Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Taking a long look at ‘see’ food

November 23, 2005

With the holiday season approaching, I'm sure there are more things on our minds than just the turkey dinners and pumpkin pies. Most of us also dread the holiday weight gain. With the abundance of food -- especially those of the sweet nature -- one can easily lose themselves in the indulgence of cookies, candies and desserts.

I don't how this became a tradition, but as much as we dread the weight gain, we also long for the sampling and treats that are available. It's the "see food" diet phenomenon. What you see, you must try a sample. As soon as the holiday season is over, we make weight loss a part of the New Year's resolution. It's a vicious cycle.

Recently, I was reading an article that highlighted the amazing weight loss of celebrities after they had babies. Some have their astonishing figure back within three months. I guess anything is possible when you have a chef cooking your meals, a nanny caring for the baby, a personal trainer working with you and no "real job" that demands time and attention. These women claim to discipline themselves to exercise about three hours a day and work hard at losing their baby fat. Next time you see a new mother, ask her why she can't workout for three hours and develop a stunning figure like the celebrities.

Even some of the male celebrities boast of buff bodies and tell about the agonizing effort they put into keeping fit. I'm sure I could have a buff body too if I didn't have to work a real job, take care of my family and have all the money in the world. I'm annoyed that these magazines portray the celebrities as disciplined people who pay the price to keep a healthy body. The only price they pay for is for their entourage of help that surrounds them from the chef to the personal trainer.

But back to the holidays. Weight gain is a real issue for many of us during this time and most of us seem to lack the will power to fight the many temptations that surrounds us. Some people are blessed with a high metabolism, and they never gain weight no matter what they eat. If you are one of them, I hate you. I can look at food and add a couple of pounds. For those of you like me, you have my sympathy. I know the struggles you go through.

Like many people, I have tried in vain to fight off the sweets and over indulgence of food during the holidays. Usually it starts with just a sampling -- little bite, just for taste. By the end of the day, those little bites here and there had significantly surpassed the recommended daily caloric intake. For many years, I exercised regularly but neglected proper eating habits. I was very much against going on diets as I was convinced that it would do me no good. I was able to lose weight, but it often fluctuated.

Recently, upon the encouragement of my wife, I decided to combine proper eating with exercise. The pounds slowly came off. Thanks to her wrath, I've been diligent to watch what I eat and maintain a combination of exercise and healthy eating. The upcoming holidays will test my mettle in my resolute to maintain this new lifestyle. Already I am thinking that maybe a small piece of apple pie won't hurt.

I want to encourage those who are looking to control their eating habits to seriously consider combining exercise and healthy eating. It's hard work but the results are lasting and rewarding. It's easier if you can find a partner who will hold you accountable. Wait, not easier, but at least they will keep you accountable. There are few pleasures in life more satisfying than eating. But that is also a grave cause of concern for those who over indulge in it.

As this holiday season approaches, I'd like to find the balance in enjoying the abundance that is available and controlling the raging appetite that I sometimes have. I hope this thanksgiving, we will find a way to be thankful for the providence we have and not abuse it with over indulgence that can ultimately lead to health issues.

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