Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scanning The Headlines: The Good, The Bad and the Inspiring

It’s about time: “Group challenges acai weight-loss claims.” The Center for Science in the Public Interest has gone on record challenging several company’s health claims that acai berries will help “shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colon, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions.”

The state of Connecticut is getting on the bandwagon, too, by looking into claims of fraud.

"There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rain forest that cure obesity, only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. "Aggressive acai berry pitches on the Internet entice countless consumers into free trials promising weight loss, energy and detoxification. These claims are based on folklore, traditional remedies and outright fabrications unproved by real scientific evidence."

While bloggers have been writing about this for months now, I’m glad authorities are finally looking into these ridiculous claims. I’m also glad I finally know how to pronounce “acai.” LOL

Another headline on CNN grabbed my attention: “Obesity can shorten lifespan up to a decade.”

While I realize BMI isn’t the be all and end all of fitness measurements, it’s still a pretty reliable tool in determining whether most people fall into the obese, overweight or normal weight categories.

“The researchers calculate that having a BMI of 30 to 35 takes to two to four years off the average lifespan compared with having a BMI of 22.5 to 25. Having a BMI between 40 and 45 (for example, being 5 feet 5” and weighing 240 to 270 pounds), they say, reduces one's lifespan by eight to 10 years. This reduction in lifespan is on par with being a heavy smoker.”

I began losing weight this last time mostly because I was afraid of the health repercussions and a little because of vanity. Actually, the two (health and vanity) collided in my imagination when I was 300 pounds and lived above my antique store – a very old 19th century building with long, narrow stairways. I thought, What if I need medical assistance and can’t get to the first floor by myself? How many people will it take to carry me down the narrow stairs? Could they carry me down the narrow stairs?

I don’t know what the long-lasting health affects I’ll incur from my obese past. There’s nothing I can do to change that. I can only do everything within my power to not become obese again. I may have already knocked off a few years of my lifespan. I don’t want to make any more contributions to that number. God knows science will probably determine I’m doing or consuming something that will surely do that for me.

In happier news, one of my Maintaining Diva friends, Sondra, is featured in next month’s Weight Watcher’s magazine. Her story is online now. Click here to read how she went from an inactive 242 pounds to a sleek 129-pound marathon runner. Please let me know if that link doesn’t work.

Sondra is encouraging and kind and realistic all at the same time. She’s also one of the healthiest eaters I know. Here she is after eating only half her dinner when the Divas met up in Connecticut last year.

I’m so proud of her and her marathon accomplishments. Mostly, I’m very blessed to call her my friend.

I’m heading to Pittsburgh for a few days to see Miss Claire and her mother and to visit Trader Joe’s. Maybe I’ll find some acai berries! LOL OK, maybe not. I’m sure they’re quite tasty, though, and would go well with Grape Nuts. I just won’t expect them to do amazing things for my sex life.

I’ll check back in in a few days. Be well and remember, don’t give your credit card to anyone promising to buff and shine your colon.

7 comments:

  1. Lynn, Thanks for the link to your friend's success story! Its always so encouraging to read about someone else's success when you are feeling like you never lost a pound in your life! She is the same height as me, too! It encourages me to keep trying to get down to (129?)!!

    I love reading about you Maintaining Diva's meeting up. I have a fantasy of driving around the country to meet all of my blog friends!

    Thanks for the encouraging comments on my blog

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  2. Lynn, thank you for sharing us such in inspiring and interesting story about Sondra, she inspired me to do my best of loosing weight. and also she taught me one important thing that everyone should have in whatever they are doing, Discipline. And also the hard work of achieving your own goals.

    -Doctor John

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  3. Love the story about Sondra she is an inspiration.

    One of my close friends has been using the acai berries and swears by them and she also wants me to try them and I told her no. I believe when people get "pulled in" by a product they cannot see the idea of it not really being real. But I say if she thinks it works for her then more power for her!

    I think weight loss is about how you feel about yourself. I never thought when I was this age I would be where I am now but I am determined to be the person I really am inside and I know that by doing this the right way I will achieve my goal.

    Mara
    http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

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  4. acai berries feel like '3rd party' to me. I do better when I live in the first person and rely on myself (instead of the 3rd party thing).

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  5. I totally agree with this :

    "There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rain forest that cure obesity, only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises,"

    Discipline and Determination is the key.

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  6. At the "buff and polish you colon" part, I wanted to lose my dinner, but a good point. I didn't get fat from a shortage of acai berries, so it's unlikely that eating them would make me lose weight.

    Have a good time in Pittsburg.

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  7. “The researchers calculate that having a BMI of 30 to 35 takes to two to four years off the average lifespan compared with having a BMI of 22.5 to 25. Having a BMI between 40 and 45 (for example, being 5 feet 5” and weighing 240 to 270 pounds), they say, reduces one's lifespan by eight to 10 years. This reduction in lifespan is on par with being a heavy smoker.”

    I was not aware of this one until now.

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