Planning for a reunion @weightwatchers @loselikeaman

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Panic Button: Reunion
I don’t want to be the butt of fat jokes at my reunion. What can I do?

The Problem
When I graduated from high school, I was a fit and taut star athlete. Over the years, my gut grew, I got flabby and now my high school reunion is fast approaching. I don’t want to be the guy everyone is talking about when they leave. What can I do?

The Solution

Your fear is the reality that faced Charles Jaubert last year as the 38-year-old school administrator from Lafayette, La., geared up for his high school’s 20th reunion.

“I was an all-sports letterman in high school,”Jaubert says. “I weighed 195 pounds.” When he met up with his classmates at his 10-year high school reunion in 1998, however, Jaubert tipped the scales at a whopping 350 pounds. (That’s about an 80 percent increase in just 10 years.)

“I was voted ‘Most Changed’ by my classmates at the reunion, but not in the good way,” Jaubert said with a laugh. “It was all light-hearted fun, but that wasn’t a very good feeling.”

Soon after the reunion, Jaubert turned to Weight Watchers, began attending meetings, watching his diet and exercising. He dropped 100 pounds.

“I thought I was on top of the world,” Jaubert said of his astounding weight loss. “I felt really good about myself—fit, even—and attended meetings regularly.”

But over the next decade he allowed the weight to creep back on. “When I realized we were closing in on the 20-year reunion, I got a knee-jerk reaction: I better rejoin Weight Watchers and get back in shape,” he said.

Jaubert’s goal was to shave 35 to 40 pounds over the few months leading up to the reunion, and he went about it the right way, says Dr. Ted Epperly, a Boise-based physician and president-elect of the American Association of Family Practitioners: Jaubert planned ahead, consulted his physician and is eyed a healthy pace of losing two pounds per week.

No matter what you do, no matter how desperate you are to get fit before the reunion, don’t go on a crash diet. They don’t work, and they can wreak havoc on your body.
“The safe and appropriate rate of weight loss is one to two pounds a week, or about four to eight pounds a month,” Epperly says. “There are only two things that go into losing weight. One is cutting down on the number of calories you consume per day. The other is exercise.” Here are Epperly’s recommendations for shaping up prior to your reunion or any other social event you’re anxious about:

Consider this simple math, says Epperly: A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Shed 500 calories from your daily diet and you’ll drop 3,500 calories for that week. (That’s already a whole pound shed for the week!)

Add 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise and you’ll take care of another pound. “Here’s a good rule of thumb,” says Epperly. “Walking or running—it doesn’t matter which—for about 30 to 45 minutes burns about 500 calories.” That means if you walk 45 minutes, seven times a week, you’ve burned another 3,500 calories—and another pound of fat.

No matter what you do, no matter how desperate you are to get fit before the reunion, Epperly warns against dangerous crash diets. They don’t work, he said, and they can wreak havoc on your body. “Some dangers associated with crash dieting include physical and mental fatigue, vitamin deficiencies and dehydration,” he says. “It’s almost like a fine-tuned car: all of a sudden it’s getting sub-standard fuel, and it just won’t function as well.”

So what happens if you didn’t plan ahead and give yourself enough time to safely shed the desired amount of weight before strutting your stuff at that reunion? Don’t panic, Epperly says. Any amount of weight loss is a step in the right direction. “I applaud anyone for losing weight, for whatever reason,” Epperly says.


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