Sunday, October 25, 2009

To eat or not to eat

I started going to the gym last October 5 in an attempt to be more pro-active in my health and well-being.

Although I walk a lot in the morning and afternoon during my commute to work and on my way back home, it feels more like the obligatory physical movement that it is and on most days it's a distress. Don't get me wrong though - it is wonderful to be always on the move. However, being cramped in a vehicle like sardines with total strangers on a daily basis can get really uncomfortable and pretty alarming. I can't say I'm used to the commute but I've pretty much accepted it as a reality, a fact of life (my life at least).

Anyway, when my co-teachers told me they were planning to enroll in the nearby gym for about three months, I got interested. My ears perked up all the more when I heard, 'dance class'. I used to participate in a lot of dances in elementary and high school: modern, hip hop, ballroom, etc. I have no intentions of becoming a pro dancer or anything. I just miss the adrenaline rush of pure energetic body movement timed to the beat of a song. I dance for dance's sake. Besides, it is an enjoyable physical form of art and it is a good workout for the heart.

I have been attending the hip hop dance class and (recently) the aerokickboxing class at least once a week for about three weeks now and I am very happy about it. :)

When I found out that my weight is about seven pounds above the ideal weight for my frame and height, I was very thankful that I'm not obsessing over the fact that I need to shed some pounds. I know I'll lose it eventually because: {1} I perspire easily and {2} my schedule is getting filled with activities to do and appointments to keep. Sure, it would be nice to lose some weight and get a more toned physique [those are added bonuses!] but knowing that my body mass index and body fat count (or something, I forget what it's called) is normal is more important for me personally. Besides, if my heart feels right about my exercise, I believe the rest will follow...

I have also become more conscious of what, when, where, why and how I eat. Earlier into the year, I have added more fruits and vegetables (food by God) in my "to eat" list. :)

Just to share, here are some of the things I do in order to regulate my weight and eating habits:

1. Be on the move! I take the stairs whenever I can and I walk a lot during the day. I stretch whenever I find myself sitting too long. Physical activity shouldn't be just exercise - it should be all the little movements you do everyday. Although exercise is good for the body, it's not everything. (Read more: "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin" by John Cloud, Time Magazine August 2009.)

2. Eat on a small plate and use small utensils. If there isn't a lot of space to put food on, then I don't eat a lot of food in one sitting.

3. Eat slowly. I read somewhere and heard several times that the brain takes a while to process information on how full you are. So the slower I eat, the less food I take in. And it works! I'll feel full even if I ate only a seemingly small serving.

4. If I crave for something, I do not deprive myself of it. I eat a very small portion of the food to satisfy my craving instead of losing my peace of mind always wondering, "what if?". No matter how small the portion, the important thing is I tell my brain that I now know what the food tasted like and I'm happy I tried it. Of course, I have to be aware of my cravings, too. It's not healthy to have a 'craving' every ten minutes.

5. Eat small but eat often. For me, eating snacks is actually good especially when my stomach is already sending me "I'm hungry, feed me!" signals. Eating small amounts of food several times a day in regular intervals works better for me than strictly sticking to the three square meals a day. It's not good to let your tummy growl and say, "Be quiet, it's not lunchtime yet. You have to wait."

I feel wonderful having the chance to realize a lot of things for myself in the wellness arena and actually having the opportunity to act upon those realizations. As the saying goes: "The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." Hmmm.. My next agenda will probably have to be cramming... :P


  1. Way to go Lian! You can do it. :)

  2. Thank you, Anonymous person! :D

    Care to introduce yourself? :)


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