Thursday, July 26, 2012

If Not That, This?

Today on Twitter, I saw a tweet that proclaimed 'is lack of sleep behind your weight gain' or something to that effect. If there wasn't one saying exactly that today, there was probably one last week or last month. If not about lack of sleep, it might have blamed soda, processed food, large portions, or just plain lack of exercise  - and if you 'just' eliminate 'X', ta dah! Problem solved.

I especially love the ones that tell me ' cut out one soda a day' and then they do the math based on calories  in the soda and calories per pound and then tell me I'll 'drop x pounds in a year'. As if our bodies work like a ledger sheet.

Don't get me wrong - I believe all these things can and do affect weight in individuals, but there is no one cause we can pin it on that fits every individual. And I believe it's vastly more complex than 'eat less/move more'. But in my case, none of the 'usual' advice fits.*

The fact is I get plenty of sleep. I have eaten a 'healthy, whole foods, mostly organic' diet for the past decade. I cook practically everything from scratch from the best ingredients I can afford. On the occasions we do go out to eat, we're picky so we're not talking the usual suspects here. I don't have a large appetite and I haven't had a 'soda' in years. As far as exercise goes, I do some strength training and love to hike, bike and play tennis. Lately I've taken up jumping rope. I'm no good at it, but I am adding more each week. I do have a desk job, but it's in a large building and involves up and down stairs and heavy lifting. I am careful not to 'overexercise' though. I used to do that but now I listen to my body as far as activity goes, too.

I don't have any answers and I'm not looking for a 'magic bullet'. I don't believe there is one. I'm certainly not jumping on the latest 'sure fire' diet craze. But I keep listening and learning. In the process I've learned that I stress seems to be a huge component for me. One of the few times in nearly a decade that my weight changed was when I was under a great deal of stress. Eliminating the stress, however, doesn't make it go down. My weight is now unchanged again, but just at a higher level.

I accept that this is how my body functions right now at this point in my life. It's just for some reason it has 'decided' to hang on to extra weight. Of course I don't like it, but that's just how it is. Maybe that will change. Maybe not. Maybe there are things I have control over that can alter it. Maybe not.

I just know there are no simple answers and no one answer that fits every one, and wasting time, energy, anger, guilt, frustration or whatever other negative emotions are tied up on excess weight would just be a waste of my life. Not to mention just plain no fun.

I'd rather just live in tune with my body - eat well, sleep well, participate in activities I enjoy and focus on good health and the 'moments' that bring joy to life, cuz whatever my weight, it's the only life I get.

*there are other less-usual explanations, like stress, that come closer but that's another post

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