By KRS Edstrom
If you are trying to lose weight, is it best to eat more lean meat and protein or low-fat carbohydrates? Also, is it best to exercise at a moderate pace for a longer period of time, or at a faster pace for a shorter period of time?
Protein or Carbs?
Dear Protein or Carbs,
You have the two basic factors of weight loss correct: 1) Food intake and 2) Exercise. It’s unfortunate that so many “magic solution” diet books are still being published extolling an unbalanced or fanatical approach. Intelligent (but desperate) people buy them thinking if it is in print it must be legitimate. The answer is amazingly simple but it’s not “best-seller” material: Eat less fat, less calories, less food. There are no shorter routes that work long term. Regarding exercise, go for the longer (sweat-producing) sessions.
Realize you are unique in your needs. Learn to listen less to the ever-changing
fads and more to your own body. You will soon realize that you are your best
guide and you will never have to go on another diet again.
I have recently quit smoking and need to start working out again, but I am having trouble staying motivated. Is there anything that can help me? I am usually good for a week, but that is it.
Just Quit Smoking
Dear Quit Smoking,
If you quit smoking you can do anything! I have read more than once that smoking is perhaps the most difficult addiction to break — so put a crown on your head and light some fireworks. You have accomplished a great feat.
My advice is to fully secure your recent victory over the nasty leaf. Don’t make
yourself climb another Mount Everest for a while. Be gentle in your goal making
and select exercises you enjoy — perhaps long walks in nature with a friend.
Disappointments from failed resolve and subsequent loss of self-esteem can toss
one right back into the arms of false comfort.
I would like to know how to get rid of the stress I go through everyday. First, I have trouble getting to school on time and that causes me stress. At school, I stress over paying attention and learning. When I return home, I have to do tons of homework and practice drums for about an hour. I also have this ex-girlfriend with whom I remain very good friends but she keeps breaking my heart. Although I know it is not intentional. So I stress over her too. Finally, when I am ready to go to sleep, I stress about what I should wear tomorrow! What can I do!?
Dear Stressed Teen,
It seems you are in “the habit of stress”. This is actually quite common and fortunately, it is something that can be reversed. Here are some behavioral changes I would suggest:
1) Getting to school on time — allow yourself more time by getting up earlier. Decide on a time you need to leave in order to get to school on time — then vow to get out the door at exactly that time. You can set an egg timer to help you with this in the beginning.
2) Paying attention at school — worry less about it and try to relax into hearing something of interest to you. If the teacher doesn’t weave that information into practical usage in your life, use your imagination to figure out how this information might prove worthwhile at some point. It will then “stick” in your memory better than stressing over memorizing lists of unrelated facts or statistics.
3) Drums — if practicing them brings you stress, consider quitting for now. That is something that should be pleasurable to you, not stressful.
4) Ex-girlfriend — whether intentional or not, if she is making you feel badly, consider making other positive friends. Good friends should not, by definition, be stress producing.
5) What to wear — lay out clothes the night before. This eliminates the time and worry it takes when you are under pressure to get out the door in time.
Finally, when you catch yourself starting to worry about something, recognize the pattern and say “I don’t need to continue this stress cycle. I release the need to cause myself stress. I deserve peace and happiness.”
KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at www.AskKRS.com For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: KRS@AskKRS.com
Return to the September/October Index page