Saturday 22 September 2018


My daily habits get a kicking in a little book called Eat, Move, Sleep. Apparently sitting is the new sugar, and every hour of sitting is shortening my life. Also, the more one sits, the more likely fat will collect in one's posterior. Goodness gracious. This is seriously bad news for contemporary journalists who spend eight hours a day or more at our desks.

There was more bad news in an article the Huffington Post, which suggests the the overweight should just give up hope that dieting will ever work in the long term.

I don't actually believe that, as the Fast Diet works long-term for many, and did work for me as long as I stuck to it. I forget when I quit, but I suspect B.A.'s illness had something to do with it. A year and a half of almost unrelenting stress have packed on the pounds, too. Besides all B.A.'s health woes, the flood-from-above, leaving our home-of-nine-years, shuttling about from refuge to refuge, the long, drawn-up process of getting our belongings moved to our new home, there is the sadness of almost everything I read and write about for work.

"How do you bear it?" someone asked---and the answer from June (at latest) until now is "I stuff my face."

Having granola in the house is just fatal.

That reminds me, by the way, of the saddest priest I ever met, who was also one of the fattest. Even then I had an inkling that he was self-medicating on food, but I had my own problems then, so I don't think it occurred to me to suggest to someone in authority that he might need help.

Anyway, Eat, Move, Sleep convinced me that everybody should get at least 150 minutes of cardio-vascular activity a week, so I have been going out for a half-hour run upon getting out of bed, five mornings a week. The first run was so awful, I hope I never quit, for having to do another "first run" is just too depressing a thought.

I haven't had a regular run outdoors since high school, as even in my most athletic days I was a gym rat and preferred the weatherless comfort of indoors. However, running outdoors--if you already have  running shoes--is free, and my route along the river to the Firth of Forth and back is scenic. It provides a mental lift to see the ducks and swans and to hear the oystercatchers peeping.


  1. Try to alter the time/route of your run for safety's sake. I may have to cycle for a new job. I'm reluctant because traffic is nuts here but it would be really good for the health. I haven't cycled since I was a kiddo. I've requested that book in the library. Thinking thoughts here...

  2. I do alter the time a bit, and I check out the one dodgy spot before I run into it. So far it's daylight when I'm out; I may have to start the whole route changing thing in November. It's not remote, but it's not an urban centre either and there are dog walkers and other runners around. Actually, it's quite nice saying "good morning" to the dog walkers.

  3. That HuffPo article is a bucket of hot nonsense. The "95%" regain figure, for example, is bunk:

    ''That 95 percent figure has become clinical lore,'' said Dr. Thomas Wadden, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. There is no basis for it, he said, ''but it's part of the mythology of obesity.''

    Dr. Kelly D. Brownell, the director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, said the number was first suggested in a 1959 clinical study of only 100 people. The finding was repeated so often that it came to be regarded as fact, he said.