Blue Cat is thinking about his weight. You’d think that he wouldn’t be, but he checked the guidelines and he’s a bit over the ideal weight for a crocheted cat his size. And he’s looking a little pudgy around the middle…
So Blue Cat decided to do something about it. He researched a lot of diets and discovered that everyone has a different opinion about what will work. Some say “eat less and exercise more.” Some say to “eat more and exercise less.” Some say to “eat quality food.” There appears to be a big market in dieting advice, and no one wants to give a simple answer because then they’d be out of a job. So what is Blue Cat to do?
Blue Cat decided to use his common sense. Since he wants to be in good physical shape (endurance for those long blog-signing events and strength to lift a pen), he put together an exercise plan that would include both cardio and strength training. And then he made time to exercise every day at the same time so he would get into a habit and wouldn’t have to expend valuable will power to make himself exercise. Blue Cat recommends using an elliptical (it’s a good cardio workout but is low impact to save his knees), and light weight training to get his arms in shape.
If you’re short on equipment, running will do instead (all you need are shoes) and dumbbells are pretty inexpensive (and very common – just look around the next time you’re driving in a snow storm).
Blue Cat also wanted to make sure he wasn’t eating too much of the wrong kind of food. While looking at the nutrition facts on his food helped, it was hard for him to track how much he was eating and if he was getting enough protein (which not only helps build strong cells, but also helps with anxiety).
So Blue Cat started using MyFitnessPal (available as an app for his iPhone as well as online). It gives suggestions for calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat – and lets you scan the barcodes on food to automatically enter their nutritional value. (You can also look up foods and input recipes – it’s a really cool service.) It makes it easy for Blue Cat to figure out if he can have an extra serving of ice cream.
The other thing Blue Cat does is try to eat quality food – not much sugar and more whole grains. He doesn’t worry about fat, but tries to use healthier alternatives (such as olive oil) when he can. And he really stays away from refined sugar while making sure that he has some protein with his carbohydrates (so they’re metabolized well). He’s found that protein bars (as long as they’re the low-carb, low-fat kind) are a great mid-morning snack to keep him out of the cookie jar.
But Blue Cat doesn’t let his plan get in the way of his life. The other week he went on a trip and had some meals with some special friends. So he just put the app away and enjoyed the food and company – and didn’t worry about exercising since he was far from his elliptical and weights. Being healthy is important, but a plan is just a guide, not a recipe.
The result? Well – Blue Cat is a bit lighter, and he’s much stronger and can now lounge for hours at a time without having to take a break. And his scribe has lost 7 pounds in the last 2 months. And they still get to eat ice cream on a regular basis.
So if you’re trying to get in better shape, think about consistently exercising and making sure you don’t eat too many calories while getting a balance of carbs, protein, and fat. Good luck!
© William P Doyle, Jr 2014 All Rights Reserved