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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Ode to a healthy lifestyle

  • Ya know that thing where you keep running/walking/tread­milling/ biking or whatevering for 30 to 45 minutes a day every few days and nothing changes? I have that thing–it’s called a curse.
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  • Ya know that thing where you keep running/walking/tread­milling/ biking or whatevering for 30 to 45 minutes a day every few days and nothing changes? I have that thing–it’s called a curse.  
     
    To find out why I was working so hard and my clothes were getting tighter instead of looser, I kept a log of everything that went into my mouth for an entire week. What I found out was astonishing. I was eating and/or drinking nearly 2,000 calories per day. My gut-wrenching efforts for the past six weeks were merely to slow the weight gain.
     
    I decided then that Hubby and I are going on a diet. We could each afford to drop at least 20 pounds. He has to lose his because his doctor told him he should. I’m going to lose mine because I don’t want to spend the summer wearing sweat pants. They do nothing for my self-esteem other than providing me with the ability to breathe.
     
    Dieting is easier for me than for Hubby. His idea of a meal is three courses of starch followed by half a quart of ice cream for dessert. I, on the other hand, love my fruits and veggies. Give me broccoli or melon and I am a happy woman.
     
    I figure the easiest way to diet is to avoid buying bad things. If there is no junk food in the house, we won’t eat it, right?
     
    “My problem is my upbringing,” complained Hubby. “I was raised to feel guilty if I didn’t clean my plate. The starving children of China always put a damper over our family dinner.”
     
    My upbringing, on the other hand, taught me to never throw food away. I have been known to pick mold off bread and then toast it. I eat wilted celery. And I can eat any week-old food that doesn’t smell too bad.
     
    In the houses of our childhoods we never heard of yogurt, tofu, artificial sweetener, Diet Mountain Dew or rice cakes.
     
    I also know that dieting alone is not the answer, that we need a “lifestyle” change.
     
    Moreover, I’m tired of rolling out of bed in the morning with aches and pains. So last week I started to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
     
    I began watching EVERYTHING that went into my mouth, tried to make only healthy choices and exercised more.
    Page 2 of 2 - I’ve lost a pound so far–a good sign progress is being made.
     
    In addition to my own efforts, locally here in Sleepy Eye, an organization has made efforts to develop a new initiative for people to live and eat healthier.
    The Heart of Brown County Project, a grant-funded expansion of Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project, has launched a new health campaign called SWAP IT or DROP IT.
     
    The campaign is designed to inspire people to make small changes (SWAPS) every day that can help them lose or maintain weight and improve health.
     
    Each quarter in this newspaper, you will find articles on new SWAP it tips. Signs and information about how to make healthy SWAPs will be featured in our local grocery and convenience stores. In addition, a registered dietitian has been conducting tours of Schutz Family Foods to help people learn how to shop with heart health in mind. The next tours are scheduled for July 8 at 10 a.m. and July 18 at 6 p.m. Tours last approximately an hour.
     
    The American Medical Association voted this past week to declare obesity a disease, a move that effectively defines 78 million American adults and 12 million children as having a medical condition requiring treatment.
     
    It’s unfortunate that it has come to that. Don’t let yourself develop the disease. Find ways to be healthy!
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