Category: Health

Triumph or Tragedy?

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It Begins

We talk a lot about personal choices because choices are constantly guiding your health and wellness. Look at any specific day and all of the choices that you made in that day. See them like a flow chart. If you decide to have a healthy breakfast, how did that affect you? If you decided to scarf down doughnuts and coffee at the office instead, how did that affect you? It’s necessary to look at both the short term and the long term effects. The doughnuts will give you an immediate sugar and serotonin rush and drop you like a rock in just a little while. The sugar will keep you addicted  and odds are,  you will repeat a similar behavior at lunch and throughout the day. Since we tend to be creatures of habit, you may get up the next day and do this again. The long term ramifications of this one decision are staggering. Not only are you eating unhealthy foods, you are robbing yourself of good nutrition so you will suffer the consequences of the bad nutrition and the lack of essential nutrients that your body needs to maintain optimum health.

Are They Worth It?

Some habits are so bad that it should not even be necessary to being them up but unfortunately, it is. Do you smoke or use alcohol? Smoking destroys Vitamin C in your body and this can lead to multiple health problems. Collagen repairs your skin and is responsible for giving you a smooth, youthful complexion. Vitamin C regulates collagen production. Are you willing to age early and poorly for that cigarette that will most likely ultimately give you heart disease and/or cancer? Toss the cigarettes and all other forms of tobacco. There is absolutely nothing good about it. Alcohol is high in calories and is usually mixed with high calorie mixers. While beer is not mixed, most people will have more than one and the calorie count rises fast. Too many calories means too much body fat. If you are prone to drink too much then you must also consider the possibility of cirrhosis or other liver problems. With an increasing alcohol habit comes the possibility of damaged relationships and even an increase in accidents that may be fatal. Is that beer worth the complications that may accompany that decision?

Be Accountable

Are you aware of what you eat? In order for us to truly be responsible for our nutrition, we must keep a food diary of some type. The idea is to always read nutrition labels and choose your food wisely. A food diary will accomplish that for you. Keep track of your calories, carbs and protein. There’s several articles here on the blog to help you make wise food choices. Go to the “Menu” and look under the “Health” tab for articles about diabetes, cancer, heart health and stress. Look at the “Nutrition” tab for information on Intermittent Fasting and Product Reviews of foods that are marketed as healthy options or foods that we simply believe need to be discussed. There are all kinds of recipes on the “Recipes” tab including sugar free desserts. Take advantage of this free resource. Soon we will have a calorie chart that you can also use to help guide your food choices. If you have never downloaded your free calorie allowance from our Calorie Counter Pro, do that now. Aim to lose one pound per week. That’s a comfortable and healthy rate of loss. You will find all of these free resources on the Home Page Menu.

You Burned HOW MANY Calories?!?

How active are you? A common mistake that many people make is to over-estimate their level of activity. David has written extensively about this. We have both known people who routinely wildly over-estimated the calories that they thought they burned exercising. If you walk for thirty minutes that does not give you the calories to eat a large pizza and a six-pack and a tray of brownies. Exercise is intended to enhance weight loss and strengthen you and give you a healthy heart. You may get stronger eating everything that doesn’t eat you first but you will not increase your heart health or lose fat. Eat wisely and work out, with  your doctor’s permission, to lose those stubborn pounds. Exercising to be able to eat more will do little for you in the long run. It may make your problem worse if you use those calories to eat junk foods that damage your health. Swimming all afternoon just so that you can sit in front of the T.V. and scarf down hot dogs and potato chips is probably doing more harm than good.

You Are Important!

Are you taking responsibility for your emotional health? Do you allow yourself to be a doormat for abusive people in your life? Are you content with your life on a daily basis? Our psychological well-being is strongly linked to our overall health and well-being. We teach to “make your world small” by limiting the people who have access to you. This will automatically reduce your level of stress. Stress is related to almost every major illness. It can exacerbate many of them and make them worse if they are already present when the stress begins. You know how certain people and events affect you. If you make the decision to allow negative, destructive people in your life, you will suffer the ill effects of their behavior. Take control of your periphery.

Get Informed

Are you informed on the topics of heart disease, cancer and diabetes? If you are not informed concerning these major killers then how can you try to avoid them? Make the decision to educate yourself. We have many well-researched articles on these topics. Read, ask questions and become pro-active concerning your health. Just because others in your family have certain health challenges that does not necessarily mean that you will. If you believe that you are at greater risk for specific ailments and diseases then fight against it with everything in you. Make the decision that you will not be a victim of poor health choices.

The Truth

We know if we are living responsibly. If there is information that you don’t have, get busy and learn about your body. Quite often we try to shirk our responsibility to ourselves by pleading ignorance. In this enlightened age where all of the wisdom of the Universe is as close as a click, there is no excuse to be ignorant of your personal responsibility to your self and to those whose lives you touch. Always remember, poor health choices hurt you and them and wise choices help you all. So tell me, if you write the story of your life, and most of the time we either write the whole thing or at least the rough draft, then what will you write? Will it be a Triumph or a Tragedy? The choice is yours.

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How Long Do You Have?

Yesterday, Brenda Sue wrote an article entitled “How Long Will It Take?”.

We have had a few of our clients ask us this question. It is understandable that one who is seeking weight loss and a healthier life would want to know the answer to this common question. However, I believe the question that truly needs addressed is:

How long do you have?

How long have you been over weight? Are you willing to commit this amount of time and then some in achieving a healthy body fat percentage?

  • Remember, a healthy rate of weight loss is only 1 to 2 pounds per week. Anything more rapid than this can be bad for your well being and should only be done through your doctor’s supervision.
  • Odds are, if you have been over weight for a significant time and lose your weight too fast, there will be the issue of excess and unsightly skin left over. This excess skin can cause other issues for you such as infections within the folds, and psychological simply because excessive loose skin is not pleasant to see in the mirror.
  • If you have suffered a weight problem most, if not all of your life; how long will it take for you to wrap your mind around the concept of actually being slim if you have dropped weight rapidly? Know that there is a strong likelihood you may still see yourself as being over weight for quite some time after your weight loss. It may take time for your mental image of yourself to change along with your newfound physical appearance.
  • It can take a significant amount of time to get accustomed to the amount of calories you need to consume each and every day. For example, if you are a sedentary 5′ 2″ tall female with a starting weight of 300 pounds, it is highly likely that you have the appetite of two 150 pound women. If your goal is to lose 1 pound per week until you reach a goal weight of 140 pounds, you will need 1881 calories per day to do so. However, once you have reached 200 pounds, your weight loss will have slowed; 1837 calories per day would be what it takes for you to maintain a 200 pound body. At this point, your caloric intake is going to need to be lowered to about 1350 per day in order to continue your 1 pound per week weight loss. As you can see from this basic explanation, these caloric figures require continuous adjusting during your weight loss journey. Now bear in mind that once you have achieved your goal of 140 pounds, your body is going to require 1510 calories a day to maintain this weight. You are going to have to be accountable to yourself by measuring and weighing your food.
  • Weight management should take you the rest of your life. Once you quit holding yourself accountable and begin eating anything and everything that tastes good again, plan to regain all that you have taken off in significantly less time than it took you to lose it.

Oh, you do not have time to weigh and measure your food, nor the inclination to track how much you eat?

  • How are you going to be accountable to yourself if you do not track? The easy answer is you cannot be accountable if you have no method of tracking your caloric intake.
  • Some will go on about not having the time to weigh and measure their food as they cook it. How much extra time do you think it takes to do this? Seriously, if you cannot find the time to weigh and measure your food, just what in the world are going to do with that extra 3 to 5 minutes per day? Inquiring minds would like to know…
  • There are a few good nutritional tracking apps available to you online. But, this is not even necessary in western countries as food items have all the nutritional information on their labels. For example, from the time it takes for me to pull a can of pinto beans from my pantry and then walk over to my can opener, I can see there are 3.5 half cup servings per can at 110 calories per serving, 0 grams fat, 21 grams carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein. Surely, if you have read a label such as this only a few times, you will remember this information in order to write it down in a notepad or log of some type. You can look nutritional information up on any food source, and soon we will have an extensive nutritional chart on this blog for you to use as reference.

Many people today will consume unhealthy meals from a fast food drive through while claiming they do not have the time to cook a healthy meal at home.

  • Seriously? Can you honestly say it takes less time to get in your car and go through a local drive through? How long will it take to get there, wait in line, place your order, retrieve it and then return home? While hoping the order did not get botched. Lord knows you might have to return Timmy’s burger because it had onions on it that were supposed to be left off.
  • With a little pre-planning, you can prepare a healthy meal at home for your family in less time than you would burn going out to get fast food. It only takes a few minutes to pan sear any type of meat in a little olive oil, and heating up vegetables and cutting up a salad can be done in just a couple minutes.
  • Can you honestly say you do not have time to prepare a healthy meal at home when you can and will burn more time going to a fast food restaurant?

How long do you have to enjoy your children and or grandchildren while they are young?

  • Are you able to walk around an amusement park or community zoo with the kids and actually enjoy your time with them? Or, does the walk around the park make your feet and knees hurt? Can you walk very far without getting out of breath and over heated? How much fun is it to sit out rides solely because you no longer fit in the seats?
  • Riding bicycles with children is a great opportunity to enjoy being outside and get in some exercise for yourself. If you are out of shape, how long can you enjoy this endeavor, or anything else that might require being even a little bit physically fit? You and I both know, if an activity makes you uncomfortable and unable to breath easy, you will not stick to it long.
  • The time you have to enjoy with the little ones in your life is limited, do not limit yourself further. Before you know it, those little ones will be chasing after little ones of their own.

If you feel you do not have the time to eat healthy or exercise because of what ever of any excuses you might be able to muster up. How much time do you have for:

  • Time off from work in order to visit your doctor because your sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits are causing you health issues.
  • Your health can benefit greatly from as little as 30 minutes of exercise 3 days per week. If you cannot make the time to dedicate 1 1/2 hours to bettering yourself, just how in the world can you make even more time for doctors visits when you do not feel well? Have you ever felt the frustration that comes from sitting in a waiting room for a couple hours to see a doctor, only to go sit in your pharmacy waiting on a prescription for another hour or so?
    1. How much time do you have for checking your blood sugar multiple times per day once you have become diabetic?
    2. How much time do you have for healing when diabetes has caused you to begin having appendages amputated? Even the loss of your pinkie toe is going to take time to get over.
    3. How much time do you have left on earth once you have ailments that all can be traced back and connected to a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating? Metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, cancers can all be related to how you live your life.

Brenda Sue and I have written extensively on this blog about health issues relating to diet and exercise, or the lack thereof. We provide you with easy to understand and the highest quality of information to help you in weight loss/management in order to live a healthy life. The information is there for you and the blog will always be free to you. In open discussions with family, friends and private discussions with our clients, we get the question of how long will it take quite often. Well,I want to know how long do you have if you do nothing about living healthy? How long do you want to have?

At David’s Way, we promote a healthy lifestyle, not a diet plan with an end point. If you believe that you can simply go on a diet and then resume your current lifestyle once you have lost your weight, then you have already failed yourself. If you think you can achieve a weight loss goal and then not spend the rest of your life managing it, you are doomed to an unhealthy life. You may get away with this kind of living for a while, but as you age, it is going to begin catching up with you. The travesty is a great many ailments are entirely preventable simply by investing a little time for yourself with exercise and healthy eating habits.

How long does it take to maintain a healthy body? The rest of your life.

How much time do you have? This is largely up to you, how much do you want…

How Long Will This Take?

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The Question

Almost every person that launches a program to lose body fat and get fit has the same initial question, “How long will this take?” This in itself sets us up for failure because the unspoken truth here is simply that we want to get this work over with so that we can go back to that to which we are accustomed and that’s what caused our problem.

Instant World

Everything in our environment is geared to instant gratification, drive-thru food, grocery delivery, cell phones that make us constantly available and always in touch and instant credit compete for space in our brain to teach us over and over that we don’t have to wait for anything. Guess again. Our bodies are complex organisms of over 37 trillion cells. Any change that is going to affect our overall body size and shape has got a lot of material to manipulate. To effect a sudden change in an organism this size requires something more traumatic than most of us want to experience. That’s why so many people either quit before they reach a satisfactory goal or even worse, resort to drugs and surgery to attain their desired results.

Compensation

A hormone called leptin inhibits hunger. Rapid weight loss disturbs the leptin balance and leaves us with insufficient levels to quell hunger. This causes us to eat more and makes weight loss almost impossible. To keep the hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism in balance simply go to the Calorie Counter Pro on the Menu here at David’s Way and input your information, which is always private, we can see nothing except whatever name you enter, and receive your free instructions concerning the desirable number of calories to lose 1 pound per week. Stick to one pound for the best results. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ultimate body be built quickly. Great architecture takes time.

All “Weight” Is Not Equal

When we lose weight too quickly we will lose lean muscle. It happens because our bodies are desperate for energy and muscle is a quick and easy resource to mine for fuel.  It’s important to eat enough to support our basal metabolism and also to fuel our workouts. Nothing is less attractive than a muscle depleted, “skinny-fat” body that has been formed through years of binge eating alternating with fad dieting. You know the look, a thick waistline and skinny arms and legs, it’s not attractive.

Brain Fog

There’s a trend to abandon carbohydrates almost entirely to promote rapid weight loss. Without adequate carbohydrate intake, our brains cannot function properly and we can’t learn new things. We also have trouble using the information that we already have. Carbohydrates are the brain’s main fuel source. I never decrease my carbs below 100 grams. I need focus to fuel my workouts and that means carbs. Balance is the key to safe weight loss. Without focus we can’t get the full benefit from our exercise program because our form will falter and without proper form we are wasting our time.

Relax Already

Read David’s Way and get involved here on the blog. You can start a topic of discussion on the “Forum”, contact us through the “Contact” button for support, get your personalized program through the Calorie Counter  Pro and experiment with hundreds of healthy, sugar free, diabetic friendly recipes. It’s all FREE. There is no charge. There is no rush. David’s Way is a lifestyle, not a diet. Simplify your life by “making your world small” (David) and focus on getting healthy. We’ll be here.

 

Women and Weight Loss

We have all heard it and many of us believe that we have lived it, it seems easier for men to lose weight than women. There are differences, no doubt, but we can’t use that as an excuse to be overweight and unhealthy. We will suffer the consequences of overweight/obesity if we allow ourselves to be that way. We will also reap the benefits of extreme health if we work for it. Again, it’s merely a choice.

Men have more muscle than women and this gives them a higher resting metabolism. Women burn fewer calories at baseline. Since we are usually smaller, we burn fewer calories doing the same exercise. Our bodies also hold onto fat stores more efficiently than men’s to assist with pregnancy. In order to offset some of this make sure that you stay away from extremely low calorie diets that cause you to burn even fewer calories by getting your metabolism off balance. With your doctor’s permission include strength training in your exercise regimen to hold onto the muscle that you have and build more. It will stoke your metabolism to burn more calories.

As women age and estrogen levels plummet, metabolism slows down. As a result, women lose muscle and gain fat, especially around the midsection. Research also indicates that as women approach menopause, they tend to exercise less. Offset this tendency to put on this sneaky fat by getting more active. Amp it up to the degree that your doctor will allow and prevent the muffin top.

There is evidence that women are more likely to be an emotional eater than men. When a woman eats her emotions, she is more likely to reach for high calorie, sugar laden foods than men. To curb some of these cravings, avoid sugar which causes intense cravings for more sugar and stay full of good, nutritionally dense whole foods. We don’t usually want to eat when we are full and our nutritional needs are met. The worst time for cravings is when we allow ourselves to get empty and our blood sugar falls. Then we crave sugar and simple carbs to give us a quick lift. This is 100% controllable with minimal effort. Eat well and often and always remember that women cannot eat the same portion size as a man normally. They are bigger and require more calories. If you eat like your much larger husband, you will be his size.

And for Heaven’s Sake ditch the all or nothing thinking! Emotional creatures that we are, if we “mess up” one time, sometimes we want to just give up. Remember, a “diet” will not help you. That’s temporary. You are in this for the long haul, it’s a lifestyle and there will be ups and downs. Get up and keep going.

Eat more protein. A high protein diet can decrease cravings and boost metabolism. There is a study that indicated that increasing protein intake by just 15% decreased daily caloric intake by an average of 441 calories resulting in an 11 pound weight loss. (1) Make sure to get enough fiber. Fiber binds with protein to keep you full longer. A favorite snack of mine is a cheese stick with an apple. That combination keeps me from being hungry for a couple of hours.

Keep a food journal to be accountable for what you eat. It’s easy to forget the extra bites if we don’t keep an honest record. Every bite counts.

At David’s Way we encourage Intermittent Fasting. Read David’s article 16:8 Intermittent Fasting for some good information concerning IF. It helps almost everyone lose weight. With your doctor’s permission, give it a try. When we allow our blood sugar levels to stabilize, our insulin levels subside and we release stored sugar from our fat cells to use for energy. I promote IF, especially for women who have difficulty losing weight, because it worked for me when nothing else did.

Although women have unique challenges with weight loss, there are ways to lose the weight and keep it off. Read our articles, avoid sugar, work out with your doctor’s permission and commit to IF, again with your doctor’s permission. IF may not be suitable for everyone, especially diabetics. Whatever you do, don’t use being female as an excuse to be unhealthy. You deserve better. Get up and pursue excellence. We have given you the tools.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/weight-loss-for-women#section3

Don’t Let The S.A.D. Kill You

Have you ever heard of a condition called Diverticulitis? Maybe you or a loved one has suffered from this painful condition, it really is pretty common in western society now days. About 35% of Americans over the age of 50 have diverticulitis while about 58% over the age of 60 have it. Many have this condition and will never know it. But when it does raise it’s ugly head to let you know it is there, you will damn well know something is wrong for sure. There will be no doubt that something painfully wrong has gone wrong in your colon.

What is Diverticulitis?

From: MayoClinic.org

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common, especially after age 40, and seldom cause problems.

Sometimes, however, one or more of the pouches become inflamed or infected. That condition is known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits.

Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet and antibiotics. Severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery.

Symptoms

Again, from MayoClinic.org

  • Pain, which may be constant and persist for several days. The lower left side of the abdomen is the usual site of the pain. Sometimes, however, the right side of the abdomen is more painful, especially in people of Asian descent.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Abdominal tenderness.
  • Constipation or, less commonly, diarrhea.

How the Stand American Diet causes Diverticulitis

Today in America, our Standard American Diet has become pretty crappy. Not only are we consuming too much sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium and preservatives, many of us have diets that are quite low in fiber. In a nutshell, because of low fiber diets, people are constipated to some extent, and therefore are not as regular with their bowel movements as they should be. The problem with this is when these people strain to have a bowel movement, greater pressure than normal builds up in their colon. The result of this pressure is the formation of bulging pouches within your colon and digestive tract. Think of what happens to a rubber inner tube with a weak spot when you inflate it; a bubble will form where the rubber is weak. Your colon does the same thing from it’s internal pressure which causes marble-sized pouches to protrude through the colon wall.

Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches, or rather, diverticula tear, resulting in inflammation or infection or both. When this happens, you are going to feel it in a big way, I guarantee. This is a very painful condition.

Complications

From MayoClinic.org

About 25 percent of people with acute diverticulitis develop complications, which may include:

  • An abscess, which occurs when pus collects in the pouch.
  • A blockage in your colon or small intestine caused by scarring.
  • An abnormal passageway (fistula) between sections of bowel or the bowel and bladder.
  • Peritonitis, which can occur if the infected or inflamed pouch ruptures, spilling intestinal contents into your abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.

Risk Factors

  • Aging. The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age.
  • Obesity. Being seriously overweight increases your odds of developing diverticulitis.
  • Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely than nonsmokers to experience diverticulitis.
  • Lack of exercise. Vigorous exercise appears to lower your risk of diverticulitis.
  • Diet high in animal fat and low in fiber. A low-fiber diet in combination with a high intake of animal fat seems to increase risk, although the role of low fiber alone isn’t clear.
  • Certain medications Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including steroids, opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).

Now, study those risk factors and think about how this painful condition is self inflicted. Do you watch what you eat and try to manage your weight? Do you try to make healthy choices and do all that you can to not be obese? Do you really need a cigarette to live? How often do you exercise? Or, are you a couch potato? Those risk factors are all about life choices you make every day of your life. Are you setting a good example for your children so they do not know the misery that can come from diverticulitis? I sure hope so.

Prevention

From MayoClinic.org

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise promotes normal bowel function and reduces pressure inside your colon. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days.
  • Eat more fiber. A high-fiber diet decreases the risk of diverticulitis. Fiber-rich foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, soften waste material and help it pass more quickly through your colon. Eating seeds and nuts isn’t associated with developing diverticulitis.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in your colon. But if you don’t drink enough liquid to replace what’s absorbed, fiber can be constipating.

Treatment

MayoClinic

Uncomplicated diverticulitis

If your symptoms are mild, you may be treated at home. Your doctor is likely to recommend:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection, although new guidelines state that in very mild cases, they may not be needed.
  • A liquid diet for a few days while your bowel heals. Once your symptoms improve, you can gradually add solid food to your diet.
  • An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

This treatment is successful in most people with uncomplicated diverticulitis.

Complicated diverticulitis

If you have a severe attack or have other health problems, you’ll likely need to be hospitalized. Treatment generally involves:

  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Insertion of a tube to drain an abdominal abscess, if one has formed

Surgery

You’ll likely need surgery to treat diverticulitis if:

  • You have a complication, such as a bowel abscess, fistula or obstruction, or a puncture (perforation) in the bowel wall
  • You have had multiple episodes of uncomplicated diverticulitis
  • You have a weakened immune system

There are two main types of surgery:

  • Primary bowel resection. The surgeon removes diseased segments of your intestine and then reconnects the healthy segments (anastomosis). This allows you to have normal bowel movements. Depending on the amount of inflammation, you may have open surgery or a minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedure.
  • Bowel resection with colostomy. If you have so much inflammation that it’s not possible to rejoin your colon and rectum, the surgeon will perform a colostomy. An opening (stoma) in your abdominal wall is connected to the healthy part of your colon. Waste passes through the opening into a bag. Once the inflammation has eased, the colostomy may be reversed and the bowel reconnected.

This condition is pretty damn serious. Last Saturday I attended a Celebration of Life for a young friend who had suffered from diverticulitis for some time. His diverticulitis finally burst and spilled the contents of his colon into his abdominal cavity. The resulting fatal case of peritonitis caused this young man to die a very painful death. He leaves behind a wife, and three young daughters.

Might there be cases where an individual suffers the worse case scenario with diverticulitis despite having consumed a good healthy diet combined with regular exercise? Sure, I guess it might be possible. However, go back and read the risk factors again, and think about how many of them might apply to you, and then decide if you are going to do anything about it. Life is about choices, choose wisely my friends. Choose wisely.

The “Generational Curse”, What Is It?

The What?

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago and had absolutely no idea about what it was supposed to be. Turns out that there were people around me who believed that bad traits passed from one generation to another by some mystical means other than just genetics. True, there are some tendencies that are familial and some outright inherited maladies, but they are few and far between. Almost all of the negative health and life issues that we have are a direct result of the choices that we make, not genetics, and certainly not some mystical, spiritual curse. Believing this falsehood is simply an excuse to under achieve and fail at life. Believing this is an excuse to abandon all effort to be responsible for the health choices that you make. Mom became diabetic at age 40? If that’s the case, it’s Mom’s choices that caused it. Make different choices. I had an Aunt who died a terrible death from throat cancer. I loved her. She was my favorite Aunt. She smoked, a  lot, and never quit. Do her children have a similar risk? Possibly, they also smoke and the genetics are secondary compared to that decision.

Is It Learned?

There is a state of mind called “Learned Helplessness” that is believed to occur when someone is exposed to traumatic events that they cannot control. Over time, the individual “learns” that he cannot control events around himself and simply doesn’t try. Feeling that we can’t control traumatic events leads to loss of motivation to the extent that even when we are presented with the opportunity to change the course of our lives, we may not take advantage of the opportunity. This “loser” state of mind cripples the individual in decision making because he feels that his decisions won’t make a difference. Feeling helpless in the face of trauma and unable or unwilling to change the course of action by deciding to take control, leads to depression in most people with learned helplessness. This is a deadly personality trait when we are faced with decisions concerning our health.

                                                                               Is It A Decision?

In the original experiments on this topic, it was discovered that dogs who did not try to avoid negative stimuli had not, however, learned helplessness. They had not learned control. (1) The difference is profound. In order to “learn” helplessness, or the lack of control, we must first decide to take control and then be unable to do so. If an individual is afraid of failure simply because that’s all they have ever seen or been exposed to, then they have not made a decision to break that consecutive chain of failure, dysfunction and sickness that may have existed in their family for generations. They have not learned helplessness, they simply have not learned control. Therein is the problem.

Lovely Ladies

I remember when I actually believed that “skinny” girls were just genetically gifted. Never mind that my Mother, who was 5’7″ and about 110 pounds, ate very little and almost never sat down. For some strange reason, I ignored the obvious. Truth be known, it was easier to believe that she had great genes, that were somehow vastly different from mine, than to see the truth of the matter. While I would binge on brownies at every chance, she might eat one, maybe not even one. While I preferred the life of a sloth, she was a busy bee. I have mentioned “Janice” a few times. She was a lovely girl, close to my age in my 20’s who had a rock star body. While I struggled to fit into a size 12 or 14, Janice was a lithe size 5 or 7. Guess what. I finally ask her what she ate. She showed me a tray of freshly cut vegetables in her fridge and she told me that she ate those veggies all the time and seldom got hungry between meals. I was at her house for meals. They were healthy meals of grilled lean meats and veggies, fruit for dessert and no munchies at the parties unless you wanted the fresh veggies. She did not deviate and was not swayed by the negative comments of those around her concerning her diet.  She was in control. So was my Mom. Both Janice and my Mom had obese Mothers. They had made a conscious choice to take control, to do better than their upbringing. Genetics be damned.

Your Choice

What would your life be like if you decide, right now, to take control over the things that you have refused to exercise control over until this moment in time? Would you be different tomorrow? What about this time next year? Would you still eat the same things, smoke, drink alcohol and hang out with the same people? Remember, if someone doesn’t encourage you to be healthy, they are not your friend and do not have your best interest at heart. I challenge you. Exercise your ability to create your life and take control today. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

(1) medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325355.php

Grow Younger

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Have you ever noticed that there are some people who seem to defy their age on an ongoing basis? They remain strong and active, pursuing life with a passion well into old age while others are ready to give up on everything near and dear to them before they are forty. There are reasons that some people seem perpetually young, and you can tap into this fountain of youth with a bit of knowledge and some work. Do you want to age early or remain engaged and vital for your entire life? This is determined largely by the choices that you make every day.

Stop talking about how old and dysfunctional you are. We believe what we hear repeated over and over and even if the dialogue comes from our own mouths, when we repeatedly hear negative statements about ourselves, we tend to conform to what we hear. When you talk about yourself the saying “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.” applies here just as it does anywhere else.

At David’s Way we teach to make your world small. This means cutting out negative people who drag you down and create chaos that keeps you from being able to focus on your goals. It also implies cutting out activity and obligations that hinder you from creating the life that you want. Negative people age you by the process of “social contagion” where you pick up negative habits. Follow after people who make you kick it up a notch and reap the benefits of choosing your friends wisely.

Learn to be resilient. When we are resilient we can take the detours that life throws at us with a better attitude. Without this miracle working personality trait, every wave in the ocean seems like a hurricane and we will stay full of anxiety all the time. Ongoing anxiety leads to depression in most people. Look in the mirror and make the expression you have when you are depressed, then immediately “put on a happy face.” See the difference? Resilience allows you to smile through the toughest times because you know that the wave that knocked you down and nearly drowned you is gone now and you just might body surf the next one. Get up and move on after a setback. You can choose to move up or stay in your misery. Get up and create the life that you want instead of allowing life to make you a victim

Okay, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Don’t eat added sugar. Sugar is so calorie dense that if you make a habit of eating it you will probably eat too many calories. It will also cause insulin spikes and the resulting hunger. You will overeat and have too much body fat. Excess body fat contributes to ill health by changing your hormone levels, causing impaired flexibility and gait, increasing blood pressure, increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease and psychiatric symptoms due to impaired self-esteem. Sugar also leaves a by product of it’s metabolism behind in your skin through a process called glycation, which makes your skin look dull and dry and wrinkle much easier.

So often women tell me that they don’t get enough protein. Read David’s article, Looking Good As We Age to understand some of the reasons that this is a critical issue. Sarcopenia, or the natural loss of muscle that accompanies aging, is a debilitating condition that can be lessened or even reversed by proper diet and weight bearing exercise. In this article you will find specific recommendations for your protein needs to be met. It’s necessary to add weight bearing exercise into the equation to reverse muscle loss. We all know the little ole’ lady with the stooped posture and shuffling gait. This can happen to you much earlier than you can possibly realize if you neglect your diet and refuse to get active to preserve and build muscle. Regardless of your age, do you ever want that stooped, frail body? Look no further than Ernestine Shepherd, the World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder, to see what is possible. Ernestine is in her eighties and still turns heads and trains other women to be strong. She is neither stooped nor frail. She eats over 200 grams of protein a day and is a strength trainer. She began working out at 56 and is the perfect example of what is possible when we make an effort. She rocks a bikini better than most much younger women.

Get your sleep! When we sleep our bodies repair the microtears brought about by exercise. This repair process translates to new muscle. Our skin is also repaired and renewed during sleep. Think about the way you look after staying up all night as compared to the way that you look after a good night’s sleep. When we never get enough sleep the damage accumulates and deep lines and wrinkles form much easier. If you don’t get enough sleep every night do try to get all that you can. There is evidence that we can repair some of the damage done by missing sleep. At one time it was thought that you could not “catch up” on sleep. Now there is evidence that we can recoup a lot ot it.

Avoid too much UV light from sun exposure. Too much sun acellerates the aging process almost as much as smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes rob your skin of the all important Vitamin C that is integral to collagen formation. Don’t smoke.

Decide now, regardless of your age, to become proactive instead of reactive and enjoy your entire life in better health… and don’t throw away that bikini.

Invest In Yourself, Exercise!

I cannot fathom the reasoning that goes into ones thought process when they state they do not do healthy. I have heard this enough over the years I actually wrote an article about it which I titled,  I Don’t Do Healthy and Other Dumb Quotes.

Honestly, I have a difficult time getting past such an absurd mindset. Yet I know it is not uncommon. The mind set delves further into the absurd when it is coming from who is obese and suffering from many self inflicted ailments that require constant medical attention. Not that I have, or will ask this, but sometimes it makes me wonder if they are really this dumb, or just want me to believe they are. After all,  who are they hurting with their obstinence?

Who they are hurting might just be you if you are the one who will be picking up all the shattered and broken pieces of their lives one day.

 Is it really too much effort to take care of yourself before your body decides to fight back with ailments and or disease?

It does not take rocket science to know and fully understand that exercise is good for our bodies. Even if you suffer from DOM’s (delayed onset muscle soreness) for your first few days of an exercise regimen, your body is liking that it is being worked as it was meant to be. Too many lay about licking their wounds, wanting a doctor to just prescribe them something to stop the sickness, the aches and pains, and the early aging. Yet, you have the power within yourself to put a stop to most of this without ever stepping foot in a doctors office.

It is proven science that as we age, exercise will help mitigate the frailty and diseases that come from a sedentary lifestyle. The more fit your body, the longer you will live a quality life. If you want to live a life of laying about the house eating cookies and cakes while binge watching your favorite program on the television, then you will likely die younger than you need to, while being a miserable individual in your final years on earth. It really is as simple a concept as this, and no one can scientifically argue against the benefits of physical exercise.

Invest in yourself!

Make an inexpensive investment into your future that will pay big dividends for quality of life as you age. Begin investing when you are young, and before you get too far out of shape. Even if you are obese and out of shape, get your butt up off the couch and move it with a purpose. Once you begin getting into better shape, you will live a more active life that will make you feel and look younger. Exercise is going to make daily life functions much easier and simpler. There will not have to be any thinking about how hard it will be to climb the steps in your home. You will have an easier time carrying in your groceries. Best of all, you will be able to live a fuller life where you can actually enjoy doing outside activities with your grandchildren. And you will be able to do these things without gasping for air every few minutes or having to constantly sit down to rest.  By exercising at enough aerobic intensity to get your heart rate elevated, by strength training and stretching, you are going to improve your functional fitness, which is going to improve your life for you and your loved ones. You will no longer rain on your kids, or grandchildren’s parades anymore by sitting out every activity they might want you to be involved with them in.

Immediate payoff

Good exercise can and will give you a boost in energy. If you are lethargic in the afternoons, you can easily turn this around with a brisk walk and simple stretching. This will aid in getting your more blood pumping to your brain. At night, you will find that sleep will improve and come easier than it did when you were fat and out of shape. Your body will have true fatigue and your stress levels will have fallen as a result of a good bout of vigorous exercise. This is good since as we age, our periods of deep sleep will often shorten, which translates into less restful sleep.

Being as physical exercise essentially resets the brain, you will find that you have become a calmer individual than you might have been before. Exercise reduces our stress levels immensely. It helps to keep our blood pressure lower during stressful situations. If you are a couch potato, your blood pressure will rise quicker and higher than a normal weight, fit individual. This benefit is one of great quality as it allows you to remain better focused on the difficult tasks life often hands to us.

Exercise helps with chronic pain and helps relieve menopausal hot flashes. After a few short weeks with an exercise regimen you notice that your self esteem has improved as you achieve your new fitness goals, and of course, as you begin to feel healthier. you will find that an active life style will work wonders with your mood as it is known to release endorphins, or the feel good brain chemicals in your brain. Have you ever heard of runners high? I can tell you it is absolutely real, and it damn sure feels good.

Getting your heart healthy.

Any type of exercise is going to be better for your heart health than sitting on your couch all day doing nothing of substance. By getting your body moving with some intensity, you will strengthen your heart, which is absolutely going to make you feel better. Your heart will beat with less effort and your arterial walls will be more supple, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Moderate exercise that burns 1200 to 1600 calories per week will improve your cholesterol profile by raising your HDL (good cholesterol) and preventing the oxidation of your LDL (bad cholesterol) which if left unchecked, will cause your LDL to stick to the walls of your arteries.

This is a topic I love! The American Heart Association has come to the conclusion that lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Strength training lowers your cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and improves your overall cardiovascular fitness. Your glucose metabolism becomes more efficient, which lowers your risk of diabetes and your ratio of muscle to fat will be increased which means your metabolism will be more efficient at burning off body fat. The importance of having a low bod fat to lean muscle percentage is the fact lean muscle burns more calories than your body fat ever will, and it does this even when you are sitting down resting. When people ask me if I do much cardio, I always tell them that weight training done right, is cardio.

Greater lung capacity.

After the age of 25, there is a 1% decline in lung capacity that occurs every year unless you do something about it with aerobic activity. This lung capacity, known as your VO-2, will typically increase by 6 to 20% with aerobic conditioning, and can go as high as a 50% increase. When you can breath better, you live better. Only a fool would argue this. As your lung capacity improves, oxygen enters your lungs more efficiently and the carbon dioxide waste, leaves more rapidly. By increasing your lung volume, you are increasing the quality of your life. You will be able to function without getting winded so easily.

Benefits, head to toes.

You do not need any expensive gym memberships or high tech fitness gadgets to get yourself into good physical condition. All you need is your doctors clearance and a will to get yourself active. By simply walking 30 minutes per day, you will begin reaping many benefits to your body and soul.  From arthritis to weight gain, good vigorous exercise will help mitigate many medical issues in your life. The investment in a pair of sneakers and a comfortable outfit to exercise in is far cheaper than unnecessary medical bills brought about by an unhealthy diet and sedentary life. Strong muscles in your thighs will help reduce the risk of arthritis in your knees. Women can reduce their risk of diabetes by half.

It is a well established fact that exercise boosts your body’s immune system function. And you do not have to work out every day to enjoy the many health benefits. I have read of a study where it was found that people who exercised moderately for 30 minutes, only 6 times per month outlived those with a sedentary lifestyle by a 43% margin. When it comes to quality of life and longevity, staying physically fit is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Invest into your own future wisely. You will have no regrets.

Weight Matters

Common Fallacy

There is a school of thought nowadays that the amount of fat that we carry on our bodies should not or does not matter. Quite often I am asked “How can I lose weight?” When the first thing that I tell them is “Quit eating sugar.” almost without fail, the response that I hear is, “…but, that’s so hard! It’s so good!” Yes, it’s hard, for about ten days, but it’s not nearly as hard as the complications of carrying the excess weight. That will last much longer. That will last for the rest of your life.

The Risks
Adult Onset Diabetes is a direct result of what you eat. Many bone and joint problems are preventable simply by controlling your weight. Excessive tissue in the face and neck can cause sleep apnea and sleep apnea can cause atrial fibrillation and atrial fibrillation can cause a stroke. Extra fat cells can contribute to cancer. None of these options appeal to me, how about you? Self esteem plummets as the number on the scale rises and anxiety, depression and the complications of those are sometimes more than you expect. Anxiety raises your blood pressure which raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Difference
I never pretend that weight control is easy. I do, however adamantly promote the fact that to live well, it is absolutely necessary. I have weighed much more than I do now and worn a size 22. I am 5’6″ tall. Believe me, life is much better at 135 pounds and a size 8. I have energy to burn and normal blood pressure. I work hard, have no chronic pain, no blood sugar problems whatsoever and I am treated much better by almost everybody. As a “fat chick” I was treated like I was stupid by a lot of people and my low self esteem kept me from pursuing goals that I have now achieved.

Make a Decision

I had to make a commitment. I had to decide, once and for all that I would be healthy. In previous attempts at weight loss I went at it like maybe it would happen, maybe I would be successful. This time, I just decided to do it. I decided that I would do whatever necessary to have the life that I want, nothing, not even me, would get in my way. Commit.

Realistic Goals

I also set goals that were realistic. So often we want to lose a huge amount of weight in a short time. You may find a way to do that but you will never live with it. Creating a lifestyle of health and self care is the only thing that works in the long run. Here at David’s Way we help you live well. We encourage you to eat moderate amounts of good whole foods, keeping your carbohydrate intake low, but healthy, and getting lots of good protein. We advise setting a goal of one pound per week weight loss. That way your healthy changes become a healthy lifestyle, not a crazy fad diet. Leave off the simple carbs altogether and eat complex carbs for your carbohydrate intake. Do something that you can live with for the rest of your life. David’s Way is very user friendly. Set common sense goals and you will be encouraged when you reach them.

What’s Important to You?

Your motivation is critical. My motivation is a determination to be unusually strong and healthy, so strong that every muscle is defined. It’s fine to be motivated by wanting to look good in a bikini. I certainly want that, but your motivation needs to be very important and compelling. Dig down deeply and find something that burns in your soul that will make you accountable to yourself.

Work Out

While abs are made in the kitchen and you can never outrun a bad diet, you will benefit greatly from getting active, with your doctor’s permission. Find an activity that you enjoy and commit to doing it at least four times per week. Quite often we say we’re going to exercise and average about 1-2 times per week. That won’t do much for you. Get serious and see results.

Make It Forever

I also committed for a lifestyle, not a “diet”. Don’t think that you’re going to “do it and get it over with”. That won’t work. When David first began training me, I asked him, “How long will this take?” His answer was, “The rest of your life.” He was right.

Why Sit-ups Enlarge Your Gut

Do you ever wonder why you do hundreds of sit-ups every week and your gut gets bigger? Do you ever wonder why, despite all of this abdominal work that you’re doing that instead of a six-pack you have a dunlap? It’s your diet.

Everyone has heard that abs are made in the kitchen. No truer words have ever been spoken. If you have a layer of fat on your belly, regardless of how much ab work you do, you will not see your abdominal muscles. It’s mandatory to shed that fat pad if you want to look ripped.

I’ve often heard it said that someone wants to “get some abs”. Guess what, you have them. We all have abdominal muscles or we couldn’t stand upright. The trick is to uncover them. Good strength training will make them look better but you will never see the fruit of your labor unless you shed the fat.

When you do a high number of ab exercises you will get hypertrophic growth of those muscles. This occurs when inflammation from the exercises causes the body to retain sarcoplasmic fluid in response to the microtears to the muscle tissue caused by exercise. If you have a layer of fat on your abdomen, then the retained fluid, also known as “a pump” will just cause your gut to protrude all the more. If you lose the fat, then when you get that “pump” in your abs, you will have a visible six-pack.

At David’s Way we promote a high protein, low carb diet. We do not promote keto. For most people that is too restrictive and if they lose fat that way, they will usually rebound and overeat and gain the fat back rather quickly. We also advise to aim for about 1 pound per week loss. You can download the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information for a customized calorie count for your personal needs. This is private, only you can see this information. It is also a free service. Everything on this blog is free to you because we want to improve the health of humanity worldwide.

When you begin to lose that fat pad, you will see your hard earned abs emerge. They are waiting.