Healthy Concerns By David McAtee, Prescott, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org Issues concerning health and preparedness in Yavapai County brought to you by the Yavapai County Community Health Services, Community Relations and Public Information Officer.
Monday, March 04, 2013
March is National Nutrition Month but who really cares?
Who cares? Well, your belt does for one. If you're like most Americans who put on a few extra pounds during the eating frenzy we jokingly call the holidays, there is hope. And I don't mean the half-off sales at Goodwill to purchase bigger pants. Stretchy pants are not the solution.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good elastic waistband as much as the next person but maybe there is another solution. Maybe all those annoyingly skinny people don't have a secret pill they take to stay skinny. Maybe they know something or have something that all of us on the slightly rounder shape should.
I love to watch people and the most amazing thing I have observed is that if given the option of having a donut or an apple, skinny people will almost always pick the apple. What is that all about? What is it that draws them to the healthy food, to drinking water and speed walking? Is it nature or nurture? Do they have more time, energy or will power? Were they always skinny or did someone get them started down this healthy road? And why can't I find that road? One word, MOTIVATION!
Motivation, and your decision to be the weight you are now, has to do with your day-to-day mindset about food and the way it affects you. I say this because if you watched a skinny person, and a not so skinny person, approach a table full of food they don't have to stop and think about what they want, they just intuitively grab the food that is most attractive to them. Skinny people make different decisions than the rest of us. It may come naturally to them now but I don't believe it always has. So what is it that motivates them and not us?
I believe people on the lighter side of the scale make decisions every day that affect their weight. They make exercising and eating the right food a priority and take advantage of opportunities that are available to all of us to determine their waistline. So how do I get on the light road?
Opportunities like walking at lunch, eating less and, yes, being hungry at times, are all decisions that we can make but don't more often than not. The only time in my life when I was truly happy with the state of my waist was when I followed these three simple guiding Ps.
Practical, Persistent and Priority -
Your goals must be practical. Don't plan on getting up at 4:30 every morning and working out for an hour and a half if you have never worked out before. Start simple and go for a walk at lunch. Get help and encouragement from those around you that look the way you want to look.
Be persistent and this means have a plan, a place, and a partner. The only way I have found to be consistent in my exercising is to have someone that will hold me accountable. When I don't feel like working out they get me going and vice versa. If you need the structure and organization of a gym membership, just purchase one month. If that particular gym doesn't work out for you, you don't want to be committed to a year of disappointment.
Make this a priority. Tell people you are going to work out every day or every other day at a specific time and don't let life get in the way. If you tell people up front that you are going to be exercising at a specific time and day they will be less likely to schedule meetings at the same time you work out every day.
Eating the right food and getting off your butt may not come naturally to you now but you must start somewhere and the first step is finding the motivation. As strange as it sounds, motivation is the hardest part of this process and no one can give you that. You must find that on your own. It might be a photo of the body you want to have, or a friend that is living the life you want but you must find the motivation.
There isn't one plan that works for everyone. This becomes obvious when you look at all the different plans available to you. Memberships, phone apps, personal trainers, Do-it-Yourself and the list goes on and on. So try different things and find the one that works for you. There is always the Trek-About program that costs nothing and meets all over the area for simple walks along established trails.
If you are concerned about your health, make sure you see a doctor before taking on any strenuous exercise. The Community Health Center in Prescott, PV and Cottonwood have doctors that can check you out and even give you some eating and exercise ideas. If you are, or are about to be, a new mom, the WIC and Health Start programs can help you and your little one get a good start eating the right food and doing the appropriate exercises and it won't cost you a penny.
March is also National Kidney Month, American Diabetes Alert Day, Dress in Blue Day to raise awareness of colon cancer, National School Breakfast Day, Registered Dietitian Day, Kick Butts Day (tobacco free kids), and World Tuberculosis Day. So apparently March is all about celebrating health. So get out there and celebrate with a celery stick and a walk. Your belt will thank you.
If you have a plan that has worked for you, please post it as a comment on this blog and let people know what and why it worked for you.