Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Your body is an amazing machine. How your brain works. How the various systems work: endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous, digestive. How your body replaces cells. How it repairs and maintains tissue. It really is amazing. At the same time, if your body had its way, it would love to do... nothing. Even though your body can do some incredible things, it would just as soon just sit like a bump on a log - "the path of least resistance." Here are the most common "paths." 1. Dieting
We all know that diets fail. Why is that? Well, first of all, diets are short term.
When you deprive your body of calories and nutrients, ANYBODY is going to
lose weight. Then your body gets used to the little calories you're feeding it,
and the weight loss stops. However, the body realizes that the little calories it
gets is not enough to sustain energy, so it must go to its second source of
energy - MUSCLE. So, your body gets used to 800 calories (or less!), you don't
lose weight, and you get flabbier.
Wait, it gets better. There's only so long anyone can keep their sanity with so
few calories a day. We all know the end result: overeating or bingeing, the lost
weight comes back (and invites, without your permission, even MORE pounds of
fatty friends), you're still bankrupt of energy, and no muscle tone to speak of.
2. Strength Training
You're going strong with your weight training routine. You're getting stronger,
you're feeling tighter, and you don't fatigue doing vigorous tasks. But then, after
about several weeks, your body says, "I'm bored." The stimulus for muscle
development just isn't there. But you keep working hard at your routine, even
though there's no progress.
You may think increasing the weight is the answer. Nope.
You may think training longer is the answer. Nope.
You may think trying something new every time you step into the gym is the
You may think just working through the staleness is the answer. Nope.
You may get some results, but nothing to sneeze at. But then you begin to lose
whatever you've worked hard to get. That's why it's important to change up
your routine every 3 weeks. Change up rest periods, sets, reps, weight, and
length of workout.
3. Aerobic Conditioning
You've been walking faithfully, 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Your pace
makes you sweat. You're losing weight right out of the starting gate, and you're
feeling pretty good. Then, after several weeks (of doing the same broken-record
routine) progress halts. You’re still watching what you put in your mouth. But the
needle on the scale isn't budging. Your clothes aren't getting any looser.
Your body's bored again.
You go on another, determined 30 minute walk. "Ho hum," your body's telling
you. It knows what's coming, there's no stimulus. So your body burns only so
many calories, and no more. Doing just enough to get by.
Got to challenge that body. Bump it up to four, five, six times a week for 30
minutes. When that gets too easy, add a few minutes each workout. If you're
short on time, work in interval training a couple of times a week to get more
calorie-bang for your buck.
4. Skipping Meals
There are still too many people that do this. Breakfast especially. Balanced
meals fuel your body. Give you energy. Provide vital nutrients. Keep your
When you eat, your metabolism increases. It takes energy to digest your
food. Heat, if you will. Heat in the form of calories. Your "thermostat" gets
jacked up when you eat. But when you skip a meal, you turn your thermostat is
turned way down, so you're burning little.
Your body says, "Hey, this is cool. I don't have to work at digesting this food. I
can slow down, thank goodness." So you have a slow metabolism and sapped
Then you end up so hungry, you're beside yourself. Your computer screen looks
appetizing. You end up overeating, and because your metabolism is stuck in first
gear, more of your food is going to get stored as FAT.
And then your body gets used to this routine. Most people who eat 1-3 times a
day are also overweight. See #1.
That's why eating 4-6 times a day is so effective in helping you lose weight,
burn fat, have more energy, boost metabolism, build muscle, etc.
"I have no energy." "I'm so tired." "I just can't get myself to do it." "I want to, but
my body's telling me 'No!'" "I wish I had more energy."
I've said this before: you are not going to be handed energy on a silver platter.
The only way you're going to HAVE energy is to MAKE energy. Do you
really believe that having more energy will just "happen?" (I KNOW you don't.)
Your body works hard at trying to do nothing. It just shuts down. Try to budge it,
it's going to yell at you, "I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!"
Start moving. Even if you've been a couch potato for 30 years. You want
energy, so get the lead out! Even if your aerobic capacity is poor, you can still
make energy. In fact, you would experience the most dramatic improvements in
your cardiovascular health over someone in better condition.
Walk for a block. Then gradually add more time and/or distance. Want even
MORE energy, to do the things you really love to do? Lift weights. You'll do
MORE with less fatigue. Hire a trainer for a few sessions to make sure you're
doing everything safely and effectively. Keep your energy high by eating often
during the day and keep your metabolism sky-high. Add a vitamin formula and
anti-oxidants (to help you use the food you eat more effectively instead of storing
But just get MOVING!
6. "Comfort Zone"
This is where many of us find ourselves today. I've been there, too. I've had
times where I would be stuck in a rut. Going nowhere. Business was slow.
Workouts were stale. Eating was boring. Get home, play with the kids, talk to
LeeAnn (my wife), go to sleep. Wake up, same thing.
You body LOVES this. You don't have to think much, you don't do much. Not
much energy expended to do anything. You're living inside a tiny box. Do you
want to be cooped up in this box for the rest of your life?
I can't think of one person who doesn't want to get better. But that means
taking some risks. Finding out what you REALLY want in life.
What ONE THING can you do every day to step outside this box? Make it
challenging; if one thing is too easy to do, then what 2, 3, or more things can you
do that will keep you out of this comfort zone and keep you moving toward
dynamic health, a great body, and a rewarding life?
7. The "Terror Barrier"
Let's say you have "X" idea. That idea generates a like "X" feeling. This leads to
"X" action, which gives you "X" results. This is the "Comfort Zone," talked about
Then you get sick of this boring routine, and you start thinking about how
you're going to get out of it. This generates the "Y" idea.
But it's just a thought. You still have "X" feeling, "X" action, and "X" results.
But you keep thinking about "Y". Now you're feeling "X" and "Y". Doubt and fear
come in to play. You start to act upon the "Y", but your anxiety is so great
that you revert back to the "X" action. This is the "terror barrier."
It's also called "Rationalize." You're trying to justify staying in your comfort zone.
I call it "Rational Lies."
"I don't have time." "I have a slow metabolism." "I'm too old." "I have no
energy." "I'm not ambitious enough." "I'm too embarrassed." "I don't have that
kind of potential." "I can't lose weight."
See my point? You're lying to yourself just so you can stay where it's
"safe." But it's really not. You either create or disintegrate. No gray area here.
Once you break through your "terror barrier,” your "Y" idea turns into
understanding. Your "Y" feeling becomes faith, and your "Y" action results
in the health, body, wealth, and freedom that is yours for the taking.