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This one goes out to any body guilty of my favorite deadly sins, sloth and gluttony. *please note sarcasm* Basically to any one who is not as healthy or athletic as they would like to be.

I’ve come to realize that a high percentage of peace of mind, comes from being healthy. I don’t mean being skinny; I mean eating right, exercising, getting enough water and most importantly getting enough sleep.

In order to accomplish said peace of body, I’ve been doing some reading. Among the books that have crossed my path are ‘The Atkins Diet’, ‘The New Abs Diet for Women’, ‘The Power of Now’, ‘Run Your Butt Off’, ‘The Complete Guide to Women’s Running’, ‘The Paleo Diet for Runners’, ‘The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Good Health’ etc… Not to mention the plethora of online forums I’ve checked out.

I’ve tried a myriad of workouts ranging from yoga, the P90X, circuit training, Cardio training, body pump, all the way to Zumba classes.

My head was spinning with eat this, do that, don’t go near this, etc.. I have found that overdoing it has the same effect as not doing it.

‘How is that possible’ You ask? Well, to quote one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, “Do you ever have so much to do, that you just take a nap?” It’s kind of like that…

There is so much information out there, it is absolutely ridiculous! A person can go nuts just deciding on where to buy their groceries, let alone, figure out which diet and workout plan to follow. (Apparently, my safe haven of healthy food, Whole Foods, carries products with Genetically Modified Food, which is bad for you, click here to know more)

I am so far from where I would like to be right now, in terms of health, and it seems my main issues are ‘I keep chasing shiny objects’ and ‘I set unrealistic goals and get discouraged’. How did I figure this out?

I found one really nice online forum filled with inspiration and motivation. Nerdfitness.com is run by a former struggler, who is now the epitome of health. It is also inundated with stories of real people who managed to turn their lives around. It’s almost impossible not to find a story you identify with. It also provides lots of insight and good information that seems not to confuse me, like most things do. They do promote a paleo diet but you can easily ignore that bit and concentrate on the other helpful advice they give.

With NerdFitness and all that reading I’ve come to notice that once you strip all the bells and whistles, you can deduce a very simple equation for good health.

Protein + Healthy Fats + lots of Fiber (low carb, NOT no carb, whole wheat if any) + 7-8 hours Sleep + at least 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week + some weight training + at least 8 glasses of water a day = Peace of Body

Some yoga/meditation would help as well. Naturally you would have to consume all the afore mentioned food in small portions with about two hour intervals in between the several meals (3 meals and 3 snacks) you will be having. You should also stay in an acceptable caloric intake range for your body.

In my humble opinion, I would recommend reading ‘The New Abs Diet For Women’ (there is a version for men). The book teaches you how to eat to be fit without starving yourself and cutting carbs (I have found it’s the most convenient diet to plan for and the easiest one to follow; lots of leeway), and how to get your body in a constant fat burning mode, without resorting to extreme measures.

Subscribing to NerdFitness.com is also a great idea. His latest post ‘Worst Fitness Advice You Will Ever Receive’ had me doubling over.

Most importantly, start slow. The Abs diet includes a workout regimen, but I would also recommend taking up running. This is coming from someone you would never in a million years categorize as ‘athletic’, but ever since I decided ‘I WILL RUN’ I learned a great deal about discipline and WALKING before you can run. (‘Run Your Butt Off’ is a great book if you are looking to get into running. It starts you off from step 1.)