Friday, April 1, 2011

Big at Blizzard Beach

Ahhh...Blizzard Beach - it's one of the outdoor water parks with a tropical theme - but with a Christmas-in-July twist. This one is so unique as it is fashioned as a ski resort (as a result of a mid-90's snowstorm) that was converted into the water park we recognize.

But it does has its flaws, although there are no weight limitations on the slides. You have to consider that to ride the Chair Lifts up Mt. Gushmore, you have to be at most 375 lbs. Taking the stairs is an alternative - at a cost. Chances are that you'll get easily winded.

Also, if you have a family who is on the same boat weightwise, consider splitting up your party to ride Teamboat Springs, the family rafting slide. One family of Eeyore-sized Guests rode it together and the raft bottomed out on the first drop. When the Cast Member pushed them, their raft raced out of control and capsized. They turned out OK.

Also, it has 2 body slides: Slush Gusher and Summit Plummet. Both end in a runoff chute, but they're pretty daunting for the wide-waisted (although they are not that narrow).

Despite the setbacks, Blizzard Beach is a pretty decent water park for the ones at large. Don't be afraid to add it to your itinerary for your magical vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.

From my own flickr collection, talfonsoflickr!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not Another EFT Tapping for Exercise Motivation Part 3: Tapping in Front of a Picture for Exercise's Sake

There are a lot of exercise motivation methods for all you exercise haters. Exercise in the morning, find something worth your fun, and promise yourself small non-food rewards.

But what if all of it does not work?

I, like a lot of you, hate the E-word, especially when it's a day when I have to go to the all-women gym. I have to drop everything I'm doing at home, whether it's blogging or writing my articles, and go out and buff myself up (no, make it tone myself all over). I was thinking that I'd rather stay home and blog, blog, blog until I'm a couple hundred pounds.

But I discovered a useful method to get myself motivated: I do some EFT tapping in front of the reason why I have to exercise. I tap in front of what really makes me want to work out in the first place. That reason is a picture of something, typically a picture of my next vacation destination or a before photo. Most of the time, it worked.

My discovery is so useful that I want to pass this EFT tip to you. It's also great if you are craving an unhealthy snack or meal, but I'm discussing using it to make you get off the seat and work out.

For best results, use the "growing up method" (go to Part 2 for more on the subject), and perhaps use the full recipe and the 9-gamut sequence. Assess your Subjective Units of distress (SUD) from 1-10. (Your hate towards exercise would likely be a 9-10.) Find a picture of what you are achieving and how exercise is going to get you there.

"I have to exercise because I want to fit in all the rides at Walt Disney World!"
 Let's say that you are going on a cruise in several months. You really want to look good on that vacation, and you are currently whale size. But there is one thing holding you back: you hate exercising. You whip out a picture to look at it to help you tell yourself to drop everything and exercise.

With the picture of your goal (the cruise) in front of you, proceed with the dumping round. Follow it with the 9-gamut if necessary. Next, assess your SUD. Then, look at the picture as you do the dreaming round. You may start with those setup affirmations:

Even though I still hate exercising, find it so boring, and I'm tired to exercise, I wonder if it would make me look great on the cruise I'm going.
Even though I still rather stay home and watch TV instead of exercise, I wonder if exercising can help me get on the cruise with me being more confident.
Even though I still don't want to go to the gym, I wonder if going to the gym would get me closer to the cruise.

Then, proceed with the reminder phrases that make you wonder if exercise can help you reach that goal of looking wonderful on your cruise voyage. Really envision yourself in that cruise, looking wonderful and seeing what you expect to see. Think yourself thin!

What if exercising can slim me down for that cruise?
Wouldn't it be nice to work out...
For the sake of sailing on a cruise looking great?
What if I can go to the gym to help me look my best on my cruise?

Additionally, you can add phrases that would give you ideas to make working out fun. Follow it with the 9-gamut if needed and assess your SUD.

Then, start the deciding round with your eyes still on the picture with those affirmations:

Even though I have this remaining resistance to exercise, I've decided to exercise to look great on the cruise.
Even though a part of me still does not want to exercise, I choose to release that resistance and exercise to look great on the cruise.
Even though I still don’t want to go to the gym much, I’ve decided to exercise for the sake of looking my best on the ship I’m sailing.

You can proceed with those reminder phrases that make you choose to exercise and how you can benefit from it:

I choose to work out…
I choose to tone myself up for that cruise…
I get leaner and leaner with each workout…
And it gets my body closer and closer to the cruise…
That’s why I’ve decided to exercise today…

You can tap some more if your SUD is not at a 0-1.

If you find your exercise motivation waning, and all methods really don’t work for you, don’t just try mere EFT tapping. Find yourself a picture of your goal and tap while looking at it. Maybe it can work for you.

Part 1

Not Another EFT Tapping for Exercise Motivation Part 2: Suggestions on Tapping on Self-Looks at the Gym

Here's one of the classic "I hate exercise" excuses made by many obese/overweight people: you have to wear all those baggy clothes and exercise to look like their fellow peers.

Over the times I have been working out at the local gym, women-only, I have seen fat people in tanks and jazz pants work out alongside me and they and I have been happy about it. But I feel for those who are moping in those extra large or even large T-shirts and sweats who envy those in flattering tank tops and jazz pants. (Leotards, unitards, solid-color footless tights, legwarmers and high-leg, panty-like bottoms are so 80's.)

The same generally with most of the fat men who pack the gyms any time of year (not just after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or weeks before summer). They envy the ripped muscles in sleeveless shirts or even without them while wearing king-size ones.

Well, one EFT practitioner used a method to effectively use the method for those who hate going to the gym because they have to always be subjected to baggy shirts: dumping, dreaming, and deciding. She calls it the "growing up method." Once you do the usual assessment on how you feel, follow those three easy steps.

Step 1: Dumping

Dumping is when you let your negative feelings out. Let's say that you are an overweight person who goes to a gym filled with much thinner, toned members. Your intensity of envy for sleeker clothes is a 10, so you may start out with this setup:

Even though I feel so miserable that I have to be the only one in a baggy shirt among those who wear tank tops, I deeply and completely love and appreciate myself just as is.
Even though the sight of bike shorts and camisoles makes me so guilty to work out as a fat person...
Even though I'm ugly wearing those sweats while there are beautiful ladies in tanks around me...
Then, you may tap on the meridian points while saying things that make you angry, such as:

I can't exercise with women around me!
They are all wearing tank tops and I'm the one wearing sweats!
I don't have the body to fit in!

Then, assess the issue. If it's a 5-6, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Dreaming

In this step, you wonder what you can do to resolve your conflict by tapping and wondering. Your explore possibilities to seek out resolutions. Here are a few setup affirmations:

Even though I still have to be a slave to baggy shirts, what if I can just get on with my workout?
Even though tank top-wearing ladies in the gym make me so envious, I wonder if it's just a thought.
Even though I'm a pudgy fatty working out with women in those bra-like, midriff-baring tops, wouldn't it be nice if I can just focus on my workout instead?

Next, tap the sequence by saying something that makes you think on how you can resolve your issue:

What if the sight of tank top-wearing, thin women are just like me...
People who are willing to work out...
Wouldn't it be nice to focus on myself and not them?
Wouldn't it be great if I focus on how I'm doing with my exercises...
Not on what others wear compared to me?

Step 3: Deciding

If your intensity comes down to at most a 3, it's time for you to start choosing to resolve your problem. Here are a few setup sentences to start the next round.

Even though I still have this remaining resentment towards my body and that envy towards the fitter people at the gym, I decided to let those people do their own workouts and leave them alone.
Even though I'm jealous at all the camisole-wearing ladies at the gym, I choose to focus on my workouts.
Even though I have to wear those baggy clothes until I'm slimmer, I choose to appreciate every aspect of myself.

Tap the sequence by saying some phrases, one on each point

Gym is not a fashion show....
And I decided to know that.
I choose to assure myself that clothes don't matter...
What really matters is my own workout. 

I hope those suggestions on affirmations and reminder phrases can help you get to the gym, without thoughts of being a Gulliver around ladies in tank tops and booty shorts.

Part 1
Part 3

Friday, February 4, 2011

When to Use the Full Sequence and the 9-Gamut Point

You tap on yourself when a food craving hits you or when you resist going to the gym when someone drags you. You feel that the problem did not fully subside, so you have to either cave into that food that is unhealthy or go to the gym with that I-hate-exercise look on your face.

Well, if you are that person or if you want to go beyond the basic EFT tapping sequence, you may want to try the full sequence and the 9-Gamut Point.

I taught you previously how to do the basic one. Tap on the karate chop point or rub the sore spot (I’m a fan of the former) and say that even if you have that problem, you deeply and completely love and accept yourself. Then you tap on the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the mouth, collarbone, under the arm, and top of the head while saying attributes of the problem.

But if you want to decrease that urge to eat that pie or to really motivate yourself to exercise, you may need more tapping points on your round. Between doing the underarm and top of the head points (while following through the basic sequence to the T), tap the following body parts in sequence: below the breast in line with the nipple, the side of the thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and pinky (latter three close to the thumb) in line with the base of the fingernail, and the karate point.

Courtesy of Marcus Wieman

After adding those points, you can tap on the 9-Gamut Point. It’s the point between the knuckle and the crease where the pinky and ring finger meet.

While tapping it, close your eyes, open them, look diagonally down to the right while keeping the head still, look in the opposite direction in the same manner, circle your eyes clockwise and then in the other direction, hum 2 seconds of a song (I prefer “Happy Birthday” because it’s much easier on you.), count rapidly from 1 to 5, and hum 2 seconds of a song again.

I suggest that you do this when you are faced with a problem that requires you to go beyond the basic sequence. Maybe you had faced a lot of verbal lashings from your mother on how fat you are. Maybe you really want to stay home when someone drags you to the gym to exercise. By going above and beyond the basic tapping points, you’ll find that you’ll solve the problem more effectively.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not Another EFT Tapping for Exercise Motivation Part 1: The Dreaded Gym

The "E-Word." Physical activity. Move your body time. Fitness. Those are the synonyms of the dreaded word that makes many people scream: exercise.

So why, oh why, do people dread exercise? Maybe they are doggone tired - too tired to move their bodies and drive their apples to the gym. They want to catch their favorite television show (often with a bag of chips) or local news commentary, no matter how much someone they view as a health nut coaxes them to do the E-Word. Or maybe they had a long, grueling day at work or school and want to plop down on the futon to watch a music documentary hosted by someone with a British accent. (That was me, in my preteens and teens, thus I got myself obese along with poor diet.)

But the ground zero of exercise hatred is the fitness center.

There are myriad (and I mean myriad, as in things-about-the-gym-I-hate) reasons why a place where people obviously take physical activity to heart can spur the inner hatred towards it. Obviously, many of them have to find themselves as T-shirt and baggy shorts (or sweats, if cool or cold outside) clad people among the fittest, skimpily-clad peers. For the ladies, fatter ones often experience low-self-esteem when they see them work out in tank tops and tight-fitting jazz pants. For the men, they often yearn for those ripped muscles and sleeveless shirts that show them off.

Many fatter people envy at fit people with tight clothing at the gym. That really discourages them as they wear sweats and other baggy clothing. (Photo by Ed Yourdon)
There are  a lot of fitness components they have to face, whether in class or on the floor with those machines. (Body composition is way too obvious to describe for so many exercise haters.) A lot of them are based on fostering cardiovascular fitness - which makes the heart able to pump oxygen to the blood when moving. The exercise in the class for that component is aerobics. A lot of people who are clearly overweight and have to drag themselves to the gym have to either dread being short of breath or being considerably slower as they keep pace with their thinner classmates.

Then, there are the floor exercises, which focus on muscular strength and endurance. For a lot of those people who are used to being inactive, they have weaker core muscles (abs, lower back, hips, and buttocks). Try having them do a full plank and they would just give up before that minute is up.

While all exercises require people to clinch the core muscles, the other ones that strengthen it are troublesome. One of the troubling ones is the bicycle crunch. You lie on the floor, place your hands lightly under your head, and try to touch the alternate knee to your shoulder in that exercise. Oftentimes, fat people use their elbow to touch the knee alternatively. Alongside the strain on the neck and back, that demonstrates a weak contraction of the obliques and the inclination to give up on that exercise.

Those are two health-based components of fitness that many overweight and obese people lack in: muscular endurance and strength, especially those of the core muscles.

Finally, there are stretching exercises. Many people who are fat in the gym can't touch their toes because their ranges of motion are limited than those in, say, camisoles and bike shorts. Touching the toes requires the last fitness component: flexibility.

The downward-facing dog - it's a yoga pose that requires flexibility. (photo by lulemon athletica)
There's no need to dread the gym to make you exercise. A simple way to exercise is to walk around the block, at a brisk pace. It costs less than a membership in a venue with fit bodies  and you don't need a car to drag yourself! If you can't help but go to the gym to exercise, find some exercise motivation. It can be simple as saying that you can do it.

Part 2
Part 3

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Worst Foods at Chain Restaurants (and Better Choices)

Many of us have those days when cooking for the family is impractical or when they want to eat out. Let's face it - that gourmet burger, set of chicken nuggets and fries, or that pepperoni pizza can hamper our weight-loss efforts.

Well, I have good news for you. Whether you're eating from work or just eating out, here's my own list of some worst foods at various chain restaurants (not just fast foods).

All Meat Combo Pizza at Chuck E. Cheese

Pizza and entertainment really co-exist, but kid-friendly food can spell out waist-unfriendly. A good example is a slice of the All-Meat Combo pie from Chuck E. Cheese, which can set you back 240. But that's not all - it has 566 grams of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat.

Not bad, but you'll likely eat another slice or two and you're on your way to a belly akin to Pasqually's (the Italian chef who plays the drums) if the pie's eaten regularly. Three slices can cost you 720 calories, 1698 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of sat fat. The pizza chain's main mouse's favorite leisure activity is skateboarding, but you* have a bit over two hours to do what he does for active time!

Better Choice: Want a Helen Henny-sized waist? Have a slice or two of a small BBQ Chicken pizza at your next outing at this joint with kids. It has 150 calories, 2 grams of sat fat, and 394 milligrams of sodium. Earn extra health tokens if you ask for half the amount of cheese and an order from the salad bar with a tablespoon of dressing.

A Full Rack of Ribs from Beef 'O' Brady's

Sports pubs are the last places you would find unhealthy items, or aren't they? Face it - there are tempting entrees to select, and the full rack of ribs is sure to please any sports fan. Consume all of it and you'll get a whopping 2239 calories, 47 grams of sat fat, and 4624 milligrams of sodium. Beef O'Brady's loves football, but fate forbid if you'd play the touch version for 3 hours and 45 minutes after eating this!

Better Choice: 3 out of 4 nutritionists recommend the Chicken Breast Dinner, which has 407 calories, 2 grams of sat fat, and 453 milligrams of sodium. Round it out with a fresh garden salad with a tablespoon of dressing and you'll increase your fiber as well.

Bacon and Cheddar Burger at LongHorn Steakhouse

Oh gosh, where do I start at this lofty and fatty LongHorn Steakhouse sarnie? Bacon and cheddar cheese are horrid burger toppings, gosh darn it! Oh, and if the 920 calories make your waist, hips, thighs, and heart scream, make them scream louder in agony for its 22 grams of saturated fat, three whopping grams of trans fat (Gah!), and 1230 milligrams of sodium.

There's a previous study from Denmark that found out that playing soccer burns more fat than jogging, but be prepared to play 2 hours of it after eating this!

Better Choice: Grab healthy eating by the horns with the LongHorn Salmon, (the 7 oz kind). Don't worry about the 13 grams of total fat (3 of them saturated), it's mainly omega-3 and other unsaturated ones. But the 300 mg of sodium and 290 calories are something to kick your heels up for joy! All it needs is a side of fresh steamed asparagus to round out a great meal.

It's possible to eat healthier and lose weight while eating out. Just don't do it more often and cook most of your meals at home, no matter how much it kills you.

*That's based on a woman who weighs 150 pounds, give or take!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weight Bias: Giving Stink Eyes to Fatties

It happens every day - ballet masters are pushing girls to be thin so they can look good on stage. Fashion industry executives favor thinner women over plumper when choosing the right supermodels.

Weight bias is everywhere - and there are a lot of people who are proud of criticizing, teasing, and singling out the plumper crowd.

Well, when we were little fat kids or teens, we had our lion's share of insults from kids at recess calling you fatty. You probably walked through the halls between classes at your school and the thinner crowd yelled to the others, "Extra-wide load coming through!" You sat down and ate your lunch while some kids thought and said that you were fat and you ate the dish du jour, which was your burger and fries meal.

Most of us overweight/obese adults face the same thing too. Whenever we are at parties and get or foods, some people are on our backs saying, "That's too much (insert name of dish, dessert, or condiment)," or, "You're too fat to be eating this stuff anyway."

Fat girl tells all - she tells us what she is going through at school, and her peers' comments hurt her.

Let's face it, most of us get teased and/or criticized by our own households. As children, our parents made us eat broccoli while the other family members eat hot dogs. They make us the earliest to wake up - making us do calisthenics, jog lots of miles, and more - like a boot camp. Our siblings and cousins even join in the act as well. I have to admit that my cousin called me "funny tummy." I laughed about it, but inside it hurt. But you should get this: portly children are less likely to have their parents buy their own cars or pay for college than skinnier ones.

So why are parents and other people tease or shame us and kids about weight? A lot of cultural aspect focus on thin people, not just dance (especially jazz, lyrical, and ballet), sports (especially swimming and gymnastics), and fashion. One of them is marriage, and some men prefer thinner women over fatter ones. But many of those have something in common: thin is attractive.

But there's a dark side to thin cult. Sometimes, pressure to be thin can lead to eating more and sneaking food more. Not only do we adults and kids suffer lowered self-esteem, but with might be setting ourselves up for depression, eating disorders and even suicide.

So what can we do if we were faced with snide comments like "eat only half of the meal," even if your mama serves a reasonable portion with enough fiber and protein? Ignoring them does not work, and it's annoying. Affirmation-based self-intervention helps. One of those methods is Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, which involves tapping on your body until you feel better.

But parents need to stop singling out what they call little fatties (they should stop calling them that either). They need to eat healthier as a family, exercise as a family, and love and be loved as a family. Not only the plumpest can lose weight, but everyone can do it too! Healthy habits not only start at home, but appreciation no matter what size, starts there too!