Archive for the ‘weight loss B.S.’ Category

invisible-measuring-tapeThe last week has witnessed an intriguing phenomenon.  As all of you who know me already know, I am quite O.C.D. about recording details and information.  So as I looked over the numbers this morning, something hit me.  Six of the last seven days I’ve either remained the same weight OR gained weight (between .2 and .6 lbs).  However, when I started my waist measured a gargantuan 38 inches.  As of this morning it measures about 36 and 3/4 inches.

Once again demonstrating the basic rule that you can’t let the scale rule your life or dictate how you should feel about your fitness and nutrition plan.

So why the rapid loss of over an inch in about a week?  I attribute it to the interval runs, 2 H.I.T. training sessions, and 2 old school resistance training workouts.  Yesterday’s H.I.T. workout follows below.  Now be warned, I don’t follow an entirely conventional H.I.T. routine since I allow myself a bit more rest between exercises.  Also I like to vary my activity and rest times on each exercise; as you can see from the chart below.

H.I.T. WorkoutWell I am off to finish my last bit of work on the backyard (planting a blackberry bush).  See you tomorrow.

What is the difference? How did I know if I am body conscious or body obsessed? Well the line isn’t exactly engraved in stone, but there are some easy ways to figure out which camp you fit into. You’ll be happy to know that there are also a few easy ways to steer clear of body obsession while staying body conscious.

First, it is important to realize that obsession with just about anything is a negative since it leads to a myopic vision. That myopic vision can easily lead us to ignore risks, overvalue rewards, and- perhaps most detrimental- insist on unrealistic goals.

A Brief Example: When you see a fitness model in a magazine and you say “I want to look like that!” what do you mean? Do you want to look exactly like them- six pack and all- or do you just want to look fit and healthy. Do you want their body OR do you want that glow that seems to come with being fit no matter a person’s unique size or shape?

On the opposite end of the scale from body obsession is the “stick your head in the sand” ostrich approach which pretends that ignoring an unhealthy lifestyle will make everything okay. Neither obsession nor avoidance is a good policy, which is why I advocate the middle road of being body conscious.

How can you put this into practice in your own life? (more…)

Too many people think you can flip the pages of a fitness magazine, select a body like you would a car, and then they begin to expect that their fitness endeavors will result in them morphing into a body that looks something akin to that of the male/female model.  I am here to tell you, “it don’t work that way!”

Come on back tomorrow to find out the difference between being body conscious and body obsessed.

HA!  When I first saw this subject line in my e-mail box I laughed…and laughed….and laughed.  I am not sure even a steroid freak can put on 18 pounds of muscle in a month- much less two weeks.  But hey, it’s been a while since my last two-week total transformation challenge and the opportunity to gain almost 20 pounds of muscle intrigues me.  Yes, I know it is probably a rip.  But hey, then I can write Mens’ Health an angry e-mail.

So what is the magical, mystical program that will give me 18 pounds of muscle in two weeks?   The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You’ve Never Tried The book is basically a recap and redo of Arthur Jones training system from more than three decades ago.  After reading the comments my worries seem justified, but I always have been one for a good challenge. 

I plan on reading the book over break and giving it a shot come the first week of January. I’ll let you know how things turn out.

I knew it wouldn’t last. I can’t date a diet I don’t respect. Who here can tell me with a straight face that any diet that tells you that you CAN’T eat fruit is a good thing? Seriously. The stuff is basically natures delicious and nutritious candy.

You might ask, “John, how did you get away with dropping out of the diet when your wife is on the diet?” Simple answer, she hated it too! How many chicken/steak salads can you eat? How often can you pass up otherwise delicious and nutritious foods (whole grains, fruit, etc) to meet some arbitrary dietary guidelines that seem to have about as much to do with good health as Michael Jackson has to do with the black experience in America.

So what shall takes it place? A Roman orgy of food consumption from the three basic food groups: chocolate, pie, and ice cream? Nope. Instead the new plan is quite simple, and similar to what I started out with. Healthy foods in reasonable portions throughout the day. For example my meals today include sushi, pistachios, whole grain cereal (the really good for you but not so great tasting kind) mixed with 2 pieces of 70% dark chocolate, fruit (banana and apple), a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread, and lots of water.

Isn’t that much easier to stick to than South Beach? Doesn’t it sound tastier?

Best part…

(click below to find out the best part)


Kris asked, “[most high and exalted John] what is ur take on creatine, and i know ur goin to be competing in ninja warrior, and i would like to know how did u go about doing it, as i myself would like to compete in the tournament.”

I’ll do my best to answer both questions…

First, as Rick James once said, creatine is a hell of a drug- or maybe he was talking about cocaine.  Either way, it is an expensive but relatively safe way to gain a minor edge in the weight room.  It won’t make you grow muscle overnight, although it will make you retain water.  So don’t be surprised by the scale showing a weight gain even after you’ve cut back on food, that’s just the extra water inside your body is storing in your muscle cells.

Bottom line, the creatine will help you pound out a few extra reps you might otherwise not have achieved, it will keep you going an extra few minutes when your body might have otherwise crashed.

Second, the auditions are run by the production company, and to the best of my knowledge you buy your plane ticket with no guarantee you’ll make it on the show- much less even get an audition.   So the first step is quite simple, either develop an interest in visiting Japan OR make enough money that you don’t mind buying the equivalent of a $700 lottery ticket.

From there I can’t help you since I don’t plan on attempting to audition for the show until this coming summer.   Although, I might suggest getting a Japanese pen pal, that might be helpful (someone to show you around, a place to crash, etc.).  Wait, I think maybe I am going to do that!  See, this is the benefit of when you guys ask me questions.

I hope this helps Kris. If not, please let me know.

I posted this on another blog as a comment, but after thinking about it, I think this is important ernough to share as a post.  As I don’t have much time to post I will be brief.  The B.M.I. measurment is practically junk.  It doesn’t take into account you body type and build- a muscular person of short height can have the same BMI as a couch potatoe.  So I give you this easy measurement, the waist to hip ratio.  All you need is a measuring tape.   

A very brief explanation.

The weight we carry around our center is the MOST dangerous kind of extra weight.

“Researchers reported in Friday’s issue of The Lancet medical journal that a hip-to-waist ratio is a better predictor of the risk of heart attack for a variety of ethnic groups than body-mass index, the current standard.”

How to take the measurement

“To determine if you have a healthy waist to hip ratio, use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your hips at the widest part of your buttocks. Then measure your waist at the smaller circumference of your natural waist, usually just above the belly button.”

Here’s the web address for a waist to hip calculator (the above address works too).

Since Atkins is dead, and I am loathe to make fun of the departed, I bring you a new object of scorn and ridicule. I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, Screech (a.k.a. Dustin Diamond). This Z-list former child star made an appearance on last season’s Celebrity Fit Club. Yes, I know, I know, why am I watching this mind rotting drivel. But bear with me.

Screech spouted some of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard about weight loss in my life- sadly they weren’t anything new. There are lots of people who buy into the Screech philosophy of weight loss. And that buy-in is why so many spend their lives losing and gaining weight in that vicious yo-yo cycle.

Here is some common weight loss B.S.

1. I don’t need cardiovascular and resistance training, I can just take some (insert weight loss drug here) and I will get slim.

Well, while you might get slim, you won’t get healthy. Health is the result of a good regimen of exercise and proper diet. What you will get from following B.S. advice #1 is fat.  You’ll get fat as soon as you stop wasting $40 bucks a month for those possibly dangerous weight loss pills.  But I guess that is better compared with the health effects of taking one of those fat loss supplements for far too long.

Don’t just aim for weight loss at all costs.  Aim for good health!

I just have to cut calories and I can lose weight.

It is a really simple equation, take in less calories than you burn and you will lose weight. But once again, it doesn’t mean you will be healthy. You can lose weight eating nothing but refried bacon, but it wouldn’t be a good idea. Focus on a balanced diet that allows you to consume less calories than you need during any given day.

While you can lose weight on a diet of pizza and lard, it isn’t a good idea. Trust me, I tried it in college.

I am healthy where I am, I don’t need to lose weight.

You may be, you may not be. You don’t know. So start exercising and eating healthy. If you stay the same weight then chances are you were right. But until you hit the gym or the pavement (or both) you won’t know.  Bottom line is that weight is often an over-rated indicator of health.  Instead look at the measurement of your waist, heck, look at your belly.  Does it hang over your belt?

Bottom line, start living a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and a balanced diet.  See where it goes from there.

Coming soon.  For those of you who didn’t see this train wreck go on Youtube or flip to VH1 and check out the last season of Celebrity Fit Club.