Part 2
Just do . . . . . .something!

Staying fit during the summer festival months

[AUG. 19, 2000]  If you are like me, you might find it difficult trying to stay fit while you are eating those delicious snacks at the county and state fairs. On top of that, it is mandatory that you eat at all the summer picnics you can get to. And before school starts, you have to have a few get-togethers that you know will be real food feasts with family and friends. So how can you possibly stay in shape while devouring all this? I donít know! I do plan to run a series on this topic in the near future. Hopefully I will meet an expert in the field by then, because what I know about this subject could fill up a very small thimble. I have researched the topic a little, and in this article the LDN tackles the overwhelming task of getting in shape and striving to stay fit.

I decided not to weigh myself for the first couple of weeks (other than the introductory BEFORE weigh-in), and that turned out to be a really good idea.

I ultimately decided to go with Dr. Colbertís plan. I decided to add to it as wellÖtrying to double his suggestions as much as I could. Taking a page out of some of the Lincoln area runners' and walkers' books, I have been striving to run two miles a day. In addition, I try to walk another mile or two at the least. I have added 50 sit-ups a day and a lightweight workout in the mornings to the running program.

Dr. Colbert says that the body is like a machine and that you need to get it started well. The workout coupled with a full-size breakfast gets the engine revved up. If you will then eat a moderate lunch and a sensible dinner, you will eventually see the results.

I have lost over 20 pounds on this plan so far. I also feel healthier and seem to have more energy during the day.


I will warn you that there are a lot of obstacles to overcome in making this regimen work.

First you have to get upÖ That is not hard for me, but I realize that it is more difficult for most people. My challenge would be to try it for a couple of months. I think you will feel better and then that "feelingí will get you up. If you absolutely cannot wake up, find another time during your day to exercise.

As far as deciding if you are going to walk, jog or weight lift, donít get hung up on that decision. Just start doing something. Commit yourself to walking to the park and back or around the block at least three times. The important thing to remember is to JUST GET STARTED!

Another obstacle is getting up on days that you donít feel well, are overly tired or on bad weather days. Those days are the most important ones to complete your workout. If you finish your work on those days, it will be easier to complete your exercise all the rest of the time.

If you absolutely can not run or exercise on a given day, donít sweat it. One day off of the plan is not going to kill you. You wonít gain all the weight that you lost just because you skipped one day of training.


However, one word of warning: Once you have skipped one day it becomes much easier to skip two. I do not recommend skipping any days of training. Even during the fairs.

If you have a job that requires out of town travel, just let the front desk know that you are going for a walk or for a run and get some advice from them as to where you should go.


(To top of second column)


Even on vacation there is no reason to abandon your exercise routine. If your family likes to sleep in, get your workout done early. If the family likes to nap in the afternoon, exercise then, or if they go to bed early, get your road work in before you go to bed.

When you stick to the plan for three to four weeks, that is long enough to make it a habit. Do not let discouragement of any kind thwart you in your quest.

Donít let the heat get you down. Actually, the added perspiration will aid your cause.

Sometimes well-meaning friends may bring you down unintentionally. Do not let them sway you from your appointed task.

One of my biggest hurdles to overcome was that I didnít feel like I was losing enough weight fast enough. Stay the course. Health, fitness, weight loss and wellness will come in due time. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. You will be participating on your own Survivor Island. If you stick with your original strategy and endeavor to persevere, you will attain your goals.

Some added blessings along the way

If you put your hand to the plow and go all out in your workouts, some cool things may happen to you besides losing some weight.

You probably will start eating better. You might even begin sleeping better, even during the summer.

You will also enter a large, ever-growing fraternity of Lincoln-area walkers, joggers and exercisers. Roam the streets early some morning. You will see people of all ages going in dozens of different directions working out in a variety of ways. It is an encouragement to see so many walkers, bike riders and runners. There is a camaraderie that you donít often see in any other activity.

In addition, if you exercise while you are on a business trip or on vacation, you may get an added blessing. While on vacation this summer with some friends, we lodged near the famous Wisconsin Dells on beautiful Lake Delton. While everyone was sleeping I got up and ran around the lake. It was great running with such a gorgeous view. Earlier this summer I ran in Texas and in Louisville, Kentucky. It is fun running in new environments.


I was so sure that I would not enjoy an exercise activity that it even kept me from starting sooner. Sometimes itís a struggle. Sometimes I want to quit. I think about all the good things that have happened to me since I started exercising regularly, and hopefully they will get me up tomorrow morning.

Hope to see you on the streets as well!

[Jeff Mayfield]

Part 1
Just do . . . . . .something!

Staying fit during the summer festival months

[AUG. 10, 2000]  It all started for me this past spring when the weather started getting nice. Being a California kid, I probably go to the shorts a few weeks earlier than the general populace. I love that time of the year and look forward to dumping the winter sweaters deep into the far reaches of my closet. It even takes my wife a few weeks to figure out what I have done. By then, sheís so excited by the spring weather I can usually get by with a few closet faux pas! At any rate, I grabbed a couple of pairs and decided to try them on. What a big mistake!

I looked into the mirror and was appalled by what I saw. I know basketball coaches are famous for all the banquets that they attend, but apparently my full calendar of them was coming back to haunt me. There was something hovering over the belt line of one of my favorite pairs of bermudas. My gut and my hips were disgusting; in fact, I almost hurled right at my image in the mirror.

I am sure I had seen myself all winter and had not done one single thing to stop the "eating monster" inside of me. However, on that day, I made a decision. I was at least going to try to get back into shape. Or if I couldnít get back into shape, I was going to try to get into better shape than I was in.

The best thing to do when one finds himself in the kind of predicament that I found myself in would be to hire a personal trainer. You can tell a personal trainer exactly what you would like to accomplish, and then they set up a program that will help you accomplish your goal(s). Since I didnít have the available funds to hire a professional, I was left to my own devices. A scary thought under the best of circumstances.

I have watched hundreds of walkers, joggers and runners go by my house the last 20 years, but I secretly hoped that I would never become one of them myself. And one day late in the spring I joined their ranks.

It is not easy getting up somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m., but if you want to exercise during the coolest part of the day (especially during the summer) you have no other alternative.

The next step was trying to decide how far to run or for how long. It was my good fortune that at about the same time I was becoming disgusted with myself, I began to come across some articles on fitness.


(To top of second column in this section)

In the summer edition of New Man magazine, Dr. Don Colbert gave what appears to be good advice regarding the topic of exercise. Dr. Colbert lists eight keys to weight loss, and the most significant one seems to focus on physical activity. He suggests that people need to exercise three times a week for 30 minutes or four times a week for 20 minutes. He added that in his opinion, the best form of exercise is brisk walking. As slow as I run, my jog would probably be hard pressed to qualify for his definition of brisk walking! Dr. Colbert also pointed out that people should never overexert themselves.

He talked about what you should eat and when you should eat it. For instance, he mentions that breakfast is much more important than any other meal, and that eating late at night is the perfect combination for gaining weight, not losing it.

Like many of our loyal readers probably are right now, I was surprised to find out all of this information. About everything he was suggesting was just the opposite of what I had been doing. No wonder I was gaining weight. I had done exactly the things the good doctor warned against, and I had been practicing that lifestyle for years. No wonder I kept putting on the pounds. And no matter what type of exercise I was doing, it was overridden by eating all of the wrong things at all of the wrong times, especially at night.

Who knows how much damage I was doing to my heart and lungs? I no doubt was hurting my arteries, muscles and bones as well.

But perhaps the hardest act in stopping the snowball rolling downhill is just to take action. When you decide to take control of a situation like this, at the very least, you stop the accident. I was determined not to get any bigger.

[Jeff Mayfield]

(Note: In the concluding section of this article, Jeff will share his inspiring experiences losingÖ???)

(To Part 2 of this article)

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