Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Goals and Wheat Biscuits

A recent visit to my doctor set me to thinking about my health. He commented that I was in good shape for a baby boomer, those of us born between 1946 and 1964. He asked if I exercised regularly and I responded that I’d only done so occasionally in recent years, but that I used to lift weights at least five times a week a decade ago. And then he said something that surprised me. “It shows,” he said. I did not understand his response. Sure, I’m a fairly big guy, but I’m not the beefed-up guy I was ten years ago. I’ve added two inches to my waist since I lifted those weights.

The doctor saw my puzzled look, gave a wry smile and said, “There are a lot of baby boomers who are not as healthy as you. You’ve had three surgeries in ten years, yet you’ve maintained good health. You recovered from your surgeries quicker than some folks; you are still active, a lot of this can be attributed to the fact that you took time to exercise regularly years ago. What you did a decade ago has helped you today. Why don’t you do something today that will benefit you tomorrow?”

Alana, Ian and me (with the shades) ten years ago
For a moment, I thought my doctor had morphed into a motivational speaker. I felt a surge of positive energy. I could not wait to get home and ride my bicycle or lift a dumbbell or two. I drove home, mentally retrieving and cataloging the exercises I used to do, scheduling and juggling times to fit into my schedule where I could ride my bike or lift a few weights. The thought of climbing Hanging Rock again in better shape and in less time than a few weeks ago appealed to me. I would set goals, little records that I could break. I would exercise wisely, always careful to not over do it.

I’ve been exercising regularly now for three weeks and I can already feel the benefits. I have more energy; I feel better about myself and I have a pair of shorts that fit a little better around my waist. :) I will never be in the same physical condition I was a decade ago, but I can damn sure strive to be in better shape than I am today.

Staying motivated has not been a problem. My neighbor, friend and Hanging Rock hiking partner, Deedee and her friend Anna have been exercising too. Sharing healthy recipes and exercise information with friends inspires me further. Seeing their benefits from exercising, shedding pounds, toning-up, feeling better about themselves encourages and motivates me to do the same. Finding people with the same goals for better health and a happier life can help you achieve your goals.

But there is more to improving one's health than riding a bicycle or lifting a few weights for thirty minutes four or five times a week. I’ve also altered my diet slightly, reducing my intake of fatty foods, eating smaller portions, eating more fruits and vegetables. Does this mean I’ll have to give-up biscuits and gravy or steak? No. I can still have the foods I love as long as I eat one or two biscuits instead of four or five or a third or half of a steak instead of the entire cow.

And with that in mind, here’s a healthy biscuit recipe for you to chomp on. :)

Wheat Biscuits

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk (or buttermilk)

Whisk flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or knives.
Add milk and stir until a dough is formed (adding a little flour until the dough is no longer sticky).
Roll onto a floured surface and knead a few times
Roll/press with a rolling pin or wine bottle until 1/4 inch thick.
Cut (I use a Mason jar lid) into round biscuit shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake in a 425°F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Today is the first day of autumn. Undoubtedly haiku poets will be inspired to pen a haiku or two today. The poem below is one I experienced some years ago and, perhaps, fits nicely into what I talked about today on The Frugal Poet. I think the theme here is certainly the passing of time, but I also think it could mean that we should never give-up. We must always...try.

cycling with my son –
this is the autumn
I fall behind

The Heron's Nest VII:4 - 12, 2005
An Editors’ Choice haiku.


  1. Great post... Too much salt for me in the biscuits though... I do know what you mean about exercise though. One of the benefits of not driving is all the good walking exercise I get shopping etc. I also find that eating almost exclusive veggies and fruit is a good way to go and much cheaper. Tonight I'll just be making a soup of the veggies a friend sent from the garden. And don't forget yogurt. It's great for the waistline and also the b/p... Going healthy is the best gift you can give yourself.

    1. I bought yogurt yesterday, Merrill. I must've read your mind. :)

      Lifted weights and rode my bike today. One of my pedals broke. I'll make a quick run to Wally World soon and purchase a new pedal.

      Thank you for dropping by The Frugal Poet.:)

  2. Love it! And love your enthusiam. What a great doc you have. I was doing yoga today and could do poses I never dreamed I could ever do, even 10 or twenty years ago. Aging can be a beautiful thing, if we choose to make it so. Godspeed my friend!

    1. I've always wanted to try yoga or tai chi, Terri. I think I'd enjoy either one of those forms of exercise.

      Rode my bike today, broke a pedal Maybe I should *walk* to the store and buy a replacement. :)

    2. I couldn't live without my yoga. Finally got where I can do a headstand without using the wall!

  3. Smart to pay attention to waist circumference. I'm sure you are feeling stronger and more energetic as you get back into the swing of physical activity. That with your diet alterations will have you to your goal in no time!

    1. I'm a 34 in the waist (was nearly into a 36!), Angie. I'd like to get back to a 32. We'll see... It's all about food choices and wiggling in the time to exercise.

      I've got to figure out what I'll do those four days in Raleigh. I can't take my weights. Maybe some of those elastic bands?