So, you just consumed an enormously disgusting, yet at the same time, heavenly helping of your mom’s homemade cheesecake. Mmm, delicious, right? Only a few minutes have elapsed since you rather reluctantly gave in to your mom’s offering of the last scrumptious bite. Years ago, you might have been the one begging, “please mum, may I have some more?” Yet now, your feelings are something strongly akin to “eaters remorse”! Your initial thought may be why did I just eat that entire thing, which by the way probably would have fed a family of five for several days. But your mind has switched gears faster than a speedy cyclist approaching a severe uphill grade. You are pondering whether or not you need to dash off straight away to the gym to work off all those extra calories. Oh my, look what that seemingly innocent banana, walnut cheesecake has done to you. You’ve now reached the point of pacing around and talking to yourself, rather harshly I might add. Why? Apparently, it seems, for two reasons. One, it is preposterous to think that you’ll ever be able to turn down Mom’s baking. Secondly, you will swear under oath that you can actually see the cheesecake attached to your hips or abdominal area. The million dollar question burning a hole in your brain is should you do more exercise right now. You need not wait until that special report on the 10 O’ClockNews tonight for the correct answer. Do Not Go!
Exercising too much is a real problem. Quite obviously, frequent over-indulging on that cheesecake, lasagna, pizza, fast food burger, ice cream, chocolate or whatever your temptation is also a problem of considerable magnitude. Giving in so readily to that which tempts you so easily is inviting addiction into your body, home, and life. Thus doing so, you run the extreme risk of losing your ability to choose at all. “In order for us to make the correct decisions, courage is needed-the courage to say no when we should.” – Thomas S. Monson
There must come a point in time when you realize that enough is enough. When you have clocked out your proverbial workout card for the day, do not give it another thought, Leave your blood, sweat, and tears at the gym. Forget about it. You’ve been there and done that. You may cross it off the to-do list. Congratulations! A job well done! In the same sense, you must recognize the importance of exercising portion control. It is important to know how much is enough.
Your deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following a plan today. The perfect blueprint for you to follow involves a balanced approach which encompasses each of the following elements:
1. Restful sleep
I cannot emphasize enough just how crucial it is for you to get enough rest. Restful, rejuvenating sleep lays the firm foundation upon which you must build. Everything is influenced by your sleep patterns. Make no mistake, without it, you are going to struggle mightily to transform your body, not to mention your life.
2. Healthy Eating
There is no magic, one-size-fits-all meal plan. You have different tastes, different caloric needs, perhaps different essential vitamin or mineral requirements, a different metabolic rate than others. One thing is very clear, minor adjustments to your eating habits can be very rewarding. By making the effort to eliminate even one strictly calorie dense/nutrient deficient food item from your daily consumption you may in time notice that cheesecake drop from your body’s trouble area. You can do more to rid yourself of unwanted body fat by sacrificing in your kitchen than you could ever hope to accomplish by sweating in the gym.
3. Eliminate Negative Stress
As much as possible, you must strive to find inner peace and contentment. Negative stress affects most everyone in some manner. Consider that the unwanted stress you are experiencing currently may very well be the source of your sleep problem, which in turn may contribute to your overeating issues. Yes, there is a proven connection between lack of sleep and weight gain. Lack of adequate sleep and other unhealthy stressors cause the release of specific hormones which actually induce the hunger sensation. You will probably not have too much difficulty identifying the root problems resulting in increased stress. Wiping them out will not be as easy and will take a significant effort on your part.
4. Regular Exercise
Exercise comes in a distant fourth on this list of crucial ingredients for your improved health and wellness. Surely, you have to admit that it is great news to learn that you don’t have to workout nearly as much as you think to produced desired results. You exercise to improve the quality of your life. You exercise as a means of injury prevention.You do it to feel stronger and to look better and hopefully add a few more productive years to your life. If you chose to focus your attention primarily on the workouts, you are in need of a major wake-up call. Ignoring one or more of the first three elements, proper sleep, healthy eating, and negative stress reduction is simply sabotaging your work in the gym. Frankly, it won’t matter if you spend 3 or 4 hours exercising each day. You cannot dig your way out of the hole you’re stuck in. Exercise needs to be fun, safe, and efficient to be effective. Living an active lifestyle should be a priority, but not an obsession.
So, if your pacing and pondering for partaking of the forbidden cheesecake has morphed into a type of paralysis, you can be free at last if you choose to do something positive today. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”-Martin Luther King, Jr. Follow the road map placed before you on your personal journey. Food is to be enjoyed, but not used as a crutch for comforting you in a time of high anxiety, disappointment, confusion, or sorrow. You can literally eat every last crumb in your house and still be left hungering for that which you sincerely crave. You will not find that which you desperately seek with a spoon in your hand and your arm wrapped around a container of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. Nor will racking up serious overtime in the gym ever satisfy your desire for something more. So, what is my final word on your cheesecake/gym dilemma? Forget about the gym for the moment. It will still be there when you wake up tomorrow. Enjoy the time with Mom. Have a small sliver of her famous cheesecake just to satisfy you and freeze the remainder. Let it go! Mom will understand…someday. She will love you every day.