It happens every single morning. You wake up, get out of bed, take a shower and finally get dressed. It is automatic, if not nearly robotic, but there is this one element which never fails to define you as human being still: the mirror. Yes, checking yourself out in the mirror is pure human nature. Because you want to know how you look, and more importantly how other people will see you throughout the day.
Nobody in his or her right mind would want to look any less than the best, meaning that a great shape which we are happy with is strictly mandatory. By simply looking at the mirror, we consciously decide between what to keep and what to change. Given the fact that you are actually reading this article right at this moment, I guess the latter suits you better. You are in search of something, something that can transform your body into the image you want to see reflected in the mirror everyday. Especially when you are naked.
Most probably you were thinking that you can never get to look the way you have always wanted once you had babies. Believe me, you can. You only need to do two simple things to look good naked. The first one is ‘Manage what you eat’ (I prefer not to use the word ‘diet’) and the second one is ‘Fix your posture’.
Manage what you eat.
Most of you are mothers living in the big city (that is why you are now on this page, The Urban Mama. Otherwise, you would have been in ‘the suburb mama’ ). Most of you are dealing with the same things over and over. Waking up early in the morning, preparing the kids for school, leaving the house early to beat the traffic jam but most of the times you would still be stuck in the traffic jam anyway. And then you arrive at work. Some of you managed to have breakfast at home while some of you will have breakfast in the office. And the usual fares are: ketupat sayur, gorengan, bubur ayam with sate jeroan, mie ayam, mie instan kornet, nasi uduk etc. Most of these options are definitely not helping you transform your body into that body you want because it contains bad fat, lots of bad fat. These excesses of bad fat will unfortunately be stored in your mid-section because that is your ‘storage room’.
Belly fat, the fat that pushes your waist out, is the most dangerous fat on your entire body. Belly fat doesn’t just sit there doing nothing, it is active. It releases substances which can be harmful to your body. For instance, it releases free fatty acids which impair your ability to breakdown the hormone insulin. And too much insulin in your system can lead to diabetes. Belly fat also secretes substances which increase your risk of heart attacks and stroke, as well as the stress hormone cortisol. Belly fat bears the blame for many health problems.
Belly fat is also classified as visceral fat, meaning that it is located behind your abdominal wall and surrounds your internal organs. Visceral fat is the fat that can kill you because it carries an express-lane passage to your heart and other important organs. The amount of visceral fat you carry is the single best predictor of heart disease risk.
And here you are this morning, looking down at this Jell-O mold implanted exactly where your stomach should be, and realizing that your flat tummy days were over the moment you delivered your precious baby. But no, it does not have to be this way all the time. Let’s now go back to the above scenario: the Working Mom. From the above options, Nasi Uduk seems to be the best option available somehow (what). It contains carbs which come from the rice, and also proteins if you choose Telor Pindang and Tempe/TahuBacem as the side dishes (why). Do remember that Nasi Uduk usually comes in the men’s serving, simply too huge for your tiny abdomen.
There are several ways on How to eat it better:
- 1. Eat it twice with an interval of 2 to 3 hours (breakfast and brunch).
- 2. Eat the Tempe Bacem and Telor Pindang first before eating the rice, since our body needs to work harder when digesting proteins (working harder = burning more fat).
- 3. Just eat a half portion of it.
So what exactly makes Mie Ayam, Ketupat Sayur, Bubur Ayam and Gorengan less valuable than Nasi Uduk? Again, let’s make it simple: meals with lesser process in their preparation are usually the better ones, because within multiple steps of process, you tend to put too many ingredients to enhance their taste. For example: Rujak Abang-Abang is the better option when compared to Mixed Juice with lots of sugar or syrup from that Juice Corner in the Food Court.
Now I’m going to assist you with yet another safe scenario on “Manage what you eat”, this time a wedding reception situation in the evening. There will be Kambing Guling, Sate Kambing and Sate Ayam, Es Doger and so much more. First off, never panic and be smart. Go for the vegetable offerings on the menu first, for the carbs, fibers and vitamins of course. Or if you don’t feel like having vegetables, choose Sate Ayam but only the satays without the Bumbu Kacang, because it is a good source of protein. You can also pick fruits as your starter. Once you finish your “smart start”, you may continue going for the carbs should you still feel hungry. Please take note that morning situation must be managed differently in the way you want it.
I shall continue on the next topic “Fix your posture” in my next article, but I’d like to share a few more tips still on “Manage what you eat”. These tips should work really well for most office workers:
- 1. Always choose Brown Rice over White Rice if it is available in the menu, because Brown Rice has more fibers and less sugar.
- 2. When it comes to Chicken, choose Breast over the Thigh and always leave the Skin alone.
- 3. Always pick grilled or baked meals over fried ones.
- 4. Drink anything without sugar being added, such as Mineral Water and Un-sweetened Tea.
These will surely work! Good luck to you, Mama! And feel free to ask me anything.