Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interaction Statistics and Weight Loss

Journal Entry: 10/26/09: Coinage = $1.26, 96 pennies (one wheat), 4 nickels, 3 dimes; Glass bottles = 8; Ground scores = 3; Best coinage = 3 asphalt coins (coins hammered away from New Orleans’ asphalt streets). It has turned chilly in New Orleans, a perfect time for a light jacket. The MoneyWalker placed a washed light jacket on a special hook on a street pole with this sign attached, “Washed, please take!” The jacket, a ground score from an earlier walk, had been retrieved from a curb site. It lasted on the pole less than 30 minutes. Someone is walking warming today. Giving back is a good feeling.

Journal Entry: 10/27/09: Weight = 175.2; Coinage = $1.26, 41 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 2; Ground Scores = 2; Best coinage find = a fence find consisting of one quarter and two pennies. Tip: I have found that people throw coins away, usually pennies, especially along the fences that separate the drive throughs of fast food franchises from establishments next door. So, when I check drive throughs, I look especially closely next to the fences as well as the areas near the pay windows. This morning the MoneyWalker found a quarter and two pennies along the fence of a Burger King drive through.

Feature Entry: Interactive statistics and weight loss

The MoneyWalkers just returned from a five-day mini vacation to the beaches of Destin, FL with three other couples—great friends. We have been taking this twice yearly trip for several years. We all met years ago at the University of New Orleans’ Faculty Women’s Club. Five of us are professors and all are teachers, three from public schools. Although representing different disciplines, our long friendship is due in part to a respective appreciation of statistics.

At Destin, the women enjoy shopping and the men hang out, take walks, philosophy, and read. Two of us enjoy checking out the thrift stores for used books and brick-a-brac treasures (the MoneyWalker collects small ducks, small boats, and cassette tape recordings). One book from an earlier post was _Perfect Weight_ by Rubin Jordan, 2008 (Siloam Publishing). Chapter 11, “Think for Your Perfect Weight” reminded me of interactive statistics and weight loss.

The chapter featured a testimonial by Carol Green, and executive chef from South Africa. Carol, after years of dieting and sporadic exercise still found herself to be consistently 20 lbs overweigh. She finally found a third step that has brought her back to her perfect weight—to eat while relaxed: “How you receive your food is important. Make every meal an occasion. Pray over your food. Eat calmly. Eat with joy every bite.” It was the interaction of diet, exercise, and stress management that produced the desired result.

She noted while studying to be a chef in Lyon, France that most French citizens eat hearty amounts of eggs, butter, and cream, but weren’t overweight. She noted that “French people ate their meals sitting down. They weren’t in a hurry to eat, preferring stimulating discussion and a leisurely pace with their knife and fork along with a glass of Bordeaux, even in the middle of the afternoon. No matter what they had pressing on their schedules, the French took their time whenever a meal was served.” We Americans can learn from the French. Too often, we eat on the run, wolf down our meals, and fail to appreciate the food or the time to prepare it.

In summary, it is the statistical interaction effect that might be missing from our attempt to lose weight. It is not just exercise and diet that needs our attention, but also stress free eating. Why not eat better food, sitting down, while enjoying stress-free and stimulating conversation.