Losing the “Baby Fat”

Baby has been here for some months now and is cute as a button, but you still have a little extra around your midsection, or a little something around the hips. Isn’t all the extra fat supposed to just melt away after the baby is born? All the books tell you that nursing will help you regain your figure, and once you’re running around after your active little one, you will shed those last few pounds. How can you regain your pre-pregnancy body once and for all?

Exercise and Proper Nutrition

These are key components in achieving your goal body. Dieting is a no win solution, lifestyle changes are. Take a look at your typical day. During baby’s naptime, you probably feel like you need to clean up. This is valid, but this could also be your chance to burn some fat!! With one hour of nap time (ideally), you could do an exercise video, go for a jog, or if you have home equipment you could use that. The American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) advises a minimum 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days per week to obtain weight loss. During this time, you want to make sure your exercise intensity will be most advantageous for you. To find your target heart rate the ACSM advises you to take 220 – your age; multiply that number by.6 (lower range) and .9 (higher range). The beginner should stay near the bottom range while the more advanced exerciser should be closer to the middle. Take your heart rate while you’re exercising to find out if you’re working hard enough.

You should also add some strength training. A well toned body will tend to burn more calories at rest and thus become a more efficient fuel burner for you. Lifting light weights will not make you bulk up or look masculine, but instead will increase your muscle tone and your metabolism. Start with low weights and high repetitions. 1-3 sets of 12 -15 repetitions is a good start for building muscular endurance. A variety of exercises for upper and lower body, beginning with larger muscle groups and working your way down to smaller muscles is the way to go. You can do this regimen 2-3 times per week and get results.

If you don’t have time for both cardio and strength training, try doing just one or the other and alternate days. You can also exercise while your baby is awake, making him a part of your routine. Babies love music and movement, and they will enjoy having you lift them into the air from the floor (chest press), or hold them while doing squats, or whatever creative maneuver you can come up with. Try to do abs at the end of your routine every second day. There are many abdominal exercises that you can do with your baby, such as: abdominal crunches holding baby up on top of your knees; plank, having baby lie on the floor directly in front or beside you as you hold your body weight up on bent elbows and toes, keeping your body long and straight like a board; standing twists holding baby are great for working the waist. Use your imagination and enjoy this workout time with your baby if that’s what it takes to fit it in.

Try getting outside with other mothers for walks. You can discuss your babies while you’re burning calories. The longer the walk, the better!

What are you eating these days? I know, things happen on the fly and it’s hard to make healthy, balanced meals every day. Try to be more conscious about what you’re eating, and also when you’re consuming food. Avoid eating right before bed, as your body has no means of burning those calories. During the day, strive to eat 5-6 smaller meals to make your body metabolically more efficient.

Try putting up a sample menu of easy to prepare, healthy meals to inspire you throughout the day. Remember that the more brightly colored the fruit or vegetable, the more nutritious it is. Red, orange, and yellow are colors worth eating.

Moderation is a good theme to implement when it comes to eating for weight loss; allow yourself a treat now and then but don’t go overboard.

Goals

Having a game plan is important. Sit down and think about what you really want, and write it down. What do you need to do to fit into those jeans again? Do you need to lose 1 or 2 inches around your waist? Maybe an inch around your hips? Set and try to reach definite, specific goals. Short term goals should be attainable within a few months while long term goals should be reached in about a year. Put your goals in a visible place so that you see them daily and are reminded of what you’re working for. Maybe keep the jeans out so you see them more often and want to wear them even more. Telling others about the goals you’ve set will make them more concrete and make it harder for you to forget about them.

Hiring a personal trainer is always an option for some people, whether you want to spend the money for that service is up to you. If you feel that you’ve tried everything and are getting nowhere on your own, maybe it’s worth a try.

Whatever you decide to do, make it your own personal mission, and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Every body is different and will lose inches and pounds on its own schedule. With regular cardiovascular exercise, light weight training and good eating habits, you’re sure to say goodbye to your baby fat in no time! Good luck and have fun!

Silicone Breast Implants

First used in the 1960’s, silicone breast implants provide what millions of women have desired throughout history; a fuller and shapelier chest. Prior attempts to change the size of breasts included fat transplants, paraffin implants and even direct injection of silicone. All of those attempts had fairly predictable results, but the new surgical silicone implant offered both safety (relative) and acceptable results.

Silicone is made by man and has had many uses including lubricants, adhesive sealants, silly putty and gaskets. When used in a breast implant silicone resembles the natural look and feel of real breast tissue. It was an obvious choice when the first breast implants were created.

However, problems with silicone breast implants began to appear in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Thousands of lawsuits left several chemical companies bankrupt and left millions of women reeling from debilitating conditions caused by the silicone. Even though studies failed to show a link between silicone implants and negative health conditions, the FDA banned the use of silicone implants.

Today the United States only allows silicone implants as part of a breast reconstruction or replacement procedure. The FDA is currently testing a new wave of silicone implants but results of the test are still years away. Outside of the US 90% of all breast augmentation surgeries performed still use silicone implants.

Seven Tips for Coping with Hot Flashes

What do you do when you suffer hot flashes? Ask most women and they will agree that the most common and irritable symptom of menopause are hot flashes. Some women refer to it as a “flash” because women report a flushed feeling about the face and neck. Those feeling usually came together with sweats.

Current theory proposes that certain brain chemicals called catecholamines and opiates may mediate hot flashes. It’s now believed that the hypothalamus, one of the glands affected by estradiol withdrawal, somehow releases a trigger substance that results in thermoregulatory instability. The body’s signals get mixed, triggering a warming and sweating sequence, in an effort to stabilize what it perceives as a change in body temperature.

To help you with that situation, here are 7 tips to cope with hot flashes which you might need.

1. Dress in layered clothing, preferably cotton, since natural fibers allow your skin to breathe. Then when you feel a flash coming on, you can simply shed layers to cool off. Since some flashes are followed by chills, it can be helpful to have a sweater to put back on.

2. Limit or eliminate altogether substances that may act as triggers: caffeine; alcohol; hot, spicy foods; diet pills; hot tubs; stress.

3. Drink plenty of water. Keeping well hydrated can help modulate your body temperature.

4. Keep a supply of ice water nearby – even at night beside your bed.

5. Use lighter blankets or a fan near your bed to deal with hot flashes at night.

6. Limit your intake of red wine, chocolate, and aged cheeses, which contain a chemical that can affect your body’s thermostat and trigger a hot flash.

7. Make use of other coping behaviors. Psychological or behavioral coping techniques are getting more attention from the scientific community. For example, a small study conducted by a professor of psychiatry, Robert R. Freedman, Ph.D., at the Lafayette Clinic and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit found that regular, practiced breathing reduced hot flashes by 50 percent in the study’s 33 participants.

Other self-help behavioral methods include practicing self-acceptance (remind yourself, out loud if necessary, that this is a temporary symptom of menopause and perfectly normal), tracking the emotions and situations that precede a flash (thus putting some degree of self-control back into the equation), and trying to keep a sense of humor (share funny moments with friends who are also going through the transition).

Natural Progesterone and Estrogen as an Alternative to HRT

A Dec. 30, 2003 Associated Press article stated that about one quarter of women who stopped taking hormone replacement therapy because of its risks wind up resuming HRT because of menopause misery.

This article verifies what we have been saying all along; “No treatment is NOT an option.” Women need an alternative treatment to hormone replacement therapy. Otherwise, their lives can be quite miserable.

Almost daily we receive an email, phone call or forum post from a cranky, depressed, sleep-deprived and/or over-heated woman in a desperate search for something – anything – that will put the brakes on menopause symptoms without the use of synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

We not only advocate staying away from synthetic hormone replacement therapy, we advocate finding healthy, effective alternative treatment options to hormone replacement therapy. We advocate bringing your hormones in balance by using estrogen-building nutritional support and progesterone cream treatment as an alternative for hormone replacement therapy. In this newsletter we provide a step-by-step guide to getting off hormone replacement therapy without making your life miserable. This plan as outlined is near foolproof. Of course, you should discuss medication alternatives with your regular health care provider.

In the first month you will begin to slowly wean yourself off synthetic hormones while introducing the hormone replacement therapy replacements. The purpose behind slowly tapering off hormone replacement therapy is two-fold. First, you can avoid drug withdraw by taking the slow approach. Second, slowly weaning yourself off hormone replacement therapy provides the necessary time for the alternatives to take hold. It typically takes a month or two for the natural alternative elements to solidly work through your body.

Below the following schedule is a description of each product listed:

Month 1:

  • Decrease your dose of hormone replacement therapy by half. You can do this by requesting a new prescription from your physician or by physically cutting the pills in half.
  • Begin using an organic, natural, USP progesterone cream like Return to Eden progesterone cream.
  • Begin using a nutritional menopause support product like Preserve.

Month 2:

  • Decrease your dose of hormone replacement therapy by half again. Again, you can either request a new prescription or cut the pills in half yourself.
  • Continue your new regime of menopause nutritional support products and progesterone cream.

Month 3:

  • Decrease your dose of hormone replacement therapy by half again or stop altogether.
  • Continue taking menopause nutritional suport products and natural progesterone cream.

Month 4:

  • If you still experience menopause symptoms, begin taking the Return to Eden estrogen cream. Although most women find that their menopause symptoms are adequately addressed with progesterone cream and nutritional support, this option usually knocks out any remaining menopause symptoms in women who do need supplemental estrogen. Using a natural estrogen cream like Return to Eden’s Triest cream is safe and effective because the estrogen is bioidentical to what a woman’s body naturally makes. You will use the estrogen alongside the progesterone for balance and to avoid estrogen dominance.

For an in-depth view of the benefits of natural progesterone, read “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone” by the late John R. Lee, M.D., an international authority and pioneer in the use of natural progesterone cream and natural hormone balance.

Diet and exercise also play an incredible crucial role in how well your body fares through the changes of menopause.

Wrinkle Remover That WORKS!

That’s a pretty optimistic statement, isn’t it? But yes, in my opinion, this cream does work and no I’m not an agent or in any way tied to the manufacturer financially, but as a fitness and health consultant I am always looking for any “edge” to help my clients, and this product fits that criteria.

Now I had thought about writing a bit about fashion and how it’s really all about “the ladies”, and rightly so (‘cos who really cares about what guys are wearing anyway) but then you already know that. And then I thought about saying something about how fashion is really about appropriateness; how it’s best to dress in a style appropriate to your personal individuality; and don’t forget that you are going to project so much more élan when you are wearing something that you feel comfortable wearing, not something you have been pressured into by some fad or trend.

I think it was Orson Welles who said, when asked about fashion, “Fashion is whatever I happen to be wearing at the time”. And he had a point. If HE was wearing it, then it was fashionable!

So it’s really about confidence and self-possession, to the extent that you could be wearing jeans and a Tee-shirt amongst a gathering of “suits” but you could still exude that fashion-runway arrogance by assuming that they, unfortunately for them poor souls, are all dressed inappropriately, whereas you with great panache have got it right on the money.

But you want to know about the wrinkle cream, right? Of course, and being a bit more serious here, I can say that I honestly believe this cream can have a beneficial effect, whether great or small, and I genuinely believe it works in reducing lines around the eyes, the mouth and those tracks across the forehead. You can use it pretty much over the whole face and neck and you should get just a bit more “bloom on the rose” all round.

So as I said, I’m not an agent or in any way associated with the manufacturer, nor do I receive any commissions or such, I just wanted to give you “my take” on a product I think can be a boost to your beauty arsenal. There are so many cosmetic creams in tiny jars that purport to erase wrinkles and fine lines, but I feel, of them all, this is your best bet for some actual noticeable results.

At this point I had thought of putting in the usual, “to get the name, click on my website http://www.gordonblack.com and send me an e-mail”, but whenever I read that stuff my eyes go skywards and I think, “oh yeah, there’s a catch here somewhere”. So there is no such hook to get you to look at my weight management/fitness site, although I’d appreciate you visiting it; I’m giving you the name right here: made by Klein-Becker USA, it is StriVectin-SD (Striadril) and it is described as an Intensive Repair for Existing Stretch Marks. It comes in a big 6 oz. tube and lasts for ages and you can read all about it on http://www.strivectin.com or http://www.kleinbecker.com.

Workout and Exercise Tips for Firm and Bigger Breasts!

Most women at some stage or the other worry about sagging breasts. A weak back and tight chest muscles result in poor posture in women and sometimes pregnancy and obesity result in sagging breasts. Whatever the reason, it is quite easy to exercise the chest to prevent this. If women are genetically heavy on top, they need to exercise regularly and wear proper fitting and supportive undergarments to prevent any permanent damage to the muscles of the upper body.

And here are the workouts for firm and bigger breast!

Exercise Posture

Sit in a straight-backed chair and keep the shoulders blades pulled back and down. The thighs should be parallel to the floor and both feet should rest on the floor.

Exercise 1

Hold both elbows together in front of the chest. The forearms should press against each other. With an inhalation, move both arms apart and away from each other. This move should expand the chest fully and press the muscles of the upper back against each other. Exhale and bring the elbows towards each other and press them together. Repeat at least 24 times.

Exercise 2

After the last repetition of the exercise 1, hold the elbows pressed against each other and push the arms towards the ceiling in small yet intense moves. Repeat this 24 times as well. Release the arms and rest for 10 to 15 seconds before doing the second test.

Must Read: 10 valuable tips to lose weight on hips and thighs at http://www.weightloss-health.com/slim_thighs_hips.htm

Exercise 3

After completing exercises 1 and 2, hold the elbows in position for at least 30 to 60 seconds and then release the arms and relax.

Intensity Variations!

These exercises should be done every alternate day and after a warm-up or after a walk. Once the body is used to the exercises, it is wise to increase the intensity. This can be done simply by holding dumbbells in the hands. The weight of the dumbbells can be five pounds each.

The Advantages of Testosterone for Women

Testosterone is also a female sex hormone. Total hormone replacement means restoring the natural balance of all hormones to the levels of men and women’s’ physical and mental peaks. Even though many women take estrogen and progesterone, they still do not feel like their youthful selves. This is secondary to the lack of another sex hormone, testosterone. Even though testosterone is widely known as a male hormone, it is also a critically important hormone for women in that it plays a crucial role in the physical and emotional health of women.

The pharmaceutical industry has begun to market a combination estrogen and testosterone tablets. Many women may have irrational resistance to taking testosterone based on groundless fears that testosterone will somehow emasculate them and cause them to grow facial hair. That isn’t true, when used properly.

Testosterone is produced both in the ovaries and adrenal glands of women and is an important hormone for normal female sexual development. Women also lose their libido as they age, secondary to loss of serum testosterone. Depleted testosterone in women also contributes to symptoms of menopause and lack of libido.

If you are already on HRT, the addition of testosterone may be beneficial.

Testosterone in women contributes to the enhancement of sexual drive, relief of menopausal symptoms, restoration of energy, strengthening of bone, prevention of osteoporosis and improvement of an overall sense of well-being and zest for life. Many women do not know that testosterone improves their skin, muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. A small amount of replacement with testosterone gel can make an incredible difference that many women have not been able to enjoy sex. The correct dose of testosterone replacement is commonly determined by body weight, age and blood levels.

Birth Defects and Miscarriages and Infertility

Messing around with a mother’s DNA or the DNA of her baby

is one of the things that can lead to a miscarriage and

birth defects. DNA tells the baby AND the mother “when to

do what”. Need a leg? Then you need some specific event

at some specific time. If the part of the DNA that controls

legs is either damaged or altered by some environmental

chemical, the leg won’t be there. And you can’t add it

later. It can only develop at one very specific time.

Fusarenon – This is a toxin that will interfere with DNA.

It is produced by several molds including:

* Aspergillus sp

* Fusarium sp

* Penicillium sp

[http://www.mold-survivor.com/hidden_mold.htm]

http://www.mold-help.org/fusarium.htm

Some mold toxins interfere with the hormones that regulate

the various steps of pregnancy. Hormones tell the baby when

to add what body parts. They tell mom when to pass on

timely materials to the placenta, for example.

Ask any OB/GYN how many different stages mom and baby have

to go through and he/she will tell you that they don’t

know. From conception to delivery probably a billion things

have to happen on schedule for a good birthing process.

Interfere with just one step and you run the risk of

miscarriage or birth defect.

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1982/7/82.07.07.x.html

One example of a chemical stopping the development of a

leg or arm is the famous thalidomide problem. In the 1950’s

Thalidomide (Thalomid) was a heavily prescribed anti-anxiety

medication. Pregnancy contributes a lot of anxiety to women

so it only made sense to prescribe Thalomid. The effects

were horrible. Legs and arms were missing or underdeveloped.

I saw a man on TV who played the guitar for the Pope. But

he played the guitar with his toes because he had no hands

or even arms.

Even if your baby doesn’t have a major problem like these,

there can be deformities that aren’t visible but still

dangerous.

http://www.otispregnancy.org/pdf/thalidomide.pdf

http://www.modimes.org/professionals/681_1172.asp

Mold toxins are noted for interfering with biological

processes.

Zearalenone – This is a mold toxin created by several

types of mold. This toxin mimics estrogen. By mimic we

mean it acts like estrogen. If enough of these toxins

are floating around inside the bloodstream, the body

will be very, very confused. As you well know the estrogen

is very important in the processes of getting pregnant and

carrying a baby to term. If the amounts are off before

pregnancy the woman can be infertile. If the amounts are

off after conception the baby can miscarry.

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents

/zearalenone.html

http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ohiofieldcropdisease/

Mycotoxins/mycopagezearalenone.htm

Mold can be a major factor in fertility. It can

cause babies to be lost. And it can

lead to babies with a wide variety of health

problems.

Save Your Thighs: The Unstretched Truth About Cellulite Creams

Dimples in your cheeks? Not so cute if we’re talking about your other ones. Blotchy self-tanners, expensive lipo, invasive lasers… women try all sorts of treatments and potions to smooth out their cellulite. The most accessible treatment, though, is cellulite cream. Many of these products promise to melt away inches from your thighs and hips, firm and contour your skin into a taut expanse, and refine and minimize your imperfections. There are high-end brands and drugstore brands; gels, lotions, and crèmes; and botanical ingredients that range from white tea to black pepper. Which of these brews should you try? How do you know that a certain ingredient will work? How the heck does a cream get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite creams work on the surface of your skin. There is no miracle cream that you can put on your thighs to eat away the cellulite, but creams work by lifting and smoothing the surface of your skin to reduce the appearance of the wretched skin puckering. Cellulite is the accumulation of fat, fluid, and toxins trapped into a network of collagen and elastin fibers in the deeper levels of your skin. It forms because blood vessels under your skin get damaged, weakening the outer layers of your skin. Fat travels directly to these spots and settles in, creating a hill and valley effect. The dense fat also decreases circulation to the outermost layer of dermis, which gives you white, ripply, cold fish skin. Ew! Women are more prone to cellulite because they carry a higher percentage of body fat than men do, but even skinny women have cellulite. Actually, doctors say that 90% of women past puberty have it, so it doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, average, or even super thin. Your genes play more of a part in orange peel thighs than anything else, although a nutrition-deficient diet and high stress levels also factor in.

So bring on the fix! Doctors say that the two most important and effective ingredients in a cellulite cream are caffeine and retinol. These ingredients help the outer layer of your skin firm up to help relieve the bumps. The other ingredients in cellulite creams are there to improve the look of your skin. They smooth the surface, decrease any stretch marks, and give you that overall “baby’s butt” softness. When searching through the various creams, you will find ingredients like Par Elastyl and collagen, which are firming agents, ginkgo, green tea, soy, horse chestnut tree extract, all which tone the skin, and various pepper extracts to give your skin that “get up and glow.”

The formulation of your cellulite cream should be a personal decision. There are creams that contain ingredients that will make your skin tingle, like cinnamon, mint, cucumber, and other plant extracts. This tingle is supposed to help increase circulation to the area and give your cheeks a flush. You will find that most of these creams have a light, refreshing, and energizing scent meant to give you a pick-me-up.

Cellulite creams also come in different textures. The gels absorb quickly into the skin and often make your skin feel tighter very quickly. There are lightweight lotions that go on like regular body lotion and don’t feel greasy. Then there are the rich emollient crèmes that must be rubbed into skin very well to prevent oil slicks on your clothes. This formulation is best before bedtime. There are even creams that come with paraphernalia to help aid in absorption. Some bring a special mitt to rub the cream into your skin and there is even a brand that includes a special pair of neoprene shorts to put on over your cellulite cream.

Cellulite creams can be incredibly expensive, but there are brands that are sold in drugstores that are just as effective. How much you spend depends on what formulations, scents, accessories, and extra ingredients work best for you. Many doctors say that expensive brands do not necessarily work better because the creams contain the same ingredients, but if you like a particular scent or texture of a cream, go for it! No matter what type of cellulite cream you buy, use your cream according to the directions on the bottle or tube. Most treatments instruct you to rub on at least once everyday. As with most skin treatments, you won’t notice a transformation immediately. It is the cumulative effect of the treatments that will create the most dramatic change, so do use the cream at least once a day, and be consistent! It’s the massaging action that will make the difference between an effective cellulite fighter and a useless tube of body lotion.

Remember, cellulite cream is not a miracle cure. There are people that never see any more positive effect from their treatments than they would from rubbing cocoa butter on their skin. Creams cannot increase your metabolism or seep into the deepest layers of your skin to change your cellulite; but they can help your bottom appear tighter and banish the lumpy mattress look forever. Often, the texture of your skin will improve dramatically before your cellulite will–the lush ingredients in cellulite treatments are great for skin even if they don’t work for your cellulite. And even though it is possible to see a big difference, rarely will cellulite 100% disappear. Your cream should give you the boost to improve your diet and exercise habits, a tingle that can be the kick in the pants that you need.

Living With RA

When I turned 44 I never dreamed that I would have to hear my Orthopedist say that I had RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and it was to the point I had to stop working.

I had been in Customer Service and a Legal Secretary for 17 years and suddenly these words stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me a slice of reality. My Doctor no longer wanted me working in an office or following my career. I would now be at home and on “the light duty list” of life.

He said many flights of stairs were a big no and that I could not jog or do extremely strenuous exercises. Long walks over a mile were out, yet I could swim and make short walks and ride a stationary bicycle. If I had any pain, I was to take my prescription meds and use the RICE method. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. I discovered blue ice and used it also. It made my knee feel like it was on fire and then deadened the pain. I finally had to wear a knee brace if I made any long walks or had prolonged sitting or standing. I had a “trick back” with a hiding pinched nerve that sometimes left me no feeling in both legs and put me in a wheelchair. The two herniated discs that stayed aflame didn’t help any either. But, on a good day, I let my cane rest against the wall and feel blessed I could walk normally that day.

So, being a poetess and writer, I purchased a computer, printer and a good word program and began pursuing my real dream….writing. I now have the time to write and research and create. I have to get up and walk about some every hour and do most of my dictation standing, but it does get the creative juices flowing.

At night I have cramping toes, ankles, throbbing knees and a sore neck, but oh it was worth it to write again.