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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My 12 Daily Disciplines

I was encouraged by the positive response I received to my "Diet & Fitness" tips. This list is my 12 daily disciplines, which overlaps a little with my diet rules. Every morning I wake up and say to myself, "I will try to follow my disciplines." I do break my rules regularly but then I try to do better the next day.
  1. No sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  2. No alcohol.
  3. No sodas.
  4. Don't eat junk.
  5. Minimize innocuous but time-consuming habits.
  6. Don't talk too much.
  7. No WWII history (I'm obsessed with it).
  8. Minimal social media (twice a day at most).
  9. No retail therapy.
  10. Stay focused.
  11. Be productive and efficient, even when feeling down.
  12. Don't get mad — nothing in life is worth it.
Now, for a few notes:

5. Minimize innocuous but time-consuming habits. Hey, we're not doing hard drugs or anything harmful, but it's easy to get lost in wasteful, time-eating endeavors, like watching TV. Now, if it relaxes you, a little TV is okay, but it shouldn't affect the balance of your life.

6. Don't talk too much. I'm an extremely transparent person, but when I put myself out and am vulnerable, two things happen. The good thing is that others become open too, and you establish a deep connection and get insights. The bad thing is that other people can throw negative energy darts at you and leave you feeling like crap. I'm thinking it might just be better to bear my inner soul with complete strangers. Haha.

7. No WWII history. When I was 12 years old my Granny gave me an a book titled, "A Photographic History of WWII." I'm looking at it and thinking, "Holy cow, what's going on here?" Ever since, I've enjoyed reading books and watching movies about the world's biggest war. I've gained a lot of insight, but, hey, enough is enough. If I watch one more YouTube documentary on WWII my brain will melt.

11. Be productive and efficient, even when feeling down. First, spending time with family and friends is ALWAYS time well spent. Second, most of us have days when we just want to stay in bed. On those days, I try to make myself keep going.

12. Don't get mad — nothing in life is worth it. We put a lot of wear on our bodies by raising our blood pressure and getting angry. Most anger issues fall into two categories: a) Physics, b) Social. Physics are things that fall, or us tripping, or something related to gravity or another physics law. When these things happen I try to analyze why it happened and then figure out a way to avoid the problem again. For instance, every morning when I open up a tray of cat food, it goes flying everywhere. Hmmm, what can I do to prevent this? I now hold it firm and slowly peel off the top. Hurray! The other common thing that makes us angry is social incidents. When someone upsets me I usually say, "That's just human behavior. We are simply animals and have various learned behaviors. How can I prevent this in the future?" I'm at the sunset of my life, I acknowledge that life is a Darwinian struggle, and, simply put, I feel that people and their actions usually aren't worth getting mad about. People are people.

Well, enough for now, folks!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Toad's Diet & Fitness Tips

Here is the diet and health plan I've created. I've lost 10 pounds but still have a little gut that I'm working on. The idea is to do whatever you can each day. And, if you fall down on your diet or exercise, simply get back up and keep going. Each day, I say to myself, "There is nothing I can do to change the past, but I have control from this moment forward." You can do it!!!!


  • No processed sugar at all! Following this rule has been the biggest contributor to my weight loss. Don't worry, your body is still getting more than enough natural sugar from your regular foods. The withdraw from sugar is difficult, but after a while you'll see that life can go on without sweets.
  • Drink water. Enjoy water with your meals. Avoid fruit juices, and if you do drink them make sure they are 100% natural.
  • Minimal alcohol -- it turns into sugar.
  • Completely avoid high fructose corn syrup. 
  • Minimize red meat, chicken, turkey, and pork. Enjoy more vegetarian meals and eat more fish.
  • No sodas -- they are a vat of chemicals.
  • Eat less. You'd be surprised at how little food you need to keep going. Cut it off a little before feeling full.
  • Find replacements for potatoes.
  • Do a 1-hour exercise session each day. I like to mix this up with hiking, swimming, tennis, cycling, running, and house chores.
  • Park your car at the farthest end of the parking lot and walk.
  • Use stairs whenever possible.
  • Stand, stand, stand, every chance you get.
Note: When I first started swimming I had to take a break at 30 minutes and I needed the help of a flotation device. Now, after a few years, I can lap swim nonstop. I do flip to my back as needed to rest. The same with cycling. A 20-mile bike ride used to seem like a major day's event, but now I can zip down the bike trail for 10 miles and back pretty easily. It's rewarding to see how your body improves and increases its endurance and stamina.


It takes years for people to get overweight, and it may take a long time to lose those pounds. Just keep it a long-term goal. The key is to keep moving every chance you get. I read that cells have memory and your body will work to replace the fat you lose, so it's a tough battle. But it can be done over time.

Workplace Discrimination

At my last career workshop I learned that obesity bias in the workplace is worse than religious or racial bias. There is an advantage to presenting yourself as trim and having a healthy glow.

Household Duties

Keep your house and yard squeaky clean -- it's a great way to burn calories and you enjoy the comfort of a cleaner home.

The Enemy

If you walk into any grocery or convenience store you will be greeted with junk food everywhere. It's cheap and it's fast. But avoid the temptations. Eat some nuts and dried fruit instead.

Certainly feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. A thanks to my doctor, who provided a few of these tips.

Todd the Toad