Relax, Get Healthy

I’ve been stressed out over my weight as long as I can remember. Well,
okay, not quite that long – but at least since 1984, and that’s a long time! I’ve
dieted, I’ve excited – I’ve cried.

Here’s a new approach: simplify to slim down. It’s the old KISS axiom renewed:
keep it simple stupid.

I was watching Alaska-one yesterday and heard a woman speaking about credit card
debt. She said ‘tell your friends,’ begin talking about it and it won’t have power
over you. Okay, you’re not all my friends, but I figure the same principle applies
to weight loss and shame. We let extra pounds define who we are. That’s not healthy.
I am not my dress size. I am overweight, and I’m telling you. I have a plan and hopefully
by sharing it (with you, my family and friends) I will be more inspired to stick
to the process of losing weight and getting well.

I’m 29 years old; I am 5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall (the extra
half inch IS important), and I weigh 170 pounds. Some days 168, some days 169 – but
why fight it – some days 170. I want to lose the extra weight, start feeling better
and start feeling better about myself too.

My plan is simple. I will reduce the amount of fat calories I take in while increasing
the amount of exercise I do. Sounds too easy right?

Steps to Recovery

I started trying to exercise more, drink more water and eat less fat two
weeks ago. It takes me a little while to build up to things. At first my goal was
to only buy items at the store that had less than 30% of their calories from fat.
Mostly because this is easy to do; flip the package over. If it says 40 calories
from fat, multiply by three and check the number against the total calories. If the
number in your head is larger, put the item back on the shelf.

You will be surprised! It’s a simple thing – it’s not going to be enough for me,
and I’ve cheated a bit so far – I didn’t even check the calories or ingredients on
the back of the Girl Scout cookies box. I told my husband it wasn’t the product we
were buying but the organization that we were supporting. Yeah, right. The chocolate
chip cookie with the chocolate stripes is pretty good.

Okay, now the plan. I will be going to a health clinic
tomorrow to get a caliper test done. Don’t know what that is? It is a very good way
to set goals. Instead of getting on the scale and only trusting the pounds to tell
me if I am succeeding, I am going to have the amount of fat in my body calculated.
By measuring specific parts of my body, not the distance around (like my thigh) but
the amount of skin the person administering the test can lift up and pinch together,
I will be able to gauge how much fat I lose.

I really don’t want to lose muscle in my efforts to become healthier. That is
one reason why I’m going to measure my success in the amount of fat I lose versus
just weight loss or inches removed from my waist.

Exercise at Your Desk

While reading a check-out stand publication Prevention’s Guide to Weight
Loss I discovered two simple exercises that can be done at your desk between tasks.

“The Webster’s Collegiate Extension”

What is a healthy diet? Quite simply, it is a diet
which provides optimum levels of all known nutrients and low levels of food components
which are detrimental to health, such as sugar, saturated fats, cholesterol, salt
and additives.

Encyclopedia
of

Natural Medicine

If you don’t have a dictionary any large bound book will do; this is designed to
improve your triceps. “Grab any heavy book by the spine with both hands. Raise
it to arm’s length overhead. Slowly bend your elbows and lower the book behind your
head as far as is comfortable. Then slowly press it up. Do about 20 repetitions.”

“The Peek-Over-the-Cubicle Lift”

This exercise is designed to strengthen your calves; you should also be able to
free up the lines of communication with your cube neighbor, or at least see what
they are doing. “Kick off your shoes and stand with your left foot hooked behind
your right ankle. Holding onto a desk for support, rise on your toes, then slowly
lower yourself. Do 30 reps, then repeat, lifting your left heel.” – Prevention's
Guide Weight Loss

There are hundreds of exercises which you can do in your car and at your desk.
Go to the bookstore and browse around. You can always find the time to do one or
two small things a day. Make a promise to yourself to burn
100 extra calories a day (or build up to that if it seems like too difficult
to imagine).

Remove Empty Calories

It’s not often that I drink, alcohol that is. But when I do, my favorite
drink is Baileys Original Irish Cream with milk. About half and half tastes right.
Unless you don’t have any milk in which case I’ll take it on the rocks. Two fingers’
worth in a tumbler.

I’ve gone months at a time without drinking, but if you tell me I can’t have a
drink – especially because I’m on a diet, then I want one. I’ve looked on the back
of alcohol bottles for nutritional information specifically calories from fat. “The
government doesn’t require manufacturers to print nutritional information on the
labels of alcoholic beverages, as it does with goods and other beverages.” –
Prevention's Guide Weight Loss

How horrid to discover that my favorite drink has 152 calories per 2 ounce serving
22.5% of which comes from the 3.8 grams of fat.

References:

Prevention’s Guide Weight Loss

pages 6-8.

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine

page 20.

Comments are closed.