A Journey To Better Health

Welcome to my site. I hope to take you on a journey to better health. I will be focusing on health as we get older. This site will deal with not only physical health, but emotional, psychological and spiritual as well.

As a starting point, I've made a list of rules which I have been following in my own life. I hope they help you in your own journey towards better health.

25 Rules For Better Health

1. Don't diet.

2. There is no such thing as perfection.

3. Honestly evaluate yourself.

4. Set realistic goals and expectations.

5. Believe in something.

6. Small Steps.

7. Getting over the hump (One of many).

8. Make the right choices.

9. Put away the scale (Save for special occasions).

10. Reach out to those around you.

11. Get a pet.

12. Walk before you run.

13. Build Muscle.

14. Push yourself, but know your limits.

15. Rest.

16. Relax.

17. Have balance in your life.

18. Know yourself (Physically and emotionally).

20. Try to be a good person.

21. Boost your metabolism.

22. Don't be afraid.

23. Realize that life is hard.

24. Laugh at yourself and the absurdity of the world around you.

25. Reach your potential.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1. Don't Diet

     I don't like using the word diet. Most diets involve drastic changes, including limiting caloric intake. The worst thing to do is starve yourself. Drastic calorie reductions are not the answer. It's always better to eat smaller more frequent meals, and increase activity levels. My program entails lifestyle changes in which at times you may actually increase the calories you ingest. Caloric intake as well as food selection will vary under my health program. What you eat and how much will depend  on such factors as activity levels, and achieving specific goals such as increasing bone density, or building muscle mass. You need to realize that all of us are different. Besides our age differences, how we vary includes: whether we're male or female rates of metabolism, our physical health, our body type (tall, short, big-boned), our genetic predispositions, and our goals and expectations. On this program in most cases your caloric intake will decrease, but you will eat based on knowing your body, and it's specific needs.

     Many of the current diet programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are very good. They have helped millions of people. They are also, often times a one-size fits all program. They are a good starting point. My personal health program takes it a step further. It is a program that is meant to last a lifetime. You need to realize that there aren't any quick fixes. The mistake most of us make, including me, is that we diet, lose weight, and end up gaining it all back. The key to weight loss and better health is to not only change you're health program as you age, but to also incorporate life-style changes. If you read my 25 rules, you will notice many which have nothing to do with dieting and losing weight. Some deal with mental, psychological and spiritual changes in order to improve our health. I believe that our overall health  involves not just changing ourselves physically, but also changing who we are inside, how we treat those around us and how we live our lives.

     As part of my own personal health program, I have been working hard to improve my physical appearance. I eat healthy foods, I exercise and I try to take care of my body. Like everyone, I want to look good. I may never have six-pack abs or be on the cover of a fitness magazine-but, that's okay. I've come to realize that appearance is good, but what really counts in our health, and ultimately living a good life is to do the best we can with what God gave us- and be happy.

I hope you enjoy this story which highlights the craziness of dieting, and how diets often don't work. It comes from a book I am writing called "Simple Observations. A humorous look at the absurdity of the world around us"

Patrick Dykie

     At any given moment 50% of every American is either on a diet, or considering one. The other 50% are watching us dieter's slowly starve to death, while dangling huge portions of everything from fried chicken to piazza in front of our faces. It should be noted that this 50%, also includes about 5% of Americans who have extremely high metabolisms, which allow them, without the aid of exercise to consume between 10,000 and 1,000,000 calories a day-and never gain an ounce. I have made it my life's work, and have been personally passing a petition around to have this 5% of the population, all shipped to a remote and totally isolated south sea's island where they can live the rest of their lives in "skinny" peace.

     I have recently, officially started my 26th different diet, and to this point, I haven't had much luck. I think my problem is Wil Power. Actually, Wil's a good friend of mine, who owns an Italian restaurant, which makes the most amazing home-made pasta’s, and their Gnocchi (Dumplings), are to die for. While trying to stay out of Italian restaurants, I've tried a number of different diets. Two, which are actually pretty good, and have worked for many people are Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. My problem in adhering to these programs is that they are not only based on an exercise program, but involve the procuring and digesting of pre-packaged food - supplied by the respective organizations. Imagine that a huge box of a 100 pre-packaged, and delicious meals, which include everything from Beef Pot Roast to French Style Cheesecake, are delivered to your door. Now, these boxes aren't delivered to just any door. They’re delivered to my door. The door of a man who is always, not only as "hungry as a horse", but has been known to actually chase horses, while looking for his next meal. After one of these deliveries, what would inevitably happen is that hours later, I would be found barely conscious, lying on the floor in what I call a food stupor, covered in gravy and sauces, amid a huge pile of discarded boxes - many which are unopened, but were obviously gnawed on in my frantic search for sustenance.

     My other problem with diets is that I always seem to jump right in, without taking the time to thoroughly research or understand the program. A few years ago, a friend of mine told me about a new and miraculous way to lose weight known as the "Mediterranean Diet". She said it was the latest thing, and that all the celebrities were trying it. Not being one to miss out, I decided to give it a try. To make a long story short - I jumped on a plane to Italy, and spent the next three weeks on a beautiful beach along the Mediterranean Sea. While there I spent my days basking in the sun, eating pasta and drinking numerous bottles of the excellent local wines. Sorry to say, not only did I not adhere to the diet as it was meant, but I also gained 15 lbs. Well, maybe next time, I'll try that "South Beach Diet" - I've heard some wonderful things about it.

     How many of us in our desperation to shed those unwanted pounds, have resorted to a "Fad Diet", which often makes outrageous claims such as the ability to lose 50 lbs in 2 hours. I once tried what was called the "4 Day Wonder Diet". The diet was actually referred to as a semi-starvation diet. Take a little advice from me. Any diet that mentions starvation, usually doesn't work. In the literature about the diet it states, and I quote- "May lead to fatigue, weakness and physical problems. Please talk to your Doctor before starting this program". Well, I made an appointment with my physician, who I had been seeing for years. I said, "hey Doc, I'm starving". He said, “I’m starving too. Let's go get some lunch. I hear Wil Power's Famous Italian Bistro is having a special on pasta". Over the years I’ve tried many fad diets, which always leave me wanting. The problem is that they leave me wanting a triple whopper with cheese, from Burger King. Have any of you ever heard of the peanut butter diet? It's a diet, that while including exercise and a variety of foods in minuscule portions, focuses on the daily ingestion of large quantities of peanut butter. To be honest I actually lost some weight on this diet. Its funny, but my weight loss seemed to accelerate about the third day, when after eating 2 or 3 jars of peanut butter; my upper and lower jaws became hopelessly stuck together. What made it even more challenging is that my ever-loving, and always helpful wife came rushing to my aid, not only with a devilish grin plastered to her face, but with a box of saltine crackers, clutched feverishly in her hands. The final fad diet I've tried, and I'm not making this up, is called "The Baby Food Diet". In this diet, snacks and some meals are replaced with jars of baby food, which if you check the labels are very nutritious and low in fat. After ingesting 50 jars of baby food, frantically searching for adult diapers in size XXL and being roughly burped by my wife - I have only two words to say. "Goo, Goo".

     After all my diet failures, and with my weight and appetite continuing to rise, I've decided to come up with my own diet programs. Hopefully, I will ultimately be able to help millions of people, who like me struggle with their love of food. The first diet which I'm sure will be a success; I call the "Kindergartner Diet". A few years ago I had heard a comedian talking about how brutally honest young children can be. In his routine he said, and I quote-"Did you ever notice how children are so honest? If a small child of 4 or 5 tells you you're ugly, then you're ugly! lose 20 lbs, visit a plastic surgeon, and if all else fails buy some paper bags". My diet involves volunteering in a daycare or a kindergarten class for maybe 3 or 4 weeks. Imagine some of the innocent and yet honest comments I'll hear and use to motivate myself to lose weight. Some of the comments may include: "Mister, you're fatter than my daddy. Excuse me mister, Mrs. Smith says you're so fat, because you probably ate a horse. Mister, do you work at a circus"? Get the idea? I can already feel those pounds melting away.

     My second, and which I feel will be my most successful diet plan, I call the "Naked Diet". It is the simplest and easiest to implement. It requires no exercise, or special food. I would like to warn you though, that it should be used only as a last resort. If all of your previous diets have been complete and disastrous failures. If you've thought of Bariatric surgery, or if like me while taking a much needed vacation at the beach you were mistaken for a beached aquatic creature, and had to fend off 20 environmentalists and PETA volunteers as they tried to roll you back into the sea - then this diet could be for you. All you need is a large full-length mirror, which should be thoroughly cleaned with Windex to a brilliant shine. Now, this is important. Close and lock every door in the house, as well as make sure that all blinds and curtains are completely closed. Stand in front of the mirror with as many lights on as possible, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and quickly remove all your clothing. This last part is very important. As you open your eyes, be sure to have a phone handy with 911 on speed-dial as well as a fully charged defibrillator.

     I tried the "Naked Diet" last week, and I am happy to say that I have already lost 8 lbs. After looking at my naked body, in the full light of day, with only God as my witness, it seems that I've completely lost my appetite. As a matter-of-fact, I can't even stand the sight of food-especially marshmallows. There is one problem though that I didn’t anticipate. It appears that I forgot to lock one of the doors, and my wife and son walked in on me while I was in front of the mirror. Now, both my wife, and son are on diets. The good news is that their therapist has told me that they'll both be making a full recovery.

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