Now that I’ve established that gyms are evil, I will give my sisters and brothers in fattitude the benefit of my own experience.
Balance your meals, eat a proper breakfast, drink enough water, watch the sugar and be mature about your portions most of the time. That’s all it is, really. Enjoy your food, your way. If you don’t like raw vegetables, don’t make resolutions to eat salad. Just learn the right ways to cook them. Forget the fanatics and remember that your grandparents ate cooked vegetables and lived healthily ever after. When reading fitness magazines and articles, take away only as much as you can usefully carry. Their five carefully calibrated meals are impractical when 11 am and 4 pm are prime meeting slots. But while you can’t be slicing pears at the conference table, you can drink green tea instead of coffee.
Find an activity you like doing – walking the dog, walking around the mall, cleaning the house, DIY, tossing a ball, playing with your child, badminton, dancing, whatever – and then do it often. As you go along, you’ll find yourself ramping it up, since energy begets energy, and you will get the recommended amount of exercise. Stop obsessing over weight-loss (unless you’re dangerously obese, the world doesn’t magically change when you’re thinner) and just enjoy feeling fitter. Be active, be patient and never mind what that super-driven, skinny colleague thinks of you; you never liked her anyway.
You can’t make sustainable changes when you’re feeling bad about yourself; it’s feeling good that motivates you. In the long-term, happiness is a much better goal than weight-loss, and one really does lead to the other. Go to the movies, read, Watch TV, browse, converse, keep your mind active too. A flabby mind is as bad for you as an obese body. Go out to dinner with friends. Have large Sunday meals with family. Eat dessert. Keep in touch. Do things that open your mind and laugh yourself thin without knowing it. Really.
“Eat healthy, exercise and socialize” is the motto of a friend’s dad. His daughters treat it with the mirthful irreverence with which all right-thinking children greet the tenets of their fond fathers. (“Even if you’re bleeding all over the floor, he’ll ask you “Have you been eating healthy? Did you exercise? Have you networked today?””). But it is an excellent formula for a good life.
I’ve only recently distilled all this in my own mind, so the systematic application of it hasn't been going on very long. I’ll keep you posted.
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