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Body Worry : 5 to 9: A Day in the Making of a Hunk

BODY WORRY Ninth in a series.

November 07, 1986|REMAR SUTTON

After two months, even island life styles take on a routine. Mine is exotic, but it isn't easier just because of the swaying palms.

I usually rise at 5 a.m. for two hours of writing. A double helping of Crystal Light, half-strength over ice, goes with me to my office. I'm not necessarily thirsty then, but I have learned my body needs lots of liquids for the day ahead. I write on a hard-disk computer, and I write happily at this hour without interruption.

Russell Burd, my trainer, usually arrives by 7. Russ and his fiancee, Kim, live less than a mile from my house. He is a quiet, steady young man who knows his responsibilities and won't let me forget mine. "Good morning, Remar, let's go" is usually my cue to stop typing, and if I tarry too long, Russ adds a taunt, "Feeling a little wimpy this morning or something?" That always stops my fingers.

We first stretch for 30 minutes on my porch. I had decided to become as limber as a yogi when this year started, and Russ's routine will probably get me there, but I hate this much stretching. Because everyone is "tight" when they wake up, stretching can make you feel a lot more in control of your body, but I don't know how long my routine will last.

Breakfast Serenade

While I change into gym clothes (I sleep and type in boxer shorts), Russ sets out breakfast on my porch. By this time, around 7:30, competing choirs of island birds are singing in the trees. We nearly always have fresh fruit with wheat toast, bran cereal over shredded wheat with skim milk or instant oatmeal. Our milk is skimmed and our sweetener (I love sweet things) low calorie. Once each week, as a bonus, I have a waffle with a spoonful of diet syrup on it. I like those days.

Three days a week our breakfast sits on the table for about 20 minutes before we eat. On those days, right after stretching, we jog. If the tide is high, we jog along Lucaya's back streets; if the tide is low, we jog down the beach past the Holiday Inn, then past the Atlantic and finally turn around at the Lucayan Beach Hotel. The beach here is crescent-shaped and lined with pines, casuarinas and thatched beach canopies, and the beach is clean, too. Each morning at 7 a tractor rakes up the debris.

From 8 until 10, I write again. Russ is usually sitting at a portable computer behind me to the right. Record-keeping for this year--both health and financial information--takes him about three hours each day.

By 10:15, we're on our bikes heading to the Grand Bahama YMCA. If the day is also a jogging day, we bike easily and take the shortest route, about 4 miles each way. On other days we bike like madmen and take the 6-mile route. Less than a month ago, the thought of biking even 1 mile scared me, but now I bike these 8 to 10 miles easily and still achieve my aerobic workout for the day. My progress there makes me feel very good.

Workouts Cut Back

We go to the gym six days a week. Before my shoulder injury, we worked out nearly 2 1/2 hours a day, but now our total workouts seldom go past an hour. My doctors may be cutting the days back to four, which they say will speed my healing. Russ and I usually work out alone, but a couple of days a week we "work in" with some of the croupiers from the casinos. I've learned that the best way in the world to meet croupiers is at a gym. There are 26 who work out here.

Workouts are made up of "sets" and "repetitions." On most exercises, we do four sets of 10 repetitions, gradually increasing weights on each set. In some things, like pulling motions, I'm surprisingly strong. For shoulder repetitions--to avoid aggravating my injury--I simply move a bar without weights.

The bike ride home, fast or slow, is a harder one. Lifting does something wonderful to your spirits--a great mood elevator--but it definitely eats up energy. After leg workouts in particular, Russ and I both dread the biking home.

We lunch around 1 p.m., usually tuna, Bahamian lobster or skinned, baked chicken (prepared in many different ways), always with a large salad. For dessert, fresh melons and, my favorite, a nap. I sleep about 45 minutes.

Spearing Our Dinner

I make phone calls from 2 to 3, then write again until 5. Three days a week we usually swim in the ocean and occasionally spear fish for dinner. I'm a good shot, and it's a thrill. Three days a week, exercise class meets here. But after my day, I can't muster the strength to go through a full class with them yet. I do watch energetically, however.

We eat dinner by 6:30. Pasta in large quantities with vegetarian or fish sauces--or freshly caught lobster or fish--are my favorites. Fresh, steamed vegetables replace my salad.

I normally don't do much after dinner. An amazingly pleasant fatigue usually hits me quickly. At about 9, I go to my bedroom.

Time passes very quickly here, even faster than in the real world. That's usually my last thought before an untroubled sleep.

Muscles and Health,

Remar Sutton

"Body Worry" chronicles the weekly progress of a bald, overweight man who, in the course of one year, tries to transform himself into a "hunk." Write to Mr. Sutton in care of United Media, 200 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10166

Progress Report

Beginning NinthWeek Waist: 43 inches 33 inches Right biceps: 12 3/4 inches 12 3/4 inches Flexed: 13 inches 13 1/8 inches Weight: 201 pounds 169 pounds Height: 6' 1" Blood pressure: 128/68 130/68 Pulse: 64 60 Bench press: 55 110 Hunk factor: .00 .13

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