Once upon a time I was an avid gym goer.
I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays to run, spent late hours punching, kicking and lifting weights. I was at the gym 4-5 days a week. I went through periods of counting calories, eliminating starchy foods and living on vegetable juice. Constantly struggling with my weight I kept tight control on everything that went into my mouth (snicker).
Then, my lifestyle changed. No longer a gym goer (that fifty bucks a month is now invested towards a shoe fund) yet somehow, I have managed to stay leaner than ever before.
Sometimes I worry that I have contracted tapeworm since a diet made up of blocks of cheese and mayonnaise should make me look like a household appliance by now, yet I look amazing! (and I went to a doctor, I’m fine.)
After pondering this phenomenon for a couple of days I have realized that I have been applying a concept which I will call the gym of life. Here is how to do it:
1. Sell your car and start taking transit to work. Nothing says heart rate like racing up seven giant staircases in the metro just to make your bus connection (before 8am.)
2. Get a job that doesn’t allow you to get bored. If you are slammed with work nonstop your mind will not start wondering into restlessness into a croissant. Half the time I don’t even have time to eat my lunch and snack breaks are out of the question.
3. Do drink water. I can’t do two liters but I know what I need to stay hydrated.
4. Stay conscious of what you eat. I am pretty well informed on nutrition and make the right choices. AKA I plan my meals, pack my lunch, always have healthy snacks on hand and get the right amount of protein. The trick is to stay 80% healthy, 80% of the time.
5. Portion control. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you don’t eat the whole thing. Restrictive diets make you lose your mind and everyone needs a treat once in a while. Plus all those people who only talk about their gluten free or dairy free detoxes are annoying as fuck. However, don’t let one treat turn into a whole bag of treats.
6. Happiness and weight must be correlated. How else did I lose 3 kilos while on a diet consisting exclusively of whiskey and hamburgers? I was blissfully happy, that’s how. When your mind is in the right place, your body will follow.
7. You still gotta move. When I stated above I was no longer a gym goer that did not mean that I turned into an inactive blob slithering on a couch (I don’t even own a couch at the moment). I bike everywhere, I do 100 situps and as many pushups as I can (that’s 8 max) every single day, I take daily walks and I do yoga regularly. I laugh thinking about all the people stuck in traffic on the way to the treadmill.
8. Get jiggy on a regular basis. This covers point 8 (stay active) and point 6 (stay happy).
9. Be realistic. While I loved and still pine for my days of sporting the heroin chic look, I realize that it’s nice to have boobs that actually fill a bra. When you get to the weight you are actually supposed to be, everything works in unison and you feel good.
10. Throw out your scale and put on your skinniest jeans every other week. That should gauge how many blocks of cheese you should eat the following week.
The thing with working out all the time, is that most people do not actually end up looking lean and thin, most people get really bulky, as so much hard exercise makes you eat more. So stay balanced and healthy, not obsessive.
Love, M.H.[like] [tweets]