Marcy’s Rules for a Better Day!

Rule #1: Keep your butt moving
Exercise does wonders for our physical and mental health. That doesn’t mean you need to join a gym if it’s not something you are comfortable with. Just keep moving!

Americans started putting on the pounds right about the time the TV clicker was invented, and that’s no coincidence! The Amish folks can eat nearly twice the calories you do (up to 5000 calories a day!) and they stay slim and healthy. Why? Because they spend their days MOVING, and they don’t have clickers (or TVs).

Want to lose weight? Get off your butt! Take the batteries out of the remote. Move around the house. Start parking out on the fringes of the lot (where all the empty spaces are, anyway). Amazing as it may seem those three things alone are enough to double the exercise of a typical overweight American, and doubling your movement will do wonders for your health.

Rule #2: Eat What You Like, But…
Eat the things you like, but eat a little less. Any diet that deprives you of the things you like to eat is probably a diet you won’t be happy with and won’t stick with for long. Eat what you like, but eat a little less than usual. Reducing portion size can cut your total calorie count substantially and is a key to trimming down and then maintaining a healthy weight.

There’s no reason to limit your diet to fish and chicken. Lean beef has about the same calories and if beef is what you like that is what you should eat. Just eat 2-4 forkfuls less than what you’re used to and you’ll probably reduce your calories to about the same as the “diet food” you hate. And if you like mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert go right ahead. Have half a scoop, save the rest of the pint for tomorrow – and then get off your butt and take a walk!

Rule #3: Vitamins
Buy your vitamins on sale.

Vitamins are something that you need a small amount of on a daily basis. Taking “extra” does you no good.

Have you ever noticed that your urine is dark yellow after you take a multivitamin? That’s the extra vitamin B your body doesn’t need going down the toilet! Most vitamins are water soluble, and when you’ve had enough your body simply gets rid of the excess. Some vitamins, especially the fat soluble ones like Vitamin A, are more difficult for your body to eliminate and too much can be toxic. The bottom line is there is never a reason to take more vitamins than you need, so why buy the expensive brand that gives you 2000% of your daily requirement? Buy the large bottle of a good generic brand and take only the recommended daily dose.

Rule #4: Don’t Forget to Sleep!
Plan your days for a good night’s sleep. There is a reason that you feel better after a good night’s rest: you needed it.

Sleep apnea has become a common diagnosis. It’s linked to obesity and accounts for as many as 25% of the cases of high blood pressure we see. Narcolepsy or falling asleep at the wheel is becoming more and more common, and a shocking number of Americans exist day after day in a state of mild to severe sleep deprivation.

It all ties together: lack of movement, eating too much and not sleeping enough. So go back to #s 1, 2 and 3. Get moving, eat a little less, take your vitamins – and plan your days to allow for a good night’s sleep.

Rule #5: Stress…Keep it Positive
Don’t let the bastards grind you down. When I was growing up my father told me again and again, “don’t let negative people grind you down”. It was a valuable lesson, and I firmly believe that our energy should be spent moving forward with a positive attitude rather than worrying about those among us who only see problems and find fault.

Stress may not be the cause of disease, but it sure can ruin a good day and makes everything seem worse than it really is. When trouble eats away at your heart, deal with them and move on. Find the win-win solution whenever you can and forget about vindication. Smiling at people helps, too!

Rule #6: Moderation is the Key
Moderation in all things. I can’t think of many situations where more really is better, even when it comes to things like money and good looks. Too much of a good thing leads to greed, boredom and bad behavior. Eat in moderation. Exercise daily, but not for more than an hour. Work a reasonable number of hours each day then go home and spend time with your family. Reserve time every week to do the things you like. Make time for your friends and for love, but don’t give up all your freedom. And don’t try to do all your living at once. Save some living for tomorrow so you always have something to look forward to!