Category: Health

Loaded Gun, Ready Triggers

Even if you do not believe in God, you can still enrich your life through the principles of the Serenity prayer. Sadly, a lot people only think of the Serenity Prayer as something said by recovering alcoholics and junkies in their recovery meetings, or when trying to remain clean and sober. I personally try to use this principle in all that I encounter in life. Including control over my appetite and emotions. Like many people in western society, I too have had my own past issues with maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and control over food cravings. I know that Brenda Sue has too. All that we address in our writing has come about from our own unique life experiences, we are not types who will go on and on about what needs to be done about weight management while having never experienced what you are going through too.

Choices!

Friends, if you have been following me long enough, you know that I always place an emphasis on personal responsibility and choosing to do what is right for your health and wellness. When you take personal responsibility for yourself, you quickly learn there are some things you can change for your benefit, and there are some that you cannot. This is a simple fact of life for every single one of us. None of us are special in this regard, some of us just learn to navigate our way around obstacles in life. How this applies to weight management is the mistake many of you make in trying to lose weight is repeatedly attempt to change the things in which you cannot change, and you fail to change those things in which you can. In private communications with our clients, Brenda Sue and I see this insanity just about daily.

Loaded Guns

The big mistake that most people make in trying lose weight is they try to use will power over their cravings. You are not a special snowflake, and the failure of will power is not unique to you alone! If you think will power alone is enough to get through cravings that keep you obese, you are most certainly going to fail!

When in weight loss mode, most people believe they need to learn to overcome their weaknesses by strengthening their will power. While I agree people need to work on strengthening their will power, this in itself is not enough to over ride your cravings for food, nor does your will power do anything about decreasing your body’s ability to store fat. Intense and recurring carbohydrate cravings, as well as the body’s heightened ability to store fat, come from a physical cause.

Cravings and fat storage come from a physical cause!

This physical cause is a direct result of an excess of insulin in your body. Therefore, will power does not come into play in decreasing your cravings for high carbohydrate foods, loaded with bad fats and sodium. Will power does not change the physical workings of your body. While you may over ride your cravings for a short period, if you do not do anything about controlling insulin production in your body, your will power is bound to fail you. Your will power is no where near as strong as the powerful effects insulin has in your system.

Commonly, when people fail at their diets and weight loss because they thought it was a matter of willpower and self control over all else, they are only partially correct. Instead of evaluating why they failed and what they could have done in order instead, they will place the blame on their lack of willpower, or accept blame from others, and then they will simply give up.

An evaluation of self is in fact needed to understand why we fail at weight loss and successful management, but the evaluation must come from a base of knowledge. Without a good understanding of the reason why you fail at weight loss you are bound to begin the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. At David’s Way, we have placed a great amount of time into the study of why 98% of people fail at diets, and it is always obvious their futile battles are lost because they either lack the knowledge of how their body works, or they refuse to acknowledge their need to come at weight management from a better, more informed perspective.

Ready Triggers

You must accept what you can and cannot do about your body and the manner in which it handles your intake of food. Know that you are not helpless in this struggle!

Those of us who are addicted to carbohydrates are little different than alcoholics. We cannot change our body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You might think of your predisposition as a loaded gun that comes literally from the genes you inherited from your parents. However, this genetic message is only a predisposition, or a loaded weapon just waiting on you to be the one who pulls the trigger.  It will not go off unless, or until you personally pull the trigger for it to do so. This is something you indeed have control over. While you are predisposed to release too much insulin, you can control that in which you eat. You can make the choice to quit eating added sugars entirely in order to not pull the trigger on your cravings. You can prevent your blood sugar and insulin spikes by not eating sugar. If you are carbohydrate addicted, you  have to change the way you eat. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, but it is not impossible. You have to take the same approach to your carbohydrate addiction the same as one who quits drinking, the same as one who quits smoking. You just have to quit, and not believe that you can ever have control over the substance you never had control over in the first place.

Get your finger off the trigger, damn it!

The biggest way you can derail yourself is by frequently consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Specifically, simple carbs! You have to understand that if you are predisposed to carb addiction, this is for life, just the same as alcoholism.

If you are born with this unfortunate predisposition, the more often you eat carbohydrate rich foods such as starches, snack foods, or sweets (including fruit juices) the more intense your insulin response will be. When you eat carbohydrate rich foods all day as many people with weight issues are prone to do, the high level of insulin will only serve to make you crave more and  more of them. This is a physical response, and is not one of a weak willed individual.

As you continue to eat these carbohydrate rich foods on a frequent basis, your muscles and organs will start to become insulin resistant. This is simple biology, you cannot change this. As you become insulin resistant, both the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts, will be steered away from the muscles and organs that require them, and will subsequently be stored away in your body fat.

In the first stages of insulin resistance, your body’s tendency is going to be weight gain. However, over time, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant which means the insulin and blood sugar remain trapped in your blood stream which will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes if you do not already have it. When you continue to eat carbohydrate rich foods, you are causing your body harm as this vicious cycle will continue repeating itself.

In many people who have been over weight or obese their entire lives, or those who find triggers such as pregnancy, stress, stopping smoking, and medications, will make them crave simple carbohydrates and gain weight easily. For others, we will see that although they might have been a normal weight in their younger years, the simple act of growing older changes their metabolism, which causes their bodies to become more insulin resistant. The damage that can occur from insulin and blood sugar being channeled into fat cells can be greatly mitigated by a low carb, high protein diet combined with vigorous exercise as we promote at David’s Way.

As a carbohydrate addiction progresses, the body releases more and more insulin in a valiant attempt to push through the resistance and force the insulin and blood sugar into the muscles and organs where they are much needed. When you continue to consume added sugar and excess carbohydrates, this extra insulin will lead to more severe carbohydrate cravings, or that feeling of being “hangry”. This is why we say to stop eating added sugars in all foods and to only eat whole foods that you have to prepare yourself. You cannot prevent your body from trying to protect itself from too many “insulin insults”, you cannot stop your body from becoming insulin resistant when you continue to eat too many carbs. This is why your willpower means little if you do not approach healthy eating with the right mindset and armed with knowledge.

Lets take an intelligent approach to our dietary habits.

Of course we still need carbohydrates in our daily diets, especially complex carbs that come from many vegetable sources and even simple carbs from whole fruits. The important point to remember is that when we do consume our carbohydrates, we do not use added sugars, and that we maintain a correct balance of protein and fiber in order to not set off and insulin imbalance which will set off our cravings for more carbs. You can maintain your blood sugar and insulin levels simply by enjoying well balanced meals that provide all the macro and micro-nutrients your body requires for good health. You have to know that all carbohydrate rich foods, including starches, snack foods, and sweet treats and drinks, and even some starchy vegetables when eaten frequently and without balance, can trigger your genetic loaded gun that makes it difficult for you to remain slim and healthy.

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Hungry All the Time?

Stealthy Invader

The first day that I began eating David’s Way, I quit being hungry all the time. Although I wasn’t eating large amounts of sugar , I had not totally removed it from my diet. As soon as I began David’s Way I examined everything that I ate for hidden sugar. Sometimes the sources will surprise you. It works it’s way into almost everything unless we diligently seek it out like a phantom in the night.

Return of Hunger

Several months ago I began a job where I am blessed to have free meals. I carefully avoided all sweet foods and anything that seemed like it might possibly contain any trace of sugar. Soon after beginning this job, however, I began to feel hunger like I had not felt it in a long time. I was mystified. I ate good whole foods and avoided processed foods which are a huge source of sugar. Still, the hunger haunted me.

Revelation

When I considered the menu tonight, I realized that every item on the menu contained added sugar. I had asked for the coleslaw recipe and guess what, hidden sugar. The succulent roasted pork tenderloin was slathered in sweet barbecue sauce. The beans served on the side contained a significant amount of sugar because other employees were talking about how sweet they were. And then, of course, there was cake, which I never eat. Suddenly I realized that many of the seemingly harmless foods that I had been so thrilled to have free were the culprit in my around-the-clock hunger that was coming and going at random, waking me up at night and causing me to examine my diet in intricate detail.

Cultural

There are cultures that put sugar in almost everything. I worked in a private home providing nursing care many years ago and because I was there so much, I became great friends with the cooks. Although their food was incredibly delicious, both of those sweet women literally put sugar into everything they cooked if there was any way possible. The colorful potato salad with finely diced carrots, celery, onions and bell pepper was doused liberally with sugar. So were the green beans,yes, green beans! So were the pinto beans and fried potatoes… Everyone in the house was either overweight or obese and I could not keep my weight under control unless I carried all of my food and ate none of theirs. The added sugar kept me hungry around the clock, just like the hunger that I have been experiencing on occasion since coming to work at my present place of employment.

How?

When we eat sugar, our body responds by secreting insulin to help metabolize it. When the offending molecule is dismantled there is still enough insulin in our bloodstream to be actively seeking a sugar molecule so the natural response of our body is to secrete ghrelin which makes us hungry so that we can balance the insulin. As this cycle continues, we eat at times that we shouldn’t and in larger amounts. Unless we realize what is happening by meticulously tracking every bite of food that we eat, weight gain is soon to follow. I am actively “cutting” right now, trying to get my 18% body fat to about 14%, and I have been struggling to cut without excessive hunger. The hidden sugars in some of the home cooked meals that I have been eating have made my cut more difficult than it had to be. Although this cycle of eating sugar and getting hungry is a bit more complex than I have stated here, this is the gist of it. Eating sugar makes you hungry. You don’t have to be eating desserts and sugary snacks for this effect. Examine your food. Don’t be lazy and just assume that those green beans or that cornbread does not contain sugar. They just may.

Decrease Your Chances of Alzheimer’s

Overwhelming Statistics

There is an overwhelming number of new cases of Alzheimer’s every year. Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to have a 14% rise in this horrifying disease. There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014 and more than 5,000,000 Americans live with this destroyer of worlds. (1) I work with these precious souls every day and see firsthand the grief and loss that is caused by this devastating disease. Believe me, if you can do anything to decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, you really want to do that and the sooner, the better.

Development

Science has searched for the cause of dementia for many years as the incidence of dementia and the accompanying cost for care of these patients has increased. With ever increasing evidence, these disabling diseases have begun to be looked upon as a lifelong or lifestyle disease with many factors affecting it’s development. Of course there are types that have a specific cause such as injury to the brain by trauma or other diseases. That is not the topic of discussion here.

Oh, You’re Not Diabetic?

According to Harvard Health Publishing (2), above normal blood sugar has been linked to dementia. High blood sugar damages arteries through inflammation. At one time, the blood sugar levels of diabetes were considered the “danger zone” for increased risks of dementia but now the evidence supports the idea that elevated blood sugars that are not in the diabetic range can also up your odds. Any incremental increase in blood sugar was associated with increased risk. Prediabetes, blood sugar between 100 and 126 after an 8 hour fast, is in the danger zone. Don’t think that because you are not diabetic that you are immune to the ravages of high blood sugar on your brain.

How Many Times Do We Have To Say This ?

Harvard advises getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week and cutting back on your intake of highly refined carbohydrates, particularly foods that contain added sugars such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, honey or fruit juice. At David’s Way, we advise this every day. We tell you to avoid sugar and neither David nor I eat the stuff. I don’t bring it into my house. In all of the research that I have done, I have never uncovered a health benefit of sugar but I have discovered many negative implications.

Other Trouble Makers

Alzheimers.net advises against eating processed foods such as processed cheeses due to the proteins found in them that have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Processed meats and beer contain nitrites which also present a problem. Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Just as Harvard, this organization also advises against refined carbohydrates including white pasta, cakes, sugar, white rice and white bread. These foods cause insulin spikes in your body which increases inflammation throughout your body and sets you up for all kinds of diseases and dementias. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. (3) Obesity triggers vascular dementia which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It also increases fat cells which damage the brain white matter and leads to cognitive and intellectual behavior changes. We always advise you to maintain a healthy body fat for optimum health throughout your body.

What Do I Do?

There are some steps that you can take today to decrease your chances of developing this disease. Balance your blood sugar with whole, real foods that are low on the glycemic index chart. Remove refined carbs including sugar from your diet. Eat brain healthy fats such as fatty fish, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts and lean protein. Exercise every day with your doctor’s permission. Studies clearly support the idea that exercise is good for your brain. Control stress. Excess cortisol produced by chronic stress is destructive to your brain and get 8 hours of sleep every night. At David’s Way we teach you to “Make your world small.” by removing people and activities that are merely clutter and have no positive impact on your life. This helps to control stress. We address you as a whole person and controlling stress is paramount to your physical and mental health. Become proactive today and make every effort to preserve your mental health.

(1) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385589/

(2) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/above-normal-blood-sugar-linked-to-dementia-201308076596

(3) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054325/

Heart Health and Insulin

Often, when we think of heart issues we never consider insulin and it’s role in heart health. Usually, when we think of insulin the first thing that comes to mind is diabetes. And here in lies a huge problem, most people who are over weight or obese will not think of themselves as having a true health issue with their weight when they have not developed diabetes. This thinking is foolhardy and comes from a lack of knowledge. Besides the effect on your body with insulin and whether you have diabetes or not, the powerful role insulin plays in your body has great effects that can lead to high blood pressure, risk-related blood fat levels, weight gain, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease in a great number of overweight or obese individuals who have never been diagnosed as being diabetic.

Insulin and Glucagon must be in balance!

In a healthy body, insulin does not like to be used up. It has been referred to as the “Saver Hormone”  This miserly nature of insulin is no easy task when you consider how some of us eat and live sedentary lifestyles. Insulin must meet multiple demands by the body such as appeals for energy to enable muscles to maintain their health and viability, to fuel our nervous system, and to keep our organs under constant repair to keep our body’s ability to function normally. Insulin will try to make your body store it’s energy stores, by converting carbohydrates into fat which is then stored inside of your cells, it must give up some of it’s food energy in order to get us through our basic daily living functions.

The second part of this equation which must be kept in balance with insulin is glucagon, or what is referred to as your body’s “Spending Hormone”. Most of us have heard of insulin, but I would guess that many, if not most of you, have never heard of glucagon. The balance between these two are just as insulin directs food energy into our cells, glucagon is what brings it back out of the cells in order to repair and fuel your body in between meals. This balance must be maintained and crappy dietary habits makes this task difficult.

A bad diet that does not meet all of our nutritional needs will quite obviously throw our hormonal balance out of whack. Although, as evident by the rampant obesity in our society, many will destroy their own health when there is a better choice to be made in living healthy with a good clean diet. It does not have to be this way, but many will still choose the lame way out with a diet of junk and fast foods and place their hormonal balance into a tail spin and then complain they cannot lose their weight.

If you choose to make good dietary habits a lifestyle that keeps your hormonal balance on an even keel, insulin and glucagon fully compliment each other and maintain a perfect harmony. Making this harmony occur is fully within your control, it will make you feel so much better. As insulin rises, it makes you want to eat, it helps with fueling your body. What energy is not used gets put away into your fat cells. Later, as your insulin levels fall off, glucagon begins to rise. The glucagon opens the fat cells up and the energy that is released is burned to keep your body running efficiently, as it was designed to do. After a period,  insulin once again begins to rise and the whole cycle repeats itself.

This natural balance is 100% within our control when we make the personal choice to make it so. Do not sell yourself short, ever!

When you make the lame choice for yourself to eat bad every day of your life, no matter your excuses, you are going to put this hormonal balance between insulin and glucagon out of kilter. The reasons why you eat a poor diet are not relevant to this reality. When you manage to get your hormonal balance off, there becomes a battle between the hormones that will put your heart health, or even your life at risk.

Although insulin and glucagon are to be in balance for good health, insulin is a more powerful hormone than it’s counterpart. Insulin will completely take over if you let it. When insulin is released into your blood, glucagon takes a submissive role and diminishes significantly. Glucagon will only rise back up once the insulin levels begin to fall again.

When you subsist on sweet treats and foods with added sugars, you insulin levels will always remain high! You do have control over what you eat! No excuse is going to fix your health. period.

Insulin’s dominance over glucagon is not all bad. In pre-historic times, when our ancestors had a surplus of food, insulin was needed in order to channel as much of the food in the fat cells as possible. Unlike us in the modern world, our ancestors did not always know where their next meal was coming from. And to make matters worse, their foods were not anywhere near as energy rich as our foods of today. Our ancestors had to fatten themselves up because they did not always know where or when their next meal would be coming to them. Insulin would get our ancestors to eat as much as they could so they could get the most out of the foods they were able to consume.

We no longer live in those times folks. Food is now abundant!

Now, on the other hand for our ancestors, food was not always available. In fact, famine can still be rampant in different parts of the world today. When our body requires energy, glucagon opens the fat cells and brings out the energy that has been stored. This energy fuels our muscles, brain and other organs to go out and get more nourishment. For our ancestors, when food was not readily available, insulin’s fat storing ability was not required. Our ancestors were not fat for the most part.

In days past, insulin kept us alive. In our modern world today where we might gorge and junk foods that keep our insulin levels high, this can actually kill us over time or even rapidly. 

Currently, we still have to keep our hormones in balance and we can do this through good dietary habits and exercise. However, many choose to eat bad food choices and to live sedentary lifestyles which causes a tug of war between insulin and glucagon. Insulin is usually winning this battle as we can see by all of the overweight or obese people that surround us. We can make a choice to control the outcome of our health we can choose to live a healthy life. Or we can sell ourselves short and not eat healthy, nor exercise. This can make the difference between a long and healthy life or one plagued by heart problems or cut short by heart disease.

Cancer and Nutrition

Cause or Prevention?

There are many factors involved in the development of cancer, some over which we can exert control and others that we cannot. Genetics and environmental hazards are considered beyond our control while our diet is almost completely within our control. While the science is not there to say that any particular foods definitely cause or prevent cancer, there are relationships between diet and cancer which research has revealed. (1)

Calcium

There is evidence that higher calcium intake can lower the risk of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer. It is believed to bind to acids in the body and thereby protect the lining of the GI tract from damage. Above 2,000 mg per day however, is considered to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Most doctors agree that a daily intake of 500-1000 mg. is a good level to optimize calcium’s good effects on the development of cancer. One cup of Cabot Greek Plain Yogurt, made with whole milk, contains 400 mg. This yogurt also has 16 mg. of protein per cup. Fage Plain Greek Yogurt has more protein and less calcium. Choose the one that you like the best. There are many excellent brands available. I prefer the full fat versions because they do not have the tangy taste that’s associated with yogurt. Bone-in fish such as sardines are also a rich source of calcium. One small Atlantic sardine, 2-2/3 x 1/2 x 1/4 inches, has 46 mg. and if you eat sardines, you know that you eat a lot more than one.

Glycemic Index

A 2016 study revealed that foods with a high GI, 70 or above, are associated with an 88% increased risk for prostate cancer. These foods include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices and processed foods such as pizza. Foods that are low on the GI such as beans, are linked with a 32% lower risk of both prostate and colorectal cancers. In March of 2015 a study showed a 50% increased risk for lung cancer among people who ate a high GI diet. At David’s Way we always promote a low GI diet.

Processed Meats and Red Meat

Studies consistently show that eating around 2 ounces of processed meat per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is a similar risk for red meat, believed to be associated with the heme iron that is in all red meat.

Weight Gain

In 2014 a study found that a higher BMI increases the risk of developing many of the most common cancers. A 34 pound gain is linked to a 10%, or higher, risk of developing gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers. The hormones and inflammatory proteins produced by fat cells can promote the growth of cancer. We advocate knowing your body fat percentage and keeping it in a healthy range. The number on the scale is not as important as the number of fat cells in your body since they are the trouble makers.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are known cancer fighters. The problem is that sometimes people take supplemental antioxidants for periods of time but across the span of their lifetime, they go lacking in nutritional sources for these nutritional superheroes. It is generally accepted that it’s wise to get your antioxidants from a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Try to include bright colors like dark green, orange, purple and red fruits and vegetables for the most protection.

Get Active

According to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2016, good nutrition combined with other healthy habits offers the most protection from cancer. Low risk groups presented as those who do not smoke, drank no more than two servings per day of alcohol, and had a BMI of 18.5-27.5 and engaged in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. At David’s Way, we always tell you to ask your doctor to suggest an exercise program for you to follow. You are a powerful influence in your likelihood of developing cancer. You can increase your risk astronomically by poor nutritional habits and inactivity or you can take control and raise the odds of living into old age cancer free. What will you decide?

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/cancer-and-diet-whats-the-connection

My Life Is Not Your Business! Or is It?

Do you have anyone in your life, a family member, friend or co-worker who gorges themselves on really bad food choices? Does this individual also admonish everyone around them that they are living their life as they see fit and it is none of your business how they are living it?

By God, they will eat any damn thing they want, and they will damn well eat as much of it as they feel like? It is none of your concern how they eat!

Did you ever consider how selfish and destructive this self centered attitude can be?

Is there any chance you might actually be this individual and never thought about how your life actually does affect the lives of those around you?

If you are this individual, odds are that you have never considered yourself as being selfish and uncaring of others. Never the less, when you consume an unhealthy diet long enough, your health will eventually begin taking a nose dive and that is exactly when you are quite likely to become a burden on your loved ones. Look around at the people in your life and you are likely to know at least one if not multiples of people who are having to care for a loved one who has eaten themselves into sickness.

Type 2 Diabetes has become much too common among all age groups today!

Like most people, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you never planned for a life with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Hell does anyone ever get out of bed one day and make the decision to just do something stupid to wreck their own lives? Probably not.

No,  it is more likely that you had other more pressing issues on your mind than the junk foods you were going to pig out on later in the day when you might find yourself mindlessly eating from daily stress or shear boredom. As with many good people, you were probably thinking about caring for your loved ones, paying your bills, volunteering in your community, or maybe coaching a youth league sports team. However you envisioned your day, getting diabetes or becoming prediabetic through a crappy diet was probably nowhere on your agenda.

Maybe you think you just don’t give a damn about eating healthy.

If you do not give a damn about eating healthy, you are quite simply being a fool. Your dietary habits will eventually cause you to become a burden on others if you are not careful. Have you ever seen or known of a diabetic who had a foot or leg amputated?

Do you foolishly believe this cannot happen to you? Will you need help from loved ones if this does happen to you? Are you prepared to put aside your pride in order to ask for assistance from another individual?

Did you ever consider the unnecessary medical expense burden you might be placing on your family and what they might be missing out on because you require blood sugar testing supplies and medicines such as Metformin?

I’m going to get real, if left unchecked, diabetes will trash your health and it can, and will progress all stealthy like a Ninja in the night.  Diabetes typically does not become noticeable to the one afflicted only once the damage has reached advanced stages. Therefore, if you have actually been newly diagnosed with diabetes, have prediabetes, or are planning to cook for one who does have diabetes, it is high time you get your act together, and learn about all the critical elements of this highly preventable and treatable disease.

Diabetes defined.

Broadly defined, diabetes is a metabolic disorder that disrupts the way our bodies use the energy we receive from the foods we consume each day. During digestion, most of what we consume, particularly carbohydrates, is broken down into glucose which is the form of sugar in our blood that provides energy. In order to reach all of the cells in our body, glucose requires some assistance in order to hitch a ride in our bloodstream. In order for glucose to actually get into our cells, it requires the hormone insulin that is produced by the pancreas, which is a small gland that is located just behind the stomach.

If your body is healthy, your pancreas will produce the exact right amount of insulin to move the glucose from your blood and into the cells, In people with diabetic conditions, either the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Or, your cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. As a result of this, your glucose backs up in your blood, then overflows into your urine,and then passes out of the body without ever nourishing it, Like spilling gas if attempting to fill up your car with the fuel cap still on, you will just piss away needed glucose.

Types of diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes. Also defined as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack and destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. A person with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to survive!.  For this piece, type 1 is not our focus as it is not preventable.
  • Gestational diabetes. (also not our focus) As the name implies, this type of diabetes develops in women during pregnancy, and often disappears after the birth of her baby. Note: Women who have experienced gestational diabetes carry a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within ten years! For this reason, these ladies need to be forever more, mindful of what they eat.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Our main focus as it is entirely preventable through good dietary habits and exercise. This type is by far the most wide spread form of the disease. (Again, this is entirely preventable which makes it even sadder.) About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have this type. Risk factors include older age, obesity, family history, previous gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnic backgrounds. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are over weight! Unlike type 1, type 2 develops gradually. At first the body has  trouble using its insulin effectively, which is a condition called insulin resistance. After several years, insulin production decreases, glucose builds up in the blood, and your body cannot make efficient use of its main source of fuel.
  • Prediabetes. Which is also referred to as Metabolic Syndrome, prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. This condition is identified by impaired fasting glucose, or impaired glucose intolerance depending on the test used to diagnose it. People with prediabetes are at a higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You can turn this condition around if you choose. You are not helpless.

Will any of these conditions affect others in my life? Damn right they will!

The first 2, you have little control over. Type 2 and prediabetes you have absolute control over if you make intelligent decisions with your dietary habits and by getting up and moving your body with exercise. Despite the sobering reality of diabetes, there is hope for you if you reach out and take control over your life instead of letting it control you. If you have prediabetes, you have the full power within yourself to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, by making intelligent lifestyle choices, you have the power to manage, or even lower your blood glucose levels. Yes, you can bring your A1C back into normal levels if you make the choice to do so. You can do this simply by following our methodology at David’s Way.

We highly promote a diabetic friendly diet for everyone through:

  • Counting your calories in order to lose or manage your weight. You can learn your needed calories by clicking on our Calorie Counter Pro .
  • Eating a high protein, lower carbohydrate diet where you target about 125g of complex carbs per day, and .6 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight with the remaining calories comprised from healthy fats. No, this is not Keto!
  • Quit consuming sugar and simple carbs unless the simple carbs come from a food source such as fruit with a good fiber component to control the absorption of sugar into your blood stream.
  • Quit eating processed foods that are full of sugar, unhealthy fats and an over abundance of preservatives.
  • Do eat whole foods such as lean meats, full fat dairy products and lots of beans and vegetables.
  • Ensure that every bite you consume has nutritional value to it. Ensure that the foods you consume are providing you with all the protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in it to keep you healthy and strong.
  • With your doctors clearance, get involved in vigorous exercise you can enjoy. Exercise does not have to be complicated or expensive. A good brisk walk will work wonders for your body if you cannot do anything else at first.

Studies have clearly shown that even a modest weight loss can help you to lower your risk of developing diabetes. One major study of more than 3000 people with prediabetes found that diet and exercise resulting in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss, about 7 to 10 pounds for a 150 pound woman, lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.

Like it or not, you have a responsibility to your loved ones who may one day have to care for you to manage your health through a good clean diet and exercise. Eating healthy is not boring, nor is it expensive when you consider the savings from medical bills,  or all the extras you eat because of sugar cravings.

By taking responsibility for your health and well being you can prevent yourself from ever having prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise, you can permanently lose your excess body fat in a healthy manner by following our principles at David’s Way. You can also lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by getting and keeping your blood pressure under control along with reducing your risk of micro-vascular complications such kidney and nerve issues too.

A good healthy diet an exercise is not rocket science, yet these simple things can save your life and cause less stress in those within your circle of family and friends. We give you the tools to live a healthy life if you make the personal choice to do so. For further information you can always contact us through our Contact Tab in the blog menu. We will answer all comments and questions as all are most welcome.

Make the choice today to get yourself to a healthy body fat percentage in order to protect your health and to hopefully never become a burden upon anyone else. Remember, someone will always have to pickup the broken pieces behind you when you choose to Live your life as you see fit. Please do not complicate this effort for your loved ones.

 

You First

The Irony

Most of us have had the feeling at one time or another that we have lost control of our lives, that we are going through the motions with no reward. It can seem like someone else wrote the script because after all, we couldn’t have done this to ourselves now, could we? Unfortunately, the answer is almost always , yes, we did

How Did This Happen?

Little by little we give authority over our lives away. We give it to family, friends and employers by just going along with their wishes and never advocating for ourselves. Pretty soon we have no peace, no joy and no hope. It’s imperative that we regain a sense of control by speaking up for ourselves and acting on what we say. Restoration of hope and self-esteem are within our reach and recovery is entirely in our hands. If we act like a victim, we will be a victim. If we act like a victor, we will be victorious.

What Do You Want?

When we have allowed ourselves to fall into a state of misery within any situation it’s usually because we have not clarified to ourselves, or others, what we want or need. Once we know what we want, we can create a plan of action to get it. Is it more income? Well, look for another job, a different one or an extra one. If you are in a dead-end job with no hope of advancement or a raise, start looking around for something better. In the meantime use your down time to work another part-time job. The idea is to do something. Doing nothing will not change your income. It has been said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

If you want to be healthier by losing body fat and getting fit, quit eating sugar and ask your doctor what exercise would be good for you. Again, wishing for health and doing the same things that got you fat and soft will not change your life. Action is required. There are so many empty calories in sugar that it’s very difficult to sustain a healthy weight if you continue to eat it. Go to the Calorie Counter to determine your caloric needs.

You Are A Person Too

When we have lived our lives in service to others, we tend to forget that we have rights. If you still intend to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first, otherwise you will not be mentally or physically fit to care for someone else. If you have no intention of caregiving, then put your needs first simply to give them top priority. Life is full and busy and whatever is put on the top of your to-do list is what will get done. Make sure that it’s you. Don’t allow others to control your time, energy or money. You are your best project. You decide how these precious commodities will be managed to best improve your life.

Realize Your Value

Everyone has unique characteristics that need to be nourished and cared for in order to flourish and thrive. You are not like anyone else. You are your own best advocate. Speak up for control of your schedule. When we have nothing else to work with we still have time. Make certain that you use it to your best advantage. Family and others will try to interfere with your plans quite often because they are not managing their lives well and it’s easier to control you than to dig in and make the changes necessary to be complete in themselves. Self-advocacy is hard work. Many are not willing to put in the work but when you do, the reward is a full life with less stress. Speak up.

Knowledge Is Power

Whatever your situation, get the facts that are relevant. Since you are on the internet, google the thing that is bothering you and get some ideas about your rights and what can be done to rectify your situation. There is a great deal of legal information and practical ideas available on the internet. Research deeply and cross-reference to make sure that the information that you have is correct. Once you are satisfied that you have the knowledge that you need, begin to implement those ideas. It can be as simple as standing your ground for the time to work out or as complex as knowing your legal rights in a delicate situation. Whatever is holding you back or keeping you awake at night, study and become pro-active rather than reactive in this situation. You take control when you become pro-active. Reactive people just roll with the tide. Proactive people control the tide.

Implement

Put your knowledge into action. If it’s as simple as learning how to say “No.” then begin to say “No.” If it’s a major life change such as a new job or the end of an abusive relationship, do it. All the knowledge in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t use it. If there are people who will help you, get them on board. If not, take a deep breath and do it anyway.

Focus

Make sure that you make the necessary contacts an/or take the necessary actions to get what you need. Don’t waste your energy with things and people who won’t have a positive input into your plan. You have wasted enough time already with uncooperative people and dysfunctional situations.

Clarify

Speak up for exactly what you want. Don’t settle for less. This is a task to improve your life, not settle. You have already done that. If settling for less than what you need has not satisfied you before why do you think it will now? Know what you want and go for it.

Don’t Quit

Never give up on your quest for contentment. It will be hard. You will want to quit. Don’t Quit. There is an old saying that “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Squeak loudly.

You Have The Power

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Let’s Get Real

I am an Encourager by nature. I prefer to write articles that spur you to make positive changes through mostly positive reinforcement. Unfortunately, there are situations and statistics in my environment and the world at large that require my attention today in a whole different way. A large part of the Earth’s population is eating itself to death. Today I am appalled at the disease and dysfunction that we bring on ourselves and on those that we profess to love. I am not guiltless in this offense. It has only been in recent years that I have quit bringing sugar into my house. When we truly realize how destructive empty calories are, we are accountable for that knowledge. Who is depending on you to make healthy choices for them? Who needs you to live a long time and be healthy? Are you being accountable?

Childhood Overweight and Obesity

As of a 2016 World Health Organization study (1) there was an estimated 41 million overweight children in the world under the age of five. Think about that. Children that are solely dependent on adults to feed them are overweight. That is the caregiver’s fault. These children are more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease at a younger age and carry those diseases into adulthood. When we allow our children to dictate their menu to us, we are setting them up for a lifetime of ill health. When we pull up to the sign at the drive-thru and they start screaming for “dessert with that” it’s all too easy to give them what they want in an effort to keep peace. The answer to this dilemma is to drive past, not through, and make a quick meal at home. A cold cut sandwich made with high quality sandwich meats is better than that carb laden kid’s meal that they are wanting. I have noticed that quite often when children get these meals, they want to upgrade the dessert into a huge adult portion such as a milkshake or a cookie as big as your head. When this happens the already negative health impact of a lot of these meals skyrockets. Since it’s so hard to deal with these temper tantrums of a sugar addicted child at the window, just go home. You can make a meal in the time that you would set at the drive-thru at rush hour. It’s not quick to get through that line. Keep chicken tenderloins on hand and saute them and give them a serving of a dipping sauce that they like. Most children love a baked potato with their favorite toppings. That takes 15 minutes. Open a can of green beans and let them simmer until they are almost dry while you are preparing the chicken and potato. BAM! Dinner in less time than you would have set at the drive-thru. We have to rethink our habits. We have been duped into thinking that fast food is fast. No, it’s usually not and then you have to consider the time and money that you will almost certainly be out when that child gets sick more often. Is this a price that you are willing to pay?

Just the Facts

According to the World Health Organization, (2) raised Body Mass Indexes increase the risk of breast, colon, prostate, endometrium, kidney and gallbladder cancer. Overweight and obesity have adverse effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance. The risk of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke and Type 2 diabetes mellitus increase steadily in relation to an increasing BMI. Mortality rates increase with increasing degrees of overweight and obesity. So often we try to rationalize our behavior but is the cost of gluttony really worth the extra food and sugar. Sugar is so calorie dense that it causes rapid weight gain. As each fat cell is born, there is a chance of error in that individual DNA code. If that happens, you may have cancer. Cancer is a healthy cell that got the wrong code. Sugar can increase your odds of developing cancer simply by increasing the number of times that you generate a cell. When you create more cells, there’s more chances for your body to get this wrong.

What Happened?

In 1975 the obesity rate for men was around 3%. In 2016 that rate had risen to 11%, more than triple the rate in 1975. In 1975 the obesity rate for women was 6%. In 2016 that rate had risen to 15%, almost triple. We always hear about the obesity of the United States, which is absolutely staggering at 36.2%, but there is a key to a contributing problem for the world at large when you look at the “Countries with the Highest Prevalence of Obesity” chart (3). There are small Pacific Island nations that top that list. Most of their food is imported and expensive but fast food restaurants offer cheap food. There are Middle Eastern nations that also top that list in an area where western fast food is being increasingly welcomed and embraced. How many times per week do you or someone you love frequent the drive-thru? Do you see a pattern here? I have observed this problem repeatedly in my dealings with obesity, including my work to help an obese family member. The high salt, fat and sugar in most fast food creates a fast preference for these foods that borders on addiction. We gravitate towards these foods as much for the dense caloric intake as anything else because we have an instinct to pack in the calories to survive. In a world where food is scarce this instinct preserves our lives but in this world where so much food is available to so many, this instinct that is meant to sustain us becomes a nail in our coffins.

Dementia

It is a known fact that co-morbid conditions that arise from obesity such as insulin resistant diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease have negative consequences on the brain. A high BMI does increase the risk of dementia because of the hormone compounds that are secreted by fat cells. This is an area of ongoing research but as the BMI has increased, so has the incidence of various dementias. In my lifetime, the rate of both has soared.

Be Responsible

Look at the list in the first paragraph of this article, various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, is that the life that you want for yourself or for anyone that you love? We are so much more powerful than we understand. We hold the power of life and death in our hands so much of the time. Do you realize that you are the most powerful being in your life? Regardless of your situation, when you take control of your health and the health of those that you are able to influence, you become a superhero. Your resources may be limited. Your situation may be beyond difficult. You are still the most powerful being in your Universe. Take control and change the future for yourself and those you love.

(1) https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/
(2) https://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/overweight/en/

(3) https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/29-most-obese-countries-in-the-world.html

Be The Best You Can Be

This article is dedicated to my life long friend and mentor Ronnie Gray Cash. My brother from another mother.

Years ago I had the good fortune of having an older mentor who took me under his wing and taught me some valuable lessons about life. Despite being functionally illiterate, Ronny was an extraordinary craftsman and artist. I learned a great deal while watching him turn random pieces of wood, metal scraps and such into fine art, all the while talking to me about living life to the fullest. Ronnie taught me to be the very best I could possibly be at anything and everything I should ever take up in life. Actually, his admonition was to always be the damn best at every endeavor I should take on. He taught me that anything worth while to take up in life was worth putting a 100% effort into. He taught me to never slack at anything, and I have lived my life trying to live up to the lessons he taught me. The ultimate irony being with this highly intelligent man was that he had quit school at a very young age, about 13, in order to work and help support his family.

The most mesmerizing masterpiece Ronnie ever crafted was his rendition of an old time masted warship that he worked on for sixteen years before calling it done. No detail from bow to stern was missed, not even down inside the ship where he had crafted miniature cannons out of brass that could actually be loaded with a small amount of black powder in order to shoot bb’s. The female figurehead he carved for the bow was so finely detailed you could have imagined a woman posing for it while he carved. Looking at the ships steering wheel, you could imagine crashing through high waves in an unruly ocean while heading off to fight battles for country or plunder. I could dream of climbing up the ropes of the main mast to the Crows Nest with a telescope in hand to watch for signs of land in the distance such as the slight haze variation of the horizon you see when land is still quite far away. I could imagine the joy sailors would feel after months at sea when they would spot a sparrow, as these birds would always lead you back to shore. These little birds are such a part of sea going lore that sailors will often have a pair of sparrows tattooed on their chests or back to remind them to always return to their homes when they could. After I became an actual sailor I never got sparrow tattoos, but I did return home when I could where I could sit and chew the fat with my mentor, my brother Ronnie, and still learn lessons of life from this wise man despite my having been around the globe aboard Navy ship a few times in real life.

A good portion of who I am today is a result of my brother Ronnie Gray Cash taking me under his wing when I was still a wild ass teenager that was having a difficult time navigating life.

Today, Ronnie is now 70 years old, and I will be 56 in just a few short weeks. I have had my ups and downs in life as a good many other people have. But, no matter how hard life has kicked me when I was down and out, I have always got up and fought my way back to the top.

I get agitated when people tell me “that’s easy for you to say” when I give advice to them. Life has not always been kind to me either.

But, I always get back up.

In 1997, 16 years after enlisting, I lost my career in the Navy when our government decided to draw down our numbers in the armed forces. I went into a deep funk for a few years. A depression combined with Post Traumatic Stress that I began to believe I could not kick. I gained a tremendous amount of weight, and was no where near being in good physical condition. It was Ronnie’s words from the past that woke me to the reality that I was becoming a weak man. I was a 250 pound bloated slob when I decided to clean up my diet and to get back into shape physically and mentally.

I dropped 110 pounds from 250 pounds to 160 pounds with a 30 inch waist. I began running again, which made me once again enjoy life. Soon, I cleaned up my weight set and began lifting again. Next came mountain biking. By 2008, I was 45 years old and in top physical condition again. I was eating clean, weight training three days per week and biking 60 to 70 miles as well.

Also in 2008 I found out I could return to military service in the Army Reserve National Guard and would likely be able to return as a Staff Sergeant. I did not believe this would be true, but went to have a chat with a recruiter anyhow. He informed me that with my physical condition and military history he could indeed bring me back in as a Staff Sergeant. He also informed that a part of coming back in at this time meant that I was sure to have a combat tour in Iraq or Afghanistan, possibly both. These terms were acceptable to me. I re-enlisted, went home and asked my loving wife what she would think if I told her I could get back into military service. She looked at me and said the obvious, she instinctively knew I had joined and gave me her full support in finishing my military career even if it meant combat deployments.

Shortly after I signed my re-enlistment papers I was shipped off to the Army’s Warrior Transition Course at Fort Sill Oklahoma. The Warrior Transition Course (WTC) is essentially Basic Training for Veterans returning to military duty. At WTC we went through almost all the training basic recruits endure with the exception of only a few areas being as we were not raw basic recruits. I was not only one of three Staff Sergeants returning to duty, I was also anywhere between 15 to 20 years older than the 255 other soldiers in my training evolution. Because of my rank, I was automatically assigned the position of Platoon Sergeant over 85 other soldiers. I took it all in stride despite having been a Navy guy with no experience with the Army culture. I took the position and did my best, and I was good.

As a Platoon Sergeant, I led our morning physical fitness training and formation runs. I was just shy of turning 46 years old, but I still was able to physically out perform many if not most of my soldiers in our morning calisthenics. During our formation runs, as with Ruck Marches, my place as Platoon Sergeant was at the front of the formation leading the way. Because of my position, there was not going to be any falling back in the runs or ruck marches. Our morning formation runs were 5 miles, I set the pace and we went hard. Anything less would have had me getting swarmed by the Drill Sergeants as they already could not believe a 45 year old former sailor had the nerve to join their beloved Army in a senior leadership position. The same was true with our timed ruck marches where we had to go from Point A to Point B while carrying 100 pounds of combat gear in a prescribed amount of time. As difficult as this was, I lead from the front as a good Platoon Sergeant is expected to do. There was no allowance for me to slack because of my age. I was a Staff Sergeant and had to carry myself as so. Lack of experience with the US Army did not matter, I had to learn on the go, and had to be damn good at improvising when I did not know some of the established procedures set by the Army, and the particular Cadre running the training. I had to be on top of my platoon from before sun up to well after sun down. As the Platoon Sergeant, I made it a point to arise, shave and be dressed in my uniform before my troops were out of their bunks. At night, I did not retire to my bunk until I was sure I had given my troops the opportunity to speak with me about any of their injuries and or concerns. A good Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) will always place the welfare of his troops before those of his own. This I did, I took my NCO Creed to heart. I was damn good at my position.

As Ronnie taught me in my youth, be the best at what you take on in life.

In August 2009, I suffered a very debilitating spinal injury which brought my life to a screeching halt. I herniated the disk at L5 S1, squeezed it like a jelly donut to the point it encapsulated my sciatic nerve which caused permanent damage and now a life time of chronic pain from my right butt cheek all the way down to my right foot. Not a day goes by that I do not have some degree of discomfort if not outright pain.

As a result of this spinal injury, I endured a series of three epidural spinal injections. What these are is the doctor uses fluoroscopic x-ray guidance to inject a dye and then a steroid into the epidural space in the hopes it will decrease inflammation and your pain.The injections did not work for me.

November 2009, I underwent spinal surgery where the herniated disk material was removed along with a bit of arthritis that most of us over the age of 40 have in our spines. This was followed by 2 months of physical therapy after I healed, yet I still suffered a great deal of pain. I returned to the doctor and was sent for an MRI where it was confirmed that my sciatic nerve had been damaged and also was now scarred over. I was doomed to a life time of pain, and was told to never return to heavy weight training again in my life.

I was not content to lay around and not resume living my life to the fullest possible. I figured I could live in pain and be inactive, or I could live in pain and still enjoy my life as best I can. I had a choice to make and chose the latter. I decided to resume living as I see fit, and have zero regrets. I embrace tough challenges in life whether it is under the barbell, on a difficult hiking trail or in any other endeavor. I do not accept mediocrity out of myself. I began lifting again with an empty barbell and worked my way up to squatting and deadlifting over 400 pounds which caused my doctor a great deal of concern to say the least. I also began eating upwards of 6000 calories a day to fuel the heavy lifting I had worked up to and gained enough weight and body fat to skew my blood lab numbers some and also to cause a elevation in my blood pressure. But, I had proved to myself that despite what is sometimes crippling pain, I could still live my life fully.

People say it is easy for me to say when I give advice about diet and physical fitness.

Yet, none of them were ever there to see how many tears I shed when working to regain my mobility to squat to a proper competition depth, or just in getting myself into a good starting position to pull a heavy deadlift without once again injuring my spine. No, none of these people have ever seen me cry in pain after a workout that was triggering horrible sciatic pain brought on by a simple impingement of the damaged nerve. None of these people were there to know what it was like for me to learn to walk normal again. After my injury, it took me a year to learn to not have my right foot pointing out at an acute angle and dragging when I walked. Every step was a conscious effort in making my right foot do what it was supposed to do pre-injury. None of these people ever seen the tears of pain this brought on either.

I have always had good nutritional knowledge despite not always using it in my past. However, when I decided to lose the weight I had put on after my injury while rebuilding my capacity to train once again with heavy weights, I put this knowledge into use. I took off 70 pounds and dropped to 9% body fat which I maintain through clean eating and exercise. People always ask for nutritional advice and what do I do to stay fit and trim, I get the same answer from them quite often when I tell them I do not ever eat added sugar or processed foods, nor do I eat in restaurants. And, I exercise vigorously on a regular basis no matter how the rest of my week may be going. I always make time for physical fitness. I treat it with the same importance as I do my job, it must be done even when I do not feel like doing it. Period.

That’s easy for you to say!

What I want to know is why do they think it is easy for me. Granted, it is now, but I too have had an addiction to simple sugar and carbohydrates. I too know what it is like to get those cravings for food so bad that I would become “hangry”.

What I do know is that adopting my methodology is not impossible for those who try. I am not that different from anyone else except for the fact I do not ever take the easy road in life and I believe that when you take a difficult task and work it long enough, it will soon become easy. My dietary habits of clean eating, measuring and weighing my foods comes easy. It is just what I do, it is my lifestyle and I guarantee I can cook a full meal quicker and cheaper than you can go through a fast food drive through and order utter crap to feed yourself and your family. While this may be acceptable on occasion, you are doing yourself and your family a huge disservice when you feed them in this manner on a regular basis.

Friends, Brenda Sue and myself are certified by American Fitness Professionals & Associates as Nutritional and Wellness consultants. Our certification process required many hours of intensive study in order to become certified. We take nutrition and fitness seriously, and love sharing information with you, our wonderful readers from around the world. We both live the life that we teach to others. We live this every day, and despite our certifications being in hand, we still study nutrition and fitness in order to bring you the best and most current information with no sugar coating or bull shit. We tell it like it is, and pull no punches. Our blog is unique in that no one else brings you this information from a male and female perspective. We are unique in that we address weight loss and management from a holistic, whole body and mind approach in order to best serve you. We do not only address a limited number of topics, we address every aspect of what it takes to achieve and maintain a healthy and fit body. We put out this blog as a labor of love to help others and have never charged for any of the information in our over 500 articles and recipes.

We live to be the best we can be. We want to help you to also live to be the best that you can be in health and wellness. We believe hard work and discipline actually makes life simpler rather than harder. This may take a little effort, but a life without chaos is easier any day, any time. We believe in planning our days, weeks and months. We believe in measuring our goals in exercise and fitness. I know that my weight remains within ounces of being the same from week to week, yet I still weigh myself every Saturday morning first thing as a form of accountability to myself. When I train with my weights, I log every weight used for each lift along with every rep of every set. After all, how can you judge success if there is no measure? Remember too, what gets measured gets done.

Be the best you can be my friends, thank you for reading and God bless.

Succeed

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Decide Now

How many times have you tried to get healthy? If you are anything like I was for most of my life, your answer is “I lost count.” There is still hope. The answer to this dilemma is simply deciding what is most important to you.

One Last Time

This is not to say that it will be easy in the beginning of your final commitment. I say “final” because when you truly commit, it’s done. You will not be perfect in your commitment but you will stay committed. When you vary from your program, you will suffer the consequences and get back on track. The trick is to stay committed. In order to stay committed, you must be willing to be miserable at times in the beginning. You have used sugar and excess, poor quality food as everything from a tranquilizer to a party drug. You will be in withdrawal, especially from sugar. It may not be fun or pretty. The outcome will be, however. Are you in this for immediate gratification or long-term wins? Do you want to be the old, broken down,  fat lady or the old, strong, fit woman who makes people wonder exactly how you manage to be that strong and healthy “at your age.”? Personally, I truly enjoy being the strongest person in the room at 62 and looking good enough in a bikini to wear one if I want to do that. 😉

The Agony and The Ecstasy

As you go into your initial withdrawal period, you may be horribly depressed and anxious. You may not. If you are, just realize that it will pass and you will emerge a different person. Is that appealing? Do you want to be different or are you content the way that you are? I was not content with extra weight and a low level of fitness. You may get away with that for years and be relatively content but the day will come that your lab numbers will turn on you. I developed high blood pressure and the medication that I was prescribed was a horrible drug. When I quit eating any added sugars and started working out really hard, the high blood pressure fixed itself. I don’t take any medication whatsoever. I work a full-time, high stress job and care for a special needs family member and blog. I believe in David’s Way because it fixed me. I eat a high protein, low carb diet. I DO NOT do keto. I lift heavy weights and eat more protein than a non-lifter but read David’s articles Protein Supplements and Pragmatic View on Protein for some good guidelines concerning protein intake.

Plan Success

A common mistake that many of us make is not planning our meals. Because I am so busy, I have to make food a high priority. It’s a little ironic that the health freak in building is the one who eats all the time. Since I do not eat added sugars, sometimes it’s a little difficult to get all of my 1800 calories/day. Go to the Calorie Counter and determine the number of calories that you need each day for success at losing, gaining or maintaining your weight. I have a high calorie, high protein shake when I first get up and make a lunch to eat here or carry to work and still eat a baked fish and vegetable plate at work and sometimes still have calories to eat after work. I have to focus on getting all of them because I will not be strong for my lifting unless I eat all of them. So many younger people that I work with come to work without eating anything of substance. When we don’t eat nutritious meals, we feel justified to have that Iced Death By Sugar Double Mocha Latte Frappe that just sets us up for cravings and hunger throughout the rest of the day and evening. We also feel justified to binge eat because hey, after all, we haven’t eaten, right? Plan your meals and follow through with nutritious, whole foods and stop cravings in their path.

Boost

Always get your doctor’s permission before beginning any exercise program. Once you have discussed this critical issue with your doctor, decide what you want to do to be active. At one time I was an avid swimmer because I liked it. It was great for a while but after a few years I began to want more. Now I lift heavy weights. You decide what is best for you. Whatever you decide, make it your job. Put it first. Don’t do it “whenever I have time” or when you “feel like it”. There are many days that I don’t feel like it. There are even more days that I don’t have the time. David taught this to me. It’s critical. If your health is important to you and you have your doctor’s permission, make your workout the priority in your life. I live to lift and lift to live. Everything else comes after that. If you don’t make it your number one priority, you will not do it as often as you need to do it. There will always be friends and family that want to commandeer your time. There will always be something else on which to spend your money. Again, decide now. Do you want to be fit or just whine and complain because you’re not? Anti-depressants and anxiety medications won’t fix a saggy butt, they will just make you learn to live with it.

Rest

Learn to say “No.” to extra work and social engagements that interfere with getting some sleep. If you burn the candle at both ends, schedule some serious down time every chance that you get. On my off days I stay in the bed until I have a really good reason to get up. Domestic chores can wait. Most appointments and people can wait. Remember, there will always be people who want your time, money and energy. Choose carefully how you will use these precious resources. Make sure that the recipients of your resources are worth it. If we get too tired and wired we overeat and it’s usually carbs that tend to deposit around your waistline and increase belly fat which increases cortisol levels that create havoc in our bodies. Get some rest.

Measure Your Success

Keep accurate records of your weight and fitness goals and progress. David says that “What gets measured, gets done.” I have been lifting for about a year and a half now and I have learned to keep meticulous records of my lifts. That way I have specific goals. This week I set three new Personal Records with my deadlift, an unusual week but a wonderful week. This would not have happened if I had not kept detailed records of my weights, reps, calories, rest and state of mind when I was lifting. Study your program and psyche it out. You are an important project. Act like it.

Reach Out

Make sure that you have support in your endeavor to be healthy. We are here. We will answer your questions and reply to comments. You can leave comments on the articles or use the Contact button to send us an email. You can also fill out the “Subscribe” information on the Home page and receive every article in your inbox. There is also a Forum where you can start or add to an existing discussion for additional information, just click the Forum button on the Home page. You will have the unique advantage of both a male and female perspective from people who live this program at no cost. It’s free. Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your health today.