Monday, 14 January 2013

A war against genes?

Reading about exercise and eating and how the body works has always been a part of my life, except that I approach it with an increased interest ever since I have started running regularly. Occasionally, I come across articles that are not written by someone from the health industry (or a journalist), like this one (he is a finance blogger) that are thought-provoking in their own ways. 

I suspect that genetics do play a role in how we look, but I refuse to believe that we can't do anything about it. I think what this means is that our bodies agree with different types of food, kind of similar to the propositions of the Blood Type Diet, which I somewhat adhere to. (No, I don't follow it religiously, but I do consume a lot of fried chicken, that is, protein and fat.)

I guess, to put it differently, even when genetics play a role in determining how we look and how fat we weigh, we are not completely helpless about it. 

In case you have not already known, I used to be fat as a child. There were a month or two whereby I was relatively trimmer, but mostly, my childhood was spent being fat, and so were my teenage years. I remember trying to lose weight for the prom - lost maybe about err... 5kgs by eating less and doing zero exercise. I am clumsy and uncoordinated so I always have this aversion to exercise for as long as I can remember. I was the last person to be picked on a team and if I could, I would just avoid the whole thing altogether so that the team has a higher chance of winning. In some ways, I had this frame of mind that I sucked at exercise and did nothing about it. 

Everyone else in my family is slim, and they all look exceptionally well for their ages. I am not just saying this because they are my family and I am therefore biased in my views, I am saying this because it is true. So, I'd like to think that the dominant genes that run in my family is the slim one, and I just fuck it up somewhere, thus I was fat. 

Maybe it is true, and maybe it is not. I have no way of presenting factual evidence given that I was not exactly tracking my progress or documenting the "experiments" that I engaged in. But I do know one thing: physical pain is a sign that something is wrong. Like if your stomach hurts after eating then maybe you've eaten too much, or you've eaten something wrong. Or in my case, gluten intolerant. 

Recently, I began running regularly. I hate to say that I sort of look forward to this on most mornings. And also, small voice, I kind of like it. It makes me feel alive and it is good to be doing that with my body. I mean, it is like I always strive for the best when it comes to my life and everything else that's in it, so I want to apply the same standard with my health and fitness. I am sick of being unfit. 

The more I think about this, the more I realise that this is an on-going, continuous management of exercise and eating, kind of like financial management in one's life. It is not like, right, I have done this, and then I am done for a lifetime, but it is more like, right, today, this is the plan and tomorrow, this is the plan and the day after... bla bla bla. I think if one is trying to lose weight and sign up with Lite and Easy for a lifetime, then chance is that he/she will keep the weight off for as long as he/she is with Lite and Easy. I could be wrong, but the logic makes sense. 

You know, I probably have another good 20 years of running if I am lucky, after wasting about 30 years of chance. I just want to make the most of it now. It also helps with you have colleagues who like running, that kind of encouragement is very useful on the days that you don't feel like running. 

The most useful thing is this: calorie in < calorie out if you want to lose weight. If not, then you gotta make sure that calorie in = calorie out. Some days you eat more than you burn, so just make sure that the next day you burn more than you consume. Easy peasy. 

And if you are naturally skinny, count yourselves lucky. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Put your real names to your voices. Anonymity is so overrated.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.