Or… “Honey, who shrunk my pants?” All of a sudden, my pants weren’t fitting so well. I normally resist doing it for a number of reasons but I stepped on the scale. I was 12 lbs. heavier than the last time I had stepped on the scale a few months ago! I’ll admit it – i have my “fat clothes” too. The good news and the bad news is that I have them in storage. I don’t do self-loathing too well but I went through my own brief version. I had kind of noticed the problem over the last few weeks and I had asked Bernadette if she thought I was gaining weight. What I hadn’t been paying attention to was that she hadn’t really given me an answer. I cornered her at lunch and insisted on an answer. She looked away, held up the index finger and thumb on her left hand about two inches away from each other and mumbled, “I guess you’ve put on a tiny bit extra.” Ok. Even more damning than the scale. It took me a few days but I gave myself a hug. “The body is solidified mind.” The extra weight was not goingto be a source for harsh self judgment. It was a call to awareness. I reject the binary fat/not fat, pain/no pain. I needed to figure out what was happening (notice I didn’t say, “what was going wrong”?). My workouts haven’t changed much and I do a lot less walking since we moved upstate. I was on my feet at the studio the majority of my waking hours. I would walk a couple of miles to pick my son up from school. We have a creamery here which has ice cream that is sourced from grass fed cows. I used to never eat dessert but, hey, this stuff was grass fed! I’ve been frustrated at the pace of a couple of work projects and that has effected my sleep. I also haven’t made the same time available for meditation. The thing is, look and perform better than 95% of the people in my age group and better than the majority of those over 35. I’m married, so who cares if there’s a few extra pounds? (just kidding, ’cause I’ve seen how Bernadette looks at some younger, fit guys). Is this vanity? Orthorexia? Maybe, but I’m also fascinated by body hacking. I know that fulfilling my body potential is limited by how much I am living up to my psychological potential. The extra weight is a message. I haven’t fully figured out what that message is but I’m going to walk the dog more, eat more slowly to gain something called “parasympathetic dominance,” cut down on the ice cream to 3x per week, the two glasses of wine down to one, and I ‘m going to undertake a carb-backloading strategy where I et most or all of my carbs at night (it’s a little more involved than that and I can discuss it in another newsletter or email if you like). I also purchased something called a “Five Minute Journal.” I also bought one for Vidar and one for Bernadette. Vidar rejected his and Bernadette rolled her eyes but took it anyway. The gratitude thing has been HUGE for me in my life and I’ve gotten away from it. Let’s sees what happens. If you see a sexy, Speedo-wearing, middle-aged man on the beach this summer, check twice before you start whistling. You’ll save us both a bit of embarrassment.
The video talks about three of my favorite things: coffee, butter, and salt (specifically, Himalayan or Celtic). Let’s focus mainly on butter for now.
One of our ongoing frustrations is how so many people have bought into the myth that saturated fat is bad for you. From where I sit, it’s hard to believe that so many people still eat margarine.
It really is simple: Trans Fats like margarines = BAD
Butter from grass-fed cows = GOOD
People have their lifestyles hanging over their belt lines and they still want to argue the point. Be clear – your best thinking has gotten your body, movement, and blood chemistry to this point. Let’s avoid that classic definition of insanity and eat some butter.
Your thyroid, bones, heart, and stomach will thank you.
Do you continue to ask: “How can I get my body to change?” Check with Catherine Nunez (see the Before and After below). She changed her inquiry from a mystery requiring Holmesian skills of observation and deduction to a problem that could be addressed by taking action and responding intelligently to the feedback.
Catherine will be the first to tell you that she didn’t embrace all of our coaching with open arms. After all, she was a victim of the paradigms and the messages that may have fooled you. You know, the stuff like…
fat is bad for you; eat “healthy” whole grains for fiber and vitamins; eat fewer calories and exercise harder; get your colon flushed; try the latest diet pill; get on the elliptical for hours; and on and on.
She didn’t like all of the exercises we gave her to do but we obviously walk our talk and that was good enough for her. She had some false starts but listened when we told her that she didn’t have to deprive herself of food as long as the food she ate was high quality and lower in carbs than she had been used to. She paid attention when we told her about how chronic stress would cause fat to be stored instead of used for energy. I think she even tried my Breakfast of Champions – coffee with coconut oil.
She didn’t use beer as a sports drink. She realized that Tequila with seltzer and lime could accomplish the same thing as a sugary mixed drink without the hormonal, fat-storing consequences. She made notes at our nutrition seminar about the problems with gluten. She believed us when we said that cooking at home vs. eating out would save her not only money but cut down on fat accumulation.
She didn’t miss workouts. She figured out that our job was to provide guidance, coaching, and to serve as companions on the path instead coercive drill sergeants whose only goal was to leave our charges in piles of vomit and sweat.
When it comes to your fitness, do you have more of a need for information, for structure, or both? Figure that out as you set your goals. Do you put the same effort into recovery (e.g., sleep, meditation, hydration, stretching) as you do into your workout? Are you prepared to shift paradigms and avoid living the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
Congratulations to Catherine. Keep it up.
BTW, we’re here for you, too.
Who loves ya, Baby?
P.S. Subscribe to our blog and newsletter for more inspiring stories and fitness tips.
They’ve been telling you a bunch of lies.
- Gain a pound of muscle to burn 100 calories at rest
- We gain weight because we eat too much and exercise too little
- You can exercise yourself to an ideal body
- Marathon runners are healthy
- Vegan diets are healthy
- If you eat fat, you’ll get fat
- You should buy organic
- Soy is a good source of protein
There are a bunch more. In future posts I’ll try to tackle as many of them as I can. My passion for getting out the correct information on these topics comes from one of my core values – honesty.
Why I Run So Fast
It also stems from my goal to outrun what may be part of my genetic heritage. My father had a near fatal stroke when he was 51. He lived the next seventeen years with his speech and mobility severely impaired. My mother took care of him and served the children of the East Harlem community despite suffering from Parkinson’s. They lived with grace and dignity that I hope I have inherited. Their lives have also helped me to embark on an experiment looking at the connection between genes and fate.
As far as nutrition, I have dipped into all the ponds. Some of this has been the result of listening to the “experts” and some has been dictated by finances. While I was going through law school, for three years my one meal a day consisted of some form of pasta. If I had a little more money that week I’d even have sauce on it. There were also times that I feasted on beans and rice. I explored the world of vegetarianism and took in a ridiculous amount of soy to make sure I got the necessary protein for my early 80’s amateur bodybuilding career. I have to admit to never being a fruitarian(and for those who are considering it, look into what fructose does to your liver). I wonder what damage I caused to my body and mind! But now I’m older and wiser. I care more about the quality of my life than I do its longevity and so I experiment with my eyes open wider.
$20 – Really?
This time around I’m going to share with you the best $20 investment you can make to improve your health, longevity, and looks. Eye damage, kidney damage, pain, low energy, excess body fat, heart disease – these conditions often result from our body’s inability to properly handle glucose. Glucose is handled by insulin. The amount of insulin in your system is mainly determined by the type and quality of the carbohydrates you eat.
When you produce too much insulin, your body becomes insulin resistant. This in turn leads to metabolic derangement, with some of the symptoms mentioned earlier. One of the disconcerting things about this aspect of body chemistry is that you can be lean and still have the cascade of health problems caused by insulin resistance. If you eat too many carbohydrates and trans fats, you will get fat and you will get sick.
I am in the process of becoming a nutrition and health geek. I am aware of this and I’m keeping an eye on it. This is the reason that I had resisted buying a portable glucose meter. It seemed excessive and bordering on orthorexic. But I try to center my life around awareness and responsibility and these things won the day. I went out and bought my $20 glucose meter.
You need to know your fasting glucose level (i.e. when you wake up and before breakfast) and the level 1 to 2 hours after eating, to provide a baseline. What’s a good range? The American Diabetic Association has set “normal” levels that are too high. Like much of nutrition research and medical advice, it has to do with compromise, expedience, and outdated information. If your average levels are around 100 mg/dL before eating and don’t spike above 140 mg/dL within an hour of eating you are probably ok.
BTW, there is fairly recent research showing that there is a link between an African genetic heritage and poor carbohydrate metabolism. Environmental toxins also play a role in insulin resistance and carb metabolism.
This site will give you more in-depth and very readable information on how you can avoid Type 2 diabetes and the bad health effects that exist in the same universe. While you’re at it, pick up a blood pressure monitor, learn meditation and proper breathing, and walk briskly for 30 minutes, 5x/week as you continue on a journey to personal responsibility, better living, and a better body. Also, to paraphrase Michael Pollan – Pay more to eat better and less of it.
Let me know what you think about this post and if you want me to get geekier andmore in-depth with the research.