Saturday, July 21, 2007

Philosophical Musings

I've been reading the interview with FatBlokeThin over at

"This spiritual change has enabled me to totally change the relationship I have with food and alcohol to such an extent that I do not feel remotely that I am depriving myself as many people do when following traditional diets. I eat healthily and regularly and take alcohol in moderation. This combined with a sliding scale of physical exercise and continued positive thought amount to my weight loss program."

It struck me that apart from the spiritual change, the approach is largely similar to mine. Don't be deprived. Eat healthily, have the occasional beer or three.

However, there's a fundamental difference: my philosophy isn't at all spiritual.

Or is it?

I'm an atheist, and one of the positive aspects of that world view is that you have to accept responsibility for your own actions. You can't pass anything off as being god's will, or "god told me I should...". So I have a very simple choice: I can be fat and unhealthy, I can be skinny, healthy and miserable, or I can be slightly overweight, more-or-less-healthy, and still be happy and enjoy a good meal out and a bottle of wine once in a while.

It's not spiritual in any sense, but the end point is largely the same for both of us. The only real difference is how we got there: spiritual guidance or just presenting yourself with choices and picking one. Of course, often the trick is realising you have to make the choice.

This leads me to another thought, comparing the difference in progress between what I'm seeing and what my wife is seeing: her goal is to get into the BMI=25 or less healthy range. Getting down to 27-ish was fairly easy. Anyone who is vastly overweight can lose weight by eating sensibly most of the time. Getting your body to shed the last few pounds is more of a challenge.

Back to the interview, and another bit that struck a chord with me was "My apathetic view of exercise is legendary but I am working on that with attempts to boost my motivation levels all the time."

I hate exercise. I can't think of anything more boring that trying to exercise for the sake of it. I bought an exercise bike that I've hardly used. I've got a real bike in the garage that rarely moves - the wheels could have rusted in place for all I know. But I've been making more of an effort to do things that are active rather than just sitting in front of a PC. Spending an evening on car repair might not be exercise in the traditional sense, but it's moving around, burning calories, and more interesting that watching TV! A Sunday lunch at a pub is all the more rewarding when you park 3 miles from the pub and stroll along the canal to get there. And you'll burn off some of the excess calories on the way, as well as working up an appetite.

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