Thursday, October 2, 2014

Health is Wealth

It's hard to believe summer has come and gone already. As I age, summer seems to get shorter and shorter every year. I struggle with the winters in Minnesota and have grown to dislike the dark cold winter days despite being a native.

I know my pitfalls of wanting to hunker down and not go outside anymore than necessary. And when I sit around, I want to eat. I want to eat what most people refer to as 'comfort foods'. I have cravings for heavy carbs, bad fats and junk food just like the average person.  It is not any easier for me to say no to these indulgences than it is for you.

So what's the difference? How do I stay lean? Why don't I put on any winter fluff? Well, I do. Just not as much. I am not genetically gifted. I pack on the pounds as quickly as the next person if I were allow it to happen. So the difference is, I don't hibernate and drown my winter blues in food and booze.  I stay on my plan. I keep working out despite the frigid temps that chill me to the bone.  I stick to my LIFESTYLE.

You've heard it a hundred times, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. It's not always easy. It's not always fun. But anything worth having is worth the challenge. Because when it is a lifestyle, you can indulge in once in awhile in the holiday decadence and good cheer. Key words... "once in awhile".

Contrary to popular belief,  I eat pizza, eat pita chips with pub cheese, have weakness for chocolate and partake in other forbidden foods. BUT, I do it in moderation. Again, pay attention to the key word..."moderation". I don't eat these foods daily or even weekly.

I don't refer to these as cheat meals either. They are 'refeeds'.  They help restore my body's composition and also my mental satisfaction.  It's not a garbage feast or a pig out for free card. Refeeds serve a purpose when applied with an overall nutrition plan.  A plan, which if followed permits these foods to be eaten at certain times.

Everyones body reacts differently to refeeds. It takes time to evaluate what you can handle based on your body composition of muscle mass, fat mass, etc. What works for me may not work for you. Your plan needs to suit you so you can reap the benefits.

I'm not perfect either. I over indulge at times. I don't want to workout at times. I stray from the plan at times. But the important thing is, I have learned how I feel after I stray too far or for too long. I feel like crap. I look like crap. So I jump back on the wagon. And soon enough, it's smooth sailing again. Then I wonder, why the heck did I fall off anyways? Stress? Overtired? Lazy? Of just plain sick of it!

Then I have to remind my self of how miserable I felt at 176 pounds. How much I hated getting dressed. How much I struggled to lose that weight. I need to be a good example for my kids. I needed to walk the walk to show them it's important to be healthy. We get one body and the parts aren't always replaceable.

It's been just over a decade since I lost 40 pounds. I made a promise to myself that I would never allow myself to devalue my health like that again. I have kept that promise. It has paid off mentally, physically and emotionally. It was the best gift I ever gave myself.

We all deserve to happy. Our journey will be different and the reasons for traveling that road will vary. However, in the end you will decide your self-worth. So, you must ask the question - "How much is your Health worth to you?"

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