Jul 10, 2007 Battling with total physical, mental, and spiritual health
UPDATE (January 13, 2017): Law school began my decades of bouncing back and forth between good shape and flab shape. In the end, the best time-tested way for me to maintain an optimum weight while eating healthfully is to eat raw vegan when alone, and sensible portions of healthy cooked vegan when with friends and family on the weekends. This way, my eating approach is satisfying, and thus not a matter of feeling deprivation, whereby deprivation puts one at risk of boomeranging into bouts of overeating.
Out of shape, with my boy (Great Falls Park, Va., Jan. 2007).
Back in the saddle. (2007)
Many times, I have blogged about going to battle with a sound mental and spiritual approach. Sound physical health is similarly critical, in terms of diet, rest and exercise.
As to physical fitness, I have battled the bulge ever since starting law school. Following is my recent comment to Ocean Shaman on the topic, including my recently successful return to healthy weight and healthy eating. To see my back-and-forth battle of the bulge, see this in-shape July 1996 photo, this out-of-shape August 1999 photo, my in-shape headshot from October 2004 here, and the three photos above, from out of shape to back in shape.
Maintaining harmonious physical fitness is critical for being powerful in trial battle, which is why I write about it here. In relation to my dozen years practicing t’ai chi, one of my teachers reminded me that t’ai chi master Cheng Man Ch’ing — who developed the t’ai chi chuan yang style short form that I practice — had a notable paunch, and that the goal of t’ai chi is not to have a bodybuilding physique. In fact, I think Professor Ch’ing advised against lifting weights, due to the hard energy needed to do weight training. I agree that it is not necessary to have a flat stomach or remarkable muscle tone, but to follow a healthy diet, rest and exercise path.
Hi, Shaman- As a fellow battler of the stomach bulge, you’re a member of a society of hundreds of millions worldwide. For whatever it’s worth, I took a very radical and quickly effective weightloss approach, by adopting raw veganism.
It fully worked for the four years I followed the raw vegan path, until my waist grew fast after I added cooked food again in mid-2005 (staying 99% vegan).
Three months ago, I switched back to 100% raw vegan, and quickly shed most of my excess weight even though my exercise program was too moderate for awhile during the switch back to raw. (I exercise with my boy, and will get more biking done when he’s ready for the bike trailer.)
I’ve gone a little less extreme by adding up to 10% cooked vegan whole food, but only during daylight hours, to prevent under-metabolized rice, etc., at night. I think the raw part is not as important for my controlling my eating as much as minimizing eating too much starch, nuts, seeds and sugar. Bananas can add too many calories; avocados don’t give me added weight on this program, because of the remaining balance, but can make weight loss slower.
On this round of mostly raw veganism, I’ve been eating over 60% organic. I feel a sense of well-being by doing so that makes me less interested in gorging myself on non-organic food, nor on organic foods. I’ve not been eating nuts or nut/seed butters this time around. I have been eating modest amounts of raw flax seeds ground in a coffee grinder and added to salads or mixed with bananas or citrus juice, which provides bulk and Omega 3 and 6. I’ve also been eating small amounts of raw sesame seeds.
For some people, like myself, cooked food is an addiction. That’s why this approach works for me. All the best on this path. Jon Katz.
ADDENDUM: Among my role models to stay on this physical fitness path is fitness fanatic Jack La Lanne, still in great health at ninety-three years, and still getting on soapboxes everywhere to preach the fitness gospel.