WE all need balance in our life. It is a constant struggle and juggling
act. Between the demands of work, family, health and wellness, and the
other stuff that makes up our lives, face it its just tough. I find it
easier to workout on the weekdays after my day job and do all my
emailing, blogging and paperwork stuff early in the morning. It works
for me. I have 5 calendars that sync with my phone and I always have a
schedule to adhere to. We do need time to as I call it "Decompress" and
just do nothing. Either alone or with a loved one. You need to make this
a priority. Read a book and listen to music by the fire or do something
that makes YOU happy. Just you!
Along these same lines you need to balance your portion sizes of what you ingest into your body. If you log your food or journal what you eat, ask your self this question. What is a serving size based on the packaging? Are you using measuring cups and a food scale? You're eyes tend to make things look smaller than they really are and you really need this as a gut check to keep you accountable. If you eat a bowl of Cheerios right after dinner or an hour latter that is fine. But really how much are you eating? 3 times the serving size?????? You have to measure and keep everything in balance and keep everything in moderation. Log your food, measure your food, include everything, eat wisely and increase your intensity of your workouts. Longer does not mean better or more. You need time to balance the rest of your life. THIS IS THE BEST 20 BUCKS YOU WILL EVER SPEND. TRUST ME.
Almost everything you put into your mouth has sodium in it. The problem is all of our sodium is coming from the wrong sources and we are getting way, way, way too much of it.
And so are your kids!!!!
Just look at this graph to the right. 77% of our salt or sodium intake is from processed foods according to the Mayo clinic. There is a clear link between hypertension and over salting that has public health officials clammering and hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A typical fast food meal is 1400mg of sodium. The newer recommended intake for sodium is 1500mg (down from 2000) per day. So right when you get done with your McD's lunch you can stop eating for the rest of the day cause you are over your limit.
Let's break it down. Big Mac with cheese=1040, medium fries=2710, diet coke=30. Not pretty is it?
To give you an idea it would take 7 generous sprinkles of the shaker or 2/3 of a teaspoon to fulfill your quota.
Not really a lot if you think about it is it? Don't get me wrong I like my salt and I can really tell when I over did it. I feel crappy and bloated.
If you are a regular exerciser who eats lots of potassium rich food you can have a bit extra.
Here are some tips to help.
Taste alone may not tell you which foods are high in sodium. For example, you may not think a bagel tastes salty, but a typical 4-inch (10-centimeter) oat-bran bagel has about 532 mg of sodium.
So how can you tell which foods are high in sodium? Read food labels. The Nutrition Facts label found on most packaged and processed foods lists the amount of sodium in each serving. It also lists whether the ingredients include salt or sodium-containing compounds, such as:
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Sodium nitrate or nitrite
Know your labels!!!!!!! Many food packages include sodium-related terms. Here's what they mean:
Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium.
But watch out — foods labeled "reduced sodium" or "light in sodium" may still contain a lot of salt. If the regular product starts out high in sodium, reducing it by 25 or 50 percent may make little difference. For example, regular canned chicken noodle soup contains about 1,100 mg of sodium per cup, while the reduced-sodium version may still have 820 mg per cup.
Its All About Core,
Most people in my world challenge me, motivate me or inspire me. I like people to tell me I can’t. It provides me with drive. They make me look at what I have and lead me to think outside of the box in engaging conversations, blogs and lifestyle commitments that reach way beyond my comfort zone. I appreciate all of you. So even if you don’t hear me say it verbally, (because that is something I struggle with and I’m working on it) THANK YOU!
So with that said let’s talk about how to get it off and keep it off. Some of you have heard my 5 keys to keeping it off, and I will share them in another article. But let’s talk about a couple of keys to getting and keeping it off first. I tell EVERYONE I train that you have to be in this for the long haul. This cannot be a 5 sessions and out deal. You have to “commit to be fit” as a lifestyle. Not a fad or a trend. This is a marathon and not a sprint. The turtle lives way longer than the rabbit. Just “Google” it and I’m sure there are 200 year old tortoises and no 200 year old rabbits. Sorry off topic. When you train for a marathon or a half marathon there is one rule-you cannot short the training. There is no cramming it all in the night before like you did in college for your exams. If you show up unprepared you will unequivocally fail. No doubt in my mind.
The good news is this is achievable and you can also look back and have appreciation. Anyone that needs to lose significant amount or 5 lbs of weight can benefit from these rules. Since I’m a rules based guy, here is the short list“..
1. Long haul- you have to be committed not for just one day or week or year. This has to be a long term commitment and change in thinking that comes from within. Nobody can do it for you and nobody can make you do it. You have to be ready.
2. Build a plan- make it written, goal oriented and attainable in a timely fashion. You are not gonna lose 20 lbs in a month the healthy way. If you have a lot to take off plan on years. Otherwise you will get discouraged and somewhere in there fall off the wagon.
3. We as a race were meant to store fat not burn it. What does this mean? It means it’s easy to put it on and hard to take it off. Evolution has made our bodies think that when we start a “diet” we are starving ourselves and the body says “whoa buddy we need to conserve our fat” and this makes it tough. Key here is to gradually moderate the calories down and increase the good stuff. You need a 3500 caloric deficit to lose one pound.
4. Somewhere around 40% of women and 30% of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. This is a staggering statistic to me. You need to forgive yourself and plan for not making the right choices all the time. Both food-wise and exercise-wise. If you fall of the wagon you need to tell yourself its ok. But you also need a plan to get back on. AND stay on. Find something or someone to be accountable to. Not the scale.
5. Get out of your comfort zone- key point here is technology has made us lazy and we need to stop it. Turn off the TV. Put down the cell phone. Step away from the computer. These are just tools. Grab your iPod (a little humor here) and go outside and/or do something physical. Be a hunter or a gatherer. It’s easy to be lazy isn’t it?
IT’S ALL about Core,
I emphasize with all my clients throughout their journeys that they are actually seeking something a little deeper than weight loss, toned muscle, or whatever we are calling it today. I am the epitome of the Cerebral Personal Trainer. I do not do it for the money. I do not do it to show off what I can do physically or verbally. I can teach anyone to squat correctly, or make them run faster or show the how to run to lessen the load on their knees.
What I have learned in the 45 or so years on this earth is simple. You cannot make anybody do anything. That is the one thing that you as an individual have complete control over. You make the choice. I can tell you to log your food, do these exercises, Rule #1=Cardio. But in the end I’m just telling you to do something. You have to choose to do it. People ask me what it was that put me over the edge or “What was your turning point?” “Was there something in your life that happened that made you do this. Nope.
I finally was forced inside of head to come to peace with the decisions I had previously made in my life. From a health and wellness standpoint, they-to be brutally honest sucked. I needed to come to peace with myself and keep telling myself that I could do whatever I wanted and that I was worth it. It fi nally came to a moment of prophetic clarity. I still to this day remember the second it happened. I was in the middle of a very demanding workout of some sort. I felt I could not continue physically any more. I was going to bow out and give in. My mind said no, you can do this and you are better than you think you are. Right then something snapped in my head. It was my moment of CLARITY.
From that day forward I knew that things would never be the same in my head. I was done with the punishing of myself mentally. I would be able to talk myself off the proverbial ledge from now on.
WE are by nature our own worst critics. Nobody talks to us like ourselves. We are harder on ourselves than anyone person or group of people could be. We all need to come to peace with our heads and give in and tell ourselves that we are worth it.
This will make all the difference in the world. Trust me, I know. You need to have a moment of CLARITY. You deserve it!
It’s All About Core,
Lets start with the definition:
- Find a job that you love no matter what it is and it will never be a job.
- Read books-The only difference between now and 5 years from now will be the people that you meet and the books that you read.
- Enjoy the little things
- Don't let any body tell you you can't
- Think outside the box
I don't know if anyone caught any of that in the presentations, but if just one did. Its worth all the effort.
When roaming the halls before I was to start I was trying to get a feel of what the atmosphere was like. The kids had paintings above the lockers showing strong words with meaning. This is the only picture I snapped.
How does this relate to fitness and health?
It relates to everything you do. This one word can make it all happen. Everything!
I mean it.
Its All About Core,
Well I have to admit that this was unexpected. I have been injury free for the most part besides a little patellar tendonitis and some back spasms for 3 + years. Last week end I tore my left calf sprinting. I did my usual warm up which is very dynamic. Then I did a ½ mile of sprints after a ½ mile of warm up. The first 100 yards of the sprint and I knew something was up. Sundays have been my so called “rest” day for the last 8 weeks because of marathon training. My long runs have been on Saturday as is the case with most weekend warriors. Longs runs are a commitment and you need to have time to complete them.
So this week was very unusual for me. I was forced to change it up and take some of my own medicine. R.I.C.E.
I still managed to get plenty of non-running activities in but I am concerned that my training has halted or at least been stymied. Most of this is in my head of course because I deal with this stuff as all of you do. Fear based. “Now what?” “Am I still going to be able to do the marathon?” “Is this worse than I thought?””How can I stay motivated with this setback?”
Any of this sound familiar? It doesn’t have to just apply to an injury or exercise at all. It could be taken into any situation/obstacle that you did not expect to be in or encounter. Anything other than the norm can make us off game. It’s how we choose to deal with it that defines us as a person. We all make choices everyday all day long. We can choose to wallow or we can get creative or look for motivation from others. Don’t get me wrong here. I can wallow with the best of them. I call these people (and myself) the Eeyore’s (Winnie the Pooh)
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is." (Pooh)
"And freezing." (Pooh)
"Is it?" (Pooh)
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
Just kind of a downer in general isn’t he? Just say no to this and pick yourself back up and figure out a solution to the issue. We are all going to have good days and bad days. That’s just a part of life. We need to minimize the bad days by using the best 6 inches we have. The 6 inches between our ears. I like quotes and I like this one a lot. This one is from the late, great John Wooden:
“Make Everyday Your Masterpiece”
It’s All about Core!
We all have challenges or issues that come up on a daily basis. I will try and relate my week and let you pick and choose (or not to) what tools you can apply to your life challenges. Now even if you choose not to you still have made a choice. Right? As I write this I am in Arcadia Wisconsin at the World Headquarters of Ashley Furniture. I left the house this morning very early and it was a 200 mile drive. So I have a lot of sitting time today since after I’m done here which will take approximately 3-4 hours (sitting), I will get back in the car and drive the 200 miles back and MAKE time to get some sort of exercise in. Just do something physical. (I had to pause here to do my business) I actually ended up afterwards heading straight to the gym. I did some, not much but something none the less. Make time for yourself. This is a key factor in your longevity. You can’t enjoy it if you not around so take time to take care of yourself.
challenge on the road was you guessed it.
How do you manage that? Here was what I did. It took all of 6 minutes to prepare and out the door. For my Butt time I needed grazing food. Easily accessible, not messy or distracting and it needed to healthy. Peanut butter spread on 1 piece of bread lightly, folded over and cut into half. This is now a quarter of a sandwich. Which in my calculations is about 70 calories? Good grazing material. Hard boiled eggs. Easily transportable, lots of protein. Awesome!Fruit is another easy choice. Apples, grapes and bananas make good travel companions. Oranges are OK but should be peeled first for obvious reasons. Nuts are easy. Mix different varieties together and add some raisins. Bingo your own trail mix. I prefer the raw nuts with no salt or roasting. As soon as you heat anything up you change its chemistry and ruin some of the good stuff. Raw vegetables are easy as well but will require some prep. This way when you stop to get gas you’re getting only gas and maybe water.
Then there is the dreaded MEETING food. You know the "lunch and learn" food. UGH. Cookies, bagels, pizza, you name it. This has elements of peer pressure involved in it as well. That’s a mind game that you need to take control of. You make the choice, not anyone else. Other people don’t live your life you do. I look at this stuff in moderation and yes I had a piece of pizza this week. It was good, not great, but good. I felt the effects of the salt later that day as I like to keep my salt intake low to help on the blood pressure side of things.
So you see I am really no different than everyone else. Things do not always go according to plan so you need to stick to with what got you to where you are or want to be. I have challenges on a daily basis with every aspect of life as well. It is how I choose to deal with those challenges that make the difference.
It’s All about Core,
Weight Loss is 2 Different Things
Weight loss is 2 different things. Very separate from each other as well. I see it all the time. We get people started on their journey, they lose a bunch of weight and then we don’t see them for a while. I know what is going on though. They are back in their bad habits putting all the weight on that they just spent countless amounts of hours and huge amounts of efforts to get off. Then they start back all over again repeating the process. This was something that I kind of studied and did not want to fall victim to as I made my progression forward. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Are these people insane? I don’t think so but there are 2 different things here for sure. Getting it off and KEEPING IT OFF. I can totally relate to the second one. It is downright scary and a constant struggle with all the directions we are pulled towards in today’s society. It actually came down to me setting long term and short term (WRITTEN) goals. I.E “I had a wonderful journey with this and I’m going to pass it on to someone else so that they may benefit” Long term Goal “I’m going to do a sprint triathlon” short term goal. Both are written, achievable and measurable. These are the 3 things I consider when setting goals. If the goal doesn’t contain those 3 items, based on my experience, it won’t happen. So once you get the weight off you now have a new challenge keeping it off. In my opinion these are definitely things to consider. Give it a try. You will be amazed at how well it works.
More on this subject later. This is a very big subject
Its all about Core,
I received an email from a client and I pondered it for bit before responding to it. It actually hurt a bit because most of it well, all of it for me any ways was true. This will not make sense to some because you truly have to “have walked a mile” in my shoes. In the first 1/3 of my life I was the fat guy. You know the guy that you all made fun of even if you didn’t. Its ok, I understand. Really. I was fat when it wasn’t cool to be fat though. When there wasn’t a plethora of oversize clothes just because. I had my mom take me to the special section of the store where there was the Husky clothes. I have and will always be addicted to food. This is unlike any other addiction though. You can’t just quit food. “This is the day I quit eating” Ah, no I don’t think so.
In my journey over the last decade I have seen a both a cultural shift (USA) and a behavioral shift in myself. I do not tell this story because it is about me. I tell it because it’s about us and YOU. We as a whole society have become obeseogenic. I chose to swim upstream for whatever reason and feel compelled to pass it on in a genuinely however sometimes over-passionately fashion. I would do anything to help my clients and asked permission to use this in context. Look at the statement below and think about for a second before you read on. The quoted text actually comes from a parenting skills book but put into this context makes perfect sense in my mind.
I eat because I am unhappy and I am unhappy because I eat. Vicious cycle.
"As long as your motivation is your own self loathing, there is no way possible to make a lasting positive change in your life. So by over eating it is our way of trying to make ourselves feel better. By trying to cut that out (bad pattern) ......you are cutting out the only one thing that makes you feel good. No wonder we fail and sabotage our diets and exercise plans. As long as we are motivated by self hatred then we will never sustain any effort as it feels like deprivation - hating ourselves more even if it is ultimately good for us. This is because we don't feel or believe we have a legitimate right to treat ourselves well in the first place. Loving ourselves and all the effort that takes feels far too selfish or narcissistic. BUT here's what is really selfish“.. Sacrificing yourself for the sake of others while secretly needing them to validate and reciprocate your efforts to keep going. (I struggle with this vicious cycle) Narcissism is not focusing on yourself - Narcissism needs everything and everyone else to focus on you. In contrast the true self love - the, “I love me for your benefit “type of love is always seeking to truly benefit others. The person who loves herself (himself) does not need others to recognize or even love him back in order to continue. Again he takes care of himself so that others especially his kids/spouse/family doesn’t have to. That is “truly loving” both to yourself and others. “
I tend to think that I cross the line over into narcissism and it’s a struggle for me personally and I am striving daily for balance and compassion for others. I can truly see the logic in this statement above. Just the fact that my client would even share such personal struggles means to me that I am doing some good. I am just looking to pass it on because someone else taught me to do the same. Lead by example and the rest comes easy? Maybe, maybe not.
It’s all about core,