PELÉ diet

Instead of gaining pounds while sheltering in place, use this home-bound time to achieve that elusive weight you’ve been wishing for. I call it the PELÉ diet, after Edson Arantes do Nascimento, in my opinion one of the greatest athletes of all time (professional footballer), right up there with Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Tiger Woods, Patrick Mahomes II and Megan Rapinoe.

P: Pray. Pray to achieve your weight goal. Praying is the most important aspect of this diet. Why? In the words of Mother Teresa, “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.” When you pray for the weight you want to achieve, you subconsciously place your weight goal front and center in your mind, which gives you strength and determination when confronted by that triple decker, cherry cheese cake. With your weight goal firmly implanted, you start eating smarter, exercising more and working toward your weight goal. Pray before you eat. Pray before you exercise and while you’re exercising. Weigh yourself before and after you exercise. Watch prayers being answered as the pounds slip away.

EL: Eat Less. Once on a vacation at a resort in Jamaica, I noticed that the portion size of food served was smaller. After a couple of days of smaller portions, I also noticed something phenomenal — I was losing weight. The food was great, but I was eating less. Bingo! The practice that is probably least paid attention to is to simply not eat so much (also called the “Push-Away Diet” — just push away from the table sooner). You can pretty much eat anything you want, including carbohydrates like potatoes, breads and desserts. Just don’t eat as much. (I’ve never been real good at moderation.) All diets work, Caribbean, Keto, High Protein. I achieved most of my weight loss from a simple, high protein, low carb diet. But I reached a plateau and was having a problem shedding the last few pounds. Once I switched to the simple eat less regimen, victory. Another thing, as far as I’m concerned, restaurants being closed is a plus for dieting. Nothing crashes a diet for me faster than going out to eat once or twice on a weekend. And don’t whine that ordering takeout is messing with your diet. Be smart and selective. Oriental is great.

E: Exercise. Ginnie and I are fortunate in that we have our own dedicated exercise room. We also have hers and his treadmills. We don’t have to leave the house to work out. With the pandemic, exercise centers are closed. Bummer. But you can still get out and walk or run, 30 minutes a day is doable by anyone, whether working full time or not. It’s also something Ginnie and I do together, which is really nice. Neither one of us wants to let the other down, so we get out there together. Much to Ginnie’s chagrin, we work out on the treadmills to country classic music. It used to be rock ‘n roll oldies, but being the country boy I am, it’s now CW. A little game I play while exercising is trying to guess the name of the artist as each song comes on. Ginnie just plugs her ears. Something I’ve started lately, because of my age (71), is doing the run/walk routine. I warm up at a walk for two minutes, than run five and walk one, to get the 30 minutes in, followed by a two-minute cool down. I don’t think I’ve felt better in years. BTW: I have degenerative hip and spine disease. What’s the best thing for a bad hip? Yep, you guessed it — exercise. One more thing: on the days I don’t feel like exercising (which is often), it usually turns out to be a great performance day. Interesting how that works. There are no excuses.

This pandemic, stay-at-home routine need not be the weight gainer I hear a lot of belly aching (get it?) about. If you want to binge on something watch “Ozark” or put a 1,000 piece puzzle together. Flatten the curve on your own body with the PELÉ Diet: Pray, Eat Less and Exercise. It works. It really does.


Call or text Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526,

email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com.


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