Sweating It Out

26 09 2013

It slowly emanates from deep within my body. It’s caused by my internal temperature rising. I feel the droplets form on my forehead as my arms begin to glisten in the light. I know I’m working hard and sweating is the cause of my efforts. I continue to push on as sweat appears from the pores of my body. I will get through this no matter how much I sweat; fatigue will not get the best of me.

Rep after rep my arms extend and retract as my body stays in a squatted position. “A workout this will be,” I think to myself. Droplets from my forehead beads into my eyes, but I keep working harder. I don’t let a little sweat stop me. In fact, I invite sweat to come. I know that sweating is the mechanism which cools my body and without it, I would overheat and fatigue will have won.

My back begins to signal that it’s getting weaker and I brace my abs to help my core stabilize. “A couple more reps and I can rest,” I reassure myself. This motivates me to work harder. Controlling my pace, I work on my technique to get the benefits of the labor.

I return to thinking of the other benefits of sweating. Like the elimination of harmful toxins and improved skin tone. I know that sweating also is a sign of increased caloric burn. This leads to weight loss, which is not my goal.

Taking my mind off the task made the last few reps bearable and I hunch over to catch my breath. Sweat drips into my eyes and I wipe them away. I slowly raise my body up and reflect on my hard work. The bathtub, now clean, sparkles in the light and I think to myself, “My wife better be happy with this request.”





Take a Stand and Live Longer: Why Sitting Too Much Could Be Life Threatening

15 09 2013

I wanted to start off this article by saying that I wrote this entire piece while standing, but I couldn’t find a countertop that was high enough for my keyboard to reach my fingers. Therefore, to make my point, I will state that this is a great example of how many people in the world are forced to be confined in a seat for most of their day. Despite a recent surge of articles, news broadcasts, and studies over the past few years, people are still sitting more than ever, and as a result, putting their health at risk, and we’re not just talking about obesity.

We are aware that sitting can lead to obesity and cardiovascular problems due to not enough physical activity. Research has also shown a link between prolonged sitting and depression. The research that should get everyone standing up while reading this piece has been in numerous media outlets that have reported on the health problem of too much sitting; NPR, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, CBS,  Runner’s World, and Time. It is clear that being on your rump all day can actually be life threatening. According to a 2012 research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that those who spent each day sitting for longer than 11 hours were 40% more likely to die earlier than those who sat less the 4 hours a day. The kicker is that even that hour to the gym seven days a week doesn’t cut it. People just need to get up and move more often.

Many people in today’s technology driven world are behind desks tapping away at a keyboard for 8 to 10 hours a day. When we’re not sitting behind our desk, we’re probably still sitting, but this time it’s in a restaurant, car, couch, or even a bathroom stall. NPR posted a clip with advice on Beating the Cubicle. The take home message is to take a stand, not a seat. Stand up, move more, and free yourself from the dangers of begin glued to the chair. As mentioned before, even those who exercise on a regular basis still need to be more physically active in their daily life. A way to do this is to use a watch instead of a pedometer. Counting the number of steps is great if your goal is to take a certain number of steps in 4 hours. However, we don’t do this because we don’t have 4 hours to allocate all at one once to standing. A good recommendation is to wear a watch that has a stop watch. When you stand up, press the start button and stop it when you sit back down. Don’t reset the watch, but let it continue counting by pressing the start button when you stand again and repeat the process. At the end of the day record the time that you spend standing. You’ll be surprised at how little it may add up and even more shocked when we take that number and subtract it by 24 to see how many hours we actually are sitting/lying down.

I’m not telling anyone that they should start buying treadmill desks, or sleep standing up (Did you know that there is not a Guinness World Record holder for someone standing the longest. However, Suresh Joachim holds the Guinness World Record for standing on one leg. His record is 76 hours and 40 minutes.)  We all need to sit once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and kicking up your feet at the end of a long day. The trouble begins when we find ourselves picking up a remote and for the next 4 hours of football, we’re stuck to the couch. Find those little pockets of time to stand and move. I have heard people say that they don’t sleep because they have time for that when they die. I think the same goes for standing. Stand and move now while you still have the chance.

My brother on Mt. Adams

My brother on Mt. Adams, NH





When to Throw In the Towel

7 09 2013

In the movie Rocky IV, Apollo Creed (who, in case you never saw the films, fights Rocky Balboa in the first two Rocky installments ) decides to fight Russia’s newest boxing sensation, Ivan Drago.  During the big match between Apollo and Ivan, both Rocky and Apollo’s trainer, Duke, know that Apollo is taking a beating and the end result won’t be pretty. Duke begs Rocky to throw in the towel to end the fight, but Rocky, honoring his friend’s request to never stop the match, doesn’t toss the towel. In the end, Apollo takes such a beating that the final blow kills him.

This scene is a great analogy of that human potential trifecta for competitors; body, mind, and spirit. Apollo represents our physical body. Going up against all odds, we push our bodies to the limits. We kep going regardless of the puddles of sweat and painful ache to prove that our muscles can take the constant pounding not only in competition, but also in training. Then there’s the brain represented by Duke’s character. The voice of reason telling us that we should begin to back off or even quit because the result of continuing might be detrimental. Every painful step blasts a signal to our nervous system, letting us know that the body can’t take much more. We think about listening to that voice in our head, but then something else speaks louder. We hear Rocky, our spirit, cry out and tell us not to back down. If we dig down deep enough, we can tell ourselves to forget what the mind is telling us and hold off on throwing in the towel. We are then able to push just a little more, never knowing if the result will be success or utter defeat. We always want to imagine that it’d be the first.

You might have recently seen more articles of runners collapsing during a race in your daily paper or on the news. Headlines warning people of the dangers of long distance running. The stats are in, we do have more people involved in competitions and exercise. There are also reported cases of people getting hurt or evening dying from their participation in long distance races. However, a study by John Hopkins University published in 2012 compared the number of marathon participants and mortality rates between the years of 2000 and 2009 and showed no significant increase in mortality rates compared to the increase in entries.  They also indicated that the data that was collected were from media reports. These findings prove that the death toll of marathon runners are not increasing, but more so, the media attention of these occurences has increased. So why did these individuals have a fatal finish? One possible reason could be related back to our start of this article; the training of our physical abilities or lack there of.

Individuals must know to listen to their bodies when training or competing. It’s also important to have a trainer or coach who also understands your ability level and knows how to progress your training safely. People start to get hurt when they take only the Rocky approach and never tune in to their heads. Undertraining for an event can be as detrimental to your body as overtraining. Those who are getting injured in a competition may be a result of being undertrained and underdeveloped to meet the requirements of the challenging requirements. An article that led to the large research from John Hopkins highlighted a man who passed out during a marathon. Days after, he commented that he was not listening to his body. When training and competing, our state of mind changes and we begin to fight through all the adversaries that come in our way. From the sore muscles, to the dire weather conditions, we tell our bodies that we can persevere. Train smarter and compete smarter, by knowing when to call it quits. Your body, mind, and spirit is a perfect triangle balanced on its point. Knock off one side and the other two will fall also. If your body wasn’t prepared for that last mile hill climb, quitting isn’t failing, but deciding to be wise to come back to it when the complete triad is ready.

As we continue to exercise and train to improve ourselves, it is important to know when the time is to throw in that towel.  Progress your training accordingly and train speifical to your goals. Always modify your exercises if necessary to reduce the wear on your bones and joints. Lastly, ask yourself before running that first marathon, “Have I trained enough and if I come to that point where all is failing, will I know when to stop?”





Listen to the Cookie

7 05 2013

“Finding time to fit a good workout into the day is as hard as the workout,” is a response I get a lot. And to sympathize with these folks is an easier path for many. In a work day, I would say that I get bogged down in my work and find hours slipping by as I loom over my computer to finish a project so that I can cross that off my list. Then I catch my breath and continue to the next project as if on autopilot. Yet, throughout the day there are times when the chance to stop and get in a few minutes of a workout arises and the choice to get up and move is up to me. “I didn’t choose to not workout, my work/time/fill in the blank just didn’t allow me to do it,” a repeated echo rings in my head. “Bunch of bull!” Snuffs out the echo as I am pull myself away from the computer and prepare to exercise.

This scenario is a constant hinderance in our daily life and separates those who move backward in their fight to succeed with those who make positive progress.  We will always be required to make a life altering decision as the seconds past way in our lives, but we are always in control of the choices we make. Allowing ourselves to break under the pressure of excuses and blame it on something other than our lack of defiance over status quo keeps us in a vicious cycle that never ends where we want to be.

Cookie Doesn't Lie

The average person makes roughly 3,500 decisions a day. What to eat, where to go, how to dress, pass the car, say hi to that person…. The list goes on and on, and yet, with one choice taken, the other is left behind. So we can say that we didn’t have the opportunity to choose both. This is true and many people lose ground from choosing only one and not the other maybe because of comfort level, external pressures, or priority levels. However, when we make that choice to not do something, we are in control of this decision and internal factors provide the foundation of this choice. Work did not keep me from taking ten minutes to get up and move around so my muscles could stretch out from sitting for 4 hours straight. No, I told my body that it was not allowed to get up because I thought that I would lose precious time to get my project down. I chose to keep working. As the cookie states, we still choose even if we decide not to make a choice. Make every decision count and never blame that fact that you couldn’t choose your future. You are in control of your free will and to wake up half hour earlier to get a workout in is your choice.





Wrong Way? No, Just Different

13 03 2013

Not Always Wrong, Just Different

If you’ve had an experience where you thought you were doing something, like eating a certain food or dressing a certain way, but then saw people doing it another way and thought you were actually doing it wrong, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, sometimes a different way might not be the wrong way, but exactly the former; just a different way. Who says that a turkey burger can’t be a breakfast item or that everyone should drive a BMW? Societal norms influence us to think that we all have the same needs. On the contrary, we all need to pay attention to our individual needs to maintain good health.

In 2007, Wesley Shultz et al conducted a field experiment testing whether normative messaging (telling people to practice a certain behavior based on what others are doing) would have mixed success rates in behavior change. They saw that when told to use more energy saving products because a specific number of others were doing it, the number of people converting to energy conservatives increased. Yes, energy conservation is ideal and we would all want to promote this type of habit, but the mere fact that it only took one little message stating that more people were practicing one certain behavior to have the minority feel like they were wrong and change their lifestyle is fascinating. A key point to this case is that in order to see a shift in the masses, the group must be  a minority, hence, the difficulty of getting our overweight country to get back down to a healthy weight (69.2% of adults in US overweight/obese). Yet again, why should we be like everyone else?

When dealing with exercise, we must look at performing a task with blinders on. Not one person is alike and thus not one specific regimen will work for everyone.  The National Academy of  Sports Medicine has a training model that is different than that of the American Council on Exercise. Is one of them wrong and the other right? Absolutely not, because both will reach the same result in the end, although both use different pathways. The same goes when I am asked which one is better for getting toned arms, free weights or machines? Both are two different modalities that lead to the right direction to get lean arms.

The right answer to improving your health is not to follow the yellow brick road that everyone else has followed, but to lay each stone in front of you and test the ground supporting it to determine if it will work for you. So the next time you’re scratching your head wondering if the person next to you is doing it right and you should follow suit, ask yourself if you are still improving your health with what you’re currently doing. If so, then embrace the difference and continue to tread through the unbeaten path to success.

References: 

American Council on Exercise: IFT Model
CDC Faststats: Overweight and obesity http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm
National Academy of Sports Medicine: OPT Model
Shultz, P. W. et al. The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms. Psychological Science, 18(5) 429-434. 2007 





The Bodyweight Challenge

7 03 2013
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I was eating my lunch a few days ago and  browsed my Facebook account to see who’s baby picture had plastered my News Feed today. I noticed a notification alert and saw that my friend, Nate, had shared a link (see picture on the left) on my timeline with the comment, “Do all of these. I dare you.” I grinned and was intrigued, so I clicked on the video link and watched what he had sent (click here to view video). I was impressed, wondering if all military men and women could do all 44 exercises. Then I saw some individuals in the background looking as impressed as I and dismissed the thought. After finishing the video, I read what my other friend, Beth, wrote, “And post video when you do! LOL”

There are guys who would try any challenge to prove their Darwinistic status on earth and then there are those who do it because they’re the ones who also would touch the wall that warns, “Don’t Touch, Wet Paint!” I would fall into the latter category of individuals and thus, out of sheer curiosity, I want to prove to myself that these would in fact be the 44 best bodyweight exercises (and yes, to know that I can do them). I will keep everyone posted as I work through all 44 exercises. I will post the final video on Youtube to let my friends know that it can be done.

One Arm One Leg Pushup, Check!

One Arm One Leg Pushup, Check!

In the meantime, this challenge has prompted a great bodyweight workout (see below) for those who are always strapped for time, equipment, or just loaded with excuses to not exercising. Follow the routine for a month, performing two to three times a week. If you feel sore the whole week, start off with once a week till you can work your way to two times a week. After a month, add on another set. You will need to refer back to the video if you are unsure of the exercises.

The Bodyweight Challenge
Perform each group of exercises for specified duration, rest 45-60 seconds, then repeat a second set before moving on to the next group.

Group 1
Burpies – 30 seconds
Hindu Pushup – 30 seconds
Archer Pullup – 30 seconds

Group 2
Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
Hanging Knee to Elbow – 30 seconds
Spiderman Pushup – 1 minute

Group 3
Jumping Lunges – 30 seconds
Hanging Leg Raise to Level – 30 seconds
Pike Roll Out – 30 seconds

*****                                                                                                                     *****
Thank You to the men and women who put their lives before ours to serve our country every single day.
*****                                                                                                                     *****





Think Healthy, Think Money

13 02 2013

We all want to be rich. Then there are some of us who would prefer to be wealthy. If you don’t know the difference, I suggest reading “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. But regardless if you want to be rich or wealthy, you must do one of two things; either learn how to earn it if you aren’t there, or learn how to keep it if you are there. Ask both sides and they will tell you that it’s difficult to uphold both ends of the statement if you are not willing to motivate yourself and work hard.

Even though it is hard to save money, many of us are so driven that we do everything we can to grow our bank accounts. We stop purchasing expensive products, we go to fewer movies, we find cheaper alternatives, and we slowly put money into our savings account until we are happy with how much we have in it. We don’t end up with $20,000 in a week, but over a period of time with little investments (depending on how much you invest into the account), we notice the large sum of money that has accumulated and we are thrilled with success.

I use this example because the same can be said with our health and the steps needed to accomplish our wellness goals. However, the majority of us don’t treat our bodies like a savings account. We expect our bodies to work miracles and in the end of the week have a body like the models and stars we see in magazines and in the media. Side note: Most actors and actresses will work with a trainer between three to six months, six to seven days a week, to get their bodies in the shape needed to perform their roles; not to mention hiring a personal chef, and dietitian. The way we stay or become healthy should follow the same plan as how we grow our bank accounts. Place importance on our wealth (health); find out ways to save our wealth (health); and slowly invest our money (time) to see our wealth (health) grow.

Wealth for HealthFollowing these simple steps will improve your overall health (and wealth) if you take the time to commit to it. Saving your health can be as easy as saving your money, but know that to do so, you must find the importance of why you’re doing it and become motivated in its returns to be successful.





Grounded and Not a Gym In Sight

6 08 2012

For the past few weeks, my wife and I took a little vacation up north to the Adirondacks in NY. We try to get up there ever year to return to the place where we met. The special place with a 32 mile lake, 800 acres of hiking trials, and a rolling golf course. I was pumped for this trip. Being that I grew up in the North, all my exercise was done using Mother Nature’s gym. Mountains became my stair climber, lakes became my pool, and hauling around a 30 pound backpack became my free weights. I was ready to get out of the flat lands of Florida and become immersed with my natural habitat. Then the worst happened.

We arrived in Tampa for a 2:15 PM departure flight two hours early. This was how excited I was about making it out of Florida. The security check went smoothly without a hitch and I was looking at the plane outside that we would board. As my wife and I chose our seats, I looked at my watch to make sure we would arrive Albany at the stated time of 5:35 PM. “Enough time to make the drive and get in my day’s workout,” I thought to myself. We sat in our seats as we waited for our plane to be taxied out of our terminal but nothing happened. My wife noticed that it had began to rain (bright blue skies followed us to Tampa). I didn’t think much about it, I just wanted the plane to move so we could get above those sad clouds and off towards my destination. That’s when the overhead announce from one of the flight attendants came on and stated, “Sorry folks, but it seems that Traffic Control has noticed a severe thunderstorm has hit areas of Baltimore and the Northeast. We’re going to hold tight on the ground for a little bit while Traffic Control can determine if there’s another route.” Then two minutes later, “Looks like Traffic Control has grounded all flights heading north toward Baltimore and this flight has a new departure time of 6:50 PM or might be cancelled,” informs the attendant. “We’re going to cross our fingers for the delay. However we can’t keep you on board, so we’re going to ask everyone to return to the terminal and wait for further information about your flight.”

So, now I’m in the terminal again and grounded for another five hours. I’m a personal trainer because I love to be active and educate others on the importance of staying active. Knowing that I will be missing my workout up north has made me upset (and the fact that I’m starting off my vacation with this long delay also ticks me off). The other reason why I am in my profession has something to do with the fact that I hate sitting in one place for a long period of time, and this delay has us stuck in this terminal for another 5 hour! With this experience and extra spare time, I designed a workout for anyone else who might need a quick stress reducer due to a flight delayed.

The Traveler’s Workout

Items needed: chair, carry-on luggage/bag, music (optional)
Perform each exercise to fatigue. Then rest for 60 seconds and do a second set before going to the next exercise.

Squat  
Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
Start in a standing position with feet slightly wider than shoulder width.  Hold carry-on by the handle with two hands. Extend your arms straight down so they are dangling between your legs. Perform a squat, placing the weight into your heels. As you squat back up, push with your heels.

Military Pushup on Chair
Targets: Chest, Triceps
Place your hands on the edge of a chair with your hands aligned with your shoulders. Keep your toes on the ground, back and abs tight. Lower yourself to the chair without bending at the hips, so your whole body descends as one. Let your chest come to the chair and push yourself back up to starting position.

Bent Over Row
Targets: Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps
Place one hand on the chair as your bend forward at the hips. Keep your knees bent and your back straight. Grasp the carry-on with your other hand. Pull the carry-on to the side of your chest as you keep your arm close to your side. Lower the carry-on back down smoothly back to starting position.

Planks
Targets: Abdominals, Lower Back
Place your forearms and toes on the ground. Keep your back straight and even with the rest of your body. Elbows should be under your shoulders. Lift your hips off the ground and bring them aligned with your shoulders and ankles. Hold the position till fatigue.

Standing Side Crunch
Targets: Obliques
Stand with your feet narrower than shoulder width. Hold the carry-on with one hand by your side and hold your other hand by the side of your head. Crunch your body down to the side, opposite of the carry-on. Slowly return back up to start.





The Seven Deadly Sins – Part 1

13 05 2012

One time or another we’ve all been there. The trip to Taco Bell or the late night pantry run. An impulse fires off in our brain that craves a certain substance and we’re suddenly controlled by that impulse to search out and conquer. Once we start consuming, we just can’t let it go. We know where we stashed the Double Chocolate Heath Bar Crunch ice cream from the night before and it’s still going to be there when we look. And sometimes, you regret that urge that came over you. You tell yourself that you can’t do it again. However, days or even a month pass and suddenly that craving strikes again. How do you handle it this time?

In just the last few days, I have heard and seen on several news broadcasting outlets the damaging impact that obesity has created within the US.  Since an article on the cost of obesity was published in Reuters last week, there has been numerous reports following up on how people are getting so big. I can’t blame media for capturing this epidemic, however, why is it only surfacing now? According to an article that came out in this week’s publication of NewsWeek, obesity in America can be traced back to the 1930′s.  As I read Gary Taubes’ article in NewsWeek and Sharon Begley’s in Reuters, I begin to connect the dots. We are now seeing more coverage on obesity because the cost isn’t just affecting the obese. It’s now also affecting tax payers and the actual government (due to the health care reform) because of the amount of money we need to spend to help out those who are overweight and obese. A quick price figure to get a scope on the problem: it costs $190 BILLION in excess medical spending a year to provide services for those overweight and obese. Now what do you think the medical services does to help leverage this cost? You got it, everyone (even the non-obese) pays for it with higher insurance premiums. Find out more about the cost of America’s waist line by clicking on this article, As America’s Waistline Expands, Costs Soar, and read what else is going on as we become the world’s real Big brother.

However, we can’t judge our health based solely on our waistlines. Let’s face it, there are some other substances that we can’t stay away from that are also affecting our health. The question is, why are we slowly (maybe quickly for some) jeopardizing our bodies for that brief moment of pleasure? I refer to these pleasures as the Seven Deadly Sins, I mean Addictions. Studies have shown that the following, when exceeding normal amounts, can cause detrimental effects to our health.

7 Deadly Addictions

  • Sugar
  • Fat
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Overeating 

Many of these addictions have contributed to the top causes of mortality in America. And, these addictions are catching on around the world too. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America, with 599,413 deaths per year. Cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke are the other three causes that make up the top four in America. What and how much we consume is all linked to the increase in mortality in our country. Understanding how these addictions impact our health and lives can help prevent further increases of adult mortality in the future (not to mention for children). In this four part series, I will touch on each addiction. Hopefully by the end, the information will allow you to yield to temptation and further your success in a healthy life.

Sugar – “Oh how sweet it is to be loved by you,” to quote James Taylor. You can’t resist it and it’s everywhere. I call it a love-hate relationship. We love it when it goes in, we hate it when it sticks around–around our love handles. Walk down any aisle of a supermarket and you’ll find a form of it in the ingredients of any container or bottle. And don’t be fooled, pure cane sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and even carbohydrates are still sugars. (I’ll speak more about carbs in another article.) NewsWeeks’ columnist Gary Taubes pounces on the idea that this is the real factor that is causing most of the world to be overweight. He has a valid point too.  The majority of Americans still consume too much of this granulated crystal even with the vast awareness of obesity. In the past decade, our  world has consumed more sugar and processed foods than every before, thanks to the convenience of the fast food industry explosion. China, one of the healthiest countries in the world has slowly lost footing for the top rank as their childhood obesity rates jumped by 25% in the last decade. One article states that the influx of fast food chains in Shanghai has caused many children and adults to convert to lower quality of eating. Too much sugar leads to obesity, diabetes, and ultimately heart disease. Don’t forget the adverse effects that come with these diseases, which include, orthopedic problems (swollen ankles, knee pains, and back pains), sleep apnea, and lots of medication. Reduce the intake of sugar by consuming foods without added sugar and stick with fresh produce to get the sugars that will keep you going throughout the day.

References:

CDC – Leading Causes of Death

The Sydney Morning Herald – China’s Spoilt Generation Takes Obesity to New Level 






The Sham Diet

8 05 2012

It’s Thursday and my client is warming up on the treadmill before our training session. I review my notes and memorize the workout she needs to do today. Functional movements and weight loss are her goals, which in my line of work, are the goals for the majority of my clients. She comes to meet me and we begin our workout.

We’re working hard and we discuss her progress. Then she comments about her nutrition. “I’m so tied up with guests and dining out, but next week everyone will be gone and I’ll be able to start my diet.” I lift my eyebrow and give her my typical quizzical stare. “You know how it is. You don’t want to offend anyone by not eating what they serve,” she responds. “How convenient,” I think to myself.

How would you like to lose five to ten pounds a week without changing your diet. In addition, you never have to worry about where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re eating. I have the diet for you and you don’t have to pay too much for it. Just stay on my diet plan and I’ll have you seeing results in 30 days and you’ll feel better than ever. All you need to do is eat whatever you want and only exercise for 30 minutes s day. If you don’t have time to get in that exercise, don’t worry, you can take a little break and start back up when the time’s right for you. Just take one super pill a day to keep you on track while you take a little vacation and you’ll be fine.  Tell your friends about this brand new diet called, The Sham Diet.

What does South Beach, Atkins, Low carb, Nutrisystem, WeightWatchers, smoothies, cabbage, and even the Sham Diet all have in common? A lot, but one thing’s for sure; They’re all convenient. They give you the ability to start, stop, and start again whenever you want.  As Americans, we all want convenience in every aspect of our lives. From Netflix subscriptions to reading the NY Times on a Kindle, we want to be able to know that when we’re satisfied, we can take a little break and then come back to it at any time. These diets also boast big results within a short time frame. We love the quick fixes. We want to do as little as possible and still expect the same results. Remember the time when you actually had to vacuum the house yourself? Now we just turn on little Roomba and relax on a couch with a diet Coke. Diets have followed the same suit and has become outrageously unpractical, but people will do anything to reach their goals to look better for beach season or a long awaited cruise. Some might even take up my diet in hopes that it will work. Lose those few extra pounds to make it through the summer then we’re back to Wendy’s for a late night Frosty.

All the diets, including the Sham Diet have one flaw; they don’t work if you fall outside of their guidelines. Even the Sham diet that says that you can still lose weight just by taking a pill can give you false hope if you skip a dose. The other problem that my client ran into is believing that the only way to lose weight was to follow a fad diet. Whatever the product, all fads expect you to do one thing; follow their advice. We believe that we can’t look good unless we are decked out with the latest fashion fad, or we aren’t doing something right if we don’t own a smart phone. What happened to washing your car by hand? Too time consuming, however it might keep your car looking newer than the car wash (how many times have you gone through the car wash and come out on the other side with bugs still plastered to your front bumper?).

So, let’s stop with the excuses and the whining when you’re not seeing your mid-section get any smaller. Be accountable for what you’re putting into your body as well as what you’re doing to burn off what you ate.  Stop making up excuses for not eating well yesterday or this weekend. Know that you’re going to fall off track once in a while and have the honesty and courage to admit that you did it. Then fix the problem by working a little hard to put yourself back on track, and continue improving your health. There is nothing convenient about your health. Your body doesn’t wait for you to come back from vacation or the weekend to start processing what you eat. If you eat it, you’re going to have to burn it. Yes, you have to move to burn anything that you eat. If you eat a lot, you have to move a lot. This also will take time. You didn’t put on your weight overnight. It takes half the time to put on weight as it does to lose weight. If you know you’re going to eat poorly because you have an unavoidable situation, give yourself options. Either eat a smaller portion, get a little more physical activity in the days leading up, or do both! It’s that simple ladies and gentlemen. Don’t fall for the shams and believe that you have to follow a specific restriction diet. Count everything you eat; don’t lie just to satisfy yourself. Your body will still know that it had a burger and a beer over the weekend. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll start tomorrow. Start yesterday.

References:
Weight-Control Information Network
WebMD – Weight Loss Myths







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