Excerpts by Henry Lane Hull

In a recent conversation, a friend and I discussed our overall health and wellness regime. 

We centered on the interrelated topics of diet and exercise. I explained that I once was a runner, during which time diet and weight were of no consequence to me. I did not need a scale, as I was gaining no weight, but after my running days came to an end, slowly the pounds started creeping up on me. 

The telltale sign of what was happening became apparent when I needed longer belts, a bad omen for future good health. I did not return to running, but I began experimenting with various quick-fix remedies to control weight gain, still cake and ice cream seemed to be overpowering influences. 

I saw walking and hiking as guaranteed cure-alls, but then when I realized how much time those pursuits required, and how few calories they burned, I tended to lose interest in them for weight control, although I have continued to pursue them for fun, most notably in the form of taking extended family walks around the farm and through the woods.

In those ventures, when by myself, I often am accompanied by Henry the Gander, whom I have described previously. One day last week when I began to drive off in the pickup, he began following me, until my Good Wife called him back. I am viewing Henry as an exercise partner, although he is already fit and trim, and he walks with me purely for companionship and conversation.

As I abhor artificial foods, be they sweeteners, chemically colored drinks, so-called “diet” brands, and the like, I refrain from coming near anything that markets itself as being “phony.” The latter is my word for “artificial.” I do not need to know what the chemical composition of maltodextrin is, but when I see it on a label, the item immediately goes back on the shelf, even if it is basically plant-derived.

  Although my recently retired physician, Dr. John Deschamps, often cautioned me that gardening was not sufficient as the basis for an exercise program, I still think of it as being the ideal means of working to keep good health in mind and body, even if it is not the best calorie-burner.

In my experience, the most important information on a food label is not the caloric composition, but rather the amount of fat, and what kind of fat it is, that a food product contains. I regularly indulge in fatty avocados, but not in grease. Sodium content is also a key in trying to follow a diet; the less, the better. It only will add to fluid retention.

Some years ago, I came to grips with the most successful means of controlling one’s weight. It is the sole foolproof way to keep pounds off, as well as to shed some that are already there. I have labeled it, “The Hull Diet.” Quite simply, it entails regular exercise three times a day of the triceps muscles. The problem with most Americans is that instead of exercising the triceps, they overindulge in exercising the biceps muscles, a surefire way to put on the pounds.

I am not trained in physical therapy, but having had a couple of courses in biology, I can comprehend the critical role the triceps play in good diet practices. The essence of the Hull Diet is the recognition that the biceps pull one to the table, whereas the triceps push one away from it. Use of the triceps keeps one from having seconds, thirds, or fourths of a deliciously scrumptious meal. By removing oneself from the table, the temptation fades.

In conclusion, for sound weight control I have found that nothing surpasses proper exercise of the triceps. It is not a gimmick. Try it and see.