Sweet life?


  • Health
  • Sunday, 06 Apr 2003

Kate, 29, reflects on modern life, ex-boyfriends and, of all things, eating right. 

IT’S 8.30am. I’m in the LRT, eavesdropping on two 20 year-olds as they grumble about going to work after a night of partying. That was me, not too long ago. But all that partying can take a toll on you, so I decided to take it easy. Having fun, working hard, staying healthy – I need to strike the right balance or I’ll start growing haggard at the tender age of 28 (ok, 28 and 13 months).  

I take great care with my appearance, too. Today, I’ve got my lucky outfit on – it’s chic, with a “feminine touch”. At least, that’s how Vogue described it. Hopefully, it’ll bring me luck when I go for my ultra-important meeting today. If I nail the sales pitch, I just might get that juicy year-end bonus. 

Speaking of nailing, I’d love to nail my ex-boyfriend’s head to the wall. I met him the other day and he made this remark about me putting on a few – “if you know what I mean, wink, wink”. What a jerk! Just because he hasn’t seen me in a few years doesn’t give him the right to be insulting.  

Ok, so maybe I’ve put on a bit of weight lately. All these new cafés and restaurants, you know.  

Between working and going out with friends, who’s got time to exercise? Anyway, God gave us good fashion sense and Bobbi Brown makeup for a reason – to hide such flaws. 

There’s something that keeps nagging at me though. I keep reading about the health risk of gaining weight, where you could get heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and all that. Apparently, overweight and obesity will become the epidemic of the new millennium.  

This means that even though I don’t smoke and drink, I’m still not healthy enough.  

I do try to watch what I eat, but dieting is just too hard for me. Slimming pills? No way, not after that horror story about the actress.  

My colleague keeps telling me that good nutrition is more than just diets and pills. She has this list of simple rules that tell you how to maintain body weight with healthy eating. She still enjoys her food, but adopts smarter habits, like trimming off the chicken skin, or asking for low-calorie sweeteners at cafés. She always makes time to exercise regularly too. 

She tells me that since I’m already careful about smoking, getting enough rest and all that, why not eat well too? If I’m healthy and in good shape, I can look my best, feel great about myself and have the energy to achieve my dreams.  

Well, she’s convinced me. Starting tomorrow, I’m all about healthy eating and exercise.  

That’ll show my ex-boyfriend just who’s “put on a few”.  

  • This article is contributed by Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) in collaboration with Equal® Sensicare Bureau. NSM does not endorse any products. 

    10 rules for healthy body weight

    1. Eat a variety of foods based on the Food Guide Pyramid. 

    2. Eat according to your needs. Avoid taking large portion sizes at each meal. 

    3. Fatty and fried foods are not a must at every meal; take them only occasionally. 

    4. Cut down on sweet and sugary foods, snacks or drinks. If you are reluctant to part with your sugar shaker, use sugar substitutes. 

    5. Follow regular mealtimes and don’t skip them; it only makes you overeat at the next meal. 

    6. Limit alcohol consumption; it provides calories and no other nutrients (empty calories). 

    7. Exercise regularly; at least three times a week, for 20-30 minutes each time. Join a gym, jog around the neighbourhood or grab a few friends for some team sports. 

    8. Choose to be active. Forgo the lift for the stairs, walk instead of driving (for short distances) and wash your car yourself.  

    9. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to lose no more than 0.5 to 1kg a week. Stop when you’ve reached a normal BMI, then maintain it. 

    10. Definite no-no’s: crash diets, self- induced vomiting and using laxatives or diuretics. 

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