"I'm in great shape. I'm 30 years old, and I feel like I'm 29."
~Jarod Kintz, A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal Kingdom
Diet and exercise, two things that tend to go together like burgers and fries, strawberries and whipped cream, vodka and tonic, wine and....anything. You get the idea.
People are always looking for the quick fix, magic potion or secret wonder food that will shed the pounds. They want to combine that with the ultimate workout, one that is quick, cheap and promises the ripped beach body.
Well, brace yourselves, I'm about to give you the AMAZING answer to that pesky weight problem.
Drum roll, fanfare and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...
Move more and eat less.
Expecting something else?
Having just finished a nutrition program I can tell you all about proper nutrients, portion size and what foods to avoid. And as a past fitness instructor I can take you through a workout that would rival the Biggest Loser.
But is huge lifestyle revamping the way to go or can people modify and tweak what is comfortable for them to encourage a lasting change? Fad diets are only proven to create a yo-yo society when it comes to weight and the convenience and price of fast food have the world packing on the pounds.
I'm not an advocate for cutting everything you love out of your life or starting an exercise plan that you will ultimately burn out from.
My family loves onion rings so when we go somewhere we know they are "worth it" we get a basket and split them between all four of us. It works out to maybe two per person. Perfect.
Years ago, when I was teaching multiple hard-core classes every day, I was constantly in pain and always hungry. I couldn't eat enough to keep my weight from plummeting. I had a six pack and guns for arms and I was miserable, popping Advil like tick tacks.
I'm certainly not saying if that is your goal you shouldn't go for it but if your goal is to be fit and healthy in a realistic way there are so many options. Just small diet changes and finding activities you enjoy can be the simplest of answers.
Of course, some would say that if you hate exercise why do something you hate. True enough. If you hate jogging don't commit to a running schedule, chances are you'll fail. But too often someone's hate of exercise only gets a jump start when a potential or real medical problem comes to play. Don't wait until you're pre-diabetic or dealing with heart disease to make a change. Not to mention the absolute fact that exercise can act as an anti-depressant. Who doesn't need a bit more happiness?
I remember reading an interview with a pretty buff actor who simply said his secret was to work up a sweat somehow, once a day. Might seem unrealistic in a busy life but it's not if you redefine what working up a sweat is. It doesn't have to be an hour of Body Destruction Combat Crossfit Whatever. That stuff is great when you can fit it in. But it can simply be a brisk walk with a dog, yard work or doing a quick 20-minute routine that can be easily thrown together.
With long days and warm weather, the timing couldn't be better to find what could become your next healthy hobby. Swim some laps, jump on a bike, grab some high energy tunes and go for a walk/run, hike your nearest trails or sign up for something completely out of your norm; yoga, martial arts, horse riding, Zumba, whatever sparks your interest.
Say to yourself, "I've always wanted to try _______" and see what pops into your brain. Don't wait until a doctor is saying it's necessary, make it necessary for your life now.
What do you have to lose?
"If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with."