Don’t Buy into it!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As a Wellness Program Manager and fitness enthusiast, I spend a lot of time researching the best methods to stay healthy and the science that supports the trends. Guess what… the science doesn’t support the trends that we are buying into! In fact, many of the newest “health” trends are just plain crazy and we’ve jumped right on board the crazy train because of the way it is packaged and marketed. Magazine covers tell us we should have no fat on our bodies and look like aliens with big heads and tiny frames. Or, we should look like the pictures in the Gray’s Anatomy book where we are pure muscle and have six-pack abs with our hip bones protruding. Furthermore, to get that look we need to fork over a couple of paychecks and buy into the false promises of a system that will get us there. They show us before and after pictures…. before the belly is just hanging out and after the belly is sucked in tight, chest out, lighting changed, spray tan, new hairstyle… voila! The illusion that 15 pounds has been dropped thanks to Hollywood and its magic cameras. You, too, can look like an unhealthy alien if you pay us!

I watch many videos claiming to have found the newest and “best” ways to get fit. Let’s start with a yoga system that adds plyometric (basically jumping) and crazy exercises that only a contortionist should attempt. Why would I torture myself and do that? The risk of injury and improper form is much too high. And it costs a fortune! For zero dollars a month I can watch a different, safe yoga video on YouTube that won’t damage my joints. Have you seen the new “fat burning” system that actually states in the commercial, “if you lose too much fat, please reduce usage?” Sold! Every gullible person out there watching that is thinking “wow, this stuff must really work.” Well, the fine print states that you must engage in a healthy diet and exercise routine for best effect. Duh! Because that’s what really is helping the fat loss… not the magic pill. Nope- I have news for you folks… losing fat is also free! It’s as simple as adding safe exercise and eating a nutritious diet!

Diets – this is where I really go crazy! If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein and complex carbs, you will not gain weight. Water—drink water! I say it often and people nod in agreement, followed by the “but”… “but I lost 5 pounds by doing the so and so diet…” “but I know someone who gave up carbs and they are super thin now…” Newsflash! Those are very temporary ways to lose water weight. Because we are mostly water. You are also losing muscle and nutrients by omitting entire food groups. The minute you bring back the forbidden food, your weight will return. Slow and steady wins the race. I will do a PSA for Weight Watchers here because they truly have a science-based system that has long term results because they teach lifestyle not fast and furious weight loss.

So, the question remains… where is all this new magical information coming from? Answer: people who want to make money off tricking you into believing there is an easy, quick and expensive solution. Let that sink in a minute! Who’s making money off your latest health kick? Not you! Don’t buy into it! Use your well-earned paychecks to join a health club or to buy nutritious food. And please, don’t strive for the alien look. That will also change soon enough! Because fitness and wellness is an industry and for the industry to make money….they need to convince you that you have to look different than you do.

Turn, Turn, Turn

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

There is a great song from the 1960’s, when folk rock was born, and hippies were a thing.  The music spoke of the times and the song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” written by Pete Seeger and sung by the band, “The Byrds” was a hit!   With the exception of the words, “turn, turn, turn” and the last line—”a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late,” the song is, word for word, from the Book of Ecclesiastes in The King James Bible. Pete Seeger added the last line to promote world peace.   If you look up the bible verse or lyrics to the song, you may find it sounds familiar—“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven…”  I find that by adding your own line or two to the end of the song, you can use this bible verse/song for everything that life brings.  It’s a comfort for me when I am making a “turn, turn, turn” in life.

June used to be one of my favorite months growing up.  It meant school was almost out and summer was close.  I remember graduating in June and feeling nothing but elated and excited—mostly because I came close to not graduating.  Turns out gym is required.  But, that’s another story.   I thought everyone loved June. Then suddenly June brought other feelings. June became a bittersweet month for me, as it meant my friends also graduated and we were all going off in different directions—“A time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted.” As I got older, June meant college graduations, which were both thrilling and scary, because now everyone was truly going off in different directions.  June meant weddings, where celebration collides with leaving your family and starting a new one—”A time to mourn and a time to dance.”  June hit me like a rock in the stomach in 2017, when my youngest graduated college and moved to the west coast.  It took every ounce of my energy to not let him see how much I hated him leaving and going so far away.  I knew he needed to do what was in his heart, and I could not be the reason he didn’t follow his own dreams—“A time to keep silent and a time to speak.” Every June since then, I think of all the parents, siblings, and grandparents who may be feeling the way I felt as those “turns, turns, turns” whack us with a dose of reality, and we have no choice but to embrace and accept that life changes as we glide along.   “To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven…”

Yes, June is bittersweet.  It’s a glorious month of green grass and colorful flowers.  It’s a month of celebrations and gatherings.  It’s a month of encouragement as we tell the young people to go find their dreams and their “purpose under heaven.”—”A time to weep and a time to laugh”.

June can be tough so July is my new favorite month and, like Pete Seeger, I am adding my own two lines to the Bible verse/song, and it goes like this:  “A time to breathe and a time to sing …don’t worry ’bout a thing cuz every little thing is gonna be alright.” Cue the Calypso band and Bob Marley’s song, “Three Little Birds.”   Works every time!

Congrats to all the grads, brides, grooms and world travelers out there! 

 

Birthday Surprise!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Birthdays were always fun when I was a kid.  Once a year I could ask for a “bigger ticket” item.  As a kid, I wanted a banana seat bike with those high handlebars and streamers coming from the handlebar grips.   As a teen, it was a FM clock radio.  In my 20’s I wanted stirrup pants (a precursor to leggings, only uglier).  So now that Continue reading

Eat Your Liver!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

If you have read any of my blogs over the past months, you know I have been dispensing wise words on how to attain or maintain a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle I personally follow and love. It’s literally my job! Last month I left you with some news about my newly found high blood pressure and I was awaiting lab results. I have been as excited as you to hear the results! Good news, yay…no kidney issues causing the high blood pressure so Continue reading

Better or Best?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I watched a talk show about nutrition and how to eat healthier. The discussion was focused on the public’s confusion about healthy carbs. We need carbs for energy and nutrients. A no carb diet leads to fatigue and brain fog. I knew all that but what caught my attention was when the host asked if brown rice was better than white rice, the nutrition expert replied, “yes, it is ‘better than,’ but it is not the best choice, so why settle for better than?” To conclude this lesson on carbs (which this blog is not about!) brown rice Continue reading

Option B

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I stumbled across a podcast series that intrigued me. Mind you, two years ago I had no idea what a podcast was. Well, flash forward two years, and guess what? It turns out most Podcasts are free. I was hooked almost immediately. As a Dateline and “ID Channel” addict, I quickly found every podcast on every true crime drama there was. I listened to hours of tragic stories until my kids told me that I only listen to Continue reading

Mount Hope

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

There’s a bridge in Rhode Island that connects Portsmouth to Bristol where my son attended college. I don’t like bridges. I’d rather a tunnel any day. This bridge is the scariest bridge I have ever driven on. It barely has sides and its old, shaky, steep, very high and at least 4 miles long. Although my son says I exaggerate and it’s more like Continue reading

Don’t let the Holidays send you to the Junk yard!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

It’s very hard during the busy holidays to keep up a wellness routine. There are a million things going on and for most of us the first thing we give up is our commitment to ourselves. It’s unlikely many of us will be able to meet hefty wellness goals in the month of December but I suggest we should try to maintain as much as we can. Continue reading

Beat the Winter Blues


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

This month I want to talk about something besides fitness and nutrition. Something that is very real to me—Seasonal Affective Disorder (alleged in my case). Yes, I am SAD! The summer is over and I am not happy! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the fall and the holidays and even a good snowstorm, but tell that to my mind. It disagrees. It just doesn’t spark as well as it does in the summer. I have to push harder to stay motivated. That’s key for me… finding a good routine and surrounding myself with happy personalities. Working with the folks we serve is a boost for my alleged Seasonal Affective Disorder, which by the way is self-diagnosed. Continue reading