Tuesday, November 26, 2013


On Monday I took Ruby to the doctor for her annual checkup.

Last year, at four years of age, she had developed a weight problem, and her physician cautioned us that she needed to lose a few pounds in order to remain healthy.

In my book, "Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes" www.runningshortsbook.com,  I offer a somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach to the issue of weight loss.

The chapter, entitled, "The Diet Book," offers my short, yet concise analysis with regard to losing weight in a healthy manner. I also suggested that it may be the title of my NEXT book: 'Eat less and exercise more.' Now, this book would be an easy read. After I design an eye-catching cover, a table of contents, an inspirational quote, and a list of acknowledgements, entire manuscript would read, Eat less and exercise more.

Forget about fad diets and gimmicks. The key to healthy weight loss, in my view, lies in at least a half hour of aerobic activity for four days a week or more, combined with a sensible diet. Keeping everything in moderation is the key. A steak, once in a while, is ok, but a steak five times a week is not. And, we need to eat more food and less products. Take the American Cancer Society's advice about consuming nine fruits and/or vegetables a day. If it's colorful, it's good. Load up those salads with all kinds of stuff, and eat superfoods, like blueberries. The formula has worked for my mother. She's 92 years old, and takes no medication of any kind.

So, after our scare of last year, we modified Ruby's lifestyle. An avid sleeper, we made sure she exercised daily. She has an affinity for junk food, so we also provided her with healthy food, and we reduced her portions.

Two days ago, at her annual checkup, the verdict was good. She had lost seven pounds, and is now is excellent health for a five year old.

Ruby is our baby and we care deeply about her. A Redbone Coonhound, she resides with us and her sister, Dixie, a seven year old Labrador Retriever.

Ruby's weight loss formula was a simple one, and she seems to be sticking to it. She enjoys chasing rabbits, and now she can almost catch them. While her sister enjoys running for miles, Ruby used to get gassed after a mile. From there, she would slowly waddle home, or simple drop to the ground to take a break. Today, a two mile or so run is no problem for her.

Running alone is not a magic bullet. We need to, like Ruby, implement a total fitness plan. Eat less and exercise more, and don't forget to lift weights to keep your upper body as strong as your lower half.

Here's hoping that your next annual checkup goes as well as Ruby's.