This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's another New Year

   To fall in line with tradition, I think it reasonable to bring up the issue of weight.  Not the gram counting piciunish quibbling over components, but the more traditional thoughts about the horsepower to weight ratio of the engine.  This is weight watcher season, the time when most of the supplement, support group and fitness equipment companies have their own "black weeks."  This is the time that all the memberships are sold, the support groups fill up, supplements fly off the shelves by the case, and, because somebody finally "decides"to make a change, these companies make their year profitable.  A friend of mine who was in the business said it's the only certain way to make a living from failure.  We know that 95%(at least) of people who make these resolutions fail.  Fitness centers in particular bank on that.  They carry 400% the members their facilities can accomodate knowing they just won't show up.
    So why do I think it's worth talking about?  I think most people need to make a permanent change in both their eating and exercise habits, not to lose weight, but to improve their health.
    Recently my weight problem resulted from a dramatic change in habits forced upon me.   In an earlier post I noted how I had gained a huge amount of weight after a major housefire.  Fortunately, nobody was hurt but in a few short months, I went from my normal weight to a very unhealthy one.  I like to joke that I am a versitile athlete, able to move from quarterback to offensive line in 90 days.  It was from the disruption of otherwise healthy choices I had developed over the years.  I've been careful to go back to those choices and the only real change I have made is the addition of a calorie counter to the routine.

This nifty program allows me to monitor my daily meals and exercise to be sure I maintain a calorie deficit day in and out. While I am finding my way back to my normal size, other people have never developed the correct decisions to begin with.
    Many of my acquaintances and friends refer to me as a compulsive health freak when they discuss my eating habits.  But I don't live on tofu, organic goats milk and berries as they would lead you to believe.   I have learned to make some healthy choices through a few simple decisions; fresh is better than frozen, frozen is better than canned.  Avoid highly processed staples like white flour and white sugar, instead substitute whole grains, honey or natural sugar and eat them in moderation.  These simple decisions are ones that most people just don't think about.  I know this from having seen it in action in the restaurant business.
    For a number of years I managed the restaurant at the corporate training center for a chain specializing in buffets.  During that time we tested a new recipe mix we called "The Lighter Side."  We replaced our normal menu selection on the hot buffets with lighter, healthier choices and posted the suggested serving size  along with the nutritional values for each item.  The choices were basically; baked rather than fried, fresh steamed rather than frozen, seafood rather than beef etc.  You get the idea.  We still ran some of our more popular items, but added the healthy choices as an option.   So what did we find.   After six months and analyzing the product movement, we found the public chose to eat more fried chicken than before.  Given the same service level, price and convenience- they chose to eat the least healthy thing available.
   These are the simple daily choices people need to make, not resolutions to grind themselves into programs they don't like and won't continue.  Maybe fewer club cyclists would be showing up in spring with the extra 10-15 pounds they always do.  What if a few of those chose to ride a bike to work rather than drive, we could have a full blown cultural revolution, rather than another season of profiting from failure.

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