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Account balance

The secret to saving money is to spend less or make more, or both. Likewise, the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories or take less in, or both.

Move more and eat better and you’ll lose weight. But the weight isn’t the goal. The goal is health. If you move more, you’ll have better mobility in your joints. Your heart will be stronger. If you eat better, you’ll be giving your body the fuel it needs. Both will make you feel better and live longer.

I’m not about a starvation diet. There is no reason you have to eat salads and feel miserable. But do cut out the fried foods. You think you want them. You don’t. They don’t taste of anything except salt and fat. You can’t taste the goodness in the food when it is fried.

Do eat less food in general. You don’t need to eat like a dog who just got adopted from the pound. Slow down. Chew everything at least 20 times. You’ll digest it better if you eat it more slowly. Because, you aren’t what you eat, you are what you digest. If nothing else, think of all the money you’ll save if you eat less.

Eating less meat and more vegetables is always good too. The meat portion, if you are going to have it at all, needs to be the size of a deck of cards. Really. It is often the size of half the plate. And that is just the first helping.

For vegetables, the more the merrier. The more variety you can have, the more different vitamins and minerals you are getting. Every plate of vegetables is a gift from you to your body. Aim for a lot of color and you can’t go wrong. If you think you don’t like a certain vegetable, try it another way – steamed or grilled or baked. Sometimes it isn’t the vegetable, it is the way it is cooked that is the problem. Texture is essential. Baked squash is totally different from boiled or steamed squash. Try it, you might like it.

I’m stunned at the number of people who saw my husband take his bike to work who still wondered how he lost all that weight. He lost nearly a hundred pounds in a year. Now, it wasn’t from just riding his bike. He walked at lunch. He worked out at the Y several times a week. He ate healthier. But his coworkers didn’t see all that. They did see the bike, and they still didn’t get it. They thought he had gotten stomach reduction surgery.

Perhaps that is the problem. People just don’t see the connection. Hard work equals results.

No, it isn’t easy to get healthy. No, there are no shortcuts. You just have to do it.

You’ll fail a lot at first. You’ll get started and then stall out. You’ll be doing well and hit a snag. You’ll come full stop. Just start again. It isn’t the stopping that is the point. It is the starting again. Know that failing is normal. You aren’t a failure for failing. You’re normal. You’re human. Just get going again.

Even when you finally get a good routine going and you are doing very well, you’ll start to slack off. You’ve gotten to your goal and you think you can ease up. Then your joints start hurting again, and your jeans start not fitting again, and you’ll realize there isn’t a stopping point.

This is for life. You can’t stop because if you stop you’re done. You have to see eating well and moving more as something you just do as part of being a human. It has to be part of your life, and not just a thing you do to lose a few pounds before your high school reunion.

This is for life, because otherwise, you don’t really have a life. Otherwise, you’ll end up, if you make it to old age at all, on so many pills you’ll need an assistant to sort them for you. You’ll need a cane, or a walker, or a wheelchair. You’ll spend your days sitting at home because you are too feeble to get out on your own. You’ll be dead before you are dead.

This is for life. This is so you’ll have a life.

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