I Knew Alli Was Too Good To Be True!

Well, that’s not completely honest. I just knew I wasn’t going to try it because the warning about “anal leakage” scares the hell out of me. LOL.

I’m sure anyone in the diet world has heard the news that broke yesterday (I think). They’re saying Alli may cause liver damage. According to the newswires, regulators are assessing at least 32 reports of liver problems between 1999 and 2008 in patients taking the weight-loss drug orlistat (I wonder if that’s the same fake fat they use to make a lot of foods fat-free? No, that’s orlean. Is it the same? I’ll have to look that up).  It is sold as a prescription drug Xenical, and more recently, as an over-the-counter medication called Alli. The prescription is twice as strong as the over-the-counter drug.

Of the 32 reports of liver problems the FDA has in hand, 27 patients were hospitalized and six suffed liver failure. In an “early communication” of a drug safety review, the FDA said it will also review additional data on “suspected cases of liver injury” submitted by drug firms that make and market orlistat in its branded and generic forms. Now to me, this is kind of like putting the fox in the hen house. Do they really think the firms that make this stuff are going to be honest about reporting the negatives? You’ve got to be kidding me! Glaxo reported $123 million in sales for alli last year, while Roche posted $472 million in revenue for Xenical.

Dr. Steven Osborne, executive director of the FDA’s drug safety oversight board, called the issues surrounding orlistat’s safety “complex” and stressed that “no definite association between liver injury and orlistat has been established at this time.” He noted that 30 of the 32 reports of liver damage already received by the FDA come from outside the United States. Personally I don’t know why that would make a difference. Are they using a different formula outside of the U.S? or are they getting more honest reports from outside the U.S.? He also says people taking this drug should keep taking it. That’s our FDA watching out for us alright.

The symptoms that could point to liver injury, include jaundice, fatigue, or brown urine, should consult a healthcare professional. Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, itching, or loss of appetite (I thought loss of apetite was what it was supposed to do) also may be symptoms of liver damage. Physicians, as well as
consumers taking orlistat and experiencing such symptoms, can make an online report to the FDA’s Medwatch Adverse Events Reporting system, or call (800) FDA-1088.

A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline said there is no evidence the company’s drug causes liver injury, noting that it primarily acts on the intestinal tract. She said alli’s safety has been studied in more 30,000 patients enrolled in 100 clinical studies. Of course didn’t the makers of Redux and Phen-Phen said until the evidence was so insurmountable they couldn’t ignore it any more?

When Diet and Exercise Go A Bit Too Far

Madonna Now

Madonna Now

I’m not a big one for following celebrities or pop-culture. I rarely pay attention unless something really special happens and it hits the regular news vs. a magazine or one of those channels like TMZ. I hadn’t really heard much about Madonna since she adopted her last child and I guess I thought she was just a lot less active, kind of grew up and into Mamahood. It turns out I just don’t read the right stuff.

Something that caught my attention this morning though is all the hub-bub on whether she’s healthy or not. As I dug into the story, I was really taken aback by the picture of her. My God, and some people (men) think this is beautiful. Her trainer says she “looks like a 19 year old”. I’ll tell you what, if one of my daughters looked like this I would be taking them to the closest shrink. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Which leads me to the next question. How does she hold onto a 22 year old boyfriend looking like that? I remember when she looked voluptuous, and make up takes care of the rest, but this? She’s over 50 and this looks like going on 90. He must be in it for the money.

I know that a there are a lot of body-building women that would give Atlas a run for his money, but personally I’ve never found that attractive. They end up with no boobs, a body hard as rock, how does someone enjoy cuddling up to that?

I guess this is the flip side of being fat. I don’t find that attractive either, and I guess I would be a poster child for what not to do to keep fit and healthy. I’m glad to know there’s a happy medium for us regular folks. Maybe I’m just a little jealous. I would love to be in the position that people actually told me I needed to gain some weight. LOL

A New One On Fat People

What else can they blame us for?

Yesterday on the news they came out with a report that fat people are the reason for global warming. Of course we didn’t do it all by ourselves, but we’re a big part of it.

According to researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, fat people cause more greenhouse gases because we eat more food and drive more. Now they’re hoping if you don’t care enough about yourself to lose weight, you might care more about what you’re doing to the environment.

One of the things they state is that it takes more energy to move heavier people. (I don’t think I needed a study to tell me that one).

The population with 40 percent obese people requires 19 percent more food energy for its total energy expenditure than the population with 3.5 percent obese people, the figure from when we were a much more active society 30 years ago. This 19 percent increase in food consumption translates into an increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the study said.

That’s quite a bit! What I want to know is how they even measure that?

According to a study done back in 1978 (which I can’t remember hearing anything about) a year the United States experienced an oil shock, a study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that if all overweight people in the country aged 18 to 79 reached their optimal weight, the resulting energy savings would equal 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline.

After the dieting period, about 750 million gallons of gasoline would be saved every year, said the authors, Bruce Hannon, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Timothy Lohman, now professor emeritus at the University of Arizona.

So supposedly the answer to our warming globe and our dependence on foreign oil, is just for everyone to go on a diet. I can’t wait to see the environmentalists spin on this one.

A New Motivation

Aids Walk SF

Aids Walk SF

I feel sorry for Denver as I watch the news last nite. The shot was of cars during rush hour not moving because of a blizzard. I’m sure glad that storm wasn’t that bad when it hit us last week. All we got was some rain and in some places some hale. They were literally getting snowed in where they sat on the freeway.

Here in California the weather is heating up and the sun is shining. The temps have been in the 70’s and heading higher, according to the 7 day forecast. With the sunny days come the farmer’s markets, the art and wine festivals and a whole slue of out door activities.

For me it’s a reminder that the Aids walk isn’t too far off. Last year  I decided at the last minute to keep my daughter company as she walked, and it just about killed me! It’s a 10k (or 6 mile) walk and for some reason I thought I could do it without having been hardly off my butt in a year. LOL

This year I’m going to be ready for her. Almost every year she’s looking for someone to walk with her. This year I’m going to get my butt in the gym and be ready when July rolls around again. At the same time I’m testing the theory that if you sign up for something like this it helps to get you and keep you motivated. I’ll let you know if it works.

I Love Science And Weight Loss

When you’ve dieted as many times and for as many years of your life as I have, you get to a point where just about everything you hear is the “same old stuff”, which I guess no matter how you cut it, it keeps being the same old stuff because that’s what works.

“Watch the calories. Burn more than you eat.” blah, blah, blah.

Every once in awhile science makes a breakthrough that helps the same old stuff work better or faster. One of those new things is the way we exercise.

I get a lot of health magazines and newsletters. I sell vitamins and nutritional supplements so I like to keep up with that kind of information. Some of the newsletters I get are from doctors that don’t necessarily “conform to the norm”. LOL. They do a lot of their own research, come up with their own theories, and fight an uphill battle until the regular populous of doctors “get it”.  One such doctor is Dr. Al Sears.

I have read his articles and looked at his P.A.C.E. program for exercise for years. His big thing in life seems to be making people aware that cardio is actually bad for your health (heart) and the way we should be exercising for health and weight loss. Now his way of thinking has pretty much taken off. While they don’t tell you how bad cardio for extended periods of time is for you, they are preaching more about circuit training and interval training as a way of boosting your metabolism and burning more fat.

The first one to “get it” was Curves, the gym that was basically women only and you move between resistance training and cardio every 30 seconds. They had everything set up in a circle and you move from machine to running in place to machine to running, until you completed the circle twice. For a beginner, I thought that worked pretty well. If you were more experienced you could always ramp it up.

Now as I look at some of the trainings for these marathon and half marathon runners, they are teaching the interval training. The “Couch to 5K” is a great example of that. It’s where you do bursts of high intensity in between regular brisk walking. This kind of exercise is supposed to strengthen your heart, plus keep your metabolism working long after your done. They say their interval training will have anyone running 3 miles in just 2 months following their plan.

Since getting older and so much more sedentary than I’ve ever been, strengthening the heart is a biggy for me. They say the reason that people run marathons and then kiel over dead when appearing to be in perfect health is that while running, the heart is under constant stress. The interval training “conditions” it vs. stressing it.

Did you know if you just stand instead of sitting one more hour per day, you burn an extra 100 calories? I thought that was interesting.

Also being post- menapausal the things that used to work for me to lose weight aren’t working any more. My body reacts differently to things than it used to. I’ve been using the interval training and the circut training, and I do feel a difference. Now I just need to be a bit better about my eating plan.

Speaking of eating, any body else go to Superbowl parties yesterday where there is much more food on the buffet table than there are people to eat it?

I’m Ramping Up!

I know they say not to keep saying “I’ll start tomorrow” but I’m saying it. I am still getting set up to get serious for sure this year. I am finishing the last of the holiday food which includes a multi-flavored mini cheesecake, and I need the BF to hook up my son’s old VCR in the kitchen where I have all my gym equipment set up. I got a webcam for XMAS (actually 2 but took one back) that I need to get hooked up and learn how to use, and am taking more before pictures to do a sort of “journey in pics” thing.

I am proud to say I’m not starting this year any heavier than I have been for several months, so I don’t have to deal with added weight. That was the goal I had set prior to Thanksgiving, and I was able to make that one work without too much effort.

What I am not proud of is that I started this blog a year ago last Sept. to force a sort of accountability, but it really didn’t help. There is a certain anonymity in being in cyberspace and while I have told the truth on my blog here, I haven’t really had to face anyone but myself, and obviously I’m not my strictest disciplinarian. I’ve decided that has to change. I need to face myself and you and not with the same old story.

While I get motivated over and over again, I’m not consistently motivated which is for sure part of my downfall. Trying to combat that, I am scheduling in the beginning of my day to go thru the WeightWatchers and Sparkpeople’s message boards, participate in the tracking tools daily, and look more for motivators around me.

I figure I have 2 choices: be where I am a year from now or be where I want to be a year from now.  Right here and now, on this second day of January, 2009 I am choosing the latter!

What are you going to do different this year? Or if what you’re doing is working for you and you’re sticking with it, SHARE. LOL

What’s New In Weight Loss Today?

I always find it fascinating to discover how hard every one is working on becoming the next “latest and greatest” in the weight loss industry.

There’s a new “Anti-Aging Weight Loss Diet” out. I read through it. Most of the tips are the same we’ve heard over and over again, olive oil, fish, drink plenty of water, we all know the routine, except for Adzuki beans. What the heck? I’m a big bean eater, but I have never heard of these. Are they only indigenous to the UK (where this diet was born) or can you get them anywhere? Now this diet is not only supposed to take 10 lbs. off your body, but 10 yrs. off your face to by fighting wrinkles. I’m 53 yrs. old. I could be interested. The article says you can buy them canned at the supermarket. I have never seen 1 can of Adzuki beans. The other specific thing it mentioned that I don’t see very often while going thru these lists of superfoods is Apricots. (Yes, I’ve seen and eaten apricots. LOL) They don’t make these lists specifically very often. They’re usually clumped with “more fruits and veggies” I guess.

The other thing that caught my eye this morning is a new non-surgical weight loss proceedure that a reporter from WCTV TV  reported on. It’s called Transoral Gastroplasty, or Toga. They take flexible instruments and put them down your throat, pull up part of your stomach thru your mouth, staple it, and put it back. The stapling forms a small pouch that makes you feel full. The first American to try it, Carrie Williamson, a 30 yr. old, says she had it done on Wednesday and was back to work on Monday. That’s a pretty darn quick recovery.  The pilot study  said patients lost 40% of body fat within a year. It’s not quite as much as with bypass surgery, but there’s less risk and less complications. I would love almost anything that would lose 40% of my body fat for me. LOL. God knows I’m not doing so hot on my own! I wonder how fat you have to be to have this done? And how much does it cost?

In the mean time I guess I’ll just stick to the good old fashioned diet and exercise. Thought you might like to see another “calories burned” chart. Here you go. It’s actually a pretty cool chart.


*If you’d like to learn more about the Trim Body System you can check it out here.