W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 08/12/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

___________________________________________________________

What if  I told you that for three minutes a day, you could move towards the Fountain of Youth?

What if I told you that there was something you could do to get amazing cardiovascular benefits that did NOT involve running, Zumba, or other traditional aerobic activity?

What I told you that you don’t need to purchase anything, go to the gym, or sweat to achieve this?

Hell, you don’t even have to wear clothes if you don’t want to.

This month’s Work it Out Wednesday features the wonders of simple Inversion.

Known in yoga practice as Viparita Karani, this inversion can be as simple as raising your feet up and supporting them with a wall or other hard surface. It can also be used to build endurance towards a should or head stand – but, the benefits of the inversion do NOT require that advanced level.

Let’s take a look at the different ways this pose may look in varying stages of ease:

inversion3inversion2inversion4inversion5As you can see in the progression, you may have your torso all the way from a 90 degree to a 180 degree angle, supported or unsupported.  The recommendation is that you start with the wall support and keep your chin up off your chest and your gaze looking upward to protect your neck. The ideal time to hold this pose is 3-5 minutes.

The benefits of inverting the body are well documented in eastern medicine, and becoming more so on the Western front as practices such as yoga gain in popularity.

Inversion profoundly stimulates both the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic systems, working together to combat aging.

Cardiovascular: inversion gives the heart a break… the heart normally has to work VERY hard to defy gravity and get blood flow up to the brain and sensory organs. When you invert yourself, getting your feet above the heart, you reverse the pressure differential and allow the heart to work with gravity to get blood to the brain [the most important organ]. With gravity working in favor, blood floods the carotid arteries in the neck and tiny baroreceptors sense the pressure reversal and slow down the flow of blood. What’s a fancy term for “rate of blood flow”? Blood Pressure. Meaning, there is evidence that inversion can, at a minimum, temporarily lower blood pressure and help prevent varicose veins.

Lymphatic: The lymphatic system is the waste removal system of the body and it, too, is normally working against gravity. When you invert this system, it gets heavily stimulated and works to counter edema [swelling] in the legs and feet as well as clear the sinuses and boost immunity.

According to David Coulter, Ph.D., who taught anatomy at the University of Minnesota for 18 years, when one inverts, tissue fluids of the lower extremities drain—far more effectively than when one is asleep. Areas of congestion clear. In a 1992 Yoga International article on Headstand and the circulatory system, Coulter wrote: “If you can remain in an inverted posture for just 3 to 5 minutes, the blood will not only drain quickly to the heart, but tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal and pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.”

There you have it!

Please reach out to MissFit with questions or comments and please exercise safely and know your limits. The cardiovascular benefits are certainly not out-shined if you injure yourself.

Write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

pictures c/o http://www.nhimassageblog.com , http://www.gaiamtv.com , http://www.satyaliveyoga.com , http://www.yogawiz.com

W.O.W. – SEASONAL SATURDAY 05/16/15

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside.

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Seasonal Saturday calls for a Seasonal Slideshow!!!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Simply hover over the boxed image to join me on my bike ride!

It’s May, ya’ll and that means that we are approaching those hot, humid, possibly hot and humid dog days of summer.

With days getting longer and temperatures staying away from freezing [unless you are in Colorado and got that freak snow storm last week…], May is the perfect time to get in some extra steps or miles before you have the “It’s too hot” excuse. Or maybe you need to walk off that last meal we heard about on Tuesday

Going for a stroll or leisurely bike ride after dinner can be a great way to catch some beautiful images on your camera as the sun starts to set and – better yet – light movement after taking in a meal has been shown to aide digestion. Double Win.

 

So get out there Misfits!

Enjoy the sun and warmer temperatures. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

 

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

MissFit is not respsonsible for any sun damage occurred while participating in the outdoors as referenced on this website.

🙂

W.O.W. – FUN FACT FRIDAY 05/15/15

“Fun Fact” – Self-explanatory…

__________________________________________________

It’s that time again!

Time to learn something you didn’t know – or, in the case of this month’s topic, maybe time to be reminded of something you would rather forget…

SUGAR KILLS.

You’ve heard it confirmed from the diabetes advocates.

You’ve heard it heralded from the Diet Coke and Splenda advocates**.

You’ve heard it [on repeat] from the Paleo advocates.

You’ve read the articles and watched the videos… but you still STILL aren’t sure what to believe.

Well here’s one more thought to chew on:

Current research being done at the University of California at San Francisco is showing that sugar – especially that found in soft drinks with other chemicals – actually impacts your body at the genome-level by shortening telomeres, which are the DNA components related to lifespan.

Shorter telomeres = shorter lifespan of cells = shorter lifespan of human made up of cells.

Interested in cutting back on sugar?
The very first step is to start reading food labels.

Or, you know, eating foods that don’t come in plastic packaging like fruits and vegetables 🙂

Assuming you opt primarily for the ‘read food label’ option, be aware that Sugar is  like a sneaky fugitive, it has over 50 aliases:

  • barley malt
  • beet sugar
  • brown sugar
  • buttered syrup
  • cane-juice crystals
  • cane sugar
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • date sugar
  • dextran
  • dextrose
  • diatase
  • diastatic malt
  • ethyl maltol
  • fructose
  • fruit juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • glucose
  • glucose solids
  • golden sugar
  • golden syrup
  • grape sugar
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltodextrin
  • maltose
  • mannitol
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • refiner’s syrup
  • sorbitol
  • sorghum syrup
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • yellow sugar

 

**fake sugars are NOT less harmful; they are chemicals that your body sees as foreign, causing cellular mutations to try to adapt to them. BTW… cancer is just a fancy word for cellular mutations…

 

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

Get Java Fix + Help Migrant Farmers = Truly Sustainable Idea

Happy Tuesdays Misfits!

It’s a Tuesday, and even thought it’s no longer the Week of Wellness [W.O.W.], this Video is going to be Trending before next month and I want to make sure you all see it first.

Thank god that not everyone is sitting at home watching reality TV; some people are still brainstorming how to improve our world.

Coffee, as we have heard [and MissFit has validated], does wonders for maintaining the integrity of your Cardiovascular system and your brain cells when consumed daily  in 10-30 oz installments. The actual coffee is the only part that has the benefit… the double-whip-mocha-froppah-choco-latte is not doing your body any real favors.

That being said, what if there was an element found in the coffee harvesting process that has protein, fiber, and additional minerals and antioxidants, that we could harness the production of AND is currently being chucked to the garbage as worthless…?

brit.co

No other commentary needed, this Video is remarkable and speaks for itself.

Three cheers for reducing, re-using, and re-shaping how we think about our world.

 

As always, share your questions/comments below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 03/11/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

____________________________________________________________________________

It is very easy to injure ligaments and bands that hold muscles in place if they aren’t properly warmed up and, subsequently, kept warm for a period after the workout.

This can be a challenge during the winter months when long periods of time may be spent outdoors or large jumps in temperature from the steamy gym to the tundra outside.

In light of this, MissFit is featuring the Shin Stack for the Work it Out move of the month this Wednesday.

c/o pinterest.com

c/o pinterest.com

[The pose is also known as the “Double Pigeon to Yogis].

It is the #1 way to stretch iliobands and open up hip flexors in a safe, effective manner – – which is essential for anyone looking to improve on flexibility, posture, endurance, and hip-gyrating dance moves.

To the greatest extent you are able, mimic the picture above.

Hold for a minimum of 10 seconds and then switch leg positions so that the opposite leg is underneath.

As you get more comfortable in the position, focus on leaning your torso forward for a deep stretch and work your way up to holding for a full 60 seconds. For an added challenge, point your toes.

**Important** remember to inhale/exhale breathe during this exercise and keep your neck at a 90 degree angle with your body or simply let it to hang comfortably with chin towards chest. This will help prevent unnecessary neck strain during this exercise.

Enjoy your Wednesday Work out!

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. – MAKE IT HAPPEN MONDAY 03/09/15

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for helping yourself be successful in work, wellness, and wealth.

courtesy of sciencenordic.com

courtesy of sciencenordic.com

Working out with someone of a slightly higher fitness level can motivate you to perform longer and harder.

Similarly, for those who have trouble coordinating – even just asking a friend or loved one to be an accountability partner and check in daily by text or email has been shown to increase persistence [and success!] with eating healthy and staying active by up to 55%.

#noexcuses

On the other hand, the biggest time period of weight gain for most adults [post-college] is shown to be (1) starting a new job (2) casual dating.

care of boss-behavior.com

care of boss-behavior.com

The reason is because both scenarios put you in situations where you are more likely to eat out in restaurants and consume alcohol to connect with people and socially “normalize”.

Be aware of this and strive to surround yourself with people who are supportive or at least understand your healthy lifestyle so you don’t succumb to unnecessary weight added by peer pressure to those daily lunches/dates you couldn’t afford anyways.

NOW…Make it Happen this Monday!

 

Stay Well,

MissFit

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

Week of Wellness Newsletter – Introduction Edition

Misfits!

Can you believe it’s March, already?

Weren’t we just wearing goofy glasses, sipping champagne, and freezing out in Times Square?

While some of us just celebrated Chinese New Year and are getting settled into the Year of the Sheep/Goat, for most of us, the end of this month will bring with it the end of the first quarter of yet another year that is going by far faster than anyone can comprehend…

Except those precarious hours of 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Those, weirdly, still last forever.

I want to send a special note out to all of my clients – you all have been kicking butt and making incredible strides towards your goals for this year. I could not be more proud to be in your lives and honored to cheer on your progress.

With that being said, I have always told you that I really do listen when you talk. In the interest of transparency and diligence – I want to share with you, Readers, that I have received some feedback from my constituents that sometimes my Postings [while full of information and laughs] are a bit too lengthy for everyone’s busy lives and I have received several requests over the last few months for a shorter, more focused, and regular newsletter style of information sharing.

NO brainer!

Of course I can!

After all, my job [literally] is to mold and shape this business into an entity that is success-driven and client-centered.
And so with that, I am piloting the Week of Wellness [WOW] newsletter.

WOW will operate on a Monday through Sunday schedule. Since it is only Saturday [or Sunday depending on your time zone], I wanted to take the opportunity to share the format with you so that you could know what to expect and what to get excited for!

WOW will be posted the second week of each month. Statistically, the second week of the month has the least number of deadlines due in ANY industry nationwide.

Without further Ado, here is the format:

“Make it Happen Monday” 03/09/15   c/o on the spot studioc/o on the spot studio

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for bringing yourself success in your work, your wellness, and your wealth.

“Trending Tuesday”  03/10/15

“Trending” – Every time we turn around there is some other diet that will give us our dream body, some food we simply MUST avoid, or some piece of equipment we MUST buy… stay on top of what’s trending and get tips for thinking critically about marketing ploys.

“Work it Out” Wednesday 03/11/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

 “Therapeutic” Thursday  03/12/15

“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings

Fun-Fact” Friday  03/13/15    c/o intermm.comc/o intermm.com

“Fun Fact” – Self-explanatory…

“Seasonal” Saturday 03/14/15 c/o paststat.comc/o paststat.com

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside

 “Sunny” Sunday 03/15/15 

“Sunny” – What would a Health Blog be without some uplifting, inspirational anecdotes and mantras?

AS always,

Stay Well,

MissFit

Holy Shit-take ‘Shrooms & Rice!

Shut the Front Door!

Holy Mylanta!

Mother Clucker!

Nuckin’ Futz!

And many more G-rated renditions of the R-rated words you are going to say when you take your first forkful.

You get the idea – this dish is by far one of the best ways I have found to get a HUGELY nutritiously dense bang for your buck.

All of the ingredients combined cost $11.71 – but that’s for 4 servings – so the actual retail price [Bob] is $2.93

*cue syndicated applause*

Just to give you a quick idea of the nutritional density I’m talking about, one serving of Holy Shit-ake ‘Shrooms and Rice gives you about half of your recommended daily value [RDV] for the Vitamins A, D, K, B1 [Thiamin]; Minerals Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Fiber, and TONS of cold and flu fighting antioxidants.
You also get approx 11 grams of plant/rice-based complete protein which can easily be increased if you choose to add tofu or any other animal-based meat to this dish. The dish actually pairs exquisitely with Shrimp, but I do not recommend that for folks who are watching cholesterol or sodium as the benefits of the protein may not out weight the risks associated with your condition.
Just food for thought. I would be happy to investigate your particular situation, just reach out in the comments below or email direct at write.with.ms@gmail.com

Ok – on to the Recipe!

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

20150124_193802

Items Needed

  • 8 QT saucepan
  • 4 QT sauce pan
  • 1 can [150z] light coconut milk
  • 1 cup organic wild rice
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups fresh spinach [or one 16 oz bag], rinsed
  • 1 bag [5 oz] of dried shitake mushrooms

Directions

  • Warm the olive oil up in the 8 QT sauce pan on medium heat; place in garlic and shallot
  • Allow the garlic and shallots to saute for approx 2 mins; stir as needed
  • Add the coconut milk and mushrooms; bring to a brief boil and stir
  • Once the mix has boiled for approx 30 seconds, return to low/medium and cover with a lid
  • Let stand covered for approx 5 mins
  • While you are waiting bring one cup of water to boil in the 4 QT sauce pan and measure out the rice
  • Add rice to boiling water
  • Drain the coconut milk out of the other pot [secure it in a separate bowl if needed] and add to the 4 QT sauce pan with the rice and existing water
  • Stir contents of the 4 QT sauce pan and remove the 8 QT saucepan from all heat
  • Allow rice to cook to desired “al-dente-ness” [YES, for the purposes of this article that is definitely a word, bottom line is cook longer for mushier rice, and less for crisper rice] MissFit recommends keeping rice more crisp as it will retain more nutrients and also hold up better as left overs since you will be reheating it, likely, anyways
  • Transfer rice into 8QT saucepan [with the garlic and ‘shrooms and shallot]; mix together
  • Fold in the fresh spinach, allowing the heat from the rice to wilt it slightly
  • Turn all heat sources off
  • Transfer your amazing meal on to a plate and enjoy
  • Place the remaining 3 servings into a glass or porcelain dish with a a lid [since it is likely still warm, plastic is not recommended]
  • Clean pots and utensils like a good chef
  • This makes a terrific carry-in lunch for work as well. All those vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein will keep you satisfied and energized to get through your work day and not venture to the vending machine

~MissFit

What Johnny Depp, Druggies, and Fungus Have in Common

Magic Shrooms

Agaricus Bisporus – A. bisporus for short.

Yes the Almighty-not-quite-a-meat- not-quite-a-vegetable-technically-the-fruit-of-a-fungus MUSHROOM!

First let me clarify, this post will be addressing the non-psychedelic shrooms. I do in fact have an upcoming post planned that discusses the possible remedial impact of psychedelic shrooms on personality disorders and depression. True story. Or was that a bad trip? We may never know.

For now, let’s get a handle on the more mainstream mush before we go to Wonderland.

OK mushrooms.

Interestingly, they are closer to animals than plants in that they do not employ photosynthesis – they actually breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide just like you and me!

While there are over 2,500 species of cultivated and wild mushrooms, I will be focusing on 10 of the most talked about.

All mushrooms have one thing in common – they are the single most concentrated form of Vitamin D that we have available to us in food form.

Vitamin D?

Why is that important?

Recently Vitamin D has been coming out of the proverbial woodwork as a supplement must-have.

Sidebar: If you have been on this site for any length of time, you will know that the official Miss Fit stance on supplements is “Whoop-de-doo, a capsule!” Folks, if you can eat the real thing, then please do. Like a Republican in Texas, nutrients work best when they are in their natural habitat.

Back to center.

First of all, to understand how important Vitamin D is, let’s shift our thinking a bit. Vitamin D is not a vitamin, per se… it is actually a hormone precursor directly related to sunlight. Now, sunlight, despite popular belief, does not actually contain Vitamin D. When UV rays from the sun hit your skin, a cholesterol-like chemical in your skin is converted to Vitamin D. The Vitamin D then travels to the liver where it is trans-versed in to the pre-hormone calcidol. The calcidol undergoes its own cellular changes and becomes calcitriol, the hormone that is responsible for attaching to 2,700+ sites on the human genome and essentially “turning them on”.

Wow. Pretty damn important if you ask me.

Or don’t ask me.

Ask Creighton University’s Robert Heaney, MD [people always feel more comforted when the opinion comes with those two special letters after the name]. His exact response was, “Vitamin D appears to be a key part of the biochemical machinery that open up the entire genome, so cells can tap into the vast information it contains and do the jobs they need to do at a cellular level”.

Oh, yes  he also said, and I quote, “Vitamin D probably affects every disease”

So, yea, pretty damn important.

A few of the most prominent findings between Vitamin D and a healthier you are its ability to:

[1] Protect from influenza and rhinoviruses AKA the Flu and Common Cold

Evidently, numerous immune compounds depend on Vitamin D. Of particular note is the PCL-gamma1 molecule as it is responsible for activating immune cells into fight mode. Consider this molecule the sergeant of your little immune-soldiers and Vitamin D is the President phoning in the orders of battle. Without that call, the troops remain static.

Should I say “pretty damn important” again? I feel I’m getting redundant…

Let’s move along, then.

[2] Preserve bone mass and muscle fibers

Vitamin D is essential for normal bone formation because it acts as a catalyst for calcium absorption and utilization. Vitamin D is also needed for normal muscle production, resilience, and range of motion. Several studies have shown clear correlation between low Vitamin D levels and sarcopenia – the loss of muscle that comes from malnutrition and age-related osteoporosis. Remember, your muscles protect your bones. If you fall, it is your best bet to have the first line of internal defense [aka muscle] as strong as possible to protect your bones.

[3] Lower risk of certain cancers

Beginning in the 1980’s epidemiologists began finding correlations between low Vitamin D and colorectal cancers [i.e. cancers of the colon and rectum]

Side bar: try to work colorectal into a conversation this week. Please, please email me the outcomes at write.with.ms@gmail.com

Since the 1980’s we may have lost Aquanet, but we gained more correlations between Vitamin D deficiency and cancer – particularly cancers of the breasts, ovaries, kidneys, prostate, and pancreas.

A few other ailments that Vitamin D is showing strong correlation for are:

  • Allergies
  • Back Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart Disease
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Skin Cancer
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Vaginal Infections

 

SO how much Vitamin D do you need to protect yourself from all these plagues of human existence?

The answer to that can get tricky because everyone has slightly unique absorption rates based on a variety of factors [age, gender, other medications, tobacco use, basal metabolic rate, etc].

Your best bet is to ask your doctor for a blood test – and make certain that it is a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test – as other tests have been known to show false normal ranges with frightening frequency.

Doctors are not in total agreement of what the normal range even is, but most confer that optimal numbers are no less than 40 or 50 ng/ml.

Depending on the results of that test, you can gauge what sort of dietary and possible supplemental changes you need to make. You can also feel free to reach out to me, I would be happy to provide some guidance as well.

Most doctors recommend not taking more than 3000 IUs daily from supplements unless you are being monitored to avoid Vitamin D toxicity.

Just FYI, some indications of toxicity are poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, general weakness, and frequent urination.

If you believe you have toxicity, you most likely are trying to explain your way out of a bad hangover. Read those symptoms again and check Facebook pictures for confirmation.

Not that Vitamin D toxicity is completely unheard of, but general consensus in the medical community is that one would need to take daily doses of 40,000 + IUs for months on end.

I bet you thought I forgot all about the mushrooms, huh?

Nah, just trying to convince you that fungus is a worthwhile part of your diet.

SO, moving along then.

In addition to Vitamin D, mushrooms are a great source of B Vitamins [B12, B6, thiamin, niacin, folate, and riboflavin], Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Fiber, antioxidants, and trace minerals such as Manganese, Copper, and Selenium.

Just another reason eating the real deal is superior. All of those nutrients work with one another to keep you healthy and strong.

Here is a briefing on 10 common species:

mushroom_white buttonWhite Button

  • Native to grasslands of Europe and North America
  • Firm and mild
  • Youngest “sibling” of the portobello family

mushroom_cremini baby belloCremini

  • “Middle child” ; “baby bellos”
  • Found both wild and cultivated
  • Deep, heart texture that fare much better than their White Button siblings in soups, stews, gravies, and stir-fries
  • In addition to lots of vitamins and minerals, they also have conjugated linolenic acid, a phytonutrient thought to reduce the risk of estrogen-dependent breast cancer

mushroom_portobelloPortobello

  • With heads of 4-6 inches on average, they are Full-grown cremini/button
  • Meatiest of all – so much so they retain their form and flavor on a grille and in stuffings

mushroom_shiitakeShiitake

  • Native to Korea, China, and Japan where they are used for both medicinal and culinary callings
  • Smoky, firm flesh hold up well in soups and stir-fries

mushroom_porciniPorcini

  • Fat-stemmed with a nutty flavor
  • Typically found dried in Americas but heralded in all forms in Italian cuisine
  • Versatile to be used in sauces, risottos, and marinades

mushroom_oysterOyster

  • Easy to grow
  • Anise-like scent
  • Delicate in appearance and used to adorn meat at many a steakhouse

mushroom_maitakeMaitake

  • Soft and Ruffled in appearance but crisp in texture and woodsy in taste
  • Used in pasta and salad dishes
  • Favored in Eastern medicine as an immune booster

mushroom_morelMorel

  • Honey-combed
  • Wild, elusive; grow well after freshly burned forests [do not take matters into your own hands, Smoky the Bear is watching]
  • Herbed butter sauté brings out its natural earthy flavors
  • Often paired with oyster mushrooms and pinot noir wine. yes please.

mushroom_chanterelleChanterelles

  • Trumpet-shaped
  • Wild growing
  • Fruity/peppery taste
  • Work well in saute

mushroom_Black TrumpetBlack Trumpet

  • Darker cousin of the Chanterelle
  • Grown only in the wild
  • Smoky and fruity aroma

 

One final note, Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin – – drizzling them with truffle or olive oil not only helps the taste buds and satiety factor, it actually will assist in the absorption of the nutrients they have to offer.

That Day You Missed in Psych 101

Sigmund Freud

Ivan Pavlov

B.F. Skinner

Jean Piaget

Carl Rogers

Erik Erikson

 

Some of these names look familiar? If you are one of the millions of people that have ever sat through a Psych 101 course, a few of these names should jump out.

Whether you soaked up every mind-behavior connection morsel like a sponge, avoided the inner workings of the brain like the plague, or operated on some kind of general apathy continuum towards the “Soft Sciences” – I promise you all missed a day.

It’s a shame too…because that was the day where they told you the secret to meeting your health goals and maintaining lifelong weight control.

[?!?!?!!?!?!??!?!?!!?!??!?!!?!?]

Too bad.

Oh Miss Fit, how you tease…

Surely you jest…

Do I?

Well I certainly talk in third-person every now and again so I suppose that’s possible.

But really. You seriously missed an important day.

Lucky for you, I hunted down the information and am prepared to give it to you right here on the internet [thank you, Al Gore] in the comfort of your own home or mobile device.

Which means the following items will hopefully NOT be needed:

1. A time machine

2. A book bag

3. Scented spray

[because somehow you always end up next to the smelly kid in class; honestly this problem should have ended in 3rd grade MAX, how it still happens into college is truly mind-boggling…Freudian? Perhaps that was the day *I* missed inI Psych 101…]

4. Sunglasses

[to hide your Hangover; feel free to read this hung over in your birthday suit for all I care]

 

Additionally, feel free to eat noisily, play music, take a Selfie, and text while reading this article.

Ok, ground rules established – Moving right along then.

 

Lewis Goldberg circa 1980.

Lewis and a few of his cronies are the ones credited with developing the Factor Five Model, often better known as the Big Five – specifically The Big Five Personality Test.

The Factor Five Model is the best accepted and most commonly used model of personality in academic human psychology. It focuses on five measures of human personality – Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, and Extraversion [sometimes the acronym CANOE is used] and uses test question responses to place people on a continuum for each of these measures and paint an overall picture of natural disposition.

What does all this have to do with weight loss?

Hang in there. Take another Selfie. Get a few Facebook Likes in and stick with me.

Let’s chat for a quick minute about CANOE.

Or I suppose you could use OCEAN.

Probably just don’t take your canoe into the ocean… Miss Fit is not responsible for any items or persons damaged in the attempt to test that theory.

Conscientiousness: reflects how careful and orderly an individual is. Conscientious individuals are generally hard working and reliable. When taken to an extreme, they may also be “workaholics”, perfectionists, and compulsive in their behavior. People who score low on conscientiousness tend to be more laid back, less goal-oriented, and less driven by success; they also are more likely to engage in antisocial and criminal behavior.

Agreeableness: reflects how much you like and try to please others. People who score high on this dimension tend to believe that most people are honest, decent, and trustworthy. People scoring low are generally less concerned with others’ well-being and report having less empathy. Therefore, these individuals are less likely to go out of their way to help others. Low agreeableness is often characterized by skepticism about other people’s motives, resulting in suspicion and unfriendliness. People very low on agreeableness have a tendency to be manipulative in social relationships and more likely to compete than to cooperate.

Neuroticism: the tendency to experience negative emotions. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, envy, guilt, and depressed mood. They respond more poorly to stressors, and are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification [aka impulsivity]. Neuroticism is a risk factor for the “internalizing” mental disorders such as phobia, depression, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders, all of which are traditionally called “neuroses”.

Openness: simply, reflects how much you seek out new experiences

Extraversion: reflects how much you are oriented towards things outside yourself and derive satisfaction from interacting with other people. High scorers are said to be “extroverts” while low scorers are said to be “introverts”. Introverts will tend to become tired out by socialization, while Extroverts will be energized by it. Introverts value down time while Extroverts value stimulation.

Please note, the above are merely brief explanations. They are by no means a complete analysis of a personality type and most certainly not to be used for diagnosing your friend, family, and significant others…or is it…

Ok well that is for you to decide. But in the meantime, let’s carry on.

I want to share two studies with you that I came across recently.

The first article was from Dr Jokela and colleagues featured in the Obesity Review journal in April 2013. The article captured some hard truths and shared them openly:

Generally, obesity treatments have poor long-term maintenance. To date, relatively little is known about factors that explain individual differences in long-term obesity risk or the likelihood of relapse in weight [gain]. Psychological dispositions, indicated by measures of personality, have been implicated in obesity risk…”

The study utilized 80,000 participants across the USA, UK, Germany, and Australia and assessed for CANOE traits using the Factor Five testing method. The data collected revealed that the Conscientiousness trait was closely linked to the persistence of obesity. Their findings read:

“Individuals with High Conscientiousness are described as self-disciplined, task-oriented and well organized, whereas Low Conscientiousness is characterized by poor self-control, impulsivity and lack of long-term planning…Compared to individuals with Low Conscientiousness, individuals with High Conscientiousness have almost 40 percent lower odds of being obese. Evaluating degree of conscientiousness may help in individualized obesity prevention and treatment strategies”.

The second was an article written describing the work at the National Institute of Aging led by Neuroscientist Angelina Sutin.

Not to be confused with Angelina Jolie. One is a Neuroscientist and one is currently at the Box Office masquerading as Malficent.

Dr Sutin and her colleagues also found heavy correlations between CANOE scores and weight loss success/maintenance. The most dramatic finding of theirs was twofold: [1] Scoring in the top 10% [or the “90% percentile”] for Neuroticism and [2] Scoring low [bottom 30%] for Conscientiousness was correlated to an average of 22lbs of excess weight in the person over his/her lifetime.

Additionally, those high in Neuroticism and Low in Conscientiousness [must present with both for their findings to be valid] tended to be the most frequent participants in the Yo-Yo dieting cycle.

Why might this be?

Yo-Yo-Diet

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If you look back at the definitions above it can begin to take shape… High in Neuroticism tends to mean Impulsivity…someone who is Impulsive often has trouble planning ahead [food prep, etc] and resisting temptations [swing by fast food, eat the office donuts, etc] but also someone who can practice very strict, controlled behaviors at times. This matrix of self-discipline and the consequent lack thereof is the hallmark of Yo-Yo dieting.

The other part of the equation – Low on Conscientiousness – makes sense as well. Again, referring to the above definition, it tends to be the more laid back, less goal-oriented folks at baseline, so sticking to a plan and seeing it through hard times requires a lot more effort and consistent hard work than they may be willing [or able] to exert. This then makes it additionally frustrating for the individual to meet goals they may speak of but lack the due diligence to carry out, creating a gap between the life they say they want and the life they have. Which then can jump start the feelings of Neuroses…and the cycle starts all over again.

Gah!

stop-yo-yo-dieting

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So is there any hope?

There is.

But you have to be willing to consider fitness solutions outside of the standard “programs” [ I wont mention any names here…but um.. no the Shake Weights are probably not going to be the answer…]

Dr Sutin sums it up well when she says,

“Weight Loss programs ought to be designed around personality types”… “Buying healthy groceries, having set mealtimes, and planning ahead all help significantly with weight management but these are the exact kinds of tasks [Impulsive] people struggle with”.

 

She’s right!

And THAT misfits is what Fit4Life is all about.

It’s not just about an exercise program or a gluten-free bagel. It’s about understanding the whole picture and learning what your unique set of strengths and barriers is. I know we focused on the personality types that may struggle additionally with weight management, but there are personality traits that actually work much towards your advantage. It’s about capitalizing on the strengths and working through the weaknesses.

Curious to see where you fall in the CANOE?

Comment below or contact direct at write.with.ms@gmail.com and I would be happy to get you connected with a test and work through the results with you.

OH- and in case you were wondering…Yes… I’ve taken the test… and the results may surprise you …