Begin at the beginning. Wake up. Every action and everything you eat should lead you to vitality. There’s no secret to what makes you feel good. Your body tells you. You might gormandize on something that tastes exceptional–like leg of lamb or lobster–but an hour later it might leave you feeling drab and worn out. If this happens, don’t eat that food quite so often. Be aware of how you feel after you eat. If you find that certain foods or spices leave you feeling heavy, moody, or–in some cases physically uncomfortable–avoid that food or spice. If, however, you eat something that invigorates you, put that food on the table more often.
You might also find that certain foods mix well together, while others don’t. For instance, corn might be great alone. So might beets. But if you eat the two together you might get an upset stomach. Be aware of how you feel after you eat. Watch your moods. Your body speaks to you. When you eat right, your body treats itself right. Health, on all levels, is all about awareness. Listen, feel, watch and, most importantly, live right!
Time to get out for some exercise. You’ve sat at the desk most of the morning. Lunchtime is just around the corner. You don’t need a gym. All you need is the great outdoors!
Outside it might be raging sunshine, or it might be raining. No matter the weather, bring your sunglasses or your umbrella. It’s time for some fresh air. Put on your walking shoes–and if you don’t have walking shoes, put on your walking feet.
If you have the choice, take the stairs and bring a friend. Find a ten or twenty minute circuit, and as you walk, enjoy the sounds of life around you. Find something interesting in your environment– Whether you’re in a parking lot or on a busy street, there’s plenty to observe. Keep a steady pace. Walk with a straight back. Take deep breaths. Remember how it felt to be a child, walking towards something you wanted to see or do. Make every walk into an adventure. What will you see next? Are flowers blooming or have the leaves just fallen? If there’s snow on the ground, watch for ice and enjoy remembering how you felt as a child, playing in snow.
There’s nothing like a walk. Walk your way to fitness. Take office meetings and lunchtime outside. At the end of your walk, stretch your legs by leaning, face forward, against a wall and flexing your calf muscles. Don’t forget to take another deep breath of fresh air! Do this every day and it will wake you up and bring down the scale. Walk!
Children know what they want and go after it with gusto. They see a game they want to play, and they begin playing. A gum ball machine floats a hundred tantalizing chewables, and the child begs for a quarter. Conversely, children know what they don’t want. They’re offered peas at dinnertime. They shun every green orb resting on their plates. As a child grows up, desires become less clear, a bit more mixed up in the middle. A cupcake becomes complicated. It’s delicious, tempting, the smell of the frosting gets some adults into an almost romantic mood. But then one remembers: that crafty little oval of fudge adds weight to the midsection and might strike a person dead if they’re diabetic.
The more we learn, the more complicated things become. For instance, you’d like to take a half hour walk twice a day. But there’s “no time” because your commute sucks up most of the morning, and won’t spit you out until almost 7PM. Taking a break from the desk isn’t an option. There are meetings, spreadsheets, calls to make, and email to scroll through. You can’t even take an hour for lunch. And yet, you have no choice. Your body needs you to attend to it. Lately, maybe, your back has been thrown out from sitting too much, for too long. Or, your LDL is skyrocketing and the idea of going on Statins for the rest of your life isn’t very palatable. Or maybe you can’t walk three steps without finding yourself out of breath. If so, this isn’t a sustainable life! And it isn’t acceptable.
The only way anyone changes his or her habits is through a very simple inner gift given at birth: determination. If you are determined, your commute will not deter you. If you have made the decision to cut out sugar, your fingers will not pluck up that cupcake. If you believe in yourself, you will walk at least ten minutes at lunchtime, eventually increasing that walk by five minutes every week. This, and only this, is how you will regain your full health. Draw upon your determination, and you will meet a new person in the mirror by the end of a year.