If you Don’t Like it, Don’t do It!

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

Responsibility?

Sure, you can’t just give up work, for instance, you have to eat, but why do a job that you hate? You could argue that you have a family to look after and your job pays the bills but do you think that the people who love you really want to see you unhappy when you set out for work and stressed when you get home? What’s to stop you finding another job or even re-training in order to do something completely different; something that you might actually love?

selfishThe same applies to relationships, you may feel a sense of responsibility towards your partner, perhaps you’ve been together for a long time and you know that you’ll hurt them if you end things. You may feel that they need you and you stay out of a sense of guilt but is that what you would want from a relationship? Would you want someone to stay with you purely out of loyalty or pity? I would guess that the answer would be no so why do you stay? Why not break away and give yourself and your partner a chance at real happiness?

When it comes to the way we feel about ourselves it’s often because we don’t take responsibility that we have negative feelings. We feel fat and hate the way that we look in the mirror but we don’t do anything about it even though we know that we are capable. We know that we would feel less down if we got up off the couch and went out for a walk but we stay in front of the TV wallowing in misery and hoping that someone will do something to make us feel better.

Is it really irresponsible to want to enjoy our lives? Is it wrong to want to do things that make us feel good? Make us happy? If the answer is no then why do we spend so much time doing things we hate? Do we feel that other people will think we’re selfish or self-indulgent if we pursue only the things that give us pleasure? Maybe but who is living our life? Who has no choice but to live it? Us or them?

Personally, what I am aiming for is to get to the end of my life and not have as my last thought:

“I wish I had…………..”

What about you? Do you do things you hate? My advice would be ‘stop doing it’ but maybe you feel that you can’t…….

Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x

Yes, We Are All Individuals

So, on the one hand we have groups who campaign against purveyors of junk food and sugary beverages and on the other we have groups who campaign for their right to eat whatever they damn well please. What we don’t seem to have anywhere in the middle are individuals who have received enough nutritional education to make their food choices based on knowledge rather than what one crowd or another is telling them to do

Does anyone remember the wonderfully irreverent film Life of Brian? Specifically the scene where Brian tries to persuade a huge crowd to stop following him by telling them that they don’t need a leader because they are all individuals? The ironic response was ‘Yes! We are all individuals’……in complete unison…….with only one dissenting voice which was immediately shushed by the crowd. It seemed hugely amusing at the time but I do wonder if it has become our reality.

offering candyThere was an article in the news recently in which a healthy eating campaigner criticised a shop for putting huge quantities of chocolate bars close to the checkout complaining that they were ‘cashing in on our sweet tooth’. So, effectively what he is saying is that ‘we’ are incapable of resisting temptation and that the blame for the negative results that arise from an individual’s bad food choices i.e. obesity should rest with a shop?? When did we stop taking responsibility for our own actions? In this instance, what the critic seems to ignore is that no-one is standing by the check out forcing free candy on unwitting shoppers; people make a choice – to buy or not to buy….

The same logic (if you want to call it that) is used by Government when implement ideas like the sugar tax; it’s a blanket response to something which is an individual’s problem. Taxes on tobacco and alcohol haven’t stopped people smoking or drinking because, when you’re dealing with an addiction, the price is pretty much irrelevant. churchill quoteUnfortunately this type of action is also likely to provoke far more negative responses than positive; after all how many people are ever happy when a new tax is introduced? It also means that people will be inclined to band together to stop what they view as oppression by the Government – there is even a Twitter group which has been set up to oppose the sugar tax and says that the ‘it’s not nutritious brigade’ are forcing their choices on the rest of us.

So, on the one hand we have groups who campaign against purveyors of junk food and sugary beverages and on the other we have groups who campaign for their right to eat whatever they damn well please. What we don’t seem to have anywhere in the middle are individuals who have received enough nutritional education to make their food choices based on knowledge rather than what one crowd or another is telling them to do.

BlameWe all have the opportunity to learn about our food choices and what impact they can have on our health; the internet is absolutely awash with information. However, it seems as though people are far more likely to rely on the information provided to them in bite sized pieces by one self-interested group or another than to trust their own decision making. It’s easy to blame the Government or shop-keepers or schools for the current obesity epidemic, it’s far more difficult to take responsibility as individuals but, as the film said, we are all individuals.

You Can’t See Me

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese?

As human beings we don’t literally stick our heads in the sand but we do have a tendency to do it metaphorically; it’s in our nature to mentally side step those things that we don’t really want to think about and avoid doing those things that we don’t want to do. Unfortunately, the media (both social and mainstream) seems to have encouraged this trait to a point where the responsibility for our actions always lays with someone or something else. How many times do we see “the Government should…..” or “the police should” or “teachers should”? This is a great example of that kind of buck passing; people are eating far too much unhealthy food but they ‘have been tricked into it’!

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese? Perhaps there’s some sort of magic afoot which makes a double burger with fries, extra bacon and cheese look like a healthy salad??  No? Then maybe it’s just the case that we’re all well aware when we’re eating too much unhealthy food but we just stick our heads in the sand until something happens to make us realise that we haven’t made the best choices.

There’s nothing wrong with eating what you want to eat as long as you are happy with the consequences and are prepared to take responsibility for them. If you make your choices consciously then what’s the problem…..

This is a really useful site to help you work out how many calories you should be eating every day, how many you eat to lose weight and how many to gain weight; there are too many factors to consider for it to be 100% accurate but it will certainly give you are really excellent idea. Let’s say you’re a 50 year old woman, 5ft 6 tall, you weigh 160llbs and you do little or no exercise – your calorie intake to maintain your weight will be around 1635 per day, if you eat 1000 calories per day more than this you will gain around 2llb per week.

Cornflakes, toast and butter, orange juice   And black coffee: About 430 calories

Tuna Mayonnaise baguette: Around 520 cals

1/4lb burger with cheese and fries:  Around 800 calories

So that’s it, your 1635 calories blown totally out of the water with fairly average breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course that’s without any drinks and snacks:

Chocolate bar = around 200 calories

A glass of wine = about 125 calories

Cappuccino = another 120+ calories

And there you go, if you have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and a couple of glasses of wine at night your calorie intake has topped 2500 and, if you don’t do any exercise you could find yourself putting on up to 2llb per week or 100llb in a year; that’s 7 stone.

There are some great sites on the internet that will tell you how many calories you’re eating and others that will tell you how many calories you burn when you exercise so there’s really no excuse not to lose weight if you want to. If you don’t want to that’s fine as long as you are aware that your lifestyle means that you will probably continue to gain. It’s really up to you; no-one else should be able to tell you how to live your life, as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters. This is just to give you some awareness and insight so that, if you decide to make some changes, you can do it a little more easily.