Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Big Momma Challenge: week 8

Week 8 and all is well.

I've lost a further 1¾lbs which means I've now lost 13¾lbs bringing me tantalisingly close to my first stone in weight!  In total I need to lose 5 stone (70lbs) so that first stone also symbolises 20% of my total target.  I'm pretty pleased with that and, amazingly, I still feel very motivated due to the support that the other BMC bloggers are offering to me and to each other - I'm sure it's the reason I am still going strong. So thank you!

There's been a lot of news coverage this week about the obesity epidemic and how the number of gastric band operations carried out by the NHS has increased ten-fold since 2002. There is no doubt that obesity has become a major health concern in the UK but I wonder if the NHS should be paying for this sort of surgery?  Nobody can quibble with the simple equation that less food + more exercise = weight loss, but for many - myself included - motivation can prove to be the stumbling block. I've tried many, many times to lose weight - and on occasion I have lost quite a bit, but it's always piled back on when the diet has ended. 

And that's the difference (I hope) this time.  This time I'm changing my lifestyle.  Changing my eating habits for the long-term. Thinking more about healthy options and how I feel about myself. This time it feels different.

This week I found a very useful website called Weight Concern which has information on everything to do with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  It covers a wide range of subjects such as healthy eating, exercise, the health issues related to obesity and managing your weight. There is also an easy BMI calculator (body mass index) which will work out how much weight you might need to lose the be at a healthy weight.  According to the calculator my BMI this week is 33.6 and I am classed as obese.  Not exactly news to me, but I'm going to check it every week from now on. 

The Weight Concern website has some very interesting information exercise, suggesting that to make it work in the long-term you have to think about introducing exercise into your daily routine. Exercise has to become a habit in order to make the long-term difference, and they offer this research as proof:
"A recent US study looked at the effects of a 30-minute walk on a wide range of immune function measures. They analysed blood samples from healthy volunteers after sitting quietly for 30 minutes and after walking briskly for 30 minutes. They found that a 30 minute walk led to positive changes in several immune system components. Whereas sitting for 30 minutes was not associated with any such beneficial changes.
This study adds to the existing bulk of evidence to show that moderate activity (activity that raises the heart rate to between 60-65% of its maximum rate) leads to positive immune changes, by increasing the number of immune-system cells in the blood."
So not only does exercise help with fitness levels but it also changes our body's immune system and the ability to fight off illness. Of course, my recommendation is to get a dog! Walking the dog is a form of exercise that just can't be put off!  Exercise DVDs can remain in the cellophane, bikes can remain in the shed - but dogs need to be walked everyday!

Tessie with her best
 'please take me for a walk' face.
If you would like to join in with the Big Momma Challenge just leave a comment below and add your linky so that the other bloggers can see how you get on during the week - that way you get the extra support that can make the difference.

Good luck - I hope everyone has a fit and healthy week!