Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Library of Exercise DVDs

I have a rather small library of exercise dvds…11 dvds plus how every many are in the Insanity set. The workouts on these dvds range from taebo, to circuit training, to pilates, to even a short dance video (no I am not a dancer…at all). Would you like to know which one is my favorite? Jillian Michael’s (JM) Killer Buns and Thighs. I am confident that if done consistently, it will indeed lead to killer buns and thighs. So that leads me to my issue. Consistency. Yes, I always exercise 5-6 days a week, but for a while, it seemed, I got bored far too quickly with my routine and would change it up. In reality, that is not a big issue….as long as the targeted muscles are getting worked out consistently every week. But I can’t expect to get toned buns and thighs doing JM’s dvd once a week, and not doing any other strength building or toning exercises for legs and the buttocks. Even my consistent steady-state running (training for half marathons) does little in strength building, but more in the area of cardio. Cardio is great…for the heart. But it does little in helping to build muscle in the right areas. (Sprinting is another story…but how many of you sprint?)

So for the past month or so, I have tried to be pretty consistent in my strength training. I have been doing two a days. Most mornings I do some type of high intensity interval training for 20 minutes, or I work the abs and/or legs. In the evenings, I do full body weight lifting three days a week, and the other three days of the week, I do some type of cardio for 60-80 minutes (mostly running…and the elliptical, stairclimber, and row machine). I always rest one day a week. Your body needs that time to rebuild. Currently, my goal is to develop a more muscular build. Subsequently, I have increased my protein intake (which is needed to help build that muscle if you are consistently lifting) and have decreased the running a bit to see greater results from the weight lifting. I believe I’m seeing dramatic results (also because of my clean eating)! I am attempting to get my body fat percentage down by 9 points. It has already went down by 2% and I have lost 11 pounds, though my goal is more so to decrease body fat, not just pounds. But even the small results I am seeing took time. It’s all about your goals.  If your goal is not to develop muscle then your training and dietary regimen might take a different path. If your goal is not to ever run in a race (5K, half marathon, marathon) then long stretches of cardio will not be your focus. If you are simply looking to just be healthy, then the minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week, with a couple of those days including strength training may be your exercise goal. The point is, figure out what your fitness goal is and be consistent in it. Consistency is not found in a day, or even a month. It is found over the course of time. Give yourself at least 3 months of consistency in your exercise endeavors. You will reap greater rewards from it when you are consistent in it. Until Next Time…

-Jenelle N. Robinson

Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm a Bored, Greedy, and Emotional Eater

We are hungry, so we eat. But what is happening in our bodies when we are not hungry, but eat anyhow? Oftentimes, we are craving something, and for some reason or another, food is the most convenient thing to satisfy that craving. We think we are craving food, but in actuality, we are craving something else.  We only seek to fill the void with food.  However, the food never fills the void. I want to introduce you to three types of eaters who do this…

meet my friend Shelly…

Shelly just got finished eating a nice size lunch about 15 minutes ago.  It was fulfilling and satisfying. Shelly now decides to watch television.  After a few minutes, she goes to the kitchen and looks in the cabinets and grabs a bag of chips.  She then sits back down to reads a few pages of a book.  After a few minutes, she is up again and stands with refrigerator open, pondering what to eat. What kind of eater is Shelly?  Shelly is THE BORED EATER.  Have you ever been “the bored eater?”  Bored signifies a lack of interest with what you are doing. When you are a bored eater, you don’t eat because you are hungry.  You eat here because you may lack interest in something you are doing and just seek to put something good in your mouth to offset your boredom, though the food never really accomplishes this task.  Here, you BELIEVE your mind is not being entertained enough, so you try to offset it with food…

Meet Tasha…

Tasha goes to a buffet.  She stuffs her plate with everything that looks good to her including fried catfish, cheese dip and chips, hushpuppies, and hamburger steak with gravy.  She eats as much as she can off her plate and then internally says, “I’m full.”  But she thinks again, “I paid too much for this meal!  It is a buffet!”  So she goes back to the buffet line and fills her plate up again with fried chicken, French fries, fried okra, and corn on the cob.  She is full again, but remembers that it is a buffet, and there is more food available.  So Tasha goes to the carving station and gets a few slices of turkey, some mashed potatoes and gravy, and some white rice.  When she has finished this off, she decides she must have dessert.  So she gets a piece of red velvet cake, a small brownie, a cup of ice cream, and some grapes in a bowl. I know you may be thinking, “no woman could possibly eat that much food.”  You would be surprised.  What type of eater is Tasha?  Tasha is THE GREEDY EATER. Greedy can be defined as a selfish desire beyond reason. Have you ever been “the greedy eater?”  When you are a greedy eater, you don’t eat because you are hungry.  Here, you eat because of an internal selfish desire; a WILL to have more. You BELIEVE you need more because of some cost you have had to pay (whether financially or otherwise). Here your eyes are usually determining what you eat…

Meet Tiffany

Tiffany and her boyfriend just broke up.  She is depressed.  She sulks in a bowl of ice cream.  After that, she drives to McDonald’s and eats a hamburger, medium fries, and a small chocolate shake.  She goes back home and then snacks on some cookies.  What type of eater is Tiffany?  Tiffany is THE EMOTIONAL EATER.  Have you ever been “the emotional eater?”  Emotional eaters are led by their ever-changing emotions.  Emotional is defined as markedly aroused or agitated by a certain intense feeling.  When you are an emotional eater, you don’t eat because you are hungry. Matter of fact, here, you could be hungry and still not eat.  Here, your eating or not eating is tied to a FEELING OR AN EMOTION. You believe, therefore you feel. That feeling can be pain, depression, fear, anger, low self-image.  That feeling could also be happiness, or excitement. 

In all these scenarios, there were choices to be made. These are not terminal conditions a person is subjected to, but temporary situations that require choices. We have choices of productive activities that can enhance our lives more than eating food past hunger.  It is always a choice. Now, we can’t always predict when these situations will happen to us, nor can we predict our reaction. But we can put our minds in a stance of “I won’t use food when I’m not hungry. I will use something else productive.” That something else could be exercising, journaling, calling a friend, or even doing something creative or artistic with your hands. Find a productive way to channel things. Even for the greedy eater, though self-control is necessary, self can be directed towards conversing and fellowshipping with those at the table versus over indulging in the food. Honestly, our minds are better able to handle conversational overfeeding than our bodies are able to handle force feeding it food.

Until Next time….

-Jenelle N. Robinson

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Think Scales Might be of the Devil

I’m partially convinced that the scales we weight ourselves on might be of the devil. Why? Because they possess too much ill-gotten power. When I was a young teenager suffering from continuing body image issues, I practically starved myself while exhausting myself in exercise daily, hoping that the scale’s number would change. I got on the scale MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY, and when it did not change, I got upset with myself. I felt like a failure. On one occasion, I jumped up and down on the scale until it broke.

Yes, it seems scales have too much power. They convince us to go on diets, to eat more, to eat less, to exercise more, to exercise less, to buy this new dress and to try to get into an old dress. They take our emotions on rollercoasters of sadness, depression, despair, and even excitement and joy. They play with our minds. One day they tell us we weigh 160 pounds. Later on that day, they will tell us that we weigh 165 pounds (please understand that I’m educated…so I know that this is fluctuations in water…but just go with me). Scales even set the mood for the day. Getting on a scale at the beginning of the day very well might determine how you feel, act, and react for the entire day. Yes…scales…they contain too much power…power that has been abused and manipulated at times.

But guess what?

I will continue to get on a scale.


Well, I moved to Florida some months ago and gained about 15 pounds. And that is not 15 pounds of muscle. I have lost 7 pounds already, however, let’s not talk about my current weight loss endeavors in this blog. We will save that for a future blog. The better question is, “does the number on the scale even matter?” This can be somewhat difficult to answer. Current standards use your weight and height to determine if you are overweight/obese ( Multiple studies have found associations between being overweight/obese and multiple diseases (heart disease, certain cancers, hypertension, stroke, etc.). But there are many people who are overweight/obese who do not suffer from any of these illnesses. Matter of fact, there are many people who are of NORMAL WEIGHT who DO suffer from these diseases. My advice to people when they ask me the question about weight is “never look at your weight in isolation.” Always looks at your weight in correlation with your waist circumference (less than 35 inches for women; less than 40 inches for men), and your basic labs. Your labs would include your glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. So if you are overweight, but eat pretty healthy and exercise, your waist circumference is under 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men) and you have no issues with elevated glucose levels, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, I would tell you to keep doing what you are doing. But if you are overweight or obese and suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or even pre-diabetes, I would definitely tell you that you need to work to decrease that number on the scale. Losing weight will help you lower those lab numbers to manageable levels. Just don’t become a slave to the scale. Your goal should be A RANGE, not a particular number. I believe weighing yourself once a week is more encouraging than weighing daily. I recently heard a friend tell me that they heard a recommendation to weigh every three weeks. I don’t have that much willpower. But you decide what is best for you. Just don’t become a slave to the scale. Look at it, but don’t let it control you internally.

KEY POINT: Determine to have a positive outlook on yourself no matter the number on the scale while working to get into a range you believe is healthy for you. LET YOUR SELF-ESTEEM WRAP ITSELF IN LOVE RATHER THAN THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE.

Until next time…

-Jenelle N. Robinson

Find the appropriate numbers for glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol:

Monday, July 20, 2015

I had Three Stomachs and a Jelly Belly

I was around 11 years old when I first heard the term, “Jelly Belly Jenelle.” I was in the lunch line at my elementary school. My father made my lunch on most days, but did not on this particular day, so I was subjected to the cafeteria food. As I stood in the lunch line, minding my own business (as any 11 year old would be, right?), I heard a boy from my class loudly yell out, “Jelly Belly Jenelle!!!” This was followed by roaring laughter, from what I remember. By then, I had become used to being the butt of fat jokes. There were just a few of us that were considered “overweight” in my fourth grade class. I happened to be one of the few. Every day was a day where I had plenty of opportunities to be made fun of. And the other kids took 99% of those opportunities. It was mostly the boys that made fun of me. Many say that boys make fun of you when they like you. This was totally not the case for me. Though I don’t believe I was terribly ugly, I doubt that a 110 pound boy was interested in a 5 feet 6 inches, 165-170 pound 11 year old girl.  

Outside of school, there were other opportunities for me to get made fun of. I remember a fellow church member (same age as I) told some other kids that I was on the Jenny Craig program. I called her a derogatory name. Her sister told their mom, who told my mother and I received punishment from both my parents who were strong disciplinarians.

A few years later, I was in junior high school. Different kids, same problem. In one class, one of my fellow classmates thought it nice to tell the class that I was bigger than our nicely sized substitute male teacher. In another class, a girl told the class that I had three stomachs. These are just a few of the scenarios I had to deal with at a young age. They are vivid memories. What I realized is that the fact that I remember them so well (as well as the names of the offenders) signifies the pain they caused me. Kids don’t realize the pain bullying does to other kids…until they get older. Nonetheless, what type of lesson could I learn from such situations? What positive came out of this?

I learned the power of words. Though the words were being hurled at me, I learned the power words have in the lives of others. Now, I haven’t always been one to mince my words. As I got older and smaller, I could often be caught saying mean things about someone or to someone. Oh how I wish I had learned my lesson from being the victim. But since then, I have made strong attempts to watch my words. Mainly, because I know what it feels like to be on the other side of negative words. So here is some practical advice. Before you say something to someone else that has the potential to hurt them, complete the C.H.E.C.K.:
H-Help or Heal
K- Keep your mouth Shut

  1.      Constructive-  To construct means to build. Will what comes out of your mouth build this person up or tear them down?
  2.      Help or Heal- Everything that comes out of your mouth does not have to be construed as "positive, happy words." But it all needs to help or heal. Are your words going to help this person become better, or heal them of a current emotional wound?
  3.      Encourage-If this person is already down, will your words encourage them to go further down, or bring them up?
  4.      Clean-Is what you are saying clean? Is it pure? Is it something that can be repeated without leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth?
  5.      Keep Your Mouth Shut- If what you have to say does not meet the first four, you probably need to Keep Your Mouth Shut.
In reality, the negative words that I heard are what propelled me to eventually lose weight. But things that are built on a faulty foundation will always fall…follow my blog to continue to hear my story!