by Leigh and
usual food or drink of person or animal. 2. A
regulated selection of foods, especially as prescribed for
medical reasons. v.
eat and drink according to a prescribed regimen.
The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
especially of body or mind, freedom from disease or abnormality.
condition of optimal well being.
word diet is often misused. If
we eat hamburgers and chocolate cake then our diet is hamburgers
and chocolate cake. The other definitions of the word ‘diet’ have taken on a
negative connotation, perhaps because it has come to mean
‘regulation’ and ‘prescribed regimen’.
We want to lose weight quickly so our diet changes
drastically for a limited amount of time.
A successful diet plan requires us to make a
psychological as well as emotional commitment.
Despite our best intentions, if we are not fully prepared
for this commitment, we are not able to carry the plan through.
The word health encompasses much more than just the
food we put into our bodies.
As individuals, we need to focus on our overall health,
both physical and mental. Rather
than concentrating on food, focus on lifestyle changes you can
realistically make over time.
If we make food the central issue, we doom ourselves to
failure, as the focus becomes the one thing we are trying to
limit. On the other
hand, when we make our overall health the central issue, our
goals are now much more broad and include not only our food
intake, but also every aspect of our lives which affects our
health including exercise, drug and alcohol consumption, stress
and many other health-related issues.
Making the changes entire lifestyle changes will go a
long way to ensuring success!
When faced with a few extra pounds, many of us change our
eating habits and deny our bodies certain food and drink.
By doing this, we have created a negative in our life –
something we shouldn’t do versus a positive, something
we can do to improve the situation.
Those of us
who carry extra weight have several options.
We can refuse to change anything and learn to live with
our size. We can
restrict our eating and drinking until we have an outward
appearance that satisfies society.
We can diet and exercise in order to meet someone
else’s expectations. We
can put our health first and alter our behavior to please
There are those of us who have decided we like who we are
and what we look like. We
are happy, social people who enjoy being with others and sharing
who we are.
Some of us are slaves to every diet on the market.
We know diet regimens, fat content, calorie counts and
all about carbohydrates. We
lose weight and gain weight.
Sometimes we keep the weight off for extended lengths of
time but it always comes back.
Others of us diet and exercise with a vengeance.
We exercise at home or in a health club.
We begin yet another diet.
We can bring our weight down and we feel better, but if
we don’t make a true lifestyle change, the old habits take
over and we regain the weight once we end the new regimen.
If we incorporate changes to our overall routine and do it
gradually, those of us who do wish for better health will have a
greater chance for lifelong success!
of the stress of huge changes in my diet and the struggle to
live up to them, I try to make changes in my everyday diet.
I have a wonderful doctor who does not make my weight an
issue in my healthcare. She
knows that I know the difference between a donut and a rice
cake. She offers
ideas for changes that she knows I will accept.
I have started buying reduced sodium salt.
I found that there are many diet sodas that taste as good
as the calorie laden regular version.
Plain yogurt makes an acceptable alternative to sour
cream in some recipes. I
make changes slowly and trim calories, fat and salt where I can.
These changes are not vast changes and I don’t make
them all at once but I eat healthier now than I used to eat.
General Exercise: I
am not the type to put on a sweatband and a Walkman and jog
around my neighborhood. My
decision to get more exercise is more covert.
I park at the far end of the parking lot when I shop.
When I go to the mall I park at the far end of the mall
from the store I will be shopping in. I
walk my dogs. I
have bought exercise tapes but don’t usually exercise to them.
I will, however, dance around the house when doing
housework. When gardening I lift and carry and occasionally take and
extra circuit around the house with a heavy bag or pushing the
wheelbarrow. If I
am out and only have one floor to go up or down, I will take the
stairs. There are a
lot of ways to incorporate more exercise into our life without
the appearance of exercising.
And in the end, every little bit counts!
Fitness Clubs: I have joined several fitness clubs and never used the
facilities. I have
had good intentions and have gone in dressed in loose shorts and
a T-shirt only to be faced by size 6 women in leotards and
muscle bound men who stretch and bounce and sweat with a vigor I
do not possess. There
is rarely anyone my size and shape there.
are health clubs geared for large people.
Virtually all clubs provide consultation sessions where
an instructor will work with you one on one to set up a
personalized fitness regime.
Some clubs have exercise times and areas set aside for
large members. They
offer water aerobics classes and a slower tempo for exercise
routines. Some have
instructors trained to help heavy member with their unique
needs. You may have
to search for these clubs but if other clubs have enough
requests for plus size classes they will listen.
Remember that regardless of size, everyone needs to work
at his or her own pace. Take it slow and be patient.
Remember that results do not come overnight. As long as you are exercising on a regular basis you are
increasing not only your fitness level but also you are working
towards a healthier you.
making lifestyle changes gradually and focusing on our overall
health rather than quick weight loss we have a much higher
probability for success!