Consumer Reports has issued a warning in its June 2001 issue about the dangers of sports supplements, including ephedra, androstenedione and creatine, saying that Americans are “conducting what amounts to a vast, uncontrolled clinical experiment on themselves with untested, largely unregulated medications.”

Like many children, my parents often had no idea what get me, so they also gave me some money to get whatever I wanted at the mall. Even today, they give me some money to get my own gifts, but instead of wasting that money on Transformers or He-Man gear as I did when I was seven, I splurge on shoes.

Like most people with an admittedly selfish bent, I could go on for many hours about what I wanted for Christmas, even though it is still about seven weeks away. The nice thing is that we are down to about the last sixty days of the year 2000 and it is again time to think about presents.

To examine the importance of such standards and guidelines, specific subject matters should be looked at. Although some in the fitness industry believe a screening process should not be utilized with members (some facilities feel they are not qualified to interpret the results), the ACSM standards require that screening efforts be undertaken on behalf of members prior to activity.

A doula, the Greek term for “a mother’s servant,” is an experienced woman who “mothers the mother,” helping the new mom and her family during or after the birth in a nonclinical capacity. “The doula works with the couple or support team,” explained certified doula Chan McDermott, MPA, who is also a certified Bradley Method instructor.

In her case, repeated trips to the dermatologist gave her no respite, but birth control pills did. And when she became pregnant with her first child at 29, the acne disappeared.

Sharon’s Reply Dear Lisa, Your weight loss may be slow, but it sure is steady. Your food diary reflects carefully chosen foods, and you seem to be staying focused on your goal one day at a time. Your work schedule puts a large demand on your time. It is difficult to get an hour of exercise in on a day when you’ve already worked for 10 hours. The food part of your efforts, fortunately, takes very little time.

Well, despite all the anxiety and excitement, today is Saturday and I am not at my long-awaited class reunion — I am at my desk. After a very slow June, I am literally swimming in work. So I skipped this weekend’s event and worked instead.

I temporarily hit 230 pounds this week, then settled at 231. I am close to losing 25 pounds. The momentum is there. I am still not a pretty site at the beach, but hopefully they will not mistake me for a whale this year!