Healthy, it's the right kind of skinny

By Denice Davis | We are just about a month into the New Year. Is weight loss your goal for 2013? Unfortunately, most people who have set their sights on a slimmer body will fail by the beginning of March, if not sooner. The pressure to be thin or ‘skinny’ in our society is high. It’s rare that I hear a weight loss commercial stress health over pounds and I’m sure I’ve never heard of a weight loss plan that advertises longevity as the final goal. The proud ‘skinnys’ in the commercials boast, “After trying (xyz) I can fit into the clothes I wore in high school” or “I’m a grandma with a six pack”.

What should be advertised is “Not only can I keep up with my grandchildren, but I plan on maintaining a healthy life to see my great grandchildren!”

My Grandmother passed at 96. She was ahead of her time in terms of her health and wellness. She knew it was important to commit to regular exercise, and to maintain a healthy diet. She understood and practiced moderation and portion control. She made sure she got her ‘beauty sleep’. She joined a local senior exercise class and made sure that she went three times a week. She would make me laugh, because at 93 she told me, “I don’t want to let the other girls know how old I am. I just don’t want them to feel sorry aboutBeaufort has many options for exercising themselves!”  When she didn’t go to class, she walked. She was able to overcome falls, operations, and a few strokes all due to her healthy lifestyle. Not once was her goal to be skinny… just healthy. She lived not only to see her great grandchildren, but to play with them as well!

If you have made your resolution to lose weight, ask yourself a few questions: Do you have any tangible goals in place?  Have you thought of a realistic approach to weight loss?  Have you thought of why you want to lose weight in the first place?

If you cannot answer any of these questions, then your chances of failing are high. This failure can even catapult you into a depression, and leave you feeling worse than before you began.

I want to help. I want to show you the way of wanting to be healthy over skinny.

The first step is to think about your goals. Short term goals resulting in weight loss are important to make, however long term goals and maintenance are just as important. The second step is to change your mindset of expecting quick results. I have a saying that I repeat to my children over and over, “The easy road is sometimes the hardest road to travel”. The quick weight loss plan is not the Running is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestylebest road to choose. Chances are, if you don’t change the personal behavior towards food and exercise, you will fail in the end.

Take the time to treat your body. Map out a successful plan, even if it means starting out by walking 3-5 times a week until you feel comfortable enough to join a gym. Then, by all means go for it! Remember that success takes time.

The third step is to truly be honest about your food intake. If you are struggling with food or don’t realize how much you are really consuming, then keep a journal. Journaling will force you to be accountable. Not only should you be watching the caloric intake, but the kinds of foods you are consuming as well.

I know firsthand that buying ‘healthy’ foods can be expensive on a budget. I recently heard a fitness professional say there is no reason we should not be buying organic. Well, when you are a family of five and you have three growing boys, no matter what, it is expensive.

There are ways to modify your food budget to fit in as many healthy options as possible. Visit your local farmers markets, clip coupons for healthy items, look in the community to join a co-op agricultural program (they have crop shares), you can even grow your own. Don’t buy temping treats. If your craving hits at nine o’clock at night and the treats are not there, chances are you are not going to get in your car to go get them. Make more home cooked meals. Sit down and eat. Take your time.

Beaufort is changing. Ever-increasing options for us to get up and move and maintain our health are all around us.Map out a successful plan, even if it means starting out by walking 3-5 times a week until you feel comfortable enough to join a gym

I just love seeing so many of my peers running from bridge to bridge.

I love seeing all of the people parking at Cat Island just to move their bodies and enjoy a walk outdoors taking in the beauty that Beaufort has to offer.

A large portion of the Spanish Moss Trail has been open for families to ride their bikes on, or push their strollers, or just take a walk.

Beaufort has open cycling groups that ride regularly, plus many other physical activities to get us healthy.  Check your local media outlets, (and of course, and our local fitness facilities to see what’s available to you.

Your healthy is right here in Beaufort.  …and that’s my skinny!

Healthy, it's the right kind of skinny