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The Corrigan Diet

Douglas Corrigan, beyond being a character in my latest novel, was also an immensely fascinating person in real life. A pilot/engineer/mechanic who once crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a heavily modified aircraft, much to the dismay of federal regulators, he starred as himself in an autobiographical movie (which is totally worth watching, if you ever see it scheduled on TCM) and continued to work in aviation until his retirement. He once wrote to a fan that he had “no hobbies except working on airplanes or machinery”.

Corrigan was famous for working on aircraft in marathon sessions. He often slept in aircraft hangers. Corrigan was known to miss meals and completely forget about eating. And one can tell, even from photos of him later in life, he kept an unbelievably trim figure throughout his life.

When I first read about Corrigan, and encountered these two facts about him (his devotion to work and forgetfulness about food), I realized this could really be a fantastic paradigm for dieting. If you fill your life with activity, be it mechanical work at an aircraft hanger or just cleaning your basement. The more you do, the less time you have for obsessing over food. As I’ve lived my life, I have focused on filling my life with activities that are outside the home, involve physically moving, and take mental energy. The result has been modest but satisfactory weight loss. If you spend any amount of time reading about bariatrics, you will see many stories of men and women who never left their home, ate while at home, and didn’t do anything with their lives, other than eat.

Don’t let that happen to you. Get out of the house. Douglas Corrigan would approve.

 

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