Archive for February, 2014

Take up video game to quit smoking, drinking booze, and eating unhealthy food

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Tetris-cartoon

Have you ever played that game Tetris? The game with the different shapes that you have to make fit.

It seems silly, but it is strangely addicting. Much like Prancercise. Or so I hear…

prancercise

If you've heard of it, you probably haven't thought about it in years. There must not be much going on at Plymouth University, because researchers there apparently love them some Tetris.

They did a study that measured cravings while playing Tetris for 3 minutes.

The study participants showed a 24% decrease in cravings just from simply playing the game.

What does that mean for you? You can play Tetris next time you get a craving, obviously.  But what else can you do?

Distract yourself in some other way! You need to break the power of the craving by doing something.

Work would be a nice option, but who wants to do that? BORING. Plus, a lot of us can do work and barely have to focus on the task at hand. That leads to minds wandering to cravings.

You need something that makes you really lock into it. It could be a great book, a movie, some pushups, etc…

I don't recommend getting on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram because of all the good selfies on there. "Check out my BLT yo!"

PS- you are probably wanting to play Tetris now. Here you go, a web site where you can play for free --> FreeTetris

How Sam Walton and a panty hose rack can improve your body image

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Positive Body Image   There is a famous story about the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, and a trip he took to little old Huntsville, Alabama.   Whenever Sam (we go way back so I feel comfortable calling him Sam) would go into a new town, he liked to check out the competition.   He went into one of our local establishments with one of his assistants. The assistant was blown away with how terrible the place was. Junk everywhere, terrible employees, etc…   Sam and the assistant met back up later to compare notes. The assistant laid out all the things that were so bad about the store.   Sam did not say one thing about the negative. He said "Did you see that panty hose rack? I wrote down the manufacturer, we have to get those for our stores. Also, did you see the ethnic hair care section? They have 12 feet of shelf space, we only have 4! We are missing out on this, we need to correct it."   What's the moral of this story? You can focus on the negative or you can accentuate the positive.   So here is your homework. Instead of constantly tearing down your body, talking bad to yourself about the things you hate, I want you to think about the 2 things you like most about your body.   It can be, "I have the best shins in town", although I think that one is taken by Carol Marks. She's kind of a big deal.   Whenever you are tempted to talk negatively, flip it around and think about the positive. Whenever you are focused on the negative, that is all you see. It gives you tunnel vision and makes you miserable.   Stick with the positive message and it opens your mind up to the possibility that the other things you dislike about your body might not be so bad.   My old buddy Sam would be proud of you.

This man stopped my whining in its tracks

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Complaining word with a line   Stinking allergies. Anybody else feeling the wrath of the incoming allergy season?   All the feelings of being sick without the light at the end of the tunnel that you will feel better in a week or so.   I HATE not feeling 100% as I'm sure you do, so it was starting to effect my mood.   I can't breath very good. I'm light headed. Working out is much rougher.   Woe is me, my life is so rough.   Do you see where this is going? Sometimes we need a little kick in the pants to get right.   I got kicked swiftly and efficiently on Saturday.   Saturday afternoon I went to meet with a guy from my church who needs some help exercising. He is 81 and has severe Parkinson's.   He is still sharp as a tack, but he has speech problems along with a wide array of physical problems. Walking the 10 feet to his kitchen with his walker takes so much out of him he is drained from it. He has someone come every morning to feed and bathe him.   Every little thing that I take for granted is a battle for him. Makes my little allergy thing, look like the tiny issue it is.   Are you taking your health for granted? If you have the physical ability to exercise and you are not, I strongly urge you start today.   You were made to move, exercise, and be active. You may not be able to do as much as you could when you were younger, but you can do more than you are doing now.   Start small, stay consistent, keep challenging yourself, and you can make a huge amount of progress in a few short months.

I ignored my own rules and Russell made me pay for it. When resisting temptation goes bad.

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temptation-quotes

I have three major rules about avoiding food temptation.

1. Don't keep the temptation around

2. If you do have tempting foods, don't keep them where you will see them all the time

3. Don't let yourself get too hungry

Very similar to the rules of handling Gizmo from Gremlins. Sweet 80s reference for you.

 

gremlins-gizmo-wii-wallpaper

Before I get into what happened, I need to tell you the back story. Right around Valentine's Day, I won a HUGE box of Russell Stover chocolates through a drawing at the library.

RussellStover

Here is the culprit

My emotions were:

"Yes!"

"Wait, there is no way in the world I need 64 pieces of chocolate."

So I began plotting on who I could off load this stuff on. I just couldn't, in good conscience, force this pile of diabetus (it's the correct spelling in the Wilford Brimley dictionary) on anyone.

tumblr_lxykkxZI1f1qd0uqe

So it has been riding shotgun in my truck for two weeks.

Silently whispering to give it a try.

Do tempting foods talk to you too? If not, just keep it to yourself.

Things have been going just fine. Until today…

All 3 of my rules conspired together, hit at the perfect time, and a massacre occurred. I had chocolates, I had been staring at them for 2 weeks, and I was starving.

I'm not sure how many chocolates went down, but next thing I knew it look like a buzz saw had hit that box. When I came to, I immediately threw the box in the trash.

Let my mistake be a lesson to you. 3 things to keep in mind:

1. If you keep things around the house that you want to avoid eating, it is not IF you will eat them it is WHEN.

2. If you have to have things like that around "for the kids", make sure you keep them out of eye sight. Otherwise, you will crave them every time you walk by.

3. Don't let yourself get to the point where you are beyond hungry. I was getting a little light headed and nauseous I was so hungry. I normally have some almonds or a piece of fruit handy for these situations, but not today.

If you see my feet hanging out of my garbage can,  it is not because I am retrieving the dark chocolate truffle. I'm making sure no one else is. Always looking out for others. It's what I do.

  dumpster-diving

Shorty got low, low, low, low. 4 Ways to squat lower.

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Flo Chart?

Is that song stuck in your head now? Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. That wacky Flo Rida.

Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.

The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control.

If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are a 4 ways to help you out.

1. Hang out like a Nicaraguan

 

I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. A few years ago I read an article that described it as The Third World Squat.

Third-World-Squat

They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.

2. Arms forward

 

Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.

arms-extended-squat  

3. Loosen up your ankles

 

Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.

Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.

4. Defeat the desk job

HipFlexorStretch

Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.

Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.

Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans and your boots with the fur.

FloRida

Just in case I didn't get you the first time

President’s Day Sale!

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GeorgeWashingtonNutrition Happy President's Day to you! People don't get typically get excited about today do they? When I worked for the government I did because they have so many sweet holidays.   Now? Not so much.   That changes today! A week of being snowed in immediately followed by Valentine's Day has been wreaking havoc on good nutrition everywhere.   There was so much sugar being eaten, people were putting sugar into snow and eating it! Crazy talk.   So I am excited to tell you The Fix Fat Forever Weight Loss System is on sale today. This has been the most effective weight loss plan I have ever offered. Most importantly, the weight will come off and stay off with this plan.   It includes:
-Done-for-you meal plans (one plan specifically for women and one specifically for men) to tell you exactly what whole foods to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner -Why "diets" don't work -The dangers of restrictive diets -3 Week sugar detox plan -Ten ways to avoid the overweight trap -Medical conditions and weight gain -My 3 steps to beating cravings -Instant flat belly strategies -Delicious and healthy recipes that don't take hours to make   To get your discount, click on the link below, click on Add to cart, enter TAFT in the coupon code section, and then elect Apply.   Fix Fat Forever   You history buffs may appreciate the Taft reference. As with all of our products, this comes with a 100% money back guarantee. I don't want your money if it doesn't help you.   Pick it up today and let me know how well it works for you!

Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

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A true Valentine

A true Valentine

Working out alone can be tough. I've done many a workout in my cold garage all alone. When you wear American flag pants, it can be difficult to get people to hang out with you.

The airbrushed wolf Burpee shirt is not helping my cause

The airbrushed wolf Burpee shirt is not helping my cause

But enough about my sad life, let's talk about working out with a partner. When you workout with a partner you will work harder, have more fun, and you will get better results.

Step one, find a partner. It can be a significant other, a friend, a child,  or just someone who is not wearing flag pants.

Step two, do this short, but fun workout:

1. High knees

One partner holds their hands up level with their partner's waist. The other partner will march or run their knees up to those hands. Go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and then let the other partner go. Each partner will go 4 times.

In case you don't know the rules

In case you don't know the rules

2. Paper, Rock, Scissors Squats

 Each partner will hold a squat, at the bottom of the squat you will do the traditional "Paper, Rock, Scissors, Go!" format. If you win, you get to stand up for a few seconds and rest. If you lose, you continue holding your squat. Do this for 60 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and do 4 rounds total.

3. High five pushups

You will live up head to head with your partner. Lower down into the pushup at the same time, come up together, and at the top give them a high five or a fist bump. During cold and flu season I recommend a fist bump. Do this for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds for 4 rounds.

4. Annoying planks

One partner will hold a plank. The other partner will wrap a towel or band around their partner's hips. While the partner is holding the plank, the other partner will begin lifting up, pulling sideways, and generally making a nuisance out of themselves to make the plank harder. Each partner will do 4 rounds, 30 seconds each round.

5. Finisher-Shoulder press and squat hold

Using dumbbells or bands, one partner will do 15 shoulder presses while the other will hold a squat. As soon as the partner finishes their presses, the partners will change exercises. Go back and forth, getting as many rounds as possible in 2 minutes

These are the types of workouts that we do at boot camp. Each partner can work at their own pace and on their level.

Give it a try, then you can eat your Valentine's Day meal with a revved up metabolism.

Tough guys read Women’s Health

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More tough guys

More tough guys

As a good old, red blooded, testosterone filled, tough guy I was sitting around reading Women's Health not long ago. I sacrifice for your knowledge, don't judge.

They had a shocking stat from the CDC. 80 percent of the people who reduced their weight and kept it off had one thing in common. Can you guess what out was?

They ate less.

Crazy, I know!

Then, they had a list of ways to help eat less. I thought these were some great tips and I wanted to put my twist on them.

1. Turn off the tube

Researchers have found that you eat 300 calories more if you eat while watching TV. Makes sense doesn't it?

You get distracted and just start mowing through your meal. I can't tell you how many times I will be screaming at Snooki that that man is bad for her, oh I mean yelling at football, and look down and my food will be gone.

Is Snooki even on TV any more? I'm not up on things.

I won't even remember eating my food sometimes because I was so focused on the TV. Not good.

2. Slow down

Research has also shown you will eat 10 percent less calories per meal if you simple breathe in between bites. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to tell you that you are full, so let that part kick in. This will help you avoid that "I ate so much I'm dying" feeling.

3. Serve snacks in a dish

Never straight out of the box or bag. If you're like me, you're too lazy to go back across the room to get more food. Just take out a reasonable portion and put the rest away.

4. Visualize a hearty meal

This one was a new one to me. They recommend visualizing a big meal (like a big steak) when you get hungry. If it is not appetizing, chances are you are just thirsty or bored.

5. Get a change of scenery

Australian researchers found that eating Vegemite can decrease your will to live by 67%. I may have jut made that up.

They also found that visual distractions can curb your appetite too. Next time you're really hungry and it's not meal or snack time, go for a walk (preferably not to the fridge). You can also listen to some music, call a friend, etc… Anything to take your mind off it.

Sometimes that little distraction is enough to help you defeat the craving.

An interview with a master motivator

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Sgt. Steve is the owner of Prescott Adventure Boot Camp in Arizona, a fitness and nutrition coach, and also an author. I've read his book Operation Motivation and it is one of the main reasons I wanted to interview him.

Operatin Motivation

The other reason is that he is very passionate about helping people and his advice is straight forward and effective. Here is his interview:

Q:  What did you do before you were a fitness professional? 

A:  I spent 20 years in the Army.  I did anything from rocket artillery to human resources to marketing.  I had a very diverse career.

Q:  Why did you choose the fitness business?

A:  I wanted a career where I could have fun, make a difference....doing something I am passionate about.

Q:  In your book you talk a lot about the Excuse Monster. Talk a little about the Excuse Monster and how you beat it.

A:  I deal with the Excuse Monster daily.  I struggle the most with doing my workouts.  The Excuse Monster LOVES the phrase:  ‘Just do it.....tomorrow’.   My best way to defeat him is to take away the word ‘tomorrow’ and just do it.  I also remind myself of how good it feels to knock out a tough workout.  A sense of accomplishment defeats the Excuse Monster every time!

Q:  What has been an “A Ha!” moment for you that changed your life?

A:  Realizing that people will like and respect me even if I don’t have a perfect body.  Freedom from the scale and needing to be ultra ripped has been liberating.

Q:  What’s the worst thing you’ve ever smelled?

A:  Goat’s Milk cheese in Zurich, Switzerland.  It smelled worse than ostrich vomit!

Q:  What is your simplest, but most effective nutrition tip?

A:  Quality over quantity.  Put good stuff in and the results will take care of themselves.

Q:  What is your favorite healthy recipe?

A:  My wife makes homemade pasta sauce with grass fed beef meatballs.  It is incredible!!!

Q:  What are your top 3 favorite exercises and why?

Kettlebell Clean and Press - I just feel a strong when I do them.  I love getting my whole upper body involved in a move.

SgtSteve RKC

Pistol Squats - I am FAR from nailing these.  I am doing them with TRX straps.  I love the challenge of them....and the ability to show off a bit once I master them!

SgtStevePistolSquats

Pushups - I am good at them, so I am working on doing ones that really challenge me.  My goal is to do a planche pushup this year (legs in the air while balancing on my hands)

SgtStevePlanchePushups

Q:  What are some things you do to make sure your wife and 2 sons stay healthy as well?

A:  My wife buys healthy snacks and prepares nutritious meals.  I also give them frozen and freeze dried fruits for snacks.

Q:  Lover or a fighter?

A:  I fight for love!

Q:  What is something you are working on now that you are the most excited about?

Three things:  A new book, an online fitness program, and workplace wellness in my community.  I have a busy couple of years ahead of me.

To learn more about Sgt Steve and learn more about his book Operation Motivation go to:

www.sgtstevecoaching.com

You can also follow him on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/sgtstevecoaching

Too much too fast? The Biggest Loser Controversy

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The-Biggest-Loser-Bob-Harper-Jillian-Michaels-467

Not sure if you keep up with The Biggest Loser, but there is some controversy going on with the show right now. The latest winner went from 260 down to 105 pounds.

That is an amazing accomplishment, that part is without doubt. The question is, was it too much too fast?

I'm not going to get into a lot of the issues that are surrounding the controversy, such as eating disorders and negative body images. Those subjects are best left to professionals in those areas, but I think they are extremely important issues that need to be brought to light.

In my opinion, she did not look healthy at all because it appears she lost a lot of muscle mass along with the fat. Loss of lean muscle mass will lead to problems down the road.

Having lean muscle mass is the key to not only looking better but also very important in keeping the weight off.

Doing tons of cardio exercise and severely reducing your calories is not the way to go. If you are reducing calories you have to make sure to eat nutrient dense foods.

Have you ever been on the all salad diet? Probably wasn't much fun or very successful long term. Your body needs protein, carbs, and fats. Any diet that cuts one of those three out is not a good idea.

I understand that the contestant on The Biggest Loser was trying to win a bunch of money. But at what cost?

Do not trade short term results for long term health.

I know it's boring. I know it's not going to give you immediate, spectacular results. But the basic rules remain:

-Exercise hard and consistently

-Eat healthy, nutrient dense foods in proper portions

-Stay hydrated

-Get plenty of rest

-Get the stress out of your life

-Don't use the scale as your only measure of success 

 

You can get into more specifics on all of the above later, but follow the basics first. Which area are weakest in now? Attack your weaknesses first, make them your strengths.

If you want a real life example of how it works, I want to tell you about Sherri. Sherri has lost 25 pounds over several months. She is doing it at a sustainable pace.

Nothing too extreme, nothing too crazy, just effective and something she can do long term.

If you are struggling and need some help, please let me know and I would be glad to help.

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