Don’t Feel Guilty

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Do you think of eating out as some sort of guilty pleasure? Plenty of people do and I guess that’s why we’ve chosen to highlight this post with a photograph of a great, big juicy burger!

But there really needn’t be any guilt involves, as we’ll explain for you now.

Firstly, most restaurants will offer healthy, balanced meals. That doesn’t mean, of course, that every option on the menu will take that form! If you’re worried about the calories, then seek out those low-calorie options – they will still be tasty, of course, allowing you to make the most of your meal out.

What if none of the options look that healthy? Or how about if you find that the healthiest options don’t appeal to you? You may have the best of intentions, but nothing seems to be leaping out of the (menu) page at you. Well, restaurant staff are there to help you to have a great experience. They want you to return again and again. So why not see if they can have the chef rustle up some sort of alternative?

All of the above is really sound advice, although it’s not really the reasoning behind this post. I take a different route: I look to have a balanced lifestyle, so that I just don’t need to worry about occasional treats. If you do plenty of exercise and eat healthily, then the odd guilty pleasure doesn’t have to be a problem for you at all.

It’s at this point that I would like to take the opportunity to talk through my current regime. Even though I’ve only implemented it during the past year or so, it’s brought about a real transformation in my life. I think it’s fair to say that my friends would not previously have described me as being someone who led a particularly healthy lifestyle. I very much hope that their views have now changed.

There are plenty of websites, blogs and articles describing how athletes workout. Frankly, I’ve often found these to be daunting and inaccessible. I like to eat. Not to excess (in my view), but I enjoy my food. I enjoy eating out too and don’t like to limit my choices. However, I realise that all of this is potentially dangerous, without balance in other areas of my life.

In order to ensure that the balance exists, I’ve attempted to increase my exercise levels. Not by running marathons, or seeking to compete at the next Olympic Games. That’s not where I’m at, as an individual. My starting point was that I wanted to exercise more, but in a realistic manner. In order to do so, I needed something that I could do regularly, despite my low starting level of exercise.

I did a lot of research in this area. I considered joining a local gym, but I eventually rejected that options (cost, it being daunting to exercise in public and concerns with motivation) and instead looked at home exercise options. This led me to narrow down my options to two choices: an exercise bike or a running machine.

Which should I go for? From my research, I could actually see that both would work well. For my personal position, I decided to opt for a treadmill. This was, however, only the start of my journey.

There are numerous treadmills available on the market, with the range of options being considerable. I actually found the range of choices to be somewhat bewildering, although I found the Farinellis Treadmill Buying Guide helped me to get to the bottom of the choices.

I ran through the sort of considerations listed there:

  • Size, considering the space available (in my attic room)
  • Power output levels
  • User weight allowances (I wasn’t too worried about reaching the max, but appreciated that some machines might only cater for the smallest users)
  • Spring systems
  • Safety features (always good, just in case)
  • Available programs and routines
  • Connectivity
  • Warranty options

Having considered the available choices, I ultimately opted for a Reebok Jet 100 Treadmill. In doing so, I looked at a number of other options. I found treadmills from JLL, Premierfit and Confidence Fitness to be appealing too. But the Reebok treadmill was best for my needs.

Since purchasing it, I’ve been exercising for a consistent 45 minutes per day, gradually increasing the difficulty level to be faced. I’ve found the change in activity levels to be pretty simple: without even leaving my own home, I’m undoubtedly getting fitter.

All of which means, of course, that I can allow myself to eat out, without feeling guilty. A great result!

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