I arrived a little early to the first session because I wanted to make sure of a seat by Kiley. I need not have worried—the facilitators had arranged the tables nicely (all close to the front since it’s a small group) and assigned those who signed up together seats at the same table. There are five in our group: Ralph (our table leader who has been through the program before), his wife Colleen, Bob, Kiley and myself. It’s a friendly group and based on the discussion topics this first evening,

I’m guessing we will get to know each other pretty well.

Dr. Carlson, a local physician, welcomed us and reviewed the materials being handed out—textbook (Learn More), workbook (Live More), cookbook (Eat More), water bottle and pedometer. I like the compact size of each book—6.5 x 9 inch format.

We also received program schedules that include each evening’s topic and the homework. The class format will be a mix of videos, live presentations from people who have taken the class about how they are implementing what they learned, tasting samples from the recipe book, questions for the doctor or nurse, and discussion time around the tables. A point emphasized this evening was to keep in contact with one’s physician regarding any medications or proposed lifestyle changes.

Washing my Hair in Niagara Falls 

With so much information dropped in my lap, my first thought was, What do I do first? Obviously, there’s a lot more material here than can be covered in class. It’s going to be like drinking from a fire hose. But’s that’s so cliché. Choosing a massive waterfall for washing my hair would be another fitting image. I guess in this case an abundance of material is better than not enough.

The 5-Day Jump Start Challenge is our first big assignment, for those who choose to accept it. Basically it’s a physical and mental detox to prepare for beginning CHIP in earnest. The goal is to be motivated by quick and “exhilarating” results that inspire commitment to a life-long style of healthful living. The plan? Ten specific tips for everyday life and eight diet goals.

The daily routine tips focus on smart use of water, following a regular schedule, exercising and resting.

The dietary guidelines include eating fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and avoiding all processed fats, sugars, salt, alcohol, caffeine and animal products.

This is not much different than my normal routine, except for the salt. I am looking for a satisfactory substitute seasoning. Kiley says she likes Mrs. Dash, so I think I’ll add that to the grocery list.

I found a place at the back of the workbook for recording activity levels. Increasing circulation is another of my goals, so more exercise is in my future. I just downloaded the 7 Minute Workout app and I’ve done it twice so far. It’s pretty friendly. Who can’t find 7 minutes in their day? And all you need is a wall and a chair.

The line at the bottom of the 5-Day JumpStart Challenge page reads, in part: The more conscientiously you implement these principles the more impressive will be your benefits.

What I learned from Session #1

It’s good to spend at least half of your grocery shopping time in the produce department.

What I Choose Today

I commit to learning and embracing the principles of the CHIP program through developing and meeting specific goals.

More from the “CHIPing It” series.