With all the controversy surrounding those knuckleheads in Charlottesville, VA it reminds me of a strange, but interesting book. The book is called The Blackmail Diet by John Bear. The subtitle of the book is Lose Weight Or Else!
Pretty catchy title right there.
The premise of the book surrounds the author has been overweight for most of his life and finally has had enough. So he decides that extreme measures need to be taken. Did he go on a crash diet? Join the Army and go to boot camp? Workout like a madman? He did something a little different…
He put $5,000 in a trust to be paid to the Nazi Party unless he could lose 70 pounds in one year.
He did not have much money and this was in 1983, so $5,000 was a pretty hefty sum. Add that to the fact that he despised the Nazi Party and things got serious real quick.
One March 1, 1983 he weighed in at 255 pounds. On March 1, 1984 he weighed in at 179 pounds. For those of you without a calculator, that is a loss of 76 pounds.
The author decided that since focusing on food had never worked for him, he needed to focus on the psychology of human behavior instead. Specifically there are two main factors:
A: Everyone who is committed and excited on day one of the new diet that is going to change their life. 98% fail because the enthusiasm wears off quick.
B: There are certain times in life where once you decide to start something, there is no going back. You are committed until the bitter end. Think signing up for the military, once you step out of an airplane to skydive, or once the roller coaster starts. In all those scenarios, you are going to HAVE to finish what you started.
The Blackmail Diet combines both of those factors. It keeps you motivated every day and you have to reach your goal because there is no going back once that money goes into the trust.
The “blackmail” does not have to involve money. You just have to find something that you REALLY don’t want to happen as your motivation. You could write an e-mail to your boss that would get you fired, save it, only to be sent if you didn’t lose the weight. You could volunteer to serve on that board on church that you have been trying to avoid for years if you were unsuccessful. Get creative and think of things that are absolute no-gos for you and that would light a fire under you.
Now clearly this method is not for everyone. This is an extreme example of what one person did, but it does offer some interesting tips. When was the last time you went all in on an exercise program or a nutrition plan? Where failure was NOT an option.
If you are fed up and ready to make a change, don’t make quitting an option. You don’t have to pledge $5,000 towards the Nazis, but write out a contract to yourself that you will follow through with your plan. No quit and no surrender, anything is possible with the right motivation.
I was a chaperone for a church youth trip this past weekend. We took the kids to a conference called Motion that was held at the BJCC in Birmingham. It was amazing, overwhelming, and I don’t think I slept more than 6 hours total the whole time we were there. Sleeping on the ground is rougher than I remember. Hashtag feeling old.
Something one of the speakers said really stuck with me He said that knowledge is doubling every 5 years (some sources say every 18 months). So every 5 years the amount of knowledge the world knows DOUBLES. I think that is so crazy!
Like many things that is a two-edge sword. On one hand that means everything you need to know about health, fitness, nutrition, exercise or anything you want to learn is out there for you. On the other hand, there is a lot of garbage out there.
In your every day life think about how often you are bombarded with TV commercials, plugs on Facebook, radio ads, and Spam e-mails for weight loss advice, products, and services. I Googled weight loss yesterday and it came back with 270 million results.
How do you know what is legit? There are a few things that have always worked and will continue to work forever. The basics are not sexy or exciting but they are effective.
Are there great supplements out there? Absolutely.
Are there weight loss systems that help people? Yes!
Are there diets that work? Every day people are successful with any number of different ways of eating. But ask yourself these questions first before you try something crazy: -Could I work out harder and be more active (especially outside of your workout) overall?
-Could I eat more foods that I prepare and eat out less?
-Do I take in a lot of empty calories? (junk and processed foods, soft drinks, alcohol)
-Does my body need more sleep at night?
-Is my stress level too high?
That is a very oversimplified list, but if you answered yes to the majority of those I would start there. Exercise, proper nutrition, recovery, and stress management are building blocks of your health. If one of them is off, it negatively impacts the rest of them.
Where do you need to start? Pick one building block and start there. Over the next few e-mails I will break down each of the building blocks.
Let’s get back to the basics, so we don’t have to sift through all the confusion that is out there.
Picture this scene if you will. You just started an exercise program. You made it every day the first week, you are working really hard, and you decide to see how much weight you have lost.
You step on the scale and you have to rub your eyes a few times to make sure. You gained weight! How is that even possible???
There are typically two main reasons I see for this initial weight gain. The first is nothing to worry about, while the second needs to be addressed.
The first culprit in this initial weight gain is water retention. This what happens to a lot of people when they start a strength training program. What you are doing when you are lifting weights is actually tearing the muscles down while you exercise.
The process of your body building the muscles while you are at rest is when the magic actually happens. That is why you don't want to lift weights using the same muscles on back to back days. You have to give the body time to repair itself.
This tearing down process makes the muscles inflamed. With this inflammation comes increased water retention. With this water retention comes "This stupid (insert your workout here) is terrible, it is causing me to gain weight rather than losing it!" freak out. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, it can be very frightening for a fitness coach.
The second reason the scale can go up when people first start working out is increased caloric intake. This especially occurs with resistance training because it really gets your metabolism revving, which increases your appetite. Think about how hard it is to burn 800 calories in an hour. Now think about how quick you can put that back in. 10 minutes maybe? You cannot out exercise a bad diet.
That is why I recommend keeping a food journal, so you can see in black and white what you have been eating. The rule with the food journal is, "If you bite it, you write it. You hog it, you log it." Feel free to come up with your own rhymes.
Everything that has calories that you ingest has to be recorded. Liquid calories can add up very quick if you are not wary of them. It is a very eye opening experience to a lot of people who have never kept track before.
You can use apps, write it down, or whatever method you will do consistently. If nothing else, try it for a week and see if you can identify patterns that need to be corrected. Use your food journal as a road map to figure out if it is the nutrition that needs to be assessed or something else.
The main lesson as always is: The scale is a fickle mistress, don't trust it. It is just part of a big picture of your progress, not the one thing that determines your happiness. The scale can go up or down 5-10 pounds in one day!
A much more accurate way to see how you are progressing is to see how many inches you have lost, how your clothes are fitting, your increased energy levels, or body fat percentage lost.
There is a phenomenon called information blindness that is caused by too much information. When people are faces with too much information, they just shut down and will now act.
Think about a restaurant with an overwhelming menu. What do you do? I just choose something that has a picture.
Or have you ever walked into a library or got onto Netflix with no idea what you wanted to choose? It can cause you to just give up.
Information blindness often happens with diet plans as well. People get presented with all the information for the whole plan up front, they get overwhelmed, and it paralyzes them. I've been there myself.
The idea behind the Lean and Clean Challenge is to give you the information slowly and help you build habits. All of the information is there for people who like a peak ahead, but it is not necessary.
Build the habit, make it stick, and then you will have it long term. There are still spots available if you want to join.
You can join here -->Lean and Clean Challenge
The challenge starts on Monday, February 20 and I would love for you to be a part of it. Join us today!
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn
“I can predict the long-term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habit.” -John Maxwell
If you can’t tell, I’m a quote guy. I believe they can motivate and inspire, but like the first quote hints at, it is temporary. To be successful, we have to develop good habits. That is especially true with exercise and eating right.
That is why I am so excited to launch the 2017 HABC Lean and Clean Challenge. Fancy name, awesome program.
It is a 6-week program that will give you all the resources you need to develop the habit of eating clean and healthy foods.
Here is what is included:
-Weekly Check-Ins/Progress Tracking to keep you accountable
-Clean Eating Guide (everything you need to know)
-Meal Mapping Template (teaches you how to create healthy meals)
-Ultimate Shake Guide
-Ultimate Breakfast Guide
-Bulk Cooking Guide (great for busy people)
-Meal Portion Guide
-Access to a free app so all the info can come straight to your phone
-Access to the Private Facebook group specifically created for this challenge to give you extra support and accountability
-Pinterest recipe page
I truly think this has included everything you need physically, mentally, and emotionally to form those all-important habits for long-term success. Two hyphens in one sentence, crazy!
The challenge will start on Monday, February 20, 2017. The cost for everything I’ve listed above is only $39. I guarantee your results or you get a full refund.
Reserve your spot here -->Lean and Clean
PS-The challenge is actually 7 weeks. The first week is to give you the tools and training to prep you for the challenge.
Your challenge this week is to do one thing to eliminate one major source of stress in your life.
What's the thing in your life that causes you the most negative thoughts in your life? When you read stress, what immediately popped into your head? That's what you need to attack.
Whatever it is, just do ONE thing this week that starts to work on the stress source. You will feel so much better just by doing one thing!
I am a true believer in the AAA principle.
Action Alleviates Anxiety
No matter how big the situation is, pick out something to do. In debt and can't see your way out? Start a budget. Does it immediately solve your problem? No, but it's a start.
Are you so out of weight and have so much weight to lose you feel paralyzed? Start keeping a food journal, do 10 minutes of exercise, or eat one healthy meal. You didn't put all of that weight on overnight and it's not going to come off overnight. Start the process now.
Do you find yourself stressed out by the political climate in America right now? Do something positive in your community. Does it fix the entire country? No, but it sure beats worrying and feeling helpless all the time.
When all you are doing is worrying about a problem it becomes a much bigger problem. You become more negative and the stress continues to build. When you start to do something about the issue, you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Take action and you become an active participant in getting the stress resolved, rather than just being a victim. These may seem like small, worthless steps but they will help I promise.
Do one thing this week to help with your biggest source of stress.
I went to go see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. Spoiler alert- it’s really good, if you are into that sort of thing. Ties some parts of other movies together for you.
While I was there I made a big mistake. I ordered a large popcorn and large drink. Not sure what happened but it just kind of appeared in my hands. They were running some sort of special I think, it was all a blur.
My son and I were going to split it, so I guess I thought it would be ok. The popcorn was the size of a pillowcase and the drink was the size of a bazooka.
Then my next mistake was letting my son pick the drink. The movie theater had one of those machines where you can get any kind of drink you want. Hundreds of combinations. I think we wound up with a Sprite, Grape, Root Beer mixture that was pretty terrible.
30 minutes of straight eating popcorn and drinking the toilet water drink later it was all gone. All of it! It was pretty amazing/depressing.
The moral of the story- portion control matters.
There is a ton of research out there that backs it up. Did you know that people clean their plate 91% of the time? And that is no matter how much food was offered and how hungry they were. At least we aren’t quitters…
So if you are trying to lose weight your first move should be to start using smaller plates and bowls. The super brains at Google introduced smaller plates in their cafeteria and the employees lost an average 10-15 pounds. With no other dietary changes!
In a study in the journal Appetite showed the dramatic difference switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate can do for you. Participants in the study were able to cut their calories by 48% (up to 275-350 calories per meal). If you used the smaller plates for just 2 meals a day, that would result in a 14-18 pound weight loss over a 3 month period.
If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past trying to lose weight, give the smaller plates and bowls a try. It might be just what you need to be successful.
Napoleon Hill is probably the third most famous Napoleon, behind only Bonaparte and Dynamite. Napoleon Hill is best known for his book “Think and Grow Rich”.
Included in the book are his six steps for turning your desire for money into actual money. In reading it, I couldn’t help but notice it is also the perfect plan for weight loss .
Like many things, the mental side of weight loss is often the hardest part. I just changed Hill’s money part into a weight loss goal setting plan.
Try these 6 steps to get your mind right, get a game plan, and to increase your chances for success:
First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of weight you desire to lose. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want to lose weight." Be definite as to the amount.
Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the weight loss you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.")
Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to lose the weight you desire.
Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of weight you intend to lose, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the weight loss, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to lose it.
Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY HAVING LOST THE WEIGHT.
You can tell this book was written in 1937, but the principles still stand true today. There is tremendous power in following the steps that he laid out. Give them a try and I guarantee you will get results.
Something I preach about constantly is the importance of a lifestyle change, rather than just the “I need to lose X amount of pounds” goal. When all you are focused on is that number on the scale, you let a lot of things fall by the wayside.
Not every pound is created equally. You want to carry as much lean muscle mass on your body as possible. That way you will burn more calories at rest and your goals will be easier to reach.
If you are doing strength training as part of your workout (and you should be), you could add a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat. On the scale it looks like nothing! But in reality, you are doing awesome.
When you are only focused on weight loss, it makes you more susceptible to fad diets. Here is a hint- if a diet tells you to completely give up proteins, fats, or carbs stay away. Your body needs all 3 of those macronutrients to function properly.
You can fall into the trap of starving yourself to get the weight down. You don’t have to starve to get results! You can eat meals that nourish your body, made up of foods you actually like, and you don’t have to be hungry all the time.
The key is to make your meals more nutrient dense. This will provide you with the energy you need without making you take in more calories than you need.
Focus on the making fitness and health a way of life. Move more (especially outside of your workouts), eat healthier, take care of your muscles, get plenty of rest, and enjoy yourself! Life is too short to walk around feeling unhappy and unwell all the time.
PS- if you want to take the guess work out of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat I have spots left for my new Weight Management System. You can go to this link below to learn more and to reserve your spot.