I hear it all the time from others, and even have said it myself. This year I am going to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise.
However, why is it that most of us fail? Or within months or weeks give up our goal and efforts to accomplish that New Years Resolution?
Some say it is so easy and quick just to eat unhealthy. Or the cravings got the best of me. Or I just do not have the time or energy…
Actually if we think about it in todays world, with all the information we have, it actually is not that difficult to eat more healthy, and find some time to exercise. We all often may find time for what is truly important to us. Is our life and better health important to us? If is important to those we love and that love us?
First of all, almost every fast food restaurant these days have menus that are healthier. From that grilled/baked chicken and fish; or to many choices for salads and fruits. So instead of getting that double decker greasy cheeseburger on white bread, choose a grilled chicken wrapped in lettuce or pita/corn wrap. Instead of that sugary soda, drink water or juice instead. In addition, why not take 10 minutes before you go to bed and pack your lunch with a turkey, chicken or tuna sandwich on 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread. Add some fresh fruit, raw vegetables and natural fruit juice? Get baked vegetable chips as snacks. Add some nuts too.
I understand finding time to exercise can be tough. There is only so much time in the day. The thing is a person does not necessarily have to have this time consuming exercise plan or an expensive membership in a gym waiting for a machine or weights to be available. A simple morning walk mixed with some sit-ups, push ups, and squats could suffice for beginning a routine and habit. A 30 minute work out such as this may make a monumental difference. Whether it is the first thing in the morning or in the evening when you come home. Instead of getting into the car to drive a short distance, hop on your bicycle and ride to the store or a friends house.
Some may be saying this all sounds good, but this doesn’t work for me. I am just too over weight and have too many things going on. First of all, unless you have an illness or a physical situation, disability or handicap; you can do this. It is said it takes about 21 days to develop a habit. Simply try some of the things I am outlining for 21 days.
The objection may be, you do not know me. It cannot be done. Well, let me share some things with you. About 4 years ago or so, I weighed 260 lbs with a 46″ waste. I am now 215 lbs and a 36 waist standing 6’2″. I have maintained that range for several years. So what changed? I decided my health was worth it. I also decided my children deserved a healthy father.
I began juicing, fasting, and exercising. Not immense exercising or weight training. It was similar to what I eluded above. I bought a Ninja Bullet frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables and drank that as a smoothie each morning. I also added plant proteins to my smoothies and took natural vitamins and minerals. Although I had and still have some health limitations, I did sit ups, push ups, squats, some free weights like dumb bells and bought a bicycle to ride as often as possible.
Some may have injuries and bad backs. Trust me I understand that challenge. I completely tore my rotary cuff and dislocated my shoulder in the marital arts. I damaged my back and neck in a car accident many years ago. I also broke 15 bones back in 2016 and in a wheel chair for 3 months. Just consult with your doctor, and take his advise as well as stretching and strength building advice. My orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine professionals, and neurosurgeon outlined several stretching techniques, strength building, and exercises to build up around areas of injuries and the muscles that support it that made a world of difference.
The Fasts I did were the 21 Day Daniel Fast, and interjected the Mediterranean Diet in between at times. I strive to do a 21 Day Daniel Fast every 4 months. I cut out as much white bread as possible and only eat whole wheat and whole grain if I can help it. I rarely eat potatoes, and strive to drink bottled spring waters like Voss, Fuji, Ice, and other vitamin enriched, electrolyte infused, and natural fruit infused waters. I rarely eat desserts, when I do its a special treat. Certainly not at every meal.
Some people have said, it costs to much to eat healthy. Not really unless you go out and buy a bunch of “fancy” diet meals, “organic” labeled food at your local “yuppy” grocery stores. Simply buy more fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially when they are on sale. Instead of that fatty cheap beef, get as lean as possible if you feel your craving is so strong that you must eat red meat. Buy more chicken and fish and grill or bake it. If I can help it, I do not eat fried foods. Stay away from fried foods, and if you feel you have no choice, then fry with 100% Olive Oil. Granted I have a weakness for chicken wings, and ribeye steaks but am trying to gear that down for just special treats. When you have to get “fast food” do not order those sugary drinks, order a courtesy cup of water. Often you save $2 right there. Order salad, fruit and off the grilled menu and remove the white bread. Subways has a healthy menu that describes the contents and calories in their meals. (So do many fast food restaurants these days) You can get a foot long sub on whole wheat for $5. Eat one half for lunch then the other half for dinner, drink water, or electrolyte and vitamin enriched naturally flavored waters instead of sugary high calorie sodas. If you have to snack, do it with raw vegetables, fruit and nuts. Drink plenty of water. At one point in my life, I was able to eat on about $7 a day for weeks.
Buy whole grain or vegetable pastas. They are available at any grocery store instead of that “enriched” white pasta. Switch all of your “enriched” white breads to 100% whole wheat/whole grain. Eat smaller portions. You do not have to eat until you are “stuffed” eat until you are simply content and fed adequately. Eat smaller portions and meals more often.
Some may say there are just a few vegetables, fruits or nuts out there and I will get tired of them. What? There are a lot of vegetables and fruits out there, and I wager more selections and uniqueness than any meat. There are over 20,000 editable plants in the world. Every fruit have hundreds to thousands of varieties. There are estimated to be about 7500 types of apples and 1600 types of bananas alone. To put that in perspective, if you ate a new type of apple each day, it would take you a little over twenty years to try them all. For the bananas, it’s a little over four years. This goes similar with nuts and beans.
There is a saying that we are what we eat and a body in motion stays in motion. It is true. Try some of these ideas and practices I have eluded. It may work. It did and does for me. Try some of them for 21 days and develop a habit. This habit may decrease your weight, make you feel better, help you sleep better, and increase your energy levels. It did for me. However, always first consult your physician before any diet changes or physical activity changes.