Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week # 2

Week #2 wasn’t QUITE as entertaining as week #1, but it did have its moments of greatness.  Just for the record, on week #1, our regular instructor was not able to make it to class, so we had the instructor from the other session step in to get us started.  No worries, except that she was like, 11 months pregnant and ready to drop her kid at any time (which she did earlier this week).  Good news is, I lost 1.5 lbs! Yay me!
The new instructor (who I will call Blondie) was very nice. She was very upbeat and positive, and personable.  Even though she was one of those skinny girls who is probably a runner (even though she’s also pregnant and due in January) and super athletic, she didn’t seem to judge, and it felt like she loved helping people to be healthier.  I digress.
Week #2 actually started the nutrition portion of the class.  There is a lot of information about what is a calorie, how many calories are in fat/carbs/proteins, and how many calories you need to eliminate to lose 1lb. (One girl in the class already knew all this because she had been in Weight Watchers, so she was totally the teachers’ pet for this session.  From this point forward, she will be known as WW when she is referenced).  
Just to reiterate, here is a cast of characters so far:
Amber (white trashy and looks like Amber from Teen Mom—probably in mid 20’s. She wore pajamas to the first class!)
Dundalk (white trash and probably from Dundalk—probably in mid 20’s—but seems nice enough)
WW (chick that was in Weight Watchers and knows everything—probably in mid 40’s)
HnH (older black woman who is probably in her late 60’s)
Blondie (class leader—probably in mid 30’s)
Trudy (young black girl—probably around age 20—reference to the ‘Facts of Life’—probably the smallest person in the class and the least in need of this procedure)
Later (white girl—probably in mid 20’s but stuck with a hair style from 1975—called ‘later’ because she joined the class late)
Tennessee (white guy—probably late 30’s—always wears a t-shirt in Tennessee Orange. He’s also approximately the same size as the state of Tennessee. The largest person in the class—but I’m not judging).
Some selected conversations from last night for your reading pleasure:
On the use of artificial sweeteners:
Blondie: There are a lot of healthy beverage choices on the market that will make losing weight easier.  This will prevent you from drinking your calories.  Diet and reduced calorie drinks are great substitutes for sugar sweetened products, and help you to keep your calorie consumption low.
Amber: That’s not true. Artificial sweeteners are bad for you.
Blondie: That’s incorrect.  Artificial sweeteners are a necessary part of helping you to reduce your calories and experience weight loss.  For those of you who are diabetic, it will help you to reduce spikes in blood sugar.
Amber: It’s IS true.  Aspartame causes cancer
Blondie: No it doesn’t.
Amber: Yes, it does. I saw it on TV.  They also said that eating artificial sweeteners makes you GAIN weight.
Blondie (visibly agitated at Amber): You’re wrong.  I’m not going to stand here and argue with you all night.  Artificial sweeteners are perfectly healthy to consume.

On meal plans:
Blondie: I’m going to hand out a green booklet.  This booklet contains your meal plan guidelines for you to follow for the next six months to help you reach your 10% weight loss goal for the course.
Amber (waving hand in the air): I have high tri-glycerides.  Will this meal plan be okay for me, or will I have to modify it to account for that.
Blondie:  The meal plan is fine for your tri-glycerides.  You shouldn’t have to modify anything because this will limit your intake of foods that you shouldn’t be eating anyways.
Amber: Are you sure?
Blondie: Yes, I’m sure.

On making healthy choices:
Blondie:  On page two of your green book, you’ll see a page for dairy products.  If you drink whole milk, you are consuming 150 calories and 9 grams of fat per 8oz glass. By changing to 1% or skim, you will be eliminating a lot of the useless calories and especially fat.  By a show of hands, who currently drinks whole milk? Okay, 2%? And 1%? And skim? I noticed you didn’t raise your hand, ma’am. Do you not drink milk?
HnH:  I drink milk, just not any of those.
Blondie: Oh, do you drink soy milk or almond milk instead?
HnH: No, I use Half-and-Half.
Blondie: Half of what and what? Whole milk and skim?
HnH: No, half-n-half like for coffee.
Blondie: You DRINK half-and-half? Half-and-Half is half cream and half whole milk.  That’s really not the healthiest choice when you’re trying to lose weight.
HnH: Well, I really only use it in my coffee.
Blondie: Oh, well that’s not too bad, I guess, especially if you’re only drinking a few cups of coffee a week.
HnH: Yeah, I use 3 or 4 Tablespoons per mug.  And sometimes I eat it on my cereal, too. 
Blondie (obviously shocked): You use half-and-half in your cereal? And you use at least 3-4 Tablespoons per cup of coffee? (see her mentally calculating calories in her head) How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
HnH: Only about two or three cups a day. When I use it on my cereal, I dilute it with some water. That makes it healthier, right?
Blondie:  Well, that’s something we’re going to go over.

On vegetables being a ‘free’ food:
Blondie:  As you can see, you can have one ‘free’ vegetable serving a day.  A serving is either 1.5 cups cooked, or 3 cups raw.  These refer to the non-starchy vegetables.  Potatoes, peas, and corn are not on this list. 
Amber:  Does ‘free’ mean that they burn more calories than they have in them?
Blondie: No, ‘free’ means that you get them as a ‘free’ option that doesn’t count towards your meal plan.
Amber: But some vegetables are negative calories!
Blondie: That’s a myth. There is no such thing as a food with a negative calorie count. Moving on…

On being Vegan:  
Trudy: So my family, I mean, my mom and my brother, and our whole family is transitioning to being Vegan. So we’ve been drinking organic milk. Is organic milk lower in calories and fat?
Blondie: Although organic milk is a good choice, the fat and calorie content will be equivalent to the same level of milk in the non-organic side. So whole milk, generally, will have the same calories and fat regardless of whether the cows were given hormones.
Vegan: But organic milk is good for you. It says so.
Later: What about acidophilus milk? Is that healthier? Because there’s no lactose?
Blondie: Again, milk is milk and all levels of milk will be equivalent across the board. Whole milk, 2 %, 1% and skim will all have equivalent calories and fat, even if its organic, or its Lactaid.
(it should be noted that no one chose to tell Trudy that to be a VEGAN means NO products from animals—including milk. I guess she forgot about that!)

On drinking juice:
Blondie: Juices can be good for you, but juices can also be very high calorie and sugar products. I know a lot of people are hard-core juicers, but remember that juice can be drank very quickly, and leave lacking.  Eating a piece of fruit instead will give your body fiber, which makes you feel full, and it takes longer than drinking just juice.
Tennessee:  I love orange juice, but I haven’t had any since I was diagnosed diabetic.
Blondie: That’s probably a good idea, but there are other options available to you, for example, Trop50 has less sugar and calories than regular orange juice.
Tennessee:  It’s nasty. I tried it once and it was disgusting.
Amber: Yeah, and it’s probably got artificial sweetener in it, doesn’t it? It has to have artificial sweetener in it!
Blondie:  Give me a minute, I’m reading the label. Yes, it has sucralose, or splenda, in it. But it’s still an option if you can’t give up your morning juice.  Of course, it’s not going to taste Exactly the same, but it might help satisfy that juice habit. You can also look like the Morning Sunrise Crystal Light…
Tennessee (shouts): Crystal Light is AWESOME!

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