The Ironman

weightsI AM TRIM and, to all appearances, quite healthy for an old fart.

I attribute this to years of steady, light exercise, salads and a child bride. Don’t discount the latter.

In 1980, I weighed 60 pounds more than I weigh today. Oddly, I was not so much fat as formidable.

It was in that distant year in New Orleans — where I often would eat French fry po’ boys — that I decided to get trim and svelte.

Being fat is not an issue of hunger. It’s about habits and emotions. Services like Weight Watchers can address your bad habits, but they do little with your emotions, which is why 99 percent of overweight people get fat again soon after ending a weight-loss program.*

Of the two — habits and emotions — it’s emotions that play the primary role. They form the habits, after all.

Here’s how I took and kept off 60 pounds, and you can do it too. Well, except for those sneaky emotions.

I quit eating crap, and you know what the crap is: cakes, pies, burgers, Snickers, deep-fried anything, etc. You don’t need to buy a book that spells it out. It’s common sense.

And I started exercising. Twenty minutes of brisk walking five days weekly does it.  Thirty-five years later, I’m still at it.

Most folks start brutal exercise routines, weary of it within two weeks, and that’s the end of that. Don’t overreach.

In addition to walking, I do what my wife considers a laughable series of weight-lifting. That’s my weight machine in the photo. Three times a week, and it takes about 10 minutes.

I weigh what I weighed at age 21, half a century ago.

Before buying the weight apparatus, I visited a gym here three mornings a week, but the gym went out of business about five years back, so I purchased my setup at Liverpool in the capital city for the peso equivalent of about $600.

So there you have Felipe’s Foolproof Weight Loss System. Don’t eat crap, do light exercise five days a week (forever!) and marry a child bride, preferably Mexican.

You womenfolk can adjust that last element to your liking, but know that folks will gossip behind your back.

* * * *

*Don’t ever start a “diet” because they never work. The concept of a diet implies a beginning and — when you reach your “goal weight” — an end. When you end your diet, you start eating like you did before. And you get fat again. Never go on a diet. Instead, change your habits permanently.

25 thoughts on “The Ironman”

  1. Exactly. My routine is pretty much the same, except my exercise is a little more “extreme.” And of course I don’t have a “child bride,” although I’ve considered looking into it.

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  2. You’re very full of common sense. For an ol’ guy you look pretty healthy. You left out omitting alcohol. It doesn’t necessarily have to be full of calories, but once you’ve had a couple of drinks one tends to throw care to the wind concerning the chips, nuts, etc.

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    1. Bev: An excellent point. I quit drinking so long ago that I had forgotten the mischief it can get you into. Eating badly is surely one of those mischiefs. Drinking is also something to be avoided entirely if you’re trying to quit smoking. After a few highballs, you don’t give a flip if you smoke or not.

      I stopped smoking a long time ago too.

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  3. Sage advice, amigo. Especially the part about my exercise. I cannot tell you how many people I see every day I visit the gym who are lifting weights way too heavy, and they look like they are in a lot of pain. It’s ridiculous. I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now about exercise and moderation. Perhaps I wouldn’t have so much arthritis but c’est la vie. As far as my situation goes, if you can’t pay the price don’t get on the ride. 🙂

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    1. Karlos: Proving I have no shame whatsoever, due to the first photo, here is a “before” and “after.” I was about 35 when the “before” was shot in New Orleans. In the “after,” I was about 65 and visiting Zihuatanejo.

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  4. Fortunately, I take after my maternal grandfather who was tall and skinny. I’ve been somewhat underweight my whole life. I cook nearly all of my own food and I’ve been studying nutrition for the last two decades. I drink lots of coffee and usually avoid booze and keep a positive attitude.

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  5. Hola, Felipe!

    As a trim 54-year-old who can still fit into the one remaining pair of jeans he had in high school, I can heartily endorse your program. It’s essentially the same as mine, minus the “getting fat in my 30s and 40s” part. I stayed slim the whole way through.

    And people look at me and assume that it somehow requires ZERO effort on my part, which is laughable. In fact, I once had a chubby woman accuse me of not knowing anything about losing weight since I wasn’t fat. It was *VERY* hard not to collapse in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

    (She’s also probably warning against taking financial advice from rich people.)

    At one point I was about 15 pounds heavier than I am now. And then I watched “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” on YouTube, cut back radically my sugar consumption (including about a gallon of orange juice a week), and lost 15 pounds literally effortlessly.

    So listen to Felipe, y’all. He’s right. Cut out eating crap, especially sugary crap, eat more vegetables, don’t eat too much pasta/bread/rice/potatoes, and get out and walk around.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where Mexican sugar consumption seems appalling.

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    1. Kim: I was not fat. I was formidable. It was evenly distributed. At least, formidable-looking. See the first photo in the comment section. That ain’t fat. It’s just large.

      It’s all about changing how one views food. The first seven years after I decided to take the poundage off, I weighed myself every morning. Seven long years. If I was up even a bit weight-wise from the previous day, I was extra careful about eating that day. After seven years, my eating habits were so firmly set, I quit weighing myself, and everything’s been fine since.

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      1. So you’re telling me you just wrote a blog post about how to lose 60 pounds of muscle? Seriously? You don’t even believe that.

        I’ll buy that you were a “big guy,” but that just means you wore it well. Which you did.

        It doesn’t mean it wasn’t fat.

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  6. I’m reading this smug, self righteous hoo-ha with a big smile on my face, as I eat my second breakfast* of today: a sandwich of two eggs fried in butter, on thick sliced, homemade potato bread toast, a light smear of mayo, two slices each of ripe tomato and of onion. For a drink, a medium large class of jugo verde (vitamin and fiber packed breakfast drink based on orange juice).

    Yes, I have a big belly, and I may die sooner than some of you svelte figured types, but I’ll die knowing I lived well.

    Buen provecho,
    Don Cuevas

    PS: Felipe: how do you reconcile your lean, healthy eating credo with the PR that you post promoting your wife’s wonderful pastries and goodies that she sells?

    * The first breakfast of my day was only some reheated beef stew on rice with a couple of boiled new potatoes.

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    1. Señor Cuevas: Smug, self-righteous hoo-ha?! You’re a funny fellow.

      Living well? I don’t equate overeating with living well. There are all manner of ways to live well. High-calorie and high-fat food intake is just one element of, er, “living well.”

      Using your definition, before 1980 I too lived very well. But for some strange reason, I feel far better now than I did then. Go figger.

      As for reconciling my healthy habits, which my wife shares perhaps even more so, which is why she looks so darn fine, with promoting her pastries, well, her pastries is just a business. We sell 99 percent of them, and either eat or gift the other 1 percent.

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    1. I will dedicate myself to a new, leaner lifestyle, from this moment on. Well, as soon as I finish eating this plain, modest cube of cake at La Surtidora. With a cup of non-caffeinated mint tea, I’ll have you know.

      Con permiso; I have to go buy some bacon.

      DC

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