Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Steps... And 6 Flights

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35 years ago I could run 45 minutes of stair laps. Just up and down in a stairwell. After a 2-hour basketball practice. Coach Condill believed in conditioning.

Fast forward a lifetime, and I’m out of breath climbing 6 flights of stairs this morning. The only reason I didn’t stop and rest was because there was some guy behind me. We all have our reasons… I couldn’t let him pass me. Coach would be proud.

#The500Club is about being mindful about eating and exercise. What goes in. What comes out (I mean calories burned; how old are you?).

I mean, 90% of success is just showing up, right? So I tell my mind to pay attention to what I eat and figure out new ways to boost physical activity. If I want to stay ambulatory until I’m 83, I better up my game.

So here’s what I learned over the past week.

Cutting most of the 500 calories with lunch is stupid. I got crazy hungry after work and made up most of the gain hitting the chips before dinner.

On the other hand, I sort of like the feeling of being hungry. It’s a reminder that I’m doing something for myself. And I think I’m more energetic, at least right before my glucose crash. Note to self: find the happy medium.

I decided to try a no alcohol rule. I’m not an alcoholic, but I do like a nip now and again. I resisted taking the students out for beer after my Friday afternoon class. My office is right across the street from an English pub: a pint of Guinness is 170 calories. 3 pints = 510. Bingo. (By the way, that’s a BAC of .05, over 1 hour.)

I went to a party on Saturday and drank iced tea instead of wine. A 5oz glass of wine = 125 calories, 4 glasses = 500 calories in my pocket for the day! It was interesting to watch the others at the party lose it a little. I’ll join them again when I can easily climb 6 flights of stairs.

Written by

Steve Kelder, PhD, MPH 

As part of his effort to return to a healthy weight, Dr. Kelder decided to cut 500 calories/day from his normal diet; #The500Club was born. Share your tips for making #The500Club with Dr. Kelder on Twitter: @DrSteveKelder

Steve Kelder is Co-Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, and a Professor of Epidemiology at the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus.