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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | April 3, 2009

Winning at losing: Winning at Being You

By 1st Lt. Sarah Mueller 779th Medical Support Squadron clinical dietician

Perhaps our culture focuses too much on appearance and weight loss. We know we have been infected with this mindset when we look in the mirror and cringe at our bodies that have been ravaged by gravity and environment for 20, 30, 40 and 50 plus years, but our culture does not get it.

You are wonderful, special, and unique because there is no one like you! Yes, it is extremely difficult to avoid weight gain in a culture like ours, but the key to healthy living and thinking is realizing how precious you really are. Once you begin to really value yourself and realize that this is the only body you are going to get, thoughts and attitudes about food and lifestyle will change as well.

When you take this renewed perspective, a handful of grapes or nuts, an apple, or some fresh vegetables dipped in low-fat dressing all seem like a better choice than a candy bar, bag of chips or a packaged muffin. Going to bed earlier so that you can wake up 30 minutes earlier and enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal or whole wheat toast with an egg seems to make the whole day run a little smoother. Time spent cooking dinner is considered therapeutic and relaxing instead of a burden that would typically make you run to the nearest fast food restaurant for a double cheeseburger and fries.

In realizing that our bodies weren't meant to go without rest or fresh foods or activity, we make the most important discovery of all: I am precious and my body needs tending. Instead of feeling obligated, I now want to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. I want to choose meats and dairy that pack more protein and nutrients than saturated fat. I want to take the stairs because I know every little bit helps. I want to go for a walk after work because I know I will feel better than if I just sit on the couch and watch the five o'clock news.

When the focus for health changes and becomes more positive, you are more likely to see benefits. You may lose 10 pounds. You may stay right where you are. True health is vastly more important than a number on a scale. When you have a vibrant lifestyle and positive outlook by truly valuing your uniqueness, you have begun to understand what true well-being is.
What have you done for yourself today?