Rob Cheng's Blog
Get Out of Neutral

For one year, the world has been stuck in neutral. People are waiting for an invisible hand to move the gear shift back to DRIVE. The masses flock to Netflix and Facebook hoping that somehow the world will become unstuck. Life is short and I don’t want to waste a day and certainly not a year being stuck. We are the invisible hand and our actions define whether the gear shift will move the vehicle forward. I refuse to live my life in neutral.

Myrtle Beach 1/2 Marathon 2018




It was a very windy day for this race. At times, I felt I was running and not moving. I am proud to say that I finished in my personal record time on my 8th 1/2 marathon. 2:20.

One Meal a Day

I finished my 6th 1/2 marathon in March 2017. The day after I finished, I was achy and contemplative. I asked myself, “Why do I eat three meals a day?” I came to the conclusion that there are two reasons. First, everyone else does. It is ingrained into human culture throughout the entire world. The words (breakfast, lunch, dinner) translate perfectly into every language that I have studied. And then second, I realized that as a boy, we learned it in school because the government mandated it. We all remember the food groups and three square meals, etc. Warning bells are going off. Why is the government so concerned about how often I eat?

Then I decided that I would eat one meal a day. I had no idea what to expect. Simply put, it has been amazing experience, and I doubt that I will return to typical human eating patterns. Here are some of the benefits of eating once a day.

Energy.

Sometimes, but not all, I would feel lethargic after eating lunch. I now never feel that way. In fact, I have more energy now than any time that I can remember in my life.

Time.

With the extra energy, I have more time to get more done each day. I am more productive at work, and I have more time for exercise.

Sleep.

I sleep better than any time in memory perhaps because I have less food to process. Or maybe because I have more time to burn calories.

Food.

I love the benefits but the most important one is that food has never tasted so good. I look forward to each time I eat, and I relish each bit. It does not matter. It always tastes great. Sometimes, not so often, I feel hungry, and I just think, “It will taste even better, when I sit down.”

Weight Loss.

It was not my plan but I have lost some weight. The day after I ran the 1/2 marathon, I weighed 165 pounds, and I have dropped to roughly 150 pounds, maybe a little less. I honestly feel no desire to put back on the weight. I feel like I am running faster and I feel healthier without the extra weight.

It has been 9 months since I started this regimen and I feel it is sustainable. The only downside is people sometimes look at me strange when I choose not to eat with them.

Myrtle Beach 1/2 Marathon



There was a nasty virus going around and I was feeling under the weather. But somehow I managed to finish the Myrtle Beach 1/2 Marathon.

A Good Night’s Sleep

The common wisdom is diet and exercise is the key to a long and healthy life. I think this is not entirely correct. The key is exercise and sleep. After getting a good night’s sleep, everything seems to work better. You are rested, you have more energy, and you are thinking clearer. The length and quality of your sleep plays a significant role in your productivity and quality of life. Little is known about sleep, but sleep allows the body to heal, and removes or diminishes many of the pains of life. It is actually stronger than any man made drug Americans like to take.

They say that as one ages, we sleep less. At 56 years, I am experiencing the opposite. When I was younger, I slept about 7 hours a night, and now I frequently log about 8 hours of sound sleep. I love it.

Here are some of the things that I do to make sure that I get as much good sleep as possible.

Exercise

Modern life and productivity does not include much exercise or calories burned. Whenever I have the opportunity to burn calories, I do. On top of that, I run 5 miles at least 3 times a week. I believe it is a cycle of burning calories and then resting that creates a good rhythm for sleep.

Alcohol

Sometimes alcohol makes you sleep well but other times not. It certainly does not promote regular peaceful sleep. It is rare that I drink alcohol and when I do I make sure that i don’t have anything important the next day, because I want to make sure that I feel my best every day. Not because I am hung over, but I think that the alcohol affects my sleep.

Pills

One thing that I have learned in life is that there are not short cuts. And that includes your sleep. So many people think that they can take pills for sleep. In fact, I fell into that same trap because of all the international travel when I was younger. But I now know that sleeping pills do not promote healthy sleep. Perhaps more importantly, they can be down right dangerous and fatal.

Food

Here is one last tip. I have learned that if you go to bed hungry, you can sleep much longer and with higher quality. In fact, whenever I fast, I sleep amazingly well. It is counter intuitive. You think that you can’t possibly sleep well while feeling pangs of hunger but believe me, it is great.

Conclusion

An old friend of mine, Jim Taylor, once told me that your intelligence changes every day. One must be aware of when your intelligence varies, and only make important decisions when you are feeling smart. I believe that the variation in intelligence is a function of the amount and quality of sleep you get.