Category: Fitness

Forget Your Summer Body

Every year people make resolutions for the new year that this year, they will be ready for bathing suit weather when summer arrives in six months.  While the intentions are golden, the reality for a good size percentage of these wishful thinkers  will only result in dismal failure. I wish this was not true, but if it were not, there would not be so many weight loss businesses out there waiting to pounce and take your hard earned money from out of your pocket. These legalized thieves know that desperate people will gladly hand over their money for that magic potion or procedure that is going to make them lose up to a pound a day until they reach their goal weight. If you believe this marketing crap, you are either as gullible as these thieves believe you to be, or you have a total lack of nutrition and fitness knowledge. I’m not trying to be mean or cruel in saying that, but it is true. These marketing people count on desperate people buying into their plan or procedure, not to help the client so much as they are working to enrich themselves through your suffering. You have to beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just because one has television ads, or proclaim to be doctors, it does not mean they have your best interest at heart.

Ironically, we at David’s Way are not even immune from these thieves contacting my website.

I’m going to be real with you. If you need to lose over twenty pounds over the next five and a half months in order to wear a two piece bathing suit this summer, you are not being realistic with yourself. You might lose the weight, but that does not mean you will be happy with the way you look without your clothes on. Too rapid weight loss will result in unsightly loose, flabby skin all about your body.

While the picture above is an extreme example of what happens with rapid weight loss from a high weight, you can still find yourself with the same issue by losing even less than fifty pounds too rapidly. Losing weight can be a long, frustrating process. In order to lose weight in a healthy way, we do not recommend losing more than one pound per week. Stay away from the quick fix schemes as fad diet promoters will promise you, after taking your money, the secret to weight loss might be to dance the Hokey Pokey while cutting out all carbs and swallowing cotton balls with large volumes of vinegar and warm water.  If you follow their idiotic plan, by God, you will be ready for bathing suit weather. Despite all the con artists and their quick weight loss diet strategies, weight management still boil’s down to the amount of  calories you consume versus those you burn off in a day.

 Reality Check!

If you are too far gone to wear a two piece bathing suit right now, you are likely to still be too far gone this summer. However, this does not mean you should just accept this as your fate. Hell no, you should never accept this kind of mediocrity out of yourself. Instead, you should set the bar high for yourself and get your ass into gear to have good health and a fit body year round instead of just worrying about the summer months. By only worrying yourself about a few months out of the year, you are only dooming yourself to a lifetime of being fat and out of shape. That is a hard truth, I will not sugar coat this fact for you to spare your feelings. I want you to understand that you can make a huge difference in your life, but it is a year round effort, not something you only do a few months out of the year.

Truth!

A healthy and fit body is always going to present as a healthy and fit body no matter what you are wearing. No one will mistake you for fat and out of shape when you are truly fit.

An over weight or obese body will always present as over weight or obese, no matter what you are wearing. Baggy clothing fools no one!

The Solution!

I created this website specifically to help others lose and manage their weight. I brought Brenda Sue on as my co-author because she believes in my mission and is my first success story. It has been my pledge from day one, and it is still my pledge, I will never charge you a single penny to read our work and writings. This website will always be free to you. You can subscribe for free and receive every article we write straight to your email. To learn all about my methodology, simply click on the menu link David’s Way Plan under our Home menu link. I promise that by following my methodology, you will lose weight in a healthy manner, and you can have that fit and trim body year round. Quit fussing about presenting a temporary image for the summer. Start working on a healthy and fit body year round so that there is never a concern in regards to how you look in any type of clothing, or without.

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Model You

There is an alarming trend nowadays to strive for a social media declared “perfection” at any price. I was slowly becoming aware of this disturbing trend when I opened up Instagram one day and a top fitness model was advocating having a rib removed to lengthen the waist. I nearly died. Folks, bone surgery is a serious matter. Your red blood cells and platelets are made in your bones so if you get an infection in your bones, it can spread quickly. Other lymphocytes begin life here and go to the lymphatic system to finish formation. Having a bone randomly removed to achieve an artificial standard of beauty is a dangerous gamble.

I well remember more than one trend in “beauty” for women. As a young child I was encouraged to pattern myself after the busty models of Hollywood at the time. Their measurements were about as realistic as the original Barbie. Silicon breast implants were a thing then and they were usually mounted on a woman with an otherwise small frame, the waist measurement sometimes touted as being as small as 17 inches. Soon after this came the super-thin, anorexic high fashion model who looked as if her photo shoot had to have been done in ICU. Then there was a backlash and everybody got fat. The problem was, not too long after THAT…came the Britney Spears britches hanging on by a thread with a fully exposed midriff and those midriffs usually didn’t look like Britney’s. Walmart was a sight during that time! Then there was another backlash and everybody got fat again…

Oh, God, let’s not forget the “thigh gap”. There is no time and no place where food is available that the thigh gap is occurring naturally. Who decided that this was attractive? Personally, I don’t really believe it was most men. I have it on good authority that this is not something that they desire in a woman. And now we’re in the butt era which is actually a pretty good measure of fitness when that butt is natural, but when it’s inflated with artificial fillers at a block party, sometimes people die.

This artificially induced standard also affects men. There is “Stature Lengthening” surgery that is pretty horrific. A special type of “nail” is inserted in the bones of the limbs after the bone is “separated” and periodically the nail is adjusted to lengthen the bone. This process takes one to two years, and one of the Centers that performs it warns on their website that it may result in chronic pain and disability. There are practical applications for this process but it appears to have gone rogue in some practices and is being considered an elective, cosmetic procedure. I cannot even imagine how bad this could get.

I have an article that I saved to my phone home screen that I show young men occasionally. It is the story of how one body building champion preps for a photo shoot. This young man ingested 5 doses of a diuretic within 18 hours, along with 3 gallons of water to make his muscles appear more cut. The nurse in me was just horrified. It’s a wonder he didn’t die.

While we never intend to give license to be mediocre, the pursuit of an unhealthy standard of attractiveness is one of the most detrimental things that you can do for your physical and mental health. We are bombarded with artificial images of professional models who will literally do anything to make money in a cutthroat business where the standard has become a plastic fantasy. Because their livelihoods depend on creating this illusion, a bit of photo altering is also considered acceptable. If one does it, they all have to do it to remain competitive. One night I saw another top model who had not properly positioned her photographer to video her workout and her cellulite was on full display. That video didn’t stay up very long.

Did you know that one of the most beautiful models on IG is a doll? Seriously, a plastic doll. Try to imitate that.

At David’s Way we promote a totally achievable goal. Be the best that you can be. It’s that simple. It’s not easy because to be the best that you can be takes a lot of hard work. It takes time and patience and tons of commitment. It takes walking away when everyone else is indulging in unhealthy habits and foods. It takes going to sleep instead of going to the party. It takes study and a commitment to excellence. While this is not an easy path to walk, it is fulfilling. We were intended to be amazing creatures with amazing bodies and capabilities. Anything less is simply not living up to our potential.

Being the best that you can be will create an attractive, sexy, natural, healthy body that will stand the test of time. The “get gorgeous fast” route won’t do that. Quite often these Frankensteinian procedures go wrong and people wind up looking like they were in a terrible accident and could not be fixed. There are enough true tragedies that can befall human beings that it is obscene to inflict some of these insults on an otherwise healthy body.

One of the reasons that people do this stuff is the same reason that they buy into fad diets. They believe it to be easier than making a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle. While some of the initial procedures may be quick, the recovery time and the after effects of a procedure gone wrong are not. You may spend years trying to correct a botched procedure and lose most of your money and health in the process. There is no shortcut to healthy. You must create it. The artificial images that we are bombarded with appear to be healthy but remember, most of what you see is an illusion created to make that person a celebrity. Do you really believe that a body that has been riddled by chemical insult and random, elective surgeries is healthy? That body is in a constant state of repair, not vibrancy. Don’t try to take the short route. You very well may come to a dead-end road.

I talk about David’s advice to “Trust the process.” frequently because that is the key to longevity in fitness. If we have goals that we are continually working towards, the process will unfold slowly and magnificently. There is never a reason or a place to quit because in the trusting of the process, we are forever looking ahead to what we will become tomorrow and basking in the glow of what we have already accomplished. Trusting the process is a lifetime program and a lifetime commitment that creates new life and energy every day. This is a concept of life as opposed to the artificial standards that are actually a concept of death because in that concept, we are forever denied the satisfaction of seeing our strength and fitness naturally increase due to thriving health and robust strength that comes from the application of a healthy lifestyle.

I have often heard it said that, “I would look like that if I had that kind of money.” Guess what…You can look better. You don’t need a lot of money to avoid sugar and work out. As Nike says, “Just Do It.” Actually, David says that too. Quit using a lack of a lot of cash as an excuse for mediocrity and get to work producing your best self. As you travel the road to health and fitness you very well may pass some of those social media icons as they exit for the bar or the hospital. I’ve noticed that most of them frequent both places pretty often. Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The hare put on quite a show but in the long run, the tortoise took home the gold.

Work Your Butt Off

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The latest fitness craze is a fit behind. The truth is, that’s actually a pretty good measure of overall fitness because if you have neglected your health and fitness for very long at all, it’s going to show up in your butt very quickly. The good news is that these muscles are the largest muscles in our bodies and they do respond to losing body fat and exercise. It won’t happen quickly but if you’re faithful to your program, it will happen. You can get a great booty.

One way that women set ourselves up for disappointment is to forget that fitness is about being the best that we can be. It’s not in cutting a picture out of a magazine or screen shooting an IG model and saying, “I’m gonna get that butt.” No, you will get YOUR best butt and the only way that you will get someone else’s butt just might be the way that they got it, with invasive treatments and surgeries or some great photo shopping.

Interestingly enough, our butts are not just for looks! The gluteal muscles are the largest muscles in our bodies and when they are strong, we are strong. When they are weak, we are weak overall and much more prone to falls and injuries of all sorts. While the gluteus maximus does create the shape of our butt, it also enables us to raise our leg to the side, rotate our legs and move our hips forward. Imagine how feeble you will be if you allow this major muscle to atrophy. Your range of motion will become severely limited and you will walk with that stiff, old lady scissor walk instead of a nice, smooth sway in your hips. The gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus aid the larger muscle to perform various finer movements. The piriformis lies underneath the gluteus muscles and helps to shift your weight from one leg to the other while your thigh is flexed, such as during running. Keeping these muscles strong is mandatory for adequate range of motion during exercise and in everyday activities. Our glutes support us when we are standing and give us balance. If they become weak, merely walking across a room can become perilous. They help us push off with every step that we take.

While function is not what most people are concerned about when they consider their butt, function is paramount to good health and good looks. If you become debilitated and unable to work out, your health and the appearance of your body will spiral downward very quickly. Since the butt muscles are so big, when we engage them in a workout, they really burn a lot of calories, so a workout aimed at giving you a good butt will also torch some all-over body fat. If the butt muscles are weak, the hamstrings and knees will try to compensate, which sets you up for injury in these parts. Again, we’re looking at a possible immobility issue. When I first started heavy weight training, I did all kinds of crazy things to avoid just letting that Iron drop me low, forcing me to engage my butt to stand up . One of the things that I realized was that my knees were taking a beating when I was trying to cheat that squat. When I resigned myself to squat deeply and allow my glutes to bear the brunt of the iron, my knees never hurt again. Believe me, your big butt muscles are more able to take that descent and rise than your little bony knees. Drop it like it’s hot, Sista.

Exercise your glutes at least three times per week. While I only train heavy on my glutes two days, I walk as often as possible and that is a glute exercise. I have recently added weighted hip thrusts or glute bridges to my routine before squatting and deadlifting and it has improved my range of motion on my first rep. I don’t have to warm up. The weighted thrusts do that for me. My glutes engage better and my squat is deeper right off the bat. I love those weighted thrusts. Thank you, David. I also consciously engage those muscles with every rep. It makes a difference. My lifts feel easier and my body gets stronger.

While we all want a shapely rear view, we must remember, we can’t shape fat! In order to have a well defined backside, it’s imperative to shed the fat layers first. Yes the extra padding will make your butt bigger but it won’t give it a good shape. It will give you cellulite and sagging and a spongy texture. Lose the fat and shape the glutes and whatever you’re left with will be a fine behind. I love heavy squats and deadlifts for sculpting. Again, heavy weight training is not for everyone so find a good weight bearing exercise that works your butt and get your doctor’s approval and work it. Lose the fat though or otherwise you will never have what you want in a rear view.

Your muscles release energy in two forms but in three different ways.(1) Energy is released as heat when the muscle maintains a contraction, again as heat when the muscle shortens and as work when the muscle shortens against a load. This means that muscles stoke your metabolism with every movement of your body so when you work out to shape the muscle, you are increasing your metabolism as the muscle grows. This is a win-win situation. It becomes a bit self-perpetuating in that as you work to lose the fat and shape the muscle, you are igniting a metabolic fire that increases your basal metabolism, or the amount of calories you burn while sleeping. Get your doctor’s permission and start stoking your fire today! You will look and feel better and your entire body will benefit from the increase in your metabolism.

Remember, genetics determine the basic shape of your butt, however you can finesse that shape into your unique version of perfection with enough hard work, good nutrition and time and,as David  always says, “Trust the process.”

(1) https://www.nature.com/articles/142907c0

Achieve Your Goals By Going All In

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There is a discrepancy  sometimes between  what people say and what people do. David has a saying, ” A lot of people want to look like a body builder but they don’t  want to do what a bodybuilder does.” If we really want to be successful we will commit fully. Until we fully commit we will never reach our goals.

A zealous person is described  as someone who is enthusiastic or passionate about something. The word describes keenness, eagerness, passion and an extreme commitment to work. Success in any lifelong pursuit such as extreme health and fitness for life requires this kind of commitment.

When we are totally committed to a project we can do the hardest work with a smile. We are working on our own goals. Nobody is making us commit. Why would we do any less than going all in?  Regardless of what we say that we want, unless we do what it takes to get to our goals, our words are meaningless. When I began lifting I secured equipment and changed my life to accommodate my commitment. While it’s  necessary to work at my places of employment, I do nothing else except lift. It is my life. I don’t feel sad or angry when I  forego social invitations  to work out. I chose this path.

When we go all in we will reap the rewards of our commitment. Even the most difficult  tasks will succumb to true dedication. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be transferred. When we expend our energy on a project the project will display the energy and attention that we put into it. If we are vigilant in our dedication our goals will be realized.

One way to measure your commitment to any given project is to look at where you spend your money. Do you waste money eating at expensive restaurants, buying those desserts as big as  your  head? Seriously? Invest in your goals. Don’t  work against them. Do you buy expensive processed food items when you’re in the grocery store? Why would you do that if you say that you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy? Shop the periphery of the store and leave the high calorie, high carb, high sodium items that contain sugar and various food additives on the shelf. One way that we work against ourselves financially is to buy clothes that accommodate an expanding waistline and then run out and buy again when even those become too small. This is the season of sweatpants. They can accommodate a multitude of sins. Get some tight leggings to work out and quit increasing the size of your sweatpants to allow for Swiss Rolls. Again, that kind of behaviour is working directly against  your goals.

A common way that we fall short is doing the bare necessities in any program or project. When I  worked for a major weight loss company I  witnessed a specific negative behavior every time that I attended a meeting of the members. They would chronically complain that they had only eaten the amount of food that the program allowed but had not lost weight, or even gained, but as the conversations continued, they would reveal that they had manipulated the program in every way possible in order to eat as much as possible throughout the week. This was not only a lack of commitment but a direct form of self-sabotage. After that, it was easier to just quit “because it doesn’t work.” They were setting the stage for failure rather than success.

True zeal for anything is manifested by action. Don’t kid yourself. Unless you are utilizing all of your skills and mental capacity towards a goal, you don’t really want it at all. Get committed and go all in.

When you are truly zealous for something, it will be contagious. People around  you will want to know your secret. You will be successful and success draws people to you. Passion is inspirational and people need inspiration.

By pursuing your goals with eagerness, you will become a master of the process. As you become more and more proficient at your task, your goals will come  into sharper focus and you will achieve them when you’re not expecting that kind of success, because you will be wrapped up in what you do best, pursuing your goals. Get zealous and achieve success.

How to Prevent Regaining Lost Weight

There is a sad truth that 97% of dieters regain lost weight plus additional pounds within three years. Statistics vary based on the length of time that a group of people are studied but when they are followed for three years the regain rate is 97%.

I worked for a major weight loss company before coming to David’s Way and a common topic of discussion among employees was the disturbing trend that we witnessed frequently among members who had lost a significant amount of weight, usually at about 100 pounds, who began to recklessly indulge in the same way that had caused them to be morbidly obese. Before they knew what was happening, they were getting dangerously close to the original weight that had caused them to seek help to lose weight in the first place. These people talked about how they felt like they deserved “a break” for all of their hard work, a reward. The problem was that whenever they started eating like they had in the past, they couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. Large quantities of added sugar were always a part of their debauchery and it caused them to have terrible cravings for more. They seemed helpless in the onslaught. The problem was that they had never committed to a new lifestyle, they were conducting themselves as if they were on a “diet”, something temporary. Weight management is a permanent issue. It cannot be addressed through temporary means. Here at David’s Way, we give you the tools to address this issue for the rest of your life at no cost. This website will always be free.

I have been much heavier than I am now and so has David. I know what it’s like to sit in a dark kitchen at 3AM eating peanut butter straight out of the jar until I almost choke to death. I know what it’s like to do this without being hungry. I know what it’s like to cry because I can’t understand why “I’m doing this to myself…”.

I also know what it’s like to finally decide what I want the most, trash food in massive quantities or health, strength and feeling good about my appearance. The night that I made that decision for the last time was overwhelmingly emotional. I cried like a baby because I had just become accountable to myself for my health and well-being for the rest of my life. I knew that it all depended on the choices that I made. Shortly afterward I was blessed to find David’s Way. It has fixed the problem of craving and yo yo dieting for me. I stay full of wholesome, nutritional foods and never have cravings or angst about what I eat. I am never deprived. My only struggle is making sure that I eat enough. I want you to understand, my weight struggle began at the age of four years and continued my entire life until I found David’s Way at the age of sixty. That is why I write on this website. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for me.

Here is a list of tips that will help you maintain your weight loss or keep pushing whenever you plateau.

1- Commit to a lifestyle. Again, you cannot fix a permanent issue with temporary methods. Read our Home Page. It will educate you on David’s Way.

2- “Make your world small.” Cut out the dead wood that causes you to lose your focus on good health. People that hinder your progress need to be removed from your life. If there are some people who cannot be removed then avoid them as much as possible and never listen to their negative input. Continuing to associate with people who are not supportive of your health initiative will cause you to crash and burn.

3- Drop the habits that got you unhealthy. You may say that this is easier said than done. Oh, believe me, I know all about that. Yes, it is hard but not nearly as hard as dying younger than necessary and being sick until you do. I have watched close family members die at their own hand from bad habits. It was not fun or pretty and it was much harder than eating healthy. I have had some really bad habits in my life and I have thought that I could not live without them. The truth of the matter was, I could not live WITH them. The power of a simple decision to commit to health is immeasurable. It’s within your power and ability to make that decision. It all depends on what you want more, the trash food or life.

4-Get active, with your doctor’s permission. As we lose pounds it takes fewer calories to live. Getting a little exercise will boost your calorie burn and make it easier to shed pounds and maintain a loss. Research indicates that 300 minutes of exercise per week is a good goal to lose weight and maintain that loss. (1) The Mayo Clinic advises both strength training and aerobic activity. I’ve got to tell you, the way that I strength train, it becomes aerobic. I also hike and walk but my strength training works me hard.

5- Don’t get discouraged. David has a saying, “Trust the process.” Honestly, we all want instant results but take a long serious look at yourself, your overall health and physical condition. How long did it take to get there? In most cases, it’s been years of neglect and abuse that has brought about the current state of affairs. You cannot fix this quickly. Commit for the long haul knowing that there will be good days and hard days. Sometimes the scale will go up and sometimes it will come down. The day to day fluctuations are not significant. It’s the long term effect that matters. When I first began this program I was soft and overweight. That is not the case now but it’s about two years and a whole lot of weight lifting and meal planning later and I’m still not”there” yet. I will never “get there”. This is the rest of my life and my health and appearance will benefit indefinitely from good nutrition and good workouts.

6- Reassess your habits. Sometimes we get careless. It can be brought about by over confidence or just being busy but it will always show. When you have attained a measure of success and feel good about your progress, make sure to tighten up! We tend to do the opposite and when we do, the pounds will creep back on quickly. Don’t think for a minute that you can go back to binge eating and get away with it. Not only will you feel bad almost immediately, you will most likely spin out of control. Constantly analyze and reorganize your strategy for being in control of your health. Read our articles and try the recipes. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize!

7- As you lose pounds reassess your caloric needs. You can use the Calorie Counter Pro found on our menu to do this and keep your calories at a level that will allow you to continue to lose weight. If you see the scale going up, quickly reassess and adjust.

8- Find a source of positive input concerning your goals. Just as negative input can hinder you, positive interactions with like minded people can encourage you to be healthy. Notice the people in your environment who are interested in being healthy and gravitate towards them. Read this website. We have over 600 articles and recipes to help you on your journey.

9- Realize that you are the most influential person in your life. Sometimes we give our power away to those who do not have our best interest at heart. Be the Master of your fate. It’s all up to you.

10- Don’t Quit. Regardless of what life throws at you or how discouraged you may get, always remember that “Can’t never could do anything.” If you quit fighting for your health, you will certainly lose it. Get in the battle for the long term benefits of healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle. Create the life that you desire. You have everything that you need, your ability to make a decision. Use it.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

The Cost of “Comfort”

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Many years ago,  my Grandmother and I were talking about a family  member who really  needed to make some changes for her health, and my Grandmother said, “She’ll never lose weight or quit smoking because she’s  not  going to  do  anything  that  makes  her  uncomfortable.” No truer words have ever been  spoken.  Although my Grandmother is gone now, she was right. That person has continued her unhealthy habits and although she’s much younger than me, she has the health and life of a much older person than I do. She also looks much older. Her body has taken on the stereotypical “old lady” traits of bulging belly and huge, sagging breasts. She stays in the doctor’s  office  a lot and has serious health problems. She takes a lot of medication and still refuses to change her ways. The empty calories, cigarettes, alcohol and lack of fitness have changed her into someone who is barely reminiscent of her former self. She wouldn’t do the hard stuff like controlling her appetite or working out. She wanted comfort. Her medical bills are exorbitant.

Healthy habits can be learned and developed but there will always be a measure of discomfort when we push ourselves beyond our primal needs of a full belly and ease. I do not have any cravings now because I eat David’s Way. When I first quit eating  sugar, however, I  thought I would crack up for a few days. I was undoubtedly addicted. In a few days, however, the misery ended and now, years later, I’m the healthiest  and most fit that I have ever been. Without that struggle to kick sugar, I would not be where I am today. I was uncomfortable for a little while. One of the lessons that I had to learn is that good health and fitness take work and work is merely a skillset that can be learned.

In the case of my relative, she never would give up or limit any of her “comfort” foods. She thought it was just too hard. As a result, the pounds piled on over  the  years and her once beautiful figure became a burden to carry around with about 50 pounds of fat added to her frame. Her back, pelvis and neck gave way to injury and pain and she has had numerous surgeries in an attempt to be pain free. As a result of this ongoing pain issue, she has become addicted to opiates. Opiate addiction causes constipation and her belly is always huge and bloated. The extra weight and disproportionate distribution of her weight has furthur injured her back and the cascade of symptoms continues. It appears that she will live out her life as an opiate addict. Surely it would have been easier to have done without a few goodies. Her smoking has left her with ever worsening emphysema. A single breath comes hard. Was the eating with abandon and the momentary rush of the nicotine really worth the price?

There are methods to change our behaviors that really work but we must be willing to acknowledge that we need and want to change.

1-Clearly state what habits you truly want to change.  Be truthful  and focus on one habit at a time.

2- Analyze your bad behavior. Why are you doing it? At one time I asked myself that question and the sad answer was that I didn’t enjoy anything  else. I changed that.

3-Listen to your inner voice. We usually recognize our bad behaviors. Be truthful with yourself and allow that wisdom to guide you into better habits.

4-Every time you stop a bad behavior, replace it with a good one.

5-Remove triggers from your life. Whether it’s a person, a song, an old picture or simply a memory that you allows to ride roughshod through your brain, just say “NO!!!” Avoid negative triggers and be instantly happier and healthier.

6-Keep an ever upgraded visualization of yourself front and foremost in your mind. We can change the way our brain works and thinks with focus on the positive changes that we are willing to make.

7-Stop self talking yourself in a negative way. We tend to believe our thoughts. Make them good ones.

8- Break your goal down into manageable bits and pieces. When I began strength training I knew that I had to start small. I have lofty goals but they are not being obtained overnight. Build your good habits piece by piece. I had to decide where to lift and then what to buy. I had to commit to excellence in order to be safe. I had to be willing to work towards my goals slowly. I had to be willing  to work hard and then work harder. I had to make the decision to eat right. Making these practical decisions were a building block that had to go into the foundation of my program. If I had not done this first, I could have never successfully trained.

9-Give yourself Grace. Life happens. If you botch a workout or your nutrition one day, keep going. Stay committed and learn from your mistakes.

10-Remember, changing destructive habits takes time. You have to keep repeating the better behavior until the change is made in your brain. It won’t happen overnight but if you remain diligent, it will happen. I never crave sugar anymore. It may take several weeks to change some habits. Be patient. Your discomfort will pass and you will be free of the destructive behavior and free to create a better life.

Lessons of the Iron

When I first got my inspiration to write about continuing to push through a weight loss plateau, I wondered if that was enough to write about and then I realized, that’s only one lesson of the Iron. The weight loss plateau is only one of thousands of difficulties that the Iron helps me to overcome. When I first began my journey with the Iron, my first question was, “How long will this take?” My wise trainer hesitated and kindly responded, “The rest of your life.” Thank you, David, that truth has sustained me and caused me to push when it’s hard, damn hard.

The weight loss plateau responds to the same tactics that the Front Squat responds to, diligence to pursue the goal regardless of everything else. It doesn’t matter if I feel like it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hard thing to do. The Goal is everything. The Goal is all. The method that I use to get there doesn’t have to be pretty or comfortable. The truth is, lofty goals are hard fought and harder won. How many people find a hard fight fun or comfortable? Very few, I would imagine, but we all want to win. We all want what we want. Those of us who are willing to persevere when it’s hard are the ones who will be victorious.

When I first began lifting I had some pretty quick “Newbie Gains”. It’s encouraging and it makes you feel like a “Lifter”, but when the progress slows and you’re struggling and fighting for every quarter pound gain, you will know whether or not you really are a Lifter. I found myself doing what a lot of folks do. stopping short on my squat. I was fighting the weight all the way to the floor, trying to control the descent. All that got me was an uncommitted squat, you know, the kind where you look at your video and think, “Wow, I should be lower.” We do that in everything. We take on a difficult task and do it pretty well but don’t go all in. You can do that but you will never get what you came for, in the squat or on the job or on a weight loss program or a relationship or anything else. It’s all or nothing if you want all it’s got to offer. I have learned to give it up to gravity, drop like a rock, don’t fight the process and then…all I have to do is get up. It works for everything, go all in and get what you came for and be strengthened. You will get up stronger.

I know people who hack around, doing all kinds of random resistance training and say that they lift but really don’t have the strength or the appearance of a lifter. Again, they are not committed to pushing and pressing through hard times. When it gets really hard, they do something else. Sometimes they will quit squatting or deadlifting and do the newest, dumbest, trendiest thing that they saw on YouTube or at their gym. God, if I see one more video of a trainer having someone squat on a ball while struggling to hold onto a barbell I think I’ll scream. The first thing that you need to understand is respect for the weight, it is relentless. Don’t do stupid stuff. Have an established program and stick with it through the hard times.At David’s Way we promote the idea, “Live to lift another day.” While lifting can be done safely, it requires forethought and diligence to safety and form. While our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, they are not indestructible. Respect the Iron. Speaking of form…

The day that I finally gave it up to gravity on my Front Squat and let it drop me was one of the happiest days of my life. Believe me, that’s saying a lot. I am 63 and live a full life. I grew up during the pursuit of happiness of the hippie era. I was a little young for some of it but that just made me more determined to experience my share of the good times and I did. I have traveled a bit, I have a son, I work three jobs, I write, I enjoy my dogs and am always up for a laugh. The day that I squatted below parallel on my front squat was still one of the best days of my life. Conquering that fear of descent changed my entire life. I knew that if I could trust myself to handle that weight, I could trust myself to handle anything. It was hard. I have learned to embrace hard things. The Iron has taught me that. Almost every worthy pursuit in life is hard. If we only do easy things, we won’t reach our full potential. The Iron makes me grow, muscle hypertrophy and mind hypertrophy. You gotta love it.

Living David’s Way, eating a low carb, (NOT keto), high protein, nutritionally dense diet and working out hard requires me to eat ENOUGH. Yes, now I am always concerned about eating enough. I have been a size 22. I have been 60 pounds overweight at my heaviest. I always had to worry about eating too much because I ate sugar and other simple carbs that contained too many calories and provided little to no nutrition. I was always hungry and craving something else. I was never satisfied. Now my biggest nutritional concern is making sure to get in all my calories before the day is over. I cannot lift if I don’t eat enough calories. Every bite that I eat is nutritionally dense and I have no cravings and rarely get hungry. I see food as fuel that is created to make me healthy and strong and by eating nutritionally dense foods, it does. I am finally free of the perpetual sadness that a “Dieter” lives with, I am not deprived. I am nourished.

There are many situations that we face in life where we can’t see the end of the journey. In order to reach our destination, it’s mandatory that we just trust the process. We get on the interstate and trust those road signs that tell us how far it is to our destination. We can’t see the destination, but we know it’s there. We trust the interstate system. The journey of The Iron is the same. I know that my destination is there. I know the shape and appearance of the body that I am furiously pursuing. I know the perfect form and ease of motion that awaits me. I know the strength and confidence that this journey brings. I just have to trust the process. The Iron has made good on every promise. It will continue to deliver as long as I trust it. My confidence and self-esteem is formidable. The Iron has made it so. I have made changes in my life that some people find astounding since I began this journey. Instead of “winding down”, I am “winding up”.

I almost never go to the doctor because I don’t remember the last time that I was sick. I take absolutely no medications. The financial impact of this alone is staggering. Good nutrition and The Iron is my first medical insurance. I don’t remember the last time that I needed the other kind. I spend my money on things that I want, not things that I have to have to stay alive. Neither of my parents had good health. My dad developed cardiac issues early in life and my mother was always sick. My good health is not genetic. It is choice.

Our choices are the most powerful tool that we have to create a healthy life. Every moment of every day we make choices. What would happen if you always made the choice for health? I challenge you, try it and see. Before beginning any weight management or exercise program, always have your doctor’s permission.

I love this hex bar for deadlifting. I use this one right now. https://amzn.to/2r2umcZ

Fitness Quiz

Can you pass this fitness quiz?

Find out how much you really know about exercise. Some of the answers may surprise you.

  1. There is no such thing as an under active metabolism.                                                                      True___  False___
  2. Exercise is  not of much use for dieters because it burns relatively few calories.                  True___  False___
  3. Exercise can help prevent the body from losing muscle.                                                                True___  False___
  4. Walking one mile burns nearly the same calories as running one mile.                                   True___  False___
  5. Expensive exercise suits are worth the money because the special materials help the body. True___  False___
  6. Climbing stairs requires more energy  per minute than traditional exercises such as swimming and jogging.                                                                                                                                                        True___   False___
  7. Your resting pulse rate will increase as you lose weight and get in better condition.          True___  False___
  8. To get a cardiovascular training effect, an exerciser must achieve the right combination of frequency, intensity, and duration of activity.                                                                                        True___  False___
  9. No exercise can help you lose fat in specific body parts.                                                                      True___  False___
  10. Jogging and cycling are good forms of exercise for people who are trying to lose weight. True___  False___
  11. Using stairs is a convenient and accessible way for many people to increase activity.      True___  False___
  12. American adults are more physically active than they were 200 years ago.                            True___  False___
  13. You should not exercise if you feel hungry because exercise will increase your appetite. True___  False___
  14. When you go on a diet, your body loses fat but not muscle tissue.                                            True___  False___
  15. Small, incremental and consistent exercise can provide great benefits for the dieter.      True___  False___

Answers

  1. False.Even if you have a slow metabolic rate, exercise will promote weight loss for you. In fact, if you incorporate strength training into your exercise regimen, your metabolism will increase as you build lean muscle mass. At a minimum, strength training will help you retain the lean muscle mass you already have which will mitigate your metabolism becoming even more underactive.
  2. False. The cumulative effect of exercise can increase caloric expenditure by several hundred calories per day. One word of caution though.; a mistake made by many is they will underestimate the number of calories they might consume in a day while greatly over rating the number of calories they burn through their exercise. Be accurate in all of your tracking.
  3. True. Exercise maximizes the loss of fat and can help prevent the loss of lean muscle tissue, especially when strength training has been incorporated.
  4. True. How far you go is more important than how fast you go. While this is true, know that your body is going to derive more benefit from getting your heart rate into the aerobic fat burning zone for a mile over the benefit from not doing so. Even if you do not jog or run, do yourself a favor and walk at a brisk enough pace in order to raise your heart rate. This will give a far superior cardiovascular workout that will help immensely in lowering your blood pressure while increasing your lung volume.
  5. False. Rubberized sweat suits and other gimmicks do not provide any benefit and can be dangerous by causing your body to over heat Leave these things alone and dress comfortably. At best, these sweat suits and other gimmicks only cause you to lose water weight which you will immediately put back on once you drink a glass or two of water.
  6. True. You can accumulate significant caloric expenditure over the course of a day if you often use the stairs. Just do not trick yourself into thinking that a few flights of stairs that only took you a couple minutes at best are actually going to give you more physical benefit swimming or jogging for longer duration and distance.
  7. False. Your resting pulse rate will come down as you become more physically fit. This is a sign that your heart has become stronger and can pump more blood with each beat.
  8. True. However, you should not worry about achieving a specific dose of exercise. Focus on increasing your activity level.
  9. True. Increasing caloric expenditure can help reduce body fat in general, but you cannot control the areas where body fat will be lost. There is no such thing as being able to spot reduce body fat. You will first notice reductions in body fat where the accumulations are in the least amount, yet the rate of reduction will be the same throughout your entire body.
  10. True. Both burn a lot of calories quickly, improve overall fitness and make you feel good.
  11. True. Most people have access to stairs, so it’s easy to climb several flights per day. If you do not have stairs, you can always purchase exercise steps relatively cheaply.
  12. False. Motorized transportation and countless labor-saving devices have greatly reduced physical activity on the job and during leisure time.
  13. False. If anything, exercise will temporarily blunt your appetite, although in the long run, more exercise will require more calories. However, exercise seems to help regulate caloric intake to appropriate levels.
  14. False. Caloric restriction causes significant loos of muscle tissue. Weight loss by exercise or by a combination of exercise and diet tends to come mainly from fat stores.
  15. True. Strive to accumulate several activities during the course of each day.

Dealing With My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As many of you might already know, I am a retired military veteran with service spread between two separate branches. I began my military career September 1981 in the US Navy which I was separated from in 1997 during force reductions. Skip ahead to 2008, and I re-enlisted into the Kansas Army Reserve National Guard which I retired from October 2010 after suffering a bad spinal injury on my civilian job.

As a result of too many highly stressful years and events during my military career, I was left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which I will only refer to going forward as PTS while intentionally leaving off the “disorder”. I do not feel I have a disorder with my PTS as what has happened in my brain is actually a natural reaction when one has been overwhelmed with stressful situations.

What is Post Traumatic Stress?

From National Center for PTSD

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

When you have PTSD, the world feels unsafe. You may have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping. You may also try to avoid things that remind you of your trauma — even things you used to enjoy.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

From Mayo Clinic:

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault.

When to see a doctor

If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re severe, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.

If you have suicidal thoughts

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, a spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
  • Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.

When to get emergency help

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you know someone who’s in danger of attempting suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person to keep him or her safe. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

In America, we have a national tragedy which has been unfolding for several years now. This tragedy is an average of 22 veterans per day are ending their own lives through suicide as a direct result of Post Traumatic Stress. I’m not going to get into all the details of all that has transpired for mine to occur, but still want to relate a portion of my experience.

In 1996, during my fourth tour of duty in the Navy, I was experiencing symptoms of PTS, although I had never heard this term used before. I knew I needed some help and reached out despite the fact it was taboo in the military to do so. Learning to embrace the suck, and drive on was the mentality, and heaven forbid you display any types of weakness.  I did begin receiving therapy, and lost my military career about a half a year later. After all, what kind of strong military leader ever needs to see a shrink. Right?

As with many veterans, I suffered in silence. I suffered in silence because I was first and foremost, embarrassed for my weakness,  secondly because I still had a family to support. Life goes on despite our personal issues. It’s not like it’s a merry go round we can just step off of when we tire of the ride.  And lastly, there was little actual available help from the Veterans Administration for Post Traumatic Stress until just a few years ago.

When you have family responsibilities, sometimes you feel you have to put aside your own problems in order to best take care of your loved ones. Getting help gets even tougher when you are viewed as a pillar of strength, the one who others go to for help. You try to put the PTS behind you, but then you always feel as if you are about to burst apart at the seams. Like a simmering pot of water about to boil over.

And despite the low simmering boil, you just do your best to mask it, to keep it contained and hidden from your family and friends. Pressure cookers at least have a vented lid to control the pressure, I’m no pressure cooker.

Who was the weak one?

My PTS has resulted in over 20 years of chronic insomnia and scary dreams. It has resulted in a mind that never shuts down, a mind that is always in deep thought. My mind often wakes me up in the middle of the night in deep thoughts over serious topics. This low simmering boil makes it difficult to deal with individuals who do not have a similar life experience. This low simmering boil makes it easier to say “fuck it” in the work place. After my life experience, who needs lame bullshit out of a boss. Who wants to work around a bunch of weak ass pussies when you are used to working and living with the toughest of the tough. I have had more jobs over the last 22 years than I am proud to admit. I am the one who had a problem, not my bosses or co-workers. I am the one who was not reacting in the best manner to what I perceived as weak foolishness. I had to accept that it is up to me in how I manage to deal with the world around me.

Back around 2000, give or take a year or so, I went to the VA for help. I had no clue as to where to begin so I filed a claim for benefits. As when I was on active duty, stepping out and asking for help was a huge deal for me. I went to the American Legion office at the Leavenworth VA and was treated really nice by the Legion folks managing this office. They were glad to help me file a claim since I had a previous diagnosed condition of major depressive disorder diagnosed before my separation from the Navy.

A few months went by and I finally received an envelope in the mail from the Veterans Administration. They had denied my claim. They said my case was resolved and was closed. It was also implied that my  major depressive disorder was actually nothing more than me being angry at my last command leadership. What a crock of bullshit, but I saw no hope in trying to fight the entrenched bureaucracy. I got on with life, but the insomnia and bad dreams never eased. The low boil irritations never settled. I never learned to quit seeing everything in black and white while never allowing any gray areas into my world. I never learned how to turn the military off in my mind. After all, while we are serving, we are trained to be the best in our jobs, but, we are never trained in how to come back home to normalcy. Our normalcy in the military is not so normal in the civilian world, and this makes adjustments tough. The toughness is made even greater when we no longer have our military brothers and sisters to lean on for support. Often, when veterans leave military service, we might lose our identity. My identity was that of an Aviation Ordnanceman. Once out in the civilian world, some cannot even spell Aviation Ordnanceman, much less give a damn what the hell one is. No one cares about the tremendous amounts of responsibility that begins riding on the shoulders of a young service member, that keeps building over the years until their retirement. Once you are out, you are just another number, another cog in the gears of life. Your military experience and exploits sound like nothing more than tall tails to those who have never experienced the same, so you learn to just be silent about a good amount of your past experiences. What was an important part of the shaping of your life means little to nothing to a lot of folks we veterans encounter once our careers are over.

Help is available at the VA now!

There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist.

Trauma-focused psychotherapy, which focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning, is the most effective treatment for PTSD. There are different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy, such as:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings. Changing how you think about the trauma can change how you feel.
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE) where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. This will help you get more control over your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You also go to places or do things that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they remind you of the trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma. This helps your brain work through the traumatic memories.

Actions you can take for yourself in addition to seeking help.

I only returned to using the VA last spring after suffering a kidney stone. Up to that point, I viewed the VA as a huge bureaucracy that was failing veterans daily. Therefore, over the course of several years, I learned to create some of my own coping mechanisms for Post Traumatic Stress which I believe are helpful, but not a replacement for professional care by a doctor. Please, do not attempt to go it alone when dealing with this issue. Twenty two veterans per day lose this fight when they take their own lives to escape it.

  • Learn to make your world small as best as possible. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in issues beyond your control, or that have no direct impact on your life.
  • Even if you do not believe in God, learn to live by the principles of the Serenity Prayer. Lord, grant me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change. The courage to change that which I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.
  • Practice good nutritional habits. The foods we consume can and will have a direct impact on our health and how we feel each and every day. It is easier to have a better outlook on life when you actually feel healthy instead of suffering from preventable ailments as a result of poor nutritional habits.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. When your body is at its strongest and healthiest, you will feel better about life. Your self esteem is increased as well as your levels of confidence in taking on new challenges. regular exercise has a number of benefits. It can contribute to many positive physical health outcomes, such as improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and greater flexibility and mobility. In addition to these physical health outcomes, regular exercise can also have a positive impact on your mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.

We can all help prevent suicide, but many people don’t know how to support the Veteran or Service member in their life who is going through a difficult time. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. If you are a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and are feeling suicidal, please reach out for help.

God bless and thank you for reading.

 

Peaceful Inspiration from Nature

My personal favorite physical fitness activity is strength training, while my second favorite, by a fairly narrow margin, is getting out into the great outdoors on a good hike on dirt trails that meander through out our local woodlands here in north eastern Kansas and north western Missouri. Today, on an off day from weight training, I got in a most excellent hike of a little over seven miles on some really great trails at Weston Bend Park in Missouri, about 25 miles north of Kansas City.

This particular trail head begins at a prepared asphalt trail and then meanders through a wooded ravine and then gradually takes you upwards to the top of a high ridge that overlooks the Missouri River Valley and the river itself. This time of year is a beautiful time to hike there as the leaves on the trees are beginning to change to their fall colors before dropping to the ground for the winter months. The falling leaves will lay on the ground and rot before being absorbed into the soil as nutrients for next springs new growth. Much in the same manner as how our own body’s absorb nutrients for growth and cellular repairs when we are at rest.

Getting out on the trail is a relaxing method of vigorous exercise for myself. It is vigorous, as I make it a point to hike at a rate that keeps my heart rate within the aerobic fat burning zone for my body over the entire course of my outing. Yet as my heart rate comes up, I can only feel relaxed in mind, body and soul as my eyes take in the beautiful surrounding sights while my ears pick up on the subtle sounds of nature living all around me. I am but a small microcosm of all the life around me despite the fact I only encountered a couple other hikers out on the trail this morning. Surrounded by life, yet alone where I can bring upon an inner peace to settle my post traumatic stress.

Looking out, over the Mighty Missouri River from atop the ridge.

The hills and ridges in this part of America were cut by glaciers during the last ice age. I look upon these two humongous slabs of stone and wonder if they were one piece many centuries or thousands of years ago. Maybe this huge rock was split by the awe inspiring force of nature when water found it’s way into a small crack, and with each cycle of freezing, the rock split more and more until it was separated enough for a seedling to become a sapling, which eventually grew into a mature tree in the center of these massive stones.

When out hiking in the woods, my mind is freed which allows me to find inspiration to write just about anywhere about anything. You might find it odd, but the inspiration which came from this split rock was the thoughts of how just like water seeping into a small crack, and eventually breaking the rock apart, we do the same thing within our body’s when we eat a diet that is calorie dense and nutritionally poor. Too many simple carbohydrates with cookies, cupcakes and other junk foods cause our pancreas to release floods of insulin as a result of high blood sugar.

The rocks, with their cracks remind me of our cellular structure, which opens up to the entry of blood sugar when signaled by our insulin. Over time, with centuries of thawing and freezing cycles, the rock become fractured until it finally breaks apart. In the same manner, when our blood sugar remains high for too long, and our body’s begin suffering ill effects such as damage to your nerves, blood vessels and internal organs. It can also cause:

  • vaginal and skin infections
  • slow healing cuts and sores
  • loss of vision
  • nerve damage
  • and erectile dysfunction

Whether you realize it or not, our body is just another element of the nature which surrounds us, It is a shame, a sad reality that far too many people never give the health of their own glorious body the same care as they might give to plant or animal life out in the nature.

Some people shake their heads in disbelief when I speak of going out and hiking anywhere from 5 to 10 miles or better, or when I talk about dedicating no less than four days a week to strength train for two hours at a time. Some assume that to follow my way of living, they might have to go to the same physical extremes as myself in order to get the same results.

You do not have to go to my extremes to get fit and healthy, There is no one size fits all exercise regimen. However, you do need to be active at a level that is appropriate for your level of fitness and capabilities. Your activity needs to match your needs and preferences.

You need to know, that while you can lose body fat and be healthy without exercise, you are only selling yourself short in your efforts. Regular activity reduces both insulin levels and insulin resistance. Regular physical fitness activities can and will help with lowering high blood pressure, improve your total blood fat level, elevate your good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL). Exercise on a consistent basis will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, while decreasing your body fat and your risk of insulin related heart disease such as Coronary Artery and Coronary Heart Diseases.

Exercise does not, nor should it ever be a chore to suffer through. You should select an activity that is fun and easy to fit into your busy schedule. Instead of going all out hardcore like, you need to start slow and easy and increase your intensity over time in order to not burn out before you have derived any benefit from your activity.

Consistency is going to be key to your success with any physical fitness activity/program. Again, you will need to select an activity that is fun for you and easy to fit into your schedule in order to make being consistent easier on yourself. You do not require a daily commitment in order to be consistent. You can pick 3 to 5 days a week to exercise and use your off days as time for rest and recovery. These two elements, along with nutrition are as important as the physical activity itself.

By giving yourself a break a few days per week away from exercise, you will be more inclined to stick with it as it is not an every day chore. By taking a few days off you will always be able to attack a new exercise session with a fully rested body which will give you the best results, more bang for your buck if you will.

Again, find an activity that you will enjoy. Never force yourself to do something you really do not want to do as you will come to resent it. By all means, while you need to push yourself to always excel at your activity, never push yourself past your level of endurance as you are likely to come to hate what you are doing. This is not helpful in helping you to achieve your goals.

My advice is to please try to be loving, understanding, firm and compassionate with yourself. In the end, it makes good heart sense on all levels.

Active minds and active bodies never grow old. – Lee Salk