Feeling good not as hard as I thought

Published 10:13 pm Monday, August 9, 2004

By Staff
I don't think you'd see me and think "health nut."
In fact, I'm one of the millions of Americans who has grown overweight in the last several years, thanks to irresponsible eating and inactivity. What's different for me now is that I'm finally learning through experience how to take care of myself and what makes me feel good.
This transformation started for me a few months ago when I visited the doctor for something minor. It was my first time to see this particular doctor, so I thought I'd ask a fresh medical mind "What can I do to lose weight?" I'd been uncomfortable in my body for months, and I was becoming more concerned about things like high blood pressure and risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Sure, we all hear "low-carb" or "low-fat" or "exercise more" everywhere we go, but for me it was hard to figure out the best plan and then execute it in a way that would be manageable over time.
I've been with this diet and exercise plan for about 12 weeks -- longer than I've ever stuck with any weight loss program. And I know I've stuck with this one because I could really tell a difference in how I feel.
After my first few weeks without fast food or sugar, I was shocked at how good I felt. I hadn't realized before that all the fried foods and candy and desserts had put me in a constant state of feeling ill.
I've found now that those former temptations are easier to deny because I associate them with that sluggish sick feeling that I was living with before.
And now, when I treat myself to something sweet, it tastes like lightening bolts. I had grown so used to sweets before that I was missing out on how good they can be. No longer numb to the taste of sugar, a small treat is a real treat.
Also, it was a lucky coincidence for me to start this diet during the summer when the best fresh produce is available. Now a slice of tomato is something I can enjoy snacking on, rather than something I just discard from a cheeseburger. Fresh artichokes, green beans, corn, blueberries and strawberries make me happier than anything because not only do I love to eat them, I know I don't have to feel bad about it.
Another thing that has had a shocking affect on how I feel is yoga. I've practiced yoga sporadically for about five years, but I've only recently realized what an affect it can have on me.
I don't exercise like I should during the week, and a particularly stressful week can leave me aching by Sunday. But a Sunday full of reading, laundry and yoga is just like a week-long vacation for my body (and a lot less expensive).
Now if I could get someone at the YMCA to call me everyday and harass me into coming over there, I'd really be in good shape.

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