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    Sunday
    Aug012010

    I'm not gonna lie...

    It's been a rough and tumble sort of summer.  Between travel, and fixing the house, and a dozen other things, it's been kinda hard to just sit and gather my thoughts for a lucid blog post.  In all of that madness, we've lost track of our training schedule to where we dropped to training only 3 times a week instead of 6.  Not a total failure in that regard, but it is a slide in the wrong direction on the fitness scale.

    With the summer coming to an end, we can get back on a regular schedule.  We're dropping our current gym membership and going to another locally owned gym with 24-hour operation.  Part of our problem now is that our gym has flaky hours that don't coincide with our availability.  We're also going to be doing the P90X program at home, though Alice and I won't be able to train together due to time conflicts.  The P90X workouts are as long as 90 minutes, and doing them at 4:00 after work and then running to a karate class at 6:00 just won't work for us.

    I've realized the necessity of having a schedule worked out in advance.  When left to my own devices, I'll end up putting off things like working out until late in the day when it's a lot more tempting to just say, "forget it," and move on with other stuff.  A consistent yet flexible plan will limit the potential for missing workouts due to time constraints.  Saying, "I'm going to train from 4:00 -5:00," is a lot better than saying, "I'll train later this afternoon."

    We look forward to getting fully back into the swing of things.

    Be well!

    Wednesday
    Jun302010

    We want your input!

    Hi there, Wo40 family! Hope you're having a wonderful healthy day!

    At Wo40.com, we're trying to create a website that presents a practical approach to fitness. From exercise to nutrition and everything in between - we want Wo40.com to be the best of the best fitness websites out there.

    This is where you can step in and help. We're looking to beef up our recipes section to include a wide variety of ideas for healthy and nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks. If you would like to submit a recipe for publication on the Wo40.com website, simply Contact Us. If selected, your recipe will be added to the 'Recipes' page with a "Submitted by" tag (and link, if applicable).

    We look forward to hearing from you! Have the best day EVER!

    Be well!
    Keith & Alice

    Sunday
    Jun272010

    Starvation Diets

    A friend recently told Alice that she is on a calorie-restrictive diet in order to lose weight.  Basically, this friend is consuming about 1000-1200 calories per day in an attempt to reduce the number she sees on the scale.  Just last year, I had a friend tell me that she was eating 3 salads a day - less than 1000 calories - as her regular diet.  The most extreme example of a starvation diet was the acquaintance who told us that he was limiting himself to one apple and one banana per DAY.


    It's apparent that there is a pervasive mindset in our culture that causes people to believe that starvation is a viable means to dropping pounds.  People appear to believe that restricting calories is good, so restricting MORE calories is better.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Myth - It's the number on the scale that is important - the smaller the better.
    Reality - Weight and fitness are independent measures of overall health.  Thus, a smaller number on the scale isn't automatically an indicator of better health.  When a dieter restricts calories as in the examples above (an apple and a banana??), they will see a smaller number on the scale, but not as a result of fat loss.  Muscle depletion is an inevitable result of caloric deprivation, making the body feel weak and sluggish.  As more and more muscle mass is depleted, the scale weight will go down, but at the expense of overall wellness.  If weakness and fatigue are your goals, then a calorie restrictive diet is the way to get there.  Otherwise, a balanced approach to eating and exercising will yield a much better result.

    Remember, starving third-world children and victims of amorexia would see small numbers on the scale.  No one would mistake their conditions for being healthy.

    Myth - Calorie restrictive diets will get me to my goal weight faster.
    Reality - Calorie restrictive diets slow the metabolism to a crawl, resulting in slower weight loss.  The body is an efficient machine that is very perceptive of its environment.  When calories are restricted to starvation levels the body switches into a mode that will get the most benefit possible from the reduced calorie intake.  In other words, the body shuts down to a crawl in order to utilize as few calories as possible.  The result is near-impossible weight loss and extreme fatigue.

    Myth - I can calorie restrict for a while to lose weight and then resume normal eating.
    Reality - You can, but the bounce-back effect will actually cause weight gain.  When the body is starved, it powers itself by using available resources from the muscles.  This fuel is used to power essential functions like the heart, brain, and organs while leaving the muscles to wait for future resources.  Once normal eating resumes, the "extra" food fuel is grabbed out of the bloodstream and quickly crammed into every available space in anticipation of another famine.  The result (bounce back) is a heavier body with a slow metabolism.  To avoid this problem, a balanced approach to eating is required.

    Myth - Calorie restrictive diets are generally safe.
    Reality - Calorie restrictive diets can result in a variety of physiologic, emotional, and social disorders.  Dieters that have reduced their food intake to starvation levels may suffer from such problems as fatigue, sexual dysfunction, reproductive dysfunction, depression, moodiness, and a preoccupation with food.  Extended periods of starvation-level dieting can result in muscle depletion, which by extension may result in failure of the most important muscle in the body, the heart.

    Eating to drop fat is not rocket science.  Truly good nutrition isn't any more difficult than starvation, but the effects of eating well will be far more positive in the long run.  For more information about eating for overall health, see our article on Eating for Fat Reduction.

    Saturday
    Jun192010

    A Gift from Dad

    If our Facebook page is any indication, a good number of our readers are women.  If you are a mother reading this, I invite you to print it and hand it to your husband.

    This weekend is Father’s Day Weekend.  Kids and moms everywhere will be endowing their fathers/husbands with gifts and words of gratitude.  I personally plan on driving a couple hours to spend the day with my father.  I’m grateful to have the opportunity to spend my 41st Fathers Day with my dad.  I hope to be able to spend a good many more with him before all is said and done.  Conversely, this is my 14th year as a dad.  In another 27 years, I expect my son will be able to say to me what I will be saying to my dad tomorrow – Happy Father’s Day.

    In the meantime, I have to give my children a gift.  Fathers everywhere need to step up and give this gift to their children.  Failure to do so is, in my opinion, an abdication of responsibility as a father.

    We owe it to our children to be an example of healthful living.

    Consider the following statistics from 2005-06: 11% of children aged 2-5, 15% of children 6-11 and 18% of adolescents 12-19 are overweight (Source).  Children don’t become overweight by themselves.  Medical issues notwithstanding, overweight children are most often the products of parents whose lifestyles don’t reflect healthy habits.  The fact that 2/3 of adults in the United States are classified as overweight with half of those being labeled as obese.

    What is your lifestyle teaching your child about his or her health?  Are you sending the message that health isn’t really important – that the human body can be abused with food and beverage that ages it prematurely?  Are you active or inert?

    Children observe EVERYTHING you do – or don’t do.  And they WILL duplicate your behaviors.

    The gift you can give to your children this Father’s Day is you for a long time to come.  Your child should be able to enjoy you for 50, 60, or 70 years of their lives.  Unless you are doing your part – eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise – you are stealing yourself away from your children.  Further, you are aiding and abetting the loss of your grandchildren’s Mom or Dad.  Your lifestyle today has a generational impact that will endure well beyond your years on this Earth.

    Be well, not just for yourself but for the ones who call you ‘Dad’.

    Thursday
    Jun102010

    It's Not about Losing Weight

    Anyone can lose weight.  Anyone.  Here's the secret:

    Stop eating.

    There.  Problem solved, right?

    This website/blog is not about losing weight.  The message I broadcast has little or nothing to do with losing weight, because that "goal" is such a meaningless one.  Besides, who wants to "lose" anything?  Name one thing that you lost that you didn't want to find again.  If you "lose" 50 pounds, how long will it be before you go looking for them again in the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry's?

    Losing weight is not the message here.

    What we promote, and what I hope our readers understand, is that this blog is about fitness.  Fitness is a lifestyle, a state of being, and a message that you send to others.

    Fitness as a Lifestyle

    One's lifestyle is reflected in his or her actions and decisions.  A fit lifestyle simply means that a majority of the time decisions and actions reflect an attitude of health and wellness.  These decisions can be as small as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further away from the door at the mall.  Do you eat the double quarter pounder with cheese or the grilled chicken salad with low-fat vinaigrette?  Water or soda?

    A fitness lifestyle is transparent and recognizable to the casual observer due to the bigger decisions that are made on an ongoing basis.  Daily decisions may not be witnessed by many, but the results of those fitness decisions are obvious.  After all, isn’t it apparent who has adopted a lifestyle of sloth and gluttony?  Big bellies and grease stains on the shirt are dead giveaways.  People who live a fitness lifestyle have similar tell-tale characteristics – their lean muscular physiques, bright eyes, and generally pleasant attitudes give them away.

    Our fitness lifestyle is apparent in the types of activities Alice and I enjoy.  We frequently walk in our neighborhood and down by the river.  We take the children to the falls of that river and climb the rocks there.  We attend karate classes multiple times a week, sometimes for 3-4 hours per night.  We go to the beach and swim.  What we do from day to day is a reflection of our fitness lifestyle.

    And so should it be for anyone who wants to be fit.

    Fitness as a State of Being

    Fitness, like any other state of existence, is a moment-by-moment event.  The key with fitness (and with any other attitude) is to not let circumstances dictate that state of being.  In 2009, I broke the second metatarsal on my left foot - cracked the ball of the bone behind the toe.  It hurt to walk or stand.  My doctor told me to take 6 weeks off of any physical activity.

    I told him he was nuts.

    Fitness is my state of being.  Telling a “fit” person to just sit and do nothing is like telling a flea-infested cur to stop scratching.  It’s not happening.

    The day after my orthopedist told me to take time, I was in the gym.  I had to use crutches to get from one place to another, but there was no way in hell I was going to stop training for 6 weeks.  I modified all of my exercises to accommodate the broken bone.  Squats and presses became extension and flexion moves.  Cardio changed from running to cycling.

    Fit was a state of being to me.  I couldn’t change who I was just because of my circumstances.  Had I followed doctor’s orders, I might never have restarted my training regimen after the 6 weeks were over.  By the end of 6 weeks of inactivity, I would have adopted a new state of being – that of being an inert injured man.

    Changing your state of being is a must in order to become fit.  Simply “losing weight” doesn’t cut it.  If an exercise program or nutrition plan is tossed out the window at the slightest hint of difficulty, then fitness isn’t a state of being, it’s a matter of convenience.  This is a path to failure.

    Fitness is a Message

    I am a walking talking billboard for Weightingon40.com.  I broadcast a message about this site with every step I take, every bite I eat, and every breath I breathe.  Hopefully, the message is a good one.  Occasionally I will slip and present a bad message, but that’s what makes me human.

    Nevertheless, my message to you today is simple: forget about “losing weight.”  It’s not that important.

    What IS important is that you find within yourself the strength to become the lean, healthy, fit individual that already exists inside of you.  It’s important that you struggle to free yourself from the bondage of fat and, once it is shed, to stand upon the shell of your former self and declare victory over the most formidable enemy you’ll ever face – complacency.

    Honestly, I haven’t dropped that much weight.  Since starting this blog – including 63 days of Insanity and hours in the gym – I’ve only shed about 17 pounds of body weight.  The true victory for me has been overcoming the hollow shell of a man who used to crawl away to his room every day to hide from the world behind the television and internet.  My victory over laziness, anger, fear, and complacency are far more noteworthy than any weight I might have “lost.”

    This blog has nothing to do with losing weight.  It has everything to do with helping YOU become the happy, healthy, fit human being you were designed to be.

    Be well!

    

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