#65 Good-Bye Coffee We Had A Great Run

Good Morning!

I’m pretty sure I was at Grandma’s house the first time I drank coffee. I might have been five or six years old at the time. There were a few of us sitting around the table in the kitchen. So many good memories were made in that place. The last thing I remember someone saying before taking my first sip was something about my growth being stunted.

Everyone quietly and patiently waited my reaction.  I must not have disappointed anyone because I remember the smiling faces which I can only now assume was amusement.  I must have no doubt made the bitter-tasting facial expression then followed by the wide-eyed expression of “THAT’S REALLY GOOD!!” when the full bouquet of flavours had presented itself and ran its course.  When I was a kid, this was the treat a grandma’s house: coffee or tea and coffee bulla (Pulla or Finnish Cardamom Sweet Bread).

I began drinking coffee regularly in high-school at maybe 14 or 15 years old; I didn’t have a driver’s licence yet.  My group of friends tended to congregate at one coffee shop or another: Country Style, Robins Doughnuts, or Tim Hortons.  All any of us needed to do was show up at some point after dinner and there would be someone to have a coffee, a smoke, and a conversation with.  We’d spend hours there. Multiple coffees, overflowing ash trays, and stimulating conversations that made us not want to sleep.

This ritual continued until near the end of my 18th year when I decided to pack up and move to a new city and start my own adventure.  Continue reading “#65 Good-Bye Coffee We Had A Great Run”

#63 Do You Even Eat Bro?

Good Morning!

Welcome to Fit Friday, where I write about a health topic, tell you about the progress in my personal health and fitness journey, what I’m doing at the gym, and some of the meals I’m planning on eating next week.  If you’ve been reading my health blogs so far, the format should be familiar to you already.

Today I’m going to write about my progress so far and reflect on each of the times I saw significant weight-loss progress in my current health and fat-loss journey.

Continue reading “#63 Do You Even Eat Bro?”

#60 Health Blog – What’s Leptin?

Good Morning!

What’s Leptin? Leptin a hormone produced by your body fat that is used by the brain to regulate hunger, the metabolism, and stress hormones.

The amount of leptin in the body is determined by how much body fat you have. More body fat equals more leptin.

When you are leptin sensitive, where the brain ‘sees’ the leptin, this process works correctly.

When there is excess fat on the body, the brain will raise the metabolism and lower hunger to reduce the amount of stored energy to the ‘normal’ level.

It’s the feedback loop your body uses to tell you that there is enough stored energy and that you don’t need to keep eating.

Unless of course you’re leptin resistant.

Continue reading “#60 Health Blog – What’s Leptin?”

#58 Health Blog – Fasting Burns Fat

Good Morning!

In the last two health blog posts I’ve written about how and why we store fat. This post is going to cover the easiest way to get energy out of the fat cell.

To quickly recap

  • Insulin is ‘the fat storage hormone’.
  • Eating carbs will cause insulin to go up in body.
  • Any excess energy not used from what is taken into the body will be stored in the fat cell.
  • If Insulin is always high, you will not be able to use your stored fat.
  • The only way to use the stored energy from the fat cell is to
    • be in a caloric deficit when the metabolism is still high
    • glycogen in the liver and muscles constantly needs to be replenished
    • have low insulin level
  • The easiest way to get into the state where all three of these conditions are met, is fasting. Fasting is when you don’t eat anything at all.

Let’s examine how fasting accomplishes this.

Continue reading “#58 Health Blog – Fasting Burns Fat”

#56 Health Blog – Let’s Get Serious About How Body Fat Works

Good Morning!

I want to start out by saying that we still don’t know what causes obesity as a matter of general consensus. This kind of seems crazy to me because the current evidence is so compelling, but information like this takes a long time to spread throughout the medical community and then even more time for people’s individual opinions to change. So all I can do as an individual is use what works regardless of what the medical community says. *shrug* I might being wrong in my choosing in the very long term, but I guess it’s what’s working for me to become less obese in the short term.

On Monday’s post, I wrote about the lecture I watched of Gary Taubes explaining the cause, or why we get fat, that being the carbohydrates we eat makes the hormone insulin increase in our bodies which makes us store any excess energy as body fat.

What I learned yesterday while reading “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung*, is what is needed to make fat storing actually happen.

Continue reading “#56 Health Blog – Let’s Get Serious About How Body Fat Works”

#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”

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.