Monday, April 20, 2009

A French Quarter Fitness Walk and Ten Healthy Habits

Journal Entry (4-20): Weight = 179.8; Coinage = $.82, 27 pennies, 3 dimes, 1 quarter; glass bottles retrieved = 8. Feature find, my old coffee-shop standby, The Bean Gallery, gave up a dime in the newspaper vending machine.
Journal Entry (4-19): Coinage = $.39; 14 pennies, one quarter; six bottles retrieved. Feature find, a nice quarter drop at the Burger King drive through. Burger King update from last week, the found BK gift card mentioned had $3.50 and bought the MoneyWalker a Whopper Jr. Meal Deal. The $3.50 went into the MoneyTender. Note to followers, it was a Jr., I consumed only half the fries, and gulped it down with a diet coke.
Journal Entry (4-17): Weight = 176.4; Coinage = $.95, 2 dimes, 3 quarters. Two quarters were found on the historic New Orleans Street Car while travelling to the French Quarter Jazz Festival; one quarter on the median, and two dimes around the gumbo food tent.

Feature Entry: In a commercial blog, Weight Loss Matters, an unnamed consultant lists several excellent reasons why many of us have weight problems. Sometimes we just give up and say “Whatever!” Part of the reason is the absence of the lack of internal motivation to make healthy choices—exercise and proper nutrition. The MoneyWalker must admit that he has essentially given up on internal motivation and boldly proclaims a shameless need for external rewards. I find it in the unlikely habit of looking for money as I take daily walks in my neighborhood. I walk every day early in the morning searching for coins that other people have left behind. This morning, a one hour and 15 minute walk netted $.82 cents. Each find connected with a “pleasure spot” somewhere deep in the brain and provided a small but highly rewarding delight. Check out the blog at---

Upon returning from my morning walk, I sat down to a bowl of unsweetened fiber filled cereal and 2% milk. Uh Oh!, later in the morning I spotted several chocolates left over from Easter celebrations. It was very tempting to take one or two of these bite sized morsels and say “Whatever!” But instead, I was reminded of the hard work contained in the long walk and it was easy to say, “No way am I going to waste all that burned energy on something as short lived as a Reese’s chocolate/peanut butter splurge.” I monitor my food choices and eat my daily allowances of fruits and vegetables, but it requires daily discipline to stay away from the bad stuff including sweets and fatty foods.

Then there is stress and the absence of restful sleep. Stress and Reese’s are a bad combination. Feel a little stress, “Whatever!”, pitch down a few of those Reese’s cups and eureka, momentary relief. But it is my choice to let things bother me or not. Sometimes I wake at 2 a.m. and have trouble preventing stress from evading my thought processes. I have a little mind control game that works well. I work the alphabet until sleep returns. Starting with A, I think of things that provide pleasure rather than stress. These are personal but a few examples follow: A = Astros, as in the Houston Astros. A buddy and I go every summer for one guys get away week-end; B = blogging; C = cooking, a fun hobby; D = Destin, a place we vacation with friends twice a year; E = entertaining; F = Folsom, the name of our week-end retreat home; G = gardening, another great exercise hobby; and on I go. If my brain tricks me into negative thoughts, I stop and remember the appropriate letter on my pleasure scale and continue with pleasant thoughts. The A..B..C.. game works for me, but all successful stress management techniques must be individualized.

My final points from the blog consultant for weight loss are time management and daily exercise. Getting to bed relative early is important for my lifestyle. If I don’t do my exercise early in the morning, exercise may not happen. Also, by going to bed by 10 p.m., I get 8 hours of sleep, another healthy practice. To lose and maintain weight, I must plan my day to have enough time for exercise. To quote the blogger, “...a half descent walk is going to be enough to drown you in your own fat soon. Seriously, most don't know it but if YOU went for a 40-50 minute walk 4-5 times a week, you could lose your first 5-10 lbs in under ONE MONTH! YES SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS WALKING.” And one more thing, STAY OFF THOSE FATTY FAST FOODS!

Now I am shouting and am feeling the need to quote the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, “Please don’t preach more than you have to!” Their other points must wait.



  1. Whenever sleep eludes me (which is rare, thankfully) I also turn to the alpahbet, trying to memorize it backwards. I've never made it past ZYX. I also do crossword puzzles.

    I have been a nightowl my entire life until three years ago. I was a David Letterman fan long before most people had heard the name. That all changed four years ago. The early bird gets the worm, or in my case, the coins!

    It's after 10:00 PM, way past my bedtime. The alarm goes off at 5:45 AM so I will say goodnight!

  2. I caught your post on "A Study in Genetic Predisposition vs. Learned Behaviors." I also noticed your acknowledgement of the etiology of "coinage." Will we ever know what drives behavior--predisposition or nuture? I say .75 for nature, .20 for nuture, and .05 unexplained.