DIET AND EXERCISE. Two of the most prevalently used, yet narrowly and sporadically practiced, words in American society.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following obesity related statistics:
- More than one-third – 34.9% or 78.6 million – of U.S. adults are obese.
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
- Blacks/African Americans have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), Whites/Caucasians (32.6%), and Asians (10.8%)
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Recently, I walked by my full length mirror and noticed a few undesirable and unsought changes. My hips were spreading beyond a curvature proportion I could genuinely appreciate and my mid-section was fuller, more padded, and not for comfort. What’s more, I’ve noticed my energy level has declined. Some days I find myself stumbling through a fog of tiredness, fueling my productivity with coffee and energy drinks.
Roughly a year and a half ago, I was in the BEST shape of my life. Being slender wasn’t a new normal, but pumping iron, keeping pace with the cardio super instructor, and lunge jumping was. I was committed to exercising regularly; conditioning my body to do its best work, molding myself into my own model of strength and endurance. My goals were my own and self-fulfilling. The journey was rewarding and empowering.
It required time, finances, commitment, perseverance, and faith. I sowed nearly as much as I reaped. Yes, that’s right, this holistic reward was costly but certainly worth it.
So, what happened?
There are a handful of fairly legitimate reasons as to why I deviated from a “lifestyle” of healthy living, but excuses don’t create a path to life, truth and action does. My former truth is I WON, but I subsequently allowed myself to become distracted and complacent.
Notwithstanding past missteps, I want to begin again…with you. No matter where you are physically, I haven’t met anyone who didn’t thrive from alliances and accountability in making consistent or renewed decisions in favor of health and fitness.
God has more for you and me to do!!! I, for one, aspire to be fit (physically, spiritually, and mentally) to accomplish His purposes in my life.
Today’s entry is not about excess and extremes, it’s about healthy choices and consistency. I’m certainly not overweight or obese, but I shouldn’t have to be to desire my full breath, the ability to move with this adventure I call life, total wellness, and take personal delight in the way my clothes drape my body. I know many of you can relate.
At the suggestion of family members, my husband and I watched a documentary on Netflix called, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (extended trailer below). This led us (at Netflix’s suggestion) to watch two other documentaries on related topics, Forks Over Knives and Hungry for Change. All of these films were enlightening and excellent reminders of what we need vs. what we choose to give our bodies that negatively impacts our quality of life.
Please watch the trailer and Joe’s incredible, life-enriching and life-giving journey. The full documentary is also available on YouTube, should you not have Netflix.
We can’t control everything, but we can take ownership in caring for and safeguarding our temple against disease, poor nutrition, and atrophy.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Here are a few tools/tips that helped me in my previous journey and/or I believe may be beneficial to some of you, if you choose to journey with me:
- MyFitnessPal, http://myfitnesspal.com – I love it for tracking caloric intake and calories burned
- Limit processed foods. Processed foods may not hinder your weight loss, but they aren’t the healthiest choice for your body. Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are better for you.
- Limit snacks to less than 200 calories, and if possible, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber
- Cut back on bad carbs (e.g. baked goods like cookies and cakes, as well as highly refined sugary foods such as sodas and candy)
- Everything in moderation – you don’t have to give up everything you enjoy eating, but if you can’t control your portion sizes and intake of certain foods, avoid it until you can.
- Group exercise classes at a gym – corporate unity can help motivate you to continue to push further and harder
- Find an exercise partner
- Search the internet for calendar challenges (i.e. squat, ab, fitness etc…) to help you with goal-based building and scheduling.
- On Demand Exercise TV at home on cable television
- YouTube workouts at home
- Personal Training (if financially affordable)
- Couch to 5k Program – http://www.c25k.com/. Multiple language translations available
- Diet-to-Go – (if financially affordable) http://diettogo.com/, a calorie-controlled meal delivery or pickup service
Courtesy of fatsickandnearlydead.com
My intent was not to create or release a “set” program, but to provide options. One size does not always fit all. Some of you are fit, pursuing the next level or working to maintain what you’ve already established. Others seek to reclaim healthy habits, but recognize that the process will require longer-term goals of steps not leaps.
Your first step may be to reduce your soda intake or you may be ready to participate in a near-term 5k.
RUN YOUR OWN RACE, but please remember it’s a journey, not a sprint. Quick fixes are patch jobs that don’t address root cause and tend to reveal the same deficiencies, to a greater degree, over time.
I will check-in periodically with progress updates. Please feel free to share your progress as well.