Of Bikes and Beans


“Arizona Slim” Circa 1996 and on my way back.

Tell you what, I will check out like everyone on this planet but I’m not planning on being at the business end of a ventilator, if I can help it. Both of my parents had prolonged illnesses and it ain’t pretty. But even when you hang on ( and who would want to? ) think of the stress your family will be put through.

When you’re a patient and your very sick, you have the personal toll it creates and the added financial worry of the care you will be forced to receive.

Some illnesses are beyond our control but that doesn’t mean we can dodge the responsibility of keeping ourselves together for the long run. Most likely, nobody will be reading a book at my bedside when I get the call.

All the more reason to put in the sweat equity now. Barring any unforeseen turns of events: Be all you can be. That’s my operating line and I’m sticking to it. As Taj Mahal would say, “I ain’t good lookin’ baby, but I’m someone’s sweetest child.”

So I learned this little trick when I was a rep in the southwest. I did my best work at the dinner table and as some of you know, medical people have the absolute worst eating, drinking and smoking habits. Throw in a pinch between the cheek and gum and you have a recipe for: Unhealthy Living 101. Medical advice is for you, never for them.

I was at my weakest point when I would go out with clients when I was hungry. Like food shopping on an empty stomach, not a good idea.

Some of these Tex-Mex grills should have had a skull and crossbones as part of full disclosure. Back then, a lot of these techs smoked while they ate. Staying healthy while eating in restaurants is an art form.

Now, being in the southwest, there are beans of every kind everywhere. All restaurants have them. So, to keep myself from overindulging on something greasy or sweet, I always ordered a cup or bowl of beans as an appetizer. Black beans, kidney beans, whatever. The beans would fill me up without the caloric penalty and I would never feel like I was missing out.

The next morning, I would bring my bike out or rent one at the hotel I was staying at. After a while, I had to have my suit pants taken in. Go figure. Here I was in restaurants on the average of twice a day, not including hotel breakfasts, which can be deceiving, and losing weight. Anyone who’s been in sales know how hard it is to keep a girlish figure under a regimen like that.

Beans can be eaten right out of the can, too. When they re-located me I was making thirty grand a year, so beans were more than just a weight stabilizer, if you catch my drift.

Beans, the gift that keeps on giving. They say you’ll never get a communicable disease eating them because no one will ever get close to you. 🙂

Seriously, if you do have a problem like gas, there’s always Beano. And don’t forget the free bubble bath. Beans create a paste-like lining in your stomach that gives you the feeling of fullness without the calorie hit. Plus: they are good for you.

Bikes: As we get older, our joints need a little extra love and care. Biking is the perfect way to burn calories and see the world. I’ve been doing it for years and still have my own knee caps to prove it. Running will not return your investment as you age. The jarring can be cumulative. No plastic, please.

Fast walking is better and easier on you overall. But a bike allows you to get some distance in and enjoy the scenery. I used to put on a knapsack and go food shopping. Any excuse to get out in the fresh air.

And don’t let winter hamper your efforts. As long as there’s no snow on the ground, dress like a snow skier. Weather sure doesn’t stop those folks. Don’t let winter flab grab ya. Oh, an added benefit, you will sleep like a baby. (Yawn)

I recently shed more than 30lbs on this regimen. I’m gonna call it ” Goin’ for Gaunt.”

Beans and a bike. What’s not to like?





Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.