Time once again for me to put on my imitation doctor’s coat (and maybe some pants) to offer you dear readers a healthy dose of my reality when it comes to your health. Enjoy. – Dr. Uncool, Ph.D., D.V.M., M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I
Resolved to have a healthy 2011? Yeah, yeah, yeah -- get in line, pal.
Gyms crowded with the jiggling masses of resolute resolution-makers are the unhealthiest places to be in January.
Cardio equipment drenched in Staphylococcus-infested sweat!
Barbells bathed in rhinovirus-tinged mucous flakes!
Air heavy with guilt over the 17 pounds of homemade peppermint bark wolfed down during the annual New Year's Day Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy!
January should be all about making a better you, but within the safe confines of your own home. Considering the shape you're in, do you really want to wear those booty-hugging workout shorts in a public setting?
Thought not. So, don't worry -- I got your back.
And your ample backside.
STEP 1: EAT WRITE
You could start with the latest fad diet. (What is it these days? The Cookie Diet? The Cookie Puss Diet? The Cokie Roberts Diet?) However, the words "latest" and "fad" should clue you in that these are temporary solutions that will soon leave you in the McFatburger drive-thru lane off life’s highway.
Your best approach to reforming your gluttonous ways and developing better habits, at least according to all the chick magazines my wife subscribes to, is by keeping a food journal.
(Aside: You women do realize these magazines just present new combinations of the same 23 tips about sex, diet and fashion every few months, right? The most groundbreaking thing in each article is usually the level of hyperbole in each headline like "Learn the Naughty Skill to Dress Thinner! So You Can Powerfood Your Way to a Tighter Tush!! That He'll Love to Discuss with Sensitively!!! FAT-FREE!!!!")
How does writing down every little sweet, salty, fat-enhanced calorie make you lose weight? I'm guessing self-induced embarrassment.
When you write down the fact that the half a box of Entenmanns's Rich Frosted Chocolate Donuts you devoured for breakfast meant you crammed 1,200 calories and 80 grams of fat down your gullet, you naturally start to re-evaluate your food choices. Gorging on a half box of Entenmanns's Crumb Donuts would have saved you 200 calories and 32 grams of fat, Porky! I just saved you like 6 sit-ups!
You may be tempted to share your food journal, thinking you'll get much needed support and admiration from others. Maybe. Or maybe it'll be like that time Arbitron sent you two shiny quarters to record your radio listening habits for two weeks and you somehow kept misspelling "Howard Stern" as "NPR."
STEP 2: CLEAN UP YOUR ACT
You'd be surprised how much heart-healthy, calorie-burning exercise you can get just by doing the housework you've been neglecting or hiring others to do for you, you lazy elitist slob.
Let's start in the kitchen. When was the last time you:
- Moved your refrigerator and swept out of the three feet of dust bunnies, lost takeout menus and fallen magnets from defunct dry cleaners?
- Defrosted your freezer using only ball bearings and old toothbrush?
- Scoured the burnt stuff off from under each and every pan with just elbow grease, a waffle and three jiggers of Nutella??
I thought so. Now, c’mon and get dirty so later you and your loved one can, you know, get dirty together.
STEP 3: LAY ABOUT
Stress is the No. 1 silent killer in most U.S. households (though in ours, dried apricots hold a distinctive “Silent but Deadly” title of their own). The best thing you can do to relieve stress, you can do lying down. And by yourself!
That's right -- sleep.
A long-term lack of regular sleep has been linked to all sorts of evils, such as obesity, diabetes – even making out with Snooki from Jersey Shore. To prevent this, you should aim to get a minimum of seven solid hours of ZZZZZs a day, and yes -- you can count any time you spent catatonic from the mindlessness of watching TMZ, infomercials or any movie featuring Ashton Kutcher.
Follow these three steps and by Valentine's Day, you'll be rested, revved and raring to re-hire your cleaning service. Then, head to the nearest gym which should be fairly deserted because the other resolution makers have already given up, opting to burn calories through a Necco Sweethearts sugar frenzy.