Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Finding a Healthier Lifestyle - Committing to Change

Another Good post from Dumb Little Man.

Everyone wants to live a healthier lifestyle and everyone wants to look better in their swimsuit. However, many people don't know where to begin or what questions to ask.

Six months ago I was in that very position with not a clue as to what I should do to lose weight. Today I have lost 40 pounds working out only five hours of every week and the weight is still going down, despite the fact that my occupation as a student and web developer is largely sedentary.

I am eating healthier, I look great, I am much stronger, and I am in better shape now than when I played football in high school.

Here are the steps I took to begin rebuilding my lifestyle:
  • Acknowledge Self Destructive Behaviors: One night I went out with a handful of my college friends and drink beer at a popular bar in Nashville. By the end of the night I had put away two pieces of pizza and seven pints of thick German beer. If that had been the first time I had splurged on food and drink I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but it wasn't. The following day I thought about why I let myself go at the bar, and it hit me: when I'm with my friends, I drink and when I drink, I eat. But that wasn't the only thing I was doing wrong. Here are some other troubling behaviors that I recognized:

    • I was always "too busy" to take the time to exercise

    • I was always "too busy" to prepare my own healthier meals

    • I didn't eat salads, fruit, or whole grain bread because I liked how cheese burgers, potato chips, and white bread tasted better

    • I ate whatever I wanted without regard to the toll it took on my body

    After honest introspection I found the causes of my problems. The thing is, these patterns of self behavior all boil down to a few simple causes:

    • social pressure to eat and drink in excess

    • time pressure to skip exercise

    • time pressure to skip preparing my own meals

    • personal preference for unhealthy food

    • ambivalence to my own health

  • So take the first step, take a moment to think about your daily routines and identify some of your habits and behaviors that create problems for your self image. Make a list of your bad habits or even the pressures that force you into those habits. This will help you identify which areas of your lifestyle need to change.

    Read the rest of this post at Dumb Little Man.

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