Over the years I have seen diets and exercise fads come and go. I have even participated in a few myself and obviously not been very successful. The Atkins Diet seemed like a good idea for a guy who loves to eat meat, and it was for a while. Then I realized that I like bread and dessert and it came to a crashing halt. However, over the past 10 weeks, I have found something that has allowed me to lose a considerable amount of weight.

It’s simple, easy and you can eat anything you want to. The whole secret revolves around exercise and some modified weight training. What is this miracle diet called? I like to call it the “Calving and Lambing in Mud and Snow” diet. Yes, all you need to do is to buy a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle and simply take care of them during the months of January, February and March. If you can’t afford to buy your own flock or herd, I am sure several would be available for rent.

How does it work, you ask? It all starts with an early morning workout. Get out of bed before the sun even thinks about rising, put on the wet, muddy chore clothes from the night before, pull on Muck Boots weighing approximately 30 pounds and proceed to walk through calf deep mud for about 15 minutes. If you want to add to the workout, make sure there is a new calf or lamb that needs to be brought back through the calf deep mud.

Eat as much as you want or can for breakfast but most likely you will not feel much like anything more than coffee. After a short hour break, it is back out, in the wetter, muddier chore clothes and Muck Boots, now weighing about 40 pounds each. We will now add weight training to the regimen. You will carry feed in buckets and sacks through the now knee-deep mud and hungry animals, who will knock you down for a bite of grain. This adds balance and agility training. Again, to add to the level of difficulty you will once again carry any new baby lambs or calves to safety. Often, speed training is added to this advanced level if the mother takes exception to you trying to save Junior’s life.

With your chore clothes layered with another crust of mud and “other” stuff and your Muck Boots weighing 50 pounds each, you will walk every corner of each calving pasture on a scavenger hunt for all the calves supposedly living in said pasture. At this time, you will notice that it is 1 p.m. and past lunch.

This is a very effective way of limiting calorie intake by bypassing lunch and not having time to eat.

We will now change up our exercise routine for the afternoon. One key to successful exercise changing the type of activity to prevent boredom. We will now attempt to climb into the cab of a tractor with our weighted chore clothes and Muck Boots, now weighing 60 pounds each. Agility training will be needed to navigate steps into the cab that were meant for normal-sized footwear and not mud-caked insulated boots. You will then attempt to work the clutch and brakes with those same weighted, oversized boots.

Next, we will get an upper body workout. This will be done by attempting to remove wet, partially frozen twine or net wrap off bales of hay. To increase the level of exercise, this workout can be done in knee-deep slop around the hay ring. For the advanced exercise, several hungry cows can be added as obstacles.

When the feeding workout is completed, it will be time for another round of mud cardio, slogging through the now knee-deep mud checking for new babies that will most likely need to be carried to safety through the mud. For added exercise, one can either chop ice with a dull ax or drag 100 feet of hose through the knee-deep mud.

Upon completion of this, it will be time for a rest period and supper. These two can be combined if you fall asleep face-first into supper. It has been found that calories are absorbed much less efficiently through one’s face than if taken in through the mouth and chewed. After an enough time of laughing and picture-taking, your family will wake you up from your supper rest time.

It is now time for the evening workout. Back into the wetter, muddier chore clothes and Muck Boots, now weighing 80 pounds each. A brisk walk through the muddy, sloppy lots will help loosen sore muscles up and burn off any calories absorbed during your supper nap. After which, you will take a handful of Advil and fall into an exhausted sleep in the easy chair.

There you have it, the world’s most effective diet exercise program, time-tested and proven since Grandpa bought the cows and sheep. It is guaranteed to work, and the best part is, there are lots of starter flocks or herds for rent out there right now and they are cheap. I just happen to know of two — just ask.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. He can be reached at glenn.brunkow@midwestmessenger.com.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time.