Saturday, March 19, 2011

Time for new walking shoes! Made in the USA!

Last year about this time I started walking. I hadn't bought new tennis shoes in many years (also hadn't WALKED in many years!) but after a few weeks of walking in my Dr. Scholls, I knew I had to get some real walking shoes. I had a really tough time finding the right ones. I actually bought and returned 4 different shoes before settling on a pair of Skechers, which have held up pretty well but after I lost over 50 lbs. from walking, the shoes are too big!

So after watching a special on ABC about finding stuff made in America, I started checking all kinds of stuff from shoes to clothes to see where these things were made and sadly, my Skechers were made in China. (So are Dr. Scholls) Very disappointing, but I'm trying to do everything possible to support companies who make their products here in AMERICA, therefore providing jobs for Americans. So I thought I had found the solution for my new shoes:

New Balance is the only athletic shoe company that continues to prove high-quality athletic footwear can be produced competitively in the United States. We are committed to American workers. Twenty-five percent of New Balance shoes sold in North America are produced by our U.S. workforce using U.S. and imported materials.

Hmmm...only 25%? Well, at least they've listed which ones are made here or just assembled here. It will take a little more work on my part, but I'll feel like I've tried anyway. It's still sad that it's only 25% and that they make their marketing sound like they're USA all the way! You have to read it very carefully.

Twenty-five percent of New Balance shoes sold in North America are produced by our US workforce, using US and imported materials. When possible, we obtain materials from domestic suppliers. At times, due to availability, economic or quality reasons, there is a need to import components from foreign sources. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we have labeled the shoe "Made in the USA." Where it falls below 70%, we have qualified the label referencing domestic and imported materials. This determination is based in part on the Federal trade Commission's survey of consumers.

It just feels like we're "settling" instead of demanding goods that are at least 80% made here from 80% domestic materials and labor. I know we consumers are always looking for the cheaper price, but look where it got us....with cheaper quality for so many products and even higher prices for stuff made in America. And the Skechers cost as much or more as the New Balance!
It's just tipped so far out of balance (excuse the pun) and  I don't know what the answer is other than what we can each do individually. This mess didn't happen overnight so the fix will not come quickly, but I can tell you it good enough to do SOMETHING, even if it's only 25% worth? After starting this article on finding some new walking shoes, I'm happy to announce that I've also found some 100% made in the USA!!  Unfortunately, NB is still the only one that makes walking/running shoes. It's still encouraging to find that there ARE companies out there still providing the choice for products made at home. Be sure and check out the Americans Working site for as many new purchases you can find.

If more of us are just aware of the choices we DO have, it will help. This is a cool map showing some of the products made so check out what is made in your state and help support products MADE IN THE USA! I'll post a picture of my new shoes when I get them. :)

Here's wishing you some great walks! 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How to eat more and lose weight!

I just had a brilliant idea after reading this article! All pre-menopausal, in the moment menopausal and post-menopausal women (and those who love them) should be eating as if they had diabetes. There are so many elements of this way of eating that will help with menopause symptoms such as (just to mention a few):

  • Weight gain (obviously)
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Incontinence
as well as general health issues like blood pressure & cholesterol, creaky, painful knees and low energy levels.

Many of you know that I was diagnosed with Type2 diabetes in April 2010 and I started walking and eating low carb to reduce my blood sugar levels. I'm not happy to have diabetes because, in spite of what you hear, I don't believe it can be reversed with diet and exercise, even with medication, but if I had known my blood sugar levels a year ago and had started making changes then, I probably could have prevented it becoming a reality.

One more matter what kind of eating plan you embark on (notice the avoidance of the "d" word), there is NOTHING that will allow you to do it for a few weeks or months, lose the weight and then be able to go back to what you were doing before! When you find something that works you have to stay on that plan to maintain your weight loss. That's why it's so important to find something you can really enjoy. Yes, you're going to have to sacrifice some things but it's so worth it to feel great, improve your health, fit into your clothes and like what you see in the mirror!! So mentally be prepared to make this a lifestyle!

I guess I'm grateful that diabetes has forced me to take my health more seriously and if you've read previous posts on this blog, you know that I've lost over 56 lbs. and I can't tell you how much better I feel! Well, I CAN tell you and I want to encourage each of you to give it a try! Unfortunately, because of the diabetes, I've had to cut out many of my favorite foods that are healthy for people without diabetes (whole grains, fruit, milk), but if you can make a change right now you can enjoy all the benefits WITH delicious food! And you can prevent diabetes before it happens!

About the only thing I don't totally agree with is eliminating so much fat, but I'm a proponent of the lowcarb lifestyle and believe that fat doesn't make you fat. Here's a very good video of one of my favorite doctors (Andrew Weil) talking about this. Some people can tolerate and metabolize carbs better than others so everyone has to do what will work for them, but my point here is to give you incentive to think very seriously about making some changes today! You will thank me later...I guarantee it! :) And don't forget to take your "before" picture!

My recommendation is to get your blood sugar tested and make changes (with your doctor's approval) that will help you AVOID diabetes. You will lose weight and get healthy and feel better overall....menopause or not! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.