Day 5 — Body: Change
In the last post I talked about changing my lifestyle, how am I proposing to go about this? What are the elements that come into play and what is the result going to be? In the end it is about consistency and consciousness. It is important that I am talking about lifestyle change, not going on a diet. Diets are temporary and rarely work. They are periods of suffering where cravings are re-inforced by denial. I have been through the 'loss > gain > loss > gain' cycle before. I am not going to do it again.
I have experimented with the elements of the new regime before and am now confident I can make them work. It can be difficult at first, due to withdrawal symptoms, but it gets easier and more fun as it settles in. This does require me to be consistent though. As a commenter on the previous post said,
I read your story and instead of wishing you luck, I wish you PhD = pig headed determination!
The first issue to deal with is sugar. This is the biggest cause of overweight. The consequences that come with it are diabetes and potential heart disease. I have a sweet tooth and that needs to go. The major issue is the direct sugar intake—marmalade, mango chutney, chocolate, ice cream, biscuits...
The withdrawal symptoms from this can be severe, headaches and flu-like aches and pains. I have already started this and am experiencing withdrawal right now. This is a matter of persevering for a few weeks till the symptoms go and the cravings disappear.
I am interested in where the over-indulgence in sugar comes from. The classic view is that it is comfort food, dulling the edges of life. I think it is just an addictive drug. If so that implies staying off it to avoid the cravings.
Then there is bread and the amount I eat. I stick to wholemeal bread and in Europe it has far less sugar than in the US. I still have to reduce the quantity I eat. Over the last couple of days I have not eaten any, filling the gap with salads and rough oat cakes. I have enjoyed although I feel a little constipated.
Thirdly I need to increase the variety of what I eat. I love making salads with a great variety of ingredients, I just need to make the time to make them daily.
Looking at drinking I need to deal with alcohol and coffee. I love them both but I understand that they are both drugs.
Alcohol I can just reduce and only have occasionally. Coffee I will stop drinking altogether. When I start drinking it I cannot stop, a clear sign of addiction.
I have planned a regime of vitamin and mineral supplements that will back up and supplement my nutritional needs. I have done this in the past but found it difficult to stick to the plan. This time I am working on the basis that the consequences of not doing so will be serious. This is tha last chance for me to get this right.
Exercise is the last element to put in place. I enjoy walking, running and cycling. I love hill walking ans cross country walking. I already do a lot of this but I find that my weight slows me down—a clear sign I need to reduce it. Running I will go back to when my weight allows.
I practice yoga and find it an enormous help in getting in tune with my body. I want to introduce more of it into my daily routine.
The End Result
So the end result of all this in, say, a year's time will be that I have lost at least 25% of my weight. As a result my blood sugar will be back within normal levels.
This is the lifestyle I am leading now and will build into my future regime. In the end it is about consistency and consciousness.
- What foods do you eat that do not improve your health and why?
- Caffeine and alcohol, how much are they part of your diet?
- Could you exercise more, do you want to?