Archive for August, 2011

“Do you think I’m fat?”

One of the trickiest things about losing weight when you are in a relationship is  telling your partner it’s time to lose weight. Men are incredibly familiar with the age-old question, “Do I look fat?”, but for women, telling your significant other that its time to lose a few pounds can be incredibly intimidating. Even though they don’t like to admit it, men can be just as sensitive about weight and appearance as women. And, what’s worse is they can be equally oblivious to their growing bellies, leaving you to worry about their long term health. So, what’s a girl to do? I’ve gathered a few tips on broaching the subject gently with your boyfriend or husband.

1. Figure out what’s causing the problem. For some men,  drinking several nightly beers can really beginning to pack on the pounds. For others, you may notice that all he wants to do in his free time is sit on the couch, or perhaps his appetite for potato chips and chocolate cake seems to have grown exponentially. If you can zero in on the behavior that’s causing the problem, you can have a more targeted approach.

2. Check yourself! Is there any possibility that you are making it hard for him to lose weight? When Kevin, my husband, and I first got married, we only saw each other on the weekends, and I always viewed it as a vacation. Kevin bought us pizza, beer, chips, and all kinds of treats and I did absolutely nothing to curb this behavior. In fact, I encouraged it. I could eat healthy all week, and then indulge with Kevin. It took me quite a while to realize that I was really hurting Kevin’s health by not making healthy choices for us. It was up to me to say, “You know what, we probably should just make some chicken for dinner tonight.” Believe me, it was hard to give up those foods, but I knew it was the best thing for both of us!

3. Lead by example. Nothing will make the conversation more tense than if you suggest a new change for your husband that you are unwilling to make in  your own life. He won’t listen to a thing you have to say when you tell him to exercise every day, but you won’t get off the couch. If you want him to start eating healthier, you need to give up those brownies too! Plus, if you can change first, you can show him that it can be done and all he has to do is follow your lead.

4. Bring him along. Once you’ve started going to the gym, or buying healthier foods, you can bring up the topic just by inviting him along. If you say, “Honey, I’m going to the gym again today. Want to come with?” he is much more likely to respond more positively than if you said, “I think you need to lose some weight.” If you can find time to exercise together, make dinners together and be partners in your healthy choices, it will not only improve your health, but your relationship as well!

Good Luck!

-Sara

If you get to try any of these tips out, we would love to hear about it. Have you already tried to bring up this sticky topic? How did it go?

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Dietary Discipline

Hey guys,

 My blog today is going to focus on ways to maintain healthy eating habits. For the better part of a decade, I have been working as a firefighter, and although Hollywood would have you think that we live a fast pace non-stop life, the reality, thankfully, is quite different. We spend much of our time sedentary, much like an office job. However, one place firefighters do see a lot of action is in the kitchen! Family dinners are large and delicious….. but can do some serious damage to the waistline and cholesterol. I know that many office jobs face a similar quandary with a community eating area where someone brings in doughnuts or birthday cake or some kind of community snack that seems to draw your attention as soon as you walk in and will call your name through out the day until you give in! So I thought I would share some of my ways of curtailing our desire to cheat while in the work place.

1. First and foremost my most important rule I live by is I will only eat what I bring! Each night before work I have to plan out 24 hours of food because I am a shift worker. My food spread looks something like this 2 eggs with a little bit of fat free cheese and or spinach for breakfast, turkey sandwich on whole wheat with snow peas and mustard, one fruit (usually a banana) and a low fat string cheese for lunch and chicken breast with spinach and some form of carbs for dinner.

2. Seasoning can be your best friend! First, I love spicy food so I make my eggs with hot sauce or some kind of hot spice. I do this not only for taste reasons but because it helps me consume a large amount of water. Double plus: I stay hydrated and it helps me feel more satisfied with a smaller amount of food.

3. Be willing to treat yourself. Look, I am not the most regimented food consumer and sometimes the temptation is just too much. So, I have taken the advice of my wife and found a healthier option for my sweet tooth.  Low fat chocolate milk is the best! It is fulfilling and filling all in one. Also, I take a regular protein supplement for my weight lifting needs.  I have found that any protein flavor of your choice and low fat or nonfat milk is just as good.

4. Buy good food!!! I have found that if I spend little bit more on what I eat I look forward to eating it. This goes hand in hand with rule number 2.  I have learned to make some decent meals and have worked on them over the years and gotten pretty good. So I actually like my food over some fat pill like a doughnut.

Good luck! I know how hard this can be. If you have any tips, suggestions or comments feel free to post them!

Exhaustion

I have to admit that while I was in grad school, I always had time to exercise. I worked as an assistant coach for the cross country team and I was able to run with the girls I coached. It fit so neatly into my day that I didn’t realize how much more difficult it was to fit in exercise without that built-in time.  I’m now a professor with a 45 minute commute each way and let me tell you that exercise is a whole different ball game now. I get up around 6:15 and I’m out the door at 7. I work until 5 and get home at 6 and even though I have done little but sit and walk a bit during the day, I am EXHAUSTED! I had no idea how tiring the 8-5 grind can be, even when it involves little to no physical activity. I come home at six and the only thing I want to do is sit on the couch and eat! I suddenly am incredibly sypathetic to everyone who has always said that they are just too tired to exercise. So, what do we do? I thought up a few different solutions and I’m going to try them out in the coming weeks.

1. Allow myself to sit for one hour on the couch and eat. I know that all my willpower will be completely gone and promising that I will exercise immediately after work when I am starving and tired is an exercise in futility. I figure I’ll give in for an hour, but to ensure that I don’t sink into a television-induced stupor, I’m going to set an alarm. It will ring after an hour an insist that I get up and exercise.

2. Try to make exercise enjoyable. I am a runnner, which means that there is some part of me that thinks the only worthwhile exercise is running and anything else is just cheating. Unfortunately, I kind of hate running. It takes huge amounts of willpower for me to leave my comfortable couch and go outside to push myself that hard. I need to remember that I can get all the benefits of exercise without having to work so hard. Kevin (my husband) and I love to play tennis, and we definitely work up a sweat doing that. I could also just go for a brisk walk for 45 min to an hour and burn several hundred calories. Remember that doing anything is always better than doing nothing!

3. Exercise in the mornings. Sigh. I am dreading trying this one out. I hate the mornings and 6:15 is early enough as it is. But, I figure if I wake up at 6, and just go run for 25 minutes, I can still make it to work on time. We’ll see how well I do on this one.

I will keep you all posted on how my battle with exhaustion is going! Try some of these out yourself and let me know how they work!

Do you have any tricks or tips on how you stay motivated to exercise?

Thanks!

Sara

Welcome!

Hello!

Welcome to losingtogether.com.  Kevin and I wanted to start a website to  help our friends and family (and anyone else who might come along) intergrate healthier habits into their families. While there are dozens of diet and exercise books, plans and DVDs out there, we felt that there was really no information on what it was like to to try lose weight together. Whether we like it or not, our habits are influenced by those around us, and other people’s decisions affect our own. Why should you try to lose weight as if you live in a bubble? We want to share with you our experiences and hopefully give you some helpful hints along the way about how to incorporate you significant other, children and even your close friends into you weight loss or healthy lifestyle changes. We welcome all your comments, questions and advice!

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