Our body is like our automobile. It looks and performs like a Mercedes, if we take care of it (see Healthy Bodies). Or it can be more like a huge, sluggish old truck, if we don’t give it the maintenance it needs.
My last vehicle was a 2001 KIA Sportage. The dealer closed. Without reminders, I never took it in for regular oil changes and maintenance. I don’t know how long I waited, but I do know that the engine light often came on, and I was regularly taking it to the mechanic for one problem or another.
Having too much weight on our bodies can cause the engine light to go on in our brain. For many of us, as we grow older, we become less active. We continue eating the same amount of food, more than needed by our less active bodies. As a result, the weight piles, which may cause the engine light to go on.
The inevitable question therefore becomes, how do we train our bodies to eat less? When I was discharged from the hospital 2 years ago, I didn’t want to grow wider, like so many home-bound folks. I was doing less, so my body needed less.
Below are 4 strategies that have kept me growing in health and 15+ lbs lighter than my pre-stroke weight.
- I eat small portions of heavier foods, such as complex carbohydrates and protein. I never eat 2 eggs anymore and I always only eat 1 slice of bread with my breakfast. But I am sure to eat when I feel hungry, so my body gets what it needs.
- I focus on eating plenty of delicious vegetables with my meals. This is crucial. Before, I would sometimes be too lazy to ensure there is a vegetable or salad dish with every meal. Now I often make it the major part of my meal. But I don’t want my food to taste, look and feel like I am on a diet. So I have to make scrumptious veggie dishes, such as those accessed on the site profiled on the Healthy Bodies page.
- I avoid negativity like the plague. I let other people’s opinion and ways, be their way of being. I can comment on what they say and think. But, for the most part, I don’t get mad when we don’t agree. When I do blow my top, my anger passes quickly like a fast and gentle hurricane.
- I try always to be with what is. My stroke happened. I accept what I cannot change, open my eyes to see the opportunities that life presents, and find my happiness.
Emotions are often an important aspect of how much we eat. Many of us try to satisfy whatever emptiness we feel with food. As a result, we eat like a horse and risk growing huge like an elephant.
Faced with the tragic circumstances of my life, it was my choice not to let my body grow less healthy, without proper care and maintenance. I chose to treat it like a cherished vehicle, giving it the best care it needs to ward off that awful “check engine” light. As we grow older, we all should consider that choice.