I love to swim. That’s why I swim 3 to 4x’s a week. Problem is I hate being cold. That’s why I dread – yes, every time – even the thought of getting into the pool at 5:45 AM. Even at 82 degrees – brrrrr – that water is cold to me. I know – I’m such a weenie.
I figure it like this. Swimmers fall into two categories: dippers and plungers.
Dippers slowly get used to the water. First one toe, then the other, one foot, then the other, one calf, then the other, up to the waist – you know the drill. Prolonged torture if you ask me. It takes courage to be a dipper. Nope – a dipper I’m not.
One cold toe and I’d skedaddle right back to the locker room with my shivering tail between my legs.
I’m a plunger. No forethought, one deep breath, one dive, one shock and whew – I made it one more time.
Maybe it has something to do with the farm pond we 6 Van Romer kids swam in all summer. It had a dock and a mud bottom, the home for little critters – frogs, turtles, snakes, and who knows what else, real and imagined.
What would you do? Jump from the dock, tucking up your feet so they don’t hit bottom, or sink into the slimy muck one squishy, scary step at a time – waiting for that creepy-crawly to zip up your leg?
Yep – I’m a confirmed plunger.
What are you? A dipper or a plunger? And I’m not talking about swimming now. I’m talking about eating – eating to lose weight, pep you up, and to just feel good about yourself.
And what could be more important than feeling good about you? If you feel good about you, then you can help others feel good about them. See how it goes?
My suggestions work and are simple – I’m a simple kind of girl. I hate cold, but worse than that, I hate complicated. Complicated confuses me.
One simple, uncomplicated suggestion: fill-up up on the “best-for-you" foods first.
And which foods are those? Well, which foods prevent cancer (not to mention diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, digestive problems, and the lingering of too much fat)?
One, two, three. All together now: “Fresh fruits and vegetables. "
Ahhhhh…music to my ears…fruits and vegetables.
Have you ever (EVER) heard that beef, cheese, chicken, turkey, fish, dried-up cereals, eggs, bacon, hamburgers, pizza, pancakes, brown-colored white bread, cheese (oh, did I say that already?), sweets, salty snacks, yogurt, or milk prevent cancer?
No, of course not. So why were we taught as children to fill-up on these foods?
Why weren’t we taught to fill-up on fresh fruits and vegetables – our disease (and weight) warriors and health heroes?
The dippers do this with the fruit-and-vegetable “ah-ha" moment. They think it and think about it and think about it some more. They read recipes, thumb through books, talk to their spouses, and think about it some more.
“How come I never knew this?"
“How come no one else ever told me this before?"
“Can this be too simple to be true?"
“Where would I get my protein?"
“Where would I get my calcium?"
“What about the good fats?"
“If I fill-up on fruits and vegetables, how would I have room left for my old, comfort favorites?" (Bingo - that’s the whole point!)
“Can I really lose weight by eating like this?"
“Do I really want to eat like this?"
After a while, the dippers may venture into the store, buy a few more fruits and vegetables, and try working them into their day. But the details boggle their brains.
And the plungers – well, they just take one flying leap and plunge right in. One minor drawback: sometimes the shock of cold waters sucks the wind right out of them, and they end up scrambling their way out just to catch their breath.
They get too uncomfortable too fast and don’t hang around long enough to get comfortable.
Whether you are a dipper or a plunger or somewhere in between, the most important thing is to just start.
And keep it simple. We’re talking about fruits and vegetables here, not rocket science.
First suggestion: Go to the store. Buy enough fruit to last you a few days. Eat enough whole fruit throughout the morning to satisfy you and fill you up. And yes, you can eat two or three of the same fruits. Eat fruit for snacks as well.
Second suggestion: Go to the store. Buy enough vegetables to make salads with at least 10 different vegetables. Go home. Make a salad big enough to fill you up. Eat at least one big salad every day. Even better – eat two. Make enough salad at lunch for dinner too.
Will you get hungry in 2 to 3 hours after eating salad for lunch? Absolutely. Real food goes in. Real waste goes out. It’s not supposed to stick around inside you.
So what should you do when you get hungry? Eat! What a novel idea. Staying full and satisfied is key to weight loss and health gain.
Third suggestion: Snack on whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, or raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.
One, two, three. How’s that for simple?
Okay, my friend, there’s the water. No more paralysis with analysis. Grab my hand and let’s go. The last one in is a rotten egg (or rotten carrot as the case may be).
“On your mark, get set, GO!"
Wash, open mouth, bite down, and chew! Repeat. Now admit it – what could be simpler, and better for you, than that?
Dr. Leslie Van Romer is a health motivational speaker, writer, and lifestyle coach. Visit http://www.DrLeslieVanRomer.com for more inspiration.