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Complicated or Common Sense

10/02/2014 13:01

Why is it that every January we are met with a barrage of media commercials telling us that if we are to change our nutrition or exercise program for the better, this is the perfect time to do it?  Is it because it just so happens to be the time right after Christmas where we may have feasted a little too merrily?  Or is it because the calendar has changed over & we have a brand new 12 months to look forward to?

If you join me in the “frozen Arctic”- like winter climate, then you may be looking at indoor exercise more than ever right now.  It has been at least a couple decades since we have seen an old-fashioned winter like this.  As I look at the size of our current snow banks at the end of our driveway, it brings me back to when I was a little girl growing up in Georgian Bay.  That is very much “snow belt” & shoveling should have been considered an Olympic sport there.  I was more of a spectator & most definitely the beneficiary of the incredible amounts of snow that we received in Georgian Bay.  My Dad humoured me big time when I shoveled alongside him with my tiny red shovel while he scooped out 99.9% of the snow.  Once the snow was shoveled into a tall bank, out came my crazy carpet…bright banana yellow & the snow banks were an instant playground.  Layer on that these really cool albeit “K-tel” plastic fort snow brick makers & I was in snow heaven.  What I do not remember is really ever feeling too cold.  I sure feel it this year though & you probably do too.

The thing I remember vividly as a child growing up in Georgian Bay is that there was no end of places to play for hours on end outside.  All of us put oodles of miles on our bikes.  My dear friend “Bones” as we endearingly called her was always a phone call away or we were ringing one another’s doorbells daily ready to go out to play outside for hours on end.  We always lost track of time & never seemed to get hot, cold or thirsty.  We just were having old-fashioned fun.  We really did not worry about what we ate & surely had not heard of any diet or nutrition program or new finagled exercise thingamagigger.  We burned off all our meals with old-fashioned exercise. 

A few days ago I stopped to watch a brief news story on television about 2 identical twins (both medical doctors) that went on 2 distinctly different nutrition/diet programs.  You may be familiar with the news story as well.  One brother ate a diet that prohibited carbohydrates therefore he instead ate protein & fat & the other brother ate a fat-free diet.  The results surprised me.  The brother who ate just fats & protein (no fruit, no vegetables) lost the most weight of 8lbs in 4 weeks.  The brother who ate no fat lost 2 lbs in 4 weeks.  Both doctors (brothers) stated that the diets that they were on made them feel miserable.  The brother who lost the most weight remember did not eat carbohydrates.  Which brother do you think became pre-diabetic?  It surprised me to learn that the brother that ate no carbohydrates was the one who became pre-diabetic.  He spoke of how this diet taxed his body into this state.  Both brothers were & are incredibly fit & continued to exercise as usual throughout the 4 week trial. 

We can all make our own conclusions from the study.  One thing that came to mind for me is that sometimes in life we can complicate the simple…or lose sight of old-fashioned common sense.  For me, I am not interested in giving up protein, healthy fats or healthy carbohydrates.  My personal decision is to balance my food choices out & to take a common sense approach.  Has my metabolism slowed down a great deal since I was that girl growing up in Georgian Bay?  You bet it has.  Do I realize that I cannot get away with not keeping track of my calorie & carb intake?  Yes, I understand that.  Do I need more exercise than I am getting this winter?  Yes, I do.  How do I know?  The scales & my clothes tell me that 4lbs have been gained over the winter.  It makes sense since my super long brisk walks have been reduced to mere walks around the block.  I don’t like those extra pounds & I will lose them again.  What I won’t be doing is going onto one of the diets heralded in one of the magazines available at the endcap of every grocery store check out.  My plan is simply to increase my exercise & be smart about calorie intake while balancing the food groups.  I know this means that I won’t be the “hare” that looses weight in a hurry but rather a “tortoise” about it.  That is part of practicing patience which is something that I have been dedicated to practicing more of.  Everyone is a beautiful original so my thoughts may not be for you.  That’s okay.  For me, I am not interested in doing any type of radical diet program.  Each person gets to decide what makes sense to him or her.  The biggest take away that I got though from the 4-week trial that the 2 doctors participated in was that you can sometimes be surprised with results of diet programs.  To be honest, I would have never thought that eating no carbs at all could lead to an otherwise healthy person becoming pre-diabetic.  That astonished me frankly.  It makes me think that balance seems to make sense at least for me. 

As an aside, I made a decision around the time that “Wiarton Willy” declared that we are to have 6 more weeks of winter to embrace the snow again just like that wee girl from Georgian Bay.  Aw, she’s still very much there.  My crazy carpet is no longer banana yellow but if I see one, I will definitely buy it & use it.  I do have a snow saucer & guess who will be sliding down the snowbanks & toboggan hills every chance she gets for the final leg of this winter!

My heart’s hope for you is that you find & embrace something “tea”-riffic every chance you get through all 4 seasons for the rest of your life.

Smiles, Saundie :)

May common sense be in full force all this week & next Monday's sharing is yet to be created :)