Two for the See-Saw

So according to this article I posted on my FB page it seems that we, well children in this study, all burn about the same amount of calories regardless of whether we sit on our patootie all day or are on our feet working rigorously in the garden or cleaning out the horses’ stalls. The big deal breaker seems to be the amount of food––I mean calories that we consume throughout the day.

It seems there is a common bandwidth of calories that are spent throughout the study groups and the differing populations. So where does that leave us? We thought that as soon as we could get outside we’d take up running or get back on the bike, or hit the pool everyday. All this seems daunting; the bike needs a tune up, your knees hurt, the pool is closed. So we’re resigned to our extra poundage. We head back to the fridge, muttering that if only we could get some serious exercise happening we’d feel better and maybe lose some weight.

From a feel good perspective you could take a walk, which will increase your heart rate and get some stale oxygen out of your lungs and perhaps clear some cobwebs out of your brain. Now, you’ll be thinking that a run or a big bike ride is what you really need, but you know, maybe just some fresh air and a bit of good food.

Now, a bit of fresh air or exercise will probably make you want to put something healthier into your body anyway–some water, an orange or a banana, rather than a bagel with schmear or a pumpkin spice latte. So it is hard to prove or disprove the theory.

It seems that the success of most diets is in calorie deficit, which usually means that after you go off the diet (that day does come) that the weight goes back on.

I’m a vegan and it is definitely less of a diet than a way of life, the proof being that there have been times when I have gained quite a bit of weight as a vegan. There is a world of high calorie plant based food out there to enjoy! From nuts to home made salad dressing, to second helpings to wine to beer to vegan ice cream and really yummy chocolate cake and fake cheese cake. I had to get wise to the not-so-hidden calories and be honest with myself (except for Sunday when I eat what I vegan well please), that calories are where it’s at, regardless of how healthy an handful or two of cashews are.

There are so many variables to overweight-ness, genetics for one, environmental, economic, emotional, the list goes on. But if you are in a position where you can replace the calorie’d snack for something as satisfying but with less staying (on your body) power, give it a try. Some grapes in the fridge to nibble on. An orange. Lime juice and tamari for salad dressing. A drop of oil to sauté veggies, rather than a glop of oil. These are tweaks you might not even notice!

Published by: Andrew Binks

I am a writer living in rural Ontario, 2 hours east of Toronto. I was born and raised in Ottawa but spent the last 15 years in BC. Glad to be back. My first novel, The Summer Between, was published in 2009 by Nightwood Editions. My website is My fiction and non-fiction have been published in Joyland, Galleon, Fugue, Prism International, Harrington Gay Men's Literary Quarterly (U.S.), Bent-magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Xtra, among others. I am a past honorable mention of the Writer's Union of Canada's short prose contest, Glimmertrain’s Family Matters contest, finalist in the Queen's University Alumni Review poetry contest, and This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt.” My poetry has also appeared in Quill's “Lust” issue and Velvet Avalanche Anthology. Harvard Square Editions will be publishing a chapter from one of my novels in their upcoming anthology "A Voice from the Planet," this fall. My satirical play, Reconciliation, about Native land claims, Japanese internment, and political corruption, was read this spring in Toronto as part of the Foundry play-reading series. My play Pink Blood received a public reading, from Screaming Weenie Productions in Vancouver this June. I spoke at the AWP conference in New York City in 2008 on the merits and challenges of multi-genre writing programs.

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