Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for October, 2016

Hide & Seek — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 10/1/2016

Oct. 1st 2016

Hiding from me, they retreat behind grocery store aisles and dash around Target end caps. At intersections in traffic, they duck down in their cars and pretend to adjust the settings on the radio. At the Malco, they quickly scamper off to their theaters and hope I didn’t see them. At the bookstore, they put the book down, and leave the store in a hurry, making sure not to look back at me. At restaurants they quickly look down at their food or check their cell phone, trying not to make eye contact with me.

The errant boot campers, AWOL from the Quarterdeck. Priests, preachers, rabbis, and me … all of us avoided in public by our absent “parishioners.”

I can’t speak for the clerics, but I’ll take a stab at it: we wish you wouldn’t avoid us.

For my part, I just miss your company. The vast majority of those who come to the Quarterdeck don’t just join an exercise program; they become my friends and fellow travelers. Many, I’m happy to say, stay and we travel on together. Others, sadly, fall away. Sometimes they move away. But the result is always the same for me, a loss of fellowship with a friend.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of people getting out of the habit, in much the same way as those who quit going to church, or quit running, or quit exercising, or quit practicing the piano, or quit doing any number of things they once did that they thought were good for them. It wasn’t a conscious decision, really. It just happened. One missed day leads to another, that leads to another. And without intending it, the good and profitable habit becomes dormant.

When I do get a chance to talk face to face with a wandering boot camper, often after I’ve chased them down in the grocery store!, I hardly ever ask where they’ve been, or why they quit coming, or anything that might make them feel uncomfortable. I always ask how they’re doing. I ask about their lives, their families, their jobs, and even their pets. (I know the names of an astonishingly high number of your pets!) I’m just always happy to see my friend and don’t ever want them to feel bad. Of course, I always hope they’ll come back to the Quarterdeck, but I hardly ever mention that, preferring instead for them to see how genuinely happy I am to see them! My friendship isn’t conditional; it’s not predicated on your money and attendance.

I know why you avoid me. I don’t usually take it personally. Well, that’s not exactly true. I often do. I’m just human. Or mostly so. And am prone to the same feelings as you and everyone else. If someone quits working out with me and then avoids me in public, it feels personal. But I know, intellectually, that it’s more often that you’re a bit embarrassed or even ashamed. As one wandering boot camper told me, “Tony, I’d gained over 30 pounds since I saw you last and I was self-conscious … actually, I was mortified.” I wish that weren’t the case, but I understand that … sort of.

Have you ever noticed that people don’t ever get out of the habit of going to work?

I hope you’ll make your health and fitness as much of a priority as your job. Your job may fund your life, but your health and fitness bring quality and vitality to the life you’re laboring to fund. And isn’t that equally as important? More so? Thomas Jefferson said, “Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” And that coming from one of the most intelligent and learned men in American history, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and the father of the University of Virginia.

And how do I feel when you come back to the Quarterdeck, even if it’s with some extra weight? Allow me to bend the rules of interpretation and application just a little. In the Bible, there’s that great story of the Prodigal Son who left his father and ran off to the big city where he wasted his time and squandered his inheritence in “riotous living.” After he found himself destitute and living in squalor, he decided to return home. When the father saw the returning son from a distance, he was filled with so much happiness, gratitude, and thanksgiving that he ran to him and threw his arms around his son and welcomed him back with affection! And then they had a big party. It was a joyous occasion!

From me, you’ll get a warm reception and sometimes a hug! But you won’t get a big party. Instead, you’ll get my usual acts of affection: push ups in a parking lot!

Next week begins a new month! If you’ve been away, for weeks, or months, or even years, won’t you come back? I’d love to see you!

— 30 —




Let me know if you’re due for promotion between now and the end of the year! Please email me with the month of your promotion, the number of years, and VERY important: the size shirt you prefer. Thank you!



The Buffalo Runners are running! Half marathon training continues this weekend.

We’ll meet on the southeast-side the new Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The new VC is located in the same spot as the old VC.

We’ll be running 1hr 50min on Saturday, using the run/walk program made popular by top marathon coaches across the country.

ALL ARE WELCOME! The cost for the 3 months of training is $75 for active duty boot campers and $125 for inactive boot campers and “friends of boot camp.”

Bring water and/or sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) and one, or possibly two, servings of a calorie replacement food as well (GU, Powerbar, PB&J, Cliff Bar, etc.)






If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!


by Master Sergeant Ashley Holloway, RD LDN,
(An Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university. And then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

Processed Foods: What’s OK, What to Avoid
by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (

Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and drive-thru hamburgers. It may be a surprise to learn that whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.

While some processed foods should be consumed with caution, many actually have a place in a balanced diet. Here’s how to sort the nutritious from the not-so-nutritious.
What Is Processed Food?

“We have to determine what processed really means when we’re talking about processed food,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, past spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For example, Giancoli considers white bread refined since most of the healthy fiber has been removed during the processing. “It’s also processed, but keep in mind, that as a cook you’re doing processing yourself. Have you ever heard of something called a food processor? I think we get really caught up in the word processed without realizing what it truly means.”

Processed food falls on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:

* Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.
* Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
* Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
* Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, granola and deli meat — are more heavily processed.
* The most heavily processed foods often are frozen or pre-made meals including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.

The Positives of Processed

Processed food can be beneficial to your diet. Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available. Some minimally processed food such as pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people.

“Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables,” says Giancoli. “They’re more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you’re not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you’re going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice.”

“You have to look at the big picture,” says Giancoli. “Be a detective — read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel. Food is complex and we need to get to know it.”
Look for Hidden Sugar, Sodium and Fat

Eating processed food in moderation is fine, but consumers should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.

“We have tons of added sugars in our food supply,” says Giancoli. “We think that just because a product says ‘organic’ or ‘natural,’ that means it’s better and healthier for us, but that’s not always the case … whether [a product] has added high-fructose corn syrup or natural cane sugar, we need to be wary of both.”

Sugar isn’t just hidden in processed sweets. It’s added to bread to give it an appealing browned hue, and there’s often a surprising amount added to jarred pasta sauces and cereal. The number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label also includes naturally occurring sugars which may be a significant amount in foods such as yogurt and fruit. Instead, review a product’s ingredients list and look for added sugars among the first two or three ingredients including sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate.

Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium, which enhances taste and texture and acts as a preservative. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation of less than 2,300 milligrams a day.

Surprisingly, a heavy hand with table salt may not be to blame for our overconsumption of sodium. “Three quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods,” says Giancoli. “Only 20 or 25 percent of it comes from salting our food. The salt shaker is not the major problem.”

Canned vegetables, soups and beans can be packed with nutrients, so don’t cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for reduced or low sodium on labels. “Buy products light in sodium, and then sprinkle a little bit of salt on top if you need it,” suggests Giancoli. “You’re still going to get a lot less sodium than if you bought the regular product.” Also, always rinse canned beans and vegetables — this simple step reduces sodium content by about 40 percent.

Added fat helps make food shelf-stable and gives it body. Trans fats — which raise our bad cholesterol while lowering our good — are on the decline in processed foods, but you should still read food labels. According to the FDA, a product can still claim it has zero trans fats if each serving has less than half a gram of the fat.

“If [a product] has a really small serving size and you’re eating three or four servings, [trans fats] add up,” says Giancoli. “Even if a product says it has zero trans fat, check the ingredients list. If it contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, then it’s going to have to have some amount of trans fat in it.”


Running With Music!

If you run with music, for safety’s sake, turn the music down or use only one earbud, especially in a race. I recently bought an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear





What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.


It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!



What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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