Health Equals Wealth
How many times do you tell yourself it’s a new year and things are going to change, and the first thing that pops in your mind might be losing a few pounds.
If you read this sentence and heard yourself saying the same thing last year – you rank with millions of “I’m going to do it this year” folk, forgetting the old saying, “When you’re healthy you’re wealthy,” a few simple words telling you the key to life is health – above anything else.
You are not uncommon – you’re part of the in-crowd; those who eat at fast-food restaurants, snack while watching a movie, bring along snacks for a car trip and purchase extra food once you pass through security at the airport, in case you starve.
Being in the best shape one can be could mean adding weight or losing weight. The main process is learning how to manage your weight by eating smart food choices, exercising, and knowing medication and its side effects.
When you think back to those times you failed did you have a support system? Did you have a close member of the family pestering you, telling you it will never work?
Were you discouraged because you were doing it alone and no one had confidence in your choices; choosing different foods at the market, limiting the amount of food on your plate, and someone laughs, telling you all the experts are crazy, and you stop jotting down notes.
One big downfall is to bring a nonbeliever shopping with you, because every new item you place into the shopping cart will come with a side of comments from your shopping friend who doesn’t want to waste money on things you will never eat, stating, “You will never eat this kind of food.”
What about a family member who laughs when you serve yourself with a smaller plate in size, limiting your intake, laughter or comments are common – ignoring them is harder.
By this time your desire to get into shape is the main topic of conversation. Do not let your personal goals out to the public, becoming a hero on your own works better. One drawback, if they do the shopping, another attack must be planned.
If you happen to mention that so-and-so told you this was the best thing to do and it works, and everyone else tells you it’s a gimmick. It sounds to me like you are fighting this battle alone – so don’t talk about it.
Once you start to concentrate on your world you will notice changes in your attitude, suddenly you feel good about yourself, you have additional energy, climbing stairs are no longer a task, and you can manage your stress. Suddenly you believe in yourself and let any negative comments go in one ear and out the other.
So how do you begin a new lifestyle? The next time you are with a friend suggests trying out the new XYZ or taking down those bikes hanging in the garage, and one of my favorite outdoor sports is hiking, you can do a tour own pace.
One thing for sure, it is time to enjoy the outside and spend extra time away from your desk or home – take in the fresh air. If you have a lunch break and live in the city – window shop – or if you have to buy when you shop – change shopping into people watching.
If you live year-round in a climate allowing you to bring your lunch outdoors, find the perfect park bench and enjoy what surrounds you. If you work from home, it tends to be tougher.
Try to stop purchasing bad food and stock the refrigerator with only what is good for you. If you cannot see it, you can’t eat it. Get out of the house during your breaks, bring along an apple and take a brisk walk around your community. Sure, you will tell me walking and exercise builds your appetite and you are right, and this is the time to know what to consume following a new habit of exercising.
Before we get into the foods to eat, we need to know what change will mean and what it prevents, such as; type II diabetes because certain foods cause high blood sugar levels and can lead to nerve and blood vessel damage.
We all know we can control what we eat with willpower, and save ourselves from developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and even some types of cancer such as breast and colon. Don’t forget something that is left out in the right field, a stroke.
For me to tell you, this chart tells me you have to weigh this much, I would be lying because we are all so different. What one person weighs, and carries well – another could weigh, be your height, and it could be only fat.
How you carry your weight and what you weigh, depends on your own body and the range varies from person to person. Using an example of what is known as body mass index, or BMI, take a look at someone 5’3 and their range goes from 105 pounds to 140 pounds – there is the difference between one person’s weight, and another – we are our own creature.
I have to stress people who carry excess weight around their waist have a bigger problem when it comes to health risks — notice your own friends and family, sure you will find someone in perfect shape with problems but the majority of Americans who carry weight at the waist may experience high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
We have touched on a few things but it is essential to know a good healthy diet and physical activity can only help you – now you have to find a plan that fits your lifestyle.
The first thing would be to set a goal to motivate your plan and stick to it. Whatever goal you choose, be realistic — if you want to lose 20 pounds or gain 20 pounds start with a monthly goal instead of a total. In the past, those who lose weight quickly tend to gain it back because they had no plan for their future only for the present.
So you are a loner, okay, but many people do things alone – biking without a friend, swimming, walking, and shopping. Although support is better, the lack of close friends close by should not bring you down. Remember what I said before, friends can also be a challenge, as they tease you into quitting and never reaching your goal.
Another thing to mention – every day will not be perfect, every day is not the same – you will encounter parties, holidays, and get-togethers.
You would not believe how many times I started a diet and up pops on a new holiday – Halloween has ended and you are staring at those mini candy bars, and right around the corner is Thanksgiving, you understand – how everybody falls asleep after dinner blaming it all on the turkey.
Not long now you will be preparing for Christmas and baking becomes a reality as you cover every square inch in your kitchen with homemade cookies.
Remember the time you let the children lick the bowl, so don’t tell me your children left the nest that, that bowl isn’t enticing. On Christmas day, off we go to grandmother’s house for more food, treats, and fruitcakes.
I must tell you one year we left the Hershey’s Kisses beneath the tree and our Irish setter managed to peel away the foil and eat only the chocolate, and he was exhausted by the time we returned from grandmother’s house.
You know sugar gives you a high and then you fall, become tired, and all you can do is sleep – do not blame it all on the turkey. Now, we are reaching the New Year and what happens now depends on what you want to have in the future.
So today if you are one of those people who are planning to make a change in your lifestyle let’s begin by drawing up a plan. Think of everything I have written and get yourself a notebook, and the first thing to do is set your goal – remember limits should be small – you cannot tackle a bear with two hands. If you want to keep this a secret do so, you do not have to tell everyone so they can watch.
If you are lucky enough to have a partner – get together and talk about change. Remember all of us are made up with our own pluses and minus – like judging a book by its cover, you can’t tell someone at 5’5 they should weigh the same as another person at the same height – throw those old books away.
Once you have your personal outline, including a change in activity, old habits, and new ones, exercise on a regular basis, and certainly never shop for food on an empty stomach and fill up on something good so you are not a craving, hungry manic – tossing everything into your cart.
Remember, we have only just begun – this being step one. I will return with some valuable information to fit your individual body, not your height, age, and weight – medicine has gone beyond those old fashion rules.
Well, I almost forgot – following the New Year begins the advertising for Valentine’s Day, and everyone will be teased by the ads as you walk down the aisle of your local C.V.S. or other store telling you two for the price of one – and in waltzes your sweetheart carrying a pound of truffles.
Say thank you, remember this is your secret, and give them to a significant other. You are not finished yet – right after your loved one handed you a box of chocolates if you celebrate Easter, you are attacked in the same stores with giant chocolate bunnies, it never ends unless you set your goal, and stick to it.