Time magazine’s cover story “The Myth About Exercise” made me mad. It looked like an irresponsible marketing ploy to sell newsstand copies. The Time article sends absolutely the wrong message to Americans who should take responsibility to do as much as they can to create and maintain good health. In this case, the magazine’s actions are detrimental both to individuals and our costly American health care system.
I was grateful for the LA Times response and accompanying comments from readers. GrandpaG’s was one of my favorites:
I just finished reading the Time article and was incensed at both the premise and the failure to recognize that any endeavor, weight loss, finances, relationships or career, requires at least a modicum of self control. Time has for years published articles absolving fat people of responsibility for their condition. Time has variously attributed obesity to genetics, brain cells, food processors and now exercise? Weight loss is a simple mathematical formula, regardless of how it may be more difficult for some to achieve than others. Calories in vs. calories out.
A major point of the Time Magazine article is that the benefits of exercise are undone by people rewarding themselves with high calorie treats. If this is true for a significant number of people, it is a sad state of affairs.
I do some kind of exercise every day. There is no reason to be starving before you exercise. I have never found exercise itself to make me hungry. I enjoy exercising because it makes me feel good. I’m sure there is some tipping point to getting started in this direction but I am confident it is worth it.
I frequently get asked how I stay fit. My regime is fairly simple, and I do not feel in the least bit deprived. I am never hungry, I am rarely sick and I generally feel great.
1. Lots of omega 3 rich mackerel, salmon, black cod and tuna (not from a can) – fabulous for your skin!
2. Secondarily tofu and turkey
3. Lots of vegetables (moderate legumes and corn), baked yams are OK
4. Brown rice
5. Lots of water
6. Nothing white: bread, rice, potatoes, mayonnaise
7. To the extent possible, no refined sugar, no bread (watch out for Chinese dishes cooked with sugar)
8. Limit alcohol to 1 – 2 times a week
9. Use olive oil, forget butter; nothing fried
10. Daily exercise
During a diet phase: NO carbs at night works like a miracle.
During maintenance (not diet) phase it is OK to go off these guidelines once a week.
I eat sugar-free high fiber cereal with fruit for breakfast. I fresh grind 2 tablespoons of flax seeds and add to the cereal. This is easier than it sounds: buy a cheap coffee bean grinder and dedicate it to this use. I use light Silk or skim milk.
I do not believe in “no carbs.” I do trust in the glycemic index – and with much regret have therefore given up beer and fruit juice.
I also take some high quality vitamin supplements.
Last year, I wrote about how to order well when you dine out .
I believe that we have a great deal of power in our lives. The first step in taking charge of that power is realizing just how much we can create ourselves. This applies not just to fitness, but to relationships and many other important areas of our lives.