Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicago O-Hare - Walking To The Extreme

So you may think I live in airports - and I guess there is some truth to that - but the reality is simply that I don't let work get in the way of maintaining my weight loss.  I've said it many times before: LOSING WEIGHT IS EASY - ITS THE LIFESTYLE CHANGE THAT WILL KILL YOU.  For real, if you can change your focus on how you manage your day-to-day life, most notably in regards to eating and exercising, ad stick with your commitments, you too can lose weight successfully.  And of course, it has to be a lifetime commitment you want to keep it off in the long term.  Thus, adopting strategies that can work virtually anywhere, anytime make the process much easier to deal with.

My job requires travel, thus my methods have to work on the road and because airports play a big part in my travel, I have learned to maximize their use.  Think about it, larger airports can be huge facilities with long straight stretches of wide open space - perfect for walking, except for the casual travelers who aimlessly wander around getting in everyone's way...

Chicago O'Hare is a prime example of a big airport. With multiple interconnected terminals, you can just about walk all day without backtracking.  Of course most people stick with one concourse which is fine, but if you want variety do some exploring.

On this particular day I arrived at the end of Terminal F and was departing from Terminal B, which provided an excellent opportunity, especially since I had plenty of time between flights.  Rather than taking the shuttle bus between the terminals, I chose to walk the underground connector.  And along that I route, I also avoided the escalators and moving sidewalks, just to maximize my efforts. (Of course you do have to watch out for the sweat factor - not good when you are on the way to a business meeting).  

Between the walk from Terminal F to Terminal B and then a double end-to-end walk of Terminal B I was able to rack up about 1.5 miles pretty quick.  For the record, Terminal B is just under 1/2 mile from one end to the other.

O'Hare has some interesting displays, so take note of the walls and ceiling as you walk, as it helps to break up the monotony.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How To Lose Weight - A Cardiologist's Story

Interesting article out of the Chicago Tribune about a Cardiologist - Ann Davis - that took control of her weight issues and dropped 125 pounds.  Good for her - especially since she works in a field of medicine where weight management is a critical part of treatment and/or prevention for heart disease.  And nothing against Dr. Davis, but its kind of hard to take an overweight Physician, especially a Cardiologist, seriously when they tell you that you need to lose weight.

Looking at the big picture, she really accomplished several key things:
1. She lost 125 pounds, which certainly improved her health.
2. She can be a real inspiration to her patients through her weight loss success.
3. She fully understands what it takes to lose weight and keep it off, which enables her as a positive motivator.

In reading the article, written by Julie Deardorff, my only concern is the use of a personal trainer by Dr. Davis.  Nothing wrong with that by any means, but it raises the question (in my mind) of whether she will  be able to keep the weight off once she settles into a comfortable plateau where she will most likely quit using the personal trainer?  Plus, the concept of a Trainer can be a turn-off to a lot of those who aspire to lose weight.  

As I have said in my book and many times over in this blog, you have to commit to a lifestyle that you can sustain for the rest of your life to keep the weight off.  Though I am a proponent of simple, but effective techniques like power-walking, I know that each person is different and has to do what is right for them. However, on the flip side, many who have successfully lost weight gained it right back when they back away from the very techniques that made the pounds go away in the first place.  Mainly because those practices weren't sustainable in the long run.

BTW - I like her food concepts, as that is right on target with my eating practices, eat less and make better use of the calories you do consume.

Thanks for the article Julie and good luck to you Dr Davis.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Charlotte Airport - 5 Terminals, 3 Miles, 1 Great Walk

As always, I make the most of any opportunity when it comes to walking off calories.  While most people complain about traversing from one end of an airport to the other, I revel in it.  So much so, that I routinely walk all the concourses of any given airport, just because I can.  Even if my connecting gate is next door, I go for the distance!

The Charlotte Airport is like a second home to me simply because I spend so much time there.  Thus, I make it a point (time providing) to walk all fiver terminals when passing through on a trip.  Using my pedometer as a reference, I have found that completely walking all 5 terminals takes (me) about 43 minutes and works out to 3 miles.  It's easier than you think and certainly a lot healthier than sitting around in a crowded impersonal gate area letting the pounds settle in around your mid-section.

This is an example of how I lost (and have maintained) 70 pounds.  No magic pills, expensive gyms, or bizarre diets, just basic sustainable practices.

BTW - I skip all moving sidewalks and escalators

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bubble Gum Diet???

If you are desperate to lose weight, then you are probably looking for the fastest and easiest way to drop those unwanted pounds.  Ideally something where you don't have to eat icky foods or do any exercise. Don't feel embarrassed, you are just following in the footsteps of millions of others out there who are looking for the weight loss version of the fountain of youth.  Who wouldn't want that?

Thus, you are hungrily looking over the quick promises and fantastic claims of hundreds of weight loss plans coming at you from every direction.  "Lose weight while you sleep!" "Amazing new pill burns excess fat!" "Great tasting snacks that melt away pounds!"  Etc, Etc, Etc!  And of course, because you really want to believe these powerful marketing messages, you choose to do so without actually reading all the fine print or doing a whole lot of research on the concept.

Interestingly enough, most of these so-called plans, even the legitimate ones (not all weight loss programs are scams, many are actually quite successful) have small print that for some strange reason you either don't read, or conveniently ignore.  Something worded like this: "...when used in conjunction with proper diet and exercise".  Now that's important for two reasons. First, its a "get out of jail free card" for the manufacturer, because if the product doesn't work for you they can simply claim that you didn't maintain the proper lifestyle. Second, it reinforces what it really takes to lose weight - the right combination of input (food) and output (calorie burn).

A long time ago I figured out that most of these miracle plans were bogus, but I still get a kick out of reading about them and marveling at their claims.  So much so, that I have this cool idea for a weight loss bubble gum product.  I can make all kinds of claims - Researchers (me and my friends) have discovered that the combination of excessive chewing and blowing bubbles, utilizes key muscles in the facial area, that actually burn calories at a very high rate (notice that there is no specified rate).  In addition, the unique ingredients of the gum curb your appetite when used on a frequent basis (yep - all that sugar gives you a stomach ache.)

I am on a roll now!  What the heck I could use myself as an example - average guy loses 70 pounds while using cutting-edge new pound-busting bubble gum product.  

After all I really did lose the weight, so you can't dispute that and if I just happened to mention that I chewed that special gum (we can call it bubble buster) every single day then there is an implied message that the gum did the trick.  Of course, it was the adjustment in lifestyle and the adoption of new eating and exercise habits that made the weight loss happen, but what the heck, I could slant it anyway I wanted.  And with enough creative advertising, I could probably sell it!  And of course, there will be the fine print (really tiny) that says "when used in conjunction with proper diet and exercise."

Just remember this, if a weight loss program sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Ideally if you start adjusting your lifestyle to where you can burn off 2 pounds per week, you will be on the right track. (See my e-book.) And if that sounds too slow, just think about it this way.  If you had started a month ago, you would be down by almost 10 pounds right now, without the use of any special bubble gum products...