Poor Rachel Frederickson. She has been a topic of discussion after winning NBC’s The Biggest Loser and revealing a staggering weight loss on national TV. The pop-culture universe is publicly asking: Did she go too far?
After stunning the audience by losing 155 pounds, 60 percent of her body weight, some believe the show sparked an eating disorder in her. Rachel revealed that she's been spending 6 hours a day exercising. My reaction: Holy moly! Who has that kind of time to devote to exercise? Yes she probably did go too far. But while the public is worried that she's too thin now, I doubt she will be able to sustain that kind of effort to stay thin. Think about it, that's 42 hours a week devoted to exercising! I'd rather be sleeping!
As someone who has been thin all my life, I have had people comment on my size. Sometimes, it's downright mean. They will say, "you're soooo skinny." How do you respond to that? Of course, as I get older I'm battling the belly bulge so I'm finally experiencing the struggle others go through to keep weight off. I've finally learned the challenge of balancing dieting, exercise and work. It ain't easy!
For me, the late afternoons are tough. That's when I start stressing over all I have left to get done and I crave sugar, coffee and snacks. I'm sure there are other workers out there who are stress eaters, too. Sometimes, I start fantasizing about how great life would be if my job was an exercise instructor and I got paid to work out.
A few weeks ago, I ran into Donna Goldstein at an event. Donna looked great and was smiling from ear to ear. She has slimmed down, sustained her weight loss, and recently got married. Donna is a psychologist and Certified Health Coach with Take Shape for Life
. She has helped over 1,000 people achieve their health and weight loss goals. Most impressive: She has sustained her own 70-pound weight loss for six years, after a lifetime of struggle.
I asked Donna to write a guest blog post on what's realistic to set as our goals when we're trying to stay fit, lose weight and hold a full time job. Obviously, we want to look good and feel good without spending 6 hours a day working out. Of course, our goal is to look good, NOT to have people wondering if we have gone too far! Below is Donna's photo and her suggestions.
Many people set unrealistic goals for 2014 involving two-hour gym work outs or starvation diets. These have likely already failed, as they are not sustainable components of a long-term healthy lifestyle. What does a busy, stressed out person, who can’t get to the gym, do? If you are overweight, like 65% of us in the U.S. are, or just want to have more energy, here are five simple tips:
1. Frequent fuelings
– I know it sounds counterintuitive, as “diets” always seem to suggest you eat less, not more, and then you feel deprived, hungry and exhausted! Adopting the habit of eating 5 to 6 small protein rich “mini meals” will do more to help you lose weight and maintain a consistent energy level than anything else. Some healthy choices you can eat at work -an oz. of low fat cheese and an apple; 1 Tb. of PB and a few whole grain crackers; a protein bar or meal replacement protein shakes, or a small handful of nuts, seeds and raisins.
2. Take more steps – stand up every 45 to 60 minutes to take a short walk around your office and or to do some stretching, use the stairs, try some chair yoga. This will increase your productivity too. Researchers at Stanford found that just one minute of stretching can increase your brainpower and energy by 45% for an hour!
3. Get rid of your candy dish at the office. Also, take a pass on bagels, donuts or pastalitos in the break room or at staff meetings. This only causes your energy to spike and then crash, and then you crave more! Carlos Martinez, the Miami-Dade County Public Defender, who lost 100 pounds on my program, and now routinely runs half marathons, used to bring these type of “sweet treats” to his staff- now he brings fruit.
4. Schedule appointments with yourself. Set aside time for walks, gym time, meditation or exercise classes, and make these a priority. I put my 3 times weekly yoga and Pilates classes immediately on my calendar right after any recurring business meetings-it works!
5. Get accountable. Just as a coach in sports can help athletes accelerate their performance, using the services of a health coach, will make it 3 times as likely that you will achieve your health and fitness goals. Find someone to teach you new strategies and hold you accountable.
While Donna's advice is practical, I'm wondering about your thoughts on Rachel Frederickson. She pocketed $250,000 from winning The Biggest Loser. Do you think she went too far with her diet and exercise routine?