by Anne Laing and Tim Bean

Where are you now?

To meet the challenges of today’s workplace and be of the most use to your company, you need to be emotionally stronger, mentally tougher, more flexible, and more stress-resilient than employees in previous generations. In the rush to achieve and get more, it’s all too easy to forget to look after the vehicle that drives those results. How much attention are you paying to your body right now?

Self test

Look in the mirror and check out what’s really there. Is your waist bigger than your hips? Can you pinch an inch? Do you have ‘muffin tops’ instead of a waistline? Are your arms toned or do they jiggle when you lift them up? If you’re a man, do you have ‘man-breasts’? Do your shoulders have to be padded out by your tailor? Can you see over your tummy to your shoes?

We have an infinite capacity for self-deception: ‘A few love handles won’t hurt’; ‘I was always athletic’ or ‘It’s normal to add a few pounds as you age’. Instead of doing anything about our less-than-desirable bodies, we just numb out with alcohol, drugs and sleep. As we age, our perception of what an acceptable body type is gradually changes.

You may be lean compared to many of the people around you, yet still be way over your recommended body fat level. Fat is an active, hormone-producing, acidic tissue that causes chaos within your body. That chaos increases as you age.

The fully fit person has a desirable body fat ratio, good cardio-respiratory function, sufficient flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, a high level of mental alertness, the ability to cope with problems, meaningful social relationships and a healthy libido – and they keep all these as they age...

If it’s time to change

Life is too precious to just pass through! If your self test indicates that you need to change, then now’s the time.

  • Get off the scales! Once every two weeks is enough for a ‘weigh-in’. Scales do not give an accurate assessment as to what is happening within your body. How your clothes are fitting is a better sign that you are making progress.
  • Clean up your home and work environment and get rid of the high-fat, high-sugar foods. You cannot eat what’s not there. Change your routine avoiding places, times and moments that are dangerous to you.
  • Acknowledge that you are overweight and do something about it, because it is a burden to your good health.
  • If you say you’re happy being fat then you’re ignoring the cries for help from your body. Don’t listen to those who say ‘You must be happy in yourself as you are – it doesn’t matter if you’re too fat’. It does matter. Listen to your body instead.
  • ‘Grow up’ with food. You make mature rational decisions in other parts of your life. Eating needs attention also. When you choose food you have two choices: to select a healthy choice... or to select an unhealthy choice! It is not accidental. You are choosing how you look and feel.

Forget comfort eating

There is no such thing as comfort eating. ‘Comfort eating’ is a manipulative phrase conjured up by those who manufacture and peddle dreadful and unhealthy food in order to make you feel OK about eating it. Ditch it – no-one’s buying that anymore.

Create a picture in your mind of how you want to look, the clothes you will be able to wear and how you will feel. It is extremely important to programme this into your sub-consciousness. Find an ideal healthy physique role model.

Beware of saboteurs and weight-loss foes! These are people who don’t like to see you change as they tend to feel threatened by it. There will always be negative people in your life. Do not accept their perception of you.

The quality of physique is never an accident; it is always the result of persistence, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution.