Author: Brenda Sue

Life Hack of The Iron

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I have learned many things from strength training. Today, with guidance from my Trainer, I have learned the greatest Truth of the Iron. “When we fix our lifts, we learn how to fix our lives.” (David Yochim)

“You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.” (David Yochim)
When I first began heavy weight lifting I was at the physically weakest point of my life. I didn’t know this until I picked up a barbell and could only squat 35 pounds. If I’ve ever been any more embarrassed, I don’t remember it. I don’t usually get embarrassed. What is, is. But, when I squatted with 35 pounds and struggled to stand up, I could have just gone through the floor to escape facing the truth of my physical condition. I daresay that was not a deep squat either. Although I squatted as deeply as I thought I could at the time, now I know that it was nowhere close to proper depth. I have discovered that not hitting depth puts an incredible strain on me because I don’t activate my glutes and hamstrings properly to stand. I was making what was already hard, harder with improper form. We do the same thing in other parts of our lives. We make things harder than they have to be by doing them the wrong way or just allowing ourselves to do less than our best. If we give every nuance of every lift our undivided attention to detail, we will do much better. The same thing applies to other aspects of our lives. I have an extremely difficult, high-stress job. The better I focus, the easier the job is. If I allow myself to lose focus while doing a menial task at home, that task becomes difficult. I have learned this from the Iron. Since my weights are heavier now, focus is not only mandatory for the lift, it’s mandatory for safety. This applies to a road trip. Don’t lose focus on the interstate at 80 mph. It could end badly.

Proper Preparation

Last night, although I was front squatting a weight that I had not squatted before, I was not pleased with my lift. I wanted to get more reps. As I analyzed what might have been wrong, I thought about my preparation. Last week when I was pleased with this lift, I had gone out of my way prepping. My calories were perfect and I ate them early enough that they were pulsing through my system when I needed them, I had an excellent pre-workout, I had the most adrenaline pumping music in existence blasting in my dungeon. Last night, I struggled through a mandatory continuing education course, stuffed the remaining calories for the day in my mouth at the last minute, skipped the pre-workout and started lifting without music. There was so much wrong with this picture for me because I know what I need to have a good session. I didn’t do it. I was not pleased with the results. How often do we do this in other areas of our lives? I got bit by a rattlesnake in 2016 due to stupidity. I know exactly what I did wrong. We do things like this all the time with that still, small voice screaming instructions in our ears. The Iron will not yield to me unless I approach it prepared. Everything works this way.

Analysis

Even as I lumbered up the stairs to my bedroom, I began to analyze my lift. Without analysis there is no learning. I combed each moment of my approach, my breathing, my focus. It was in this moment that I began to see the discrepancies between this week’s squat and last week’s squat. Unless we examine ourselves, we will never improve. I was not happy with that lift. I wanted more. Even though lifting is a lifestyle, not an ever increasing exhibition of strength and ego, I still wanted more. I knew that I was off and when I began to analyze my day, a cascade of differences in this week and last week flooded my brain. How often do we encounter difficulty and disappointment in other areas and we just chalk it up as a lesson learned when nothing was actually learned because we did not analyze our behavior? Self examination is necessary for growth and mastery of every area of our lives. I have learned a very practical application of this through the Iron. Unless I analyze my behavior with it, there will be no progress. I must correct myself as I go. Most of the time when we stall out in life it’s because we do not correct ourselves. We’re too busy correcting other people. Regardless of what I do to that Iron, it’s me that must yield and adapt. Only then will my relationship to the Iron be all that I want it to be. This applies to every relationship. Analyze your behavior, adjust, adapt.

Wisdom

I was one of the ones who thought that weight lifting was just picking up heavy stuff and putting it down. That’s because I had never lifted heavy. I had lifted but not heavy. There are so many benefits to exerting my muscles to their limits, pushing as hard as I can, refusing to quit and doing it with proper form. This is true work. I have learned that I can endure and accomplish more than I would have ever believed. The key here is proper form. Do it the right way. I cannot make progress in the number of pounds that I lift over my lifetime, unless I do it the right way. If I do not learn and practice proper form, sooner or later I will fail and most likely get seriously injured. This is true of life. We can haphazardly go about our lives if we want to because it seems easier at the time but we will never accomplish all that we are capable of unless we do it the right way. The right way maximizes our efforts, that’s why it’s the right way. The heavier the weights, the greater the risk and the greater the benefits. This is also true in other areas. Hard jobs with a lot of responsibility and power and influence over other people’s lives are high risk for the employee and the people affected by their performance. The benefits of those jobs are immense for all concerned when they are done right. Great relationships with intelligent, articulate, creative people are wonderful when treated with mutual respect. Everything has to be done with proper form.

Those Days

And then there are those days… You know… Those days when you prepare and analyze and do it right and apply everything you know and the Iron still won’t cooperate. The people won’t cooperate. The Universe won’t cooperate… Those are the days that my Trainer sums up like this. “It’s heavy.” (David Yochim) Sometimes stuff is just hard. Don’t quit. It’s a lifestyle.

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Welcome To Better

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I Commend You

If you are a regular reader of David’s Way, I commend you for improving your life. There are so many people who are content with the status quo, whatever that is. That’s fine as long as the status quo is good but, have you ever known the people who are content with disaster? You know, the ones who just accept that “things are bad”? If things are bad, change them. You are most likely geared to make your life better if you are reading this blog, because that’s what we do. We try to make our lives and yours, better.

One More Time

The main difference between those who succeed and those who fail is simply that the successful people just don’t quit. We keep getting up no matter how many times we are knocked down. When people choose to give up, it’s quite often just before a victory. Think back to the times that you have been so tempted to just quit trying. Shortly after that moment passed, something changed a bit for the better somewhere in your life that made you glad that you did not give up. Hang on. Your victory is at hand. Get up, one more time.

How Were Things Before?

So, if you decide to quit, what do you expect to happen? Will you suddenly be content with a sub-standard life? Will the misery and dysfunction just suddenly cease to exist? Probably not. If you were discontented enough to begin a change, what makes you think that you will somehow be content with the same situation now? Press on to your goal. You will encounter great difficulty, no doubt. Anything worth having is a lot of trouble. If you want an easy life, good luck with that. We are supposed to work hard. We are mysteriously and wonderfully made and incredibly resilient. Don’t ever think that you can’t do anything. If you want to, you can. If you remind yourself of what you will return to if you quit, you will most likely keep pursuing your goals.

Create Your Life

It’s true. Most people would quit. Do you want your life to be like theirs or do you want something better? Quitting will give you a moment of relief, but only a moment and then the stress of dysfunction will overwhelm you. Decide what you want and then research about how to get it. Once you have done your research, dig in and work for what you want. The lazy people who quit will never have what you will have.

Perspective

If your job is hard, rejoice that you can pay your bills. If you can’t, get another job. If withdrawing from sugar is driving you crazy, rejoice that you have the initiative to improve your health. If it rains out your hiking trip, rejoice that you have a chance to catch up on all that blasted paperwork that you keep putting off. David has a twist on the glass half full or half empty perspective that I love. He says that it doesn’t matter if it’s half full or half empty, refill it. Refill your life and celebrate.

Potential Is Everything

Every time that you are tempted to quit, think about the potential of not quitting. There is an equal positive reinforcement to the negative reinforcement that makes you want to quit, so if what you’re doing seems impossible, you can rest assured that the reward of conquering that issue is hugely rewarding. Before you quit, think about the reward.

Be Strong

If you were strong enough to begin this journey towards self-fulfillment and health, you are strong enough to continue. Breaking out of old habits of failure and sickness is hard. Making that decision is the hardest. You have shunned traditions and habits of everyone around you. You have become”different”. Stay different. Get healthy and stay that way. We’re here for you. Read the Homepage and discover all of the tools available to you here at David’s Way at absolutely no charge. Take advantage of all that we have to offer you and create and live your best life now.

Your Genes Are Not To Blame

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Take Control

At Davids Way we teach to be proactive instead of reactive. This simply means to be creative and in control of your life as opposed to just accepting every negative event that life throws at you as inevitable. Believe me, this makes all the difference in the world in your level of happiness. If you believe that your “weight problem” is genetic rather than a result of what you put in your mouth, you will always be overweight. David wrote about genetic contributions to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in his article here

It’s Up To You

Genetic links to obesity have been studied at length. According to T.H. Chan of the Harvard School of Public Health, while there are genes that can contribute to obesity in ways such as interaction with fried foods in a unique manner, everyone who has these genes does not become obese. (1) It is not your destiny. It is still your choice. If fried foods make the scale go up, the answer is, “Don’t eat fried foods.” I don’t. It’s a choice.

Genes Are Not King

The research has made it clear that these genes make a very small contribution to obesity risk. Genes are not your destiny. Healthy lifestyles can more than compensate for these cellular differences. While there is a single gene mutation that can contribute to how often or intensely we feel hunger, it is rare and can be managed. If I eat empty calories, foods with little nutritional value, I stay hungry. If I make every calorie count with quality nutrition, I rarely experience true hunger. The key is to make absolutely sure that every calorie is a good nutrition source. I have to get the recommended amount of protein for my body as a heavy weight lifter and avoid all added sugars.

Familial

When I was growing up, my mother was obsessed with my weight. While that was not really a completely good thing, one of her strategies to control my weight was to remove empty calories. She provided healthy, wholesome meals and baked a cake no more than once a week. Sometimes she would go weeks without having any desserts in the house. When I followed her plan, I would lose weight. I had friends who appeared to be genetically blessed to be thin. When their moms furnished an abundance of junk foods with sugar, those genetically blessed creatures would fatten up. This supports the statements in the various studies that a healthy lifestyle can change your destiny while poor food choices can exacerbate the tendency to put on weight.

Genes Are Not The Cause

While genetic anomalies have been observed, the number of  affected genes is an incredibly small percentage of our total gene pool. Their ability to affect the amount of fat on our body is insignificant when we make good food choices and get active. The genes of humans have remained largely the same throughout history so it is changes in society that have made a negative impact on obesity rates. Environmental changes that make it easier to overeat far outweigh any genetic input. Changes that curtail physical activity also contribute to the current explosion of obesity. Easy access to food 24 hours a day contributes on a large scale. The current trend to sit all the time even after leaving our jobs is deadly. While I love the internet, I do not allow it to prevent me from working out. I turn this off and get under that barbell or bridle up my dog for a walk. Sometimes I grab my backpack and head into the wilderness for a long hike. On those days, I fuel my workouts with adequate calories of healthy foods but never use that activity as an excuse to overeat. I actually gained weight one time because I would swim laps for two hours and then go to the yogurt shop for a “healthy” sundae. There is a huge influx of added sugars into our diet. It’s up to us to cut it out of our lives if we want to be healthy. Our habits create the body that we live in.

Your Choice

Knowledge is power. Since you have read this article, you can no longer use genetics as an excuse to be unhealthy. What will you do with the information provided here on the blog? Will you continue with unhealthy habits and pay the ultimate price with your health and eventually your life? While some  people believe that they had rather die than change, death is not usually quick or painless. Death caused by the complications of obesity is usually long and painful. Make a decision today to be your best self. and live a rich, rewarding, full life able to be active with your grandchildren and enjoy doing things that only a healthy body can do. It’s up to you. Get proactive today. Read about being proactive here and here      

 

(1) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/genes-and-obesity/

 

How to Make Time for Exercise

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What Do You Really Want?

One of the main reasons that people don’t succeed in their health initiatives is failing to prioritize. Some refer to this illusive quality as “Time Management”. The truth is exactly what my Grandmother said, “People do what they want to do.”, implying that we talk a good game but when the chips are down, we do what means the most to us.

Nurturer

Have you ever had a day, or a year… where you kept meaning to exercise but you just couldn’t get to it? What were you doing? Sometimes we defend ourselves by saying that we were doing something for someone else. Whose going to do it when your health fails due to poor health habits? It makes much more sense to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others later.

I Have a Job

One often heard response is, “Well… I have to work.” Most people do. Very few of us are professional athletes or bikini competitors who fly around the world for competitions to earn our living. David and I both work very demanding jobs with long hours but we prioritize our workouts. They are non-negotiable. We both have full lives outside of our jobs that require our time. We both frequently get under the bar when we are beyond exhausted. People do what they want to do. Do you want to be healthy? Do you want to be active? If you truly do, get your doctor’s permission and find an activity that you will commit to do. Make it non-negotiable.

Command Your Destiny

There will always be people in your life that want to commandeer your time. Learning how to say “No!” is imperative. If “No!” is hard for you, you can always speak up for yourself and tell the person that you may have time after your workout but your workout comes first. I once lived with someone who used my exercise mat that I was using at the time for a project of some sort and had something that they wanted me to do when it was time for me to work out. I was doing a very hard circuit training video that absolutely required a mat. I promptly scrambled to the kitchen, grabbed my purse and started out the door and the person said “Where are you going?” When they learned that I was going to Walmart at 11:00 at night to get another mat, they were infuriated. It really didn’t matter. I was working out. I got my mat and got through it. It was a great workout.

Illusion

“I have to clean my house.” So, you have to work and every spare minute that you’re not working is spent cleaning house? Is there no down time on  your phone or tablet on social media? It’s very easy to spend hours on social media platforms and then wonder why we didn’t get anything done. Have you noticed that as social media has become mainstream, obesity has come to be seen as the norm? When we see our “Friends” becoming heavier, we begin to think that obesity is normal. (1) This applies in any social network and we tend to choose friends that are like us. We also spend hours sitting on our bottoms, exercising nothing except our fingers. That time would be so much better utilized with physical exercise that works your whole body. If you think that you have to clean your house, work out, leave your phone alone and clean your house.

The Answer

The simple truth is that there never seems to be enough time for everything that we want to do so priority is everything. There are known methods for prioritizing. Try utilizing these tips and get your workout done.

1-List everything that you need to get done.

Don’t assign an order to the items at this point. Just list them.

2-Identify what is critical.

Here is where your workout belongs. When David first started training me he told me that my workout was my job on the assigned days. That’s how it works. If it’s your job, fit it in around your paying job. It will be first, timed around your employment.

3-Determine what is the most valuable to you.

Is your health important? How about stress reduction? Recognize the ultimate significance of exercise and activity in your life and give it the place it deserves when you plan.

4-Do the hard stuff first.

If your workout’s not hard for you to get done then why are you always bumping it to the bottom of your to-do list? Get it done and then move on to tasks that take less commitment.

5- Be flexible about other tasks.

The world won’t stop if you don’t make that phone call to the friend that will keep you on the phone for hours lamenting her life. You don’t have to make the most complicated meal ever cooked in history tonight. Work out and do the other things that are necessary at a level that you can accomplish in the time left after your workout.

6-Decide what to cut and make sure that it’s not your workout.

There will be some things on your list that can wait. Don’t go ahead and do them just because it’s a good idea and miss your workout. You can paint the bathroom at another time. There will be tasks like this every single day. Do them on a day when you have a little extra time AFTER your workout.

Practicing What We Preach

Here at David’s Way we never tell you to do anything that we don’t practice. This is how we get our workout done. We recognize it’s importance and prioritize around it. You have to decide if you are being truthful about what you want. When you want fitness with your whole heart, you will make the time for it. As you become more fit other tasks will get easier. Your body will work more efficiently. Your mood will be better. After you have lived this way for a while, it will be your normal. Commit to fitness and reap a lifetime of rewards.

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/social-networks-can-affect-weight-happiness-201112163983

Be Encouraged

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When the voices say you can’t go on

get up and show them that

they are wrong. Don’t Quit.

 

When all around you closes in

and darkness rises

deep within,

When pain reigns

and there’s no escape

When life gives nothing,

it just takes and takes,

When your best efforts seem in vain,

and your goals move away and begin to wane,

When it seems that things remain the same,

Don’t Quit.

 

Press on, get up, do over, be tough.

Never say never.

Never say die.

Never give in.

Even if you cry.

Can’t never could,

no would or should,

just do it again. Don’t Quit.

 

Blood, sweat and tears…

Days, years…

Small victories, gains…

They think you’re insane. Don’t Quit.

 

Small victories grow and

steal the show.

You’re somewhat surprised

when right before your eyes

your hard work creates

your victory.

It permeates

your very soul and in spite of the doubt,

then you know

it was worth the time,

it was worth the pain,

victory is sweet…

Now,

do it again,

Don’t Quit.

 

 

The Marshmallow Test for Instant Gratification

One Marshmallow or Two?

The American psychologist, Walter Mischel, conducted a test using four-year-old children in the 1960’s. In this test, he placed a marshmallow directly in front of the child and told them that if they could wait 15 minutes before eating it, he would give them two marshmallows. He was able to track these children for many years to study their success in life. What the Marshmallow Test revealed is that the children who could delay gratification had better lives overall. They could more easily resist temptation, have better social relationships, cope with frustration better and had higher levels of performance in all areas of their lives including higher SAT scores. (1) Is it any wonder that being unable to motivate yourself to keep going past the drive-thru and cook a wholesome meal at home does not create the life that you want?

I Don’t Feel Like It

Instant gratification is the habit of doing what feels the best right now. Don’t feel like working out? If you are prone to instant gratification, you will skip it. You will be more likely to sit in your recliner and order an extra large pizza with everything, open a six pack and turn on whatever you are binge watching at the moment. This behavior won’t get you closer to your goals. In the long run, it will cause you to abandon your health incentive because you will feel like it’s hopeless. I can’t think of a single time that I just couldn’t wait to get under that heavy barbell. There is always a sense of apprehension about it. There is a part of me that would love to do something, anything, else but I know that nothing else will ever get me the body and state of health and strength that I want so I drag myself down those stairs to the dungeon and give it everything I’ve got. I have lived the other way. There is never a feeling of satisfaction in instant gratification. As soon as one thrill is satisfied, you will always want something else that you don’t have. Unfortunately, quite often it’s a better body. That pizza and gallon of ice cream did not satisfy that deep longing to be healthy.

Pain/Pleasure

The core of instant gratification is the desire to avoid pain. When we deny ourselves something that we want in the moment for a long-term goal, we experience pain. In order to avoid that, we may give in to the temptation at hand. However, there is nothing like seeing long term goals come to pass. The hard work and blood, sweat and tears poured into the creation of a dream cries to be rewarded and when those goals begin to materialize they are so much better than those short-term goodies. I spent years on the treadmill of do-over, you know, I started a “diet” in the morning and by evening I needed a do-over because I simply would not walk away from some sugar- laden treat that called my name. Once I gave into that, the sugar made me crave all kinds of foods and plenty of them. It was not until I made the commitment to myself of quitting sugar that the habit of instant gratification was defeated in my life.

Steps To Freedom

There are proven ways to escape the trap of having to be constantly gratified like a crying infant. (2)

1-Know exactly what you want.

Once you decide this, figure out what is necessary to achieve your goal.

2-Determine your obstacles.

Don’t go around people who will deter you from your goals. If they want you to join them in unhealthy behaviors, they do not have your best interest at heart. Most likely, they want to control you, your time or your money. They are not your friends. Don’t carry food and drinks into your home that you don’t think that you can resist. Don’t say, “It’s for the kids.” “The kids” don’t need it either.

3-Develop a network of support that will truly support your health initiative.

This blog is FREE. Read this blog. We have hundreds of articles and healthy, sugar-free recipes here for you. “Search” any word or topic that you need to know about and articles or recipes will pop up. We will answer your questions through direct contact on the “Contact” button on the “Menu” or through “Comments” on each article. You are not alone. There is a “Forum” on the “Menu”. Click there and start a thread. We will also reply there.

4-Make some rules and guidelines for yourself.

If you know that you won’t work out after work then get your butt up and do it before work, with your doctor’s permission, of course. If you think that you can’t pass Krispy Kreme without stopping then reroute your trip. Set yourself up for success, not failure. You will set yourself up one way or the other. It’s up to you.

5-Give yourself positive reinforcement, or rewards.

When you have been successful at pressing past these temporary indulgences towards your ultimate goals, go ahead and get that gym membership or that equipment for your home gym. Get what you want. You have earned it. Buy those great workout shorts or those microweights that you have been wanting for so long. When you positively reinforce a behavior, it becomes a habit. Make it good habits.

Which is more important to you, a temporary soothing of your senses or a successful life?

Which is more important to you, dissolving into the ethereal swirl of confectioner’s sugar and hydrogenated oil atop the cupcake built for four, or being able to walk from your car into the store?

Which is more important to you, life or death?

Your choice.

It’s up to you.

(1) https://study.com/academy/lesson/delayed-gratification-definition-lesson-quiz.html(2) https://blog.iqmatrix.com/instant-gratification

Lose 10 Pounds this Summer!

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Party!

After the Fourth of July swimsuits go on sale, Fall decorations begin to show up in Walmart, the barbecues and pool parties begin to slow and the exhilaration of the Season begins to fade. The excitement of getting slimmed down for the Summer is gone and we can have trouble focusing on our goals if they were based on that eternal quest for looking great in Summer clothes.

The Reality

The truth is that there is still about twelve weeks left of Summer…11.7 to be exact. This means that if you use the Calorie Counter Pro here on the blog, you have plenty of time to lose at least 10 pounds this Summer. The Calorie Counter Pro will give you exact guidelines to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week. We advise you to lose 1 pound per week because it’s easier and you’re less likely to quit if it’s easier. Slow fat loss is always better than fast. Your habits will be changed gradually with less trauma and become more ingrained into your daily life. Your skin will adapt much better with slow loss. The subcutaneous layer of fat will be decreased slowly allowing the elasticity of your skin to remain better intact. You will look much better if you lose your fat slowly.

Seasonal Advantages

While the excitement of the Season is waning, the inspiration of the Season remains. It’s the hottest time of the year and that means less clothing. There’s still that incentive to look good in shorts or a swimsuit. You will also withstand the heat much better if you are not overeating and you are shedding body fat. That extra layer of fat makes you much hotter and you have extra weight to carry around. Start losing now and just a few pounds less will be noticeable in the “Dog Days” of August. You can get outside in the morning and evening and you can avail yourself of the pool and other outside Seasonal activities.

The Season of Gluttony

Before we know it, we will be bombarded with a series of Holidays that seem to have gluttony front and center. Regardless of why we say we are celebrating these Holidays, huge amounts of rich, sugar laden, fattening foods are always present. In the United States this gastronomical assault will begin early in October and continue until Spring, one Holiday after another, all offering their different unhealthy food choices. Most people use the Holidays as an excuse to make poor choices. The average weight gain during this time is between 5 and 10 pounds. This number will vary depending on where you read. If you’re over about 5 years old, you know this is true. Why not get the jump on this assault on your health and shed some pounds now?

Boost the Burn

Immediately after the Calorie Counter Pro you will see charts telling you how many calories you burn for various activities. As David says, “You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.” You have to get your eating under control first. Then you can burn a few extra calories by adding in some activity that you either enjoy or are simply willing to do. As the pounds come off you will build some muscle and look so much better and improve your health. Muscle is necessary for a healthy body. It not only increases your metabolism, it also helps prevent falls and gives you a better quality of life all around. Being strong gives you independence and autonomy which is great for your mental health. With your doctor’s permission, activity is a win-win situation.

Get Up and Go

The secret to health, longevity and high functionality is to keep pushing forward. Here at a time when so many are ready to toss in the towel and party the Summer away with food, drink and lethargy, I admonish you to get up and regroup. Your health is your most precious belonging. It’s never too late to make it your number one priority.

Reach Your Goal!

Pure Magic

Persistence is the key ingredient that makes all the difference in the world. There are many people who have great genetics, money, talent, a great personality or seem to get every break in the world but still fall short of their ultimate goals. There are others who work against all odds and succeed with flying colors. These people have the pure magic of persistence. They just won’t stop.

The Good Times are Easy

It’s easy to pursue our goals when everything is working in our favor but what about those dark times? What about those times when we have serious life issues to deal with, sickness, death, financial stress, job dissatisfaction or something that’s actually stupid but it still affects us in a negative way. As a man thinks, so is he. If we perceive something as significant, it is. It has the power to derail us if we don’t have good habits in place to deal with these hard times. Something as insignificant as a pound or two increase on the bathroom scale can send us into a tailspin if we don’t have good coping mechanisms. We always want to show continual progress towards our goals and the smallest setback can sometimes make us crazy. If the scale is your nemesis make sure to read David’s article, “Bathroom Scale Self Sabotage”. It will open your eyes about the true nature of how to use a bathroom scale. It is a tool, not your judge and jury.

Have a Vision

I struggled with weight control my entire life. It was only when I got a clear vision of what I truly want that I began to make progress. I sought wisdom and found David’s Way. I have my ups and downs with the mental struggle of wanting more and better all the time but since I have a clear cut vision of exactly what I’m trying to achieve, I know exactly what it will take to get there. I want an unusually high level of fitness. That may not be what you want but since I do, there are certain things that I never even consider because my training is strict. I never consider drinking alcohol or eating sugar. It won’t get me what I want. I rarely use salt because that will hide definition. I never, NEVER, just skip working out. I may have to modify my workout on rare occasion but skipping is just not an option. My goal is high. My behavior must follow suite. Yes, it is hard but not nearly as hard as wallowing in a less than fit body. Having a clearly defined picture of the body and life that I want automatically keeps pushing me further into fitness. (1)

Light Your Fire!

How bad do you want to be fit and healthy? Seriously. Is it a fad so that you can go to Dick’s or Academy Sports and get some workout clothes to wear shopping? I mean, after all, they’re comfy, right? If you want to succeed at being healthy, you’ve got to want it more than anything. It has to be all-consuming. The frilly notion that we can casually work our way into looking like a fitness model is absurd. Even though many images that we see are filtered, photo shopped and altered in more ways than we can even imagine, there are a few truly profoundly fit people in the world. Do you know what those people do to look like that? I can assure you that it isn’t a half-hearted effort. Taking half the icing off the cupcake is not their idea of working their program. These people have an intense work ethic where fitness is concerned. If you want to look like a bikini model or like you just got out of boot camp, yo have to want it with all of your heart.

Schedule

I toyed around with my hard workout for a while. When I first began, David told me that on certain days working out would be my job. I had major life changes including destruction of my home by a tornado, and at times I would try to change things up a bit to accommodate my crazy schedule. I am a nurse and work crazy hours and have had two different jobs in the last year and a half. What I discovered is that David’s advice about having a set schedule is golden. When I changed things up, my progress slowed. I don’t know why. The fact remains that it did. Prioritize and strictly schedule your workouts.

Be Flexible About Your Progress

If your program is not working anymore, find one that does. I have had three different programs in a year and a half. They were all good. I progressed and moved up. I would still get some benefit from any of them but to continue to progress, I had to be willing to change.

Be Confident

There are many voices all around you that will try to deter you from your fitness goals. The old saying, “Misery loves company.” applies here more than anywhere. People who do not want to work at being healthy really don’t want anyone else to do that because it proves that it can be done. Research and find a program that works for you and pursue your goal with your whole heart. Never doubt that you will achieve your goals. Don’t listen to negative input. You may feel ostracized and you may be. Believe me when I say, the people who will exclude you because you want to be healthy do not have your best interest at heart. They want to control you, your time or your money. Don’t be shaken in your convictions concerning your health.

Open Mind

Always be willing to learn. Regardless of how far you’ve come, there’s always something to learn. Seek wisdom and you will find it. Health is everything. It is a massive conglomeration of facts, theories and research. The human body is complex beyond the imagination. There are over twenty chemical reactions that have to take place every single time that you take a breath. Never assume that you know all you need to know. Here on the blog we make every effort to stay abreast of new research, not only for you, but for ourselves first. We practice what we preach and we’re ever-learning. I strongly encourage you to do the same. We will never know all there is to know about this wondrously made body that we inhabit.

Have a Role Model

In an all but hostile environment where health is concerned, it’s good to have a real life person that you can look to for guidance. When the going gets really tough, and it will, you can look at them and see how they made it through a similar obstacle. You won’t get this kind of support from most of your friends and family. Quite often it appears that successful people got where they are alone but when you talk to them, you will discover that there was somebody who influenced them. Find someone in real life that is a little ahead of you on the path that you want to travel and listen to them and implement their instruction.
Bad habits are socially contagious but so are good habits. Surround yourself with as many positive influences as possible. Visit us often. We are always here. You can comment on any article or contact us through the “Contact” button at no cost. You can also visit the “Forum” and start a thread for information. Look on the “Menu” for the “Forum”. David’s Way is a free tool to help you on your journey to health.

(1) https://www.fastcompany.com/3044531/7-habits-of-highly-persistent-people

Be the Boss of Your Life

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Today on first day of the week, you can plan to have a victorious seven days. Here’s a few tips that might help.

1-Decide what you really want.

Sometimes we think that we want something but it’s actually just a passing whim. Before you move Heaven and Earth to make a thing come to pass, be sure that you want it. There’s no need in going out and buying a thousand dollars worth of brand name workout clothes unless you are going to work out. The extra expense on your credit card will just stress you out and encourage binge eating.

2-Decide if you are willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

Wanting a thing and being willing to make the sacrifices and put in the hard work to make it happen are different. There is nothing that is worth having that comes easy. Just know that going in. Unless you are willing to work hard at something, you are just going to frustrate yourself and dig a deeper hole than you were in before you started.

3-Make a plan.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just research and get the knowledge that you need to create the objective that you have in mind. Base your plan on facts, not fantasy and pop “science”. I strongly encourage you to visit David’s Way daily for everything from recipes to encouragement. We post something most days. If we don’t, go to the search box and type in a word that is on your mind and find something to read. You can also leave comments or use the “Contact” button and we will get back to you, most likely both of us.

4-Take the first step.

Quite often the difference in failure and victory is just getting started! It seems like a “duh”, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who stop here. They’ve bought the outfit, paid the membership, bought special food and that’s it. They never begin to work the plan. If you work out for five minutes, you will most likely finish your workout.

5-Dig in.

Be realistic about your goals and the time frame that will be necessary to achieve them. In a perfect world with a perfect life, you could make much faster progress than you can with stress from work, home and the world at large. You will not be able to spend all of your time working on your goal so allow a realistic window to see progress. Dig in and be prepared to winter the storm. You will struggle and want to quit. It will be hard, very hard. Accept that now. You are not in this for the short term. This has to become your lifestyle to be truly successful. There is no rush. Your goal should be good health for the rest of your life.

6-Be ready to adjust.

After seeing progress and gains in muscle mass and/or overall fitness, it becomes necessary at some point to change some things. What you change will be dependent on your goals. I have a very specific goal that I’m working towards and I adjust my program a little all along to accommodate that goal. My program gets progressively harder, never easier. I made up my mind going in that I would not stop. This is the rest of my life. I want to see specific cuts and have overall robust strength. As I progress and see how my body responds to various foods and lifts, I adjust accordingly and I see continuing improvements towards my goals.

7-Shut out the negative feedback.

This is critical because change is never easy. We rebel against it with everything in us at times. The very last thing that we need are people around us who disagree with our goals. I simply don’t go around them. The old saying, “If you can’t say something good then don’t say anything at all.” is ingrained in my psyche. I rearranged my entire life on a grand scale to live this way. Now the only voices that I allow in my life are those who are supportive of my way of life. I’m a health freak. It’s not going to change. I will not listen to negative feedback about that for 30 seconds. Don’t answer their texts or calls. Be responsible. You are in control of the input into your life. Make it positive.

8-Be proud of your success.

When you see progress it’s okay to feel good about yourself and be proud. The progress didn’t come easily. You worked hard to get where you are. You will notice that your confidence will grow by leaps and bounds across the board when you get truly fit. That’s fine. You deserve it.

9-Accept that this is normal.

A common pitfall for many on their road to health is thinking that getting healthy is a temporary anomaly that will bring about a specific goal and then it’s done. Guess again. This is your new normal or it will be temporary. David says that “You don’t own your present level of fitness. You’re only paying rent.” That simply means that we have to keep it up. This is what life is like from now on so learn ways to make it fun. Try different foods and recipes that are here on the blog and find a fitness program that works for you that you can incorporate into your life on a daily basis.

10-Do it again.

When you fail at a lift or have a bad eating day, don’t quit. Just get up and do it again. There is no quitting if you really want to be healthy. What would you go back to, sickness and dysfunction? Healthy people do still get sick and have injuries and problems in our everyday life but I can promise you, it’s a whole lot less than we would have if we quit. Our lives aren’t perfect because we’re healthy but they sure are a whole lot easier to navigate.

Now, get up and charge into your week and show it who’s Boss. You are. Now work that thing. It’s up to you. You’re life is in your hands. Create.

Three Reasons You’re Not Losing Fat

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The Original Lie

Ahhh… I’ve heard the myth my whole life… “It’s easier to  lose weight in the Summer because of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.” Seriously? Do you know how many calories and grams of carbohydrates are in some fruits? I struggled with this hard truth for years, not understanding why the weight didn’t just fall off of me in the Summer. Nevermind that I could,and did, eat an entire watermelon alone in an evening. I’m not talking about the personal size watermelon. I’m talking about the size for a family.

I know people who eat massive amounts of fruit in the Summer and have this struggle all Season. There is a common misconception that fruit is “Free”. Nothing is “Free” except water. Go ahead and wrap your brain around this and you may still lose some fat this Summer.

The idea that an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies is a help to weight loss is a little ridiculous anyway because regardless of how many peaches or cups of blueberries we eat, we can still scarf down a platter of fried chicken at the family picnic. Those extra calories from all that fruit just add onto an already out of control diet. And then… It’s “just” fruit, “Free”, right? So when Aunt Pat brings out her “Prize Winning Fresh Peach Cobbler” we think that we can still have dessert, and usually do. There is a deception that we are eating “healthy” because we have eaten multiple servings of fresh fruit so surely a little cobbler can’t hurt…

But I Work Out

And then there’s the deception that all that outdoor activity will somehow magically erase a freezer of homemade ice cream. Oh, I’ve been there. That’s how I know about these things. In the Winter we’re house bound a lot. When we can get outside and start walking, hiking, cycling and swimming we think that we’ll “burn off” those extra calories and the party mentality takes over and we just go wild. Look here on the blog, immediately after the Calorie Counter Pro and you’ll see the calories burned for various activities. As David says, “You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.” No matter what fad diet “science” tries to tell you, it’s “Calories In/Calories Out” that matters. Keep up with your grams of carbohydrates also. You need good lean protein to build muscle and if you eat too many calories in carbohydrates, you won’t have enough left for protein. Personally, I like about 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Siren Song

If you drink alcohol, it’s even worse because the inhibition lowering quality of a couple of Margaritas will make the whole platter of ribs look like a single serving container. Food tastes better after a few drinks also, so it’s even harder to eat sensibly. Add the calories that you drink in the alcohol and in some cases, the huge amounts of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, and you are toasting to your destruction. Quite often we use bits and pieces from everything from modern medical research to Biblical texts to justify drinking all Summer at every occasion and party. Justification won’t erase the calories, the carbs or the fat around your waist. Drinking “responsibly” will still make you fat.

Plan To Win

I eat a little bit of fruit in the Summer, a little, not a platter. Count your calories and your carbs and incorporate it into your daily allowance. Enjoy all that wonderful outside activity but don’t even think about using it as excuse to gorge yourself at the barbecue. Look at the activities as a seasonal tool to increase your fitness that you won’t have in the Winter. Take advantage of that instead of letting it take advantage of you. I strongly urge you to forgo alcohol. It has little to no place in an intense training program. If you insist on incorporating it into  your life, again, count your calories and carbs for the drinks and all the food that comes with it.

Win

With some planning and forethought you can have a glorious Summer and make progress on your fitness goals. Don’t listen to myths and tall tales and wishful thinking concerning these three things. Take control and be the Master of Your Fate.

Create Your Life.