This summer, it seems like there is a greater focus on dieting and weight loss than I can remember in summers past. Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and Facebook advertising profilers have me pegged as someone who needs daily reminders. I’m not sure which is true; maybe both. Either way, I don’t care what I look like on the beach nearly as much as they think I do.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for healthy living. And I certainly don’t want to discount the awesomeness of the garcinia extract appetite suppressant or Dr. Oz and his tips for losing belly fat. I just don’t like rules. Or suppression. Or grapefruit.
No amount of reasoning can sway me, either. You can tell me that the human stomach is only the size of a fist. But personal experience has taught me that it also has the ability to stretch to at least the size of this plate of chicken fajita nachos from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
You can tell me to only eat when I’m hungry. But that one falls apart as soon as I turn on Netflix. Or endure Man of Steel at the movie theater. Or send my child off to college.
I’m pretty sure I don’t have the personal fortitude to give up sweets or carbs, either…at least not for any length of time. That one time I gave up Chick-fil-A, I didn’t even last 3 days.
Maybe my resistance to the “D” word is because I had to go gluten free my whole first decade of life. I was a sickly child, and had to sneak bread out of the kitchen and hide it under my pillow just to taste it. Eventually, though, I stopped throwing up every time I ingested wheat products. So now, I figure I’m making up for lost time.
The “D” word (diet) is oppressive to me. I’d rather go on a “common sense.” Sure, maybe it is just semantics, but semantics can be empowering. That way, when I pass up on one of Sonic’s 25 delicious shake flavors, all 1/2 price after 8 pm, I can smile and explain to the future dieters riding in my car, “You go ahead and enjoy that Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake, but I’m on a common sense.”
There are other ways you can make healthy choices while avoiding the “D” word. And List Wednesday is all about empowerment, so…
Things you can do instead of dieting:
Boycott certain foods. I suggest starting with tortilla chips and/or queso. I mean, there are plenty of good reasons for you to get mad at Mexico. That way, if you think about it, you’re not giving up something you love nearly as much as you are fighting injustice.
Train for a triathlon. See that? You’re already impressed, aren’t you. And all the people you tell about your triathlon training will be, too. The mistake people make here is in thinking that a triathlon must include running, swimming, and cycling. But really, by definition, a triathlon is an athletic competition involving any three consecutive events. Your triathlon training could include, say, driving to the mall, walking through the mall, and sprinting from your car to your closet where you will put your purchases up before your spouse comes home and sees them. The key is simply to include something you find enjoyable.
Review healthy foods at fast food restaurants. When you go into In-N-Out Burger, ask for the healthiest menu choice. When they tell you to order the “Protein Style Hamburger,” don’t make a face, even though it does look like a pile of lettuce. Eat it anyway; remember, you have an important job…you’re a fast food healthy choices restaurant reviewer.
Study foods of other cultures, preferably skinny ones. Here’s where the World Wide Web is awesome. You can Google “recipes from Burundi” just as fast as I can Bing, “dysentery.”
Shadow a skinny friend. She might think it’s creepy, at first. But, she’ll get used to having you follow her around at work or church, incessantly asking questions about healthy lifestyle choices. Eventually, she’ll realize how flattering it is.
Wear athletic clothes when you’re at home. I don’t know about you, but when I wear pajamas, I don’t get much done…unless you count Netflix and Words with Friends. But if I’m wearing my Nike shorts and a t-shirt, I almost always feel compelled to run up and down the stairs once or twice or do a jumping jack.
Do something to break a sweat every day. I think that’s Matthew McConaughey’s rule. I read it somewhere, probably in People magazine on an airplane. I’m not saying Matthew McConaughey is my role model, but I’m also not saying he’s bad looking. Even if your one daily sweat is from taking a hot steamy bath, it counts.
So remember, you’re not on a diet, you’re on a common sense. Or a boycott. Or reviewing healthy fast food choices. Or studying other cultures. Be empowered and make healthy choices, friends!