Health

Why you shouldn't diet for your high-school reunion

My 25th high school reunion is this Saturday, and I can’t help but think some of the attendees are fretting about their weight prior to going.

Masterfile

My 25th high school reunion is this Saturday, and I can’t help but think that some of the attendees are fretting about their weight prior to going. Not me though, and that’s because I don’t try to lose weight for special events; I just endeavour to stay lean year round, and because of that I’m successful. You should adopt this mindset too.

I know a guy who takes an exotic beach vacation every winter and slaves through the fall to get in what he feels is a tolerable beach shape. Then he rapidly plumps back up during and after vacation. Not good. Thinking about getting lean just to look good for some single event in the future is not a healthy attitude. All you’re focused on is vanity, and while I’ve written for my LA Times column about how vanity can be a healthy motivator, it isn’t good to let it rule completely when it comes to lifestyle change.

Also, that mindset is stressful. You’re just focused on pounds and inches, and not the enjoyment of how good exercise feels, or taking pleasure in the wellness obtained from consuming a healthy diet and avoiding junk.

When it comes to fitness, you really need to think long-term — as in, the rest of your life. It’s all about taking the time to learn how to enjoy the journey itself, because that is the only way for weight loss to be sustainable. You’ve got to embrace the habits themselves rather than see them as merely a means to an end, and trying to drop 10 pounds for a high-school reunion is looking at diet and exercise as a means to an end.

Am I going to take a bit of pride in showing off my physique at my reunion? Well, probably. I’d be lying if I said I won’t. At the same time, I really don’t care about what the various shapes of people are, or where their hairlines are at. I just want to see these folks again to have some fun, catch up on old times, and drink more than is good for me. (Yes, I’m planning on taking a cab.)

If you have a reunion coming up, don’t fret about your weight. Just go have fun. If you really want to look fabulous for a reunion, then plan on it for the next one years from now — but don’t pick the reunion as your fitness goal. Pick the rest of your life as a fitness goal.

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