get it in Blogger.  It just never happened.  The story isn't so good in my head right now, but the point is, so here goes, and sorry if this isn't a thrilling post.

After a good 2-hour run the night before, sleep came easy and it came hard. I slept until 8:20 (I'm usually up a little before 6 and I have to be at work by 9 am).

Yesterday I woke up a little dehydrated, a little disoriented.  The sun was coming in my apartment at an angle I don't normally get to see. There was gunk in my eyes.  Sometime in the middle of waking up and sorting out the dehydration, the disorientation, the gunk and the sun, I saw myself in the mirror out of the corner of my eyes.

It seemed like it was not me being reflected -- it was some other woman with shoulders back and head high.  I knew it was me. It had to have been me.  But I'm finding that each day on this journey I have to reacquaint myself with my body, with my reflection.  It's not vanity, but it's getting to know someone I've never seen before.  There's all the nervousness and trepidation of a first meeting, and yet in an instant, I feel like I have known her all my life.

For getting through this rambly entry, you are rewarded with a picture of what I was doing today...

Her name is Platypus.  She's deaf in one ear (we think) and she will be available to adopt sometime soon at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  I know, I know. Volunteering has little-to-no rewards... I mean, other than getting your face licked...

A note about "The Rules"

A little over a month ago I wrote about the first New Rule -- Leave No One Behind -- and I don't think I really explained all of my reasoning behind this.

As a reminder....
If you meet someone who expresses their desire to make a positive change, it's your job to encourage them. It doesn't need to be much. You can just be there to listen, to be a cheerleader, to give tips and hints, or even go for a walk/jog with them. But the new rule is "Leave No One Behind." If they choose to confide in you, you're now a part of their successes and failures. They took the first step, now show them they're not alone.
The thing is this -- and I know you will all have your own story to tell about this (please do!!) -- is that at some point in our lives, someone noticed the dangerous path we were headed down, and did nothing to stop us.  Let me rephrase:  there was all a time when we needed help and guidance and someone failed us.  Sure, they might not have thought it was their duty, but I don't care about duty.  I'm talking about compassion.

I wonder what my life might have been like had my gym teacher in second grade said "Hey, I know you're having a hard time running the mile run.  I'm going to run with you for a little bit and teach you how to run so you don't have trouble breathing" instead of saying "hurry up, everyone is waiting for you!"

What kind of body would I have now if, back when my grandmother died, my parents actually talked to me about what I witnessed (yep, I was in the room when she expired) instead of letting me express my sadness and confusion through eating?  The same goes for when my mom died:  What would my life be like now if my father hadn't overwhelmed us/me with his own grief and allowed me to have my own?  What if he he had insisted we all go to a family therapist and talk about our pain and grief.  What if someone had noticed his floundering and stepped in and said "Hey, do you need someone to talk to about parenting stuff?" 

I know I can't go back and fix what happened in the past.  I can reach back into my memories and change the focus of the lens to be more understanding, but that's about it.  However, what I can do is honor that little kid who needed help by helping other people who might be in the same position.  Granted not everyone wants the help. They need to be receptive of it.  But my background makes me willing to help just about anyone who asks for the help.  Why?  Because I know how hard it is to (1) need help and (2) ask for it. 

So this is what I'm going to leave you with -- not a challenge or a question, but a humble request that you do a favor for 7-year old me and maybe a favor for the person you were who needed help, and gently help someone towards a healthier, and happier life.

((and I think this is why I'm still so mad about the nurse -- there are so many people who have the ability to actually help people who are unhealthy (obese, overweight, anorexic, bulimic, etc.) and just choose not to because of their own prejudices.  Thank goodness there are people more than willing and more than dedicated to take on this task.))

Obesity and Health Care Bias

I'm a pretty even-keeled person. I try not to get into fights, I try to be constructive. But sometimes someone comes along that says something that I can't even reply to because it's so wrong.

Enter Facebook/The Internets.
I posted a status message on facebook:

FatGirl VsWorld Okay, what's it with people wanting "extreme weight loss" -- just a reminder that it's been proven time and time again that the slower you lose the weight (a la behavioral change) the more likely it is to stay off. Just sayin...

Which... if you know me, and have read my blog, you know I'm a proponent of healthy weight loss that is based not in gimmicks or fad diets, but maintainable behavioral change...

Then enter The Antagonist!
[Name Withheld] What does that [psychological issues] have to do with losing weight? If you stop eating unhealthy and exercise just a bit, you will lose weight. Unless you have a medical issue such as thyroid disease. I'm a nurse, I've seen all kinds. Mostly excuses and sob stories. Not trying to be rude or whatever, but it drives healthcare professionals crazy.

Excuussseeee me? 
You're a health care professional that things obesity is purely a physical problem?
How many people who read this blog would beg to differ?

Almost every and any person I know that's obese (not merely overweight) has some sort of psychological trauma (not just an issue, but a trauma) that they can connect to their obesity.  And if it's not a trauma, it's definitely a psychological issue (such as depression)

To me, that's kinda like her saying that all an anorexic needs to do is eat, all a bulimic needs to do is stop throwing up, all a cutter needs to do is stop cutting, and all a sociopath murder needs to do is stop killing.

I think Emily said it best:
As a soon to be healthcare professional, someone who lost 93 lbs and an honest person: most overweight people aren't so because they're happy. Robby is right. And even when you're not overweight anymore doesn't mean you won't struggle. It's repetition of habits that count in the long run. It's unfair to devalue someone else's struggle simply because its not yours and you can't identify with it. Everyone has their own, completely valid, issues and crosses to bear (some furrier than others).

But man... I'm pissed.  There's this nurse somewhere who will give second rate care to some obese patient because she thinks that it's only for lack of trying.  Her bedside manner is a punch in the face.

It does a body good

I might draw some ire for this one, but I really don't see the point in drinking skim milk.

I know some people prefer skim milk, as (1) fat is EVIL (skim is less than 0.5% fat) and (2) calories are TO BE AVOIDED (whole, 1% and 2% have more calories than skim because they contain fat), but to me it is joyless, soulless, and comparable to non-alcoholic beer.  Seriously, what's the point?

So say you're drinking 8 oz of milk a day...
Whole = 146 calories, 8g fat, 8g protein
2%= 122 calories, 4.2g fat, 8g protein
1%= 102 calories, 2.4g fat, 8g protein
Skim= 83 calories, .2g fat, 8g protein

I'd rather risk those 63 calories and drink some of the most delicious, wonderful, natural products on this green earth than drink some over-processed joyless crap.  I mean, my milk comes from cows that I could go meet.  They are milked once a day, get to eat lots of grass, and are fed very little grain.  They aren't given antibiotics (unless they get sick, which is rare) and they aren't given hormones ever.

I would rather drink those 63 calories in butterfat (which contains some healthy unsaturated fats as well as unhealthy saturated fats) rather than rationalize getting those 63 calories from something else that might be harmful (i.e. all the unnatural, processed crap that is pumped full of Nutrients! and Minerals! and Health! to suit the science and fads of the time).

Worse, though, are the people who are not lactose intolerant/sensitive (sorry guys) can't ever imagine drinking regular milk, but love soy milk, rice milk, or nut milks.  Seriously?  I don't understand why milk from a cow, goat, or sheep is so bad in their eyes.  Sure, I've tried them, but they just aren't as refreshing (to me) as a nice cold glass of milk and a dish of strawberries or peaches.

Don't tsk me when I order my hot chocolate with whole milk.  Don't think my ass got fat from drinking milk.  It's part of me getting my health back.  I rarely drink soda, I rarely drink fruit juices that don't involve eating the flesh as well.  I don't drink coffee.  Let me have my milk.

You might ask, FGvW, what brought this on?  Well I was at Whole Foods and had the pleasure of meeting Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery.  He's like me, or rather, I'm like him.  He believes that industrialization has ruined the beauty and natural goodness of milk, and that deconstructing that process can restore milk to its former glory as an integral part of our diets.  His milk tastes just like the milk I get from Clear Spring Creamery at the farmer's market:  fresh, pure, and delicious.

Just give milk a second chance, please?  For me?

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach...

So I didn't really know the right people to pitch this idea to, so I thought I'd share my evil genius with you all.

I don't know about the rest of you, but dating as a Big Girl™ sucks...
Speed dating as a Big Girl™ suck more.

But what if one started with the whole "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" adage and came up with Potluck Speed Dating?

In other words, each girl would bring a dish, and the dish would get a number. Each girl would sit with/stand behind a different girl's dish to help serve (tricky, right?).  Each guy would get to sample each dish that appealed to him.  Based on whether he liked the dish or not, he'd request a date with the number of the dish. 

Then the switch-a-roo.... the moderator would announce which men picked which dish... and the girl would get to pick the guy she wanted to go on a longer date with.  If a dish wasn't picked or a guy wasn't picked, they'd go into a regular 10-minute speed-dating scenario.

Men would be responsible for dessert.
Thoughts? Ideas?  Genius or not?

Proof that I'm still a woman....

So things were going great and I was on top of the world...

and then radio silence...

In the past, I'dve written some really bad poetry, shopped strictly in the ice cream section of the grocery store, and played really depressing music. 

The only leftover thing that I really do is the self-analysis -- what could I have done wrong? Why hasn't he called? Was I too aggressive?  Was I reading the situation wrong?

But seriously--that's one of just many things to think of while you're running on an elliptical.  Until then, he'll just have to come to me... I'll be at the gym.

[[Addendum to the post:  so the last time I got my hopes up for a guy was when I "won" him at a charity auction (single, straight, handsome, highly recommended by friends, doctor).  His date offering was to cook dinner.  I "bought" him for $150, making a deal that if I paid that much, he'd make dinner for me and two friends.  We set up a date for said dinner.  I emailed him 2 days before that date to confirm the details and I never heard back from him.  On that date?  I find out he went camping/fishing with friends.  I've not heard from him in the year and a half since then.  Do I worry about it?  No.  Do I joke about not even being able to pay for a date?  You betcha!]]

[[Addendum #2:  Do I even mention the guy I met online (who was much shorter and older than his picture) who was drunk when he arrived, stumbled up to me and said "I can't do this" and then stumbled over to some tiny blond girl and started to chat her up?  Probably not... ]]

FGvW Reviews: Savor

I've just started reading Savor:  Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.  I will post a more complete review of it when I'm done, but I've come across a few quotes that I wanted to share and was hoping you all might think about.

As some of you may already know, I am an atheist Buddhist, and Thich Nhat Hanh gives me the warm fuzzies.  (There's a very good reason that Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.)

His books consistently convey an important message -- that this moment, right here, right now is beautiful and full of possibility.  The most important thing he has taught me (in a way that was described better than any other Buddhist text I've read) is to care for every emotion that I have, not just the positive ones.  I have learned to turn toward those feelings and thoughts that most injure me when left untouched.  Because of this, I think I've been able to lose the weight for the first time in my life.

So... the quotes:

Again, these are from Thich Nhat Hanh's book with Dr. Lilian Cheung, called Savor:
It may be helpful for you to reflect on the following questions about your own attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions that may have led you to eat more and move less.  Be honest with yourself.  Write your reflections in a journal [or a blog!] so that you can review them later and gain a better understanding of yourself.  Once you are conscious of these attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions, you can work, step-by-step, to change them -- to break the mindless forces of habit that have led you to eat more and move less.  How do you feel about your current weight?  Is having a healthy weight a high priority in your life that's worth your time and energy to address?  Do you have enough concentration to focus on your weight problem, your poor eating habits, and your sedentary lifestyle?  What is distracting you from your focus?
 (p. 26, emphasis added)
[T]o attain well-being, we need to take care not only of our bodies but also of our minds.  Mindfulness [in Chinese, the character for mindfulness is a combination of the characters for both "now" and "heart" -- it is experiencing the present moment with your heart] practice is central to seeing the interdependence of mind and body.  The same applies to weight control.  Getting weight under control certainly means paying attention to the body -- making more healthy food choices, cutting back on the amount of food we eat, and exercising more.  But none of these bodily changes can happen, or can be sustained in the long term, if our minds aren't fed with nourishing thoughts that help us stay on track -- and that address the issues that caused us to gain weight in the first place.
(p. 46, emphasis added) 

So after reading those two quotes, I thought I'd ask you all to consider whether you're truly committed to this change and what you've done to address the issues that made you overweight or unhealthy in the first place. 

My realization was that I never had a way to deal with the anger and sadness of both my grandmother and my mother dying.  I thought I was coping pretty darn well, but what I really was doing was pushing those emotions into a dark corner and pretending they had been addressed.  I invited those feelings into my heart and asked them what they needed in order to be free.  My answer was that they needed a voice, and they needed a very specific audience.  My answer was that I didn't want to be a victim or held hostage by these emotions any more.  Once I got that out of the way, I saw the path very clearly in front of me. 

As for the question of priority -- I hope you can all tell that this has taken center stage in my life.

Second Photo Post of the Day

Photo Post!

So... a few months ago I was at a bar and won a sweatshirt. 
When I collected it, they apologized as it was a large (not an XL).  The implication (and what I knew) was that it wouldn't fit.  I said "it's okay, i can give it to a friend."

Well I hung on to it.  And yeah, I'm not wearing any pants.

Once again...

This time, with no commentary, cause the photo pretty much speaks for itself (top pic is wearing a bra, the bottom is wearing the bathing suit top... which I no longer find flattering).  196lbs and holding for a few weeks.

Just a reminder -- 
This is May 31st: 


this is me in 2006

Iron Woman

Today I ran at the gym for an hour and 40 minutes.  Why? Because I felt I had it in me.
A twitter friend of mine, Zen Lizzie, asks me if I'm training for something.
And I said "I'm training for a bridesmaid dress."

I thought that was funny. 

Well that 2+ hours in the gym (also did upper body weights) burned 1350 calories.  Not bad, eh?

One curious thing to note is where my body is beginning to change.  I've always had really nice clavicles -- but not my coracoid process (I believe) is beginning to stick out.  My right bicep also has a little dimple in it.

Drumroll please........ I also have a butt now!! Well kinda one. It's no badonkadonk, but it's taking shape.  All of the cute underwear I never wore b/c I didn't think it looked too good is now being worn!

So doot da do... I'm thinking this is going to be how I'm getting my hair done for my friend's wedding (and the reason why I'm growing it out).  Thoughts?

Birds flyin high, you know how I feel... Sun in the sky, you know how I feel....

I was talking to my new friend, Vinny, yesterday.  I said "you know, a girl can feel good about herself, but it doesn't seem real until a guy says it to her."

You see, I kindasorta had a *mumbles*date*mumbles* last night.  It was a happy hour with coworkers (both his and mine).  I was so friggin nervous... absolutely out of practice. And I turned to my twitter friends & fashionistas to help me portray "I like you" without too much "I haven't done this in 8 years."  Everyone came to the rescue... especially Vinny

We decided on jeans & a tank top. I wore my glasses (I usually wear contacts), and minimal makeup.  We both play on the same softball team, so he's only seen me in my athletic outfits, cleats, hats, pony tails.... and sweat.  He's seen me run. He's seen me bend over.  So he's seen me at my grossest, but also at my most awesomely capable (I'm a fantastic softball pitcher).

I won't divulge any details (a girl's gotta keep some things to herself), but suffice it to say, I'm grinning like an idiot today.

For so long I didn't feel good about myself.  For so long I made it hard for anyone else to feel good about me. As I'm feeling better about myself, and about my own value, I'm letting other people in.  I'm letting them love me just a little bit more.  That and I'm loving everyone else so much more.  It's become so important to me to tell the people I truly love that they are important to me.  And because I'm feeling good about myself, when I share my love, the love I have for my friends and family really comes from a healthy, sincere place.

In no particular order...

1.  I'm kinda surprised that there weren't more comments/questions left with my interview with Registered Dietitian, Rebecca Scritchfield.   (Any feedback would be great!)   I know the information isn't flashy "How to lose X lbs in Y days" but it's the information you will need to make a lifelong change that lasts.  This isn't a sprint.  It's an ultramarathon.

2.  Like I said to Emily, I only want to do this once.  I want to remember every ache. I want to remember every bite.  I want the imprint of this journey to remain with me... so I never gain the weight back ever again.

3.  Speaking of aches and pains... my left hip is killing me....

4.  Because... for 5 glorious minutes of my day, I was one of those people... you know, those people who run in a pack formation on their lunch breaks.

5.  There are days when i eat so much healthy stuff that by the time I put it into the BodyMedia Fit activity manager, I'm way under my calories needed... and yet I feel stuffed. I feel like a hypocrite, especially b/c I'm always on people about not starving themselves...

6.  For some added humiliation and/or TMIness -- here's my online personal ad.  What do you think? 

TMI POST: Mastication

This is a TMI post. This is your only warning.
Read at your own peril.

Huzzah! Victory is Mine!

For those of you who have been following me for a while (Oh how I <3 you all) you know that I don't post my daily or even weekly statistics/weigh-ins.  Part of it is that for as smart as I can be, I'm not nearly organized enough to be able to do this on a consistent basis (I'm kinda in awe of those of you that have been so good about it).  The other part is that the whole HEALTH GAIN > weightloss mentality doesn't let me focus too much on the numbers, but more on how I feel, my behaviors, etc. especially because 2-3lb weight differences can be attributed to so many things depending on the hour of the day.

That being said... I had a huge victory on the scale today.
I was in a funk. Long story short is that my body wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.  I was eating badly because of it and not going to the gym.

I was scared to get on the scale.

What happened, you ask?  What is this victory that you are so excited about?  How have you asserted mastery and dominion over your own body and its shorcomings?  Well. I didn't gain anything.  I didn't lose anything.  I maintiained.  And yes, that is a victory.  Why?  Because I rolled with the punches.  You see life was throwing uppercuts and left jabs, and I took a few punches (right in the uterus and the noggin) but I kept my footing.  I threw a few punches that landed, and a few that didn't.  But I tucked my chin down, put my hands up and relied on my training to get me through this.  I'm none the worse for wear, and this round ended in a draw, but this isn't a one-round fight.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” -- Dr. Spock

Dr. Spock, not Mr. Spock, though I do hope you live long and prosper.

Do you know your own body, do you trust what you know about your own body?
Back when I was training at a gym with a trainer, I was feeling rather confident that it would be the last time I'd ever be fat in my life.  I trusted that the trainer (a marathon runner) could get me to like running, get me to like lifting weights, etc.  I liked the fact that when something was hard for me that he'd get on the floor and do it along side me, or get on the elliptical next to me and go a mile with me.

But the thing is this -- when we were doing plank exercises, I couldn't hold the position for more than 30 seconds without feeling pain.  Not just weak "I can't do this" but actual, physical pain.  I tried to convey this to him and his response was that my core wasn't strong and that this would help.  Well... my core wasn't strong, and it wasn't helping.  I actually had 3 bulging discs in my lower back as well as degenerative disc disease (my spine was aging faster than I was).

By listening to him and doing these exercises (such as the cable machine reverse wood chopper, trunk twist, vertical knee raise with twist,  etc.) I was further injuring myself.

When it finally got to the point where I couldn't lie down without it hurting, I went to a chiropractor (orthopedists told me nothing was wrong, I was just overweight) and he said "I'm not touching you until you get an MRI."  I brought the images back to him and he pointed to one area of my back and said "this is where you hurt, right?"

Lemme tell you, I lost it.  I was crying my little eyeballs out.  Finally, someone knew that there was something actually wrong.  I wasn't just overweight or weak, I was broken.  To this day I'm thankful to that chiropractor for taking the time to listen.

And then he told me that he was amazed that I was actually walking around. I'll never forget that.  The trainer lead me to think I was so weak, and then the chiro (and the neurologist he works with) basically told me how badass I was to just walk.

So the moral of the story -- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY no matter what anyone else says. 
You are its advocate.  You are its protector.

Questions Answered!

In celebration of my 100th follower (the lovely Frannie Dee), my wonderful dietician Rebecca Scritchfield has agreed to answer five question that hopefully will help you on your journey to becoming a healthier you!  She's helped me identify areas where I need to be more mindful and can improve.  I've lost 13 lbs since first meeting her!

So a hearty thanks to her on a personal level, but also for answering the questions below for all of my blog followers.  First, get to know a little about Rebecca!

Rebecca Scritchfield, RD is a registered dietitian specializing in healthy weight management and sports nutrition.  She is an expert on realistic behavior changes for life-long health and wellness without questionable dieting techniques.  She is a recreational athlete, competing in triathlons, marathons, and ultra endurance events.  

Rebecca is creator of Nurture PrinciplesTM motivational workshops, which she presents with Bernie Salazar, a “runner up” from NBC’s The Biggest Loser.  Rebecca serves as a knowledge expert to the media, with publications in Oxygen, Women’s Running, Rachel Ray and television appearances in the DC market. She has worked as a spokesperson for several companies, including Starbucks, Kashi, and Fruit2O

She is on the advisory board for Nutrition Blog Network – a collection of blogs written by dietitians [follow Rebecca's blog here].   Rebecca received a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and was recognized by American Dietetic Association in 2009 as “Young Dietitian of the Year.”

Question 1: 
Who should see a nutritionist/can you break down your patients into a few categories?
First, let me explain something about nutritionists. Technically, anyone can hang up a sign and call themselves a nutritionist because it is not a real health professional term. This is important because there are for-profit companies that offer weekend and online courses in nutrition and provide a "certification," but it's not actually anything that let's people legally provide nutrition services in Washington, DCt and many states.

I think anyone can benefit from a visit with a nutrition expert. Look for a registered dietitian (RD). These are health professionals who have completed the minimum criteria of graduating with a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university, an accredited dietetic internship, and passed national board examinations.

I specialize in healthy weight management and sports nutrition. I help people fuel with good food to meet their lifestyle needs whether they get 2 hours of exercise a week or 20.

[Rebecca has 3 main areas in her practice:  sports nutrition; weight management; and medical nutrition therapy.]
Question 2:
What insights might a nutritionist have that the average GP/internist might not?
First off, how many people actually see a general practitioner once a year? Most doctors will weigh their patients, but they fall short of talking to them about their weight, nutrition habits, and exercise schedule. In fact, a March 2010 survey of physicians showed that 72% of doctors said that nobody in their office is trained on dealing with weight management problems.
Enter the nutrition expert. That's our expertise. We have a nutrition care process for accurately assessing and diagnosing nutrition problems and working with clients on a plan for making behavior changes. We're also on top of the latest scientific evidence and research on weight management and we follow trends in the culinary and food industry worlds as well.
Question 3:
How does your own weight loss struggle inform your practice as a nutritionist?
I've been on and off diets since I was 12 years old and if there's one thing I learned it's that they are a total waste of time and energy. In fact, UCLA research has even shown that people who diet are worse off than people who don't.  They gain all the weight back -- and more! I don't diet anymore and I don't let my clients diet either. We talk a lot about healthy nutrition, hunger/fullness, and emotional eating. We also talk about exercise and stress management. It's much harder to commit to exploring the barriers to achieving a healthy weight, but the rewards are worth it.
Question 4:
Do you have a few quick & easy changes people can make to improve their diets?
"Quick and easy" depends on the person's perspective. For example, I can say "don't drink your calories, switch from soda to water or calorie free beverages", but some people may find that to be a hard change. Maybe they could try to cut their beverage calories in half to start.
The best thing I can suggest to everyone is don't do anything you can't keep up the rest of your life. That's why I tell people to pick a "small change" and commit to one week or even one day of trying it out. You may decide to eat two fresh fruits a day as a small change. After the first week, you're willing to try it again... and again... and before you know it, it's your behavior.
The second best thing I can suggest is eating 3-4 times a day and moderate portions. Many people eat only twice a day and it's just not possible to get the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and balance of nutrients in only 2 meals a day. They might meet your calorie needs, but it is not just calories that determine your health.
Question 5:
If someone isn't meeting their caloric targets, what's usually the suspect?  How should they meet their target in a healthy way?
When I do a nutrition assessment, I analyze their current usual eating habits and compare that to their estimated needs. I'll figure out the differences between where they are and where they should be to reach their goals. Calories are definitely involved, but I really try to make sure we're not spending our time in sessions talking "numbers" because it is behaviors that matter.

If someone is under their calorie needs it could be a lack of knowledge  -- people want to eat healthy, but they are being too restrictive. They're undereating and won't lose weight because the body is resistant. It could also be an eating disorder, which has a whole other set of signs besides inadequate calorie intake.

If the calorie intake is excessive, usually the biggest barrier is not enough of a balanced plate, where 1/3 to 1/2 the plate as fruits or veggies with the meals. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and full of nutrition. Usually people are going for quick grab-and-go foods they don't make and the calories from the prepared foods add up very quickly.

If people want to meet their nutrition needs, they should invest in themselves and have a nutrition assessment done with a registered dietitian. They will get custom and specific advice for eating healthy based on where they are at right now. It's information that can help them for the rest of their lives.

I highly suggest you follow Rebecca on Twitter -- as she always has some great information.  Til next time, my loves!

The Ugly, Green Side

When I walk down the street I see tons of skinny people.  I either rightly or erroneously assume that these stick thin people are that way naturally.

I know this is true for some people.  They are just gifted with amazing metabolisms that laugh in the face of a challenge like a cupcakes, a hamburgers, or frozen margaritas.

I don't think I ever want someone to see the future, skinny, healthy me walking down the street and think anything other than "Holy crap, she really puts in a lot of thought and work into keeping herself healthy."  I don't want anyone to assume that my current, work-in-progress body is a result of me being anything less than diligent.

So, the lesson for me (once again) is that everyone has a back story.  I shouldn't resent someone because they're skinny, I shouldn't pity someone who is overweight (though I have tons of empathy/compassion).  Who knows, they might be that way because they're unhealthy and deserve of my compassion as well.

For the people that need to hear this today...

Guster's Hang On
Hang on
Hang on
When all is shattered
When all your hope is gone
Who knows
How long
There is a twilight
A nighttime and a dawn

We break

We bend
With hand in hand
When hope is gone
Just hang on
Hang on

I've reached 100!!

**does a dance**
100 followers, not lbs lost, silly!!

I'm so excited!
Tomorrow morning at 9 am, I'll post Rebecca Scritchfield, RD's long awaited answers to the following questions:
Question 1:  Who should see a nutritionist/ can you break down your patients into a few categories?

Question 2:  What insights might a nutritionist have that the average GP/internist might not?

Question 3:  How does your own weight loss struggle inform your practice as a nutritionist?

Question 4:  Do you have a few quick & easy changes people can make to improve their diets?

Question 5:  If someone isn't meeting their caloric targets, what's usually the suspect? How should they meet their target in a healthy way?
And who knows... maybe if everyone is nice and receptive, Rebecca might do this again (with your questions)......

My funk seems to have a temporary reprieve -- but the forecast for next week makes me worried that there will be many migraines to come :(  I'll just have to deal with things as they arise.  No use in worrying about the future when there is so much I can do now.  Like finish up my Starbucks Vivanno Banana Chocolate Shake with 18 grams of protein, let my stomach settle, and then go to the gym for weights & a good run.


No hiding it. I've been in a funk.
I was in a really good rhythm of going to the gym, running and doing weights until (1) the migraines and thunderstorms started, (2) really bad period, and (3) a general malaise set in.

I didn't have anything planned for today, but then my friend, Audrey, asked if I wanted to go with her to Sports Authority to look for new running shoes (she has an extensive process).  Sure!

When we got there, she immediately saw this, and I knew it was something I just had to have... as a reminder for all of the bad days to come:

2 things

1. I have 93 followers **shakes a tailfeather** Hello to all my new, gorgeous friends!  **waves** Say hello to my current & old gorgeous friends!  Feel free to post your blog links as a comment to make sure I'm following yours as well (or check my blog roll on the right hand side of the page, I try to keep it up to date).  Only 7 more followers and there will be a very special guest post from Registered Dietitian, Rebecca Scritchfield!  

2. Drumroll please...

I have the dress

unfortunately I also have my period and am very bloated (sorry for the TMI)
I'd show you pictures of me in the dress but unfortunately the cats do not have opposable thumbs and i can only fully zip it up while it's on backwards.

It's a gorgeous shade of purple that compliments both fair and tanned skin (as i have a little bit of both) and will be nice and warm for a fall wedding. 

I'm glad i've lost those 13lbs, but think another 10 would make the dress look better and 15-20 would make me feel better.   113 days to the wedding....


While falafel, pizza or a hamburger are all soooo yummy... so is this:

Moby Dick's Veggie Delight:  Avocado, provolone, mushroom, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, spinach and yogurt on fresh house bread. 

And this is only HALF of the sandwich.  The other half has already been wrapped up for dinner.


I live in Washington, DC.  DC is known for many things such as being the capital of The United States, Ben's Chili Bowl, Stephen Strasburg's arm, the Cherry Blossom Festival, its annoying hipsters, and its oppressive humidity.

My body doesn't mind the oppressive weather, but my brain does.  Low pressure systems roll in and take up residence in my sinus cavities (especially my maxillary sinuses).  Unchecked, these headaches turn into full blown migraines.

And I don't know about you, but going to the gym with a migraine does not feel good. At all.
A symptom of these migraines is that I become very light sensitive and my stomach gets all wonky/vomity. 

I know some of you endure much more serious illnesses than this, but well... this is my blog and my place to write.  So while I have sympathy for all of you, this is my place to whine.  I really want to be at 190 by the end of the month, but right now I'm in a holding pattern until my body gets its act together and decides that I can have one day without my eyeballs trying to escape. 

I tend to be a very moody eater when I don't feel well (either eating nothing, or lots, eating one thing, or many things).  It's as if I'm letting my body try and figure out what will make it feel better.  My sleeping patterns are messed up (because for my migraines, sleep is the only thing that really helps) and i'm just really cranky.
So my question to you is this.... what can prevent you from getting your butt kicked in the gym?

Happy Update!

I was really upset when I saw Crystal Renn's new photos because I thought she was abandoning her message.
I'm really glad that Glamour interviewed her as well as putting up some behind-the-scenes photos from the same shoot.  It's amazing what lighting, cameras, and styling (as well as retouching) can do to make a healthy woman look sick.

 To quote Glamour/Crystal Renn:
GLAMOUR: You told me that your worry was that girls would look at those thin-looking pictures of you and think that you were glamorizing extreme skinniness.

CRYSTAL RENN: Yes. That was a huge fear for me. I thought, "People are going to think that I'm sick—and maybe a girl who’s suffering from an eating disorder sees a picture like this and gives up hope.” People who have followed my story and heard my voice might think I’ve turned my back on that, and that it’s only beautiful to be thin. They’re not going to know where I stand right now, and I understand that. Because if I were in their shoes looking at this picture, I would be disturbed. I would absolutely be disturbed.

GLAMOUR: What would your message be, then, to that girl looking at this picture?

CRYSTAL RENN: I would tell her: I don’t look like that. I absolutely do believe in beauty at every size. And I’d tell her you can’t look at every image you see in this industry and say, "That's exactly how that person looks," because they don’t necessarily look like that. I mean, there is extreme retouching. There is amazing, very expensive clothing that is cut just right to flatter the body. People have trainers and go to great lengths for their bodies. And for that girl who’s thinking she has to be so thin to be accepted? You don’t. It’s not true. I starved myself to be successful, when in fact my real success only came when I became more confident.

The Man Who Taught Us To Believe In Ourselves

Before Dr. Huizenga (the doctor behind The Biggest Loser), there was this curly haired guy with short shorts and a big voice that knew what we know now -- that fat people (1) don't want to be fat but (2) are entirely capable of changing their lives. 

Before there was the Biggest Loser, there was Richard Simmons (who celebrated his 62nd birthday this past week).

I know he's been spoofed, praised, mocked, and villified over the years, but more than anything he has been adored. 

His philosophy is simple: 
(1) Love yourself, you are worthy
(2) You can move, no matter your size
(3) Eat healthily, you need quality fuel

There is no gimmick.  Everything from his videos to his Food Mover promotes these simple ideals.

I chose to write about him today because of his daily message (especially in conjunction with my W.I.D.T.H. photo).  A shorter form appeared as his facebook status:
Have you tried to lose weight for your parents, your spouse or your children? Look, it's just not good enough wanting to lose weight for others. You have to look deep inside and ask yourself what will make you happy. What will put a smile on your face and add a little pep to your step?
(emphasis added)

I read in so many blog/facebook/twitter messages that so many of you see dieting as this delicate balance between control, gratification, deprivation, and splurging.  I read people wanting to lose weight quickly.  I read people getting upset over losing only small amounts.  I read people getting down on themselves because they ate something they truly wanted.   WHAT GIVES!?!?

I want to say over and over again that living our lives is not this tightrope of success and failure, but it's a pursuit of happiness.  And yes, I chose those words very carefully.  When we choose to go down this path, it's a path of liberation, freedom, and independence from all the thoughts, feelings, and (in)actions that got us to where we were. 

Richard Simmons continues in his daily message:
You have to look in the mirror and say to yourself: "I'm going to lose this weight and it has to be all about me, me...ME!" Keep filling your mind with positive thoughts about yourself and just wait 'til you see the positive things that will happen in your life!
And let me tell you something. There's so much to like about you. I mean that. You're a good person, filled with kindness. You have a good heart and you care about others. You're smart, you have a wonderful sense of humor and people really like you. Please build on those positive qualities about yourself.
Yes...I want you to get every morning liking who you are! I want you to walk up to that mirror in the morning and really like who you see. And remember, all of these positive changes in your life begin with your wanting to always please...YOU!
I'm beginning to look at my body much differently now.  From the grace of my ankles, to the strength of my arms, to how my belly is changing, to how strongly my heart is beating.  More than being worthy of the healthy food, and the exercise, I'm finding that I'm worthy of my own body, of loving it, of it being loved.  Yeah I might post self-depricating comments about myself, but I'm not yet at the point where I'm ready to toot my own horn publicly.

Black Sheep Finds Herd

I think the best way to unclog my mind at this point is in list format, so here goes:

1.  I can't believe it's been almost a year since starting this blog.  I didn't realize how fast time has flown by! I've had such ups and downs the whole time.

2.  I thought about this because Mr. Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit posted my Why I Do This Here photo.  I wanted my photo to accurately represent not only why I began the journey on the blog, but why I continue it.  I don't care so much about what people think about me, but I care about what I put out into the world. 

3.  I started this blog for myself as a way to refute what the world was trying to tell me about my body (that I was worthless and needed to change in order to be deserving), how it wanted me to feel (ashamed).  Along the way, I've found all of you (**waves**) as well as myself.

4.  But over the past two days something absolutely amazing happened.  I won't go into specifics, but it has to do with finding out just exactly who was reading my blog.  One of those people emailed me this morning and I was in absolute tears (joyful ones at that). The email was unexpected, the author was more than unexpected, and the words were sincerely beautiful.  With all my heart I couldn't have predicted this email, but I am grateful for it.  It seemed like a lifetime in the making.

5.  We all say this is for ourselves, but I think everyone wants to connect in some way or another with another person.  We want the validation of someone saying "I know what you're saying" or "I feel your pain."  But every now and then someone close to your heart says it.   Any fear or hesitation of putting pen to paper or words to feelings is washed away.  I could stop writing (I won't, don't worry!) and feel satisfied by what I've done here. 

6.  Sorry! Not trying to rank or put down any of your comments :P

7.  I'm less than a month away from my 29th birthday.  I'm scared and excited -- as it'll be one of the healthiest birthdays in almost 21 years.

8.  Shit, even saying that makes me feel old.

With my eyes wide open....

So yeah, I didn't get much sleep last night because of the lovely fire alarm incident, but I look none the worse for wear.

I don't know whether it's a healthier diet, more exercise, better sleep (questionable, b/c there are many nights that i'm not sleeping well) or the increase in Vitamin D, but the dark circles under my eyes are going away.  I've been noticing it for the past two weeks and just don't know what to attribute it to.  But no matter what it is, I'll be doing all four things for the rest of my life. 

I'm glad to look awake now. 
I am awake now.

A sincere wish

Normally I don't think people should wear spandex unless they're going really fast on a bike or just about to wrestle you to the ground (and are also wearing a fancy mask).

But seeing as my building's fire alarm just went off, and it's 3 am, and raining, I hope I'm doing these spandex biking shorts some justice.  ((Glad I had the cross-ramp jacked up high for a bit today))

I left the kitties inside because i'm 99% sure that it's a false alarm. But that 1% of me said to grab my purse and laptop and get outside.  In spandex.

Just call me legs. Ugh & yawn.


I just realized I never posted my goals/rewards.
240 lbs -- my highest (1996-1998)
217 lbs -- my 7/9/2006 weight (physical)
209 lbs -- Feb 2010: when I first got the BodyMedia Fit

1. 200 lbs -- June 2010, no reward. 

2. 190 lbs -- By the end of July 2010 -- Mini-vacation up to NYC

3. 180 lbs -- By the end of August 2010 -- iPod Nano in Blue or Nutsa Spa Signature Body Treatment

4. 170 lbs -- By the end of September 2010 -- Sell unworn London Fog size 14 trench coat; get new smaller one! Get teeth whitened!

5. 165 lbs -- By the end of October 2010 -- fitting in the bridesmaid gown and looking delicious
I want my final rewards to be things that will happen regardless of what weight I'm at.  Though 165 is my "goal" weight, I'd actually be really happy at 175.

Buffalo Balls

For those of you who haven't had it, buffalo/bison meat is a fantastic alternative to beef.  Its lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than beef.  That, and chances are that the bison (unlike the cow) were raised on a grass farm, so you're getting all the wonderful nutrients from the ground upward. 

I eat Buffalo in many ways (like buffalo halfsmokes), but my favorite way to use the ground beef to to make my Triple B Balls!  The recipe isn't exact, so feel free to play around.

Triple B Balls (Buffalo, Barley, (Porta)Bello)

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Open bottle of tasty red wine and pour yourself a glass; let bottle and glass breathe a little
  • Partially cook some barley (either do it the hard way or use 3-minute pearl barley) and COOL
  • Heat up a large non-stick pan to medium heat
Everything in a large bowl (feel free to start sipping the wine):
  • 2lbs fresh ground bison meat (I get mine locally from Cibola Farms)
  • 2/3 cup partially cooked barley (it will absorb the water from the other ingredients)
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow or white onion diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, depending on whether your pre-teen believes in vampires or not
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (I use tempranillo)
  • 3/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) portabello mushrooms (I've also used pioppino mushrooms, but you don't want to use a wimpy flavorless mushroom) but you don't want to overdo this, as the more mushrooms you have, the harder it will be to keep the meatballs together
  • 1-2 eggs (depends on how much wine you put in there)
  • Salt, pepper, fresh thyme
  • some breadcrumbs if you put too much wine/egg in there or if the mushrooms are being fussy
Drink some wine, b/c your hands will get dirty in the mixing/ball forming process. And yes, mixing with your hands is mandatory.

Once everything has been combined, you can throw this in the fridge for 5 minutes or start forming your balls.  I generally go with 1.5-2" balls, and they'll shrink a little.  Place balls into the pan to get a little brown (the key to getting them to stick together is this sear) on 2 sides (or 3 if you make them into fun triangular shape balls). Then transfer to a baking sheet.  Continue until you've gone through all of the mixture, all the balls have been seared off a little, and your 2nd glass of wine is forthcoming.

I like to sprinkle the BBBalls with a little bit of salt before they go into the oven (for 10-15 minutes to just finish off cooking).   Yields about 40 balls.  A serving should be between 3-5 balls, depending on how big you made them.

I like to serve them either as a stand-alone with some veggies, or with a veggie ragout (a tarted up pasta sauce where I start with a jar of store-bought sauce, add in tons of garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, carrots, the other half of the onion, the rest of the mushrooms, and a little wine to just pull everything together). 

It's not an exact science, but the point is this -- play with your food, and a meat ball doesn't have to be 100% meat.

I've also done variations with ground chicken, feta & spinach and turkey chili balls (dark turkey meat and red kidney beans).

Once and for all

First of all, the Center for Disease Control has a great Web site about weight loss.  You should check it out for all of its information, tips, guides, etc.

But I want to hilight one thing that I think a few people need to hear:
[E]vidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn't just about a "diet" or "program." It's about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.
(emphasis added).  So please, no more obsessing over not having lost a ridiculous amount of weight in one week.  Do not stress if you haven't lost weight in one week (it's about the trend, not the specific weigh-in, as many things can cause your body to fluctuate up or down 1-2lbs every day). 

So... New Rule (#5)

1.  Leave No One Behind -- if someone asks for help, give it.
2.  I will do no harm to my body.
3.  I will not think badly when I look at myself in the mirror.
4.  I will not judge someone without recognizing the journey they are on first.
5.  I dictate how I feel about myself, not the scale.

More of that journalistic integrity BS

So apparently while I'm reluctant to post pictures of myself in a bathing suit, I've done it twice in the name of journalistic integrity.  (First time; second time)  It's part of my process -- I'm owning up to my own body, as well as leaving a record to look back on.  It's not easy.

I am growing to love my body more and more. Yesterday, after doing some upper body work, I ran for the duration of the World Cup Final match (except for the last OT period, I used to stretch).  Yep. 2 hours. Running.  On an elliptical.  I took breaks during the half and after the end of regulation time to grab some water (I generally don't drink much while running) and stretch out a little bit.  My relation to my body is more than just how it looks when standing still.  I have gained an appreciation for just how strong it is, how much it can endure, and how much it has healed itself. 

There is a strong correlation between my own self-esteem and my range of motion.  When I feel healthy, I have a healthy opinion of myself.  ((Sound familiar, anyone?)

So... while I'm feeling good about myself (and since it's Richard Simmons' 62nd birthday), I thought I'd post another bathing suit photo.  ((That and one of my readers knew I was thinking about posting this photo, was nervous, and sent me her own bathing suit photo.  I won't post hers, but it's the whole strength in numbers thing... I know I'm not alone....))

Now, the first thing I will say is that I know that I'm kinda breaking Rule #3.   I'll put it this way -- I'm trying to be humorous. and a bit self depricating to make it a little easier to post this photo (taking it was hard enough). 

 So yeah.... thank you for being kind in your comments (HINT: BE KIND!!) and hello to all my new readers!  I'm at 74, which means that Rebecca Scritchfield, RD's answers are that much closer to being posted!

Lady bits

Back when I was 11/12 I had great trouble with my period.  It wasn't just adjusting to the newness of it, but it was adjusting to the pain, the nausea, the chills and sweats.  I felt like my body was breaking down.   In the years since then, I've come to learn that I not only rock some dysmenorrhea but also frequently get hemorrhagic ovarian cysts (and have had a few rupture)!  I don't have PCOS, or endometriosis.  So yeah, I know I'm not going to die, but it's more than just a little uncomfortable, and sometimes I just need to stay in bed and take lots of pain meds for a day at most.

I always know when it's going to be bad.  The day of or the day before I can't eat or drink anything, or else I will feel vomity.  I'm more likely than not to get a migraine or a headache.  My cats start guarding me because they can sense it as well.

For as bad as all this seems, worse was my mom's response.  She was basically told (by her father, as her mom was too uncomfortable to talk to her about these things) "this thing is gonna happen, and you just have to take care of it."  My mom didn't have sisters to talk to, or the internet to find out information on.  She was pretty alone.  But it ticks me off that she thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill every time my head would be hanging over the side of a toilet and I'd be shaking violently.  ((though I will say at this point, my brother and father were AWESOME after my mom died -- always taking care of me, helping me hold my hair back, making sure I had enough "supplies.))

In turn, she didn't have much advice to give me other than to basically say "suck it up." A few months before she died, she wrote me a letter about this (she said it's b/c I wouldn't listen, but I know it's b/c she had a hard time saying these things).  It's a little embarrassing, because I think at that point I knew more about the birds and the bees than she did (thanks to health class, gym class lectures, etc.) however it'd take until I was in college to know that the pain I had on a regular basis wasn't normal.  So I'm a little tiffed that she didn't take me to a doctor or ob/gyn to investigate this pain that was diagnosable and treatable.  I just suffered for a while.  And drank lots of hot tea.

A starting place...

Tara Brach:  Trusting your basic goodness
Do me a favor and listen to this.

Read her book, Radical Acceptance.

Stop compounding any misstep in your life with the feeling that you have failed.
What good does it do you?

While the book is written from a Buddhist perspective,  Tara Brach is also a psychologist.  What she talks about can apply to anyone regardless of background or creed.  Just give the mp3 a listen and then decide for yourself.

Two Quotes

H.G. Wells:
"If you fell down yesterday, stand up today."

Lou Holtz:
"If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today." 

Okay... there's a theme with this one.  I say it all the time to myself and also to you all.
So we make mistakes and have triumphs.  But what are you doing now?  How are you evolving? How are you learning? 

I want to know... tell me... what did you do yesterday, and how are you going to either (1) stand up today or (2) make something big happen? 

Ironic FatGirl Injury

In a startling turn of events...

Fat Girl gets Runner's Knee (or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)). That's my right knee you see on the right (I took a picture of the x-ray with my cell phone.  Tricky, eh? One day I'll post a capture from my MRI)

Lucky for me I have a friend that works in one of the best orthopedics practices in DC that is explaining this all to me (also the best single man in DC that I know).  Even when I first hurt my back, he was the person I went to.  More than anything he's able to tell me "Go to a doctor."  And I listen.  When I hurt my wrist from taking a fall (normally it wouldn't have hurt, but the steroids I was on at the time for my back made me prone to injury) he was the one who patched up my little wing. (and he, himself, is the

I like the recommendations that the first link has on how to avoid this injury:
  • Stay in shape. Good general conditioning is important to controlling and preventing patellofemoral pain. If you're too heavy, you may need to lose weight to avoid overstressing your knees.
  • Stretch. Before running or any other exercise, first do a 5-minute warm up, followed by stretching exercises. Stretching, particularly in the face down position (prone), will help keep the supporting structures around the front of the knee flexible and less likely to be irritated with exercise. For example, when lying prone, grab the ankle of the affected leg with one hand, and gently stretch the front of the knee. Stretch before and after exercise.
  • Increase training gradually. Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of exercise. Increase force or duration of activities gradually.
  • Use proper running gear. Use running shoes with good shock absorption and quality construction. Be sure that shoes fit properly and are in good condition. If you have flat feet, you may need shoe inserts.
  • Use proper running form. Lean forward and keep your knees bent. Also, try to run on a clear, smooth, resilient, even, and reasonably soft surface. Never run straight down a steep hill. Walk down it, or run in a zigzag pattern.
This has lots of information, but man... I can't get past (1) the music and (2) the familiar NY accent.   Oontz! Oontz! **rave dancing**
 And in case you were interested in some other photos of me...