Lose Weight, Feel Great!

When I’m on a diet (which is essentially always), invariably at some point I’ll get hungry and go and do something stupid like eat seventeen orders of McDonald’s hash browns in a three minute period. When something like this happens (which is essentially always), invariably I feel guilty about it. Before you nod your head in vigorous agreement, let me explain my use of the term guilt. This isn’t about feeling guilty about falling off the wagon, or ruining my diet, or doing something “bad.” No, I simply feel awful that this “major problem” in my life is too much food and I’m painfully aware of how many people there are on this planet who don’t have enough food.

I already wrote about it here in January right after the last Christmas break. Go read that now (which includes a thoughtful excerpt from my book) and then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ll wait.

In the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, let me know what you think about this crazy idea: combine a hearty, sweat-breaking exercise with helping people less-fortunate. How’s that sound?

Well, that’s exactly what I did on two mornings during my last vacation up north. Morning number one was spent moving 5,700 pounds of food off a panel truck. Morning number two was spent bagging food, distributing food, moving food, and bagging food again. About five hours across both days. It was hot, sweaty work and I couldn’t have felt better.

Here are a few pics from the trip. Hover your mouse over each for more information. (And if you’re reading this via email or an RSS feed, come back to the site for the full effect.)

Food pantry photograph

Food pantry photograph

Food pantry photograph

Food pantry photograph

Food pantry photograph

Food pantry photograph

So the choice is yours: pay some monster gym fifty bucks a month to walk in place on a boring treadmill OR get a real solid workout and help out people in the process. Oh, and if for some reason you must spend money in order to exercise, the food pantry could probably put that fifty to better use. 🙂

10 Responses to “Lose Weight, Feel Great!”

Vicki said
July 15, 2010 at 1:48 am

Good for you spending the time to help the less fortunate. I totally agree with you, we should all do this type of workout. It benefits not only us, but others as well.

Tish said
July 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

Definitely a great idea. And the “virtue” factor multiplies the calories burnt, don’t ya think?

Biz said
July 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

Great post Charlie! Are you going to find a food pantry in Austin to volunteer at??

your prettier sister Biz 😀

M0m said
July 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks Charlie. It was wonderful having you all help out! For the rest of you reading this post – our pantry (in a Chicago suburb) is open every Saturday and feeds 120 – 150 families every week. If there’s a pantry near you, trust me – they need help — money or muscle.

TexasDeb said
July 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Interesting fact – Food Banks are often able to parlay cash donated into about 3-4 times as much money for food (through various matching grants etc) so when you give dollars they really go a long way.

Also – here in Austin the Cap Area Food Bank can use help with administrative tasks should anyone not be able to handle heavy lifting…

Helen said
July 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

OMG Charlie, the line about the potatoes being exciting made me well up. No joke. Our local news station has been running stories about how the food banks are running low. It’s a combination of people being on vacation and otherwise occupied, and the fact that there are folks who actually work and collect a paycheck but do not make enough to buy groceries who are now showing up hoping to get a bag. I think you get extra credit with the Big Guy in the Sky for combining your exercise with helping those who simply cannot help themselves.

Will You Loose said
July 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I think helping others is great on so many levals. Thanks

Melinda said
July 20, 2010 at 6:00 am

Wow, how come I never thought of this? I usually go to the gym about 4 times a week, but I think I’ll hold on to my money and do something like this instead. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!

fat burning furnace alert said
July 26, 2010 at 7:23 am

one hour morning run(not jogging)
save your 50 bucks
and all your fat will be gone

Linda said
July 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

Just wanted to say I really like your blog Charlie, you’re a great writer.

Love the shameless self-promotion – very amusing 😉