Monday, August 01, 2011

Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Sugar Bear

This book might very well have saved my life.  Day One, Year One of Forever-Until-I-Die.  I walked on the treadmill and wrote down everything I ate today.  Written by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge, it tackles the ideas and misconceptions of aging, based on modern scientific knowledge and on practical application. What we have thought of "normal aging" in the past -- memory loss, mobility limitations, diseases of old age, etc. are what Lodge calls "rot" or "decay" and there is nothing normal about it!

Its predecessor, with the yellow cover, has been out for ages, yet no one is talking about either book.  I suspect it's because the premise of the plan is that, after fifty, you must... MUST... no excuses, no dithering... MUST work out an hour a day, at least six days a week.  You must do a lot of other things to get the most benefits from the book, but even co-author Chris Crowley, who serves as Dr. Lodge's practical model for both books (yes, even the book on women -- which is explained in the opening of the book for women), admits that his food isn't as clean as it could be, he indulges in a few more drinks than he should (which he regrets more for the calorie count than anything else) and is about 10 pounds heavier than is probably his ideal.  But he points out that perfection is not the goal -- a better, longer, happier more fruitful "next third" is the ultimate goal. Considering he's in his seventies and he still skis, bikes, sails and rows like a fiend, Crowley is definitely a reputable source.

So today, I got up, got on the treadmill and spent an hour there, with the heart rate monitor, keeping it between 60% and 65% of maximum. It wasn't easy.  I'm tired.  And I'll be tired for the next week or two, until I get used to the sudden shift in paradigm.  But I'm off and... walking... on the treadmill... at a fairly steep incline.  I've been writing down what I eat -- with no immediate intention of altering anything specifically, since one major overhaul at a time is quite enough, thank you.  But I have learned a couple of things just today that have made me go "hmmmm..."  For instance, did you know that a Starbucks white mocha frappaccino with no whip is about 330 calories?  That was actually a little bit of a pleasant surprise since I had the number at around 500.  But... did you also know that a skinny grande chai latte is around 240 calories?  WHAT? I know, right.... And I had both today.  Eek.  One of them will have to go.... (buh-bye chai latte....)

So this is the new way of life.  Move a lot, drink some water, try not to eat crap (and definitely try not to drink your calories, if you can help it), and learn a little something useful along the way.