Friday, September 30, 2011

Eating in New Orleans and Beating the “Yo-Yo” Trap

Eating in New Orleans and Beating the “Yo-Yo” Trap

The last blog was the first of a series of how-to ideas related to defeating the Yo-Yo-like weight recycle problem. This blog will explain how Ray Cannata, a Presbyterian New Orleans minister broke the “Yo-Yo” cycle. Mr. Cannata accepted a call to move to New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina.

Rather than leave, he led a movement to recruit volunteer ministers and their flocks to vacation in New Orleans and help with gutting houses. This led to an unlikely quest for a person that has pride in his BMI (body mass index).

As the visitors asked, “Where are the good eating spots?”; he began a list of his favorites. In turn, someone challenged him to eat in all the restaurants in New Orleans. He took the challenge and is 719 and counting. The newspaper account related the following:

“Too much high-calorie hospitality could be a waistline hazard, of course, so Cannata always leaves a bite or two behind. Though he initially gained weight as he checked restaurants off his list, he’s since dropped the extra pounds by abstaining from soft drinks and giving up his car. As if Cannata didn’t already have enough on his plate, so to speak, he’s become a champion of the pedestrian-friendly New Urbanist ideals.”

The take-away from Reverend Cannata is eating smaller portions, avoiding soft drinks, and starting a walking program.

In our next blog, the MoneyWalker will discuss another tip for beating the “Yo-Yo” trap—too radically reduce or totally eliminate hybrid wheat products.


Weight = 174.2 “-“
Money found on today’s walk = $.68

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“Yo-Yo” Dieting, Can This Cloud Have A Silver Lining


“Yo-Yo” Dieting, Can This Cloud Have A Silver Lining

The MoneyWalker is an NFL fan (professional football), specifically a New Orleans Saints fan. This past week-end watching the Saints defeat the Houston Texans was stressful. The final score, Saints 40, Texans 33 was a back and forth game with the Texans dominating for much of the game. Still Saints quarterback Drew Brees found a way to win. After the final knell down, the MoneyWalker went for a long walk.

Walking is great therapy for flushing out football-induced stress—win or lose.
During the walk, the success of Drew Brees reminded me of the developmental theories of Erik Erikson. Erikson believes that “crises” or “problems” play an important role in successful maturation and problem solving. Brees’s performance provide a “yo-yo” of emotions for Drew as well as his fans. His first interception was a “low” and then he threw a touchdown pass, a” high.” Then another interception, then a series of passes that resulted in several touchdowns and an eventual victory.

Erikson believes that Brees’s successful problem solving (touchdowns) could not have occurred without his negative past experiences. Brees like all of us learn to solve difficult problems with the successful solving of earlier less demanding problems. When we are successful, the event provides the courage and confidence to attempt even more difficult problems.

This brings us to “Yo-Yo” dieting or medically, “weight cycling.” Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. We diet, lose weight, and then gain it all back, often gaining back more than we lost.

Is there hope? Can we use the “Yo-Yo” concept to help resolve the goal of losing weight and keeping it off? The MoneyWalker thinks that we can use weight gain in an Erikson way. We can use the success of losing weight as a positive experience. Then when we regain weight we can teach ourselves to remember that we lost the weight once, we can do it again. The key is cognitive self-talk. Rather than succumb fully to binge eating, we can say “Slow down the eating. Go back to a strategy based on portion control and food choices. Get some exercise. Weight every day. Eat breakfast.” Make sure that each plateau of the Yo-Yo work for you, not against. On the next trip down, lose more weight than the last trip. On the next trip up, gain control so that the next weight gain is not as high as the previous gain. In this way, the success at both ends of the Yo-Yo trip will give you the courage and confidence to finally reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Yo-Yoing is not medically dangerous and the experience can provide a silver lining.

On our next blog we will present a case study of how a minister in New Orleans gained fame by eating at least one meal in more than 900 restaurants in New Orleans over a three year period and still lost weight. His tips will help you defeat the Yo-Yo effect.


Money found since last post = $6.02 over 4 walks, average $1.51 per walk

Weight since last report = 174.4 lbs, "-"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Celebrity walking

Feature Entry: Celebrity Walkers and Other Thoughts

The MoneyWalker is not heavy in philosophical walking, but many are. I find this thought worthy of repeating: “I'm a walker on the edge of my perception.” This could mean that walking is a good time to sort out one’s personal reality. The quote was found on an interesting UK walking forum.

What is good about walking forums is the opportunity to find inspiration from the walks of others and to record your own insights. Wendy Bumgardner, author of Walking sponsored by NYT sponsors a walking forum as one of her blog features.

Many celebrities are avid walkers. A few quotes follow:

Who: Laura Leighton, star of Melrose PlaceWhy she walks: "When I hit a fitness rut, I call a friend to meet me for a walk. It always helps to make exercising a social opportunity!"

Who: Campbell Brown, CNN anchorWhy she walks: "I used to go to the gym, but now I put Eli, my son, in his stroller, and we go power walking for an hour. When I skip it, I'm dragging all day."

Who: Art Garfunkel, singer/songwriterWhy he walks: "Walking is very primal. You begin to see how it works the body. It's wonderful for breathing, and it tones up the physical self." Garfunkel actually walked across America in the '80s and '90s, though he did it in pieces that wound up totaling more than 4,000 miles. It took him 14 years and 40 separate trips!

Who: Sarah Chalke, star of ScrubsWhy she walks: "I've always loved being in the fresh air. It's so therapeutic and relaxing and healing being outside. I like to go hiking with my dog, Lola. I walk wherever I can. I'll take it over driving any day!"

Who: Brooke Shields, actress/model/mom of twoWhy she walks: To reenergize when the life of a working mom wipes her out. "When I'm exhausted, exercise is the only thing that reinvigorates me. I'll make appointments with people to go hiking and meet them at the base of a hill."

Social walking, dog walking, fitness walking, charity walking are all excellent sources of finding motivation to sustain a healthy walking habit. For the MoneyWalker, I use all of these methods but have found that the thrill of finding money during my walks works best for me.

Not a walker? Today is a good day to begin. Who knows, maybe you will rub shoulders with Brad Pitt.


Today’s weight = 175.8 lbs, +
Money Found since last post = $27.70 or average of $2.52 over eleven walks

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I’m a Supinator, What Are You?—Selecting the Walking Shoe


Feature Entry: I’m a Supinator, What Are You?—Selecting the Walking Shoe

The MoneyWalker logs about 25 miles a week which equates to 1300 miles a year. Even the best walking shoes need to be replaced ever 350 to 500 miles which means I change shoes after 4 months. Taking the shoes longer means that I am walking with “stretched” shoes that have lost their support and cushioning. I spend $100 for a jogging shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. These are top of the line and well worth the $300 a year expenditure. I tried less expensive models and experienced joint discomfort, ankle turns, poor balance, and occasional falls. When moving to my top line shoes, most of the problems disappeared and walking became more enjoyable.

Selecting the right shoes is an important consideration for the serious walker. Most experts on fitness and walking recommend shopping at specialty stores that cater to joggers and runners. The best running shoe is usually the best walking shoe. The specialty stores have experts that can help you determine the best shoe for your individual walking pattern.

When visiting the store, take a pair of your current walking shoes. More than price and comfort, selection decisions should be based on your walking pattern. Walkers will have one of three patterns—supination, pronation, or neutral. To determine my pattern, I examined the soles of my existing walking shoes. I noticed that the outside edge from heel to toe had excessive wear. Thus, I am a supinator which means that I underpronate and that I should buy “neutral” shoes with “curved lasts.” The shoe’s “last” refers to the form on which a shoe is constructed - resulting in the inside shape of the shoe. Lasts may be straight, curved or semi-curved.

If my shoe wear pattern had shown excessive wear on the inner side of the walking shoes, I would be considered an overpronator, or more simply a pronator. My shoes would tilt inward if I placed them on a flat surface. Pronators will require orthotic inserts or specially designed “motion control” shoes. The shoe last should be straight.

Finally, if my shoe soles revealed balanced wear, my gait category would have been considered neutral. To learn more about selecting the best fitting walking shoe for your gait category Google Wendy Bumgardner’s walking blog entitled “Walking Shoe Wear Patterns.


Found Money Update since last post = $8.50 over four walks for $2.13 average per walk

Weight Gain/loss since last post = 175.2 lbs, up from last post.