Thursday, December 29, 2005

Things Can Change

Change is here to stay. I was talking with someone the other day about their grandmother. Do you know she’s 101 years old! Can you imagine all that she’s seen? She was in the Great Depression, and now look at our economy. She was there before the Wright Brothers, and now look at jet travel. She was there when telephones and television began. Now we have satellite TV and TIVO, and almost everyone has a cell phone.

I’ll bet she’s also seen us change. Most everyone she used to know worked very hard, every day—just to make it. Back then, you did or you didn’t eat! Look at some old pictures. How many fat people do you see? Sure, some might be a little fleshy, but now? Just go to the mall and look around. Obesity is becoming generational. Experts are starting to call it an epidemic, and we’ve even begun exporting it to other countries!

Last night, my wife and I watched a show on dieting and obesity. Fourteen year olds are developing Type II diabetes! Twelve year olds are getting high blood pressure! At the same time, school systems around the country are cutting back physical education—and kids are spending much of their free time in front of a computer, or video game. And our jobs? Most of us don’t move much anymore, either.

What we’re eating isn’t much better. We’ve gone from a garden grown to fast food society. We want it sweet and salty, and we want it now, thank you. Some people never even see a fruit or vegetable. It’s chips, fries, pop, and burgers on pasty white buns with little nutrition—just empty calories that wreak havoc on our systems, with obesity looming at the other end. Clearly, something has to change.

The first step is to acknowledge the trouble we’re in. Denial only makes us fatter. Most people add a pound or two a year without even trying. It’s easy. An extra 35 calories a day means you’ve put on a pound of fat in 100 days—that’s 3 1/2 pounds a year! It’s no wonder we’re having problems.

For 2006, why not cut back a little? Start eating a little less—especially the starches. Quit eating white breads and junk foods, with empty calories, and go for whole grain breads and fruits for snacks instead. Take the 6” instead of the 12” sub. Order chicken salads instead of hamburgers and fries if you have to do fast food. Those little choices will start adding up—in a smaller waistline!

Another thing is to get moving. Any movement is better than nothing, and a focused, daily exercise program is even better. We eat every day—what makes us think we don’t have to be active every day?

Things can change for you in 2006, but the hardest part is just getting started. You can get what you want, but you have to do something! Like stepping out the door to go exercise. Or ordering something healthier next time you’re in the drive thru. Make a decision to start making better choices—grandma’s watching!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's About Time...and Change!

Well, it’s that time of year again—can you believe a whole year has already slipped away? Where has the time gone, anyway? Now it’s time to reflect on 2005, and start setting goals for 2006. What have you done with the year? What do you have to show for it? Another few pounds?
As I move into my mid 40’s, it seems like time is moving so much faster. My oldest granddaughter’s five now—it seems like I was just rocking her to sleep as a baby. Now she’s helping my wife bake Chocolate Chip Cookies (not great for my diet, but oh so good…) and I just walked in and caught them sewing the other day!
Like it or not, time marches on, and if we look the other way, we might miss it! I’ve been learning to take time out for the moment, while the kids and grandkids are still around. Once the moment’s gone, it’s lost forever—unless you happen to catch it with one of those cool new digital camera’s (my wife and daughter have mountains of pictures). Even then, it’s bittersweet. You’d like to be there again, but the memory has to suffice.
There are other things that pass you by, too. Time is a cruel taskmaster. It seems like the people that struggle the most with their weight, just can’t seem to make time for exercise. They’re too busy; they’ve too much to do. They can’t change their eating habits either—they don’t like cottage cheese, don’t eat salads, and just won’t eat fruits. And besides, it’s only a couple pops a day. And they should quit smoking, but now isn’t the right time. Each of these are things I’ve heard from people in the last month!
Some things we’ll do without question. If you have to make a bank deposit, you’ll do it. If you have to pick up your kids after the game, you’ll do it. If the doctor says you’re developing diabetes, and if you don’t lose some weight, you’ll need insulin shots, you’ll start exercising, right? Not always.
I’ve talked to plenty of people with onset heart disease and diabetes, that STILL don’t eat right and exercise. Why do we always put our body last? Look at it this way. If you don’t start taking care of yourself, you might not be there for your family. Or worse, they’ll have to take care of you! Is that what you want?
As 2005 draws to a close, here are some suggestions for 2006. Drink more water; Eat more fruits and vegetables; Eat more fish and chicken, and a little less beef and pork; Eat only one starch per meal, and eat much less junk food; start exercising 3-5 days a week—it only takes 45 minutes to make real changes! Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll give you some ideas on how to get your bodies in balance. It’s not that hard, you just have to… do it. Make a decision. 2006 could be a great year for you!

Tom Dolan, M.A. Exercise Physiology Posted by Picasa

Welcome To Bodies-in-Balance

Welcome to my new blog, where I'll be posting tips on how to help you get your bodies back in balance. Based on my book, "Bodies-in-Balance--How to Eat Right & Exercise Smart", this blog will let me pass along important information, as soon as I learn it! I'm looking forward to being a part of your health and fitness! --Tom