The Voice of Experience: You, too, can be drop dead healthy

Web Lead

Bestselling author A.J. Jacobs’ latest book, Drop Dead Healthy, is a hilarious but serious attempt to transform his body. With a waistline, in his words, “like a python who has swallowed a goat”, he faces quite the challenge. This major decision was triggered by a life-threatening bout of pneumonia, when he faced the fact he may never see his young children grow up.

To give his project the best chance of success, he sought out the best health minds in the United States, all specialists in their own particular part of his less-than-perfect body. He keeps an open mind while always demanding scientific proof. During his research he meets some fascinating health gurus, some marvelous, others weird. From brain to feet, from breathing to sleeping, all are investigated thoroughly, tried and some are blended into his far-too-sedentary lifestyle.

After a thorough medical checkup reveals his weaknesses, he decides he must work on his waistline with diet and exercise. After consulting with several nutritionists, he focuses on habits to cut down the quantity of what he eats:

In his attack on portion size, he uses his infant child’s baby plate and small plastic forks and spoons, much to the amusement of his family.

He eats more often, but smaller portions and asks his long-suffering wife not to put extra food on the table within his reach at mealtimes.

He takes his time, savouring each mouthful, chewing so slowly his family loses patience and leave him alone at the table. He quotes Gandhi: “Drink your food.”

He experiments with different preparation methods like steaming and pureeing.

He concentrates on every mouthful, and avoids mindless snacking when watching a movie or sitting in front of a computer screen.

Finally, he reduces his appetite by drinking water, always in moderation.

He tries his best to curb his craving for sugar and salt, except immediately after a strenuous workout. He snacks on nuts, seeds and raw veggies with daily supplements of fish oil, coenzyme Q10 and B12 vitamins.

He enjoys variety in his menu, which is mainly plant and fruit based, avoiding red meat and getting much of his protein from beans and lentils.

After straying from his evolving new routines, he feels he needs measurable goals in strength, stamina and weight. This culminates in his successful triathlon after 18 months. If this goal fails to inspire, look no further than the achievement of two courageous local women who in spite of enormous health challenges continue to achieve their demanding goals. Congratulations to Lori Wikdahl, who walked the equivalent of the circumference of our world — 40,000 kilometres — in 11 years and octogenarian Meta Beduz, who reaches her swimming goals in our local pool.

Stay tuned for your next installment of Jacobs’ humorous battle with exercise routines or rush to our wonderful local library for his book, which received glowing reviews: “Drop Dead Healthy is a rare mixture of the hilarious, the absurd and the scientifically sound,” and, “Do your future self a favour and read this book.”

Phil Thomas is a longtime Creston resident and volunteer.

Just Posted

New voting system proposed by Creston Valley residents

Proposals have been unnecessarily complicated.

Building permit, inspections, fail to protect

This story begins a four-part series.

Save our Creston Education Centre

My intention in this letter is to clear up some misinformation related to the basement of ARES.

Town Council flies through short agenda

Tuesday Town Council meeting was a short one.

Creston is getting younger

The last census indicated a lower median age among Creston residents, and… Continue reading

Translocation of 50 mule deer is currently underway in Kimberley

Close to 30 deer have been translocated as of Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most Read