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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Confession: Can The Cardiologist's Wife Have A Weight Problem?

Crap.  I was aware that I had put on a little holiday fat but today I discovered just how much.  Last week I was listening to Good Morning America while doing those 100 situps and stopped to listen to a piece on "normal weight obesity".  I'd never heard that term and what I learned on GMA prompted me to do some research.  First I talked with my husband.  Of course he knew all about normal weight obesity and explained that people of a normal body weight (like me) can carry too much hidden fat, especially around their body organs. 

Today I did more research online and found the following information.  The Mayo Clinic did a study of 6000 Americans with normal body weight and BMI and found that you don't have to be obese to have excess body fat.  Of course, any excess body fat can lead to the same medical problems that obese people suffer from: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, etc.  In addition to storing fat, fat cells produce a variety of strong chemicals that can create inflamation and pain, get your sex hormones out of balance and elevate your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

You can do three tests to determine your level of fat versus lean body weight and your overall risk.  You can google these tests online like I did to perform the calculations roughly.  The results (like mine) may surprise you and hopefully spur you on to better health habits.
1. Calculate your BMI.   I did two different ones.  One test was just for women and required more information.  My result said I needed work.  The other was a simple test of height and weight and put me in the normal range.
2.  Measure your waist.  We gain weight most easily here so it is a good indicator of  "fatness".  Women should have a waist measurement under 34 inches and men under 38 inches to be in a normal range.  I am well under the 34 inches here, thankfully.
3.  Measure your percentage of body fat.  I found another site online and entered all the measurements required.  My results were 24 % body fat, 31.94 pounds of body fat and 101.06 pounds of lean body weight.  I am just over the healthy range of 23% body fat so I need to do more - more exercise and better eating. 

All this points out something I have said all along - you can't wait until your health is obviously headed downhill.  You have take care of your health every day and monitor yourself.  I have learned I need to step up the exercise; my routine has become too easy and I'm not working hard enough.  Plus, I need to cut back on some snacks and foods I love.  Can anyone hear the peanuts calling my name?  I will post my new exercise routine as soon as I establish one.  I'm thinking of zumba or spin classes. 

In the meantime, I'm going to share a recipe for baked oatmeal.  Oatmeal is such a healthy breakfast full of fiber and can help lower cholesterol.  This recipe makes alot so you can have some leftover for the next day's breakfast as well.

Baked Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup steel cut oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups fat free milk
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups fresh fruit such as chopped apples or pears
Preheat oven to 400.  Mix rolled oats, oat bran, steel cut oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl stir together the milk, egg, applesauce, oil and sugars.  Add to oat mixture and stir till combined.  Spoon into a lightly greased casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Stir and fold in fruit.  Bake uncovered for 20 more minutes or until lightly brown.  Serve with yogurt if desired.  Serves 6 to 8.

Hope you give some thought to today's post.  Thursday I will discuss a book I found which has me rethinking some of the foods I normally buy and which will help you buy better foods.


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