In the last post we looked at the most popular New Years Resolutions. They are to Enjoy Life to the Fullest, Live a Healthier Lifestyle and Pay Down Debt. In the last post we focused on paying down the debt. If you didn’t see that post, you can find it here. In this post we are ging to look at becoming healthy.
When you are overweight, there are added stressors in your life. You don’t like how you look in your clothes, or even how you look out of your clothes. Then, you start to dress in dark clothes to mask your extra weight. You lose your personality and style, because you are hiding it in clothes that you wouldn’t wear if you were proud of your body. I am not saying that you need to look like the size 0 girls on the front of fashion magazines. You need to get your body into a condition that you are proud of, whatever that may look like. Your mental health is as important as your physical health.
When you are overweight, you are nervous when you need to sit beside someone in a theatre or on a plane. Some people become too big to ride on roller coasters. Maybe you aren’t that big, but its simply the fact that you don’t like seeing yourself in pictures, so you stop getting your picture taken. You wouldn’t be caught dead on the beach with other people around to see you in your dressing room.
What Have You Stopped Doing Because of Your Body?
Your extra weight may be stopping you from enjoying hobbies you enjoy such as sports, or exercise. You don’t need to look like a fitness model or a Crossfit athlete to be happy. Simply, you just need to eat healthy and exercise so you have a healthy weight. You need to make a commitment to yourself that this is important.
You see, being healthy isn’t a January to February thing. It is an everyday thing. When you start to get healthy, you commit to never stop. But the great thing is, that you probably don’t realize if you’ve never commited to being healthy before, is that it gets easier. The hardest exercise days are the first few weeks. After you get through that stage, you start enjoying the exercise, the muscle burn, the sweat. You enjoying watching your body change, and achieving new personal records.
Eventually, though, the excitement wears off, and it becomes easier to not go to the gym. So I am going to encourage you to find a workout buddy. Because when that day comes, it is tougher to say no to your workout buddy and let him or her down, than it is to let yourself down. It is always easier to lie to yourself. Your weakest moment is going to be getting up off your couch and driving/biking/walking/running to the gym for your next workout. After you have built the get up and go muscle and habit, it gets easier again.
Will Power to Power Through
To have success, when it comes to exerising and getting in shape, your most important tool is going to be will power. Here is the thing about will power that you may not know. Will power isn’t like a plug in the wall that you can plug into anytime that you need power. It is more like gasoline in a tank. When your tank is full, you can use willpower when you need it and are confident that there is enough for the task at hand. Eventually, though, as the tank gets empty, there isn’t as much will power there to access. It is fragile. When your tank is empty, it becomes tough to get up and go. Those are the times that you fall off the wagon.
When this happens, you need to accept that it happened. Forgive yourself, and move on. You need to fill up your will power tank so that it is ready the next time you need it. Too many people don’t bother to fill up the tank. They miss their workout one day. They feel like they’ve failed and don’t bother to get going again on day 2. Before they know it, they are on day 10, and they have given up. They go back to their old habits.
80 Percent is Enough
But that isn’t going to be you, because now you know what is going to happen. You know that it is OK to be 80 percent successful instead of 100 percent. You are going to forgive yourself, and give yourself a well deserved day off before getting back to the gym. Everytime that happens, you need to depend on willpower to get you back on track. Believe in yourself. Don’t listen to the voice inside your head that tells you to give up.
Prescription Drugs vs. Nutrition
We live in a society that looks for quick solutions to ailments in the form of medication and prescriptions. In fact it is a $1.1 trillion business and growing every year. The sad thing is that many of the diseases that are being “cured” by prescription drugs would not be needed if people simply ate more vegetables and fruit, and exercised for 20 minutes every day.
Nutritious foods, supplements and 20 minutes of walking have helped thousands of people cure such diseases as diabetes, acid reflux, crones, colitis, obesity, heart disease, alzheimers, and many others. Your body was designed to eat specific foods. The same way that a car is designed to run on gas and oil. If you used olive oil instead of gasoline, it wouldn’t work. The compbustion wouldn’t happen. The pistons wouldn’t be pushed, and the tires wouldn’t turn. The same thing happens with our bodies. We need protein, fibrous carbs, and some healthy sugars to run the engines that are our bodies. Without the right nutrition, the muscles don’t work and the brain doesn’t work.
When we eat processed junk that our bodies can’t use for energy, it is stored as fat. Our bodies are designed to be fat burners. In fact, our bodies want to burn off the fat that is being stored in our bodies. Our brain is a natural fat burner. It needs alot of energy to just get through a day. Our muscles and organs need energy to perform. Obviously the more we move, the more energy we need. The entire fitness industry is built on selling different ways you can move to burn energy.
I will tell you a little secret. One of the best ways to move to burn the fat is by simply walking for 20 – 30 minutes every day.
Fat vs. Sugar
The energy that is burned is going to come from one of two places. It either comes from sugar which is found in the food that we are eating at the time, or it comes from the energy that is stored as fat.
We can force our bodies to use the fat stores, but limiting the amount of sugar that we are eating. Our biggest source of sugar is starchy carbs like grains, wheat and bread, or from straight sugar that is found in fruit, candy, chocolate or sugar. If we based our diets on protein and fibrous carbs like those we find in vegetables, we will get the nutrition, but not the sugar. The great things is that you don’t need to starve. You can eat alot of the right foods, and still lose weight.
Become Fat Adapted
What I’ve found is that the more of the good stuff that I eat, the less hungry that I get. I will admit that the first week is tough when you cut grains, and processed food out of your diet. Your body goes into withdrawal, the same way that it does with any addiction. You may feel headaches, or grogginess. If this happens, I recommend that you increase your intake of healthy fats. See this post on fat bombs. After your body has gone through the withdrawal stage, you body adapts by not needing those carbs to get through the day. At this point it starts using primarily fat stores for energy. This is when you become fat adapted.
When your body gets to this point, you will actually feel less hungry. You can go without food for hours and not feel those pangs of hunger. You can start listening to your body, and feed it when it is hungry. Eventually, your body becomes an efficient, fat burning machine.