In Self-Improvement, Part 2, I promised a monthly progress report on the diet/exercise program ("8 Minutes In The Morning") I'd begun following.
I began the program at a weight of 180 pounds a bit less than five weeks ago. When I weighed myself two days ago, I was...
Thirteen pounds in a month.
I think this program works.
Other effects besides the direct weight loss:
1) The exercises each morning have increased muscle definition and firmness, particularly noticeable in the legs and thighs. A lot of the waist fat has faded away, and while not quite there yet, looking in the mirror holds a hint, an anticipation, a lurking possibility of actually ending up, eventually, with... [he whispers the words]... six-pack abs!
2) Cutting way-y-y back on refined sugar, and a lot of the caffeine, seems to have almost completely eliminated the energy swings during the day that would occasionally have me close to nodding off at the wheel while driving. I use a spoonful of molasses on my morning oatmeal, Splenda for just about every other sweetening need. (With a few exceptions, like baking bread; you need that sugar in the mix to get the yeast working properly.)
I think the keys to a program like "8 Minutes In The Morning" being effective are: 1) that any such program should include both a reasonable diet plan and an exercise plan/schedule, and 2) that the participant needs to be in a mental and emotional place where he/she will follow the plan, and avoid cheating or giving up on the program. That last one is the toughy for a lot of people; even just a year ago, I would have been a lot more likely to have dropped out of the program before much progress. But now, at this point in time, I seem to be willing to make that effort and exercise that amount of self-control.
(Yes, I have had to play catch-up on the morning exercises a few times. And yes, I have cheated, a little bit, on the diet; I still let myself have a can of regular sugared soda about once a week.)
(But you know what the most dangerous menace to following the diet has been? Rotisserie chicken! You know, that "healthy" alternative to fried chicken? Except that the skin on those roasted chickens is so flavorful, so well-seasoned, so dripping with juicy, browned deliciousness that once you start eating it, you don't want to stop until it's all gone.)
If you should want your own copy of the "8 Minutes In The Morning" book, here are links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
(Having read a draft of this post, the spouse comments: "Won't it be hard to do your exercises with your arm in a sling from patting yourself on the back so hard?" Ahem.)