All of us need to focus on our metabolic health and not weight; weight loss will happen once we correct the many metabolic issues that have accumulated over the years. 

Exercise: we need this daily, no matter how ‘tired’ or ‘unmotivated’ we feel.  It boosts the immune system, increases muscle and bone density, lowers blood sugars and boosts mood.  If 30 minutes feels intimidating, try breaking it up into 10-minute “chunks” – a 10-minute walk, 10-minute stretch, 10-minutes dancing, or 10-minutes resistance exercises.  Any burst of movement will help your body and mind. 

Stress: we need to lower our stress levels! How?  Being outside is the best. Get with nature, enjoy the fresh air (yes, its cold, but yes, you likely have very warm gear if you live in Canada—likely you will be just fine if you layer clothes.  If you are nervous of the ice, you can get “yak tracks” or other boot-coverings that provide good grip for outdoor walking.  If you aren’t able to walk, standing out in the fresh air for 5 minutes can shift our mood and outlook.   Almost everyone I test is low in Vitamin D; you can get a small amount naturally in winter, but it means getting outside in the sun if possible.  

Meditate, 5 to 10 minutes daily—or just be in a quiet space away from your TV and phone.  Meditation or mindfulness comes in many forms, however.  Any activity that brings you to the present (for example: painting, playing music, knitting, woodworking, colouring, pottery, even cleaning) can be a form of meditation. Try to intentionally do 5 to 10 minutes of this daily. 

I’m only going to focus on these two essential things this week; they are nonnegotiable.  Exercise and stress reduction – the two go hand-in-hand.  Find ways to move your body and also calm your mind.  If these two things are consistent, better food choices will follow! 

I am inspired daily day by the resilience, strength and drive of our patients.  Keep reminding yourselves that you are more than worth the effort, and never give up on your goals for better health.  You can do it! 

Dr. Doug