The Power of Little

The Power of Little

Thinking about having one cookie for dinner?  Why not?  It’s just one cookie.  Mmmmm!  That was delicious.  Let’s turn on ESPN and watch Sports Center.  Why not get another cookie or two or six?

I’ve attached an article below that shows the power of cutting just one hundred calories from your diet per day.  A typical cookie is at least one hundred calories, if not more.  Cutting one cookie a day will equal losing ten pounds per year.  Easy, huh?

When I lived in Korea, I noticed that villagers walked in the mornings and in the evenings.  They strolled without hurry.  It was their constitutionals, “a regular walk taken as a form of exercise” as defined by the Free Dictionary.

What if you simply walked around the block before you got into your automobile in the mornings prior to your jetting off to work?  What if you walked around the block after dinner?  Those eight blocks of walking will burn more than one hundred calories per day.

Hmmmm?

Cut one hundred calories per day, and that will equal the loss of ten pounds per year.  Then, walk around the block twice per day to burn at least another hundred calories per day.  According to my math, that’s the equivalent of losing at least twenty pounds per year!!!

Droping weight doesn’t have to be onerous.  It’s the little things done consistently that will make your pants fit looser.

Consistency, not intensity!

God bless you,

Chip

PS http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/eating-help/calories/the-no-hunger-way-to-cut-100s-of-calories/

 

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My Perfect Fast Food

Food is seductive.  The Food Network, cook books, and advertisers understand the power of creating allure for food.  Food imagery sells.

Why?

Certainly, we mortals consume for sustenance; additionally, we eat for our hearts and souls.  As the old adage goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Unfortunately for many of us, food becomes our drug of choice.  Some drink.  Some abuse drugs.  Some cheat on their spouses.

I became a card-carrying food addict.  After my separation and divorce, I would pick up my two toddlers from their grandparents at the end of the day and drive home, stopping at a convenient drive-through fast-food restaurant.  Those choices were high-fat, low-fiber, and sodium-laden meals.  I ordered too many pizzas and Chinese deliveries for the three of us.  Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my!  It’s amazing that my son and daughter, now 20 and 16 years old, respectively, are growing up as slim young adults.  I, on the other hand, put on over a hundred pounds from this poor diet and lifestyle of sedentary office work and coming home to watch my young people.

The simple calculus for losing weight is to increase exercise and decrease caloric intake.  A part of my weight loss strategy has been to keep very little food in the cabinets and refrigerator in my home.  It is easy to resist cravings when the cupboards are bare.  

But what happens when the inevitable cravings hit?  Dial Papa John’s Pizza?

Wrong answer!

I love beans!!!  Beans are a slow-burn carbohydrate; therefore, once ingested, they digest slowly.  As a result, a person gets hungry slower than from eating many other foods.  I like to make a big pot of beans over the weekend, and I nuke a bowl in the microwave oven without an iota of guilt whenever I need a quick meal.  

But beans are boring, right?

Nope!  I like to shake red pepper flakes and drizzle some olive oil atop mine.  On other occasion, I add diced tomatoes (fresh or canned), chopped onions, and/or shredded cheese.  Try some sour cream, bacon bits, or cilantro.  There’s nothing like having a healthy, tasty, and filling food waiting to slake my heart’s desires.  

What’s your strategy for fighting your hunger pangs?  I hope you take a moment to respond.  Thanks in advance!

Consistency, not intensity!

God bless you,

Chip

PS  Here’s a great blog that covers some slow-burn carbs:

http://allfitbodies.blogspot.com/2012/07/fast-vs-slow-burning-carbs.html

Rest for the Weary

Rest for the Weary

“Consistency, not intensity” was my mantra as I walked and walked and walked for the eighteen months during which I dropped 140 pounds without drugs or surgery.  I didn’t care how fast I walked.  I didn’t care about the weather.  I was bound and determined to do my 10,000 steps per day for at least six days per week because I was losing that weight.  

My ultimate goal is to lose 176 pounds which will get me back to my plebe/freshman year weight of two hundred pounds (6’6″ tall) at West Point in 1978.  In March 2013, I shifted my workout focus away from walking.  I have targeted the Army 10 Miler road race in October 2013 to help me zero in on the next phase of my working out.  Even though I have not run in the last four or five years, I figured that running ten miles is a reasonable goal since I now weigh considerably less, and my legs are strong from all of the walking.  

However!!!

Yes, sports fans, there is a proverbial however to this story.  Running is not walking!  I turn fifty-four years old next month.  In other words, running would be easier said than done.

I began with some slow paced training runs over short distances, no more than 1.2 miles.  The first few runs, albeit at a glacial pace, felt okay.  My times for one mile were slower than my Army two-mile run times for record, back in the day.  Then one morning, I woke up as stiff as a board.  My body had tightened and knotted.  The quad muscles in my thighs felt like someone had poured cement into them.  My abdominal region burned with pain every time I moved.  This old soldier decided to just keep running through the considerable discomfort.  

No pain, no gain, right?  

This past Sunday night on a run, during the last hundred yards to the finish, my legs seized up so badly that a motorist honked and yelled out the window, “Are you okay?  Do you need help?”  I’m sure that I appeared quite spastic to anyone who witnessed my strained stride.

For the next two days, I remained in bed, having hit the wall of exhaustion.  That fatigue flummoxed me.  In my past, I had done 25-mile forced road marches (fast walk-jog) under full combat load against the clock for record; yet, I was in bed after having run fewer than five miles over several days. 

I telephoned Ric.  I needed guidance and a shot of his a**-chewing motivation.  Ric and I served in an infantry battalion together in the Army when we were both spry captains, and he’s now a retired colonel and chaplain.  As my former workout buddy, he pushed me beyond my perceived limits back in Korea.  Decades hence, he’s been a spiritual adviser, and he remains my workout coach long distance.  Ric believes in intensity.  I was expecting him to tell me to fight through the pain.  Instead, Ric, the former power lifter, surprised me.  

First, he recommended that I rest because I had most likely been over-training for months, especially at my age.  Second, he told me to cut my distance in half and to run it without a stopwatch, taking my time.  He said to run that for five days with two days of rest.  Progressively add a quarter of a mile to the distance each week.  Train five days, and rest for two.  His recommendations essentially reinforced the notion of “Consistency, not intensity.”

When you are beginning a workout program,.be gentle with yourself.  Most likely, you got out of shape over the course of years.  It takes time for the body transition from an un-athletic lifestyle to a healthy one.  If you can’t walk 10,000 steps quite yet, then do 2,000 consistently for five to six days per week until you can move up to 2,500 steps.

Secondly, the body needs rest in order to improve.  Push your body, but listen to it.  Plan some rest in order to let your muscles repair and your joints heal.  Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.

Consistency, not intensity!

God bless you,

Chip

Respect

In her famous anthem, Aretha Franklin belts out, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!”

My weight loss centered around W-A-L-K-I-N-G!!!

To walk, I require the clothes on my back, comfortable shoes, and a pedometer which I purchased for $25 from http://www.Amazon.com.

Many people psyche themselves out of walking because it is so basic. Are you aware that you burn just as many calories walking as you do running? Novel concept, huh? Walking requires no membership application. Walking is great for those who wish to be alone. Walking is great a social activity. Walk fast. Walk slowly. Walk some in the morning. Walk instead of driving to the diner for lunch. Walk after dinner. Walk and listen to music. Walk and pray.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T W-A-L-K-I-N-G!!!

I really came to respect the power of walking in July 2012. I took my then fifteen year old daughter to lunch at her favorite BBQ restaurant twenty miles outside of Washington, DC. We both ordered our standard rack of ribs. She inhaled hers and then pointed out that I had only eaten half of my rack, and she was delighted that I gave the remainder. On the drive home, my stomach became volcanic. As we entered DC, I prepped her to jump out of the car and open the front door as soon as we hit the driveway. Not to be too graphic, but I had to race into the house and to the bathroom. My body violently purged my high fat, greasy meal. That was the second such episode in a four week period.

I share this story because that was the moment that I truly came to R-E-S-P-E-C-T the power of W-A-L-K-I-N-G. Simply walking had begun to tighten my abdominal muscles. It had made my digestive system far more sensitive to the types of food that my new body could and would tolerate. And, walking was changing my tastes in foods and my relationship to my meals.

I began to go to the nearby grocery store’s salad bar for lunch. I started keeping a piece of fruit and a bottle of water on my person. Since I had become fearful of having another violent bowel event, I stopped lusting for my former food fantasies, e.g. ribs, burgers, French fries, loaded pizzas, etc.

I suggest that you remember that your pounds took months and years to accumulate. R-E-S-P-E-C-T that it will take months and years to reshape your body. What are your excuses for not walking? It’s raining; carry an umbrella. It’s cold; put on a sweat shirt. It’s late at night; take your dog or a walking stick.

Consistency, not intensity!

God bless you,
Chip

Accidental Mission

I posted the following on my Facebook timeline on March 11, 2013:

“The coolest thing occurred to me today. I was in the waiting room, and my doctor called my name. I grabbed my gear and headed toward her. While looking directly at me, she called my name again. She’s been my doctor for years, and she conducted my annual physical last October. I said, ‘Doc, don’t you recognize me?’ She was aghast that she didn’t recognize me because I had dropped another fifty pounds since my last physical. The total is exactly 140 pounds and counting. She said that she’s never seen anyone lose this much weight without drugs or surgery. Goals are powerful!!!”

As a result of that Facebook post, my e-mail inbox continues to fill, and I keep receiving text messages and telephone calls.  The common thread to these communications is that people are desperate for hope in the war against weight.  By accident, I have become a role model that ordinary people can lose weight without gimmicks, funky diets, drugs, or surgery.

I am pleased to say that I now have new followers of the ‘Chip Method,’ and they live across the USA, as far west as California.  Here are the simple thoughts that I’ve armed them with to begin their weight loss journeys:

* Their mantras need to be: “Consistency over intensity.”

* Find a comfortable distance that they can walk every day for the next twenty-one days; it takes twenty-one days to build new habits.  Consistently walk that distance.  Keep in mind that you burn just as many calories walking as you do running; therefore, don’t worry about speed.  It is better to walk one mile every single day than it is to walk five miles one day and take the next three off.  Consistently walking a moderate distance in the early days helps to train the mind that it must move daily.

* Buy a pedometer.  You’ll start out with an easy distance.  Eventually, you should work up to 10,000 steps per day.  Break up those steps.  Do some in the morning and some at night.

* Mark your daily distances on a calendar.  Reward yourself with a visual of your efforts.  This is a powerful tool.

* In the first twenty-one days, just concentrate on the activity of walking as you create this habit.  Changing dietary habits should come later.

By happenstance, I now believe that my Christian mission is to share this tremendous gift of weight loss with others.  As I am re-discovering my zest and vigor, I hope to inspire many.

God bless you!

Chip