January 19, 2009

10 Tips for Healthy Living

Kimberly is the first online pal that I made through blogging. She's a little off beat, and thoroughly enjoys writing. She specializes in talking about nothing, while in the third person, and is a self proclaimed lazy perfectionist. She blogs at Temporary? Insanity.


So Mombabe asked me write a guest post for her and I have to confess, I've been putting it off. Really, her spectacularness deserved an immediate and gung-ho sort of response, but I've been grimacing a bit at the thought. Not because of my usual laziness and procrastinatory ways either, no. The real issue is this...

She is just too wonderful.

Mombabe readers are used to her clever wit, zany humour, and hilarity inducing antics. Also to posts like her recent one that had me literally weeping at the keyboard. She's so genuine and real, and that's a gift to her readers. It's like in being herself she gives us permission to do the same.

Also, she is so dang funny as to have earned multiple bursts of laughter from me. She's one of the few bloggers to have the dubious honour of being read aloud to my non-blog reading husband (who has also laughed over some of her more hilarious posts).

Frankly, I suffer from blog envy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I am a bit ashamed of how long it took me to get over it and write this post though.

Anyway, moving on then...

Mombabe mentioned that once she's recovered and got her groove back, she's going to be joining me on the quest to live healthier, happier, and hopefully skinnier. Two years ago I began that journey and lost 45 pounds over the course of one year. The second year was spent losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again.

Yes. So not impressed by that.

I've learned a lot along the way though and thought I'd share a few of my favourite tips here. Healthy readers may skip to the end and leave Mombabe a comment telling her they love her, etc...

1) Water. 8 cups a day is the bare minimum. Up the water intake and wash those pounds away. Yes, you'll have to pee every 2.9 seconds for the first week or two, but your bladder will catch on eventually.

2) Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. First week is hard but it's pretty easy after that. I've no earthly idea why this works, but it does. When I'm "being good" I have a small treat after dinner then brush my teeth and eat nothing else the remainder of the evening. Teeth brushing helps me. Immensely. I'm lazy and I don't like going through the effort of doing it twice.

3) Use your laziness to help you. If you must have junk, stash it somewhere inconvenient like the trunk of the car, the bedroom closet of a sleeping child, a locked box in the garden shed. Make it hard to be bad.

4) Eat regularly. As in every 2-3 hours kind of regularly. The three big meals a day mentality seriously sabotages our health. If your body knows there is a regular, consistent supply coming in, it won't hoard the fat so much. You can actually gain weight from skipping meals or eating too little in general for this reason.

5) Weigh in daily. I know there are people out there who say this is a bad thing, but it helps me stay on track. It's the times when I avoid making eye contact with the scale that I get the most off balance.

6) Move. Turn up the tunes and dance. Wiggle your bum while you mop. Park freakishly far from the grocery store entrance. Do whatever you can to add little bits of activity to your day. Actual exercising? Fabulous. Getting in the habit of having an active lifestyle where you move about lots, climb stairs, don't stay sitting for long stretches? All the better.

7) Look at yourself in the mirror. And be nice. Remind yourself why you're doing this. That fat in your tummy area? So dangerous to your health. It's good to love yourself. It's even better to love yourself enough to treat yourself well. Remind yourself of that fact. Daily. Don't let denial throw you off track.

8) Don't eat it if you don't enjoy it. If you're going to eat junk, eat good junk but less of it. Savor it. Let the high quality chocolate melt slowly in your mouth. Slow your eating down in general. It can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to receive the message from your stomach that you're full. Give it time.

9) Enjoy your body as it is. Make sure you have an outfit or two that fit you well as you are now. Don't keep looking at your "skinny clothes" wistfully. Find something that makes you feel good now, in this moment. Your baggy old sweatpants might not be tight on you, but they probably make you feel like crap.

10) Feeling like crap is not an option. This isn't about punishing yourself for getting fat. This isn't about beating on yourself till you get to where you "should" be. This is about treating yourself right. You are amazing already, and you have the potential to be even more so. Take that leap. Treat yourself as if you're already who you want to be, and the end result might surprise you.