Sunday, July 5, 2009
"Food and our Bones" by Annemarie Colbin
Is a book about "the natural way to prevent osteoporosis." I checked it out of the public library because I am particularly interested in preventing bone loss. I have had a few breaks in my life and I would like to prevent any further breakage. I understand the symbiotic nature of diet, motion, and emotion. All of those aspects have an effect on bone health. This book directly addresses the effect of diet on bone health. Printed in 1998, it is an older tome, however, sometimes data is still relevant even 11 years later.
I already engage in physical activity, take a multivitamin with calcium and vitamin D, and get plenty of sunlight. I do bone jarring jogging to improve bone density in my leg bones. I do light weight lifting to maintain the rest of my frame. I do yoga. All of these activities are done with the idea of maintaining or improving my bone density.
Some of my own personal history of my weight with crazy eating:
As a youngster, I drank diet cola, fully caffeinated, ate everything with Aspartame, had an extremely low fat diet. I also put on a lot of weight. I counted calories. I tried Slim Fast. I never did stretching beyond what was on an aerobics video. I never trained above the "fat burning mode" during my cardio. I ate carbohydrates with abandon. I shunned all fats. I favored margarine. I chewed bubble gum with abandon, too. Can I just tell you I gained weight to the tune of 10 pounds per year even though I was very active? I would take three dances classes per week. I would take two PE courses at the community college. I also had debilitating headaches and constant hunger pains. I was determined to do what all of the "get thin quick" magazines recommended.
When I was 26 years old I shattered my toes. I stubbed them on a couch. At that time, my appetite dwindled to nothing. I could only manage 20 ounces of Sprite and one Little Debbie snack cake per day for four months. My digestive track was not willing to eat anything. I was not allowed to walk or do anything. I had my foot up the whole time, doctor's orders. In that time I lost 25 pounds. I'm sure I lost muscle. It was bizarre. I maintained that weight loss for about 3 years. My eating patterns returned to normal. I lost a little more and then gained it back first working one good job and then another more stressful job. While working on a film, my calorie load was very low due to no time to eat. We worked very long hours (20 hour days, 6 days per week.) I put on 15 pounds even though it was extremely hot. At the end of that film, I realized that I could not maintain a healthy weight and work in that industry. I came home to serve jury duty. It was a 3 week case. It was extremely stressful. I had to sit for 3 weeks straight. We were cooped up in a room with free donuts. I would eat one or two donuts in a day. I was also exercising at home. Over the course of those three weeks I put on 35 pounds. I was stunned and extremely saddened. I also discovered my first "DO NOT EAT!" food, donuts.
Over the years I have created a list of foods which I just should never eat unless I want to put on two-5 pounds of fat in a day. Donuts is at the top of my list. I also have low fat foods on that list. I have all fried chicken on that list. I don't eat bacon or anything with nitrates. I don't drink soda of any kind. I should not eat any sweetened cream. I should not eat bread and butter. I should not eat white bread. I should not eat cake, cookies, or pasta. I should not eat potatoes of any kind.
My point is that, what we eat is constantly evolving based on what we know at the time. In the beginning of my weight journey I tried all of the conventional ways to lose weight. That did not produce the results that I wanted. Over the past three years, I have slowly made progress by trying non-conventional means of weight loss (low carb, calorie cycles.)
Weight loss is not my only fitness goal. I also want strong bones. I do know that if I did no weight lifting I would lose weight faster. However, thats less important than not breaking again.
Ms. Colbin talks about some risk factors other than the obvious (small boned, Asian or European, post menopause, family history and no natural children.) Apparently smoking is a bad idea. Tallness is a risk. A high pulse rate is a risk. There are other risks, I will not list all of the them here. "Women who had five or more of these risk factors - regardless of bone density- had a 10 percent chance of breaking a hip in the next five years." pg 11. Certain medications also predispose one to breaks more than bone density. Interestingly, she says that an excessive amount of calcium doubles the risk of hip fracture. Wow, well then I don't feel bad for getting the amount that I do.
I will continue to review the rest of this book in subsequent posts. Stay tuned.