Emotions

                                                              Photo by Lombe K Photography from Pexels

In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

—Colossians 2:3 NLT

We all have emotions, but we must learn to manage them. Emotions can be positive or negative. They can make us feel wonderful or awful. They are a central part of being human, and that is fine. Unfortunately, most people do what they feel like doing, say what they feel like saying, buy what they feel like buying, and eat what they feel like eating. And that is not fine, because feelings are not wisdom.

Feelings are fickle; they change frequently and without notification. Since feelings are unreliable, we must not direct our lives according to how we feel. You can be aware of your feelings and acknowledge their legitimacy without necessarily acting on them. God has given us wisdom, and we should walk in it, not our emotions.

Healthy emotions are very important. They help us recognize how we truly feel and what we value. Good emotional health is vital for a good life. But a good life also means being able to manage our emotions and not be managed by them.

Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

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One of the things we see as a huge problem in the weight loss industry is the focus is almost always placed exclusively  on weight loss alone. You can join one of the largest weight loss groups in the country, pay your monthly fees and still not find true success in achieving a healthy body, specifically because they only concentrate on helping you in getting to a goal weight instead of a goal body fat percentage. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we want you to concentrate on achieving a healthy body fat level over reaching a random weight. You might reach your goal weight when following any of the popular programs, yet still have an entirely too high percentage of body fat. What you weigh is meaningless when you are what we refer to as being “skinny fat”. Being skinny fat is when by outward appearances you are at an ideal body weight, yet you are still soft and pudgy from still carrying too much fat. In fact, being skinny fat is worse than just being obese simply because most skinny fat people do not recognize they have a problem.  After all, if you are over the age of thirty and weigh what you did as a senior in high school, all is well, right?

Not necessarily!

Here in lies a humongous problem, nutrition is similar to religion in that it is visceral. People can get too caught up in what feels good over using intelligence and common sense. It feels good to lose weight, and many take it as a matter of faith that a pound lost is a pound lost, while not caring where the pound lost came from. They do not care, or do not understand, there is a huge difference in a pound of water being lost over a pound of actual fat being lost. All they want to see is the number on their scale dropping which makes them feel good. These people will always find themselves let down when that pound of water weight is replaced as soon as they begin consuming and retaining fluids. Water weight loss is meaningless when it comes to what is important. What is important is losing your body fat to a healthy level for your body.

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To get at a healthy level of body fat and remain there, we need to first understand something. Obesity is not just a matter of simple weight gain.

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!

If you want your weight loss to mean anything, then you must understand that your priority must be focused on achieving a healthy level of body fat over a random weight number that just “seems” to be right. Some of the major weight loss groups will help you to get to a weight that places you in a healthy range within the Body Mass Index scale, yet you might still be “skinny fat” and unhealthy. To be healthy, you have to concentrate on losing body fat, not just weight.

Through interactions with our own followers at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and through the study of several weight loss programs, it is astounding that there are so many people who have little grasp of what makes up their weight and what to do about it. Your body weight is comprised of more than one factor; water content, fat content, muscle content and your structural components  such as bones, tendons and ligaments. If you want to simplify this, look at your body as two parts, pure body fat and lean body mass for the rest.

If you are trying to figure out your ideal weight, quit looking for a mystical number you believe is going to make you look and feel good about yourself. Concentrate on getting to and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. You can refer to our Pictorial Body Fat Estimator  here to see where you need to be. Fifteen percent is a good goal for men, while twenty two percent is a good percentage for women.

In today’s America, the average man has 23% or higher levels of body fat, while the average woman’s body fat is 32% or higher. This means the average male is 53% fatter than he should be while the average woman is 50% fatter than what is healthy. Somewhere along the way, we Americans have become some of the fattest people on the face of the earth.  And why would this be?

This is simply because too many people, including so-called experts, have no true understanding of the relationship between diet and fat loss!

 

Be sure to check out and join our new Facebook Support Group, David’s Way to Health and Fitness, Sugar Free Living

Hit Goal Weight, Now What?

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I hit my gym tonight and during the course of getting in a kick ass workout, I engaged in conversation with a friend who is fairly new to weight training. We discussed how strength training becomes a part of a healthy lifestyle and how despite the fact she is becoming strong and knows most all the mechanics behind her lifting, she has not yet reached that point where the lifestyle of lifting has fully enveloped her, how she is almost there, but not quite fully in the groove of the routine being a part of her being. There comes a point where all that comes with being a serious strength trainer just falls into place. Obviously, the newbie questions will all but disappear, but it is more than that. It is where the mechanics of lifting, nutrition and rest all fall into thier respective places with no wrenches getting jammed into the cogs. The gears rotate smoothly with perfect timing in order for the lifting lifestyle to all fall into place naturally.

How’s this relate to weight maintenance?

In the world of weight loss, the issue of losing weight and then maintaining after you have reached goal is similar to getting in the groove of weight training in that weight management has to become an integral part of a well oiled lifestyle. You have to understand the mechanics of weight management by learning not to just control your appetite and recognizing your trigger foods, but also you owe it yourself and the efforts you expended in reaching your goal weight to have a better understanding of the human body and nutrition. If you are an emotional or stress eater, you owe it to yourself to learn to control those emotions and stress, otherwise you will regain your weight. You have to get your mind wrapped around a lifetime commitment to maintenance and be prepared to leave the struggle of losing behind.

I know there are many who do great work at losing their body fat, their motivation flies high, and then they hit goal and fall on their face, lost, not knowing what their next step is supposed to be. Next thing you know, they have gained back that 10, 20, 30 or 60 pounds they lost. The world is full of yo- yo dieters, and I have read over the years that an individual may actually be healthier to remain obese over losing weight and then regaining that weight over and over. According to Health News NPR those who yo-yo diet double their chance of heart attack, stroke or death when there are already issues with the heart. As in strength training where an intelligent new lifter learns all they can about techniques, nutrition, rest and routines, a person who sets out on a weight loss regimen needs to learn all the ins and outs of the what’s and whys behind their actions. This is critical in being able to maintain your weight after reaching goal and in not compromising your health. When you begin a journey to lose weight, you need to be intelligent and set forth a long term goal with many short term goals in how to get there. Those long term goals need to be solid and with sound reasoning. As in serious strength training, you owe it to yourself to ensure your plan is well thought out and makes perfect sense to carry you for the rest of your life. You want to avoid a strength training plan where you are going to do a dozen variations of curls in order to one day be able to stand on a Bosu ball with barbell on your back and then squatting. Yeah, there are uninformed people blindly doing this in gyms across the country under instruction from their trainers, don’t be that individual. Not with weights, not with your weight loss.

Be Realistic!

Yes, be realistic on creating a lifestyle of healthy eating which begins before you ever get to goal. Be sure to consume a well rounded diet where you receive all the nutrients required for a healthy body. Do not fall for the fad diets and think for a second that you can use a fad in order to lose weight and then be able to keep it off. Avoid the prepackaged meals they sell on television such as NutriSystem, Slim4Less etc… Learn to cook wholesome and nutritious meals where you get a sufficient variety of all your macronutrients. Educate yourself in how to ensure that you consume all the proper proteins in order to supply your body with all the amino acids required for your body to build it’s own proteins. With a decent amount of understanding your bodies nutritional needs you can avoid loss of lean muscle and physical problems which come from malnutrition. Yes my friends, even with the abundance of food we enjoy in western nations, we still have a lot of folks suffering malnutrition. You bet, you can be obese and suffering malnutrition as a result of not eating a well balanced diet. You can bet, that if you eat more sugary high fat foods than healthy, you are likely suffering from some degree of malnutrition.

Enjoy Your Exercise!

                                                                                            Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

If you are healthy enough to have a consistent exercise regimen, then by all means, make you sure you pick an exercise that you will enjoy and can be done year round. It will serve you no purpose to begin a routine that can not be a healthy part of your lifestyle. For instance, Mixed Martial Arts might be fun in the early stages where you might begin learning basic grappling skills, and then you find that all the fun disappeared the first time you got punched in the nose or slammed to the mat by your sparring partner. This may be at the extreme in making a point, but I hope you get the point in picking a routine where you can do it about anytime consistently and will always enjoy it and the health benefits going forward.

Take It Slow!

If you are obese, the odds are that you did not get that way over night. Therefore do not place an unneeded stress on yourself in trying to lose the body fat in a matter of a couple of weeks or months. A rapid weight loss is not reasonable or healthy and will only cause you possible health issues, lots of loose skin and a lack of adaption to the new you before reaching goal weight. Make your weight loss journey and maintenance a lifestyle over something you just do in order to look better. Make this about being healthy over being skinny.

Your body will want to go back to being heavy even if you take your weight loss slow and easy, but the longer you take to lose your weight, the less will impact you. Once you achieve your goal weight, do not think you are done, At this time, reevaluate where you are and decide if you are at a healthy weight and body fat percentage. Body fat being the larger issue as you can actually be light in weight, yet be skinny fat. Skinny fat is where your body is slender and does not weigh a lot, but it is also very soft from an abundance of body fat and too little lean muscle mass.

In summary, educate yourself in nutrition and in the most efficient way to meet your body fat/weight goals. Have a realistic plan going forward after reaching goal. Make your weight loss journey and then maintenance a lifestyle of healthy living instead of a temporary state of just trying to make a goal. Believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and do right for yourself. With planning and forethought, your stressing will not be as intense and your chances of permanent success will only be greater.

God bless, and thank you for reading. From the bottom of my heart, we truly appreciate each and everyone who takes the time to follow my blog. Brenda and I are both honored and humbled by the tremendous support we receive at David’s Way. We promise to continue to bring you quality content as quality will always be of more import than quantity.

We have created a weight loss/fitness support group on Face Book. Join and engage with supportive people who have the same or similar goals as yourself. We are a safe group where there are no judgments. We a place where you can share your victories and your set backs, either way, we can all learn from each other through shared experiences.

How to Be Thankful


Sometimes we can wonder what we have to be thankful for when hardship has come our way. If you consider the glass half full or half empty question, David’s teaching on that is the answer. “It doesn’t matter whether the glass is half full or half empty, refill the glass.”

Today take small steps to refill your glass. Eat well, get in some exercise, walk away from people and situations that increase your stress, avoid alcohol and get to bed a little earlier tonight.

When we practice good health habits our cortisol levels are more stable and we are happier, have fewer cravings and see improvements in all aspects of our lives, including our weight.

Have a wonderful day and remember to take care of YOU. It’s a choice. Thank you for following us. May God bless you today and always. 

Living a Grateful Life

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What does it mean to live a grateful life, and how does it apply to health and wellness? A grateful life is quite simple yet takes a bit of effort on some days. Hell, maybe even most days. I make it a point, every day of my life, to find something beautiful to enjoy. Even on days when I might feel as if life has kicked me in the nuts, I still try to find something positive to enjoy. Yeah, I’m that guy who is happy in the mornings even before having that first sip from a hot cup of joe. By God, I am not going to let any fool rain on my parade without consequences to them. Every day, I am grateful for everything good in my life as I know from life experience it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye. Life is short, and there are no guarantees that you will make it to the end of the day without meeting your maker, or having your life drastically altered as a result of an accident or unexpected diagnosis of a terminal illness. I live my life every day with chronic sciatic pain from a bad spinal injury. The pain is now just a part of my life which I have learned to live with. I take no pain medications for it. As much as it sucks to live with chronic pain, it keeps me reminded of what happened to my spine, and the impact that horrible injury had on my life. So, as sick as it sounds, I am even grateful for this pain. It keeps me humble. Even while having a great deal of pride, I also maintain a degree of humility in order to never forget my blessings in life can be taken away.

Living a life of gratefulness requires more effort than living a life of gloom and doom. Hell, gloom and doom requires no effort at all. And as in all of life’s endeavors that require little to no effort, the reward is minuscule to non-existent. Much like being a low skilled worker where any monkey can do the job, the pay is never going to be sufficient. If you want more pay, you have to work for it.

Too many folks seem to not understand that by making it point to live a positive life, your well being is going to be improved. Living a grateful life with a positive mental outlook will bring rewards in small and large ways. It will help you to be the best you can be and therefore your health and wellness is going to be greater than the poor bastard who seems to have black clouds and gargoyles over his presence. A positive mental outlook will heal your soul even when the chips may be down. Who in life is happier? The glass half empty individual or the glass half full individual? The contents of the glass may be equal, but one person is grateful for what they have instead of pissed about what they do not have. Who has the better quality of life? The pissed off guy, or the happy guy? Who also enjoys a better quality of life? The person addicted to sugar who is always stressing about their weight? Or the person who has totally kicked sugar who lives a full life and is physically fit and able to do anything they want? Here is a bit of reality, by living life with a positive purpose, you can avoid a lot of health impairing stress. Living with the doldrums and eating your stress will only add more stress to your life. Feeding that body fat which is hollering for you to shovel shit down your gullet in order to calm the way you feel is counterproductive. Your body fat does not give a care in the world about your feelings. If you feed that monster, you will never be the best you that you can be. It takes personal discipline and will power to do what is right for your health and well being. It takes a positive mental outlook to beat the craving monster down. Working on that personal discipline makes it stronger in time just as working a muscle with a barbell. Living that grateful life helps immensely in developing that personal discipline.

Today, I was quite grateful to get out and enjoy the great outdoors on my Harley Davidson. A day on the scoot lifted my spirits and this will carry me through until I meet my wife at the gym later this evening to knock out some cardio training with her.

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie

 

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1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 can solid pack pumpkin 15 oz.

3/4 cup Original Granulated Splenda

1/2 cup low fat Bisquick

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring/extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (12 oz.) can fat free evaporated milk

1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping

1. In a large bowl mix everything until smooth, except evaporated milk and whipped topping. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

2. Pour into 9 inch pie plate which is coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dollop with whipped cream before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutritional Info

Cut into 6 pieces.

Calories 124, 2 grams fat, (1 saturated), 28 mg. Cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 19 grams carbohydrates (0 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber), 6 grams protein and 1 1/2 diabetic starch exchange

Enjoy! 🍁🍃🍂🍃🎃🍃

Sugar Free Apple Sauce Pumpkin Muffins

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Apple sauce and pumpkin add incomparable flavor and plenty of moisture to these muffins. Wrap them individually in waxed paper and freeze to maintain freshness Be sure to actually use pumpkin puree as pumpkin pie fillings are usually loaded with sugar.

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cup Carbquick Baking Mix
  • 1 1/4 cup Splenda (granulated)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh made or canned)
  • 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
  • 1/3 cup water

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners.

2. Combine bake mix, Splenda, walnuts, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Add eggs, butter, pumpkin puree, applesauce and water. Process until combined, scraping down sides as needed.

3. Scoop batter into muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean. About 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completly in pan and then enjoy

This recipe yields 12 muffins at 179 calories, 6.5 Net Carbs, 9.5g protein 12.5g fat

 

Cabbage Salad

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This kick ass recipe will feed 4 and is a great addition to any type of meat, poultry or fish. The calories and macros will be for 4 servings.

Nutritional Info

Calories 142

Net Carbs 3 grams

Fat 13.6

Protein 1.1 grams

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp beef broth
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1 tsp Tobasco pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp celery seed

In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, vinegar, broth, mustard, honey and Tobasco. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to blend. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to chow down on some grub!

Calories: 116  Fats: 9.4g  Carbs: 8.2g and Protein: 1.6g

 

Changing “The Change”

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As if going pretty much brain dead for a season, isn’t enough. As if waking up and not even recognizing the person in your head isn’t enough. As if experiencing an intensity of emotions, or complete lack thereof, that could land us in jail or the psyche ward isn’t enough… We tend to gain weight during and after menopause. Damn!

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On Being a Woman

There are a few factors that contribute to this travesty of justice. You’d think that we’d already suffered enough, right?!? However… the changing hormone levels in our bodies actually cause a decrease in muscle mass, (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058) which automatically decreases our caloric need and guess what? Eating LESS during the most miserable times of our lives is NOT what we want to do! We usually eat more and the pounds begin to pile on. As time passes, our bodies can change into something that we don’t even recognize.

According to the Mayo Clinic source cited above, to merely maintain our current weight we may need about 200 calories/day less during this time of our lives. Oh, great. “Comfort food” suddenly becomes our staunch enemy because there’s no comfort in watching that scale go up week after week.

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The Equation

The “formula” that worked/works for me is pretty simple. It’s a combination of eating less and moving more. Any activity will burn excess calories but weight training will aggressively rebuild some of that precious lost muscle so it has the advantage over all other forms of exercise for me. It burns approximately 90-266 calories/hour on average, depending on the individual’s weight and effort involved in the lifting, according to the Harvard Medical School (https://www.livestrong.com/article/256854-calories-burned-through-strength-training/). It has served me well. I eat 1600-1800 calories/day, non-lifting and lifting days respectively. Before this time of my life I daresay I ate 2,000-3,000 every single day. I could eat 2,000 easily without gaining weight. Reducing caloric intake after menopause is necessary to avoid weight gain but instead of drastically cutting calories, I found it much more pleasant to increase my activity and cut fewer calories. The added benefit of the endorphins and other neurotransmitters produced by strenuous exercise was a win-win when I realized that I could still eat enough to be satisfied. Since beginning David’s Way I find it difficult to eat all of the calories that I need because the foods that David encourages, whole food sources of protein and complex carbohydrates, are so filling. Sometimes I feel guilty because I didn’t eat all of my allotted calories!

You Are What You Eat

I also discovered plain, full-fat, Greek yogurt during this time. I read somewhere that it decreased belly fat better than other sources of calcium and I jumped on that bandwagon. It definitely made a difference for me.

Simple carbohydrates and sugar cause insulin spikes and and insulin spikes cause an increase in cortisol levels in the body. Over time, increased cortisol levels may cause excess belly fat. I avoid simple carbs and treat sugar like a poison. If I have sandwich bread in the house, I will see an increase in belly fat. I just don’t eat it except on rare occasions. My burger doesn’t have a bun. I keep my Net Carbs at 100 grams/day to control tummy pudge. I constantly pursue a lean body and I have discovered that David’s Way of high protein and low carb eating is exactly how I need to eat now. The truth is , I’m certain that I should have been eating this way all along.

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Considering the cortisol link, stress causes terrible cortisol spikes. David’s advice to “Keep your world small.” can help with that. If people or activities stress you out, avoid them. Keep your world full of positive people who encourage your efforts to be healthy and leave the negative ones behind. This time of your life that can be so frustrating will instantly get a little easier and your overall health and waistline will reflect that wise decision.

Knowledge is power. Don’t let this time of life catch you off guard. It’s a real thing, Girls. Be ready. If you’re in it, and you’re not eating this way and you’re not exercising, then decide if this sounds like something that would be good for you. I’ll never go back. I say that I’m middle-aged at 64 because I plan on living a very long life in good health, completely independent. It looks like I have a pretty good start on it.

Don’t be miserable another day. A quality diet and physical fitness are always beneficial. Use the energy that you have to make important changes in your life. The same methods work for both naturally occurring and surgically induced menopause. I have no intention of growing old gracefully. I haven’t even hit my peak. Your best years really are ahead of you. The choices are yours. ;-*