A 5k every day
Sometimes a peach is just a moose

Building muscle at Disney World

Just got back from a week tooling around Central Florida with the family. Most of the week was spent at Walt Disney World -- all four parks. And lemme tell ya, I have learned one thing:

Walking builds muscle.

OK, I learned another thing:

America -- we're fat!

If the Disney theme parks are a microcosm of America, then we're a bunch of turkey leg-chomping, scooter driving, 100-pound soda-swilling 5-year-olds stuffed into strollers. 

I wish I could say I am exaggerating but I"m not. I was Judgie McJudgerson all week. Here's a snippet of my inner dialogue:

  • "Get that kid out of the stroller and make him walk!"
  • "Why are you using a scooter? I just saw you get up and walk to the concession stand!"
  • "Seriously? You're eating that?"

And so on.

I felt a little bad about being so judgmental when my own caboose is plus sized but at least I was hoofing it while pounding down water and searching for fresh produce. (Yes, I found some.)

But the weight-loss psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic said it was OK and likened it to a newly minted non-smoker getting all up in the business of smokers. You look at things with new eyes.

  I can report that trying to eat healthfully at Disney's Orlando parks can be done. Some parks have fruit and vegetable stands where you can grab a banana or pack of baby carrots. Vegetarian dishes are on many menus. Grilled chicken sandwiches and salads are nearly everywhere. 

Epcot_tofuAt right is a lunch that I had at Epcot's China pavilion: stir-fried tofu and vegetables. Yes, the rice is white (there was no brown) but you pick your battles where you can. I ate half the rice, and I used the chopsticks to slow down the meal.

My favorite change is that the kids' meals automatically contain baby carrots, 100 percent juice and apple slices. You have to opt in to get fries, soda and cookies. 

I also brought along protein bars, Laughing Cow Light wedges (no fridge, no problem!) and Crystal Light Pure Fitness packets. And once there, we made a grocery run, and I stuffed the minibar crevices with Greek yogurt for breakfasts.

Getting back to the muscle thing

So, how'd I do? We left the day after I weighed in at Cleveland Clinic and came back the day before this week's weigh-in (today). I managed to lose a quarter of a pound but here's the really cool stats:

  • I lost 2 percent of my body fat
  • I gained 3 pounds of muscle

So that quarter pound is looking pretty good, huh? At first I was a bit bummed about the small loss but I reminded myself: Disney World is not the Biggest Loser Ranch. It is not designed for weight loss. Yet I managed to lose.

But that 3 pounds of muscle really has me jazzed. I did hit the spacious hotel gym a couple days and did some resistance work but I think it was the walking that built the muscle. First day was 7 miles, then 12.7, then another 8. The other couple days were a more sedate 3-5 miles. 

Since starting the Cleveland Clinic Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program seven weeks ago, I've lost 5 pounds but gained 8 pounds of muscle and lost 4 percent of my body fat.

While the total poundage lost is kinda small, I've turned fluffy fat into 8 pounds of lean muscle. While it'll be nearly impossible to lose the rest of the weight without losing some muscle, I'm pretty impressed with my machinery.

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Check out Shrinking Sisters Reviews  for my latest post for The Daily Laugh. I'm part of a dozen bloggers who are writing every month on the foibles of living a healthy life. And check out the Daily Laugh Hub for other bloggers' stories and for a chance to win $150. That'll buy a lot of dumbbells.

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