Getting Sick and Losing Weight

This is a train of thought from my own little mind today, there is no medical basis or research that I have pursued to support it whatsoever.  It has to do with dieting during cold and flu season.

It’s a common joke people make. “I lost 6 pounds since I had the flu. Yay! I need to get sick more often!”  I have made that comment myself, and maybe AFTERWARD there is some truth to my words, but I know that DURING the illness, especially the miserable sick feeling that accompanies the never ending vomiting, my mind set is more like, “Please make it stop! I’ll absorb 20 pounds straight to my ass if you will just please for the love of God make. it. stop.”

I don’t think I have ever heard the topic flip flopped though. I have heard people say they feel like they get sick more often when dieting, but not so much, “Dieting gave me the flu.”  No, that doesn’t even make sense, right? Or does it?

First of all, “Diet” is a weird word. It has a bad connotation.  A lot of times people don’t want to admit they are on a diet. You may want your kids to be more active and trim some fat but you don’t want it to be said that you put them on a “diet”.  But diet really just means whatever it is that you eat.  A diet can consist of salad and cottage cheese or it could consist of pizza and beer. It does not necessarily go hand in hand with an attempt at weight loss.

How this relates to my cold/flu & weight loss ramblings today is although it may not immediately occur to you that trying to lose weight could increase your risk of getting sick during cold and flu season, it is actually health 101.  So basic we kind of forget about it.  Here’s what I’m thinking.

You are very likely to come into contact with contagious sick germs, right?  And the stronger and healthier your body is to begin with dictates your likelihood of getting sick.  So naturally if you are practicing some sort of starvation diet, your body, although it may be getting skinnier, is not going to be at its peak health to fight those germ bugs off.  You already know that starvation diets are unhealthy and ultimately result in weight gain.  Well also by not eating a balanced diet, or not eating at all, you are robbing your body of antioxidants and vitamins that good fresh food provides. This poor nutritional quality of diet will make your body very weak, increasing your susceptibility to all the bugs you come into contact with during the cold and flu season.

Now this is not to say that you cannot attempt to improve your level of health and fitness, and lose weight during the winter months. Increase your activity and decrease your food intake! Go for it! But make sure you are eating ENOUGH and that you are loading up good healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. With this “diet” you can lose some weight, get healthy, AND build a stronger body to carry you through to Spring.

In summary, I declare there is truth to the notion that trying to lose weight during the cold and flu season can make you sick.  What do you think?

East Meets West for Healthy Mind, Body, & Soul

When I was at the height of health and happiness I lived according to some very different principles. I studied Eastern medicine, Deepak Chopra, and Ayurveda.  I didn’t eat meat or drink soda, I pumped iron listening to Pachelbel, meditated throughout the day, sent good vibrations to loved ones and the world around me, gave thanks to the universe every night for the gifts of the day and put in my requests for I wanted next. I practiced sleep strategies.  I was disciplined and strong.  It took a life time of reading, studying, and searching find what I thought was the perfect balance.  The perfection only lasted a short time because it was based on living alone and not being affected by outside influences.  Since I wasn’t able to carry it through the constant changes of life, it really wasn’t perfected yet, was it?

It was so easy to have my apartment all Feng Shui’d up and a multisensory treat of sight, fragrance, and sound.  No one else lived there.  Nobody interrupted anything.  I had very few guests to speculate and criticize how I believed and lived.  Add a husband, in laws, growing network of friends & family, children, etc… and all that peace and tranquility goes out the door.  There is no time for meditation and no room in the budget for an organic lifestyle or yoga class.  So rather than tweaking my lifestyle a bit to match my changing life, I chucked it all.  I Turned into top 40, meat and potatoes, survival mode with a goal no bigger than making it through one day at a time with everyone clean, fed, and safe in a house that is more clean than dirty. :-)

The change from disciplined and healthy to unhealthy and frazzled happened pretty gradually and I never made the connection between my old lifestyle and my new so strongly until I ran across this video. It is very NON frou-frou as it discusses Eastern ideas in a way that eliminates the “mysticism” and appeals to even the most pragmatic types.

This video touches on Anorexia and Bulimia, which is something I struggled with as a teen.  And it reminded me how the over eating, the purging, the not eating are all forms of control, not weight loss.  We use the term “emotional eating” but we don’t spend enough time getting to the root of our own individual reasons for needing that control, and fixing those areas of our lives that we feel out of control.

Our Western medicine gives us diagnoses and prescriptions that help us cope, but often don’t treat what really ails us.  I know many mothers who are popping diet pills and chugging caffeine drinks in excess because they are desperate for the energy and focus to keep up with their busy schedules and the competition from the super mom next door.  Those things are all good and definitely serve a good purpose, but there is more you can do.

I believe there is a perfect blend of Eastern & Western ideas to suit everyone, you just need to find what’s right for you.  Instead of pulling another all nighter or another 5 hour energy shot, take a look at this video and see if there is something you are doing to sabotage your energy, or a simple way to enhance your vibrancy naturally.  Really listen to what he has to say.  It’s not very long and is part of a series that touches on other specific issues that might appeal to you.

Another Diet Post? Seriously?!

99% of my posts are 100% organic. 1% is “assigned”. The majority of those “assigned” end up fitting naturally into my schedule and blog flow.  Today, however, I am out of balance.

What is an “assigned” post?  It’s where someone says, “Hey, here’s $5 if you mention my keyword and link in your blog.” Or “How about $20 to review my product?”  Whatever the case, I get to review and post using my true opinion, regardless of how it reflects upon the product.  The product is often not even the topic of the post, it is just mentioned.

I usually enjoy them because it’s fun to be “inspired” by the keywords and see where along the parenting path it takes me.  But lately I have gotten a ton of diet assignments.  Since they are not of products I personally have experience with I won’t “praise” them. I just offer up the information. Today I received an assignment about the alli diet pills and program.  I have at least heard of this but have no experience.

Alli is a popular diet aid.  I’ll include the link here so you can check it out if you are interested. Funny that I am writing about it on the even of Thanksgiving, the one time when we are more obsessed with everything that we are GOING to eat instead of everything we CAN’T! :-)