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confession #000074

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

confession #000074

... or, let the magic begin

as you may remember from yesterday's post, i've decided (once again) to re-commit myself to my diet and fitness regime. in order to do this successfully, i felt i needed to look into the bag of tricks which had previously worked when i could - not long ago - actually wear a size 6.

i'm going to list these little tricks, both as a memo to self and also for you dear readers in case you find them useful should you also be embarking on or currently on a diet.  so here goes:

track it!

control is something that i find most important when dieting, so every single piece of food or drink that goes in my mouth goes down on a list first.  previously i used to jot down everything on a notebook and carry a calorie list with me wherever i went.  luckily, with apps like myfitnesspal and caloriecount, those days are gone.  their databases are incredibly updated and you can also add local products which the more american / continental markets wouldn't have.

work it!

exercise, exercise, exercise! now, i am not a fitness-freak.  lord knows i can't run for five minutes without gasping for life half way through.  but this is a time to say 'stuff it' and run - or jog, or walk, or box, or spin, or whatever your fitness drug is.  what's crucial is not to go in at the deep end straight away, but ease into it with some light cardio and then build up the exercise as your resistance and stamina levels increase.

plan it!

you can't play diets by the ear.  you have to meticulously plan what you're going to eat and how and when for it to be a success.  if for instance you know that you have a dinner at the weekend, plan a couple of light days before so that you can then enjoy the meal and not feel like an outsider.  also, if your culinary outing is at one of the global franchises, chances are you'll find their menus on the apps mentioned above and you can plan ahead even your calorie / fat intake and work the day around that.

box it! 

this goes hand in hand with planning.  if you're the type who leaves the workday lunch to chance, depending on what the cafe / bar next door to the office has on the day, you're just not going to manage.  take some time extra in the evening or early morning if possible and prepare a packed lunch. this is the only way in which you can be sure that the onions were sauteed in spray-oil not butter, that the mayonnaise is really light / low-fat and that all the fat has been trimmed off the chicken / bacon etc etc.  it may be a little extra work, but it will be worth it at the end.

play it!

keep yourself motivated and active through music.  whenever you're working out, listen to music which you enjoy and which inspires you to move about.  i'm not a big fan of r'n'b and clubbing music, but if i were to listen to alt-j, young the giant, the xx or arctic fire while working out, i'd probably not get much done.  this is pretty much what i listen to when i want to move about - even if i'm not doing any physical activity ... it helps as a little 'pick me up'.

combine it!

a few years back i had come across the hay diet or food combining diet which (in very simple terms) advises to avoid mixing carbs and proteins in the same meal because of the different way in which the body processes these two substances.  hence, in a nutshell, a greek salad (feta, salad leaves, onions, tomatoes, olives, peppers) would be fine but not a greek salad pita.  the minute you include the carb (pita) with the feta (protein), you'll have a little war going on in your stomach, leading to bloating and bad digestion.  admittedly, it takes a bit of time to get used, but once it becomes part of the routine, it is actually a pretty nifty eating system.

aim (at) it!

keep your eyes fixed on the goal, be it a special occasion - a wedding, a graduation, an anniversary - or a dress or pair of jeans you want to fit in, and don't let anything or anyone distract you from achieving that goal. you are stronger than all the temptations and excuses that will most certainly pop up, trying to veer you off your track.  this is your time to shine, and shine you will!

i hope you enjoyed this post; however, before i leave you i want to give you a word of warning: i am neither a dietician nor a doctor nor a physical instructor.  all of the above is based on what has / has not worked for me over the last 20 years or so of on and off dieting and exercising.  and therefore, before you decide to start any dieting or fitness regime, i urge you to please seek medical and nutritional consultation. there's nothing more harmful than following fad diets found on those intrusive online adverts or read about on celebrity magazines.  everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for another.  so please take care of yourselves and seek creditable information before you try anything new.

keep well xx

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