Lose the last 10 pounds

Things that make you say.....OMGOr… “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.

Looking for a weight loss program?

One of the first things I recommend to someone looking to improve their health or to lose fat, is that they learn how to cook. Being able to cook means that you are taking responsibility and taking control of your health.

Learn how to cook, have the right supplies on hand, and eliminate sugar, wheat and seed oils and you’ll see your health energy, and sex appeal shoot through the roof. Chef Todd Mohr’s videos are educational and entertaining. It will make you want to run to the kitchen!

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Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?

Want To Lose Weight? Surround The Dragon.


So you want to lose weight? You’ve probably never heard of “Surrounding The Dragon.”

On a beautiful late spring afternoon, fifteen years ago, two young women graduated from the same college. They were a lot alike, these two women.

In addition to having been better than average students, both were athletic, personable, and filled with vivid dreams of the wonderful things that lay ahead.

Recently, these two women returned to their college for their 15th reunion.

They were still very much alike.

Both were married and ridiculously busy. Both had continued their exercise habits. One had children and the other was planning on having them.

But there was a difference. One of the women had the body that she had left college with – she looked like she could walk onto a soccer field right now and star. She also had the energy to match. She was on a career path that had her excited and eager to wake up for work every day.

The other was 35 pounds over her college weight. Her right knee always hurt and her lower back carried a dull ache that lasted throughout the day. Despite all her exercise and her strict diet(s), she always felt tired and couldn’t make a dent in her excess weight. She couldn’t stand her job, particularly her supervisor.

What Made The Difference

Have you ever wondered, as I used to, what makes this kind of difference in people’s bodies and happiness? It isn’t always genetics or willpower or work ethic. It isn’t that one person wants success and the other doesn’t.

The difference lies in what each person has learned about themselves since the magical years of youth and how they make use of that knowledge.

Surrounding The Dragon

Have you ever had acupuncture? I have. Many times. For about twenty years, Tom Bisio and Marshall Wood have been my go-to Chinese medicine doctors. They did something called Tui Na, a form of massage. Sometimes they prescribed medicinal herbs. Needles were always used. Sometimes they placed the needles directly into a muscle spasm. Other times they were placed in meridians to release blockages and let energy flow.

Another technique that was used was called “Surrounding The Dragon.” They would place needles all around the problem area. This way, a number of energy pathways would be opened up. The pain would be addressed from several directions.

Look Around

The first woman had also faced some of the same trials that her friend had faced since college. But when she hit a roadblock she looked for feedback. She had also built rituals for relaxation and renewal.

She had a coach who helped her with accountability for her exercise and eating. She had also worked with him to set goals that matched her values. She came to understand that she should not be aiming for physical perfection. She stopped the body-shaming and went through a process that uncovered her power – power that had always been there but was layered over with past pain and others’ expectations. She had “Surrounded The Dragon.”

If you want to lose weight and you’re not getting the results you seek, the cause isn’t always obvious.

Call me or send an email to hans@brownstonefitness.com if you want me to help you explore ways to surround your dragon.

Bodyweight Exercises You Can (Should) Do Anywhere

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Hey! When do we get to workout?!
For most people, the warmup should be the workout. The series of movements you see in this video are just a portion of the bodyweight work we like our clients to do.

These types of movements improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. They will always beat out treadmills, marathons and the latest dancercise fad for all-around fitness and for performing the activities of daily life.

They are also safer than the latest program that has someone with 50% body fat jumping for 90 minutes from side to side as they bring their knees to their chest.  That program is usually coupled with an 800 calorie diet supplemented with injections of kangaroo sweat.

What You Need vs. What You Want
We will often have people come in to Brownstone Fitness who are used to doing the same old machine routine. Their movement will be poor in terms of strength, coordination, and endurance.  Most are happy to have the pressure taken off as we begin the process of building a proper foundation.

A few try to impress us with their bad exercise habits (developed at that “other place”) by doing sloppy stuff faster.

We apparently even have some people who skip the warmup because they want to get to the “real” stuff involving kettlebells or other forms of loaded resistance. This is where the balancing act of giving people what they need versus what they want comes into play.

If I was king, I would eliminate “diets” and require everyone I worked with to be able to do 25 good pushups, five strict pullups, and skip for 25 yards before they would be allowed to touch a weight.

Be Different
So if you want to learn to produce and absorb force, move powerfully in several directions, improve your range of movement (as opposed to random flexibility that will dangerously loosen your joints), look better naked, and just have fun then…

Get on the ground
These things are important whether you’re trying out for your college soccer team or just trying to keep your kids from putting you in a nursing home.

If you want to go for a deeper dive, check out Tim Anderson’s “Becoming Bulletproof” or our Sulaxmi Exercise dvd.