Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Big Mac Isn't Bad for You

Last night I was talking with a really good friend who was all upset with herself.

"Brian, for the first time in 14 months I had a hamburger at McDonald's, and I feel horrible about it!"

I tried to reasure her that a Big Mac every 14 months is TOTALLY AWESOME! 

But, she just felt like she let herself down. 

I explained the 90/10 principle that works exceptionally well when striving to look and feel your best.

When we eat well, and even more so when we add consistent exercise into the mix, it gives us a license to "let our hair down" and ENJOY LIFE a bit more.  And that's the key to sustainability.

My dear friend is worried about her health, having a sister with breast cancer, and a dad with heart disease.

"Brian, our health is the most important thing we have."

I couldn't agree more.

For most of us, when we're healthy, we tend to forget about how important health really is.  

When we get sick, however, we QUICKLY remember its importance. 

Some people would say, "well, Brian, relationships are the most important thing in my life."  Or maybe it's success, or the kids. 

I can't disagree ... those are critically important things!

Yet the truth is, when health fails, we lose the foundation for relationships, for the kids, spouses, parents, career, success, etc.

The tricky part is ... too many people take their health for granted.  

It's not like someone eats a Big Mac and large fries one time and their health falls apart. A Big Mac everyday is the issue. 

 We lose or gain our health overtime.  The daily feedback to let us know if we're on the right track (or not) is not readily apparent.

Sure, we can go see the doc and she says that our blood pressure is high, LDL (bad) cholesterol is high, HDL (good) cholesterol is low.  For some, that'll get them to change lifestyle behaviors.

For far too many, though, unfortunately it doesn't.  Over time, the body weakens.    

And even more heartbreaking to me, by the time the outward signs are there, poor health has taken a firm hold.

So, the key is to stay after the pursuit of sound health.  It's not a 3 week gig.  It's constant pursuit.  Consistent daily steps. 

And the key to making that happen is to fall in love with the Cause (in this case, the things that lead to sound health, like exercise, and eating a balanced, healthy diet).  

I don't know one healthy/fit person who consistently gets up in the morning, works out, and hates it.  

Rather, healthy and fit people love workout out first thing in the morning.  Granted, they may not have started out loving it, and maybe every single little thing about working out before the day begins (like Burpees) is not their most favorite thing in the world, but big picture, they love what they're doing.

Healthy and fit people tend to fall in love with pleasing results, while unhealthy people tend to fall in love with pleasing moments (sleeping in, eating desert every night, Krispy Kreme donuts in lieu of fresh fruit in the morning, putting off exercise, etc).

When we don't like the Cause (in this case, working out, eating a balanced diet), we wake up every morning dreading doing the things that will result in the Effects we desire, and I don´t know anyone who can sustain themselves doing what they hate for more than a couple of weeks.  

Yet, falling in love with the Causes produces the Effects you want, leading to YOU achieving your goals much faster and with seemingly greater ease ... because we all perform better when we enjoy what we´re doing.

It may take 3 weeks, 3 months, or 9 months.  But the cool news is, research shows when we exercise consistently for a period of time, we develop an enjoyment for it.

So Kudos to you for keeping after the cause ... many of you are amazingly fit and exceptionally healthy today.  Others are on the right path, and the effects are just a matter of time and consistency.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fast, Intense = Best Results!

Metabolic circuits are the way to go in 2012!

Fast, intense, and 100% results producing.  Slow, long cardio has its benefits, but it really is the SLOW, LONG route to a leaner, firmer, more fit and better functioning body.

(Google "long cardio versus hard circuits" ... the science is undeniable.)  

We've received a ton of emails since the new year ... 

... and I really liked the consensus that just because we buy a new calendar, doesn't mean that's the only time of the year for reflection, and creating a new plan. 

Too many start the year so fired up and sprint off into the marathon of diet and fitness resolutions only to drop out of the race after the first mile.

The key is, in my opinion, we need to guard against taking on too much at one time.  Many of us fall into this trap (me too!).

Sure, you want to kick the processed sugar habit, start to train for the Flying Pig, workout 4-5 days per week at 110% intensity and lose 10 lbs by the end of the month ... we understand the urgency to make things happen and the importance of having goals.

Just not so many in such a short amount of time.  Focus your efforts on one or two things.  There will be time to add more later.

Remember this, quantum change does not require quantum action - it's the result of a few basic things repeated daily. 

Master the basics, and you master success!

Instead of a massive overhaul to every behavior and EVERY area of your life, pick just one or two.

For some, maybe it's making exercise a consistent habit.  Your goal may be to work out consistently 3, 4 or 5 days per week for 2012.
Maybe it's a total number of workouts you'll do, say 200.  Then you just break it down by month, and then weekly.  You'll be working out about 4 times per week.  Chunking it down makes the big goal manageable.

For others that have been in the exercise routine for a bit, perhaps you'll target something relative to your diet. 
Again, rather than trying to eliminate everything in your diet and not being able to maintain it for longer than a few days, pick one or two behaviors that will stretch your comfort zone and produce big results.  Things like:
  • Ditching all liquid calories like soda, sweetened tea, sports drinks.
  • Eating foods with 5 ingredients of less.  Boy, if you can do that one alone ... holy smokes your health, energy and body will change substantially!
  • Cutting out snacks after dinner
  • Refusing to eat out (including convenience stores, fast food, and sit down restaurants) 
  • Eating 10 fruits and veggies EVERY DAY
  • Eliminating processed foods (following the 5 ingredients or less rule above will take care of this one)
Because you are only selecting one or two behaviors to attack, overtime (like over this year) they are all very achievable.  You master one, move on to the next.  The stacking effect is unbelievable.
No more crazy liquid cleanses or silly deprivation tactics that don't work long term.  Having to take a special "juice" or crazy concoction, or eliminating a food group isn't productive, and ALWAYS has a rebound yo-yo effect on the body.  It's a marketing ploy (scam really) done by a company that doesn't really care about your long term well being.  They're just hoping you fall for the latest slick commercial so they can separate you from some of your money.

So pick your "thing" for the balance of January - something related to diet and exercise and hit that goal.  And be well on your way to an even healthier, fitter, leaner you in 2012.
Your friend in fitness,
Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE
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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com