Posts Tagged Beth’s Story

Cyclist Frank Krasowski’s Year-Round Rides Create Endorphin Satisfactions Exceeding Food Pleasures

At the therapist the other day for my arm, I mentioned “Beth’s Story” (see November 6th post below) to Frank Krasowski, the owner of The Hills Physical Therapy in Bantam, CT. He had his own ideas about what it takes to diet, exercise, and lose weight.

“Some people are disciplined, and others aren’t. Food gives some people so much pleasure that they can’t give it up…unless there is another pleasure to compensate for that loss.”

For Frank, riding his bike on hilly, scenic roads does the trick. The sweating, the big gears, and the views he enjoys outdoors trigger endorphins into his system that easily make up for his more limited diet. “I love biking. It changes my mind set, so that food becomes fuel, rather than a source of pleasure and satisfaction. This doesn’t happen for me with other kinds of exercise.”

Frank Krasowski resting from a ride—2007

Frank Krasowski resting from a ride—2007

He admitted that his ability to be disciplined with food goes in spurts. And he really admires people who can stick to their own rules with consistency. He also volunteered that he rides in the winter as long as there isn’t much snow on the ground. He has all the necessary clothing layers, masks and gloves to build up the warmth needed to ride comfortably in freezing temperatures. Sounds pretty disciplined to me…

After hearing Frank’s words, I did a few searches on the net about sugar rushes and endorphin highs.

SUGAR RUSHES

Time and again you’ve experienced the intense effects that food can have on your moods. Cakes, cookies, and fudge are known as pleasure foods not only because they delight your taste buds but because they can make you feel calm and happy – at least temporarily. This sugar induced sense of euphoria comes from several chemical mechanisms in your brain. First of all, the sheer pleasure of tasting a chocolate treat or powdery donut stimulates your brain’s pleasure pathways and the release of dopamine and endorphins, the chemicals that makes you feel exhilarated. You also get a quick surge of energy as the sugar hits your bloodstream. Unfortunately, that energized feeling lasts only as long as the sugar rush. Once your blood-sugar levels drop (about an hour or two later), you’re left feeling drained and out of sorts. You become an addict looking for another hit.

Clearly, then, food can be as powerful as the most addictive drug. If you’re experiencing carbohydrate cravings as a result of taking antidepressants, you’re probably well aware of the addictive nature of certain foods. Addictive foods are almost always processed foods. (I have never known anyone addicted to lima beans.) And you probably know that feeding your cravings only makes you crave the food even more. In fact, some studies suggest that food cravings may be triggered by low levels of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins), a phenomenon that may also occur in people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs.

NOW SOME INFO ABOUT ENDORPHINS Read the rest of this entry »

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How Beth Lost 28 Pounds So Easily That She Is Unimpressed With Her Achievement

Met a very attractive woman named Beth a couple of months ago who admitted gradually as we talked that she lost 28 pounds in about a year: “From 170 to 142,” she responded matter of factly. There was no excited pride or emotional celebration in describing her achievement. She was completely nonchalant, which surprised me. Acted as if anyone could do it. I think she may be too shy to ever show me a “before” picture, but these days she looks healthy, fit and stands tall.

“How did you do this?” I wondered, “and what motivated you to start?”

Her answers make it all sound so easy…

First her sister-in-law joined a WeightWatchers Program, followed the recommended menu and started losing pounds. That inspired Beth to finally change her own life. She modified her sister-in-law’s plan to suit her own needs and preferences.

Mainly she cut out all junk foods and reduced her portion sizes.

Next she began exercising at least three to four days a week, an hour each time. She limited this effort to running on a treadmill while shadowboxing simultaneously for her upper body. She demonstrated how she throws punches in the air, and I was glad that I was a few feet away.

The frequent exercise apparently reduced her desire for non-essential calories. Now when she goes out with girl friends, she simply avoids the desserts that she used to love and crave and thought she could not possibly do without.

I asked Beth to write about her life-changing accomplishment, but she thought there wasn’t much to say. It was easy, and she looks and feels great. End of story!

But we all know that giving up desserts and other taste treats while somehow making yourself exercise three or four hours a week takes major determination, time and continuous discipline. Beth may be unimpressed with her success, but I am applauding her silently every time I think of her. What is your reaction?

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