Archive for September, 2015

How the Titanic sank



There are different theories as what caused the Titanic to sink. The latest I have heard is that the iceberg just cut a long 1 and 1/2 inch cut down the side of the ship. Within 2 hours, that tiny incision caused a 900 foot long "unsinkable" ship to go down.

Yes you are, yes you are

Yes you are, yes you are

Poor Leonardo DiCaprio.

"What does this have to do with health and fitness?", you might be asking yourself. And that is a good question.

i think this illustrates perfectly the point that small habits can make a giant difference, for good or bad.

Let's say you drink a 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew every day. No big deal right? A can of Mt. Dew is 170 calories. If you drink one every day for a year that is 62,050 calories in a year, which is the equivalent to 17.7 pounds of fat (pound of fat is 3500 calories).

If you quit drinking that Mt. Dew you could drop those 17.7 pounds of fat.

Then you get all excited and decide to walk for 30 minutes a day. If you walk 30 minutes at a brisk pace you would get in about 2 miles. That would burn about 200 calories. Fun fact, it burns just as many calories to walk a mile as it does to run a mile.

In a year's time you will burn 73,000 calories by walking 30 minutes a day. In that year you would lose about 21 pounds of fat.

Put both of those together and you have lost almost 40 pounds without some gargantuan, marathon training, starvation diet type of lifestyle.

You picked out two small habits and did them consistently. THAT is the key to success in diet and exercise.

Start with one thing you want to change. Where will you start? Pick out something you could see yourself being successful at, not what you picture being the hardest thing.

Then make a commitment to yourself. You will miss a day of exercise, you will have a day you drink 2 or 3 Mt. Dews. It's ok! It's part of the process, so dust yourself off and get back in there kid.

Start small, start today, and keep at it. Think lifestyle change over short term gain. I know you can do this.

Get rid of your woobie Mr. Mom style


One of my favorite 80's movies is Mr. Mom. Every time I get into a car pickup line situation I have a deep seeded fear of someone telling me, "You're doing it wrong."


Mr. Mom is about a father who loses his job and decides to take over the duties of taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc... Hijinks ensue.


One of his missions is to get his son to turn loose his woobie. The woobie is the little guy's security blanket and he brings it with him wherever he goes.


Brave little guy. It is tough to turn loose a security blanket. It requires stepping out on faith, believing in yourself, and wanting to improve yourself.


Think about your life. What is the woobie in your life?


Do you have a Coke or candy bar every afternoon to get you through the day?


Do you have a drink every night to wind down?


Do you HAVE to have coffee before speaking to other humans?


How long have you been using the same weight?


Or running/walking the same distance and speed?


Personally, I've got several woobies I'm working on right now.


What is the woobie you need to give up and move on from? Write it down right away. Then work on a plan to conquer it.


Step out on faith, believe in yourself, and you will improve.


If you need to take a moment to yourself before you do, we all understand.

Ever had Brownie Guilt?


Brownies2 We've all been there at some time. Brownie Guilt. Or (insert your food weakness here) Guilt.


Let me walk you through what I call the Brownie Guilt Chain:

1. Buy brownies (It's for the kids!)

2. Leave brownies on the kitchen counter

3. Get tired and/or bored

4. Get "hungry"

5. Walk into kitchen

6. Grab a brownie (or 4) and head for the TV

7. Eat a bunch of brownies in a short amount of time

8. Feel guilty, feel like you are a failure

9. Think of yourself as weak willed and a person who can never do things right so why even try?


Then the chain starts over with you going and getting more brownies. We've all been there!


So what do we do about it? Let's give a solution for each number from above.


1. The easy answer is to not bring it into the house! Never shop hungry, always use a grocery list, and if you have to have brownies try buying a mix rather than pre-made brownies, cookies, cakes, etc... Chances are if you have to make them, you won't feel like going through all the effort.


2. Out of sight out of mind! If you leave them out where you can see them, you will crave it every time you walk by.


3. It's ok to take a nap! They can be very beneficial to your health. Or you can always try that exercise stuff, some say it has magical energizing properties. Find something to occupy your time and mind.


4. The big thing here is to figure out if you are hungry or you are just having a craving. Drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes. If you are still hungry, then have something to eat. You can always use the rule we use with my son. If you are truly hungry you will eat vegetables.


5. If it is not time to eat or cook, stay out of the kitchen. Otherwise you wind up doing what I call fridge surfing. You ever go in there and start looking in the fridge to see what's in there? It's my fridge, why do I expect magical, extra food to be in there?


6. Sit down at a table and enjoy your brownie! Focus on how awesome it tastes, don't focus on the TV, a book, or your cell phone.


7. Slow down! This one gets back to enjoying your treat. Put your fork down in between bites, if you are a fork type of person. I like to use a fork when I eat a Snickers (for you Seinfeld fans). Just bring one of the brownies with you to the table, when you truly focus on eating one you will get much more out of it.


8. There are no bad foods! Food is meant to be enjoyed and you are not a bad person because you ate a "bad" food. Don't put food in that category and give yourself permission to enjoy foods you love.


9. Don't let a slip become a fall. No use beating yourself up over something in the past. It's all about the future now, moving on.

Quick and Dirty Workout


Do you ever have those days where it seems like there is no time to squeeze in a workout? They seem to be getting more frequent for me, so when it happens I turn to my collection of Quick and Dirty Workouts.

No idea why I call it that, but it seems to fit.


If you have 4 minutes you can go through the whole list. If you have extra time, go for a few more rounds.


No weights needed and you can do it almost anywhere. This workout will get your heart rate up, metabolism going, calories burning and will help energize you for the day.


Try it out when you are short on time!

I thought she had a gun


lady_with_gun_2_by_liam_stock-1 Last year I saw a lady walking in my neighborhood, very underdressed for the weather and looking confused. I went and picked her up to give her a ride home.


She told me many tales of adventure and intrigue. "I played goalie for a Canadian ice hockey team, while I was there for the FBI getting scuba certified." She also taught me a lesson and how she taught me I will never forget.


She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Do you think I have a weapon on me?"


I had heard some metal clanking around in her bags when she got into my truck, so I wasn't sure. But I told her I did not think she had any weapons.


She said, "You're wrong, I do have one."


Then she just stared at me without blinking for what seemed like 10 minutes without saying a word. Then she pointed at her head with both pinter fingers and said, "My mind. My mind is my most important weapon."


You know one of those deals where your entire body relaxes after you didn't know you were all tensed up? That happened.


This whole uncomfortable exchange ended on a good note and I still see her from time to time. And she was right, the mind is a powerful weapon and you can use it to achieve any fitness goal you want.


It's why so many of my posts are about mindset and the mental part of things. Until your mind is right, you are not going to make a change no matter how much info you have.


The mind is the most important muscle to keep in shape for weight loss, endurance, strength training, etc... You want to visualize what you want to do. EXACTLY what you want to do and EXACTLY what you have to do to get there.


If you want to lose weight, decide how much and how you're going to do it. Picture yourself eating the healthy meals, dominating the workouts, getting adequate rest, drinking plenty of water, etc…


Always think positive thoughts! Because your mind can also work against you if you have a self defeating, negative attitude. There are many things you have no control over, but every day you get to decide what kind of attitude you have.


Decide what you want, develop a plan to get there, and then constantly build up your belief that you can do it.

The Flea Experiment (game changer)

Should probably avoid most experiments involving this Flea

Should probably avoid most experiments involving this Flea

We had a guest speaker at my men's group at church last year who was talking about a few of John Maxwell's leadership laws.The main one that stood out in my mind was something called the Law of the Lid.


The Law of the Lid is about an experiment done with fleas. The researchers put a bunch of fleas in a jar to study for 24 hours.


This task reminds me when I worked for the government and part of all of our job descriptions was "Other duties as necessary". A sneaky way of getting around the "that's not my job" complaint. Hey Joe, we're going to need you to go ahead and run this flea study, mmm kay?


The experimenters put these fleas in a glass jar with a lid for 24 hours and then they let them out. The researchers noticed something strange about the fleas afterwards.


The fleas would only jump to the height of where lid had been.


Normally fleas can jump 150 times its size! But they got tired of hitting their head on that lid, so they backed off and limited themselves.


Have you ever done that? have you tried an exercise or nutrition program for a few weeks and then just decide that you couldn't make it any further.


Do you put limitations on yourself that only you can see? Are the limitations there because you got tired of hitting your head on the proverbial lid?


It doesn't have to be like that! There is a program and a plan that works for you out there.


Our most successful people at boot camp are the ones that have taken the lid off and are not afraid to fail. We have grandmothers, people with high blood pressure, joint problems, busy schedules, and every other reason in the world why they should not be at a boot camp.


But they keep showing up, doing what they can, and getting better. Don't let yourself or anyone else tell you what you can't do.


For example, Patty is in class now and she recently beat breast cancer. She mentioned the other day that she no longer complains about trivial things and she is not worried about the opinion of others. Her goal now is to get back to full strength and stay there.


You're stronger than you think, tougher than you know, and more capable than you thought possible. You can make it happen, don't sell yourself short.

Ignoring your check engine light



I have a confession to make. I don't know jack about cars.


I can handle the basic like changing tires, filling up fluids, jumping dead batteries, etc... But anything fancy, I'm out.


Dudes are supposed to know this stuff, but it is not my thing. When I open the hood of my truck I get the same look on my face that my dog does when his ball is stuck under the couch. My head even tilts to the side like a dog. I have a much better chance of picking up a car, than fixing it.


Have you ever had the Check Engine light come on? I had a terrible car one time and every time that light would come on I would put a piece of black tape over it. Problem solved.


Please tell me I'm not alone here.


It is pretty ridiculous, but do you do the same thing with your health? Do you have warning signs that you are masking or flat out ignoring?


High blood pressure, unexplained weight gain, winded all the time, chronic exhaustion, constant pain, or any number of signs and symptoms you could be going through.


Are you doing something about it? Are you seeing a doctor?


If you know what's wrong and what to do are you actually doing it???


You don't have to be miserable and uncomfortable all day every day. That is not the way life is meant to be.


Stop ignoring your symptoms, get the help you need, and follow through with the things you need to do to get better. It could save your life, as well as improve your quality of life.

Why am I always hungry?



Do you ever STILL feel hungry, EVEN THOUGH you just ate..

Do you every have that? Where sometimes you feel ravenous, even
though you just had something?

 I call that time all day, every day at my house.

Since I'm always hungry, I did some research and
 here are the 6 most common reasons why this may be happening to
 you too.


#1 You Drink Too Much Soda

Sodas, iced teas, and other sweetened beverages are our biggest
 source of high-fructose corn syrup. And fructose can trick our
brains into craving more food, even when we're full.


#2 Your Dinner Came Out of a Can

Many canned foods are high in this chemical called 'bisphenol-A', or BPA, which the Food and Drug Administration recently stated was a chemical "of some concern."

Exposure to BPA can cause abnormal surges in leptin that leads to food cravings and obesity.


#3 Your Breakfast Wasn't Big Enough

So this is what happened to me for the past couple days. I knew I should have gone to Denny's.

And interestingly enough, I discovered a study that followed 7,000 healthy people for almost 4 years.

During those 4 years, 3,500 of these people ate just 300 calories for breakfast. And the other 3,500 ate 500 calories for breakfast.

What happened was that the people who ate 300 calories gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast.

The reason is that eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings.


#4 You Skipped the Salad

Most Americans don't eat enough leafy greens, which are rich in the essential B-vitamin folate and help protect against depression, fatigue, and weight gain.

Leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, a nutrient that helps quash cravings.

Best sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, and radicchio.


#5 You're Not Staying Fluid

When you're dehydrated you often 'feel' like you're hungry. If you've just eaten, drink a glass of water before eating more, and see if your hunger goes down or not.


#6 You're Bored

It's a little weird but true. When you're bored you eat more.

To see if this is true for you, envision a huge, sizzling steak. If you're truly hungry, the steak will seem appealing. But if that doesn't seem tempting, chances are you're in need of a distraction, not another meal.

So keep this in mind next time you feel hungry after eating. It may just help you avoid some very unnecessary calories.

Boot Camp Scholarships available now



On Wednesday I talked about the health benefits of gratitude. Today I want to put my money where my mouth is.


We recently started offering a New Member Special where first time clients get a month of unlimited classes for $99. That's a great deal, seeing that it is almost 70% off.


But for some people, $99 is still too much. Times are tough these days and I don't want money to be the only thing holding people back from benefitting from what we offer.


For people in that situation, we have Boot Camp Scholarships available.


If you or someone you know would like to attend boot camp, but does not have the money to pay for it they can apply for a boot camp scholarship. To apply for the scholarship, have you or your family/friends e-mail, and tell me why you would like to attend boot camp.


You can use this scholarship in Huntsville, Madison, or our brand new Harvest location.

The health benefits of gratitude



As I was walking to pick up my son from school yesterday it hit me just how blessed I am to be able to walk with him every day. Not many dads have that luxury.

Even though it was really hot, I had stuff I needed to get done, I was thirsty, and my Goldendoodle woke me up from my nap I was thankful to be healthy, alive, and walking.

Enemies of nappers everywhere

Enemies of nappers everywhere

Side note- forget I said anything doodle related.

Do you ever stop and focus on things in your life that you are grateful for? Here are a few benefits people experience when they focus on the good things in their lives:

-less depression

-more optimistic

-less aches and pains

-better sleep

-less anxiety

-exercised more often

Another great thing about having an attitude of gratitude is the effect is has on your brain. When you are grateful it effects the part of that releases dopamine. It feels good to release dopamine, so this helps you continue to have that positive attitude so you can experience that feeling again.

Another benefit is that your brain is not a multitasker. When you are focused on the positive things in your life, you won't be focused on the bad things in your life.

What are some ways you can be more grateful? Try it out and you will feel better. It's science.

PS-on Friday I will tell you what I am doing to be more grateful and give back.

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