Day 61

I was particularly struck by a speech by president Obama today on health care in Amercia, or the lack of it for the poorest people, and even some middle class people had to now go without it due to the spiralling costs.

This he said, was totally unacceptable to the american people, the land of the free as he said, and that had paid taxes to get enough health care for them and their family. They pay directly for health care out there of course, and it is very much a case of the have’s and the have not’s.

The part that struck me the most was when he stuck to his principle of getting this bill through congress. He said that many, many presidents since Roosevelt had tried to get this bill through, and the idea of it through of health care for all, but had failed miserably each time.

You have the seemingly “evil” health insurance companies slamming up their premiums so that many cannot afford health care, and the “lobbyists” who are trying to “coax” the senator’s not to vote for it. The whole thing has become corrupt of course and a case of big business winning every time. It’s time for chance and i SINCERELY hope the american public get a health service that works for EVERYBODY. Obama is sitcking bravely to his principles, and you have to admire and love that!

We don’t have such issues over here in the UK of course, and we often take the NHS for granted too much for my liking. However, we do have big business trying to hurt us in a different kind of way over here and it’s sugar addiction!

From previous posts on here, you know i have banged on about how much sugar is in everyday foods, and how it is destroying a lot of people’s lives over a period of years! Diabetes, certain cancer’s, heart disease, obesity etc, the list is pretty long!!

Before you think i am over-reacting, ask your doctor next time how many of his patients come in every day due to improper diet and excess sugar consumption. Ask him then how many end up with long term problems that requite our NHS to help them for many years. The answer will stagger you!!

I have banged on here about how cardiovascular disease didn’t even exist until 1912, which coincided with sugar being added to everyday foods in a big way. Big business carried this one in a big way over the last century, particularly the last 40 years WHEN THEY realised sugar was REALLY addictive! Over 40g of refined sugar each day can lead to serious health problems over a longer period of time, let’s cut it back now please for your own good, and hope i didn’t sound too patronising there, i didn’t try i promise you.

There are also studies coming out saying that fast food outlets make your food with less meat these days because they want you to chew less. Chewing less as we all know by now causing us NOT to recognise when we are full, therefore making us eat even MORE food. A clever tactic by them that makes you spend more with them each year.

The fast food people also know that the more sugar they put in your food, the more you are likely to come back due to its addictive nature. An awful lot of money has gone into researching this, and the report appeared in this week’s Guardian under the heading, “HOW THE FAST FOOD COMPANIES ARE GETTING YOU ADDICTED”!

The choices are yours, its a free country after all, but we also have the right to know what choices are out there, and you should be well aware by now that excess refined sugar will ultimately have a seriously negative effect on your health! So what are you going to do about it?!! Or are you going to let all those soulless big companies ruin yours and your family’s health?!!!

Let’s make the right choice and don’t up with all their lies!!

Day 60

What you are eating now has hopefully changed quite a bit in the last 60 days, and as cyril said yesterday, he doesn’t feel well now unless he eats good, natural food and feels better avoiding food overloaded with sugar and fat. I’m sure many of you feel exactly the same!

Another big thing for you to overcome may be the expectations people now have of you. A lady i train was talking about such an instance this morning. She told me that she was having dinner with friends last week, and was asked what did she want for dessert and she politely declined.

The other eight ladies on the table had a go at her for not eating  dessert! If you change your habits in life towards more successful ones, many people don’t like it and this is called peer pressure of course. Some of the comments even became quite distasteful!

We encourage each other on here to eat little and often, which can result in six feeding times every day. This in unacceptable to some people! They are not happy that your stomach has shrunk, you can no longer handle the same quantities of food that you used to! Reasons for this may include they do not like to see change, they are jealous of your success, they are not happy that they cannot imitate your new found strategies, etc.

This is quite common when anyone tries to change their lifestyle, and who would have thought that turning down a dessert would cause such a stir!!

You may find it the same when you buy your supermarket food, if you have a partner or members of the family not willing to change, it can hurt your overall and long term chances of success. Let’s face it, it never helps if there are treats in every cupboard! Temptation needs to be taken out of the house to reduce the challenging nature of this programme to get into great shape, if someone is still buying junk into the house, temptation never really goes away!

That’s why it is always a good idea to make your ambition of a healthy lifestyle public as soon as possible. Your family will be more understanding and will perhaps be inspired themselves to join in and give it a go!

I know people who have up alcohol or at least cut down severely. They always get serious flack about this, and worried that their “social life” will go down the pan. The reality is always that they feel so much better, their social life was pretty boring after all, and they have plenty more cash in their pockets!! Also, they seem to have so much more time in their life, and wonder how they found so much time just to drink in an empty pub!

All of these examples show that if you want to get to that special place of being in amazing physical condition and great mental strength, the path is full of obstacles but ones you can CLEARLY overcome every day!

 When you’re aiming for the top and get there, you will find that fewer people than you thought had the guts and determination to stick it all the way through, and you will be even more proud of yourself of your remarkable achievements. This is how your self-esteem and self-confidence goes to a whole new level and eventually goes through the roof, and you won’t be scared to take on any challenge in the future after you’ve been through this!

Day 60, now doesn’t that sound as if we have been at this for a long time!!!!!!!!!

Day 59

Choosing which workout is right for you is one thing, but always looking for the “magic fix” is another.

 I frequently have questions on which exercise equipment or exercise dvd is best, and the answer i usually give is that you’re lucky to find something that works in this world of gimmicks and workouts with “celebs”, which often have little or no foundation to them, as often these same “celebs” are seen weeks or months later having piled back on all the weight and more!

One such question this week was on the power plate, or standing on a “vibration machine” would be the plainest way on describing it. You can pay a lot of money to use one of these machines in some gyms or “health clubs”, and you will undoubtedly be peddled the same old marketing information on them, hearing that old favourite “madonna uses it”, that famous football club uses it and so does that famous film star!

 The reality is that madonna is on her 6th trainer, and she goes with some kind of “new” training routine all the time, but her weight training and cardio work (running etc) never changes, she likes re-inventing herself so much that she has to mention another revolutionary way of training, once a year usually that maybe forgotten about next year!

This is all great and the marketing campaigns get that little bit more elaborate each year, but here’s get down to some facts before some of these “establishments” take even more of your hard earned money out of your pocket.

The official university studies on most of these products (and there are many different ones) conclude that there is NO MORE BENEFIT of working on these machines than regular, conventional methods. I repeat this again, not one percentage more than doing your normal workouts!

I’m not saying they are bad, but its time to stop looking for that “missing link” in your training, that “sliver bullet” that will sort everything out once and for all, IT DOES NOT EXIST.

The missing link is actually, and this is actually true,  you taking control of your programme, knuckling down to some hard work, forgetting about all those “fancy gadgets”, not falling for the sales person’s talks in these “health clubs” and spending that money on something that will actually do you some good! I say health clubs in inverted commas because they are usually little more than money making machines designed to get you on longer term contracts, and using latest national statistics, they really bet on the fact you won’t turn up most of the time.

We have touched on this before, why do they try and get 6000 members, if they are lucky to get 100 people in that gym at any one time!! If you work out the numbers, they are betting that 1% of their membership turns up at any one time, that is scandalous!!

I love the way these sales people say the latest mircale machine will increase your metabolism, your heart rate, your muscle tone, Gosh I HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE! Isn’t this what ALL exercise does anyway and aren’t they using every technique in the book to get you to sign on the dotted line!! To sign that contract that you have paid for so many sessions or even a year or two, once they have your money they have done their job, its time to get wise to all of this and see through all of these “cowboy” salespeople, because that’s what they are, most have never set one foot in the actual gym……ever, or least they don’t look as if they have ever trained, with no knowledge thrown in, this can be a very worrying situation for the newcomer to exercise!!

All the information you need to get into great shape is on here, its based on improving your programme most weeks, its about eating sensibly, little and often, sleep well and keeping a very positive approach in everything you do, in short, its about results and being the best you can be! It’s not about ripping you off in money terms, its about staying with a programme that will stand the test of time, and will be as good in 20 years time  as it is now, long after all these dreaded gym sales people are in their “other career’s”, whatever that may be but it probably will have nothing to do with improving your health, unless they get a lot more education and actual experience! They ought to try that sometime?!!

You can see i’m steamed about it, but i try to put people right and protect you from the con artists of this world, and believe me there’s a lot of “fly by nights” in the health and fitness world.

Please do the right thing, and follow common sense when trying to get fitter, healthier and more positive in your attitude to your life and those around you.

Hope day 59 is flying for you and your workout has been a huge one today! You’re doing it through hard work and doing it through tried and tested ways can be much more satisfying, plus you will keep getting amazing results, long after all the faddy machines have come and gone!

Day 58

How’s your daily strategies going?

Are you filling up your plate with vegetables at every opportunity?

Are you eating white meats, leaner beef and plenty of fish?

How about your fruit intake? Is there always a constant supply in the house?

Are you eating wholemeal bread, or wholemeal pitta bread? Have you made this change yet?

Are you have whole grains in your day, such as brown rice and wholegrain/wholewheat pasta?

Are you eating as a family together? It’s a great way to educate the rest of the family on what they should be eating, and to introduce difference vegetables mixed in with other foods.

Are you volunteering to cook? You can’t expect to impose a healthy eating regime and have it all literally put on plate for you! Contribution is the kitchen is vital, plus you can see that your food is being prepared in the right way.

Is there still tempting food in the cupboards or the fridge? You know it’s always going to be eaten at sometime in the future, you don’t need temptation in front of you every day!

If you have a family, are you helping them to learn about food, and the importance of eating properly, and the way it will make them look and feel in the future? This can be of enormous help to them, if it’s not done in a patronising way of course!

Are you avoiding butter and margarine on your bread, this is an easy way to save 100-200 calories in a sandwich, plus save your arteries from work extra hard every day!

How’s your drinking going (alcohol)? If you are drinking in the week, you’re not likely to be successful and your body’s fat burning will be largely shut down!

Are you sleeping properly? This is one of the most underestimated areas of your programme, try getting to bed early in the week and your performances will be good, if not they are likely to be mediocre, your choice!

Are you drinking enough water? If you are, notice how good you feel during that period of time after you have drunk it, relying on teas and coffee actually dehydrates you, and can make you very irritable, 3 cups of either are the maximum before their benefits decrease sharply!

How’s you salt intake? Truly the silent killer, salt in your food means you are pushing up your blood pressure, and you will see significant differences too if you don’t add salt when cooking, tough for about a week or so but after this time, you will learn to actually TASTE your food again, this is a must believe me so throw it out now if you want good health!

These strategies are tried and tested and will help you be very successful, give them a go!

Day 57

Day 57

What you are capable of in your overall progress is entirely up to you, and varies on the level of commitment you intend to put in, and what is manageable in your everyday life.

If you want to train 3 times per week, eat well 80% of the time, and generally look for periodical increases in your fitness, I think this is a very successful strategy and long term you should be in good physical condition. I see many people working out this way and they have been happy with the way things have panned out.

People who want the shorter terms gains in physical condition, may want to up that to 4-5 times per week, be very keen on their eating, and look for constant improvements in their eating, and put a high priority on sleep. Once you have this approach, then the results can be staggering as some of you are showing in this 12 weeks.

For each and every effort you put into your physical improvements, you will get it back in the form of lower body fat, healthy blood pressure and a strong heart rate, good strong bones and joints, the ability to fit into the clothes you want, to feel as if you have an abundance of energy, your self-esteem and self-confidence going up dramatically, and the satisfaction of knowing you have overcome many challenges on the way!

Don’t expect every week to be the same either, most weeks I would bet you remain enthusiastic, and happy at the changes you have made to your body. It’s the stressful weeks we worry about the most though don’t we?

Stressful situations always tend to throw doubt on all the good things we are trying to do. If we have had 4 great weeks, then one bad week is not going wipe away 4 weeks of progress. In fact, one bad week can often spur us on to make fresh progress the next week, making us realise that all that progress is really not worth throwing away at any cost!

The 80% rule of still enjoying yourself when you train and eat is always going to be a winner for you. Nobody can have perfect weeks leave alone a prefect 12 weeks, that simply is not possible.

Mental freshness is as important as physical freshness and trying new foods out. You won’t always feel like eating the right things, and if one day a week, you have a couple of your old favourites, then where’s the harm in that?

Your capacity can actually be enhanced when you’re fresh for workouts, fresh for getting your eating back on track as you get that feeling that you’re “up for it” again and that the “bad weekend” you may have just had, may not have been that bad at all, especially compared to the way you USED  to eat.

What eating 80% good food and allowing yourself the occasional treat means is that there is room for fun, and still allows you to perform at your peak. Without any fun, your programme will crash and burn, and keeping yourself happy goes a long, long way when it comes to keeping your programme going for the long term, like the rest of your life!

Whatever your strategy, as long as you keep doing something over the week, then you will always be moving in the right direction!