Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 32: Standing and Snacking

Metro North Station, White Plains
ABOARD THE 7:01 HARLEM LINE TRAIN -- Every rail commuter knows a thing or two about seat etiquette (Example: Real men don't vie for the middle one) and where to position oneself on the platform, factoring in the station and time of day, to maximize the possibility if scoring one.

It's exhausting. And, just like flying, the window seat is good for exactly the opposite of what the aisle seat is good for, and neither are good for everything.
I've always played the game, pleased that when I commute I can almost always score a seat. But it's a flimsy victory.

It occurred to me, as part of my standing campaign, to stand during the 50 minutes or so each way. Like my uncle taught me when I was a lad, I don't lean or support myself in any way (unless there is turbulence), the better to improve balance and burn calories and work on the core.

What a revelation! In addition to the health benefit (small, but cumulative) I realized I can now always ride in the first car, or in one which has a bathroom (um, I drink plenty of fluids).

Yes, this is ... obsessive. But big lifestyle changes can be enhanced and re-enforced with small ones; it's tougher to sabotage and cave if that means retreating on several fronts instead of just one. Now, before I think of not spinning or running every morning, I have to decide to stop standing at my home desk, taking the stairs whenever possible, and now riding the rails in the full upright and locked position.

Related, but random: I also got a bit of re-enforcement of the "de-accentuating the meal" thing from a recent episode of Dr. Oz, who has partnered with Weight Watchers in a million-dollar contest challenge. Turns out that snacking is a medically indicated approach to dieting because eating releases a hormone called gherlin, which suppresses appetite and makes you feel satisfied.


As with any technique the devil is in the details: Snacking on Devil Dogs won't help.

Finally, I was famished today. I consumed maybe 10 servings of fruit and plenty of protein and vegetables. Lots of coffee, too. And, I'm looking forward to dinner.

One of those days ... but all still well within my basic daily Points Plus allowance.

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