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I’m Too Fat

Dear Friend,

I’m too fat.

I came to terms with this fact recently when my wife mentioned a diet plan that she heard about at a local social gathering.  It’s called Medifast.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Of course I knew about my rotund tendencies. They’ve plagued me my entire life. So when I heard her utter the words, “Maybe we should try this out,” I agreed immediately. I didn’t really care about the plan. In the beginning of a new direction, any old thing will do. The key is to decide to do it and act immediately. Don’t look back.

So that’s what I did. And about $250 and a week later we had two big cardboard boxes full of dehydrated cardboard food looking us in the face.

For the last month my wife and I muddled through this “diet” process.  Some of the stuff from Medifast is OK.  I like the vanilla and chocolate shakes.  And the dehydrated soup is barely tolerable.  Most of the rest is not fit for human consumption IMHO.

What I get from their materials and what I read online is that the key to success in most of today’s diets involves eliminating carbohydrates from your diet, while eating smaller portions of proteins and healthy fats more often (about every two hours).

I find that eating more often during the day helps me to stem my voracious appetite, and the lack of carbs encourages my body to burn fat.

It does work.  So far I’ve lost about twenty pounds.  I don’t really look it but I need to lose more. I’m lucky in that my body type carries weight well.  I just don’t like how I feel when I’m carrying too much.

Other things I’ve done lately to improve my health include taking supplements and doing a bit of “pseudo-exercise.”

As far as supplements go, I take a lead from author Ray Kurzweil, who says that we can all slow down the aging process if we just protect our body from free oxygen radicals by eating right and taking anti-oxidant supplements.  I take acai, resveritrol, and grape seed extract supplements.  My doctor also highly recommends fish oil supplements, and I like to include salmon in my family’s diet maybe once a week (they like my recipe).  Plus I take a daily multivitamin, and a bit of extra vitamin D to make up for my inside lifestyle and my reduction in milk consumption with this diet.

Then there is the pseudo-exercise I spoke of.  God forbid I just get off my ass and do some crunches, right?  So I bought this thing off the TV called the Contour ABS Belt.  It’s a belt that you wear that has electrode pads that stick to your stomach while you wear it around your waist, and there is an electronic controller attached with which you can set the program intensity.  What this thing does is send electronic pulses to your stomach muscles, rhythmically pulsing them tight, then loose, so that they get exercised without you doing anything.  I use it for 45 minutes a day while watching TV or surfing the Web.

If you use this belt right you definitely feel the buzzing pulses, and the muscle contractions.

I like it.  And I know that the exercises are done right, while I’m not always sure that I’m doing crunches right.  I can also get a pad for my lower back as an add-on to exercise those muscles, too.

A competing brand of belt has an accessory specifically designed to tighten and firm a woman’s butt.  I wouldn’t mind tightening my own butt, honestly, but all the literature specifically says it’s for women.  Do you think the gadget knows the difference? 🙂  [Note: you need to buy the electronic controller along with this accessory for it to work.]

Two other exercise gadgets I have collected are the Shake Weight and the Perfect Pushup.

The Shake Weight is kinda cool, actually.  It looks like a regular dumbbell, but it has a spring mechanism inside so that you can shake it while you hold it, which is supposed to provide much more muscle work.  In truth, I haven’t used it seriously.

The Perfect Pushup makes sense in theory.  It consists of two circular rotating handles that you can grasp while you do a push-up.  These allow you to twist your wrists, arms and shoulders in a more natural way, making the push-up a more natural motion.  In my experience, these things just get in the way.  My kids love to use them to give pretend electrical shocks to each other’s chest, as they do look a lot like those paddles used by medics.

When we are on the road, I don’t get much exercise.  All of the gadget’s I have picked up are very portable and don’t weigh much, so they fit in even the smallest living quarters.

Anyway, if you are like me and most North Americans I’ve seen, you might want to do what I did when my wife suggested that we try a little weight loss.  Don’t think.  Just act.

You already know you need to do something.  So do something!  Anything!

No program is perfect. But most of them seem to work.  So just start one.  You’ll feel a lot better that you did.

Good health to you always!

Hugh 🙂

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Vesna March 10, 2011, 4:33 pm

    Hugh!! I have a personal training certification and we’ve made some radical diet changes over the last 3 years. The major thing we wanted to cut was processed foods. This restriction pretty much kills anything that is bad for you lol. We’re leaning as much as we can towards a raw diet (fruits, veggies, sprouting, dehydrating, etc. without cooking and killing the great stuff that’s in all of these). While we were in California, it was wonderful and easy to maintain (even though we couldn’t bring the dehydrator and sprouter with us in the pop up trailer). But now since we’ve been moving south east through these states, it has becoming shockingly apparent why everyone is so sick and overweight. A few things that have shocked us are a severe lack of fresh and organic whole foods – boxed, processing and fried are dominant here (we’re currently in Galveston Texas). You actually have to TRY HARD to find anything of nutritional value thanks to big corporate ‘phood’ companies. The other shockers were the fast food joints (very lacking in California in comparison) and most shocking of all – the electric carts in supermarkets and stores like walmart, etc. I’ve only ever seen one or two carts sitting empty in our stores back home. That’s about the extent of the ‘fleet’ any of the stores carry (if any at all), but here….omg?? ROWS of them! I’m blown away. It saddens me what these money greedy industries have done to humans. I cannot believe people who run these companies can sleep at night knowing they are killing whole families. This is worse (in my opinion) than working for tobacco companies.

    Anyway, my rant can go on, but I won’t. What I intend to say is – that faced with the fact that it is difficult (at best) to actually find decent food – as supermarkets to do not present nutritious foods in their stores or flyers – it is WONDERFUL that you and your family are doing this. Many kudos!!! One step at a time. The changes do not have to be big. We were making one very small change each week. A teeny tiny change each week. I cannot tell you how HUGE the changes are now 3 years down the road….and they weren’t noticeable at all. Absolute baby steps. And if we can do it (very addiction prone), I know anyone can.

    Congratulations on your loss (and road to health!) so far!! Keep up the amazing work – and always remember….this is to extend your moments of happiness for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren. Even IF by some remote possibility, it does not extend it (very doubtful), it will *enhance* every second of every day you live to it’s absolute fullest.

  • Meagan Frank March 11, 2011, 1:28 pm

    Good job, Hugh, and good luck! It is not easy to change habits and lifestyles. It is so huge that you and your wife are in it together. Hopefully you can continue to motivate each other while remaining accountable. I laughed out loud at your desription of the gadgets, and I love that your kids try to use perfect pushup as an electronic paddle.

    Best of luck to you!

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