Chew On It: Choices

For our health, we know it is necessary to eat the right food and exercise. On the eating part, it is wise not to follow the ridiculous trend of fad diets that surface every year. Eating the right food necessary for good health is dependent on your body make-up. What is right for others may not be right for you.

Losing my dad and brother to a heart condition and then a major stroke has spurred me to be smart with what I eat to maximise my chance of good health and longevity.

I consulted with our in-house nutritionist, Mogestri Pather and had a DNA and blood test to determine what food and supplements my body needs. Doing it has required discipline and the creation of new habits.

Just two years ago, the notion of eating salad without carbohydrates would be unimaginable. Incredibly I have made the changes and now truly enjoy a salad meal with no carbs.

My dietician, Naras Lapsys who has a PhD in molecular genetics from his research into obesity and diabetes, has taught me how to change my eating habits. It was incremental and gradual, but I am making the transition successfully.

Summarising the principles which apply to all we do in life.

  • Diligently seek the knowledge you require from qualified sources.
  • Plan the route to success and be aware it is not a straight path.
  • Make incremental changes and in time it will become a habit (like driving without thinking).

As for exercise, I cannot say I love it, but I do love the results. Wanting to live a long healthy life, I exercise 3 times a week and I ensure my workout fits into my criteria of safe, effective, and efficient.

It troubles me to see so many members training unsafely, ineffectively and inefficiently on our training floor. I have on numerous occasions offered assistance to members during their workouts. Most appreciate the assistance, but sometimes I am given the cold shoulder!

Many continue to select exercises that have been around for decades that are ineffective and potentially damaging to the lower back.

Injury generally accumulates from bad movements. Getting exercise programs from the internet and famous trainers is a bad idea. A professional looking website does not mean the information is credible. On the same note, a famous trainer can’t necessarily provide a sensible program.

Knowledge and understanding are two separate things. ‘Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.’ – Miles Kington

An example of inefficiency is doing a bicep curl (unless you wish to focus on enlarging that muscle). For most people who are purely interested in good health and toning, a compound movement that incorporates the biceps, back muscles, and core is far more efficient (like a rowing exercise).

If you wish to lose body fat, exercise is only part of the equation. The key is what you exclude from your diet. Foods high in refined carbohydrates like sugary food, bread, potatoes, fast food, wine… It is very simple, if it tastes sweet, then it most likely contains useless high calories that will be stored in your body as fat.

Low stress is what most of us seek. Unfortunately, many fail by making poor choices in prolonging disharmony or not cutting out the stress. The stress tends to involve certain people but sometimes, some excel in creating their own stress.

I have been perceived as calm, cool and collected during challenging times. This is because I refuse to allow my negative emotions to dictate thoughtless actions. I certainly feel the anger as much as anyone and would like to take vengeful actions, but I far prefer to dissipate confrontation as quickly as possible.

Hence what I do is heed Seneca’s words: ‘The greatest remedy for anger is delay.’
I retreat to allow my anger to subside, think about how to fix the problem quickly and resolve the issue without offensive words. It is so simple but so difficult to do.

The road to harmony and contentment lies in your decisions. Life will throw numerous challenges at you. It is neither fair nor unfair. Your decision on how to deal with it will determine the quality of your life.

There is also an abundance of joy. Sometimes it is right in front of us. Life is a brief consciousness between non-existence. While I am here, I have decided to look for joy and pleasure as I accept and manage my tragedies and pain.

‘Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.’ — Seneca