Do you think you can lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day (3 weeks)? That’s waht I asked myself on January 24th.
I don’t know if I can either, but I’ve committed myself to doing just that. And, one of my trainee friends has committed to it also, in fact we have a small “fun” bet going (and I’m gonna win!).
The way I will do this is to cut all junk out of my diet, and believe me, there is a lot to cut. High sugar products will be the first to go. Products made of flour will be the next. The bulk of my carbohydrates will come from vegetables, mostly raw, as in salads, some fruit, and from all the “invisible” sugars in almost every product we buy.
To minimize muscle sacrifice from my reduced caloric intake, I will keep protein intake high with lean meats, dairy, and fish. I already log everything I eat, have done so for years, but now, logging will take on new importance.
My strength training will remain the same (4X week body part and FITMAX on Saturday), and, I’m ramping up my aerobic work, to increase caloric burn (4X week 30 – 40 minutes).
Weigh-ins will be done Saturday morning’s at 10:30 after FITMAX. Interested in joining us? Come in for a weigh-in, I’ll explain more then. No cost, this just a fun thing. A fun thing that will result in some lost blubber!
I have a lot of early morning (5 A.M.) training appointments. As such I do not often have time to “cook” a breakfast. But when I do, I go all-out. Check it out.
Eggs: one or two whole, and two or three whites, scrambled with a spray of oil.
Vegetables & fruit: whatever I happen to have in my refrig. On the day I made up what you see in the attached photo I used the following; a small grab of salad mix, pieces of bell pepper and tomato, a few baby carrots, three prunes, and half a pear.
That plate of food took 10 minutes to prepare and provided me (best estimate): 345 calories, 40g protein, 12g fat, 44g carbs, and every vitamin the human body needs.
Addition to this post 2/5/13
After a rough weekend that included birthday and Superbowl parties, and much more than my usual alcohol intake, I picked up two pounds. It’s not unusual for me to gain after a big weekend, and I always lose it quickly. I’ll step on the scale in another day or so. Not worried.
Addition to this post 2/8/13
This morning… scale says I’m down 7 pounds. I’m just 3 pounds away from my 10 lb goal. Fairly confident that I can shead 3 pounds in 6 days.
Final Addition to this post 2/14/13
Well… I did not lose 10 pounds in three weeks as I had promised myself, but I came close. Actual weight lost was 8.6 pounds.
I did not succeed because I lost focus. I put myself in risky situations, parties and dinners out, that tempted me. But the bigger problem was that because I knew my challenger was safely behind me, my competitive drive disapeared.
What I learned:
When I want to, I am able to turn away from my cravings. I behaved like a different person, as though I had brainwashed into not desiring sweets. On those occasions that I thought about cheating, I simply told myself that I couldn’t indulge, and I wouldn’t.
Also…. Having lost 8.6 pounds of (mostly) fat, my mid-section is flat and abbs more noticeable. And… pull-ups are a lot easier!
Thanks for reading
Can lack of sleep cause obesity?
Compared to sleepers who got seven to nine hours of sleep per night, those who got less than 4 hours were 73% more likely to be obese. And, sleepers who got just 6 hours sleep were 23% more likely to be obese. That is what a Columbia University study of 18,000 people revealed.
So why does number of hours in the sack influence belt size?
Lack of sleep disrupts levels of the hormones; leptin and ghrelin which influence hunger and appetite, says Columbia researcher S. Heymsfield. As leptin levels fall, and ghrelin levels rise, the body gets the signal to slow metabolism and to hold on to body-fat. Additionally, too little sleep triggers overeating, and the resultant weight gain.
So… how much sleep do we need?
Experts say that for peak performance, most of us need seven to nine hours per night. Can’t get that? Not to worry. Catching naps throughout the day may be just as effective at regulating our hormones as one continuous sleep.
Tips to set yourself up for a good night sleep;
Make your bedroom a comfortable, quiet, relaxing place. Don’t read or watch TV in bed. Use it only for sleeping and sex.
Strenuous exercise and other physically demanding work may hinder relaxation. Avoid doing it close to bed-time..
When your mind is hyperactive, dismiss the problems by telling yourself “I’ll take care of that tomorrow”.
Relax your mind by thinking of your blessings, and say a prayer. Good night!
An alternative view. Mine!
Sometimes I wonder…. The study doesn’t say if the lack of sleep caused the obesity, or if the subjects were obese to start with, causing lack of sleep? (As in the disorder; sleep apnea.)
Things I don’t understand
Yo Gabba Gabba
The whole vampire thing
The need to adjust home lights or thermostat via the internet
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded; idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, the insane, and others. These days, we don’t need to inport them, we raise our own!
Overheard in the gym
“My girlfriend thinks I’m a stalker. Well, she’s not actually my girlfriend… yet.”
“Starbucks needs to put in an express lane for coffee only”. (From my nephew Matt)
Play the video below then, say this in your best “Urkel” voice: “Did I do Thaiatt?!”
It’s true! You may be a Fitness Nut.
That could be good, or bad, as there are various grades of Fitness Nuttiness.
So, how do you know how serious your condition is? Simple, take the “Fitness Nut” test. Provided here, for your entertainment.
Read the statements.
Keep track of the statements that identify you. Add up your “Fitness Nut” points. Note that some statements count more points than others.
When finished, tally your points and compare to the legend below.
Let’s start: You might be a Fitness Nut if…..
These statements count as 3 “Fitness Nut” points.
You’ve ever lied in order to get out of the house to go to the gym.
You’ve ever missed, or been late to, an important event such as; a parent’s funeral, the birth of your child, your wedding anniversary.
You’ve missed work, or shown up late, so you could do a work-out.
You have a photo of a non-relative athlete in your wallet or on your dresser. Double the “Fitness Nut” points if you’re not embarrassed by that.
Ignoring doctor’s advice, you exercise when injured. You believe in the no-pain, no-gain thing. And what do doctors know anyway?
These statements count as: 2 “Fitness Nut” points.
When planning travel, the first thing you do is check out the area gyms so you can select a hotel close to a good one.
You have a pull-up bar somewhere in your house other than in your work-out room. Double the “Fitness Nut” points if you do a set of pull-ups every time you go near the bar.
You have a bag full of supplements and you believe that they all work.
You compulsively log any (all?) of the following: sets and reps, miles and times, everything you eat.
These statements count: 1 “Fitness Nut” point.
You refuse to discard any of your old muscle / fitness / running magazines. And the stack is growing.
You have memberships at more than one gym. Double the “Fitness Nut” points if you sometimes visit both gyms in one day.
Casual conversations with you will eventually turn to exercise. Double the “Fitness Nut” points if people finish their break and leave when you enter the break-room.
You scoff at any workouts that do not conform to your way of thinking.
Even though you can’t lift the 120lb dumbbells, you like looking at them. Double the “Fitness Nut” points if you have dreams of lifting the 120lb dumbbells.
You don’t understand how anyone could NOT be into exercise.
Now – Score yourself using the Legend
15 or more points: You are a grade A Fitness Nut.
While it is unlikely that you can turn around your life, with serious interventions such as signing up for a class on gardening and by watching every episode of HGTV, most likely, you are finished.
Fitness has overtaken your life. If you are still employed, you are close to loosing your job. And your spouse may have already spoken with a divorce attorney. Since you frequently flex your muscles for all to see, your children are laughing at you and calling you “Arnold” behind your back.
Keep this up and ten years from now you will find yourself destitute and forced to take a job as a front desk person at a gym. Initially you will be happy with the job because of the gym environment, except for Thursdays, when it’s your turn to clean the crappers in the men’s room.
As your aging continues, you will become envious of the younger guys who lift heavy and run strong. You will bore them with stories about how much you “used to” lift and eventually they will avoid you.
Alone now, with no friends, no pension, and a piece of junk car, the only thing you can look forward to is to keep working out so you can eventually leave a moderately good looking corpse. The guys at the gym will chip in to buy you a headstone. It will resemble a 120lb dumbbell and will read, simply: “Dumbbell”.
9 to 14 points: You are a grade B Fitness Nut.
You have reached a serious point in your life that could, at any moment, go either way. While you still feel some guilt about your self-serving lifestyle, you are loosing your sense of what is right. Yes exercise is a good thing to do but not at the expense of other commitments such as family and job. Like any addict, you will fight the fact that you must change. Seeing a mental health counselor would not be too strong a suggestion for you.
1 to 8 points: You are a grade C Fitness Nut.
You are okay at this time but caution is advised. You are probably just overly enthusiastic about your fitness regimen. Tone it down a bit to keep things in perspective. Your family is your first priority. And your job is critical because earning a living makes possible everything else we do. Cut the number of workouts you do per week and spend more time with family and non-fitness friends. Be less self-centered. Listen to others. Don’t be a bore. Stop reading fitness blogs.
There you go, hope you enjoyed. Feel free to comment below.
You’re Personal Trainer,
The October 2010 edition of the Fitness Message contained “GYM SHOTS”, an album of photos of Lifetime Fitness members and others.
That newsletter would be the most viewed Fitness Message written to that date.
Click below to see who you know and how we have changed.
Stand Clear – Idiots on Treadmill
A funny one from my grandson, age 5.
Why did the hamburger go to the gym? To get better buns.
Overheard in the gym
Every night my sleep is like a football game. Four quarters, broken up by trips to the men’s room.
Things I don’t understand:
People riding my bumper when I’m doing 10 over the limit
Coffee makers that use those one cup things that cost a fortune
Inappropriate (by today’s standards) Gift Suggestions
First… set the goal:
A goal creates a clear vision of the future. It must be well thought out and it must be specific. It also needs to define the smaller, supporting things that will need to be done almost daily. Those small things will spell the success or failure of your goal. EX: If the goal is weight loss, consider the specific diet and activity changes you will need to make.
Exercise information is bountiful. Books, magazines, cable TV, exercise tapes and video programs all offer inexpensive information. The problem is that general information intended for “everybody”, may not be appropriate for you because every one of us is different in hundreds of ways. If you happen to be of average ability, with no serious physical limitation, you may do well with books and magazines, provided you can translate the written word into proper exercise form. “Form” is high on the list of reasons for injury in the weight room. Be sure about your form, and all other aspects of your fitness plan by checking with a trainer or another knowledgable source.
A comprehensive exercise program should include: warm-ups, strength training, aerobic work, stretching, and cool-down.
Warm up your body before exercise by doing any slow, rhythmic movement for up to 10 minutes. Warm up shoulder girdle by moving your shoulders through their comfortable range of motion using very light hand-weights. Warm up specific body parts to be trained by doing a set of exercise at 50% of your ability.
Strength-train every muscle in your body at least once each week. Resistance can be in the form of machines, bands, bodyweight, or weights. Start by selecting one exercise for each major body part (legs, chest, back) and do two sets of 10 to 15 reps. Increase resistance when you can hit 15 reps consistently.
Raise your heart rate to train your cardiorespiratory system. Do this every other day to start. Use any mode of exercise (bike, walk, hike, swim, others). Avoid anything that causes any pain other than tired muscles. Start slowly and over several weeks, increase exercise time and intensity. Let your perception of how hard you are working be your guide to intensity level.
Cool-down after exercise by doing low-level aerobic exercise. The cool down will return heart rate and hormones to normal levels, reduce blood pooling, and may reduce muscle soreness.
Stretch your muscles while they are still warm from exercise. Post workout stretching helps restore the muscles to their rested state. Hold the stretched position for 30 seconds to a minute. Don’t bounce. Take one or two full breaths of air while stretching to signal the body to relax. If you don’t know how to stretch certain muscles, get some coaching from a trainer or knowledgeable friend.
Diet is a huge portion of any fitness goal. You can train hard and often but if your nutrition is out of whack, your success will fall short.
Avoid known problem areas. Most of us know the problem areas of our diet. They fall into several categories: portion size, sugars, salty snacks ,and the big one… unconscious eating. Countless calories are consumed while driving, watching TV, and working. That eating is being done at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places. After a short time, that eating becomes a habit and the food goes down our throat and we don’t even think about it. Alternatively; take the time to focus on your food, think about it, savor it, and truly enjoy it. When we do that we will be more careful in our food selection and the eating experience will be more enjoyable and rewarding.
Monitor what you eat by keeping a food log. Maintaining a food log is probably the most effective and least expensive tool you can use for weight control. Write the time of day and everything you eat on a sheet of paper, or try an on-line food log many of which are free. Keeping your log will increase awareness of the “what / when / where” you eat. At the end of the day, look over your food log and try to imagine everything that you ate all day sitting on your kitchen table right then. Look it over. Does it seem like a lot of food, or a little? Can you pick out the foods you ate that were good for you and that which negatively impacted your goals? GOOD! Think, learn, improve.
Motivation is the feeling that drives us to be successful. It thrives in an environment of positive reinforcement. Congratulating ourselves with positive self-talk for doing the right things boosts our confidence and ability to repeat the good behavior the next time. Two examples of positive self-talk:
“Tom, great work passing on that plate of cookies. By not giving in to them right away, you found something else to keep you busy. Nice going!”
“Man… 20 minutes on the treadmill three times this week. Not bad for a guy who says he doesn’t like aerobic work! Attaboy, Tom! Little by little does the trick.”
Another tip: try to behave the way you think a person who has already achieved your goals would behave. If the goal is to become lean and muscular, then; eat, and exercise, and live, the way you think a lean, muscular, person would. Make that imaginary person your model and slowly become him or her. “Fake it till you make it”, ya know?!
Look here! Good as we try to be, sometimes we blow it. On those occasions, don’t dwell. Give yourself a “pass” and move on. Get back on track as soon as you can. Doing that minimizes the damage and re-commits oneself to the goal.
Only you can change your fitness level. You’re thinking of it now so… do this for yourself. I believe in you. I believe you can do whatever you set out to do. I believe you have it within yourself to be successful. START believing in yourself, keep your focus on the vision you have of your future new you!
your personal trainer,
One of the wonderful things that can happen when training someone is that, sometimes, people start talking!
I work with people from all walks of life, and every one of them has a book of knowledge of which I have no inkling. So, over the years, I have learned that when someone starts talking, I need to shut up and listen!
Michele Connors started talking a few weeks ago and I was fascinated by what I heard.
She is the owner and operator of a business that buys and sells frozen fruits and vegetables from all over the US and from around the world. Her business delivers bulk produce to customers located in the States who then repackage it for retail sale. Her fruits and vegetables can be found in; Bush’s Beans, Kashi fruit granola bars, McDonalds strawberry shakes and Wegmans brand vegetables. Her annual sales volume is between 25 and 30 million pounds!
Michele’s occupation gives her a unique view of the world food-supply chain that few of us know. With her permission, I am sharing some of what I learned.
Terms we hear and use are: “Buy Local”, and “Locavore”. Both relate to supporting local agriculture and the reduction of long distance shipping of produce. A Locavore, in fact, is someone who tries to eat only food grown within a 100-mile radius. But doing that, and getting the year-round variety of produce we have come to expect, is not possible in Western New York. Even so, many of us try at least, to select grocery items labeled “local” so as to help our farming community. But get this: per USDA 2008 Farm Act, produce can be sold as “local” if it is grown within 400 miles of its marketplace meaning that in Rochester, it could come fromToronto! The “local” label can also be applied to produce grown anywhere within the state in which it is being sold, and when you consider that some states may span 800 miles, we begin to doubt the rationale for searching out, and paying a premium for, what comes down to just a label.
Bottom line… if we really desire items grown close-to-home, we need to confirm that fact by asking our grocer where it originated. Ask him what his “Homegrown” sign means. And do that at the farm stand too, which may be selling carrots from Long Island, or Hamilton, Canada!
*Some info from The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
It all comes down to CORN. There are 3 demands for corn: human consumption, biofuel, and non-food. Farmers earn more from biofuel and non-food corn, and less for that produced for human consumption. As a result, less is planted for human consumption, and the price of that segment goes up. In addition, demand for corn overall is increasing, with an astounding 25% of the 45,000 items found in today’s average grocery store containing it! And some of those corn-containing items will surprise you… soda, toothpaste, diapers, trash bags, cleansers, batteries, and the shine on the cover of your magazine!
As an example of price increases: in 2009, Michele’s company paid $.46 per pound for corn, three years later in 2012, she paid $.55. And in her opinion, price increases will continue.
Donate to your Local food banks. Every town has one but I will name three that I support; FoodLink, Penfield Community Cupboard, and Perinton Food Shelf. These organizations report an increasing need in the community and they tell me that they are seeing college educated families asking for help. It’s so important to help when we can.
With the aching economy and lack of available work with life supporting wages, it doesn’t sound farfetched to think that there could be families in our own neighborhood who are in trouble. Donate!
Food Desert. Know this term. A food desert is an area with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. In some countries, a food desert might be due to poor agricultural land or farming techniques. In our area, it would be due to the population in an area living in povery. Supermarkets exit areas of poverty to locate their stores in more affluent areas leaving poor neighborhoods with fewer food choices. Small mom / pop stores are less likely to carry wholesome foods in favor of items that sell well such as candy, cigarettes, soda, and alcohol.
Well, I hope you found this information as interesting as I did. As the months go on, I will keep listening, and where it seems right to do so, I’ll report what I learn to you.