What Should I Do?

Getting In Shape: The New Me

Simple steps for more resiliency and better health
Thursday, September 29, 2011, 9:26 AM

I have recently gotten in great shape, have lost a lot of weight, and am writing this to preempt any thoughts that I may be in ill health due to a sudden and pronounced loss of weight. Not only am I healthy, I am in the best physical condition in years. 

This is a before and after story. 

I had been working very long hours for years following world news, preparing the Crash Course, writing the book, and running a small business essentially solo, for years. Unsurprisingly, I found myself with the sort of body one might predict for someone who sat behind a computer for up to 14 hours a day, day after day. 

And then something happened.

Without going into the details -- although I will reiterate that it was nothing health related -- I was presented with an opportunity to take a close look at my life. At times like these, you can either ignore the call to action or heed it. This time I chose to face life head on.

Here are the headlines:  Over the past four months I have lost about 35 pounds and now fit into a pants size last associated with my early 30's. Having just turned 49, I find this to be a welcome development.

Of course, being in shape makes a lot of sense if one buys my view of the future, which I certainly do.  So falling out of shape was gnawing at my personal sense of integrity and responsibility to myself, my family, and my larger community.

Well, that's all in the past.

Here are the before and after photos:

Chris before and after photo

If I had to sum up this transformation in a short sentence, it would be I feel more alive. My stamina and desire for exercise are up sharply, and I find I have far more energy for everything I do. I am more spontaneous and have more vitality and joy in my life.

The Recipe

If you are interested in hearing my super-easy, secret weight loss and life-enhancing plan, I have bad news for you: I did not rely on any pills, gimmicks, fasting, or anything like that. 

The exact steps were these:

1. On June 2nd, I gave up drinking alcohol under any circumstances. This cut out a lot of empty calories, as evening cocktails had become a part of my routine. It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be, based on the experiences of others I know who have struggled with giving up drinking. As with all habits, after 28 days the Pavlovian urges that previously showed up between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. went entirely away. Once those were gone, the remaining difficult moments, such as they were, happened while at my usual vacation haunts and social events, where drinking and unwinding have traditionally gone hand in hand. Currently I have no plans to resume drinking, but I may consider doing so at some point, especially for select wines during excellent meals. Or maybe not. I am leaning towards waiting a full year just out of principle. At any rate, the urge to drink is now a very infrequent visitor to my life, and there is no sense of loss or the requirement for daily willpower. 

2. Eating. Here I did something completely radical and decided to actively poll my body about what and how much it wanted to eat before and during eating. It is now common for me to open the door to the fridge, peer at the contents, and close it without getting anything to eat, simply because my body does not register any interest. Additionally, I have found that my body is satisfied with far smaller portions than my brain was accustomed to dishing out. Nothing fancy here. Simple portion control. The thing is, this new approach to food has never felt like an effort of control or a battle, I simply let my body have the first and final say.

3. Exercise. I now either bike a minimum of 10 miles four times a week (a timed lap where I race against my old times...it's 38 minutes of hard breathing) or hike/run a nearby small mountain, which has a ~40 minute loop from bottom to top and back again (roughly 800 feet in elevation gain to the top). Sometimes I go six days a week. Again, my body lets me know how much and how often. Since I am the competitive sort, I keep split times of whatever loop I am doing and always try to match or beat my best times. For example, back when I started the mountain run, my times were in the vicinity of 1 hour and 5 minutes. Then I beat the hour mark. Then I cracked the 55-minute barrier. Then the 50-minute mark. Then 47...then 43 (which stood for some time) and then I finally broke the 40-minute mark, then 39 and now I am stuck at 38.5. On top of this, I am lifting light weights nearly every day...they sit on the carpet in my office and I pick them up frequently because they are right there, in my way.

There's really nothing fancy here: It's just good, old-fashioned "eating less and exercising more." That's it. And it feels really good and is in integrity with my larger mission in life.

Most importantly, the 'old me' -- the one that had slowly gotten buried over time -- has reemerged. I have rediscovered old passions and joys that had fallen by the wayside as I single-mindedly pursued my mission to create a world worth inheriting. Balance has returned, along with my zest for rock climbing, biking, and exploring the outdoors. Heck, even the old guitar has been coming out of the case and getting strummed regularly.

The Road Ahead

As I look to the future, there are a number of possible scenarios where emotional and physical health and balance will be important determinants of whether the experience is miserable or enjoyable. As always, I plan to not only thrive physically in whatever future comes, but also to continue to enjoy life as much as possible.

Under a variety of scenarios, the future might involve a lot more physical labor than today for us to be able to sustain ourselves. However, regardless of which future arrives, whether it be utterly benign or incredibly intense, being in shape is a benefit to our daily lives. There's just no downside to it, no matter what happens next. I feel the same way about my solar hot water heaters. 

I am offering up my story of physical transformation here because everything I have done so far in creating this site has been backed by my personal actions. I do not just write about downsizing, saving, investing in gold/silver, creating community, gardening, and all the other steps of resiliency. I practice each of them as well. Or rather, I practice them first and then write about them. 

I regularly receive emails and other feedback from people who describe how important it is that the message(s) of change found on this site are complemented by real-world, verifiable actions that are in alignment with those messages.  

As a matter of integrity, we walk the talk around here. We do what we say and we say what we do. So the correct course of action for me was to get in shape and then talk about it.

If there's anything we can now do to help support you in your quest to become more physically fit, whatever your motivation, let us know. We would be glad to assist in any way we can.

Endorsed Financial Adviser Endorsed Financial Adviser

Looking for a financial adviser who sees the world through a similar lens as we do? Free consultation available.

Learn More »
Read Our New Book "Prosper!"Read Our New Book

Prosper! is a "how to" guide for living well no matter what the future brings.

Learn More »


Related content


cristobal.griffin's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2010
Posts: 4
losing weight

Here's another tip that has helped many people.  I practice a type of healing work that utilizes the wisdom of Chinese Medicine.

Our biggest meal of the day should be breakfast.   Eating a huge dinner is much less important.  The rule of thumb is "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper".

My teacher shared with me that he has never seen an obese person who ate in this way.  When coupled with moderation and good exercise, it's a sure winning strategy for greater health

Dragline's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 54
 Good for you, Chris -- it

 Good for you, Chris -- it took me a year to lose that much weight when I was about 40.

The before and after pics look great, too.

Mercer Gardener's picture
Mercer Gardener
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 31 2011
Posts: 2
Way to go

I did almost the samething.  One of my goals for the year was to get in better shape.  I lost 40 pound and feel much better.  Same recipe eat less and exercise and the weight will come off. 

Poet's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1893
Odd As It May Sound

Y'know, odd as it may sound... Looking and becoming fitter also gives you more credence (in the eyes of others) in what you have to say when meeting people or speaking in front of them.

It's the age-old human psychology of people rsepecting and giving more credibility to people who are in shape and better-looking. A boost to the appearance affects perceptions of competence and leadership.

Congratulations again!


bob980's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2010
Posts: 26
Great Job!

Funny, but you don't write as if you lost weight!  :-) 

Motivation is everything.  Thanks for sharing this deeply personal information. I know that it has inspired me and I believe that it will help others. 

InviQtus's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 29 2011
Posts: 1
shtf fitness

Hello all! I'm kind of a fitness nerd and disaster preparedness fitness, specifically, is a subject I have thought a lot about over the past few years. The first point I would want to make is that the fitness industry, like every other industry, it seems, is interested in making money primarily, and as a result does most everyone a great disservice; especially with regard to women. Developing the strenth, power and work capacity to meet whatever physical challenges you face does not require nearly the time and resource investment the uninitiated have been lead to believe that it does.

With that said, if you are wanting to be prepared for the "unknown and the unkowable" then Crossfit bills itself as being the best method to achieve exactly that. If you want to go that route, there are Crossfit affiliates popping up in locations all across the country. People achieve extrodinary results from this type of training, but I think most of us want and will be needing to train at or near our homes. So I would say that with a modest amount of equipement you can do just that. First, if you want to get strong- and everyone can benifit from increased strength; getting stronger makes everything easier- you have to have a barbell. A good barbell will last the rest of your life. Also I recommend buying bumper plates. Even if you don't intend to leard to do the olympic lifts, buper plates come in very handy. And they are a little better for taking outside. Rougefitness.com has great equipment at a reasonable price, but many other suppliers are good as well.

After you have your barbell and plates you need to learn to properly perform the core basic lifts, i.e. squats, deadlifts, over head press, bench press (yes, women need squats and deadlifts to- look at the women who do Crossfit, they look amazing and are way strong). Mark Ripptoe's book Starting Strength and his website of the same name is an indespensible resourse for learning how to do that, as well as how to safely conduct a linear progression weight training program. He recommends three training days a week each session lasting about an hour (though two quality sessions a week will certainly work). Two to three hours a week and you can be deadlifting and squating double your bodyweight much faster than you might think possible. That's the beauty of sticking to the movements that give you the most bang for the buck.

With regard to work capacity, working in some loaded carries ( i.e. farmers walks), sprints (a good skill to have anyway), kettlebell work, plyometrics, bodyweight cirtuits, sandbag training, heavy bag work, etc. here and there during the week should work nicely and can be fun and a good opportunity to blow off some stress. It will also stoke the metabolic fires and get you lean very fast. The main point here is to stick to activities that involve your entire body and require it to move and work as a unit. If it gets you winded fast, it's good to do. Ditch the eliptical thingy. One other nice point about this is that if you have a decent size yard or a farm you will find many opportunities to do this type of work during the course of your chores. If you have to move bails of hay to a different location, for instance, see how fast you can do it.

In summary I would say that if you don't have a great deal of time to dedicate to training, that should not be a deterent for you. If you stick to what gives you the most bang for the buck, you can thrive off a very modest time commitment. Also if you don't want to or can't get to the gym, you are probably better off. Simple implements that will allow you to train at home and will last the rest of your life are much, much better.

With regard to diet: paleo, paleo, paleo. Robb Wolf. com and MarksDailyApple.com are great places to strart. Most of you are already eating free-range, grassfed animals and eating organic vegitables anyway, so this shouldn't be much of a stretch.

sjdavis's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 78

Good work.  Not intending to pry, or promote any product... I recall you once saying you did or were thinking of doing P90X.  Did you do the program?  Is your current exercise how you maintain your results, or did you lose the weight with biking and hiking specifically?



Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Congrads Chris!

Yes, fitness improves not only your own self worth and confidence but  often your credibility to others as well.  I think being self- aware of your body and nutrition is as important as being in control of your financial assets.

I was sick recently and had no coffee or alchohol at all for a whole week; I felt fabulous, at least until I fell into my old routines again.  I find with things like that I just need to cut them out completely, like having never owned a TV.

Some things that have helped me maintain an endurance-fitness  lifestyle:  setting a time period for exercise and finishing it no matter what; cooking with only basic ingredients; alternating different activities; using hand tools not power machines whenever possible (e.g. shovel not snowblower);  bringing your own snacks where ever you go - I'm never tempted by available junk food because I have no taste or interest in it. 

Keep it up!


Jbarney's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 25 2010
Posts: 233


This is a great blog post, and I'd like to tell a story about why it matters to me.  I'm not in shape, but I'm hardly out of shape either.  36 years old.  I weigh about 207 pounds.  Have little or no health problems...

I used to jog a lot.  Played college basketball.  Hiked a crazy amount.  Now I find it harder to do those things.

I have been thinking for some time (perhaps we are always thinking this?) that I must do more to get in better shape, to make myself live a healthier life.  And I don't mean giving up alcohol or eating a religious diet or anything.  I was just thinking about getting back outside.  Walking.  Running.... 

I wasn't really thinking about it for my own health, but I had actually started to think about it in terms I find interesting,  especially considering Chris's post here.  I had been thinking about it because Chris mentioned it in earlier posts.  So I guess this is just an indication of just how important Chris, as a source of information, has become.

I think I will walk tonight.  Even though it is raining up here in Vermont.


joemanc's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834

Hi Chris,

Congratulations. It's such a great feeling to be in shape. I'm glad to hear you are bikeriding. You are in a perfect area for that. And that little mountain is nice to have nearby you - I'm sure there are some fantastic views of the valley up there.

About a year ago, I read The China Study and gave it a go towards going vegan. I got to a certain point and could not go further on my own and recently decided to meet with a nutrionist to (try) to go all the way.  I just read the book a 2nd time, and I'm now thoroughly convinced a whole foods, plant based diet is the way to go. It's done wonders for my waistline. And having a decent sized yard will allow me to grow quite a bit of plants for my diet, and keep me active as well.

Thanks for sharing your story.

brjohnson789's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 27 2008
Posts: 52

There's a reason for the saying "At least you have your health" ... its probably your most important asset in leading a fulfilling life.  Health care costs are continually rising, and they do make up the biggest cost near the end of your life (on average!).  No reason to drive them up any more through your own in-action. 


earthwise's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Chris the centerfold!


All of us clamoring for more Chris content here at CM.com never anticipated it would come in the form of beefcake!

I'm sure the lovely Mrs. M appreciates the new svelte look he's sporting.   Way to go!!! 


InviQtus wrote:

With regard to diet: paleo, paleo, paleo. Robb Wolf. com and MarksDailyApple.com are great places to strart. Most of you are already eating free-range, grassfed animals and eating organic vegitables anyway, so this shouldn't be much of a stretch.


Been (sorta) doing paleo for a couple of months now and although I didn't need to lose any weight I do feel much better with more energy. Mark's Daily Apple is is well worth the visit.

RNcarl's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Zig Zigler

First, good job Chris!

You said:
I regularly receive emails and other feedback from people who describe how important it is that the message(s) of change found on this site are complemented by real-world, verifiable actions that are in alignment with those messages.  

That reminded me about a story that was told by the old time motivational speaker Zig Ziegler. He has (had) often said, "You can go anywhere you want to go, do anything you want to do and BE anything you want to be." At the end of one of his talks a participant walked up to him and poked his belly like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and said, "Zig, do you really believe what you just said, I mean REALLY believe it?" See, by his own admission Zig, being about 5'6" stretched - said he had a 42" waist line and tipped the scales at almost 230 pounds - if I recall correctly.

So he did some introspection and said that if anyone was to believe what he was saying he had to become what he believed.

Chris, your story is similar and I am sure will inspire others. I know it has inspired me.

Gaborzol's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 24 2008
Posts: 38
Utilitarian exercise and eating

I am very glad I got to see this transformation, Chris. As a friend and men's group member, I have already benefitted on several occasions from it, so I am glad for both of us.

Although I don't practice so consciously and constantly giving my body the right to select appropriate food and exercise, I wanted to add to this approach. As for exercise, I gave up my car a few years ago. Since then I bike almost exclusively anywhere I go. Other than getting around a bit less, I do feel healthier, and happier, and I even feel much more able to do things. Not just because of having gotten used to more exercise, but because of the need and extra motivation of getting somewhere I want to get. One negative part is that I don't choose the time of day or type of weather to exercise. But in a collapsing world I believe I will have to give up other things as well, so this is a good warm-up and reminder.

As for eating I am slowly shifting towards the "eating by chance" over the last few years. For example when getting together with neighbors for a potluck, so it is a chance to build community. Or when a certain produce is in from the garden, or when something is in season, so it is surprisingly cheap and abundant. (One negative part is, that cabbage and apples tend to be in season occasionally, like now, but never chocolate to my dismay:-) The good part is, though, that I am less attached to what I eat and when, that will again be beneficial when there is less variety in the food supply and transportation options.


Pipyman's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 24 2011
Posts: 65
Congrats Chris

But to those that say eat less, No!  Eat well, I see many thin people that are horribly unhealthy.

cat233's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 575
Dogs told me to take a look
Dogs told me to take a look at Chris' latest article... I have not made a post in more than a year, but thought it was necessary to say... 
"Watch out Becca." 
Nice job Chris!
jrf29's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453

(Looking at the pictures) . . .  Wow!!!

This makes me want to go exercise!

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2608
Point of order....
jrf29 wrote:

(Looking at the pictures) . . .  Wow!!!

This makes me want to go exercise!

"Getting In Shape?"

Round is a shape. 


Seriously, well done Chris.

NZSailor's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 62
Another piece of the puzzle....

Great job Chris!  It takes a real consistency of effort to do what you've done.  It's another piece of the puzzle of preparedness.

I've done a bit of the same thing over the last year.... reading this site after Christmas last year I saw two posts... one said "Do something outside your comfort zone this year" and the other was a post from Dogs talking about Krav Maga self defense training.  After a little googling I decided yes it was outside my comfort zone and yes I should probably do it.  Nine months later I'm 20 pounds lighter, in better shape than I've ever been, and while not exactly a Ninja, my 50 year old body is more capable than it was previously.  As with everything... continuing to stretch, learn and grow.

Thanks again for a great site full of ideas and valuable contributors (Thanks too Dogs!!)

Jeez... whats out of my comfort zone for 2012???


joemanc's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
cristobal.griffin wrote:

Here's another tip that has helped many people.  I practice a type of healing work that utilizes the wisdom of Chinese Medicine.

Our biggest meal of the day should be breakfast.   Eating a huge dinner is much less important.  The rule of thumb is "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper".

My teacher shared with me that he has never seen an obese person who ate in this way.  When coupled with moderation and good exercise, it's a sure winning strategy for greater health

I meant to comment on this...I believe there is some truth to this. In my case, I was having trouble getting to work and not being hungry, let alone getting to lunch, after eating a sizeable breakfast. My nutritionist looked at what I was eating for breakfast and told me to eat more...and to add snacks in there as well. After just a week, I am now able to make it to work and to and through lunch without being hungry. Now I need to work on dinner. I don't think we need to eat less...we just need to eat right.

EndGamePlayer's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
oh la la

HA! We are finding the same thing here - the more food we grow - the better in shape we get...what gives?

Personally, I enjoy riding our bikes into rown 12 miles....its the ride back that kills me!


pinecarr's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2267
You go, Chris!  Very

You go, Chris!  Very inspiring!  -Both your getting into shape AND showing iit is possible to regain balance in one's life!

Thanks for sharing,


mercantaur's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 29 2011
Posts: 1
Spot on! Also, sleep is the third pillar of good health

Hi there,

I was about to make the same point about utilitarian exercise but you beat me to it. You've certainly got the right idea!

Exercise has always been an important part of my life, but it also used to be a bit of a pain sometimes when trying to fit it in around family, work, friends and other commitments. Then we became a one car family instead of two and I started riding my bike to work and everywhere else I needed to go (when not with wife and kids). Never again have I had that nagging feeling that I really should do some exercise on any given day. It's baked into my routine, making valuable use of previously wasted travel time. Another happy benefit is it also saves me several thousand dollars a year in transport costs.

One other very important point about getting in shape that a lot of people overlook is sleep. It's the third pillar of good health after diet and exercise. Particularly, taking naps when needed. A 20 minute afternoon nap makes a huge difference to general wellbeing, alertness and frame of mind. I've been napping since my mid-twenties and swear by it. I encourage everyone to google the benefits of napping and investigate. It's also kind of fun working a nap into your regular work day without your colleagues being aware that you're doing it. Meeting rooms and park benches are ideal :)


Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 2391
Thank you Chris

I am in the early stages of my own effort to lose weight and improve my health, and your sharing with us is indeed inspiring.  My wife is way ahead of me (in a renewed focus on fitness), and has "scheduled" me for two weeknight workout nights.. so your note is yet another push in the right direction.  

My own weakness is indeed alcohol, in the form of good wine.  Although I don't presently plan to give it up... I need to drastically curtail my wine drinking and limit it to special occasions/meals.  I love good wine, and one of my prep's is to make sure my basement wine cooler cabinet is full  : )  That being said, I find that when I do drink... my ability to inhibit my own tendency to overeat is completely lost, so I eat the evening away, on top of the extra calories from wine.

Although I could really use to lose about the same amount of weight Chris has.. at least.. I have never completely lost my connection to exercise, in part because I own one of these, in the basement, set up in front of a TV;


Although not cheap, I love my rower... made in VT, smooth of action, a full body workout, and non-impact for older bodies like mine.  Best to all here on CM.com ...  where we take a full mind and body approach to preparing for a non-linear future. 



carolynraye's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 16 2009
Posts: 14
Perfect timing for this topic to come up-- I've been thinking...

Excellent job to Chris and to everyone taking on this task- its a huge challenge and even small successes are to be acknowledged and congratulated! Cheers! (the non-wine-glass-tipping kind)


I've been pondering something for a long time and I've considered starting a thread about it but haven't gotten around to it.... it seems to be somewhat on course with this post. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions- please, do tell!

I'm in my late 20s and have worked since college in corporate logistics (oddly, I have BAs in Sociology & Political Science). Logistics pays great but I'm miserable and I'm pretty sure with Peak Oil - my job might not be here in 5-10 years. I've been thinking hard and researching what jobs/careers will even be alive/available (keeping in mind our objectives here). I've pretty much narrowed it down to healthcare and local labor services that can't be exported. Living in a small rural midwest town (11,000 population, 50,000 county population), there's already a few CSAs and greenhouses around. Plenty of small grocers, farmers markets, tree/yard services. The largest employers around here are production (ag equip/window/lighting) factories and local governments. (My employer is actually in another state- I work from home, that's a long story). I've looked alot into grad school programs like Sustainable Agriculture, Community Development, Energy & Sustainability... but I'm very leery to get back into student loan debt right now- these programs average around $25k. I've racked my brain for weeks now and I've hit a wall. I couldn't be a nurse-- don't have the stomach for it. And I don't really support the direction of healthcare anyways (take a pill rather than get off your butt).... the only thing I can come up with is some sort of Nutrition Consultant or something along those lines, considering the obesity epidemic (we also have a large adolecent population here~ around 30%). I have no professional/educational experience in health/food science/nutrition either though so again- I'd have to go back to school, grrr. I've always been focused on healthy food and a healthy lifestyle- I know I do a lot better than most people around here, but I'm pretty sure they won't pay me based on that. :(

Anyone have any other ideas/thoughts/suggestions on nutrition/fitness as a viable career in the future? For other career paths or the thought of going back to school at this point? Please feel free to private message me- I don't mean to take this off-topic. Thanks guys!

TD's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2009
Posts: 51
Don't go "back" to school.

Don't go "back" to school. Move forward... create your own business. Look online for a business known as Arganica. And use this as a model for a business in your area... lots of potential there.


Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
You go Chris

Congrats Chris.

Sorry to hear about you having to give up the spirits (for a while at least).

I have also drops some weight however, my doctor has informed me that cheese and scotch is not really a diet and could prove to be unhealthy.

Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
healthy lifestyle choices

I just want to share, along the lines of this thread, I never thought I'd be living like this a couple years ago but I grew all the food I could this summer in my little backyard; potatoes, corn, tomatoes, squash, greens, etc., enough for the whole year.  Shoveled and wheelbarrowed many yards of compost and hoed down weeds all by hand, plus taking care of the chickens, planting trees, etc..  It was a ton of hard work that makes you appreciate how easy it is just to go to the supermarket.  It meant some late nights outside with a headlamp sometimes, but what is so cool is I get to eat the best quality freshest food and as much as I want just to keep the weight on.  My biggest challenge to health is getting enough sleep; it's important as one poster noted above.  Makes one also appreciate cheap energy; only because of that can I be an ultra endurance athlete, keep a regular professional job, and all my DIY projects too.  A future potential world with less abundant cheap energy requiring more labor into our work and life sustaining activities is what I am imagining and preparing for, but could actually be a higher quality life if we can embrace it.


ao's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
consider something else
carolynraye wrote:

Anyone have any other ideas/thoughts/suggestions on nutrition/fitness as a viable career in the future? For other career paths or the thought of going back to school at this point? Please feel free to private message me- I don't mean to take this off-topic. Thanks guys!

Everyone, I mean EVERYONE is interested in going into fitness, nutrition, massage, yaddayaddayadda.  We have more massage therapists, personal trainers, and nutritionist wannabes in our small town than Wall Street and Washington have crooks.  The vast majority of them are struggling and since they are multiplying like bunnies reproduce (since the local university and two massage schools in the area are cranking them out as fast as they can rake in the misspent tuitions), their future is becoming increasingly less promising.  I joke with my wife that we have become so self indulgent and so dependent as a culture that pretty soon, half the population will consist of these folks scrambling over one another for the increasingly slim chance to provide service to the other half of the population.  These are all discretionary, non-essential occupations and have peaked and are in a downhill decline.  I'd definitely take a pass. 

capesurvivor's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963

Very cool, Chris. Good luck with your changes.

Weight has never been a problem for me but chronic illness and slow decrepitude  have really had an impact. After doing strenuous martial arts 30 years ago but nothing since, I started a basic tai chi class last week and realized how out of shape I am.  I would suggest tai chi for anyone interested in gradually improving their balance, coordination, and concentration, especially if you're over 60 and not able to jump into a physically strenuous activity without risking injury.


Cornelius999's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 17 2008
Posts: 381
Vladamir Putiin

Congratulations Chris,you sure walk the walk.

But I hear Vladamir Putin is upset by the serious competition!

Thanks for everything


VeganDB12's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 763
ChrisI think your efforts


I think your efforts are a real inspiration.  I keep having this song going through my head since reading your post (this is the '80's woman's version of a "new attitude") from Patti LaBelle


Aerotics are no longer a part of my life but walking more, keeping a sensible veg diet and minimizing alcohol are..   Exercise in whatever form one can do is really vital,  I realize that more and more as time goes on.




fpahlen's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 1
LCHF - low carb, high fat

Hi all CM people.

Check out:


Please check out his presentation of LCHF on YouTube





Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 566
Getting in Shape


          Although a little off topic from what we normally discuss here at CM.com, I enjoyed your entry Chris.  Well done.  As a bit of a fanatic and amateur natural bodybuilder, I can attest to the fact that there are no secrets whatsoever to getting in shape.  Proper diet and exercise on a consistent basis is the only formula.  I am often asked "what I eat" or "what is my secret" and when I respond that there is no secret people sometimes think I'm hiding the ball.  I worked out quite a bit and ate "OK" for years, but when I was about 37 I turned it up a few notches with a much healthier diet and more intense exercise. 

          The one thing that I would add to what you say is this:  you cannot exercise "when you find the time" or when the mood strikes or when you are able to fit it in.  It has to become a priority and a regular part of your routine, like brushing teeth or taking out the garbage.  And you don't have to "like it" either.  That's why they call it a work out.  For me it's kind of like a job.  I do it because I have to.

          There's nothing like a mid-life crisis or a financial crisis for inspiration. 

          Pictures of me this July, one day before winning the 40-and-over category for the main natural bodybuilding competition in my state (steroid tested!) for the second year in a row.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 2391
OMG Lemony.....

You are the man!  Thanks for piling on the inspiration... 

iborgje's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2011
Posts: 6

Hello Chris,

I find it absolutely wonderfull and inspiring that you took it upon you to write down such a personal story. And for all the right reasons. It will certainly help people to get out of their comfort zone and take the much needed steps for the future.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Ingeborg (the Netherlands)

Golden Age's picture
Golden Age
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 2 2008
Posts: 61
Losing weight is good for

Losing weight is good for you and your physic.  Being a VERY senior citizen, riding a bike is not something I can do because my knees and other joints do not permit this.  I do go to the YMCA and swim on a regular basis. 

A most important item in losing weight for me was the DR. AMEN diet.  You can google this diet and it really is not a diet, but a different choice of what you eat.  It is not difficult to follow his suggestions, just a change of diet.  If you are a SAM'S club member, look for the Medjool Dates in the fresh produce area.  These are great and do not require refrigeration.  If you are still working, you could take a zip lock back of them to work with you for snacks.  Also, Pistachios are available in 3 pound bags.  Stachios are high in fibre, low in carbs. 

mobius's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 18 2009
Posts: 160
A call to action!


This post is a true gift and has inspired me to change some habits and create some new ones. 

Thanks so much for your insights.




sportivny's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 17 2011
Posts: 11

With regard to diet: paleo, paleo, paleo. Robb Wolf. com and MarksDailyApple.com are great places to strart. Most of you are already eating free-range, grassfed animals and eating organic vegitables anyway, so this shouldn't be much of a stretch.


Second that, I was working out since age 14(now 38), this was the key that worked for me, got me back to similar size, agility and energy levels I had back in mid-twenties... Dropped 40 lbs in forst 3 months, no running other then some sprints, 90% of change was diet related, some additional stimulus provide by working out on pullup/dip station. Loving even energy throughout the day without sugar related spikes.

Interesting info on youtube under MOVNAT (Erwan Le Corre by some account the fittest guy alive)

carolynraye's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 16 2009
Posts: 14
Arganica--- thanks for the lead

TD- I appreciate the suggestion. I checked out their website and it's great. I'm very interested in getting involved in THAT sort of organization/business. Thank you!

David4's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 23 2013
Posts: 3
A most important product in

A most important product in reducing weight for me was the DR. AMEN eating plan.  You can google the eating plan plan and it really is not a weight loss program plan, but a different choice of what you eat.  It is not difficult to follow his recommendations, just a change of eating plan.  If you are a SAM'S club member, look for the Medjool Schedules in the fresh generate area.


Crystal Lake Personal Trainer

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments