Friday, 6 May 2011

Thoughts on nutrition, exercise and my future…

When I was a small boy I was very skinny. You could count all my ribs without a problem. I was like a living X-Ray. My mother was worried that there was something wrong with me. What I remember from that time is that I believed sitting down for dinner was a huge waste of time. I didn’t almost any of the food offered and staying still for a period of time to eat, was a torture for a hyper active child like I was.

That all changed when I hit puberty. From very skinny I became chubby. I discovered the pleasures of chocolate, fries, eggs and other unhealthy things. My mother was all too happy to see a healthy appetite in me, so she encouraged me. For a Greek mother, stuffing her son is pure bliss. She feels a worthy member of the mothers’ community.

I did play tennis and I tried swimming as well. I even periodically joined a local gym. However, my weight fluctuations had tendencies to go up. Even now, I’m more comfortable reading a book and doing other static activities than exercise. Especially in Greece, massive feasts with friends is a favorite pastime. Christmas, birthdays, Easter, national celebrations are all excuses to eat and eat some more.

Fortunately, that changed recently. I am amazed to find myself a constant member of a gym with a personal trainer for more than 2 years. I also have a series of medals to prove some races I’ve managed to finish. I’m even thinking of trying other activities like wall climbing, yoga or swimming.

Many years of bad habits do not die easily though. I like good food. I like having friends for dinner and I always cook for more than the actual number of people invited. My weight constantly goes up and down. I haven’t been able to maintain it properly. I always fashion a hairy belly, not from drinking beer but from eating. That belly in some cases does go away during summer but always comes back in winter. I’m a bear (excuse the pun) accumulating fat for the cold season…

I also know that I could never be a vegetarian. Have you seen in ‘My Big Fat Greek wedding’ the scene where John Corbett says he’s a vegetarian and how everybody else reacts? Exactly that. Some jokes in that movie are so real!

Since, I’m turning a bit older and I am (more or less) making some progress, I’d like to take it to the next step and start monitoring how many fruit and vegetables I eat and how much water I drink. My family’s history of heart disease, high cholesterol and bad genes is not helping. I can’t remember the last time I had all 5 of my ‘5 a day’. And there is no way I had many days in a row, all 5 portions of fruit and vegetables.

Since, I’ve been showing some signs of persistence (writing this blog, going running etc), I do hope to have for the first time in my life a healthier body and a flat stomach… It's mostly about being healthy. Yes, sometimes I am insecure regarding my weight but I am not getting any younger and I don't want to follow my family's history.

How many of your 5-a-day, did you have today?

All these thoughts came to me when I was checking 'Cancer Research UK' web site. I've registered for another run and I might choose to fund raise for them. In their website, among other things they have some tips on healthy living. There's an easy test regarding life styles here. Of course it's not something I didn't know before, but it made me wonder...

Anyway, that's enough deep thinking for a Friday afternoon! Have a nice weekend...


  1. Nik, as incredible as it may seem, I very easily could have written the first two paragraphs myself. Just replace the word "Greek" with "German" and it's all me. My mother even took me to a doctor at age 7 to make sure I wasn't suffering from malnutrition. Not only did I weigh less than all the boys in my class, I also weighed less than all the girls, save for one.

    I hated all food. Nothing tasted good. Then at puberty I suddenly liked food, and the weight got packed on.

    I'm so happy for you that you are defeating the weight problem now at your age, 15 years younger than me. Just make sure you keep up with it.

  2. Eat 5 small meals, mostly plants
    Don't skip meals
    Avoid sweety stuff
    and don't tell anyone about it

    these are the key factors - clinically proven - to be the most useful

  3. lets put this on top of the list

    chose organic plant/fruit! if you read the cause of cancer in recent human development is associated with re-engineering of ur food! bad fertilizer, pestiferous and many more!

    We never purchase packet milk from the store any-more or buy ready made bread!

    secret to flat tummy is have alot of sex! hehe

  4. @Cubby It's nice to know I'm not the only one. :-)

    @Ur-Spo Thanks. I think the 'don't tell anyone' is the best advice ever and I hadn't tried it in the past.

    @Suf_n_Steve 'sex'. OK, I'll bear that in mind and practice it as frequent as possible

  5. i LOVE fried food, but luckily, i also love my veggies and fruit. sometimes i'll crave stuff like broccoli or brussel sprouts!
    all my life 've been able to stuff my face without it having any consequences on my weight. (yay!) BUT when i got to my late twenties, i put on weight so easily on my belly, even though my face still looked skinny. the body is weird in that way. anyway, now i have to watch what i eat, but i'm so childish. sometimes i'd rather have more beer and then cut back on real food. lol

  6. @Luuworld Noooo, you can't really crave brussels sprouts! Really?