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Saturday Musings - Lifestyle Change...

20190622_lifestyle Is it time for a lifestyle change?

I’ve never been a believer in going on diets to lose weight… fact, I think there a load of rubbish. You only have to ask the simple question, “What happens when you go off the diet?” to realise the yoyo mentality of on/off what we put in our mouths is pretty stupid. What I am a BIG believer of is “Lifestyle Change”.

A positive lifestyle change is making a decision to permanently alter the way you behave for the betterment of who you are. For instance, a number of years ago my wife and I decided to cut a lot of meat out of our diets and had plant-based meals for about eighty-percent of the time. A few things happened….

The first thing we discovered is some absolutely yummy vegetarian dishes…..and also some shocking ones! Vege-dudes, please don’t try and mimic meat… fail! Just be happy with eating really good plant meals and leave the carnivores to themselves. Just of the record, I still like the taste of meat, so I haven’t become a veggie fanatic.

If you’re going to do a lifestyle change in the area of food, then you have to like what you’re eating or you’re going to become miserable and the change won't stick. We tried a heap of different recipes and found a bunch that were awesome. We eat these and forget the terrible ones.

The second thing that happened was my regular blood tests (at fifty I started getting these) caused my doctor to ask me what I’m doing differently. All the various indicators were incredibly positive and I was feeling great!

Combined with changing what we put in our mouths we decided to do a LOT more exercise and this culminated earlier this year in doing a 53km trek through the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand. If this sounds terrifying to you then trust me when I say that it was for me.....but amazing all at the same time.

I must admit, I initially hated exercising….it hurt…..a lot. Like finding yummy food I had to find a way to make it enjoyable for me. The first thing I worked on was my attitude. My wife would suggest going for a walk and I’d normally groan but I learned to shift my response to being positive….even if I had to fake it to make it.

Over time, my attitude changed, and I looked forward to being outdoors and away from computer screens. This was great when the weather was good but when it was raining I found myself becoming a couch potato once again. So, I joined a gym.

I hate gyms, there disgusting places full of sweat, weird smells and people trying to show you how good they look. Once again, if this was to be a lifestyle change then I had to change my mindset and work on making it enjoyable for me. What did I do?

Every day of my life is typically a series of interruptions going from one skype/phone/IM call to another. Quite often I have several banked up waiting for me to get back to them. I turned my gym experience into a place of calm by putting on my noise cancelling headphones and zoning out from everyone else. It’s just me doing my thing.

I’m a guy who likes having a carrot in front of them that I can chase after. So for my carrot I downloaded the entire series of my favourite scifi show to my phone and when I’m on the bike or walking machine I get to watch an episode. I don’t allow myself to watch it at any other time…..which means I have to get back to the gym to see what's going to happen next.

Am I where I want to be yet? Nope but I’m on the journey and because I’m making lifestyle changes the changes are sticking. Have I lost a heap of weight and become a muscle-bound hero? Nope, but I feel a heap better about myself and life is good.

Why don’t you stop beating yourself up about your weight or lack of fitness or whatever it is your wrestling with and make small, incremental permanent changes to your lifestyle? Once they are part of who you are then make another change for the better. Whatever you do, make sure you are enjoying your life as you only get one shot at it.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, 25 February 2021
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