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Standing Above the Crowd Chapter Summaries and Excerps – Chapter 6: Nutrition – Eating Right, Feeling Right, Living Well


I’d say my favorite foods growing up were hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, French fries, cereal by the boxful, potato chips, soda pop, cookies, pies, donuts, and just about anything else that wasn’t good for you. Hey, after all, I was a growing boy and I had a lot of body to fill. With my dad being retired from the Air Force most of my growing up years, our family shopped at the commissary on the Air Force base. We had a large, old station wagon, and either my mom or dad would drive with one of us kids out to the base and load that station wagon up from front to back, stacked so high we almost couldn’t see out the windows. That’s what you have to do to feed a growing, hungry family of four kids, a mom, a dad, and any relatives who drop by.

I grew up “large.” People constantly described me as “big-boned,” or they would say that I would “grow into” my body and slim down as I got older. On the contrary, I got fatter as I got older until I got involved with athletics in high school.

By the time I reached high school, I was 6’8” and weighed about 330 pounds. No wonder the football coach tried to recruit me to play on the high school football team! I was a good guy, but I wasn’t athletic at all, and added to that, I didn’t care about athletics. Luckily, Coach Calhoun saw some potential buried deep inside that big frame of mine.

At my athletic peak, when I was about thirty, I weighed 280 pounds with 6 percent body fat, and I was able to run a sub-six-minute mile when I reported for training camp to start the NBA seasons. It was through a lot of hard work and being diligent with my workouts that I was able to attain such peak physical performance.

My interest in nutrition and fitness began in earnest as I got serious about athletics. Every day, I’d be sure to pop my daily vitamins (I soon graduated to a small packet of daily vitamins and supplements) into my mouth and begin my exercise routine, following my favorite Jack LaLanne exercises. As with most things in my life that I get serious about, I made it a lifestyle change, not just the fad of the week. Sure, I tried different diets and exercises, just to mix it up a little. I stayed on that path of trying to attain a better nutritional and fitness level by gathering as much information as possible and implementing it into my life every day.

After a recent annual physical, my physician called and left me an extended and enthusiastic voicemail saying he’d never seen blood lipid levels as great as mine, and that whatever I was doing, to keep on doing it. Over the years, I’ve told him I’m a vegetarian, and that I exercise daily. He told me that it’s obviously working for me, and that for a man over fifty years of age, I keep myself in outstanding shape. Of course, like everyone else, I can stand to lose those ten stubborn pounds that don’t want to go away, but overall, I’m very happy with the results and the lifestyle that I adopted over twenty-five years ago.

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James Donaldson’s – Standing Above the Crowd book is now available in ebook format! You’ll find it on Amazon (just tpye my name into the search bar)

Of course, to order your own personally autographed copy for only $19.95, please go to www.StandingAboveTheCrowd.com and James Donaldson will personally autograph your book to you.


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