Saturday, December 31, 2016

To Lose Weight, Recognize That You Are Comfort Eating

Atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island.

Most of our overweight, whether it be 5 or 50 lbs., is due to comfort eating — soothing ourselves when we feel down or anxious, or to celebrate when we’re happy. Extreme out of control comfort eating is called binge eating.

It’s no accident that many of our comfort foods are grab’n’go instantly available, immediate gratification items.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is change. We must determine when and why we eat, and change those factors that lead to our anxious/mindless eating. The more positive changes (destructive habits, stressful schedule, toxic people) we make the farther away we’ll be to those triggers that cause us to grab snack food.

All diets basically work because they call for a change in what and how much we eat, but if the change is not for the better — who really wants to eat grapefruit and egg whites every day? — we will not continue with the diet. This is why diets “fail.” You should not “go on” a diet, but rather change your present diet, permanently. 

Branded diets are unnecessary once you admit a significant percentage of your weekly food intake consists of snack foods and fast food and mindless grazing. Not keeping grab’n’go foods in the house is the foundation required to begin ending comfort and anxiety eating.
 Old is absolutely the wrong time in life to get fat, stay fat, and ignore health problems.

Instead of telling yourself “I deserve this” next time you find yourself hungrily eyeing that piece of cake, realize what you really deserve is not to be sick, lethargic and overweight. You deserve mobility. You deserve a better body. Nobody feels good about people seeing themselves go downhill. Choose instead to turn around and start trudging uphill. The first two or three steps might be a pain, but upon seeing the intial changes for the better you’ll soon pick up speed.

And walking uphill is really good for your butt.

Monday, December 26, 2016

You Have To Start Someplace.

Losing weight is a real challenge for people who depend on food to comfort them. I went to a Holiday party where the discussion turned to food and weight. Misconceptions and untruths were sprinkled generously throughout the conversation, in my view as a way to justify their present state of big bellies, man boobs and muscle loss. Generally I don’t pipe up in such discussions because I understand that people making excuses are not ready, that they disseminate disinformation as a way to reinforce and bolster their decision not to have made necessary changes yet.

What was stated that was so revealing was people’s agreement that they still had time to make needed changes in health, weight and fitness despite their advanced years and underlying existing health problems. It’s great to have an optimistic attitude as long as it is not based on fantasy. People in their 60s who state they still have plenty of time to lose weight and begin a physique-changing fitness regimen sometime in the future are fooling themselves, which of course is their entire intent.

I did suggest one thing in general terms. I said, “If people who want to lose weight would just cut their carb intake and fast food intake in half — bread, pasta, potatoes, whatever — they would soon begin to see weight loss while still being able to eat favorite foods. If you have two slices of toast for breakfast, have just one. If you have two cups of rice or mashed potatoes with dinner, have just one. If you normally eat a McDonald's large fries order a small.”

This set off a debate among big-bellied people about why this cannot be true (“I read somewhere that your body will think it’s starving and go into survival mode and your metabolism will shut down!”.) Then the guy with the V-shaped torso got up and excused himself to go get a glass of wine and left while the pear-shaped guests remained to expound on their superior knowledge of things.

The moral was these people felt threatened by the suggestion to take even a first step — even one as relatively painless as their cutting carb intake in half. With every improvement we make in life, we have to start someplace, and it begins with that first step.

Had Enough Not Looking The Way You Always Wanted?

With New Year’s resolution-making in progress it’s apparent that people want to make changes because they’ve had enough. They’re unhappy with some aspect of their life they are freshly determined to change.

For dedicated gym-goers January is a time for disgruntlement as the gyms fill up with the newly-dedicated determined to get in shape, or get back into shape. By mid-February all is back to normal with the great majority of New Year’s newbies having lost interest in their most recent determined goal.

However there’s no rule that says you have to wait until January 1st to make a new resolution, nor a rule that if stuff gets in the way and you have to back off your resolution for the time being that you can’t just restart once the dark cloud blows over.

In fact, resolutions made at any time of year other than January 1st have a much higher rate of being fulfilled and being successful.

No matter what you resolution for change for the better is, start now, or start later. The important thing is that you do indeed start.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Quaker Oat Bran Now Comes With Bonus 100% Natural Protein Added At No Extra Cost!

Opening a box of Quaker Oat Bran I found the product crawling with bugs. I was surprised that there was no inner liner as is the case for virtually every other cereal on the planet. Granted, Quaker Oats also has no liner inside the signature round box, but the zip-seal at the top keeps bugs out. The Oat Bran has no such seal: the product is simply poured into a naked cardboard box and glued shut with gaps at the edges by which critters can easily invade.

Customer service person “Pilar” responded in the manner in which no customer service ever should, by claiming that an inner liner would not have helped. She stated authoritatively, an “inner liner would not have prevented insects from ‘boring through’ a cardboard box.” Whaaat?

I never said insects “bored though” the box. Clearly they just waltzed in through the gaps at the edges and sat down to a welcome meal, defecating with abandon as they went.

Here’s another example of customer service that not only does not rectify a problem, but creates an entirely new one by trying to justify their failings. When we have to actually explain to a giant corporation (Pepsico) that they need to protect the products’ contents integrity by packaging them properly, then its time to stop buying their product. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fitness As A Treatment For Depression

Battling the vicious cycle that is depression is a challenge for anyone at any age, but for older people it’s especially vexing.

Added to the everyday problems and disappointments that people of other ages also suffer, older people see and feel themselves diminishing — their bodies, their employment opportunities, their finances, their physical equilibrium and strength. The fact is, getting old is hard enough to deal with without adding newly-acquired bad habits into the mix.

Physical activity is the most powerful rejuvenator, both physical and emotional, an older person can find — and it’s free.

No matter how weak or fat or depressed you are, get down on the floor and try to do a push-up. If you can’t do one, try again in an hour. Then again until you can manage one. If you can do one, try for a second. Tomorrow do the same. When you can accomplish two, try for three. Next month is going to come regardless, unless we’re dead, and then we don’t have to worry about it. But you will find that a month of push-ups will make a world of difference in the way you feel 30 days from now, especially if your goal is to challenge yourself to continually increase the number of repetitions. The improving of ourselves and feeling and seeing the results of that improvement is the most powerful treatment for depression that there is.

One month from today, without cost, without a gym membership, in the privacy of your own home you can be stronger and fitter. Or you can be that much weaker than you are today.

It is within everyone’s power to turn hopeless into hopeful.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Am I Doing Wrong?

More valuable than most instructional workout videos are Mike Thurston’s “Common Gym Mistakes” series on the common, growth-killing mistakes people most often make in their workout style.

Even with all my decades of experience, Mike opened my eyes to a few less-than-productive habits I had fallen into. Working chest has always been more a challenge for me than other body parts, and after adjusting my form as per Mike’s recommendations, my chest was decimated, even while doing the same exercises I usually do. Mike’s adjustments made my chest workout more effective and rewarding, and his suggestions for other bodyparts have been gratifying as well. 

I’ve only been implementing them for a week and am stoked by the difference I feel. I will report back in a month or two to report on the actual improvements to my physique using Mike’s methods.

Check out Mike Thurston’s “Common Gym Mistakes” videos on YouTube:

Friday, December 9, 2016

GQ Editors All Look Like Crap.

Yet one more satisfying reward for getting into shape is how much better clothes from jeans to business suits look on a guy with a tight and fit body.

One of the more entertaining websites is men’s fashion GQ. While at the same time GQ writers outline all that is wrong in men’s fashion they celebrate people like David Beckham who breaks every one of their stupid rules every single day and does it with enviable style.

The latest example of GQ dweebs instructing the world’s men how to dress suitably (pun intended) is the magazine’s own Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson dressing like absolute crap, and breaking all his own rules for how others should outfit themselves, at GQ’s annual star-studded GQ Men of the Year party at LA’s Chateau Marmont on December 8, 2016. Nelson’s the one in the nifty camo jacket and I-don’t-give-a-shit half-assed tied tie.

GQ Editor Nelson somehow managed to not take his own advice at his own PR event.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Excess Skin Removal Surgery

I’ve got nothing against most self-improvement surgery (except lame and lamentable “muscle” implants), cosmetic or bariatric. But I think it is disingenuous when men like these pictured with gigantic waistlines lose enormous amounts of size yet appear to have tight skin in those areas where obviously there should hang dead-weight excess skin.

Surgery to remove excess skin is basically necessary for health reasons if nothing else, so why keep it a secret? Followers of these success stories want ALL the facts relating to the journey these people took to get from fat to fit, and the details about their skin-removal surgery are a necessary part of that story. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Only A Number

I saw another video on Youtube where some guy is totally focused on 17 inch arms, his dream goal.

Fixating on a number, any number as a goal, is pointless, whether it’s what you want to weigh or what you want your arms to measure.

My friend Alex who already was too puffy and smooth at 200 lbs. wanted to reach 225 lbs. as his goal weight. I pointed out that if he were in another part of the world that 225 lbs. would translate to 102.7 kilos. Who has ever said “I can’t wait for my goal weight to reach 102.7 kilos!”? Nobody.

The same with 17 inch arms guy. Everywhere else other than the US, that’s 43.18 cm. Nobody ever said “Someday I’m gonna have 43.18 centimeter arms!”

A number is just that: a number.

What 17 inch arms guy didn’t take into account was, would 17 inch arms look good on him? Would they be in proportion to the rest of his physique? Two guys can have 17 inch arms, with one guy looking chiseled and jacked while the other guy’s 17 inchers looking like shapeless blobs. The number is meaningless. 

Forget the measuring tape and the scale: look instead in the mirror. There’s your best measure of how you are progressing.