Body Conscious

It is said that diversity is the spice of life. It creates a special feeling of uniqueness to know that there is no one else like you in the whole world. It shows your Creator was looking out for your self-esteem.

That self-esteem boost comes at a cost though. Some people are big, some are small, some are tall and some are short. Some seem to guttle all the food in the world but never really grow.

Others have the appetite of an ant but somehow they grow like maize plantations in season. Such are the incomparable give-aways that come with being unlike anyone else. You get issues that only you know about.

A few years ago we were at the skills lab with classmates, checking out vital signs and acting goofy. One of us was amply built and we expected her blood pressure to be scaling new heights.

It wasn’t. It was actually quite content hovering around normal values. Big she was but fit she was. I will readily attest her fine form of health to the worries of doing a medical course, but it did show something. No one is born to be unhealthy.

There is a correlation of sorts between how much you weighed at birth & how big you end up growing. Whichever route you find yourself plying, a high-performance body is yours for the taking. We all have our part to play in keeping our bodies operating at optimum. But just as our bodies are different, the amount of work we should put in varies too.

So when do you know you are cut out to dot on your body with more healthy love? I know BMI is a test some professionals swear by…& they are mostly right.

However, it is a system from yore & has not been decorated with modern knowledge yet. Height & weight ratios may miss out on specifics like healthy muscle weight.

A measure of areas where fat is prone to settle is more accurate, like tummy, hip & upper arm circumference. Done with a tape measure & compared with normal values, it is a more precise outlook on how you are faring.

So suppose you find alarming double digits and wish to get back on good terms with yourself, where and how do you take the first step? Abdominal weight is closer to the heart & poses a greater risk.

Don’t take any shortcuts, though. Most will harm you in some way. Nothing good should come so easy. Better to be patient and reach your goal safely than arrive too soon with novel health conditions that automatically make you the first test subject. You ain’t dying tomorrow.

Start slow on the exercise and build your fitness. Give it time. Healthy changes are gradual. Just for you,( all of us actually, bad stuff is bad stuff no matter where you stand) here are things to watch out for:

Reduce the intake of animal fat. It is already processed and just waiting to be stored. I would advocate for doing away with flesh completely, but if not appropriately substituted we risk missing out on crucial nutrients.

Replace that fatty chunk with healthier foods. If you kick out something or reduce it, you bring in something else. . Whole grains, legumes, greens…you know the crew. There are over 20,000 edible plants. Take your pick. Make them equally tasty or your diet plan will live a short life. The greens have fibers that will fill you up quickly and boost your digestion too.

Give the sugars an extended holiday. Sugars are in many foods we eat. All foods are not sweet because sugars have different properties and concentrations vary. The soft drinks and shop candy are so sweet because the sugars are concentrated. Here’s the catch. The body also stores the sugars as fat once it converts them. See where I am going? Concentrated sugar equals concentrated fat.

Exercise. All the best eating practices in the world cannot match up to this. Gym work is the Lord’s work. A jog or even brisk walking is proportionate, simpler, and effective if the distance is adequate.

You get plenty of air as a bonus too. Cancer cells like an acidic environment. Exercise without fresh air is one way to get yourself acidic pretty fast. I know you don’t want to give cancerous cells any encouragement. Me neither.

Alcohol. The bane of livers the world over. Turns out this super complex tiny mega factory called the liver is what converts sugars to fat and vice versa. All that exercise will amount to naught if your body cannot convert the excess fat to sugars.

Something about salt. Don’t throw it away completely. The body still needs it in small amounts for things like nerve impulse conduction. Nerve impulses run the show, from breathing, to pumping hearts to blinking.

You still need oils. They are the building blocks of benevolent big boys like hormones and they are part of what makes our cells. You just don’t need 2litres at a single meal. No one’s body is that big.

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