“I don’t want to get big.” Lol. It’s not going to happen. This tiny woman does weighted pull-ups with half her bodyweight (video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-CRp2GD6IM/). She’s at least 50-100lbs lighter than the average non-lifter. If you lift, you get stronger. If you're stronger, you burn fat while doing NOTHING. If you're stronger, you can perform sprints at an intensity which burns a pound of fat every hour or so. If you're weak, you will absolutely never ever ever burn any significant amount of body fat.
The average woman in the US weighs 170lbs. I’ve been in the fitness industry for 16 years hearing skinny fat and obese woman say they don’t want to lift weights for fear of getting big. Meanwhile, I’ve watched women lifters explode in strength while reducing body mass.
The laws of physics apply to you regardless of your sex or your idiotic beliefs.
Not always true. But on average it is. There are 168 hours in a week. Coaching clients map out all 168 hours. Workout clients show up for 1-3 hours. Caveat: there are workout clients who also receive coaching. And, there are coaching clients who also receive workouts. .
The screenshots are from an exchange with one of my coaching clients in another state. A guy who hated running is finding joy in it. Why? Because I helped him overcome limiting beliefs. It’s not because I prescribed running. I didn’t. I didn’t order it. It’s not part of “our workout”. I spoke from my own experience, how I, a 240+lb lifter, showed up untrained for a marathon, and completed it without duress. Together, we confronted the incorrect and popular beliefs about running. We have done a few video calls, to clarify movements and form; but, for the most part, our interactions are purely planning. Then, he goes and executes. And frankly, his overall health and fitness improvements put those of most workout clients to shame.
The difference between no results and great results is confrontation of ineffective beliefs. Why is it that there are bodybuilding coaches who never meet with a client once, while there are people who DAILY attend group classes with an in-person instructor for years while they keep getting more obese? Someone can perform a workout without confronting ineffective tactics, ineffective beliefs, ineffective programming. Sure, while present in a workout, they’ll receive correction on those lifts, that form, those exercises. But in a coaching meeting/call, the ineffective IS confronted.
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
- Anne Lamott
As much as mankind has tried to hide from the truth and power of forgiveness, modern researchers continue to come back to the inescapable fact that people who learn to forgive in their hearts live better (and, on average, longer) lives: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201301/live-longer-practicing-forgiveness%3famp
Remarkably, the most incontrovertible piece of the research is that people who insist on CONDITIONAL FORGIVENESS have the worst outcomes. That is, requiring absolute apology from your enemies before you can move on is the exact wrong thing to do.
This past Easter I wrote a lengthy piece of this topic. Today somewhere around 2.3 billion people identify as connecting with a Christian tradition of some flavor (according to Pew Research). And each tradition has a different take.
The revolutionary behavior of Jesus is oft-forgotten in the modern coopting of his message by heretical prosperity preachers, fear-mongers, and Americana jingoistic revisionism. But when you drill down looking for common traits among these very different groups, you will find that most Christian groups at least tacitly recognize the directive in Matthew 5:44: “love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.” Whether they employ it is another subject - some adherents see this as their central calling; some see it as a great but unattainable sentiment.
Scholars disagree about the time that Matthew was written, placing it anywhere between 40 and 100 AD. Regardless, it was ahead of its time. It’s still ahead of its time, because people are not wired to free themselves in their hearts. I mean, we’re still having neuroscientists and psychologists study forgiveness because we don’t want it to be true. Grudges and retribution seem sensible.
And because revenge seems sensible, a lot of the Easter stories, which are all themed around forgiveness, strike us as wild. When Jesus is betrayed and his disciples are ready to fight, he tells them to stand down. He actually heals one of the conspirators. People get distracted by this passage, debating how miracles are or aren’t possible, missing the point entirely. We are given an example that we should heal even someone who is plotting our death.
Why in the world would a first century author commit this to writing? It flies in the face of all our instinctual knowledge. Yet Simon prays for his persecutors in Acts 7:60 and Paul in Romans 10:1. And the fact that any of this was preserved is remarkable, especially in the much later periods when emperors and rulers claimed to be Christians. Actively harming someone is not the example given. So you would expect leaders to have destroyed these verses.
But they didn’t. Instead they aimed to water down the passages with arguments of exception. You can see Augustine tie himself in philosophical knots when trying to square these passages with a “just war.” And it took until the 11th century for anyone (Pope Urban II) to work up the nerve to corrupt these teachings to include a “holy war.”
All of it is outrageous. But the science is in; and it doesn’t support the “just war” or “holy war” theories. The detrimental effects of hatred and grudges are incredibly well-documented:
Forgiveness is a pillar of health and fitness. Maybe THE pillar. People can do cardio until they’re blue in the face. People can diet and eat healthy. They can workout all they like. But a free heart isn’t ever carrying a heavy burden. And perhaps people can seek this not just on Easter, but throughout all the days of their lives when they are aiming to be healthier.
Please stop. Body fat is ONE of five categorical measures of fitness. It is not THE greatest. It is not THE only. It is A metric.
Currently, I have three clients who look “in shape” to many people, but are incredibly weak, on the cusp of serious health crises, and when they’ve taken falls (for which they have a higher propensity), they get critically injured.
I spend almost zero minutes outside of the early morning on mobile devices or looking at social media. But in that limited time I see stories about overweight people doing athletic activity and getting body shamed about it. What?
I don’t think the layperson may understand this; but 100, 110 year old people with good cognition aren’t shredded with six packs. They’re smaller, sure. So being extremely overweight is a health risk. But why the heck would we give people a hard time about carrying some extra body fat, period, let alone WHILE they are involved in doing something great for themselves.
I run a lot of personal experiments; so I fluctuate on purpose 20-60lbs per year. I can. And I can do it safely. I do it to learn a variety of things about change psychology, metabolism, and frankly, I actually like science - the REAL application of science, that is, not the theoretical BS, sit-behind-a-screen-and-never-perform-a-single-experiment-kind-of-“science.” The truth is, there are certain things I’m far better at while heavier than when lighter. And while heavier (for me, this is like 245-285), there are calisthenics exercises I can still do that a more “in shape” person hasn’t a prayer to do.
So let’s stop with the negativity, especially that coming from abject ignorance and inexperience about what health and fitness actually is. I’ve had “fat” peers and clients who could absolutely dominate “in shape” fitness models and personalities in every single domain of exercise. The fastest sprinter in-person I’ve ever seen in my life was a guy who was 260lbs; and he absolutely crushed a 180lb “ripped” athlete. And from what I know about the VERY dark secrets of health and fitness personalities, a lot of heavier people will live happier, healthier, longer lives.
All that said, carrying extra weight AND having low to no athletic capacity is imprudent. But do we have to notify individuals personally? I think they get it.
Ability > Body Comp
People are up or down 3lbs and ready to quit or celebrate. I’ve fluctuated as much as 25lbs in a day: https://www.elev8wellness.com/wellblog_best_nutrition_training_coaching_experts/lose-24lbs-in-24-hours.
Before you get discouraged or excited, you have to dwell on the inflammatory component and what this means with regard to hydration.
An often overlooked area of opportunity, hydration makes a big difference in life, not just whether we can reference the scale as any believable metric of progress. Some serious health concerns arise at even really low single digit percentage decreases in hydration. When people are feeling anxiety, lethargy, etc., in some cases it may simply be a persistent dehydration. Studies show that infants are at or above 75% hydration and the elderly and infirm are at or below 55%. Thinking that thirst or intuition will inform good water management in the body is folly:
To help you quantify, these differences in NORMAL hydration levels can mean I have somewhere between 125lbs and 190lbs of water in my body right now. That’s a 65lb difference, without any change in tissue composition. To be clear, I could be down or up 30lbs and have had NO CHANGE in my fat mass or muscle mass.
The funny thing you learn is that when you are genuinely getting leaner, you will tend to drink more water and eat A LOT more salt just to maintain normal blood pressure. In an anti-inflamed state, you’re trying to add fluid and minerals to a system which is shedding fat tissue weight. Most people do the opposite, shedding only water weight and often gaining body fat.