So many women complain about their bodies these days: “I need to lose a few pounds. My jeans just don’t fit the way they used to.” “I can’t stand this ‘muffin top’ !” “I have cellulite in my ARMS! How long has THAT been there?!” The most important thing we’re NOT considering is how these aesthetic changes are affecting our overall HEALTH!
FACT: Age is not kind. In fact, without continuous effort to maintain a size 5 figure, it can be quite cruel. Worse yet, without diet and exercise, we often end up suffering from various other ailments which make our concerns of our appearance seem downright petty.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that heart disease is the number 1 killer among women. Experts say that “losing weight “is 80% diet and 20% sweat!” (doctorroz.com) This is something I’ve heard for years and when I’ve applied it to my OWN life I’ve found it to be spot on.
It’s not easy. Giving up many of the foods you love can sometimes be harder than getting yourself to the gym! My vices are carbs and sugar. I try to rationalize it’s not my fault! I’m half Puerto Rican and everyone knows how we Latinos love our rice, plantains, and yucca! Further, that side of my family is riddled with diabetes so clearly I’m not the only one who loves their sugar! The only flaw in my excuse is that the diabetes can be CONTROLLED by maintaining a low carb diet and a healthy weight, which thus far, I’ve managed to do. But like any habit, once you get through the first week or two, the rest is smooth sailing. Your body no longer craves the toxins it once did and instead, you’re replacing your favorite candy bar with fresh fruit.
The hardest part for me is getting in my cardio, which is also key in preventing your risk for heart disease. It has NEVER been my favorite and I’ve tried it ALL: stationary bikes, stair steppers, elliptical machines, treadmills, etc. I’ve tried them while reading my favorite magazine or listening to my iPod but nothing has brought me any closer to enjoying these dreaded activities. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way, which is how I discovered Power Yoga! Power yoga works ALL your muscle groups while simultaneously giving you a cardiovascular workout that doesn’t feel like the same sort of torture. Unfortunately, my crazy schedule these days doesn’t allow time for these classes so I’ll have to come up with another plan.
The good news is I’ve cleaned up my diet and lost 7 lbs in a month : ) My free weights are also getting used for the first time in ages! I suppose I could incorporate some jumping jacks or brisk walking into my workout to satisfy my least favorite part. Walking would definitely need to be an evening activity due to the 90 degree weather and high humidity which continues to linger. But the desire to lose a few pounds and most of all, BE HEALTHY, has been on my mind for months and I’m finally doing something to move things along.
I feel better. My skin and hair feel softer. Best of all, my clothes are starting to fit nicely again. I only weight myself once a month so I use my clothing as a guide to when it’s time to buckle down and take better care of myself.
Whatever is it that YOU need to do in order to improve your health, quit doing what so many of us women do: eyeballing the size 5 lady with the 2 kids and thinking to yourself “Skinny bitch!” Set some realistic goals and get going! “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings” and procrastinating only prolongs your self loathing, making it harder to accomplish your goals.