Tag Archives: Exercise

Keto Day 83: Exercise for Jabba the Hut


A reader sent this in. I responded by saying that “working out” is the operative phrase here. Exercising is key to making Keto successful in the best way – cutting down, btw, on any adverse too much fat in arteries fears.

Here’s my sorry story that Keto-ing is turning around. Though I was already a bit cripplely in the legs, some traffic accidents some 21 to 25 years ago threw me into a wheel chair for a year and then “Canadian crutches” for another couple of years. In my weakness, I let that be an excuse for not exercising much at all, with me then ending up as Jabba the Hut. One time I reached 278 pounds. That scared me, and I tried to go on diets, losing even 30 pounds a couple of times, but hitting a plateau and not knowing anything about how dieting worked. That failed.

I was introduced to Keto by a friend this past November 2019, and my doctor (also a Keto-er) gave me the green light, knowing already that my kidneys were in good shape, that my cholesteral levels were good, that I wasn’t yet diabetic. I’m close to having lost 46 pounds since November 21, 2019, and it’s now only February 11, 2020. I’ve still got some 24 pounds to go before getting just within the upper limits of a “healthy weight” on the Bethesda Naval Hospitals BMI scale. So, that’ll be another 48 days or so, but I’ll add just some days in order to get me just a few pounds into the healthy range. That will bring me up to the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week. Hey! Good Timing!

Not having exercised in so long, and being heavy, I’ve become frustrated in doing even a few sit-ups, a few push-ups, etc., giving up. However, in losing this weight with Keto these simple and basic exercises have started to become possible, but still with only a few repetitions. I mentioned my dilemma to a good friend, and his immediate comment utterly dismissing my frustration was this:

The point of exercise is not what you do or how much of whatever, just that you have a set time every day to exercise.

Brilliant psychology, that.

So, being unwise, and lazy, I didn’t follow that advice, doing up a bit of exercise every couple of weeks, when I felt like it. Even that has helped a great deal. It has become easier to do more than one of whatever exercise, so this will now become part of my day. Since I’m only starting, my numbers for the very few exercises I do for a session are pitiful, but I’ll lay out here what I do for encouragement of those who are in as bad a shape as I have been. Mind you, this isn’t much, but for me, it’s entirely fantastic. You gotta start somewhere.

  • 30 sit-ups, but not entirely regulation in style. I would be DQed by any coach anywhere. But the proper form will come along soon enough. I’m content with starting in a Jabba the Hut manner.
  • 30 reps of weights, well, not really weights. This comes down to a five pound three foot long crow bar with some weights attached to either side. Laughable, really. It’s fine to be humorous with yourself.
  • 30 fake push-ups. I’m still to heavy to do push-ups without hearing the smashing up of the insides of the shoulders, so I do fake push-ups. I’ve made a heavy, tall work bench for myself. That’s in the bed-room against the wall. I put myself at a 45 degree angle with that, chest against the top of the bench, and push up. Easy peasy? Well, it’s just perfect for the shape I’m in, so I’ll do this, even though it’s laughable.
  • 30 sets of a quick 5-count of quadriceps conditioning. The quadriceps are the four muscles that come together just above the knee cap. These get very weak and disappear just as soon as they are not needed much, as has been the case with me the last 25 years or so. A great doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester taught me this trick to get them back into shape. You put some weights on your ankles and, sitting down, bring your lower legs almost up to being straight out, but not quite. Then, straighten them out and hold that position for some seconds, then let them down just a few inches, then repeat. He said that that’s the only exercise that will have a direct effect on the quadriceps, which are essential for everything else. Being bad and evil and lazy, I didn’t much do that, but this is now becoming part of my sessions. It seems like a nothing exercise if you’re in good shape, and a waste of time, and even if you’re out of shape entirely it will stupid for a week or so, but then it will catch up with you, as it did to me once when I put on too many weights too early, against advice. Not being humble enough to take direction is what made me Jabba the Hut.

Keto has really saved this sorry knucklehead.

Yes, I really did do a session of those exercises already today. But we’ll see if I can start adding sessions more than once a day.

P.S. That cartoon above? That’s actually a serious point. It’s soooo difficult to stay the course when you have everyone insisting to throw liberal low-carb food at you while you’re trying to do strict Keto.

Few get the plot that it’s a matter of not allowing a switch-back to a different metabolism every few days because that would be terribly unhealthy. However, I’m slowly learning how to insist on just saying that I’ll be doing my own thing regardless. That’s freeing in and of itself. Good training for all things. It’s such a small matter. But it’s these small matters that will make or break someone. It’s good to learn how to handle these small matters well. I think our Lord speaks about that, doing the small things well, and then…


Filed under Diet, Exercise

Exercising first time in 20 years: St Paul putting respect of the body in context


It’s always a good idea to see the doctor when taking up a program of exercise. So I did. He said, as expected, that 90% of any exercise program is diet, only 10% exercise. The diet thing is all about calories, he said. I agree. I’m starting that today, finally, finally following up on this post: Stop! Look! Mountains to climb!

In Rome, twenty some years ago, a tourist bus from Greece ran a red light and picked me off, totally shattering my left leg. Operations, wheelchairs, crutches. After that, I alternated between studies and teaching and pastoral activities, but never making any serious attempt at exercise, letting the bus be my excuse not to do so, what with the leg now sporting many pounds of surgical metal. But now I’m sick of being totally out of shape.

I have a simple program to aim at (I didn’t make it up), involving a sprint, a “long distance” run, sit-ups and push-ups. There is a bare minimum of accomplishment for these things. That’s what I’m aiming at right now. This is the very first time, mind you. The sit-ups left my abs churning madly. The push-ups were laughable. The sprint was more of a jog. The run was a run-walk:

  • Missed the 300 meter sprint by 9 seconds
  • Missed the 1.5 mile run by 1 minute and 17 seconds, but I did finish
  • Missed getting all the sit-ups in 60 seconds by 11
  • Missed getting all the push-ups in 60 seconds by 3

Normally, this might be considered a heart-attack waiting to happen, but it’s said that my heart is in perfect shape. So, O.K. But, really, how out of shape can one be? My legs seemed not to exist underneath me. It seemed to take forever to cool down. Today, better. And that’s good feedback.

I did do everything right after the run:

  • Put on supportive sandals
  • Did some light activities, in this case, “playing with guns” as my internet stalker says (actually keeping up with precision usage of tools). This was actually more difficult than I thought, so destroyed was I by the exercise.
  • Refueled the right way with the neighbors of the hermitage: turkey toes[!], collards, mashed potatoes… Well, one fail: ice cream for the ordination anniversary ;-)

I hear that it’s also important not to shortchange a recovery day, today. Just some situps and pushups and setting up a pre-start pre-program for the quadriceps right above the knees, which of anything are in the worst possible shape ever.


I’m starting slowly. If any of you have been through this and have some advice, let me know. I know that pacing is necessary. Persistence is necessary. Diet is the most important.


Saint Paul supports exercise somewhat, but in context and rightly prioritized:

“Train yourself for devotion, for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.” (1 Timothy 4:7-11 nab)

God did give us our bodies, so we should take care of them, but not for any moralistic reason like that, but out of love (it is of value however limited), that is, because our bodies, as Saint Paul also says, are members of Christ, are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, with us offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, our spiritual worship, always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.


Filed under Diet, Exercise