10 Ways to Live Better and Get Back in Shape

SaladOkay, summer time and oops the shorts don’t fit from last year, metabolism is way down (have to learn to fight that one – there’s no easier way) and I need a new wardrobe…soon!

So I read a few articles on the ease of losing weight; the eye catching word of the moment is always the word “diet” or some variant of being in or out of “shape”. These phrases or words come to mean an act of losing weight or running 10K even though it’s really only a part of the process. What we all should be doing  is just slowing down and getting in touch with the fact that our bodies, our minds and our consciousness are really the only thing we truly own.

I’m thinking about living better, and to start with what?: What am I eating? What do I do physically every day? And what about the rest of my lifestyle?

A person’s diet can be modified by reducing caloric intake accomplished by either eating less or doing more to sustain the higher caloric intake. All of these suggestions are backed or touted by research into the effectiveness of any of them. I wouldn’t suggest otherwise, but some are just plain common sense, while others were quite likely very well studied.

Our lifestyles are always changing as we move along in life. Usually when we start out we could care less about thinking of our older selves. We live for the moment, and as we age, we sometimes wish we’d done things different. Well this is that “wishing time”, I need to think of what I can do different now. So a few thoughts….

1. Get yourself checked out. Your doctor can be the best source of current information, that’s their job and if you have any worries or habits, ask, ask, ask. It’s your time and your life they shouldn’t have any hangups when it comes to talking about you.

2. Don’t get stuck in food prison. Look up calories and be prepared to ask for smaller portions of your fav food but don’t get too crazy with the calorie counting it will drive you mad. Be prepared to take the high road , the 85/15 rule, once in awhile.

3. Move your butt. Heck, just taking the stairs up once in awhile is better than nothing. Or even parking farther away and power walking to work or take your bike to the grocery store. Little bits over time add up.

4. Eat breakfast. It’s been said many time before; it should be simple, satisfying and slow. Yes, I said slow. Get up early (meaning go to bed early) and make yourself some comfort breakfast food, remember you are breaking your fast, as in you haven’t eaten for a while, it’s not “Quick, break fast and get out.”

5. Have a good restful sleep. I can’t stress this enough and be consistent on weekends too. If we go to bed at the same time every day and get 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep we will have more energy with less stress eating. Restful also means to try to remove or move most annoyances like your alarm clock, your sleepless pet, add white noise to block sounds, etc …you get the idea.

6. Know your weaknesses. Stop and listen to your self-talk and your moods. Us humans tend to want to self-medicate for pleasure when we are stressed or upset and the easiest is alcohol and food. Find other ways to satisfy that need safely and consciously.

7. Make a plan. Know what kinds of mini meals you can have to fill the void. Many times doctors recommend smaller equal caloric intakes rather than large ones where we tend to over eat.

8. Stop and consider. While you’re eating, eat mindfully, taste the food, enjoy the food, take your time with each bite to savour what it is you like about it. Otherwise you may as well be eating a tasteless energy bar.

9. Don’t go for seconds. Wait at least ten minutes or more. It’s been mentioned many times that our brain to stomach communication is rather slow, probably from some leftover survival thing in the past, but now it just means we don’t know when to stop sometimes.

10. Enjoy the food and the activities that you like for what they are. Food is energy, it’s also pleases us on another level.  We were also built to be active, and, as my previous post, indicated sitting for too long can kill us.