When I grew up on a farm the most important meal of the day was breakfast, meaning, I was so physically active throughout the day that I burned thousands of calories. I moved thousands of bales of hay; I broke horses, milked cows, took care of other livestock and our fields. I cleaned ditches continually, and moved irrigation pipes, set irrigation damns, built fences, repaired fences, and was in every way active every waking moment of the day. I had to consume enough calories early in the day to support this kind of activity.

By comparison, after I got a job that was more mental activity than physical, it quickly became apparent that I needed to change my pattern of eating. Huge breakfasts led me to be less productive and to gain weight. Hobbies that I loved, such as gardening, breaking horses, fishing, hunting, and hiking kept helped me to also retain the "lean edge" that kept me from putting food in my mouth continuously. I was too busy, to happy, and too distracted to overeat. I love the energy ladder because it is helping me to re-find my most productive edge again.

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I haven't had the chance to read your new book yet so I'm assuming you talk about the Energy Ladder in there. But just yesterday I was pondering on this. Since making lifestyle choices of eating better the last year I have had a little more energy and then a little more energy over the year. Then recently I actually felt like exercising; by choice. It was such a weird feeling that I haven't felt in a long time. I started attending Zumba classes once or twice a week that are held at my church. I would do a low end version of what the teacher was doing but I was doing it.

I went to a Zumba class yesterday and actually did a high end version of what she was doing because I had so much energy. If she had us kick, I did a high kick. I added things no one else was doing just to keep moving as much as possible. It felt fantastic! I can't wait to go up another rung on the ladder. Imagine all the things I could get done in my life with more energy.

I was able to go through the holidays eating a great diet and easily passed up the treats, heavy foods, cheesy, toxic junk and eat the way my body needs me to. I didn't crave any of what I was seeing. What freedom!

Best part was not fearing all those sick people who were too scared to hug me because they didn't want to share their germs with me. I just told them, "I don't believe in accepting your germs. It's my job to not be a good host for them." and  I went on to hug them, shake their hands etc. with no fear.

I'm excited to read your new book and learn how to have even more energy. Thanks for all you do!

Back to Strong does not feature the energy ladder Mindy. This concept was first presented in the book, "Eat to Live" several years ago. I will be initiating a program in 2015 that may be of interest to you. I'll let you know when we are ready to launch it. Thank you for sharing your successes. As we sat around various dinner tables with friends and family during the holiday season I enjoyed the love and good cheer that was present. However, I was also painfully reminded of traditions of the fathers that have caused much needless pain and suffering in my life. Hopefully, what we do in 2015 will be helpful to others.

Jim Simmons

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