Wanda’s Rules for Weight Loss: Rule #9 Kind & Courteous Burns More Calories than Mean & Surly

Fat and jolly is a misnomer; how happy can you be when it takes a weekend to find a decent pair of jeans?

I’m not a nice person. As much as it pains my mother to hear me say it, the truth is ‘mean and surly’ is a better descriptor for me. I don’t want this to be misconstrued. I don’t go out of my way to kick puppies or pinch old ladies. I’m no grinch. In fact I enjoy Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Dwili and all other celebrations that include a magnificent menu of diverse and homemade delicacies. My taste buds do not discriminate.

In general, I’m not the girl crying at the sad part in the movies. If someone asks me to do something out of the way I feel bothered about it and express the agitation. My natural relaxed facial expression generally causes people to ask ‘what’s wrong’ or ‘are you mad at me’ when in reality that’s just my face. I don’t wear a constant smile and frankly people who do smile all the time make me uncomfortable. I don’t have a poker face although I blank stare into space for fun. If I’m feeling some kind of way about something chances are you will know it and if you ask me a question about it you’ll get an earful. I’m nobody’s shrinking violet or wallflower. If I’m standing on the wall it’s because I’m tired and don’t want to be bothered.

Nice to me has always been synonymous with being a push over. Push overs just let everybody get over. When you grow up in a big city you learn fast that being a push over is a weakness you simply cannot afford. Anyway most people who are ‘nice’ generally lack the very things they need in order to live a comfortable life because they’re always giving stuff away to be ‘nice’ to somebody else. I generally feel sorry for nice people because when I look them in the eyes they always seem…sad.

So, I suppose I’ve generally associated niceness with sadness and a type of neediness that makes me feel bad for the person who is always being so nice. So as a result I’ve conditioned myself to not be nice.

But kindness, compassion, courtesy these things I’m down with. I believe in genuine kindness and expressing compassion for your fellow wo/man. I’ve also found that being kind and courteous and expressing compassion will also cause you to move your body to open a door, carry a package, pick up a fallen pen, hug a friend or pull a small child out of harm’s way.

Kindness and compassion will lead you to exercise not only your heart but also your body. They are forces that push you into action and it is action that get you out of your static life and into the wonder of living. So these past two weeks I’ve been practicing kindness. It’s caused me to get up from my comfy office chair and move. I no longer put off for tomorrow what can be done today. I actually knock on colleagues’ doors to make a request or respond to one versus sending an email. I walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator. I make the runs to the copy room. And I only send messengers when I need to keep a kid busy. If my son calls for me, I walk the distance between us versus telling him to come to me. I purposely go and it has made a world of difference in the number of steps I step each day. I had no idea how stagnant I had become until I started to consciously do more.

I’m still reading The Best Life Diet. Bob Greene has become my guru of sorts. He gives good advice and the lessons he teaches make sense to me. Because of what I’ve read so far

  1. I have set an eating cut off for myself
  2. I drink only water or herbal tea
  3. I take a daily vitamin
  4. I move when I can as much as I can
  5. I give more hugs
  6. I recognize when I am eating because of boredom, worry, stress or fear
  7. I do something about those feelings instead of hiding them in a bag of potato chips
  8. I plan my meals especially when I have impossibly long days
  9. I go to bed on time
  10. I do one thing at a time

The random and unnatural side effects of all this is more energy. I’ve actually been spotted arriving to places on time. Jaws have dropped and watches have been checked. People don’t know what to make of this new on-time me. Because I’m on time I don’t feel rushed and that’s resulted in less stress. I still don’t get all my to-do’s done by day’s end but I don’t feel like a brick wall falling down on my head is as imminent. Bob has assured me that me taking time to take care of me will not result in the world ending or any other related catastrophe. He’s also taught me a lot about weight – especially water weight.

Bob taught me that the up’s and down’s of my daily weigh in’s were related to water gain and loss which ultimately means that I was dehydrating myself and thinking I was losing when in fact I was not. Dehydration blows. So I’ve stopped doing that and opted for a hydrated and fully replenished me. Water, green tea and peppermint tea are salves and they help me feel more…me.

This week I’m going to stick with my program. It may take me a little longer to get through this phase 1 of Bob’s 3 phase plan in The Best Life Diet but honey, the side effects are to live for!

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