I managed two runs last week and a short run this week – I’m hoping for at least one more run today, if not two. I’m going to jog to the cinema for a lonely solo viewing of X-Men: Apocalypse, and then afterwards a jog back. Is this ambitious? Perhaps. But I’ve gone up in weight again and it troubles me.
I think I’m eating too much. This may seem an obvious conclusion, but the important implication here is that I also think it might be due to another factor. Admittedly it’s not that much of a complicated conclusion; I’m not getting enough exercise. But surely they are one and the same? Isn’t that what I’ve been talking about for so long on this somewhat-frequented blog?
Yes and no – as you can see I’m being very decisive in this entry. Or you could say I’m being exploratory. I’ve often linked the two in an intrinsic and important way but it also vital that they be considered as separate or independent methods of weight loss. They can be used together, but they do have value in an of themselves.
Dieting is a method of restraint, restriction and control. It’s about saying no – or, if you want to paint it in new age finery, saying yes to the right things. That’s just a fancy way of saying no to the wrong things and I don’t believe dressing it up and calling it a liberation makes it any easier to swallow. It’s about identifying what you that’s bad for you, as far as your food goes, and cutting it out. If you’re strong about it you go cold turkey, getting rid of it completely. This is best done by replacing it with something else, and if you want a diet you can stick to this is the best way of doing it. It can be hard to fool yourself that all those juicy carbs and calories you’re used to it can be replaced by vitamins and vegetables, but it can be done. It takes about a week or two, and that’s the hard part of the diet method.
You can’t eat this, or eat here or there. You can’t have a second portion. You can’t have dessert. You should probably not have a starter. Let’s make sure that if you allow yourself to have a drink that’s not water, make sure it’s diet, zero or just has no calories. If I’m honest, you can’t drink anything but water. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it?
You can eat peppers, onions, broccoli. A big serving of that is going to be less calorific and a hell of a let better for you than that side of fries. You have to have such a large side of fries in the first place because your body knows that they’re so low in nutrients that you need a big portion. And don’t kid yourself that sweet potato fries are fine; they’re better, but being tased is also better than being shot. Better is a misused word in the modern world. It’s doesn’t mean good, it just means a step above or an improvement on something. Losing a finger is better than using a hand. A car without power-steering is better than a car without a battery. Sweet potato fries are better than regular fries. Things that are better are not necessarily good.
Dieting is about finding things that aren’t just better, but that are good, and eating them instead of other things. It is not necessarily about eating less – 200grams of broccoli is good for you and has less calories in than 100grams of rice or bread. No, calories are not always bad and are indeed necessary. But what else the food you eat contains is the important thing to focus on. If it’s just calories and carbs then its not good for you.
Exercise is about what else you have to do. You have to run then, then and then. You have to make time for exercise. You have to do things you don’t necessarily enjoy or wouldn’t normally do. It’s about driving yourself and motivating yourself to work harder than you have before. You don’t have to limit what you eat, but you do have to limit what you do with your time – but a run only takes half an hour. Realistically you don’t sacrifice much of your time for exercise and you can do it on the way to places.
Remember how I said I’m running to the cinema? And the run earlier this week was to some friends’ house to see them. Last week? One run was to the shops. It doesn’t have to be a long run, it just has to be a run. You can run nearly any time you’d drive, really. To the shops, to a friend’s, to catch a train or bus. Take a back pack to the shops, maybe a change of clothes to a friend’s – or hope they’re really understanding. You can still do it.
You’ll make excuses. You’ll tell yourself you can’t, you don’t have time, it’s too much effort – that last one is hypocrisy plain and simple! Exercise is effort, but you can definitely do it. You just don’t want to. That’s the hard part of the exercise method, putting that effort in and making yourself believe you want to. I don’t have a trick for that, but I imagine getting a habit formed helps. I know I’ve done it before, when I went to the gym regularly, but without that I have trouble finding a way to form the habit without having the financial culpability and cost. I’ll get back to you when I’ve got an answer.
For now, I guess keep trying is my best tip. I’ve done it, I’m going to keep doing it and get back into that habit. I hope this break down of the two most natural ways of losing weight helps you figure out what’s best for you, and how to make them work. Pick one, or do both, just as long as you can keep it up. Losing weight isn’t a fad; it’s a lifestyle choice. And you have to make it.