Friday, September 05, 2008

A Phrase I Never Thought I'd Hear

"Skinny Fat"

But that's what my Prevention magazine asked this month. Evidently, if you manage to maintain your weight without exercise, put away your excitement. A Mayo clinic study of 1101 women (average age 41) showed that 54% qualified as "normal weight obese." Do I hear all the overweight obese cheering? That's right! All you skinny minnies (or 54% of you) likely have body fat measuring more than 30%. This means 4 times the risk of metabolic syndrome, double the risk of high triglycerides, triple the risk of diabetes, and a 20% jump in high blood pressure.

I looked up metabolic syndrome on and found the following:

What is the metabolic syndrome?

The metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. They include:

Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen)
Atherogenic dyslipidemia (blood fat disorders — high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol — that foster plaque buildups in artery walls)
Elevated blood pressure
Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar)
Prothrombotic state (e.g., high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 in the blood)
Proinflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood)

People with the metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases related to plaque buildups in artery walls (e.g., stroke and peripheral vascular disease) and type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States. It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans have it.

Even a bunch of skinny people!!! Okay, it's probably not nice to make fun over such a serious subject. The point is EVERYONE NEEDS TO EXERCISE.

I know, exercise sucks. I actually found my ideal cardio exercise: WII Tennis. Yes, WII Tennis. I can't help moving around a lot when I play, and it so engages my mind that I really have fun with it. It's not as great with the legs as the arms, so between sets, I jump around or do squats and lunges (which I've finally gotten to where I don't *hate*).

The point is, don't give up until you've found what works for you. Something you can stick with for the long haul. I adore all of you and want you living large and long with me.

One last hint - posture counts Slumping during cardio ups your heart rate making your workout feel harder. Pulling back your shoulder blades lets you take in more oxygen so picking up the pace feels easier. You'll burn more calories.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Home again, Home again, jiggety jig

What is your favorite Spyder reading while eagerly awaiting the release of PRIDE by Rachel Vincent?


by Jordan Dane

Had a couple of sleepless nights while I was in Texas visiting my mom and dad, so I finished THE NIGHT SERPENT by Anna Leonard (Silhouette Nocturne). Loved it. The writing style was a bit confusing at the end (or maybe I was just worn out from not sleeping for two nights), but I just kept going and thoroughly enjoyed the ending anyway. Ms. Leonard is really good at making the pacing feel lightning fast and the tension truly tense at the end. Her book definitely earned a place on my keeper shelf. I'm a hard person to hook and keep hooked. I'm one of those readers that puts a book down after 50 pages and never picks it up again. Time is precious. I'm also a writer, so I'm constantly editing in my head - not with this book! From page one, she grabbed me and kept me so kudos to you, Anna!!

As I mentioned, I fell into one of my sleepless phases while in Texas, and I forgot my Lunesta. I have no refills left, and neither does my husband. I had to sleep because I was already a day late coming home. Like many people, I'm immune to Benadryl (which is in all the 'PM' type medicines), and if I take enough of it to make me sleepy (at least 4), it gives me restless leg syndrome symptoms big time. More on that in a later post.

I went to Walgreen's and got some over-the-counter stuff, and I really believe it helped me. I used it last night too and went to sleep much faster than normal (normal is 1-1/2 to 2 hours *every* night but last night was around 45 minutes). So I feel pretty comfortable recommending it for those who'd rather not use the prescription stuff.

It's called SLEEPMD and is a concoction of several herbs etc. that I won't list here. It is also diphenhydramine free (aka Benadryl). You take one about 30 minutes before bedtime, then enjoy the wonderful sleepy feeling as it comes over you. I'll still have to use my Lunesta some, I'm sure, but I can try this one first on those terrible nights.

I also got a product called Liquid Sleep that tastes awful, but Lane took it in the middle of the night when he couldn't get back to sleep, and he thinks it helped him. He's going to keep experimenting with it and see if it really does help. He's prone to wake up around 2 or 3 and stay awake until about 5.

I'll keep you posted as to how it works. For now, happy sleeping everyone!