Take A Cigar For A Walk – Saturday February 12, 2011

In my last post, and several times in the past, I’ve alluded to the fact that a couple years ago I incorporated cigars into my “fitness” program.  After quitting cigarettes and having a motorcycle accident, I put on about 25 extra pounds.  I’m often criticized for complaining about being 195 at 6′ tall, but I found I was snoring more and just didn’t feel good about the whole thing.  We had a weight loss challenge at work (which I almost won) which I lost 23 pounds over the 3 month period.  I couldn’t have done it without my wife managing my diet, but a large part of my exercise was “take a cigar for a walk”.  I’d go out about every other night, regardless of weather, and smoke a cigar as I walked around the block.  I told this to a YMCA fitness person who came to work for a health fair and got yelled at and told to get a dog and ditch the cigars.  I explained to her that if I took a dog for a walk in the snow it would be once around the block and in, but with a good cigar I’d go once around the block and still have a lot of cigar left, so I’d go around again….still some cigar, so a third lap. In my mind cigars gave me 3 times more exercise than a dog…Anyway, I’ve put 10 or so of the pounds back on, and the vain aging guy in me would love to lose it again, but I don’t eat indiscriminately like I was (I would tear through a 6 pound bag of gummy bears in a weekend!).  I don’t want to sound preachy, especially for a “skinny” guy, but I tend to prefer sitting to exercise, I actually can’t stand the thought of going to a gym, but it’s possible to incorporate a fine cigar with a weight loss program!  I received an e-mail last week from Tommy, who has done a guest review here in the past, and he told me his story:

Like I said, I am over 125 lbs overweight. That may even be a bit conservative. I am only 5’-8”…and I think, should weigh around 170+/-. I am currently at 310 lbs! That’s right, 310 lbs! I am 34, have no energy, have three kids that I want to be able to play with, a beautiful wife that deserves much more (in the health scheme of things), and just overall out of shape. I have been 250+ lbs as long as I can remember. I grew up average in size, but became overweight through high school and have been increasing ever since. I did do a “program” a few years back (Body For Life, a 12 week fitness program) that helped me lose 50 lbs (from 300 to 250 in 12 weeks) by working out 6 days a week at the Y, and eating 5-6 meals a day, correctly. I worked hard for it…and it paid off. I was about to begin my second 12 week “tour” when my wife said to me, “honey, I really don’t like you losing any more weight as I like you just how you are…”. That (not her, or what she said…as she is not to blame) allowed me the excuse to stop the next 12 week program…and I have gained all of that back, plus 10+ lbs since. I have tried a lot of things, never really lasting more than a few days…as I get bored, tired…or I simply cave in to my addiction of food. I am strongly addicted to food, and I know it…as well as I know “addiction” as I ran an addiction program for a few years at my church. Anyway, I am simply stating that I understand “addiction”, addictions of any kind…but yet I choose to sit idle as I feed my body much more than it needs…in result, causing me to make the choice to do nothing about it, but sit at my desk at work.

I made a decision at the beginning of this year…a resolution…to begin a weight loss journey and to become fit. It’s now February…and I have not lost a pound! Why, because every day there is another excuse. It’s too cold, I will start tomorrow, I will start next Monday, I need to eat this last fast food binge purchase and then I will start. I feel like crap after each goal is not met…until the next day and I am hungry again.

I know this is getting off subject some, as far as walking…but this is where my problems start with me.

Now, as far as food goes, because I have started SO MANY “programs” with only to quit quickly. We are “country folk”…meaning that we like good, fried, southern foods. She is not willing to change everyone’s diet just to see me fail again. and, she has every right to believe that as I have only succeeded once out of 100 attempts at getting fit and eating right. So, the food portion of any program will always be a challenge…but yet I use it as another excuse to not start anything…because I tell myself why start with no support…but you must understand what my wife has dealt with, in regards to my many attempts ending in failure. Also, she has tried to help by limiting my food intake to reasonable amounts…but that blows up in her face as I get upset with her…as another person telling me, an adult what I can and can’t have…all part of the “addiction”. In short, none of us eat healthy, but I don’t see that part ending any time soon…and I know that I built the wall there…and built it high.

Back to the movement, something besides sitting. I should walk, and should TODAY. but Craig, to be totally honest with you…I say that nearly every day…just to crawl in bed and watch TV for hours after the kids have been put down…with no exercise having been done…and even more chores adding up every day…left undone. This, is no way to live and I want to change it.

So, I will do this. I will commit to you, to walk tonight while smoking one cigar. I have tone of great smokes, so there is never an excuse there. I will walk by myself if need be, and will enjoy a fine smoke…tonight.

I have many other reasons as to why I should get fit. I will save those for another time…but maybe…you begin helping me (only if you have the time, and are willing) to post an edited version of this story above. If I see this in the “public eye”, then maybe I will be pushed even more to begin something, without excuse (and it will 20 degrees tonight here in Tyler…so I will come up with many excuses in my head) and begin this journey.

Who would have imagined that a simple stick of tobacco could possibly be the key to losing weight…or at the least, a jump start to a new lifestyle.

Again, I must be honest…I have said this to myself and others many times over…that I will do this…TODAY…only to fail and go a few days before I wake up and try the same “crap” again.

So, thank you for writing back…if only that’s the last I hear from you on this…it has, at the least…given me the opportunity to succeed in something that I know I am capable of doing. oh, I’ve done the dog thing too…you are right, it works for one block…I look at the little fellow and tell myself he must be so tired and needs a drink…drop him off at the house…while falling into my recliner a few minutes later.

Thank you.


I felt good about inspiring Tommy in some small way, and I want to help him by encouraging him in his quest.  As much as I am a fan of sloth, I do happen to think that walking a couple hours a week with a cigar is a good thing, and do it as often as possible.  Tommy e-mailed me the other day and told me that he had returned from a 65 minute walk and I’m hoping to receive a review from him soon.  I’m hoping that I can feature more of Tommy’s “Take A Cigar For A Walk” reviews as well as any progress he makes in his quest here.  Please join me in encouraging Tommy, and, since walking is something everyone can benefit, take a cigar for a walk every now and then, regardless of your fitness level.  I don’t claim to be in any way fit, but I feel better for my evening walks!  As a matter of fact, I took a walk with a Chateau Real Small Club maduro (cut me some slack, it was 20F that night!) and it was good.  I may even dream up some kind of contest to go along with this.  Let’s be Tommy’s cheerleaders (without the skirts and sweaters….of course!), and hopefully this will become a recurring series here!

That’s it for now,

CigarCraig, not claiming to be a fitness guru in ANY way!



Filed under Editorial, Take a Cigar For a Walk

7 Responses to Take A Cigar For A Walk – Saturday February 12, 2011

  1. Lloyd L.

    Craig, great read. Personally, I don’t feel it necessary to be a gym junkie to stay fit, although we do need to put some body maintenance in regularly and one-hour walks are effective if done on a regular basis.
    To Tommy: your three beautiful kids should be all the motivation you need to take some of that weight off. If you want to think on more selfish terms, do it because you want to live! You’re carrying way too much weight for your height. Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, gout and other ailments will start affecting your health, if they don’t already. I say this from personal experience because I have all of those ailments. It’s hard to get started on a fitness regimen, but if you start with simple tasks and do them regularly it becomes routine. Then start challenging yourself to do more. I hope others will encourage you & hope to hear that you are taking steps to a more healthy life.

  2. Tommy Berry (quo155)

    Lloyd…thanks for the encouragement. Due to my arthritis kicking in on my knee since my last walk…and giving out…I have yet to walk again. However, I will succeed and will walk again. I hope to walk tonight after dinner…stay tuned!

    Craig should be posting my latest 65 minute walk info and my review of a great cigar this week. Be sure to check it out!

  3. TriMarkC

    First off, congrats to you both for STARTING! I used to be a marathon runner, US Marine and fitness geek. Then college (multiple degrees), kids (sympathy weight is a bitch!) … and life. So now I’m overweight, docs bugging me about losing weight, … and yet I fall for the same excuses, and feel guilty for not following through to my own promises to myself.

    BUT, you guys started with something you love – a great cigar – and used it to change PHYSICS!! [You know, a body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body at rest tends to stay are rest.] How cool is that!

    Well, you may have just given me the idea I need to get off my big ol’ heiny and get out moving again! Thanks guys!

    And, much luck that you both keep moving forward (because moving “down” is far, far worse!).

    • Tommy Berry (quo155)

      Mark…thank you for the support buddy! I hope you get off your rear and onto the walk as well. Be sure to select a great cigar from that collection of yours…it will be worth it!

  4. Joel SCott

    Good luck to both of you on your “walks”. The hardest part of any exercise program is the first step. I’m pulling for you!


    • Tommy Berry (quo155)

      Thank you Joel for the kind words of support. I know I need them! I really feel good after each walk…and the next day!