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- Diet Advice & Tips
Lose Weight Steadily
As far back as I can remember, being overweight was the least of my worries. For me, it was totally opposite. My food burned up so fast, I was starved in no time. I could eat any amount any time. Even my mother, who was a great cook, tried her best to put a little meat on my bones, but the scales wouldn’t budge. It was like they had a governor fixed to them, forbidden to go an ounce higher. Now if you can picture a beanpole one inch shy of six feet tall and weighing a grand total of one hundred thirty pounds, that was me.
Then one day something strange happened. Somebody must have removed that hateful governor off the scales. To my delight I had gained a few of pounds. Halleluiah! How exciting it was jumping on the scales and watching the dial continue to rise. It took a couple of decades, but I finally reached my optimum weight. Now I could relax!
Perhaps that’s what happened, I relaxed too much or someone was messing around with those scales again. The dial wouldn’t stop. It just kept on truck’n higher. My waist line increased to thirty-four and gaining. I fought the bulge, determined I wasn’t going to a size thirty-six. But after squeezing, sucking in my gut and yanking my belt a notch tighter, I couldn’t breath with ease.
After cutting back on the food intake, those miserable scales still refused to slide back down. Less food only made me weak and hungry so after a short stunt, I slipped back into my usual man size helpings. It took a couple of years before my wife convinced me to face reality. The wretched size thirty-six won out.
If my belly would have been the stock market, that would have been great. My investment would have been a good one because it kept growing. But my stomach wasn’t the stock market and after one hundred and eighty five pounds... or a little more maybe, I put my foot down and said, “Enough is enough!” Also my Doctor said less weight would help lower my cholesterol... it runs high in our family. I was running high, but not the exercise kind.
About now, you need a little additional background to get the picture. We are lacto vegetarians (which includes eating dairy products... milk, cheese & eggs) and I hadn’t eaten meat since I was twenty one. We are very health conscious, avoiding too many sweets and our diet is considerably healthier than the average family. Perhaps this will help you understand why I couldn’t believe this weight problem was happening to me. I had watched many a body rise and fall from every type of diet you can think of, and couldn’t get it through my head why they had a problem. It wasn’t until the scales went haywire in my mid fifties that I had any sympathy or understanding. That’s just over thirteen years ago. Do the math. Note: Since last fall we have given up nearly all dairy products. We're closer to vegan than not.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Remember, you are in charge of your body, your desires, your taste buds or whatever... not them! You are the Boss, the Queen, the King of your body... you make the decisions and choices. Choose what’s best and don’t let the lying sweets, fatty and greasy killers trick you into thinking they love you and are good for you. They’re liars. Do you like being lied to? No! You can do it, but remember the saying, “No pain, no gain.” In this case it’s “No pain, no loss.” You get the picture, right!
First, you must set some goals and be determined to change your lifestyle. Get out of your comfort zone. That won’t be hard at first. You’ll be uncomfortable, but stick to it. Remember, by reaching your ideal weight goals, you’ll live longer, healthier, and happier. Without good health, life sucks!
Set realistic goals that can be reached. There’s nothing like success to generated enthusiasm and the feeling of victory. Refresh your memory from parents and their little bundle of joy... first the rolling over, wow! Then rising on all fours. Everyone rejoices! Next the crawl... how exciting! And when the first step is taken, out comes the camera, baby book and the phone is ringing! How long did all this take? Usually within the first year. Keep a chart of your progress, so you can rejoice at each progressive stage.
Now you’re ready... it’s time to attack, but think about this first. I don’t know how, when, where or why intelligent human beings came up with this ridiculous reasoning. Before I explain, let me ask you a question. When you are going on a driving trip, do you add just enough gas to hop from one station to the next and when you finally arrive at your destination, fill her up? Of course not!
Your body runs on fuel too. It’s called food. Fill her up first thing in the morning so you can travel through the day! Top of the line fuel, high test, super oil... you know what I mean. Cooked oatmeal, fruit, nuts and whole wheat grain topped off with fresh fruit. That’s what your body craves! Oh yeah, have a big glass of warm... yes warm water as soon as you jump out of bed. Your innards will love it!
Most people try tricking their body first thing in the morning. Do you like being tricked? I remember playing UNO with the family. My brother-in-law said, “Show me a card and I’ll show you my hand.” I whipped out a card before his eyes. He held up his left hand and waved it to me!
We’ve been brainwashed into drinking coffee and eating a doughnut for breakfast. What a joke! Oh it perks you up, but where do you think your body is getting it’s energy. NOT THE COFFEE! Your body says, “Hugh! Fill me with that stuff will you! I can’t make you run on that. I’ve got to have substance and there’s only one place I can get it... your muscle.” So to keep you running, your body eats muscle. Oh oh! Muscle eats fat and less muscle means more fat. You get the picture. That’s what happens on these crash diets. And worse yet, every time you diet, more muscle evaporates and more fat congregates.
Make suppertime (dinner for most) the lightest meal of the day. Salads are great with a slice or two of toast. Mix it up... fruit salads sometimes, and leafy green salads at others, mixed with tomatoes, cukes, onion, green peppers., lettuce, raddish and the likes. Go easy on the salad dressing. I know, it tastes good, but remember, you’re educating your taste buds too. They will adjust and eventually you'll like what you may now turn up your nose at.
Now let’s wrap it up. Try to drink plenty of water all day. More in the morning and afternoon. Taper off at night or it’ll be, off to the bathroom you’ll go. Water refreshes the outside of your body, think of what the inside needs. Most of our body is water so we need lots of it. Ever try washing a dirty car with half a bucket of water. Not a pretty sight. Without lots of water, your inside will not be pretty either. You may wonder why you’re fatigued or are getting a headache. It may be your body telling you your radiator is low. Fix it... better still, keep it topped up all day.
By noon, it’s time to add more fuel. At our place, that was dinner, now called lunch. You really should make this dinner. But in a realistic world, that’s not so. So pack a healthy lunch. Whole wheat bread sandwiches filled with cucumber, tomato, banana with a little peanut butter & honey for starters. Pile on more fruit like bananas, apples, pears, peaches, grapes etc. Berries are great too, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. Dates and raisins can satisfy that sweet craving. Be creative in your lunch. Pretend you’re preparing for someone important and want to impress them. In reality, you are the important one and you will impress your friends.
Oh yeah! Don’t forget to exercise. Walk to work! Take up swimming or a sport. I like walking myself. Flat surface is good to start with, but build up to the hilly areas. That’ll add muscle and burn fat a lot quicker. Some run. People have been known to wear out their joints by running. I’d rather save mine for the golden years. Joint replacement isn’t my preference. Better to preserve the original.
If you're the real adventurous type, try your hand (or feet) at surfing. Of course you get two for one with this sport... surfing and swimming. Wear a life jacket though!
If you’ve been coned into filling your tank after reaching your destination, what good is that? Here’s the bad though. When you sleep, you grow... at least that’s what we’ve been told. So you go to bed filled with only you know what and while you’re sleeping, your body is taking all that food and turning it into mass... not muscle.
Another hint, use a smaller plate. Your delicacy will be heaped up and flowing over which will make you smile. The manufacture’s have been doing that to you. Notice how bottles have inward curves on the bottom or sides and now containers are three litres rather than four. Of course the price is the same. Oh! Another thing. You may have to go to the dentist if you are having trouble eliminating sweets. He can remove that sweet tooth!
The body is an amazing creation and adjusts incredibly, so you don’t have to shock it with drastic changes. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
I’ll post some healthy meat substitute recipes in my Hubs to help you on your journey to happier, healthier living. In the meantime, enjoy your adventure as you begin anew.