Welcome to the Biggest Loser - Turlock's 12 Week Weight Loss Challenge.

Biggest Loser Turlock begins a new 12-Week Individuals Challenge on January 7, 2014! You’re making a commitment to lose weight, and we’re looking forward to supporting you along the way. Check in on our blog often for weekly results, mini - challenges, and tips to help you stay on track and lead a healthy lifestyle!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ending Weight Stigma ...

Starting with Your Own

Bias. Stereotyping. Prejudice. Discrimination. Bullying.
These ugly words describe a serious problem spotlighted by Weight Stigma Awareness Week. Our culture is entrenched in the belief that fat is bad, people with fat are bad, people who exceed a BMI of 25 are unhealthy, and that only a narrow range of body sizes are beautiful. Billions of dollars are spent trying to attain the cultural ideal, but the more we diet, the further we move from it. Hello? Anybody home?
Whether subtle or blatant, weight stigma is broadcast into our living rooms and shows up in our classrooms, break rooms, and exam rooms. For many of us, weight stigma hits even closer to home: right between our ears!

By internalizing this cultural bias, we condemn ourselves to living within its limitations. We allow the bully to move into our brains.

What is the reality you are creating?

I'm not letting the bullies off the hook, but if you believe them, you become them. For example, you may have old tapes that sound something like this:
  • I’m too embarrassed to be seen exercising.
  • I can’t go to the gym until I’ve lost some weight.
  • I’m trying to eat healthy but I’m not losing weight—it doesn’t matter what I eat.
  • I’ll get diabetes because I can’t lose weight, so why change the way I eat?
  • I can’t eat what I love in public, so I'll binge later in private.
  • I’ll never look like I did in high school, so why bother with healthy eating and exercise?
  • I don’t deserve someone who loves me because I’m too fat.
  • I don’t feel sexy because of my weight.
  • I don’t see how my partner can think I’m sexy so I thwart his/her attempts.
  • I don’t believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful.
  • I don’t want to go to the doctor because I regained the weight I lost.
  • I don’t take my blood pressure medicine because I know I should lose weight instead.
  • I won’t buy new clothes until I reach my goal weight.
  • If I was thinner, I would ask for that promotion.
  • I’d love to travel but I want to lose weight first.
  • I love going to the beach but I hate putting on a bathing suit.
  • (Add your own here.)

Making the impossible, possible

What if? What if, instead of waiting on the world to change, you booted the bully from your brain? Ask yourself, "How could my life be different if I didn't buy into those limitations?"
  • I’m exercising.
  • I go to the gym.
  • I’m trying to eat healthy.
  • I’m at risk for diabetes so I’m changing the way I eat.
  • I’ll never look like I did in high school. I’m eating healthier and exercising.
  • I eat what I love.
  • I deserve someone who loves me.
  • I feel sexy.
  • My partner thinks I’m sexy.
  • My husband tells me I’m beautiful.
  • I go to the doctor.
  • I take my blood pressure medicine.
  • I buy new clothes.
  • I’m going to ask for that promotion.
  • I love to travel.
  • I’m going to the beach.
  • (Add your own here.)

Adapted from
Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!

Michelle May, M.D.
P.S. You can only change what you are aware of. Any curiosity, discomfort, or outrage this article triggered was intentional. If you felt it, please learn more about weight stigma.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mini Challenge Winners

Last Weeks mini challenge was 3 minutes of step-ups! Congratulations to all of you who completed it! FYI...we are going to revisit this challenge towards the end of our 10-weeks and see how we have improved! Meanwhile, our random drawing winners from those who completed the challenge are:

Sandie Knapp, Diane Aispuro, Dave Nieuwsma, Tracee Storms and Tamra Giannini

Congratulations! You all won an Expo Marker Biggest Loser Dry-Erase Board/Meal Planner. You can pick up your prize at the next weigh-in!

Moderation in All Things

How to Avoid the Diet Blues

What comes to mind for you when you hear the word diet? If you’re like most people, you probably imagine eating carrot sticks, going to bed hungry, and giving up your favorite foods—and that's why so many diets fail. Most people just can’t tolerate those kinds of restrictions for very long.

The more you try to eliminate your favorite foods, the more feelings of discomfort, deprivation and resentment build up. This can result in bingeing on all the foods you’ve been denying yourself, undoing all your hard work in a single day. But even if you can avoid that problem, are you willing to eat like a rabbit for the rest of your life?

Studies show that 95 percent of people who follow a highly restrictive diet to lose weight will put the weight back on when they return to “normal” eating again. So what’s the alternative? How do you manage to lose weight without eliminating the problem foods and problem behaviors that made you overweight to begin with?

The alternative is moderation—in your eating and, perhaps most importantly, in your thinking.

What is Moderation?
On the surface, moderation simply means avoiding extremes. It involves finding strategies and habits that can be maintained over the long-term, without cycling between one extreme and the other.

At a deeper level, moderation is a commitment to balance and wholeness. It is rooted in the recognition that each person has many different (and often competing) needs, desires, abilities, and goals. Living up to your full potential means finding ways to incorporate all of them into your decision-making processes and choices.

Practicing moderation in your weight loss program begins with practical strategies, such as counting calories, measuring portions, learning about your nutritional needs, and planning healthy meals. Achieving a reasonable rate of weight loss (about 1-2 pounds per week) by combining a tolerable calorie restriction with exercise is the moderate way to go. Fad diets, eliminating food groups, severely cutting calories and using diet pills are just as extreme as completely denying yourself foods that you enjoy.

The idea is to follow a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable nutrition and fitness plan that you can stick with—for life. There’s no “ending the diet” or going back to “normal" eating or anything that will cause you to regain the weight you’ve lost. When you reach your goal weight, all you need to do is gradually increase your caloric intake to a level where you can maintain your weight loss.

Sounds simple, right?

Like many things, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. Chances are…you want results quickly. And you probably know that your current routine is problematic in one or more ways—too much fast food, sugar, or fat and not enough physical activity. Your natural inclination is going to be making big, sweeping changes to your diet and activity level right away.

In short, everything in you is clamoring for a very anti-moderate approach. You’re primed to play the extreme diet game, even though your odds of winning are less than five percent.

Moderate Your Thinking
To rescue yourself from your own impatience (and the clutches of the diet industry that feeds on it), you need to moderate your thinking. Here are two core concepts that will help you do that:

Concept #1: Food is not the enemy. There are no "good" or "bad" foods. True, some foods offer you a better nutritional deal than others. Refined sugar, for example, provides calories for energy but no other nutrients, while fruit is sweet but also provides vitamins and fiber in a low-calorie package. But refined sugar isn't evil or bad—it can have a place in a healthy diet. It's important to know what you need nutritionally and where you can find it, so you can take charge of balancing your needs for pleasure, nutrition, and fuel.

The Payoff: When you stop labeling foods as good or bad, diet or non-diet, you won't feel guilty when you eat a food that isn't on your "approved" list. Instead you'll have more energy to learn about nutrition and improve your ability to make informed choices. And you won't have to give up your favorite treats if you find ways to work them into your meal plans so they don’t interfere with your health goals. Without the guilt and deprivation, you’ll be able to break the pattern of cravings, emotional swings, and binges that defeats so many diets. Without all those "diet" rules to follow, you’ll learn to trust your own instincts and make good judgments.

Concept #2: Progress—not perfection—is important. To be successful, you don't have to always make perfect decisions and have perfect days where things go exactly as you planned. If you eat more or exercise less than you wanted to one day, you can make up for it over the next several days if you want, or you can just chalk it up to experience and move on. Remind yourself that what happens on any one day is not going to make or break your whole effort. This is not a contest or a race, where every little misstep could mean the difference between winning and losing. It’s your life—and you’ll enjoy it a lot more when you can keep the daily ups and downs of your eating and exercise routine in perspective.

The Payoff: By refusing to be a perfectionist, you can take most of the stress out of weight loss. You’ll see small problems as what they are—very small problems, not major calamities that mean you've blown it. You'll be able to find pleasure and satisfaction in the fact you’re learning as you go and doing a little better all the time. No more making things worse because your perfectionism caused you to write off the rest of the day or week after one little slip.
-- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dealing with Boredom in Your Diet

Everything Needs a Little Shake-Up

You start a new diet. You see some fantastic results pretty quickly. The struggle, of course, is then maintaining this weight loss. Changing eating patterns for a short period is different than sustaining them. This is the area people seem to have the most problems with. Once frustration and boredom sets in, once dieters have reached that plateau, it becomes so easy to just give up in disappointment.

Dig Down Deep
When you are in a rut, don’t give up! That’s the worst thing you can do. Boredom might be leading you back towards your old habits, but fight back! What’s vital to overcoming this sense of apathy is to set goals. Not just in the beginning of your diet, but throughout it. Goals should be specific, yet flexible. They should allow for some minor setbacks, and yet encourage you to keep moving forward.

As an example, say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. Great! But how are you going to get there? Is it by eating a specific amount of calories? Perhaps by eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables? Are you going to try to work out a few times a week? Be accommodating to yourself. Realize that you are not perfect and you might splurge on something tasty every now and again. Don’t view this as diet failure.

Keep it Fresh
One of the biggest things that can be seen as contributing to diet boredom is a regimen that is so specific; it eliminates certain things from your diet, such as a low carbohydrate diet. These diets are not inherently bad, but it limits the variety of food options. So do your best to keep it fresh.

When struggles of tediousness come, counterattack! Change the types of food you eat. Don’t have the same dinners every week. Try new things out. It might take a little extra effort in the kitchen, but creativity in the kitchen can be fun. One way to do this is to splurge on a new healthy cookbook. Try out a new recipe once a week. Also, get your family involved in healthy cooking. Perhaps each family member can have a night of the week, not only to help cook, but to help pick out a recipe. You can also do a healthy recipe exchange with friends.

Above all else, a diet is nothing without combining other aspects of healthy living. Drink plenty of water, as always. This will keep you from munching throughout the day. Also, eat around 5-6 times a day, but in smaller portions. Finally, concentrate on fitness aspects as well. You won’t lose weight effectively if you do nothing to train your body. So, with your diet, you’ll be able to build some great healthy habits, but this can lead to plateaus. Add some spice to your diet and you’ll continue seeing success.

-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer SparkPeople

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Refreshing Ways to Switch from Sugary Drinks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released findings for sugary drink consumption and their results are not good.  Sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet and over half of Americans have sugary drinks every day.  With research linking consumption of beverages with added sugar to an overall increase in daily caloric intake, obesity and increased risk for Type II Diabetes, sugary drinks are a public health issue.  A new campaign is calling for reducing Americans average consumption of sugary drinks to approximately 3 cans of soda per person per week by 2020.
Life's Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks
The “Life’s Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks” campaign, launched by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and other groups is targeting, “fruit-flavored beverages with little or no juice, sweetened iced teas, lemonades, energy drinks, and so-called sports drinks.” The campaign’s web site, fewersugarydrinks.org, invites individuals and families to take the Life’s Sweeter challenge to drink fewer or no sugary drinks.

How to Cut Down
Diluting sodas and fruit juices with water is one way to lessen your intake.  But a better way is to slowly cut out drinks with added sugar.  You might trade a soda for a piece of fruit and a glass of water at lunch time to start.  Steeping fruit-flavored tea bags and adding a tablespoon of honey with added ice cubes is another alternative. Try drinking more green juices as well which can be hydrating.  Celery juice with a hint of ginger is a good start.  There are bottled versions that may add apple or carrot juice as a sweetener.  While it's best to juice fruits yourself, watch the calorie count and carbs on the bottled varieties which can run into the 200 to 300 calorie range per 16 oz. bottle.

No Added Sugar Drink Recipes
To support the cause, below are 4 refreshing exchanges you can have instead of sugary drinks.  While some of these have a good amount of naturally occurring sugar from fruit, they are full of much needed vitamins and minerals.  So raise your glass and drink to your health!

Orange Cucumber Mint Water
This drink is as revitalizing as a cup of lemonade. You’ll need a pitcher with a strainer on the lid, or you can add several slices of the ingredients to each 16 oz. glass.
1 small cucumber
1 small ripe orange
4 sprigs of mint
64 oz. chilled or iced water
Cut both the cucumber and orange into thin slices and add to the pitcher of water.  Do not squeeze the orange slices.  The sprigs can be added to each glass when served. Makes 4 Servings

Watermelon Juice with a TwistThis sweet twist on soda is healthy and full of potassium to keep you hydrated.
2 liter of club soda
½ seedless watermelon (6-7 pounds)
1 lime
Juice the lime and set aside. After cutting the watermelon into 1-inch chunks and removing the rind, blend half of it into a puree with a food processor or blender and add half the club soda and lime juice. Repeat for the remaining ingredients and add to a pitcher. Chill for 2 hours or add ice cubes. Set the pitcher lid to strain when ready to serve. Makes 8 servings

Coconut Papaya Drink
This tropical drink is nutritious and sweet.
16 oz. coconut water
½ medium banana
1 large papaya sliced and peeled
Combine ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve over ice. Makes 2 servings
Fizzy Water
This drink tastes a little like an orange cream soda.
1 cup seltzer water, club soda, or fizzy mineral water
1/4 cup orange juice (as fresh as possible)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add water, orange juice, and vanilla extract to a large glass and stir.  Add ice cubes as desired. Makes 1 serving

article available on caloriecount.about.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week One Complete!

Week One is in the books for this newest 10-week challenge and we are off to a GREAT start! We officially have 91 participants! A few of you didn't make it to weigh-in Monday night, so as a reminder, if you were one of them, you will owe $5 to the penalty pot next Monday or you can apply your one SKIP THE SCALE pass for the challenge. And we had a few newcomers on Monday night as well! Welcome to all of you.

The BIG news is in our first week, our group has lost 353lbs! You can see our current TOP 10 in the column to the left, and everyones results a bit farther down the page on the left. Just a reminder that as it stands, the TOP 5 Participants at the end of the 10-week challenge will divide up the cash prize!

Many of you showed up to weigh-in Monday unaware of the mini-challenge that was waiting. Please make sure you check the MINI-CHALLENGE column on the left side of this blog each week to prepare so you wont miss an opportunity to win fun prizes!
This week  I drew 5 names from those of you that completed our 1-mile Power walk, and the winner are:

Pam Wycoff, Misty Hale, Barbara Stone, Adrienne Tobar, and Carol Odell!Congratulations! Your Biggest Loser Power Walk DVD should arrive here at weigh-in in 2 weeks (On Oct. 3)

There will be more information and tips posted here throughout the week. But for now, I just want to remind you, that if you are interested, beginning next Monday evening from 6:30-8:00pm, there will be a group study available called MADE TO CRAVE. There is a brief clip below about the study. If you chose to come, you will need to order your own materials. Click on the items below to order them through amazon.com.
Made to Crave book
Made to Crave participant guide
If you order them and they dont show up before Monday, come anyway and I will lend you material to read until yours arrives.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Surviving the Weekend

I'm often asked why we keep scheduling the weigh-ins for Biggest Loser on Monday nights."Why Mondays?"
"How am I supposed to cheat on the weekends when I have to weigh-in Monday? I need a few extra days to lose those extra calories I ate!"

And my answer always is this. Weekends don't go away. They are always here. Same thing for holidays. The problem isn't the date of the weigh-in, it's how we treat our weekends and holidays as free passes to over-indulge. Here's a great article on the subject along with some helpful tips for surviving your weekend and still losing the weight.

Weekend Diet Traps
Question: I eat a healthy diet Monday through Friday, but on the weekends, it's no holds barred. How do I bring in the reins?

Answer: After working hard all week, you are ready for some rest and relaxation -- and that mindset seems to also extend to your diet. You start with cocktails and greasy appetizers Friday night with friends. On Saturday, you go grazing through the food court while shopping at the mall, then go out for a big dinner that night. On Sunday, you are feeling kind of lazy and lounge around on the couch watching television and snacking on chips and dip.

Your mindless weekend binge just ruined an entire week of healthy eating. Then the guilt sets in. You get back to your routine diet on Monday, feeling bad and vowing to eat right next weekend. But then Friday comes around and the whole cycle starts all over again.
This is a pretty common scenario. But don't despair. With a little thought and preparation, you can continue to eat healthy and still enjoy your weekends. Here are some tips:
Plan ahead
Don't load up your kitchen with lots of tempting, high-calorie snacks. Keep fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain crackers and your favorite cheese on-hand for nutritious snacking.
Don't skip breakfast
Start Saturday and Sunday mornings with a healthy breakfast1 with plenty of protein and fiber. Good choices include eggs, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, or whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.

Use a food diary every day
A great way to stay motivated to eat a healthy diet is to keep track of the foods you eat. Print out your own food diary2, or use Calorie Count3, a free online tool that can help you track your eating and activity (you can even look up food labels4).
Give yourself a small treat or two during the week
Any diet that leaves you feeling deprived will ultimately fail. Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream during the week.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
They are low in calories, and high in nutrients and fiber6. Fiber is key -- it will keep you feeling full.

Eat less at restaurants
Going out for dinner? Most restaurants serve very large portions. Choose a soup and a salad, or a salad and an appetizer for your meal. If you order a large meal, take half of it home for a delicious lunch the next day.

Be careful with shopping trips
Eat a healthy lunch before you go to the mall. If you go hungry, you are much more likely to give in to the temptation of unhealthy foods at the food court.
Get some exercise each day
Go for a walk. Not only will you burn calories, the exercise will improve your mood and may distract you from your cravings.
Once you learn how to continue your healthy diet on the weekends, you just might find that you have even more energy to do fun things with family and friends. Enjoy your weekend away from work. You've earned it.

By Shereen Jegtvig, About.com Guide

Updated September 12, 2011
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What to Expect at the Free Workouts

The Free Workout Schedule can be found on the left side of this blog a little futher down. Mondays and Fridays we have leaders taking you through interval training (combinations of both cardio and muscle work) and Tuesdays and Thursdays are DVD's projected onto the gym wall. 5:30-6:30am Monday Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Here's are a couple samples of some of the video workouts we do...

Your Willpower Isn't Enough

You've just resolved to eat healthier and exercise more. But how do you stick with your self-improvement plan? You need techniques that will strengthen your resolve. "People believe that through discipline alone, they can create behavioral changes," says Charles Stuart Platkin, author of Breaking the Pattern: The 5 Principles You Need to Remodel Your Life. "But typically, willpower doesn't last very long."
Here are 11 tips to give your eat-right, move-more efforts greater endurance.

1. Eliminate Excuses "Even if you're not a morning person, schedule exercise for first thing in the morning," suggests Martica Heaner, M.A., a New York-based exercise physiologist and author of Cross-Training for Dummies. "The later you wait to exercise, the more reasons you'll have for not doing it." Sally White, Ph.D., dean and professor at the College of Education at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and an expert on motivation and exercise, agrees. "Keep gym clothes everywhere -- in the car, at work -- so there's never a reason not to go." So what do you need to do? Sleep in your sports bra? Lay your workout clothes out on the bed the night before? Ask a buddy to call and remind you to get moving? Figure out what works -- then do it.

2. Kid Around Of course, finding time to work out was simpler B.C. (Before Children) -- but just because family precedes fitness on your list of priorities doesn't mean there isn't room for both in your life. Get your children involved with you. Take a family hike, go for a group bike ride -- or roll with it. "Scooters and in-line skates are great for kids and can be just as much calorie-burning fun for moms," says Bonne Marano, a certified fitness instructor in New York City. Plus, getting moving with you is good for the little guys, says White: "The children of families who exercise together are more likely to be active later in life."

3. Plan with Your ManA study at Indiana University, in Bloomington, found that 94 percent of spouses who worked out together stuck to their exercise plans, compared with only 57 percent of those who went at it alone. Can't tear him away from the TV long enough for a bike ride? Then try using the word "ball" to entice him, offers Heaner: "If a high-energy kick-boxing class or body-sculpting session isn't his thing, shooting hoops or tossing around a football may be. A little one-on-one on the basketball court burns twice as many calories as walking. Even if you never make a basket, the sprinting and lateral movements will improve your coordination."

4. Write It DownKeep your own food and exercise log: People who are successful at losing and maintaining their weight are good at self-monitoring, according to several studies. "And remember to put positive feelings in print, too, to review on days you need a boost," says Rachna D. Jain, Psy.D., a lifestyle coach and licensed psychologist in Columbia, Maryland. Describing how good you felt after a workout, for instance, could help get you out the door next time.

5. Seek Inspiration Feeling a little less than vibrant? Find a mental mentor to get you moving. That's how Sarah Ferguson, former Duchess of York, keeps revved. Saying negativity drains energy, she counts the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela among her positive-energy role models. Or consider George W. Bush: If the president of the United States can fit regular exercise into his schedule, you probably can, too. Figure out who inspires you -- maybe it's your friend who manages to make time for a morning walk despite having four kids under 10 -- and think of her when you're feeling too tired or busy.

6. Paint Pretty Pictures How will eating better or sticking to an exercise plan make you look and feel in the long term? Create "life preservers," detailed visions of your ideal self, suggests Platkin. Imagine going on a date with your husband in a sexy new dress; picture running into your high-school nemesis looking toned and confident. "The point is to have motivational scenarios you can think about when you're having trouble sticking to your plan," says Platkin. "And remember: Make the visualizations compelling and inspiring -- powerful enough to stand up to that diabolical duo, Ben & Jerry!"

7. Treat Yourself Did you refrain from finishing your daughter's fries today? Did you take a brisk walk on your lunch break? Reward yourself. "Treat yourself to a simple pleasure," suggests Dr. Jain. "Promise yourself thirty minutes of quiet time to read a novel, or buy yourself a new set of luxurious bath gels."

8. Tune In to Tone Up When it comes to exercise, music can move you -- not only because it offers mental stimulation, but also because it may help put you in a better mood. "Music's rhythm also helps exercisers maintain a reasonable intensity level," says Vince Nethery, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, Washington. And listening to music may even help you work out longer and harder. A study at Hampden-Sydney College, in Farmville, Virginia, recently found that college students who exercised to music were able to work out 11 percent longer than those who worked out in silence or a noisy environment.

9. Sweat for a Cause Sign up for a charity walk/run, like Race for the Cure (www.komen.org/race), which benefits breast-cancer research, or the MS Bike Tour (www.nationalmssociety.org), which raises funds for multiple-sclerosis research. You'll help yourself by helping others. Plus, after hitting up friends and family for donations, you'll be motivated to reach your goal.