Dear reader. This article appeared in the magazine of the community where my husband and I live. You can see that it is for “55-plus” residents. Since what works for those of us who are 55-plus works for everyone, I wanted to offer you these five simple tips. If you are looking for a gorgeous place to live, play, and eventually retire, check out http://www.trilogylife.com/communities/california/vineyards/ Or just come for a visit!
I hope you enjoy.
The Trilogy Ten: Wining, Dining, and uh oh… Ten Pounds Later at Trilogy
By Rosie Bank
copyright© 2018 Rosie Bank
Living at Trilogy is often a food and wine scene. People gather around meals, appetizers, wine tasting, progressive dinners, and special occasions. It would be great if our bodies could handle all that without revealing the damages on the scale or in the mirror. But what do you expect? After all, we are 55-plus.
Here are five simple tips for keeping your energy up, your weight down, while enjoying paradise at Trilogy.
The chance to move, stretch, and strengthen your body seems to be everywhere here at Trilogy. If you play pickleball, go to the gym regularly, hike in the vineyards, or ride your bike around the property, you are nodding in agreement. Kudos to you. A great exercise is to reach around with your right arm and pat yourself on your left shoulder with your right hand. Keep up the great work.
Others of you might find more excuses not to move than reasons to move. If you caught that “too busy” bug, it’s time to shake it off. If you think that you are too busy, remind yourself how much real time you can save yourself by keeping your heart healthy, your joints mobile, and your waistline trim. It is more fun to move your body when you are able, and it certainly takes less time than it does to repair the parts that wore down partially from lack of use. The “use it or lose it” refrain has some truth to it.
If you think it’s too hot to take a walk, then wait until the sun sets. That is among the most beautiful times of day to take a self-guided tour of your neighborhood. This will help you feel fantastic and give you energy back. My husband and I walk the dogs and meet fantastic new people all the time. People at Trilogy are so friendly!
If you do have restrictions due to health issues, please consult an exercise-oriented practitioner who can help you come up with a plan. There is always something for everyone to do to move their body.
And last, have friends who will move with you. A walking buddy will inspire you to get those sneakers on. My husband and I ride our bikes everywhere around Trilogy because, well, frankly, it is more fun than driving. When you find what you most enjoy doing, surely you can make friends with someone who will do it with you.
Choosing Well at Social Gatherings
Recently I attended an afternoon gathering for an organization I wanted to learn more about. The hostess put out a bountiful buffet. Cheeses, wines, champagne, crackers, cookies, and fruit covered her kitchen island. The event was held from four to five-thirty in the afternoon. Pop quiz: what if you attended an event like this and you were not hungry? What if you had dinner plans with your spouse or friends? Did it ever occur to you that you don’t always have to eat at these gatherings? You need not feel guilty, either. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome living at Trilogy is that you get to choose what you put in your mouth and when. Sipping bubbly water with lemon is refreshing and socially acceptable. When I have refrained from eating at these events, frankly, no one noticed and no one cared.
If you share a meal with friends at their home, it’s okay to say “No, thank you” when you are offered some food that either does not appeal to you or if you are comfortably satisfied. I often hear from my clients that they struggle with food choices because of what others expect for them to eat. It may be that food is love, and it may be that some people want to please you by preparing food for you. It’s worth getting in touch with what you feel like eating and drinking and not allowing others to dictate your choices. Someone may say, “You must try that delicious Cabernet that was just opened!” If you are finished drinking, you can just say, “Sounds yummy” and let it go.
Any diet that is based on restrictive eating is bound to fail. What happens when we deprive our bodies of what we really want to eat? When you tell yourself that you cannot have something, this can lead to binging and over-indulging. It’s better to gradually make some adjustments with which you can live and thrive for a long time. A healthy lifestyle is the best long-term strategy for optimizing your weight, your health, and your experience of longevity.
Avoid jumping on a diet bandwagon just because one of your buddies at Trilogy told you that he just lost ten pounds by drinking coffee when he got hungry, for example. Some things people do work and others are potentially dangerous. Try to avoid gimmicks and consider working with a health and nutrition coach.
For instance, you are better off having an occasional cookie, than going on a diet that forbids eating a cookie, and then eating an entire box in retaliation afterward. The point is not that I’m condoning your eating a cookie. The point is that I’m encouraging you to develop a trusting relationship with your body. Over time, you can learn what foods and how much food you can eat and enjoy while maintaining your weight goals. This is called a practice. We don’t do this one time or try to achieve results overnight. We practice this over time.
For example, if you’re on a diet that forbids you to eat any fruit (due to some crazy reason that fruit contains too much sugar), you may find yourself craving a peach, which is an incredibly healthy food. It is at this point that you switch. Making choices based on providing your body with nourishment in the form of whole, fresh, delicious food from nature becomes part of a healthy approach to food and nutrition.
Avoid Mindless Snacking
Only eat when you are hungry. This is fundamental to you and your body being on the same page. When you are not hungry, dive into life because you are free from needing to think about or act on food and eating. What activities are held at Trilogy that can help you turn your focus to more fun and less food?
There is some strong evidence of the benefits of intermittent fasting, and it’s worthwhile to learn about this. I recommend The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fong. The more you snack between meals the more your body learns to rely on these available calories instead of the preferred method, which is to use stored fat as fuel. The longer you feel good – meaning energetic, clear-headed and able to focus — between the times of your meals, the more your body is utilizing the calories you consumed to your benefit. Making the switch is gradual as your body discovers healthier and more efficient ways to provide you with energy.
From a practical standpoint, you don’t need to eat because other people are eating, or if you are not hungry.
Making Quality Count
Many of us at Trilogy have worked long and hard to live in beautiful homes. For my husband and me, this was decades in the making. This mindset of being a good steward of our finances extends to our bodies. I call this investing in your health. Your body is your little piece of the universe and is your most precious asset. And it’s the only one you get this time around. Unlike your car, you cannot trade it in.
You can, however, make healthy choices. Whether you are a carnivore or a vegetarian, adding whole fresh fruits and vegetables has a place at every table and within any dietary practice. Eating in Technicolor means a wide variety of nature’s own creations. A spinach salad instead of macaroni and cheese out of the box means the difference between consuming life-enhancing phytonutrients versus artery-clogging saturated fat. Raw almonds over salami and cheese is a chance to get extra fiber as opposed to exposure to carcinogens associated with processed meats. Eating whole grains, such as slow-cooked oatmeal, instead of processed flour, such as a bakery pastry, means providing your body with vitamins, minerals, and more fiber instead of increasing inflammation.
You live in a beautiful home. Don’t you deserve to live in a beautiful body?
There are countless moving parts when it comes to enjoying radiant good health, abundant vitality, and the shape and size you desire for your body. It’s never just one thing. The smartest thing you can do is to allow your body to gradually transform as you improve your practices over time. Weight loss happens steadily and remains permanent as you evolve into someone who knows how to take care of and provide nourishment to your body. This is what I mean by investing in your health. You are worth it. Your health matters, and so do you.
Rosie Bank is Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of Health Matters Coaching. She is the author of the book, Health Matters and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Rosie is an international speaker, blogger, and the founder of Health Matters podcast. She is certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through the American Fitness Professional Association and as a Nutrition Advisor through Sanoviv Medical Institute. Rosie’s partner in nutrition since 1999 is USANA Health Sciences. To learn how Rosie can help you maximize your health and achieve your goals, schedule here. Join our online community at Facebook to keep up on ways to stay healthy.
Interested in having Rosie speak to your organization? Learn more here. Contact Rosie directly at 650-740-9500, or via email. firstname.lastname@example.org