Monday, December 15, 2014

What I Know About...Staying Thin

"What I Know About..." is a series that draws on my width of knowledge. While I'm not an expert on any one thing, I do know a little about a lot. Today I'm sharing what I know about staying thin--not fit or built or athletic or skinny, thin. I'm not a big person, but I'm also not at peak physical shape.

If you're nervous about the oncoming (or already happening) holiday parties, treats, meals, and lethargy and what they're about to do to your body, I have a few tidbits that might help. (Note: I'm not a doctor, trainer, nutritionist, or fitness expert--remember this is What I Know About. I promise that these things are true for me, and probably apply in general, but please consult a professional if you truly need health info.)

I know...
  1. I have genetics to thank. I can't take all the credit for my body shape--I got lucky with a speedy metabolism. I don't know how much my metabolism figures in to my figure, but it's got to be a fair amount.
  2. Cooking at home is the best and easiest way for me to maintain a healthy weight. It's no secret that eating out packs on the pounds, and studies have shown that "the more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity." --Michael Pollan, Cooked
  3. If I don't buy garbage, I don't eat garbage. Cooking at home means buying groceries for meals, but also for snacks. As long as I have willpower in the grocery store, I have no choice but to continue that at home, where my snack options don't include (many) foods high in fat and sugar.
  4. Not having a car is a great boon to my physical activity. Without a car I get my cardio and weightlifting in by riding bike or walking almost everywhere. My bike gets stored in our dining room, so if I want to go anywhere I have to carry it down (and, when I return, back up) a flight of stairs. This applies to groceries as well--yesterday I pulled $100 worth of Aldi groceries up the stairs. I lifted with my legs, of course.
  5. "Exercise" is a loose term. Along with bike and grocery carrying, I take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator, I park at the edge of the parking lot (in my work car) to get extra walking in, I vacuum/dust/carry laundry up two flights of stairs to put it away...basically, I try not to be sedentary since I know I won't go for a run more than a few times in a year.
  6. I don't love drinking water, but my body thanks me when I do. Things work better when they're hydrated.
  7. I make time for what's important to me. Yes, being thin is just how I've always been, but I also like my size and how my clothes fit, so I do spend several hours a week buying groceries, planning meals, and cooking for myself. I spend money on good quality foods--produce, grains, meat--so I don't have to spend money on medicine or doctor visits. I go out of my way to walk more and fit activity into my life instead of forcing myself to go to a gym. We only get one body, and I'm hoping mine lasts for 75 (or so) more years.

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