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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Local woman wins award for weight loss

In January 2005, Ruth Kirksey noticed a sign on a bulletin board at work that ended up changing her life forever. It was a sign promoting a Weight Watchers group that met during the lunch hour.

Kirksey, 46, who was born and raised in Silverton, was never concerned about her weight growing up. Over the years the pounds began to slowly add up. Then, when her doctor said she needed to be on blood pressure medication and that she was pre-diabetic, Kirksey knew she would have to make some serious changes.

“I joined Weight Watchers with my lunch buddies, which has helped tremendously. Instead of eating out everyday, we now bring our lunch to work. When I reached my 10 percent goal, I was committed to reaching a healthy weight,” Kirksey said.

Another aspect of the Weight Watchers program that Kirksey appreciates is that she is able to cook and eat “normal foods.” In fact, her husband and two grown boys don’t even realize that they are eating healthier, she said.

There are a few tricks that Kirksey has found that make eating healthy throughout the day easier. She keeps sugar-free Jell-O and instant pudding in serving size containers on hand.

“I’m a snacker,” she said. “I still have snacks in the evening, I just try to keep it healthy.”

Besides a proper diet, Kirksey also spends an hour walking every day.

“The treadmill is in the spare bedroom, and I walk while watching T.V. during the evenings,” she said.

“The program is well worth the price of the weekly meeting. It’s more costly being unhealthy. I spent more money eating lunch out everyday, then the cost of the meeting. It was worth it,” Kirksey said.

“You’ve got to be ready to commit because if you’re not ready to, it’s not going to happen. You have to believe that you can and will do it. I reached a point where I just said, ‘I’ve got to do it.’”

Although it can be a tough transition at first, Kirksey said that if you wait for it to become routine, everyone can find success. She also credits a lot of her success to the support of the other people in her Weight Watchers group.

“I still go to the meetings, a lot of co-workers have joined because of seeing the results that I’ve had. I continue to support them and keep myself in the right frame of mind. It’s a lifestyle change you have to make. I told them that I would go to the meetings as long as they went,” Kirksey said.

Besides the obvious results, such as compliments on her new figure and purchasing a closet full of new clothes, Kirksey said that there are other benefits as well.

“I have a lot more energy, I am able to work out in the garden a lot longer, and I’m able to go to the basement to the fourth floor and I’m not looking for the oxygen tank, I can talk when I get to the top of the stairs,” Kirksey said.

Because Kirksey hasn’t regained a pound since reaching her goal weight, she was able to gain brand new wardrobe.

“I gave away bags and bags of clothes, some of them were even brand new,” she said.

Earlier this year Kirksey entered the 2006 Weight Watchers Most Inspiring Stories of the Year contest and placed second in the Western Regional competition. In her essay Kirksey shared, “On May 31, 2006, I reached my goal weight and became a Lifetime Weight Watcher member. Besides looking better, I’m healthier.”

Her prize was a one-night stay in the hotel of her choice, but she’s the most proud of the priceless gift of a healthy lifestyle and the opportunity to share her success stories with others.

“It feels amazing to be at my goal weight. I still can’t believe it. I never would have thought I would lose 90 pounds,” Kirksey said.

Kirksey was able to discontinue taking blood pressure medicine and her blood results are in the normal range.

“My doctor was happy about 35 pounds ago,” she said. “He’ll be surprised when he sees me at the end of this month.”

The Silverton Weight Watcher meeting is on Monday nights at 6:30 at the First Christian Church, 402 N. First Street. For more information about the Weight Watchers program, visit www.weightwatchers.com

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weight loss headed for a makeover

Dieting in the future will be "weight loss to go," with more people getting customized advice on their cell phones, personal digital assistants and computers, and more companies delivering diet foods directly to homes.

So said Thomas Wadden, one of the nation's top obesity researchers and president of the Obesity Society, which is hosting its annual meeting this weekend in Boston. Scientists there will present hundreds of cutting-edge studies on everything from fat cells to diet drugs as they look for ways to halt the U.S. obesity epidemic.

Currently, 66 percent of adults are overweight or obese (30 or more pounds over a healthy weight), which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other medical issues.

Research suggests that dieters benefit from getting nutritionists' advice via e-mails, chat rooms and phone calls, said Wadden, 54, a psychologist and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Other nutrition experts agree. Busy people need portable tools like PDAs and cell phones to quickly get the information that will enable them to make the best food choices, especially in restaurants, said Deborah Tate. The assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is presenting research on this topic at the obesity meeting.

Dieters can track their food intake and exercise on PDAs, she said. "If these tools are convenient, people may be more likely to use them, and we know that monitoring these behaviors leads to greater weight loss."

Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers, said, "We still have lots to learn about how to use technology to enhance weight loss, but there is definite potential. These methods may hold particular promise for those adults who came of age in the world of technology." They are comfortable getting support from chat rooms, instant messaging and online food journals, she said.

Another modern tool that weight-loss experts discuss is pharmaceutical options. A few diet drugs are on the market, and hundreds of new diet drugs are being tested, but there is no miracle medication coming out anytime soon, Wadden said.

The next diet drug likely to get government approval is rimonabant, which is expected to be OK'd in 2007, he said. Studies show patients who take it lose about 8 percent to 9 percent of their starting weight, about the same amount lost by taking sibutramine, marketed as Meridia. Another prescription diet drug, orlistat, is being considered for over-the-counter status.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

West Bend has another way to stay thin

LA Weight Loss combats obesity 3 ways

West Bend’s newest weight-loss center opened its doors Wednesday morning.

The new LA Weight Loss center, the 841st worldwide, at 1620 S. Main St., provides an alternative to traditional weight loss techniques that urge clients to purge certain food from their diets.

Deborah Denure, vice president of operations for the Horsham, Pa.-based chain, said the company places an emphasis on maintaining weight loss without drastically altering a person’s diet.

LA Weight Loss programs are centered around a well-balanced diet consisting of protein, fruit, vegetables, starches, dairy and fat. Clients are able to eat at restaurants - including fast food restaurants - and shop at regular grocery stores.

"Little steps lead to big steps," Denure said to local chamber ambassadors. "It’s about moderation and control."

All clients receive one-on-one weight-loss counseling.

According to a National Institute of Health report, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight. The Centers for Disease Control recently ranked obesity as the second leading cause of preventable death among adults in the United States.

To combat the rising obesity rates, LA Weight Loss employs a three-pronged approach to losing and keeping off weight.

The first phase is developing and executing a weight-loss plan. Phase two regards stabilizing the weight-loss rate. Phase three is maintaining the weight lost and focusing on lifestyle changes.

"Other diets eliminate certain foods, so people gain the weight back when they return to their previous lifestyle," said Amy Rouse, a spokeswoman with LA Weight Loss. "The transition can be easier."

Trainer Trish McGinnis said the center will focus on constant training and dietetics.

"Everyone’s going to have different challenges at different times," McGinnis said. "That’s really why it’s personalized. We don’t dictate. Everyone’s motivated by different things. That’s why the one-on-one counseling is so vital."

LA Weight Loss tailors its weight loss program to individual clients through the one-on-one counseling sessions. Clients typically stop in three times a week to be weighed and to discuss progress. The meetings typically only take 10 minutes, Denure said, and are not scheduled. Clients can come in whenever it’s convenient, she said.

Because of the personalized nature of their services, rate plans vary based on customer needs. Initial consultations are complimentary.

The West Bend location is the seventh LA Weight Loss center to open in the metro-Milwaukee region and the 13th in the state. The West Bend location has five weight-loss counselors on staff, in addition to regional support staff.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ultimate Weight Loss Made Easy

Not necessarily inexpensive, though. If I wanted to, I could drop my remaining 231 pounds more or less instantaneously. But the effect would only last about four minutes and it would cost about $4000 bucks:

Zero gravity, once an exclusive playground for astronauts and select scientists, is no longer out of reach to everyday people. Millionaires, doctors, and teachers are feeling the fleeting freedom of weightlessness. The price is under $4,000 for nearly five minutes in zero-G.

"It's the wave of the future," said Syracuse University public administration and space policy professor W. Henry Lambright. "It's part of the maturity of the space program."

In the more than 40 years of zero-gravity flights, beginning with astronauts, the world's two largest space agencies have flown thousands of scientists, engineers, astronauts, and even the cast and crew of the movie Apollo 13, said Alan Ladwig, former
NASA associate administrator. Ladwig, now Washington space operations chief for Northrop Grumman Corp., estimates 50,000 people may have flown in zero gravity.

Five planes create zero-G conditions. NASA has one. The European Space Agency has one. The Russians have one. Two are commercially operated in the United States by Zero Gravity Corp. of Dania Beach, Fla.

Besides Zero Gravity Corp., there are at least three other companies that sell zero-G flights to tourists, including Novespace of France, Space Adventures Ltd. of Virginia, and Incredible Adventures Inc. of Florida. Those companies must arrange for a jet either from Zero Gravity Corp. or the European or Russian space agencies.

People who shell out for zero-gravity flights will no doubt also be in the market for sub-orbital and even orbital flights, once they become affordable. And these are the same folks who will be booking overnight stays in space hotels.

Personally, I'm holding out for a Carnival Cruise to Mars and the asteroid belt, but that might be a while yet. After all, that midnight buffet would be an interesting experience in a zero-g or low-g environment.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yoga best way of losing weight

I am going to try yoga to lose weight. I think yoga is the best way of losing weight. Of course I can’t go into a full lecture about yoga over here but I can tell you that I have never seen people with better-toned bodies than those who practice yoga.

One of the benefits of yoga is that you learn to control virtually every muscle and joint of your body so that the issue of weight gain will cease to exist.

Avoid smoking for weight loss

You know Smoking is bad for weight loss. Smoking as such directlt may not contribute to weight loss but smoking leads to other conditions like erratic eating habits and excessive dependence on things like coffee.