Tag: health

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.

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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 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.

10 Ways To Have A Good Day

1-As soon as negative thoughts enter your mind, replace them with something good.

If the thoughts are about your failure on your fitness journey or eating plan, immediately analyze why it happened and do it right this time. Don’t wallow in it. Fix it.

2-Be proactive, not reactive.

That’s really the key to everything, the aforementioned regimen debacle or going to a difficult job or dealing with unpleasant people. Whatever the difficulty, we can let it control us or we can study and decide how to remedy the situation. I was recently approached with a very unpleasant fellow. Instead of allowing him to pull me into his world, I simply answered that I don’t argue with people and ended the conversation. Take control. It’s less tiring and you win.

3-Stay hydrated.

We are mostly water. Hydration is so important that staying well hydrated is even considered to help stave off dementia because the brain suffers in a dehydrated state. Drink your water.

4-Eat real food.

When we eat processed food our stomach has nothing to work with. Our stomach is an amazing organ that contains hydrochloric acid that can melt metal. It’s designed to break down food. Your stomach will empty faster if you eat processed food. It’s already broken down. When your stomach gets empty, you just might get “hangry”. This makes for a miserable day and usually over-eating. Eat the good stuff.

5-Walk it off, outside.

If it’s at all possible, include outside walking in your day. “Walking is the best restorative exercise” (David Yochim) You stretch your muscles, burn a few calories and walking underneath trees gives you a dose of phytochemicals that are good for your mind.

6-Sit down sometimes.

When I was growing up, I was conditioned to stand all the time. While we don’t want to be sedentary, you do need to sit sometimes. If you have a job that requires a lot of standing, on your breaks elevate your feet. You will get an instant sense of relief that will decrease your stress.

7-Flex those calf muscles.

Whether you’re walking on the job, outside or even as you elevate your feet, work those calf muscles well. They are considered your second heart because they return blood to the heart. It will decrease fatigue throughout your body. When you are sitting without your feet elevated, do calf raises. Just raise your feet up on your toes and flex, repeatedly. Keeping the blood from pooling in your legs will also help avoid the possibility of blood clots in your legs when you travel.

8-Stick to your workout schedule.

Sometimes when life gets hectic, our workout is the first thing to suffer. Don’t let that happen. You are in control of your time. Do it.

9-Make sure to eat enough.

As ludicrous as this sounds, sometimes when we are highly regimented concerning what we eat and we stay well nutritioned, we may get busy and skip a meal, especially if we don’t eat added sugar, because we don’t have cravings and seldom experience intense hunger. Your state of mind will suffer. You will get anxious and less able to control your emotions. Get your calories.

10-Keep moving.

When life throws us a curve ball and we don’t know how to cope, it’s easy to lose focus and drift. If we do that, we don’t eat right. We don’t work out right. We avoid confrontation and procrastinate. Keep going forward. Stay on your program. Your program will be your saving grace in difficult times. It will help you get through otherwise impossible situations. It will generate the neurotransmitters that stress depletes and you will emerge from the hard times a Victor, not a Victim.

At David’s Way we don’t do Victim. Play to win. Create your life.

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Beware The False Profits

As is often the case when one decides they want, or need, to change their body through weight loss or strength training, they have an idea of what they would like to look like yet have no idea what it is going to take to get there. Of course, the intelligent move is to find a supportive group of like minded people to help you along your journey of weight loss or sculpting. Being as it can be difficult to find actual people who are of the same mind, a logical place to go fr support is any of the many social media support forums. Strength training and body building web sights have excellent forums where you can interact with other meat heads whose eyes do not glaze over when discussing the finer points of a deadlift or bench press. There are good forums on weight loss web sites too where you can interact with others who are also trying to achieve a healthy body weight. Many times our close family and friends do not really understand, nor do they care about how many reps and sets you do on a given lift under the barbell, nor do they have any interest in counting calories every day in order to maintain a healthy level of body fat. Face it, with all the obese and sedentary people among us today, you will find that a lot of them actually may despise your attempts to be a better and healthier you. Don’t believe this, try talking about exercise and good nutritional habits with one who obviously cares nothing at all about living healthy Refusing a piece of birthday cake, can sometimes bring scorn from those you are close to. This being the case for many, the obvious choice for support is often online forums where hopefully you can share your struggles and triumphs without being judged in a negative manner.

Don’t believe your lying eyes.

When it comes to body building or sculpting through strength training, following Instagram seems a good place to find inspiration of what you can do with your body. Instagram is full of pictures of people in phenomenal shape. You will find pictures of men and women whose body’s are muscular and very well defined. You will find a plethora of people who have single digit body fat percentages as if these body types are the norm. If you want to sculpt your body, there is no shortage of body’s you might want to emulate on Instagram.

However, what you do not see is the work and total dedication it takes for these people to achieve their physiques. You do not see the extreme dieting some of these folks go through to look so ripped for a picture shoot. You do not see the lens filters nor body make up that create the images you want to copy for yourself. You do not see the hours on set where countless pictures are taken for only a few select to make it out for public consumption. There is always much more than meets the eye with many of these Instagram models. That being said…

For those who are legitimately healthy through all natural means, you do not see the many hours dedicated towards healthy nutrition or exercise. You have no concept of how many months, or more likely years, these people have spent towards looking a certain way. For most if not all people, it is naive to believe you can take your unfit body and recreate it into one fitting for a Instagram model pictorial in only a few short months.

It is perfectly alright to look towards people on Instagram for inspiration to create a better and healthier body for yourself. But if you do this, please ensure that you temper your expectations with reality and common sense. Understand that not all of these people actually look like the images you see portrayed in their professional photo shoots. Do not sell yourself short by attempting to become what is a manufactured image.

Use caution when dealing with the celebrities on popular weight loss forums.

When it comes to losing weight, many people are not surrounded by others who are supportive of their journey. A good many might find themselves actually being sabotaged by loved ones. If you have experienced this, you can attest to how you might have just celebrated a loss on the scale, only for your significant other or someone else bringing cake and ice cream into your home and consuming it in your presence. This is aggravating as all hell when you have a weakness for these sweet treats that you are attempting to defeat. If you find yourself not being supported, it is a positive move to use a forum on your weight loss web sight or app. Weight Watchers has their Connect social media forum where you can potentially interact with over one hundred thousand other individuals on journeys very similar to your own.

On Connect, you will find others who are just beginning the program as you might be, as well as many who have made their goal weight and maintained it for many years. It can be a wonderful place for support when you are trying to get your weight down to a healthy BMI level. On this particular weight loss social media, you will find many people who are extremely helpful and can help you navigate your way through the Weight Watchers program, and then, there are those who have become popular celebrities of Connect where you have to take them with a grain of salt, or totally reject them.

The smart money is to reject those who appear to be building a cult of personality. You want to reject those who get angry when you question their methods or advice. You want to reject those who have stories that do not align with reality. You might want to watch how these cult builders interact with others who have asked them questions only to get vague or rude answers in return. When this happens, it is because they are frauds who care nothing about helping anyone but themselves, even if they portray themselves as everyones cheerleader.

As on Instagram, you might find a few individuals whose images appear to be entirely manufactured for who knows what purpose. You might find an individual who has all sorts of advice yet you can only find a before picture of them and others that are fairly current, with zero to be found from the middle of their journey of weight loss. This should be a red flag to you.

Be leary of the individual on a weight loss forum who is well over 50 years old, claims to have lost 100 pounds in a short time, who is also very lean and cut, and has no visible sagging, excess, leftover skin. While it may be possible, it is not likely that one this age can get down to a single digit body fat percentage with a one hundred pound loss, and not have signs of loose skin unless they have had a procedure to get rid of it. A surgical procedure is fine, if needed and you can afford it. What I am getting at is one who claims to be all natural with no procedures. This kind of individual you should not attempt to emulate, exactly because they are not truthful in how they met their goal.

Be mindful of the fool who only appears to know his business about physical fitness simply because he can afford a lot of equipment, yet has little understanding of physiology, as evident from their self inflicted injuries that have occurred simply as a result of their physical fitness routines. When you see one hopping around while doing push ups and/or doing clapping push ups, know that they have no concept their shoulders are not meant for this kind of stress.

If you see one who does any type of resistance exercise in a manner totally different than anything you have ever seen or heard of, you might not want to emulate them as there may just be a very legitimate reason you have never seen their movements before. Be leary of taking advice from one who appears like they should be interacting on a body building forum rather than collecting followers on a social media designed for those who are not in shape and attempting to get there. There is likely an explainable lame ass reason why they are establishing themselves as King of the Hill where no real competition exists to them.

The bottom line.

If you have made the descision to lose weight in order to improve your health, good on you. Congrats on making a life changing choice for your betterment. When you begin this journey, you want to proceed in a healthy manner where you learn to eat nutritiously and ease your way into physical fitness if your doctor has cleared you to do so.

It is really imperative that you find a support network where you can be lifted up when your plan falters, and a place where you can celebrate your achievments with others who truly appreciate your efforts. But, along the way, be extra mindful of those who sit atop pedestals of their own creation, who appear to be the picture of perfect health and fitness. Sometimes, what you see is deceptive marketing by professionals or those with an agenda of some sort. While you should aim your sights high, be leary of trying to hit an unrealistic target unless you are prepared to expend the time and efforts to get there with the knowledge that some of these superstars are actually damaging their very own health in order to look like a million bucks.

If you are female, be extra leary of the guy’s who are building a cult of personality on social media, and who also seem to only attract female followers. There are predators out there who seem nice online that might actually be setting you up for a personal encounter with ill intent in their hearts.

If you follow social media as a means of support, ensure you procede with caution, knowledge and common sense. If you get a bad vibe about ones sincerity, trust your instinct and avoid them. Go forth on your betterment journey with the sole intent on being the best you that you can be, and do not worry yourself with attempting to look like a social media celebity. Many of them are false profits, even when they give themselves cute little names and do cute little things in order to get you to follow them.

Be your own person, be the best you can be and have no regrets.

Fine Tune Your Life

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I spent this day dealing with some important issues that were causing anxiety in my life. If I believe in living life to the fullest and teach that, I must conform to my teachings. I initiated vocational rehabilitation for a family member that was not thriving, investigated the job market and addressed another family member’s diet. Tonight I am blogging and lifting the Iron. Life is good.

Avoidance

The biggest mistake that we make when we are faced with anxiety producing situations in our lives is to avoid the problem and live in misery. I’ve got to tell you, I lived most of my life that way, never again. Because we dread dealing with difficult tasks, we tend to back away from situations that create stress. Instead, we choose to live with perpetual stress which takes all of the color and joy out of our lives. Quite often well-meaning friends and family will support avoidance because they believe that change is just too hard on everyone concerned. For a moment, they are right, but only for a moment. While there are some things that can be easily avoided such as air travel or swimming, there are other things that cannot be easily avoided and can turn into chronic stress. Those are the things that we have to fix.

A Taste of Poison

When we are terrified of change, we can go slowly. Make small changes over time and eventually make the leap to a complete metamorphosis. If changing jobs is too stressful yet you are miserable in your current job, slowly research the market. Don’t plunge. Research, study, think about what you want to live with. Research until you are actually wanting to make the change. If there is a family issue that needs work, again, do your research. That way you will be prepared to initiate and culminate the difficult task. After much research you will have confidence that you know what you are doing and the transition will be much smoother. There are times when these types of changes occur abruptly and in those times, stay ahead of the curve with ongoing study. Never be caught without an answer. You know what is causing you anxiety. Get prepared now to deal with that and when the time comes, you will be confident.

Role Models

My secret weapon for dealing with these types of changes is to have great role models. Sometimes we want to be like people that are not handling their lives well. Now, I ask you, does that make sense? If they are not happy or successfully navigating their lives why on Earth would you want to emulate them? It makes no sense. Fine tune your life by choosing someone who is good at handling stress and manages their health well and ask questions and listen to what they tell you. It won’t do you any good to ask questions unless you do what they say. If you choose your role model(s) well, you will be able to trust them. If you don’t trust them, you have chosen poorly. Choose again. Emulating others who have handled your type of stress well will reduce your anxiety when you have to face the feared situation. When I jumped off of that 250 foot tower ziplining, I just did what the ones in front of me did. I didn’t even have to think about it. I put my brain on hold, listened to my guide and imitated what I had seen. It was amazing!

Don’t Play Ignorant

So much of what we perceive as depression is the refusal to deal with issues that make us miserable. Whether the refusal is because of fear or laziness, the result is the same. We wallow in the misery of a life that we are not suited to or rather a life that is not suited to us. We fear the hard work that it will take to rectify the miserable situation. This even applies to our body image. We can hate the level of fitness that we live with but unless we dig in and do the hard work to change that body, we will live, and die in it. Sometimes much sooner than necessary. Ignorance is not bliss. Sometimes ignorance is death, sometimes just misery. Either way, it’s our decision.

Emerging Color

For so many years, I felt like the Earth right after it’s initial creation, void and without form. The color was gone from my life because I lived with a situation that sucked all life and energy right out of me. Change seemed like the wrong thing to do. I should have known better by my level of misery. I deceived myself into thinking that my actions were noble, a sacrifice for someone else, when I was dead wrong. The truth is, we would both have been so much better off if I had just followed my heart and ended my suffering by changing my life. When I finally did that, I also eased the suffering of the one person for whom I was sacrificing. Misery is a good indication that something needs to be fixed. Analyze the situation and move forward. Since I have begun to fine tune my life, color has returned and life once again has meaning. Sometimes the problem is someone else but if that’s true then remove them from your life. If the problem is you, discipline yourself in the area that needs work and create the life that you want and need.

Health Implications

Unresolved conflict and dysfunction are known causes of depression and anxiety which are known to take years off of your life. So, do you want a short miserable life or a longer more relaxed and contented one? Is it more difficult to change or to live in an emotional Hell? While some changes are extremely stressful nothing is as stressful as hopelessness. Hopelessness is believed to play a role in ischemic heart , or the heart not getting adequate blood and oxygen supply. (1) Don’t starve your heart. Fine tune your life today.

 

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8347738

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Are We There Yet?

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Every time that most adults begin a weight management program, the first question in our minds and quite often out of our mouths, is “How long will it take?” I was naive enough to ask David this question when I first began lifting heavy. Not wanting to discourage me, he didn’t give me a direct answer immediately. As time unfolded I began to understand the answer that he finally gave, “The rest of your life.”

Moving Goals

In programs where I just wanted to lose X number of pounds, I could safely estimate how long it would take. When I began David’s Way however, everything changed. I was losing pounds but I was also gaining lean muscle. When I achieved a specific number of pounds lost, my goals changed. Now I wanted to add shapely muscle. I wanted to be strong and look like it. That first goal of “Lose 20 pounds.” (David), was met quickly with Intermittent Fasting but that was only the beginning. I had achieved a quick loss of pounds but was nowhere near the type of body that I wanted or the strength. It was necessary to press on. I wasn’t there yet.

Digging In

There are sessions of weight training that are long and arduous. There may be moments that surprise you with a gain in strength that you didn’t expect at that moment in time, but for the most part, hours, days, weeks and months will pass in blood, sweat and tears or what seems like it anyway. It will be hard. You will want to quit. You will feel inept. You will also feel like the King/Queen of the World. You become formidable. It is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Your confidence will soar as you realize that the same will that raises you from a heavy squat will get you through anything that life throws at you because nothing is any harder than that squat. You will refuse to let go. You can’t go back. You are a Winner.

Metamorphosis

As the Iron begins to change your outside, it is changing your inside to. The deltoids in your shoulders/upper arms that were not there before exemplify the confidence and determination that is building inside your mind and heart. The power that you thrust into getting that deadlift to move will move you to conquer the “little foxes that spoil the vine” on your job. “There’s always something.” (Gilda Radner) that has the potential to ruin your day or your entire life if you allow it. When you realize that you are in control of that barbell that is a true beast, you will realize that you are in control of almost everything in your life by controlling your reaction to those things. We call that being proactive instead of reactive. Take control of things in your life just like you take control of that bar and you will increase your strength in all areas.

Go Deeper

As I move along in my program, I constantly look for flaws in my form because I have high goals for myself and form is everything. With good form I will be able to lift more, longer, stronger and hopefully injury free. I do everything in my power to avoid injury. When I see evidence that a specific program or lift is known to cause injury, I know that is what I don’t want to do. I question the intellect of someone who readily accepts injury as a normal part of their fitness regimen. Healthy living should avoid injury, never running towards it. As I continually work on my form, I gradually buy equipment and accessories along the way to help me with that. My best idea as of today was my power rack that gives me a place to dump the weights safely if they get too heavy or if something goes wrong. So far the only injury has been to a cell phone, may it rest in peace. Word to the wise, if you are using a standard bar with locks, use them…every time. One of the greatest things about my Olympic bar is that I don’t have to use locks. These are things that you learn as you go deeper. I never thought that I would use “one of those big ole’ bars”, (an Olympic bar that weighs 45 pounds and is 7.2 feet long) but now I can’t imagine lifting any other way. Occasionally for a light lift, I’ll use my standard bar. I can’t wait to get back to the big ole’ bar. I love my Olympic bar. It means that I’m a badass who has worked hard to get to where I am and that bar can take me anywhere that I want to go.

Do It Again

As I struggle to perfect my deadlift, David has realized that my valsalva, a breathing maneuver used to increase power during lifting, may not be right. He was right. Although I knew what to do, I was losing focus and losing tightness throughout my body during my deadlift which was allowing a bit of a curve in my spine. This can’t be. It has to be corrected. I have been using a velcro closure lifting belt that will stretch a little. That can contribute to lost tightness so David advised me to get a latch belt, which I have ordered. I have also ordered a hex bar, which allows you to stand straighter during your lift. I have been lifting for about a year and a half and have just done these things. In lifting as in other areas of life, we are ever learning and ever correcting.

No, We Are Not There Yet.

We will have many twists and turns and detours and as long as we keep giving it our best effort our lives, and our lifts, will improve. We will not just magically “arrive” one day and be at the end of our destination. David says that “We don’t own our present level of fitness. We are only paying rent.” This means that we must continually search for better ways to do and be better at what we do. If we quit working at it, we will lose our fitness. When I finally got that answer, “The rest of your life.” in answer to “How long will it take?” I was already beginning to understand. The more you fix in your body and in your life, the more you find to fix. In order to be our best selves, we must continue down this path indefinitely. Anything else is falling short of our full potential. Come on. Stretch yourself. Get accustomed to doing and being your best. Work at it. Strive for it. Never quit. Always endure. You are all you’ve got so make yourself excellent in all ways. It will not be easy but it will be worth it. Just get up and go again.

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