Here are a couple of examples to show what can be achieved with simple changes in diet and exercise. Although generalizations on fitness improvement in fitness and fat loss are fairly unreliable, specific examples illustrate what certain individuals have accomplished.
Paul is a thirty-five-year-old self-employed certified public accountant. He has a wife and three preschool children. He works between ten and twelve hours a day five to six days a week.
In an effort to get started in business he has been working long hours for almost ten years. Now he is quite successful. When he graduated from college he was in excellent physical condition, having competed successfully in intramural sports. As the years went by he discovered that he was too tired at the end of the day to do anything other than collapse into an easy chair when he arrived home. Having once experienced fitness he decided to get back into shape. Usually this would be insufficient motivation for success, but in Paul’s case it worked.
His program consisted of jogging for ten minutes before breakfast, followed by fifteen minutes of calisthenics. Although this plan would be boring to most people, Paul enjoyed it. During the first six months of his program he was able to increase from sixteen to fifty sit-ups, from two to twenty-five push-ups, and from one to six pull-ups. He is now fit again and enjoying his leisure time more than he has in the last ten years.
Herb is a forty-five-year-old attorney who was concerned about his paunchy appearance. His complaint was, ”My all goes to my midriff.” It was pointed out to Herb that this, in fact, was not entirely true but that the skin-fold test over his abdomen was only slightly greater than over his shoulder.
He then realized that his business-man’s paunch was due more to poor muscle tone than to excess fat. He started playing squash three to four times a week at the end of the day. After two games of squash, which took him about twenty-five minutes, he then reserved two to three minutes for interim exercises.
At first he was breathless, and played erratic squash. In three months his dropped from 182 to 174 pounds and at the end of four months he was able to play a consistently steady game of squash. He plays squash with his friends, and if they are unavailable for the late afternoon date, he relies on the club pro. He plans his squash dates in advance and allows nothing to interfere with these appointments. His bay window has almost disappeared and he has much more pep.
Roger is a fifty-six-year-old sales manager of a nationwide automobile firm. He has a high position and soon expects to be appointed an officer of the company. He found that he woke up tired in the morning. He also was tired all day long and was bothered by being constantly jittery. This not only left him irritable, but with a fine tremor of his hands when he attempted to lift a coffee cup or write memorandums. He “never felt quite right.” He found that he no longer had the ability to relax and consequently “ate all day long.” At that time he weighed 206 pounds.
He went with his family for a month’s summer vacation in Canada, where he spent his time hunting, fishing, and living an outdoor life. He was amazed at how well he felt at the end of that month. He no longer suffered from nervousness and fatigue. When he came back to the big city he “felt great” and wanted to maintain his improved fitness.
Accordingly, he gave up desserts and sweets but did not otherwise alter his diet. He made increasing use of his daily activities by not using elevators and by walking. He also joined the mens club at the YMCA, where twice a week he went to class with other businesspeople.
On weekends he and his wife walked an hour a day in the woods behind his house. At first he found that he was panting as he ascended a small hill in the area. After two months he found that walking up the hill was entirely effortless, and in seven months his had come down to 178 pounds and he was able to pass the skin-fold test. He now has developed a prescribed pathway through the woods and occasionally requests that his wife time him to see if he is improving, and he is. Moreover, a previously incredulous neighbour now occasionally accompanies him and has difficulty keeping up.