Your Questions, Answered

January 29, 2011

I’ve gotten tons of new readers over the past few weeks, thanks to the exposure from appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, and I’m thankful that each and every one of you has checked out the blog, and I also love that so many of you feel compelled by what you’re seeing and reading to leave notes in the comments section.

Due to the number of new comments and because I ended up going out of town for a while right after the show aired, I haven’t been able to respond to many of them, although I have read each and every single one.  I thought I’d dedicate a post to answering a few of the questions you’ve been leaving in the comments section.  If this goes well, maybe it’ll become something I do on a regular basis!

Before the questions, though, I want to clear up a little kerfuffle from a couple weeks ago.  That’s right, I just used the word kerfuffle (and had to look up the correct spelling).  I got a lot of comments on my post where I shared the first mean comment that I’ve gotten (read the post here).  One of the comments was an apology from ‘Mike Hunt,’ the guy who left the mean comment in the first place.  Except, though, that it wasn’t.  I have a good friend who anonymously leaves comments every once and a while with the goal of trying to make me laugh (he’s not anonymous to me – I know which comments are his, even though he uses a fake name).  The apology came from him, with the thought that it might make me smile, which it did.  What I didn’t expect was that other people would then contact me, saying ‘Oh my god, that guy apologized!  I’ve never seen that before!  What are you gonna do?’  Um, I’m gonna do nothing.  ‘Mike Hunt’ is still at large, and he did not apologize, nor do I expect him to.  Case closed.

OK – here are some questions:

Mindy wrote:

Edgar Sawtelle is a fabulous book. Have you read Water for Elephants? That’s a good one too.

I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle a few days ago and absolutely loved it.  And yep, I read Water for Elephants and really enjoyed it, too.  Have you seen the trailer for the movie version with Reese Witherspoon?  Watch it here.  Gonna need to find a new book –   suggestions, anyone?

Zach wrote:

I need help. I just need ideas for what to eat, and how much to eat. Life is going nowhere right now, and I am a depressed eater. I eat whatever I want and in huge quanities. At this rate I am going to hurt myself. I weight 358.4 lbs, at age 25, standing right at 6 foot tall. All of my weight, ALL OF IT, is in my belly. My back hurts, shoulders, I am starting to have a hard time running short distances. I just woke up the other day and decided I need to stop wearing 4X polos. So do you have any tips to get started?

Hey Zach!  What I would recommend is to identify one thing you can do, starting tomorrow, to be healthier, and then do it.  Can you take the stairs to get to your office instead of the elevator?  Can you replace a couple sodas and drink water instead?  Can you pack your lunch instead of eating out?  Start small, and do one new thing for a few days.  Then, add a second new thing, and, a week later, a third, and so on.  I’ve been in your shoes, and I know how daunting it can seem, but one small change isn’t daunting at all, and you’ll find that once you start making those changes, you’ll gain some momentum, and see that those small changes, added up, can make a big difference!

Shelby wrote:

What do you do to stop cravings, also are you just doing exercise from the Richard Simmons videos? I have some health problems like asthma and bad knees and wonder if the video workouts are hard.  Good luck with the rest of your weight loss.

Hi Shelby!  Ugh – cravings are hard!  I can watch a commercial for Oreos and by the time those 30 seconds are over, I want some!  But here’s what’s been working for me lately:  I refuse to let myself act impulsively.  I identify a craving specifically – so, instead of thinking ‘I really want something sweet,’ I narrow it down to exactly what I’m craving: ‘I really want a Butterfinger Blizzard from Dairy Queen.’  Then, I sleep on it.  Many times, I wake up, and the craving is gone.  Sometimes, I still have it, and it’s stronger.  Then I start figuring out what I can eat that will satisfy the craving without making me feel guilty.  I’ve found that if I don’t satisfy the craving at all than it just gets stronger and stronger and I’ll end up making some really poor choices or binging.  For the Dairy Queen craving, I ended up, after a few days, going to Baskin Robbins and getting 300 calories worth of sherbet.  You can read more about that craving battle here.

Oh wait – Shelby’s question is a two-parter!  As for the exercise, I’m currently up to 5-6 workouts a week, and I switch them up – I take classes at Slimmons, do cardio and toning at the gym, and go running, too.  You mentioned having bad knees – have you tried doing a chair workout?  I haven’t done this myself, but Richard has a DVD called “Sit Tight” that’s a complete workout without any stress on your knees.  Check it out here.  I’ve done Richard’s “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 5” – and the good thing about it is that you can only do what you can.  Who’s gonna know?  If you can only make it through 1/2, than do 1/2.  Maybe the next time you can do a few minutes more.  That’s how you’ll get stronger!

Thanks for the questions, everyone, and, more importantly, thanks for reading the blog.  If you have a question for me, leave it in a comments section.  I read every comment – every one of ‘em!

Keep it up, David!


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