Friday, November 20, 2009

Little Things

Okay I admit I follow the philosophy of go big or go home and progress happens not in steady small increments but rather big jumps and then followed by plateaus to adapt. Conversely, I hope for merely small setbacks vs. catastrophe for obvious reasons- face it, they do happen. But I digress.

Life in general can be evaluated (on either plane of success or failure) as the accumulation of all the little that went into molding your story. While this opens up a huge discussion on various aspects, let's limit it to your health. But first a reality check on the ever evolving world of our health care system. Costs are being shouldered by the companies we work for and the backlash is starting. Employers are evaluating employees and new applicants as to whether that individual is going to be costly from a health insurance aspect based on their health check-ups and lifestyle. Companies are refusing to hire smokers and the obese. Some companies are penalizing employees for not taking care of their health (i.e. smoking, obese, and other unhealthy habits that have been proven to decline one's health). They are deducting money from each paycheck as a fine. The message: don't lose your job because you're a slob.

The little things that add up to you being in great shape:

  • Unless you have little tykes to escort to the store, park towards the back of the parking lot. Enjoy the stroll. Look at it as car shopping without the sales people.
  • Take the stairs instead of elevator. Count the steps for each flight. Maybe useful when carrying bulky items so you know which step is that last step going down.
  • Eating out, avoid the fast food joints, the documentary movie "Supersize Me" clearly paints the picture of that lifestyle as it is- a slow miserable death.
  • Eating out at restaurants. Nothing breaded or fried. Pasta only on rare occasions- watch the scene in "Big Daddy" where they go to an Italian restaurant.
  • Choose your sides wisely. Opt for the side salad with (non-fat- free) dressing on the side. Steamed vegetables compliment any meal. For the kids get applesauce or baked beans.
  • Plan on bringing a third to half home from your dining experience.
  • That stuff that is used by automotive enthusiasts to clean the battery terminals and also to remove tar from the wheel wells… Soda! Should not go into your stomach.
  • Water, teas and milk (if tolerable) should be your main beverages of choice.
  • Desserts are meant to be savored, not inhaled.
  • Do you really need that sweet treat? Look, one once in awhile is fine. But really, grazing on a container of sweets only adds unsightly inches and pounds to this finely tuned body that you have committed to working on.
  • Eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates for breakfast. And YES HAVE BREAKFAST ROUTINELY. Skipping breakfast triggers a calorie catch up (Check out my blog on Breakfast) response that usually occurs at night.
  • Big dinners such as Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Game plan should be one plate of meats, fruits and vegetables followed by a 20 minute wait before making the decision to go for seconds. This is a magic time period where the body needs to process what just happened to your diet. Typically you won't want a second serving.
  • If you think you are hungry but not starving, drink a glass of water. Sometimes the body tells you its hungry when really it's thirsty.
  • Schedule your workout times and stay true to it as you do with any other appointment.
  • Get enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase obesity.
  • Get out and play. Take the pets, kids, friends and so on to the park, playground, fields, trails or whatever. Just go play.
  • Be thankful for the body you have and take care of it. You're going to have to be in it and live with it for a long time.

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