I had the “privilege” this morning of addressing the Republic Civilian Defence Force, or CDF for short. Given my rank and highly public profile, in addition to my well known position on maintaining my clone’s physique manually, I was a natural choice. I accepted my duty without question, and made my way to the surface of Pator III.
The Republic had decided to step up voluntary enlistment before initiating a mandatory draft in an effort to continue the war effort against the Amarr. Given their inability to provide funding for the losses of the many capsuleers fighting on their behalf, the Senate had voted almost unanimously to enlist the aid of the common people. While I personally believed the mantle should fall to every healthy Matari to fight for their freedom, I was also pragmatic and understood that not all were equipped mentally or physically for the hardships of the soldier’s life.
In my mind’s eye, I had an ideal vision of what the Brutor of old looked like: physically dominating, near perfect specimens of strength and power. We were, and still are, a fiercely tribal people, etching out a hard existence in a universe seemingly indifferent to the injustices we suffered daily at the hands of the Amarr. Every step forward was hard earned, and as our technology grew, so did our appetite for physical perfection. That was my ideal vision.
Instead, what was evidenced before me by the men and women of the CDF was one of complacency and laziness. Our ancestors would’ve been ashamed at the soft assortment of flesh candies seated before me. Not a one would survive the capsuleer training program, and it made me question not only the decision to enlist these couch potato, weekend warriors, but also the standards by which these “soldiers” were held subject to.
I gave my speech, motivating them to yells, whoops and cheers, taking my leave as soon as possible; the smell of fat and sweat inducing a feeling of claustrophobia in me; something a pod jockey never experienced.
On the shuttle back to Dal, I had plenty of time to think about a great many things; the direction of my life, the war effort, Myxnee, but the foremost thought in my mind was how far we had fallen as a people from the heights we once achieved. Sure, we had advanced as a society and were one of the strongest of the Empires in New Eden, but at what cost? If the CDF was indicative of the general populace, we had become soft. Should the frontlines fail, the Amarr would find no resistance to enslavement of our people. The cynical side of me wondered if they would even want what they would find, but of course they would, a body was a body, and those that couldn’t do, would die.
I knew many capsuleers who rarely left their pods, and even fewer that engaged in regular physical activity. We relied on our wills and minds so completely in our roles that we often neglected our own health and well being.
That had to stop.
It’s a new year and the time for excuses had ended. It’s time to get in shape, and we’re going to do this together. Regardless of your current level of physical health, we’re going to start doing something, anything, to improve ourselves.
NOTE: PLEASE CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR ILLNESS FOR WHICH I CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.
STEP 1: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Using the calculator HERE, find out your BMR, or the number of calories per day you should be consuming to promote good physical health. Be honest with yourself. At the end of the day, you’re going to be your own worst critic.
STEP 2: Body Strength
If you have an iTouch/iPhone, download the ONE HUNDRED PUSHUPS application. Well formed pushups will work the following muscle groups:
- abdominal core
- lower back
As you can see, pushups are a very effective strength building exercise for both men and women. No “woman pushups” in this program.
If you don’t have the ability to download this app, you can substitute the following routine 3x per week, though it will not be as effective:
- 11 pushups
- 60 seconds rest
- 15 pushups
- 60 seconds rest
- 9 pushups
- 60 seconds rest
- 9 pushups
- 60 seconds rest
- 13 (minimum, but do as many as you can to fail)
STEP 2: Cardiovascular
Again, if you have iTouch/iPhone, the COUCH TO 5K app is incredible. It gives audio cues for when you should switch from walk/jog/run, and is a very good, progressive program for improving your cardiovascular health while increasing core strength and losing weight. If you don’t have an iTouch/iPhone, you can still follow along on this program HERE.
STEP 3: Healthy Eating
It might seem daunting to buy healthy groceries, and you may have even heard that eating healthy is far more expensive than eating junk. Follow these guidelines for shopping, and you will be surprised at how well your body responds:
- When buying bread and pasta check the list of ingredients. Look for the words “Whole Grain” as the first ingredient. If you see “wheat flour” or “enriched flour” as one of the first couple of ingredients, then this is mostly refined white bread with some whole grains added.
- Buy lean meat, fish (especially oily fish like salmon) and poultry. Try to limit deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats due to high levels of nitrates.
- Stop buying soda or fruit juice that is mostly sugar water and empty calories! Buy unsweet tea or tea bags to make tea yourself and keep in your refrigerator. If you must buy juice, be sure it is 100% juice and limit your intake to one glass a day.
- Stop buying junk food at the store like chips or soda. It will save room in your grocery budget for healthier foods.
- Learn to read food labels. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), bleached flour, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup by checking the ingredients on packages.
- Avoid pre-packaged meals that contain high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Try broiling fish and steaming fresh broccoli instead!
- Try to spend half your budget each week on fruits and veggies and spend the other half on whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Start in the produce department first and work your way around the outside edges of the store. Most processed and unhealthy foods are kept in the center aisle. Limit what you buy there!
- Stock up on lean meat, fish and poultry when it is on sale and freeze it for future use.
- Purchase berries, peaches, mangos and other fruits when they are on sale and freeze in individual baggies for use later in smoothies or on whole grain waffles.
- YES you can use coupons and still have a healthy grocery list! It takes some work to pull your list together each week, but stores offer great coupons on things like frozen vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain waffles. But, don’t get tricked into buying processed foods just because you have a coupon. Just because a bag of candy is $0.50, doesn’t mean it needs to be in your cart!
With a little effort and some planning you can have a healthy grocery list and still be on a budget.
STEP 4: Portion Control
So you’re exercising, you’re eating healthy, but you’re still not seeing the results you want? Chances are, you’re eating too much! Might make sense once you hear it, but even when eating healthy, you can still overdo it.
TO LOSE WEIGHT ALWAYS ENSURE THE CALORIES YOU EXPEND ARE GREATER THAN THE CALORIES YOU CONSUME.
Four general rules of thumb:
- A single portion of meat should be no bigger than the palm of your hand.
- A single serving of veggies, rice, pasta, etc, should never exceed 1 cup.
- Eat every 4 hours without fail (not including sleep time).
- Hydrate! You should consume at least 3 litres of water per day, especially when engaging in regular physical activity.
STEP 5: Calories
As I said, always expend more than you consume. If you have an iTouch/iPhone, one of the best apps for tracking your daily calorie count is the Calorie Tracker by Live Strong.com. With a full online database of foods and exercises, you’ll be sorely pressed to not find what you need with this app. If you don’t have an iTouch/iPhone, their WEBSITE offers a great online program as well.
STEP 6: NO EXCUSES
You can lie to me, you can lie to friends, but despite what you think, you can’t lie to yourself. Healthy living promotes overall wellness emotionally, mentally, sexually and physically. The first step to better self-image is setting goals for yourself, getting up off your ass to do something about it, then feeling good at the accomplishment. This is one of those things in life where it’s ok to be selfish. Give this to yourself. You deserve it.
That’s it for today. I look forward to seeing how many of you are willing to pledge yourselves to better health in the comments section below. If you do, I promise you I will be with you every step of the way, and make myself available for questions and guidance when possible.