Are We Really Born to Run?

Are we really born to run?  I don’t know.  Wish I knew the answer, but after reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, I think I will be a lot closer to the answer.  You see, McDougall’s book is about the quest to find the answer to the question.  He ironically states: 

“These were very good questions.  But as I was about to discover, the only ones who knew the answers – the only ones who lived the answers – weren’t talking.  Especially not to someone like me”.  – Christopher McDougall, Born to Run, p 13

Clearly I am only thirteen pages into this book and I am captivated.  Whether it was chapter one’s tail of find “El Caballo Blanco” or the strange commonality to my own quest for the same answers, I really can’t wait to see how this book unfolds. 

Before I go, let me leave you all, my loyal readers, with one last quote from the book.  I found this to be very motivating and might blow it up really big and hang it in my cubicle for inspiration:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows that it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.  Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you better be running.” – Christopher McDougall, Born to Run, p 13

With that said, more to come as I explore the world of Born to Run

Why Diets Should Be Banned in 2010

Diet: a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons – Oxford American Dictionaries

Losing weight is why most people diet.  Whether you are being influenced by marketing ads online or from the TV or not happy with how you look in the mirror, one typically turns to a “diet” to lose weight.  The very ads that encourage you to drop your funds on their magical weight loss “diet” even seems to indicate that other “diets” don’t work.

What is the reality here?  Why do people go on a “diet” and put the weight back on?  It is because diets are magical temporary solutions that are misrepresented and fail to change people’s habits… which is the key to permanent weight loss. 

I will also argue that diets are a tool to acheive a short-term goal such as fitting into a slightly smaller sized pants or evening gown.   The intention is not to change habits, just get a quick weight fix to look good for one evening.  Diets are used to obtain temporary goals until your next temporary goal comes up on the horizon.

Because diets are a means to achieve short-term goals and don’t change habits, they should be banned.  Why so drastic?  America is facing an obesity epidemic, more so than AIDS, h1n1, chicken pox or any other disease.   We must change HABITS, not blind short-term goals.

Take my story.  Two years ago I was 260 pounds and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without breathing heavy and getting my heart rate up way too high.  I then started working out, but discovered that true success was a full LIFESTYLE change of becoming more active and eating right.  Sure I started with a “diet” but realized that true success was not something temporary.  I had to give up the processed foods, including sugar and flour.

You know, the change is amazing.  I can do so much more, feel fabulous, and don’t miss the fast food, sweets, or emotional eating at all!  The health food I now eat is awesome.  You all would be amazed at how sweet plain yogurt tastes naturally, how wonderful natural grains taste, and how many different kinds of salads one can come up with.

For this reason, diets are out in 2010.  Let’s get serious America… let’s impress the world with our ability to change our lifestyles, eat right (without dieting) and be active.  Before you know it, we can all enjoy the world so much more and we won’t have to listen to those diet ads.

How a Bear Can Define the Holidays » Aric Monts

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Starbucks, not because their coffee is great or their food is better than local places, but because Starbucks has become an American institution that defines the calendar year.

Take the holidays for instance.  Starbucks makes the following changes:

A) They decorate their stores with garland, lights, ornaments, and holiday cheer.

B) They introduce their signature snow flake, red coffee cup.

C) They add seasonal appropriate food items to the menu, including Grandma’s Turkey Sandwich for Thanksgiving and Cranberry Bliss Bar for Christmas.

Seeing these changes drives home the point that the holidays are here.  You can even set your clock by them.

This year, Starbucks has added an extra special cutie to their line of heart attack inducing treats, the polar bear iced sugar cookie.

Starbucks Polar Bear Iced Sugar Cookie

Starbucks Polar Bear Iced Sugar Cookie

Starbucks clearly has fun with defining the holidays and delivering delicious, seasonal treats, but does very little to help America solve its obesity problem (I am not blaming obesity on Starbucks).  At 440 calories, it has more calories than a grande mocha.  Consuming the two together, one will have consumed nearly 800 calories of pure junk.  Heck, it is the holidays, right?

As large and as cute as it is (reminds me of the Coca Cola polar bear of yesteryear), don’t be fooled, it contains 15 grams of sugar, 15 grams of saturated fat, and just 1 gram of protein.  Yep, this cutie is an artery clogging treat that one should have one of this year.  It is the epitome of holiday indulgence.

The next time you get your favorite coffee drink at Starbucks, grab one of those cute polar bears and enjoy a few minutes of yummy-ness.  Then go to the track and run it off.  Starbucks’ fun of defining the holidays is a the perfect example of appealing to your customer’s sweet side while embracing seasonality.

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Tasting the Sweetness Without the Sweet

One of the biggest changes I’ve made along the road from office potato to triathlete is cutting out sweets and other junk food from my diet.  Once I did, I instantly started dropping off weight, started feeling many times better, and had energy I never thought possible.

As I reflect on this change, I realized that the sweetness I was indulging myself in as an office potato was a false sweetness.  Candy bars and shakes, for instance, are artificially sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  This sweetness was so overpowering, you could taste little else.

Now, I appreciate the more subtle sweetness of food. YES, foods without sugar have a sweetness all their own.  

Ever tasted the sweetness of plain oatmeal? 

How about the subtle sweetness of sprouted grains? 

Or even the wonderfully tart sweetness of plain, unsweetened yogurt?

All of these have an amazingly subtle sweet flavor to them that artificially sweetened products can’t come close to.  It is almost as if I am tasting the very life that gives me energy.   If you consume sugar products, begin detox immediately and start to appreciate the sweetness of life.