Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Oh My! Diets, Weight Loss and Picking Your Thang!

Are you as confused by the plethora of diets as I am? It seems as though there is an article refuting the scientific research-based findings of a miracle method as soon as you learn about it!

Furthermore, our bodies are so complicated and unique, what works for that beautiful, thin, and energetic motivational speaker may not work for me.

At the end of the day, the only thing we can truly stick to is this: food is the physical building block of our bodies. What we eat is what is used to grow and heal our bodies. So the question is: would you rather ingest something that helps or harms your body?

Lucky for us, there is now an annual ranking system for all the popular diets by Health Magazine. They have systemically and methodically evaluated all the famous (and some I’ve never heard of) diets. One of the criteria is… how easy it is to stick to! Who would’ve thunk! After all these years of yo-yo dieting, fighting cravings, and falling off the bandwagon… finally the experts are taking into account the KISS approach to keep it simple sweetie!

What’s interesting is that when you hear advice from our traditionally wise people (like my Qigong Shifu, my Kung Fu Shifu, and my parents… all Chinese by the way), they would say, don’t restrict so much what you eat or remove things entirely from your diet, just eat less of everything and less of what’s proven to be bad for you (fats, salt, sugar, junk food, etc.). My Qigong Shifu says “Cut 25%!” My Kung Fu Shifu says “Work it off through exercise!” My parents say “Eat until you are 60% full!”

The other biggie is: It’s not a sprint. Don’t expect overnight results. They don’t last. It’s a lifetime journey, a lifestyle approach. Every single choice is another brick to layer into your foundation of health and happiness. And yet, one less-than-perfect decision is not going to undermine everything, so move on quickly and definitively from a single poor choice or one moment in time. Figure out why the slide and try to set yourself up to avoid that in the future.

For those of us who need to lose weight, that means 1 pound per week is healthier, more sustainable and less reversible. Because one pound per week over 15 weeks indicates an overall shift in choices, a more permanent outlook and set up, as well as a focus on health rather than just weight. Plus if I can do 1 pound per week for 15 weeks, I can do 1 pound per week for a year.

This is a very personal and unique journey. Each person needs to get to know their own body and, more importantly, their own mind. Better health and weight loss is not just a physical, calorie-counting, daily exercise thing, okay, well, yes, it sort of is, but if you are mentally resisting every leafy green salad or are dying to snack on chips (just waiting to rebel and cheat), whatever great plan you are on, have paid for, or has worked for other people… just is not going to work! So it’s gotta be something bigger than just some diet you are on. It has to be part of a bigger goal to be healthy, for all the right reasons. And healthy not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. Healthy as a family, healthy with your friends, healthy at work…

Kung Fu Mama’s Thoughts:

1. Want good health badly enough.

2. Know why you want it.

3. Keep it simple.

4. Make health holistic: mind, body and spirit.

5. Track everything to measure what you need to change (blood pressure, heart rate, exercise, sleep, weight, inches, water, calories, etc.)

6. Find your tribe and enjoy the process.

7. Fail and figure.

8. Reward right, not with cheating.

9. No, it’s not easy, nothing good is easy, but you can find ways to make it easier.

10. Keep going.

And:

1. Fix mental state and fundamental illnesses first, then eating habits and lastly exercise.

2. Trust your body, especially as you age, don’t push yourself so hard that you end up quitting.

3. Life is short. If you hate it, stop it. Or change your frame of mind.

4. Cultivate love.

5. Find and enjoy the humour in everything.

6. Relax, relax, relax.

7. Identify the good. Fix the bad.

8. Be grateful.

9. Share what you’ve got.

10. Never give up.

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A Very Ninja Halloween

Kung Fu Ninja

This year, my younger son and I both decided to dress up as ninjas for Halloween.  I think we got inspired by our Kung Fu class and thought, hey, a ninja does Kung Fu, right?  However, according to Wikipedia: “A ninja (忍者) or shinobi (忍び) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja included espionage,sabotage, infiltration, assassination and combat in certain situations. Their covert methods of waging war contrasted the ninja with the samurai, who observed strict rules about honor and combat.” So… whoops!  I think next time we will think more along the lines of the samuri!

I had very conflicting thoughts about Halloween, going into it.  I’ve never liked the idea of going from house to house to ask for candy, I am not a huge fan of being masked… and I really, really don’t like the way my kids act for 3 months after having collected all this sugar and then ingesting it all… Sugar, after all, is the new tobacco (or is sitting the new smoking, or… is bacon the new asbestos? I can no longer keep up with all the new research and what new thing we aren’t supposed to be doing if we want to live to be 100).

About a week ago, I told the boys that I was thinking about boycotting Halloween because their disputes escalated into loud whining unsolvable events more often after they’ve had candy.  I gave them some options: 1) business as usual, one piece of candy after lunch and after dinner, 2) eat as much as you want for a week and then nothing afterwards and we donate the rest to the poor, or 3) just skip Halloween.  Let’s just say the boys were not interested in change.

So, off we went on Halloween to bring home two bags full of chips and sugar. Daddy probably unwrapped about 10 pieces of candy that night.  And I decided to let them have as much as they wanted, but… the boys resisted!  They pushed back and said, No, no, we don’t want to have as much candy as we want, that’s not good!  Sugar is not good! No, let’s just keep it to what we’ve always done.

With a puzzled look on my face, I replied: “So, just eat as much as you want, and if that’s business as usual, then that’s it.  I’m good with it! After that, you can have one after lunch and one after dinner.  Then we give the rest away.”  We went back and forth a bit more until I finally emphasized “It’s all good.  Just stop when you want to stop. If you want to stop after one, then just stop.  I’m LETTING YOU pick when you want to stop.  Stop arguing with me!” My older, rules-based, son felt weird about eating one more, one last one, no this one is the last Mommy, really it is, but I think we both were okay with how much he had.

By the way, Mommy, said the little one, why are we giving the candy to the poor? Isn’t sugar poison?  Why are we giving them poison? That’s probably not good for them.  Good point, my little one, good point.  Back to the drawing board.