So I’ve been kicking around this idea of trying to get healthy. I know, I know, call me crazy. I’m usually more concerned about trying to lose weight. I know what formula works for me and what doesn’t. Usually it’s good old-fashioned calorie counting.

The basic math is that you take your body weight, multiply by 100, and that’s how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. Any more than that, and you gain weight. Less than that, and you lose weight. There are approximately 3,000 calories in one pound of fat. So if you want to lose 1 lb per week, you need to cut your maintained calories by 3,000 per week, or roughly 600 per work day.

I usually go up and down, because I, like most Americans, don’t maintain a consistent diet. When I lived in France for school in the ’90s, I gained 30 lbs. When I got back to the States, I lost most of it. I stayed stable for the next 10 years, then spent six months sitting on my butt one year between contracts in Antarctica and gained it all back. I usually hit a point where I’m disgusted with myself and then lose it all again. Another 5 or 10 years will go by, and it slowly creeps back on.

Because I like food…all kinds of food…particularly breads and pastas…and cocktails and sodas. And I hate to exercise. Diet usually works best for me because it requires the least amount of effort. I gained 30 pounds after I got married…then quite a bit of additional weight when I was pregnant…lost most of it after delivery…lost another 25 pounds in Belize…then gained back 10 on home leave. All based solely on food intake. You get the picture.

The other day I was reading a really interesting article on achieving perfect health. It was a long one, all about thinking of your body as a machine and the best fuels to make it run efficiently and how basically everything else is “toxic” and/or just gunks up the system. It made a lot of sense. According to the article, the amount of things that I normally ingest and would have to remove from my diet is a long one. Figuring out what’s left to eat and drink is the hard part.

Here’s the article itself:

Here’re the main points:

  1. Don’t eat toxins.
  2. Nourish your body.
  3. Eat real food.
  4. Supplement wisely.
  5. Heal your gut.
  6. Manage stress.
  7. Move like your ancestors.
  8. Sleep more deeply.
  9. Practice pleasure.

So I would spend a lot of time trying to find substitutes for a while…especially for beverages. No more cokes, no more coffee, no more diet root beer, no more alcohol. Teas apparently are a good option…natural fruit juices, water (blech). But here’s another interesting article on teas. Green teas are very good for you, as are white and oolong. Black teas are okay but have a lot of caffeine.

And then there’s the exercise part. I have bad knees, being overweight doesn’t help. I’m thinking yoga would be a good mind-body-health option, if I’m not worried about losing weight quickly.

Anyway, it’s a thought. I might implement it when we get to London. Or I might just eat fish and chips and drink Guinness. We shall see.