#54 Health Blog – Why We Get Fat

Good Morning!

Last night I watched a lecture given by Gary Taubes, the author of the books Good Calories Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat.

He examines what we think we know about obesity and explains that the driving force behind fat accumulation is the hormone insulin and what upregulates insulin is carbohydrates.

Continue reading “#54 Health Blog – Why We Get Fat”

#53 The Meta-Habit To Improve Your Life

Good Morning!

A common theme that keeps getting talked and written about in the personal development content I’ve been consuming for the past couple weeks is to read more books.

A lot more. A book per week minimum and the more the better.

This  idea was solidified after reading about this in a couple blogs and listening to other podcasts with Gary Vaynerchuk, T.K. Coleman, and then finally after watching episode 83 of the Ground Up podcast by Matt D’Avella with his guest James clear, the author of Atomic Habits.

Matt asked James “Is there a universal skill or habit for creators?”

Continue reading “#53 The Meta-Habit To Improve Your Life”

#52 Thank You

Good Morning!

Ya know, I never thought I’d be sitting here, typing away on my computer making content for a living. Creating content is probably the most challenging and creative career I’ve ever decided to undertake.

It’s testing out every task and time management ability that I have and every single day I’m learning something new. This is exactly what I set out to do.

I knew going in that it was going to be quite a bit of work, after all it’s only me on the team right now.

Every career I’ve had before doing this was like I’ve always had in the past with the same routine: wake up, get cleaned up, scurry out the door, pickup a coffee and some breakfast on the way to work where my purpose there is predefined. My function there even had a title.

My title here is Content Creator and my purpose is to to enrich the lives of my audience by providing them with knowledge and entertainment.

And in return, some of you great folks help me out by liking and sharing my content with your friends and family on social media, using the affiliate links I have in my posts to give me a bit of money to make this happen, and even being subscribers on my email list.

It really means the world to me and gives me the drive to keep at it and reinforces my purpose.

I can’t thank you enough for that!

So thank you!

Have a great day!

#51 Health Blog – Putting It All Together

Good Morning!

I wrote about getting the mind in the right place this week and how it is the most important part of any type of life altering journey weather it be fat loss, getting strong, leveling up in your business, refining your skills in craft you practice, or whatever else.

How you think and perceive the world around you is what is true for you.

A great quote comes to mind: “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali / Napoleon Hill

If you study personal development material all the time, this will be a core theme, and for good reason.  Let me breakdown the experience I had with this mantra this week.

If my mind can conceive it. 

To conceive something is to form an idea or a plan. I needed to figure out a way to make eating the correct diet for my body meal after meal, day after day extremely consistent.

I needed a plan for how to make anything I wanted to eat to not be a never ending battle of having to choose between pizza, wings, and beer or a nutrient loaded piece of meat with broccoli or brussels sprouts on the side.

And my heart can believe it.

The plan was to write a short tutorial on how to quickly change your mind about something. While reading and researching and writing, my perception food started to change on a fundamental level. 

When I was writing out the examples of visualizations, I was in a very powerful emotional state where I could easily reprogram how I think about food by experiencing those emotions of love and grief while thinking about how if feel about those foods.

The realization surfaced, easy as ever: It’s not the food you love, but the experience the food brings you that you love . I don’t love food; I love what the food brings me.

The memories of the food are now fuzzy while the memories of the people are now in focus and what drives the emotions when I remember.

I wasn’t happy because of the ice cream; I was happy because I was eating ice cream with someone I care about.

This is the magic step.  This is where the plan was proven.  This is where my eyes and soul became open and how my view of the world changed ever so slightly so that all of the food choices I need to make in the future become not a choice at all. 

This is where the saying “you have to believe it with all of your heart” comes from. Once this happens, all of the pieces fall into place.

Then I can Achieve it.

Discipline is the result of putting the plan into action. Discipline doesn’t give you an option to not do and complete your task, it is a must.  I don’t think about not eating the diet I’m supposed to because I don’t look at food the same way anymore.

I remember eating all of those foods in the past.  I cherish the memories about all of the good times I’ve had with the people surrounding those foods, but its not the foods I love so much, it’s the experience with the people and the people themselves.

Progress

The consistency in my diet is starting pay off already. I feel like the symptoms of inflammation the headache/itchy/stuffy nose/water retention, are really starting to subside and my body weight is now moving in the right direction again.

At The Gym

Yesterday, the Trainer and I chatted about diet and the related science of it before we got into the workout. I really enjoy this time, chatting with someone else that is just as interested and open minded towards diet, nutrition, and performance as I am.

After a good stretch, here’s what we did.

  • Warmed up with Farmer Walks using hex bar, 3 x 120 feet, progressive weight increase each set 145 lbs, 165 lbs, 185 lbs.
  • Super Set 3 x 12 each movement
    • Dumbbell Arnold Press, 25 lbs.
    • Single Arm Cable Tricep Pull Down, 30 lbs.
    • Inside Dumbbell Hammer Curls, 20 lbs.
  • Super Set 3 x
    • Cable Rear Deltoid Extension, 15 reps, 20 lbs each cable.
    • Battle Ropes, 30 seconds

Killer workout today! Definitely kept the heart rate up.

The Next Meal

Another espresso in the next few minutes and then a Steak with broccoli smothered in butter and left over brussels sprouts for dinner. So good I just might make it for lunch instead!

There is a lemon curd recipe that I like to make that I’m going to make without sugar this time and see how it turns out. Lemon curd goes really great with blackberries and raspberries.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why we store fat so easily, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.

#50 Go To Sleep

Good Morning!

Last night, I didn’t fall asleep as fast as I normally do. It was an experience I haven’t had in ages.  Like my father before me, going to sleep is usually never an issue.

Here are the tricks I use to force myself to sleep.

  • Tiring myself out physically, like hopping on the exercise bike or doing some yoga. Be careful with this one because it can give you energy if you go at it with vigor.
  • Tiring myself out mentally. Grab a book with some big words in it.
  • Do something difficult that engages your mind and motor functions that you generally won’t complete, like playing Dr. Mario!
  • Write. If your mind is overactive like mine is, my mind chatter seems to stop after I get those thoughts down on paper (in my case, in the computer).
  • Talk yourself into it. Seriously! It sounds strange, but when the mind is chatty, have a conversation.

A lot of us nowadays are so much on the go that we don’t take our sleep hygiene seriously and we should, because well all know sleep is extremely important.

Good sleep hygiene is

  • Paying attention to your circadian rhythm.
  • Turning down the lights when it starts to get dark out.
  • Going to sleep when it’s dark out.
  • Sleeping in pitch black and/or wear a Sleep Mask.* Only a very small amount of light will provoke the light receptors in your eyes and skin.
  • No electronics of any kind in the bedroom.
  • No coffee or other stimulants 8 hours before sleep.
  • No food 3 hours before sleep.

I hope some of these tips and tricks will help you get to Slumberland and improve your sleep.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

P.S. You can subscribe to the email list to get notified when there is new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S. If you want to dive deep into why sleep is so important, check out “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival” by  T. S. Wiley*

#49 Health Blog – Getting The Mind Right

Good Morning!

I’ve been writing about “getting my mind right” in the past couple health blogs. How we think about our bodies is just as important as how we treat our bodies, maybe even more.

How we think affects how we take action regarding certain things, so it makes sense that changing our thinking should be a huge part of any major change.

I’m reminded of the saying: “What you think about most tends to manifest.”

It has a lot to do with our perception of the world, and how we see things.

There is far too much information about our surroundings for our brains to process at any given time, so the brain prioritizes what we need to acknowledge moment to moment. If something isn’t deemed important, we don’t notice it right away.

For example, you buy a new car and are enjoying driving it, and then one day all of a sudden you seem to start noticing all of the other versions of your car popping up around you. They were always there; you just didn’t notice them before it was important to you.

Once your brain is programmed with what is important and what isn’t, making the choice more in line with what your goal is becomes much easier because the poor choices don’t get noticed first, as often.

So, the importance of how getting gains, burning fat, getting healthy, or however you want to frame it, needs to be programmed on this subconscious level.

The how, as in taking action, is the difficult part of the programming. Our brains are continuously being updated with what needs to be important to us.

The why, is what makes the how, important.

The why is what causes us to put the how into action.

Here’s the hack: The why has to be important already.

This is the process that unfolds naturally when someone’s why is to get healthier is so that they’ll have a better chance of living longer in and order to have the energy to provide for their children and/or to be there for their friends and loved ones.

The easiest way to make something important is to attach an emotion to it. How you feel about it. Emotions by their nature, are important.

We are emotional beings. Every choice we make can be in some form or another can be boiled down to how we feel about it or something attached to it.

Here’s a way to attach an emotion to a thing. We do this all the time without actually thinking about it already, but we can use this as a tool to rapidly change our thinking more in line with the goals we want to achieve.

Love and grief are the strongest of all emotions to use for this exercise. They are the easiest and most effective ones to use and the ones I will use for the following.

Pick up the food you want to eat that you know is bad for you and hold it in your hands. You can visualize the foods in your hands instead, but it works more effectively if you have physical contact with it.

Use the why you don’t want. Close your eyes and visualize the moment where the people you love in your life standing at the edge of your grave on a rainy day, crying and emotionally destroyed because you’re finally being lowered into the ground forever, because you died from a disease caused by something as stupid as the choice of food you put in your body.

When you visualize the why you want to avoid with as much detail as you possibly can, you’ll eventually be able to recall this so fast when you’re reaching for a box of sugary cereal that you know you shouldn’t be eating, you’ll pull your hand back so fast as if your hand were going to be crushed by it.

On the flip side of things, it’s good to reinforce the why of making better food choices for your body.

Pick up the food you want to eat that you know is good for you and hold it in your hands. As I mentioned above, you can visualize the foods in your hands instead, but it works more effectively if you have physical contact with it.

Use the why you do want. Visualize yourself far into the future surrounded by the people you love singing happy birthday to you. Feel the genuine joy and bliss that their song brings to you as you notice the reflection of the candlelight in their eyes from the two number eight candles stuck into the bowl of strawberries arranged so perfectly. It makes you smile and feel their love. Experience the feelings of thankfulness that you’re still able think clearly and can still move on your own two feet. Another exciting year of life to celebrate. Oh, the things you’ve seen and the love you’ve experienced with your long life.

What is your why?

Progress

I think this is why weigh-ins are typically done at the end of the week: I’m seeing a about a 2 lb fluctuation either side of 344 lbs. It seems like my body weight set point is right around 344 lbs, and has been for the past several weeks. The fluctuation could be attributed to a lot of things, but what makes most sense is water retention provoked by the inflammatory foods I’ve been eating. Inflammation and water retention go hand in hand. It’s neat to see on a day to day basis how the weight fluctuates. Data is king, after all.

At The Gym

I wasn’t feeling all that great for my training session yesterday, but I persevered and went anyways. My joints seemed to be clickity and I also had some knee pain so the trainer modified the routine to guard the knees.

After some stretching, here’s what we did:

  • TRX Bench Squat, 3 x 20, bodyweight to warm up.
  • 90° TRX Squat, 3 x 15, body weight + with 50 lb tension band placed just above the knee.
  • Straight Leg Cable Lifts, 3 x 15, 7.5 lbs.
  • Straight Leg Glute Rear Raise, 3 x 15, 10lb ankle weights.
  • Straight Leg Dead Lift, 3 x 12, 70 lbs.

The Next Meal

I picked up a deli chicken, a couple kg of carrots, and some more bacon. I still haven’t had the chance to slow cook those ribs, but I suspect that will be happening for dinner tonight.

I got hooked on Newman’s Own Mango Salsa. Seriously, it’s amazing.

I’m going to make a smoothie for lunch: banana cream pie and triple chocolate protein powder mixes, giant handful of spinach, and a couple tablespoons of peanut butter. This is incredibly satisfying. Keep a look out for the video.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why we store fat so easily, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.

#48 Personal Freedom Requires Discipline

Good Morning!

I was up really early today, 4 am early.

If you want more freedom in your life, you need more discipline.

If you type that line into google search, you’re going to get a lot of results.  There is so much to think and write about regarding freedom.

Whenever I hear someone use the word freedom, I’m reminded of the meme where there is a bald eagle standing outside a windowed door with the caption: “Excuse me sir, but do you have a moment to talk about freedom?”.

But that’s not the freedom I’m talking about.

I’m talking about personal freedom; and if you want more if it, you have to get your shit together.

What is personal freedom?

It’s about controlling how you spend your time to get along in this world.

It’s about setting your own working hours, goals, and how much money you’re going to make.

It’s about who you want to spend your time with and how.

Discipline is not a consequence, it’s the drive to take action.

Jocko Willink says “Discipline is your best friend. Discipline is the path to freedom from laziness and wasted time. Discipline will get you stronger, faster, and healthier than you’ve ever been in your life. Discipline is choosing what makes you better than what’s easy”.

If you want more freedom, you have to get good controlling and managing your time.  You need to have the discipline to work your plan, refining it and getting better at executing it, every single day.

If you want more money, you have to be disciplined with your spending and not buying shit you don’t need for a tiny bit of instant gratification.

If you want a better body and mind, you must be disciplined with your training and nutrition on a daily basis.

Discipline will get you anything you want in life.

As Jocko says, get after it.

Have a great day!

P.S. You can subscribe to the email list to get notified when there is new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S. If you want some tools to get you more personal freedom, check out “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink.*

#47 Health Blog – Please Pass The Poison

Good Morning!

On Sunday I wrote about how shedding body fat is a by product of a fundamental mindset change from fat-minded thinking to fit-minded thinking which is part and parcel of a healthy lifestyle.

Once you change your mind everything will just fall into place with a bit of education.

I’d like to think that there is a lot more to it than that, but besides just figuring out what a healthy lifestyle is for you, there really isn’t.

You won’t have any problems with consistency when the changes you make are normal, which is exactly what normal feels like right now. It’s a weird way to think about it, isn’t it?

For myself, my body feels really good when I don’t have any grains, beer, milk, cream, or an excessive amount of seed oil; think 2 lbs of deep fried chicken wings and a plate of fries.  I should add candy to this as well because I get incredibly itchy if I have straight up sugar.

I can get away with these foods sometimes on occasion, but there are consequences.  The symptoms are usually a headache, itchiness, or my sinuses getting stuffed up, sometimes all three at once.

So why bother eating these foods anymore if I know they will cause me discomfort?

If they cause a reaction in the body like a virus or infection does, isn’t that kind of like eating poison?

That’s exactly what it is I think, and how I should view those foods now.

This is the same idea the stop smoking book presented. It proved that smoking was akin to drinking bleach and that there is no value to it.

Where is the pleasure in drinking bleach?! Barf.

This is why a modified keto-type diet has worked so well for me in the past.  I’m able to remove all of the poison foods that do more harm to my body than good and eat all of the foods that I really like still even though sometimes I just want to smash a $30 tray of Wendy’s.

It’s not convenient or easy either, which is the reason I failed the last time after a good measure of success. That along with the seduction of beer and pizza and the aforementioned tray of Wendy’s, but I don’t subscribe to the easy way of thinking as normal anymore.

Put in the effort, get good results. It works for everything else in life too.

Progress

Ehhhh…. its half a pound, but at least it’s moving in the right direction. It’s either that or I was holding my phone the last time I was on the scale.

At The Gym

More supersets today! Love this stuff! After a good set of stretches, here’s what we did.

  • Inclined Dumbbell Chest Press w/fat grips, 1 x 12 @ 25 lbs, 2 x 12 @ 35 lbs.
    • Superset with TRX Row, bodyweight.
  • Dumbbell Rows, 3 x 15 @ 45 lbs.
    • Superset with TRX Press, bodyweight.
  • Incline Dumbbell Pullover, 3 x 12 @ 20 lbs.
  • Single Arm Pull Downs, 1 x 12 @ 30 lbs, 2 x 12 @ 45 lbs.

The Next Meal

Chicken Caesar Salad is next up and I think I might put the ribs I got into the slow cooker. This recipe will do just fine. Yum!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why we store fat so easily, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.

#46 Take One Day At A Time

Good Morning!

Have you ever been stressed out or overwhelmed with everything you have going on in your life?

I remember my parents passing down this age-old piece of wisdom a long time ago when I was dealing with some work-related stress.

Just take it one day at a time.

Focus on today’s issues, problems, activities, or whatever else it is you’re going through and leave tomorrow’s thoughts for tomorrow.

There is no sense in worrying about tomorrow, when you have enough to deal with today already.

Solid advice.

But it’s difficult to not think about tomorrow sometimes.

I find that changing the scenery, grabbing a coffee, shutting off the phone, seems to help collect my thoughts and to let go of the worry of the future and the regrets of the past to be more in the present.

Sometimes all we need is a quiet 5 minutes to recenter ourselves.

Go and find your park bench.

Have a great day!

P.S. You can subscribe to the email list to get notified when there is new stuff on the blog.

#45 Health Blog – Consistency Is Key

Good Morning!

When you figure out what works best for you, consistency is the key to long term success, and that’s true with everything, not just diet and exercise.

My obesity story is the same old story: always a larger person, been overweight since childhood, and I have some pretty deep rooted psychological diet related issues just like everyone else.

I’m one of those people who only has to look a picture of food to put on weight.

So here I am at 38 years old and 344.5 lbs.  

I know exactly how I got here: too much stress, choosing the easiest path, being lazy, being inactive, eating a lot of garbage food with poor nutrition, and performing all of these with a great measure of consistency which took little to no effort.

It seems that no matter what diet or workout you choose, the basis of any long term success story is consistency.  You have to keep on doing whatever it is that moves you in the direction of the success you want.  When you stop, your success stops.

To get a healthy and fit body, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle; it’s part and parcel.  

I’ve herd it hundreds of times: losing fat and keeping it off is a lifestyle change.

A new ‘Lifestyle’ sounds a lot like the same old “diet and exercise” the doctor’s keep telling us about, except with one very important idea that I keep failing to understand:

A new lifestyle isn’t adding “diet and exercise” to your current lifestyle, it’s a fundamental change in mindset and how you feel about pretty much everything.

When a lifestyle change occurs from fat to fit-minded, diet and exercise consistency requires virtually no effort because you don’t think like ‘the old you’ anymore.

Just imagine there was a pill you could take that instantly made you feel repulsed by any food that was processed or that wasn’t good for your particular body and made physical activities the ones you enjoy doing the most.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about, except there is no pill, it’s a like a light switch.

Lifestyle, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture”.

By its definition, changing your lifestyle is changing what is typical or normal about how you think and do things.  For example, you will see on a fundamental level that birthday cake is just like a cigarette: it’s hyper-additive, health depleting, and will very likely be the cause of some disease you don’t want with prolonged use.

I know this all too well, having gone through this instant lifestyle change in past already: It’s exactly like how I became a non-smoker when I stopped smoking years ago.

It was like flipping a switch. I read a book and then made the decision not to be a smoker anymore.  I went to sleep one evening as a smoker and then woke up the following morning as a non-smoker. It really was that easy and it’s one the most peculiar things that has ever happened to me, it was like being deprogrammed or having all of the blinders taken off so I could see reality again.

The weird thing about being an instant non-smoker is, all of the things I did previously while in the act of smoking felt strange each time I did them the first time again being a non-smoker, but in a good way.

When I followed Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness back in the day, he had a saying: “You gotta get your mind right”.

I think this is exactly what he was talking about.

Finding what it is that flips the switch from fat-minded to fit-minded is what I’m struggling with because I don’t think its something I can find, it’s more like a realization and something that happens all by itself.

So yes, consistency is the key to both short and long term success for a fit and healthy body, but it’s effortless when you’re truly fit-minded.

Progress

No change in weight from Wednesday weigh-in.

It would be nice to see a continuous drop in weight every weigh-in, but I know that’s not how the body works, and especially when there is no ultra consistency in the diet. Unfortunately for me, that’s the most difficult part.

At The Gym

After warm-ups and stretching we got to work. The RMT did quite bit of work on my upper back and shoulders the day before so I wanted to make sure that everything was stretched out, warmed-up, and moving like it should.

We did super sets today that felt like two workouts in one. This routine is a bad ass one. I ended up taking a short break to recover my heart rate about half way through as you can see in the heart rate graph below.

Here’s what we did.

  • Standing Cable Rear Deltoid Extensions, 3 x 15, 10 lbs each arm
    • Super Set with Step-Up’s, 12″ platform, 30 seconds, body weight.
  • Battle Ropes, 3 x 30 seconds
    • Superset with stacked motions: side raise, iron cross, front raise and then reverse order, 1 x 8, 8 lb each hand.
    • Superset with Underhand Grip Barbell Raise, 2 x 12, 30 lbs.
  • Single Shoulder Press with Fat Grip, 3 x 12 each side, 25 lbs.
  • Dumbell Hammer Curl, 3 x 12, 20 lbs
    • Superset with Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks, 15 lbs.
  • Stacked motions: Dumbbell Tricep Extension + Dumbbell Hammer Curl, 1 x 12 and 1 x 7, 15 lbs. My shoulders were cooked!

The Next Meal

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll have seen the picture I posted of the Beef and Broccoli that I made. It wasn’t fancy, but sure was tasty. I ended up eating the whole lot.

I got some hot Italian sausages and I also have steaks, more broccoli, and cauliflower to cook up. Butter and cheese go well with cauliflower, right? Zomg this recipe.

And well, you know I love my coffee.* Check out the video I put together about my morning coffee ritual below.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

P.S. If you enjoy reading my content you can subscribe to the email list to get notified every time I publish new stuff posted on the blog.

P.P.S If you want to read up on why obesity happens, check out “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr Jason Fung, MD.*

Disclaimer:
I am not a medical professional and I don’t claim to be.  Any health-related things that I write or talk about in my blogs, emails or how ever else you get the information from me should NOT be taken as medical advice. Make sure you check with your health-care provider that whatever it is that you want to do, is safe for you.  Any health-related information is intended for entertainment purposes only. Use at your own risk.