Paula Dean Glazed-Bacon Donut Bad – And What To Do About It

Peg Breen: April 12, 20125 Comments


The other day I had an invitation from a group of employees that caused me to have an Oprah Ah-ha moment.  I was invited to go hiking on the San Joaquin River Gorge.  It was a 9- mile hike and since I’ve always considered myself pretty fit, I wrote back an email with an enthusiastic “Yes!”   I used an exclamation point, darn it.  That’s Internet lingo for "I’m excited. I mean it. I’ll be there.” 

Shown from Left to Right are: Lisa Kiefer holding my dog Sammy, Natalie Silva of California Cancer Center holding her dog Lucy, Sandra Beck of Community Regional’s Asthma Education, and Yan Jiang of Community Regional’s ED.

But when my alarm rang that Saturday morning, I did some mental backsliding.   I felt sluggish. Could this be a sudden case of Fresno fever, I thought?   Then, I started to think of all the errands I had to do that morning. Better to be a responsible person than do something frivolous, right?   I did such a good job convincing myself I shouldn’t go, that I didn’t. 

I dropped off coffee to the merry band of hikers, then Sammy and I drove back home.   In the car it hit me.  I wasn’t the fit, energetic, healthy person I thought I was.   Somehow, I had turned into – and I can barely stand to say it – A couch potato.

A research study recently published by the University of Sydney’s school of public health shows what happens to us when we sit for an extended period of time.   Insulin and glucose levels are higher on a day that includes long periods of uninterrupted sitting compared to days when we take periods of light or moderate intensity breaks.  Not a tiny bit higher, but a hefty 20%.  High glucose levels increase the risk for diabetes and, to make it worse, sitting lowers our calorie burn, making it easier for last night’s piece of pie to show up on our backside the next morning.    AJ Jacob’s, who wrote the book “Drop Dead Healthy” uses a very colorful way to describe how bad this is.  He calls it - “Paula Dean Glazed-Bacon-Donut-Bad”.  So, what should we do?

Here I am with two friends from a hike in Colorado – see I do actually hike!

Jacob’s says that he tried a lot of things in his experiment in getting healthy but the thing that worked the best for him was “contextual exercise”, meaning, when faced with a choice, he opts for the one that causes him to physically move the most.  Elevator or stairs? Stairs.   Toss the dog a ball, or take Lassie for a walk?  Walk.   He even turned running errands into actually “running” his errands.  But this answer seems so easy that it seems, ..well, wrong.

I think it goes one step further.  It’s about making the choice a habit.  Charles Duhigg describes some great, simple advice in his book, “The Power of Habit – Why We Do What We Do In Life and In Business”.    Here are 3 steps to what he calls – The Habit Loop, which we might just brand- The C-To It list: 

  • First, find a “cue”…that thing that triggers you to take action.  Look at the photo you pasted on your fridge from 10 years ago when you were 10 pounds lighter, or for me- smiling and sweaty next to a river with two friends in the Rockies.
  • Then, complete the routine- The dog walk, the weight room, the flag football in the back yard with your kids.
  • Finally – reward yourself.  Maybe not with a quart of Ben and Jerry’s, but definitely with something that causes your brain to store the routine for future use. The reward might be a bath with lavender oil, or a cup of green tea with your favorite magazine.   Once it “stores” (you IT guys will get this part) you will be able to do it again almost automatically.

I think it would be inspiring to hear from some of you who’ve been able to make –Just Move - a part of your lifestyle.  If you are a hard-core exercise fanatic, we can learn from you too, so please share your secrets.   As for me – the next time the C-Fitters call – I’ll be there.  

5 responses to Paula Dean Glazed-Bacon Donut Bad – And What To Do About It


I made a New years Resolution to take only the stairs when I am at the TCCB that makes for the equivalent of like 10 flights at least twice a day. It has helped me fit some kind of movement into my day and coupled with eating better , I have lost some weight. Much easier to work out when it is a part of your day and not something I have to block out time for. (Just don't try to talk to me right away if you see me emerging on the 5th floor because it takes a while for me to catch my breath!)

Number 1 Myth about Exercise

I found an article that linked me to a very interesting learning about Myths about exercise... I am having trouble making the link work here so I'll just share that it says the #1 Myth about exercise is that "X is the Best Form of Exercise" implying someone can really pick a best form of exercise over all others. The article goes on to say, "... You want to know the real best form of exercise? It’s the one you love. It’s the one you are motivated to do regularly and train hard at. It’s the one you want to keep improving at. That one is best." I think we make exercise harder than it needs to be. Do something, anything relatively active and do it all the time because you *love* to not because you have to. Welcome to CMC, Peg! I'm glad you invite us to share our ideas here. I'm looking forward to meeting you someday! Jerry Dickerson, PMP Project Manager, Corporate IS, Community Administrative Support Building

Exercise Myths

You're so right. In the old days I was a runner, but my knees disagree with that choice now so I've turned to the eliptical. Thanks for the blog-back! Peg

It takes two

Peg thanks for sharing this valuable information.I would have to say that the times I’ve been successful at exercising regularly/staying fit, have been when I have had some company. My sister and I use to go to the gym twice a day when I was in college and when C-fit was around, I participated in a number of different events with them. The social aspect of being active with a buddy or group makes it fun! It truly brings people together, even if it is just to complain about how sore you are:).

It Takes Two

I completely agree! I enjoy meeting friends at the gym...but my most loyal exercise companion is my dog Sammy! Thanks for your comment! Peg

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