Machine's Healthy Living Tip of the Week

Let's talk about 3500, the magic number. The number, that when consumed in calories, equates to one pound added to our bodies. It seems like a large number and, in truth, it is. Three thousand five hundred calories is a lot. It seems near impossible that we could shovel in that many extra calories in the course of a week, no less a day. Yet, it does happen, and it happens, much too frequently.

Think about the number of us who are carrying around a little extra padding, or maybe, a lot of extra padding...Think about how many of us cannot fit into the clothes we wore only a year ago. Think about how often we suffer from indigestion and gastric distress, our stomachs overwrought with the onslaught of fat and sugar laden foods, all with insanely high caloric values.

Still, though, we act surprised and stunned when told we must cut back on what we are eating. We think it impossible that we could be ingesting enough to pack on the pounds and pounds of fat that currently reside on our portly frames.

How can it be that we, who skip breakfast, and eat only handfuls of this and that throughout the day, are eating 3500 plus calories? It must be a mistake. Perhaps our thyroids are underactive, or we just have that unlucky "fat gene." Maybe it is just age...whatever it is, it cannot be that we are simply gluttonous, slothly creatures. It cannot be our careless, lazy attitudes about proper nutrition and physical activity. Bottom line, we cannot be to blame for our unpleasantly plump selves...

Reality check...we are wholly responsible for the bodies we inhabit. We know our own bodies better than anyone and we know what we need to do in order to live a vital and healthful life. The fact is, we choose not to be responsible and we choose not to take good care, because it is easier to behave ignorantly. We choose the instant gratification and the cheap satisfaction that gorging on cheese drenched fries and stuffed crust pizza brings. We use food to comfort our sad selves, reward our happy selves and to calm our angry selves...we use food for so many reasons other than its actual purpose, which is to nourish.

We can enjoy what we eat, but we cannot look to food to solve our problems or to bury them...we must learn to look for contentment in other areas. We need to be more aware of what we put in our mouths and how we feel physically and emotionally as we are eating, and once we are done eating. If we take a closer look at how we are feeling, we might not eat as haphazardly. We might take more care in making our decisions to eat that second piece of cake or throw back those handfuls of candy and such.

We are so adverse to taking care of ourselves much of the time, because we feel it is too much work. We convince ourselves that we are somehow missing out on a good time by behaving. However, if we do elect to take the necessary care we will come to recognize that feeling good physically is so much better than the taste of any grease sodden fried delight or sugar packed sweet.

So, we need to remember, that each time we eat, we take in a number of calories, and for every 3500 calories we consume, we risk piling on more weight. We need to be more mindful of not only the quantity we are eating, but the quality of what we are eating. We can eat so many servings of fruits and veggies and come nowhere near that dangerous number of calories. But when we skip meals and eat the couple of chips here and the leftover piece of pie there; then the appetizers at the bar in place of dinner, we risk approaching the 3500 mark much quicker. We need to learn to eat foods that are nutrient rich not calorie rich.

And as always, we need to get moving!!!!

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