Friday, February 02, 2007

Pearls of Wisdom

How's that for a presumtuous title? On this post, anonymous asked: How do you push yourself to change your lifestyle forever, for good, before its too late?? (Damn & blast, just realised that all the comments on that post are suddenly showing up as anonymous. Is that the fault of new blogger?)

With the caveat that what worked for me is unique to me, and everyone needs to find their own combination, here are a few things I've learned. I'm sure that I'll think up some more as soon as I hit "publish", so consider this the first installment.

1. Accept that this will take time. There are no quick fixes or magic potions. My first serious attempts to change to a healthy lifestyle were in took me till 2004 to get it right. That said, looking back, the years went by very quickly, they just seemed slow.

2. Become selfish. Place a value on your wants, your needs, your time. You don't have to help everyone or acquiesce to every demand that someone places on you. Practice saying "no" to people and it will be easier to say "no" to food.

3. You not only have to avoid certain foods and certain habits, you also need to avoid certain people, situations and locations. I don't think it's an accident that my big success came once I made the decision to leave my banking career, change to teaching, move to Israel for two years of study... There's a Hebrew proverb that says "meshane makom meshane mazal": he who changes his location changes his luck.

4.a. Read, read and read some more. I've been reading T-Nation since it was (that's 1998, I think). I've lurked on more lists and forums than I can remember.
4.b. If you are a woman, read information that is aimed at men. So much of the diet & exercise info that is aimed at women is infantalized and infantalizing. Pay it no mind.

5. Ignore any advice that comes from people who don't train, don't lift, and eat dreck. That includes advice from well-meaning relatives. Actually, that should be especially well-meaning relatives.

6. Never ever apologize or make excuses for the time you take to go to the gym, the money you spend on quality food, the time you spend to prepare six decent daily meals, the money you spend on a trainer. You don't owe anyone explanations. You earned the money, it's your business how you spend it. Conversely, don't preach to or bug other people about their food or exercise choices; their life is their business.

7. If you hire a personal trainer, make sure he or she can squat.


At 7:46 PM , Blogger NicoleW said...

This is Nicole the Dumbbell, in case I get anonymized ... anyhow, fabulous tips, and #5 cracked me right up because it's so true. I had to laugh when a relative who never exercises told me I should be careful because weight lifting is "so dangerous," and another one who tried to get me to go on some 30-day diet of eating nothing but grapes. (This after I'd already shed 100 pounds by *not* doing things like that.) Whatever.

At 6:58 AM , Blogger Shauna said...

wow. this post is freakin brilliant, thank you! i love no. 5 in particular :)

At 10:35 AM , Blogger M@rla said...

This really is brilliant, Mich. The simplest things, and yet they can take so long to discover.

#5 is good, but I personally love 4b.

At 9:36 PM , Blogger crankybee said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this - I laughed big time! Being a vegetarian, I get so much unsolicited advice - such as "How do you get any protein? How do you get enough B12 and iron?" from one friend's mother. I couldn't believe it - the woman is a clear 30kg overweight! I could tell you how much protein I eat to the GRAM thanks to Calorie King! My last blood test showed I had an incredibly high iron level, and I don't take suppliments.

I asked her the same questions - she had no idea! She actually said to me "I'm only asking these questions from a MIDWIFERY point of view!" You're a MIDWIFE, love! Not a freakin' DIETICIAN!

I love 4b too - men are much more calculating than women when it comes to this weight loss thing...


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