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Senior Life: New Year’s Resolutions — You can do it!


New Year’s Resolutions are usually difficult to implement. Why?  Because if they were easy, you probably would have already done so.  Therefore, I’d like to summarize some of the motivating, health-enhancing tips I’ve given over the past year.

TIP #1:  Healthful Lifestyle Avoids Disease

The first tip is to understand and accept that a healthful lifestyle will also lead to a higher quality of life that avoids chronic diseases.

TIP #2:  Healthful Food Tastes Better!

It’s a misconception to think: “I can’t ever give up eating unhealthful fast food, high-fat chips and dips, soda pop (sugar-free or not), juice drinks (that have only five-percent juice) or any other junk food because it tastes so good.”  Trust me:  A healthful diet will taste way better, and you’ll feel way better, once you get used to it.  Even better, you will crave the healthful food items and look forward to eating those food items, just as I look forward to eating my steamed frozen vegetables every lunchtime, with either some ground pepper or a dollop of organic sour cream to remind me of my childhood cravings.  I just pour into a small glass bowl a variety of veggies I keep in my freezer, pop the bowl into the microwave and push the frozen vegetables button.  It’s automatic, and in just a few minutes, it’s yum!  And that’s a serious and healthful yum to which I really look forward.

Readers, please drop me a line with your own experiences in eliminating junk food, and I’ll report the results.  To send me a message, click here.

TIP #3:  No Pain, No Gain

Because people don’t like to suffer pain or self-denial, breaking the habit of an unhealthful diet and lack of exercise is the difficulty that must be overcome.  How long will it take?  Personally, I know what it took for me to break my addiction to prime beef, every night.  And that was about 6 months of abstinence until all sensations of craving for it vanished.  The fact that it was unavailable in the university restaurant in a foreign land, where I ate my meals — and I wasn’t ever confronted by it —  sure helped a lot.

There was another benefit to giving up beef.  I no longer had the intense hungers I had while addicted to it.  When mealtime came, I still got hungry, but it was not the intense, gnawing kind I previously experienced.  The hunger would subside, and I could finish whatever I needed to do.  Food no longer “owned” me.

TIP #4:  Irvine Senior Centers

Irvine is fortunate to have had elected officials who set up programs to help ensure Irvine’s residents have resources that enable them to pursue a healthful lifestyle.

Of Irvine’s three Senior Centers, two of them (Trabuco in the north and Rancho in the south) provide fully outfitted Fitness Centers (total cost is $55/year.).  The centrally located Lakeview Senior Center, in Woodbridge, provides high-quality lunches, daily, for either $4 or $5.25 depending on whether you’re 60 and older, or younger.

Try one of the 10 different dance classes offered for all levels of dancers at all three Senior Centers.

Go, anytime, and observe, before surely getting caught up and signing up.  Or, play ping pong at the Lakeview Senior Center and have fun while getting your necessary workout.

In my next article, I will write about Irvine’s remarkable TRIPS program that transports seniors and the disabled around town so they can regain their independent lives.


Harvey H. Liss


Irvine, CA
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