Monday, March 30, 2009

Four Excellent Behaviors Plus Two

Journal Entry: Weight = 178.8 lbs.; Money Found = $1.29, 34 pennies, 2 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass Bottles Retrieved = 6. Three quarters from Times Picayune Newspaper vending machine, 1 walk-over dime.

Feature Entry: The photograph of a basic body weight scales and a coin money tender symbolize two of six excellent behaviors for losing weight and keeping it off. Rena Wing, Ph.D. at Brown Medical School in Providence, R.I. directs the National Weight Control Registry. In her database are information about the weight-control behaviors of more than 3,000 American adults who have lost an average of 60 pounds and have kept it off for an average of six years. What is their secret?

Wing points to four common behaviors these weight-loss champions have in common. First, they have adopted a low-calorie, low-fat diet regiment. Second, they monitor their weight by daily use of their scales. Third, they are very physically active, and fourth, they eat breakfast.

Says Wing, “Eating breakfast every day is contrary to the typical pattern for the average overweight person who is trying to diet. They get up in the morning and say 'I'm going to start my diet today,' and they eat little or no breakfast and a light lunch. Then they get hungry and consume most of their calories late in the day. Successful weight losers have managed to change this pattern."

The amount of exercise is important. Wing’s participants exercise for about an hour or more a day, expending about 2,800 calories per week on a variety of activities.

The MoneyWatcher follows the above regiment but suggests two additional behaviors—select a motivation plan that is powerful enough to sustain the discipline of exercise and food selection/portion size, and maintain a daily journal. For me the motivation plan involves searching for lost money. For others it might be gardening, exercising with a friend, the pageantry of belonging to a gym, or the pleasure of outdoor vistas while exercising. The journal adds an element of discipline. Seeing the numbers is a daily visual reminder of weight losses and gains.

Yum! Yum! It is fresh strawberry season in Louisiana and the Ponchatola, LA area just north of New Orleans has some of the best strawberries in the world. Strawberry shortcake here I come. Uh Oh, better have a half portion, just noticed that 178.8 pounds from the journal entry, up from month's low of 174.8. Can’t waste that morning walk on a super splurge.



  1. "Pageantry of belonging to a gym": priceless. Are you sure you didn't teach writing courses? My husband has been a swimmer every morning for over 30 years. I tried the gym but just couldn't adapt to it.

    My motivations in order of importance would be a)physical benefits, b)coinage, c)shear enjoyment of being outside with my own thoughts and d)fear of getting out of the habit if I miss more than one or two days.

    Six years ago I dropped 65 lbs by strict calorie counting. Gained back 15, but still in the healthy range. If I just didn't love chocolate so much...

  2. Hot Rod Hundley is still in Utah with the Jazz. Three years ago he left the TV broadcasting and went to radio. I'm not sure of the circumstances. He is certainly a colorful character.

    We follow the team mostly because there is little else to watch on television in the evenings that captures our attention.

  3. Dropping 65 lbs was an excellent achievement. I think our body has a preferred weight zone, I can't seem to get below 175 although my goal is 170. My problem is the same as yours--a sweet tooth.

    Thanks for the nice words about my writing. Psychology of sport and statistics are my academic fields of study but my hobbies run to "serious" literature. I belong to an on-lone reading group that reads Anthony Trollope literature. I have just finished Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim. I also recently started a second blog still in beta mode. As for its success, like Hot Rod says, "Its good if it goes!"