Sunday, May 13, 2012

We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.

Nymphéas (avec mes excuses à Monet). Royal Botanical Gardens, Hobart. April 2012.

Today's Sunday Top Five is a new one for me, but probably replicated fourteen thousand times on teh Internets. Yes, it is My Top Five 'Secret' Health And Lifestyle Tips To Reaching My Ideal Weight!

Back story, Jen had been complaining for a while that it was hard finding the time to do regular exercise with two small kids always hanging about (well, exercise beyond chasing and punishing two small kids that are always hanging about). So, last Christmas, Santa, his elves, Henry, Ezra and I determined that a Wii Fit package might go some way to filling the gap. On Christmas morning, Jen's little eyes lit up when she saw the balance board and realised that we had all gone some way to making her dreams of an international modelling career come true. If you're not familiar with the Wii Fit, it gets you to plug in your relevant details (name, age, height et cetera, and then measures your weight and balance and gives you an idea on areas of improvement, you set your goals and it offers you plenty of possible exercises and yoga positions to help reach it.

It came as little surprise to see Jen given a pretty decent rating. It looked like fun, so we all ended up plugging in our own details into our own mini-Mii (your own cartoon representation of the self), and took our own measurements. Much to my dismay, as soon as I stepped on the electronic scales went up, and up, and up and up and up again until they broke that nice warm orange section marked 'IDEAL' and entered into the disturbing red territory marked 'OVERWEIGHT'. Suffice to say, I didn't feel much like partaking in a large Christmas dinner (nor our annual tradition of polishing off the huge trough of chocolate mousse I'd prepared).

Okay then, the computer told me a few home truths, so I set about getting that bar back down out of the red and smack bang on ideal. Being a scientific man, I set about researching all manner of materials to determine if the harsh judgement of this Japanese computer was on the money. Sadly, it was. The challenge was to shed 23.5 kilograms and preserve my health, confidence and (most of all) my dignity in the face of the cold logic of the digital brain.

Thus, we get to today's list, My Top Five 'Secret' Health And Lifestyle Tips To Reaching My Ideal Weight!

  • The equation. The equation really is simple: chemical energy (i.e. food) < kinetic energy (i.e. physical exercise). Keep the equation in balance, you should lose weight. Well, it worked for me at least.

  • Exercise. Despite the sedentary job I do, I already did a fair bit of physical exercise. On this front the Wii Fit was good, but I realised that upping the aerobic output also wouldn't hurt. I started running in my lunch break, which is easier to convince yourself in summer than it is in winter, I'll bet. The more you do, the easier it gets. If you start doing this though, keep an eye on your equation, as you can't produce energy from nothing!

  • Smaller plates. Perhaps the biggest single change for me was eating less. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and it isn't like I had a terrible diet. I think that I was just eating too much. The miser within me also saw me finishing off the kids' plates rather than throw it away. Now, I keep the portions smaller, and shifted some of the volume away from meat and starchy veggies to green leafy ones with legumes for bulk.

  • Slower eating. If you have small children, you'll know the tendency to rush through a meal. That's no good when it takes your brain a while to get the message from your body that it's had enough. Slow it down, bide your time chewing. I reckon that I ate at least 40% more than I needed just through haste alone.

  • Keeping an eye on things. This is more a general life and health tip. If you never stop and assess honestly where you're at, it's hard to take positive or pre-emptive action. Simply knowing where you are at with your health and fitness should give a fair idea of what you need to be doing more or less of.

    For me, the real trick was to stop and honestly assess where I was at. If you had of asked me in December how I was travelling,I would have admitted that I could lose five or so kilos, I never would have guessed it was nearer 25! Yet the bulk of the weight was gone in three and a half months with very little needing to change. In terms of food choices, I have switched from full cream to light milk, but that is really about it. The rest has been lowering the volume in and lifting the amount of energy I expend.

    At the very least, I'm doing better at keeping up with Henry!

    Jason said...

    wiifit told me i was quite close to obese. it then changed me mii into this little fat man.

    i told wiifit to go fuck itself!

    the ea sports fitness "games" are much better anyway.

    Kris said...

    Maybe WiiFit was talking sense...