About six years ago, I began distancing myself from any recommendation on probiotic food or capsule. It's not that I supposed Kombucha increased toxins in the brain but because the 100 trillion symbionts on and in our body are 99% ANAEROBIC, meaning you primarily help them proliferate through the intake of fiber and resistant starches (to feed the beneficial strains) and reduce the intake of refined foods (to starve the baddies).
That said, the dose makes the poison. One of the most difficult concepts to embrace is that no foods or attempted lifestyle behaviors are "good" or "bad." They are productive or unproductive when stacked against all other variables.
Likewise, with this finding, I still wouldn't classify probiotics as bad or worthless, but certainly insufficient AND they carry a risk.
For those who've added in probiotics only to notice no benefit or a possible diminishment of cognitive clarity, it may be worth a reevaluation at this point: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41424-018-0030-7
BPA-free Plastics Are Still Risky
It turns out that the plastics used to replace BPA plastics have similar-enough properties to carry similar risks. Even when their use is discontinued, the impact is evident for three subsequent generations in mice.
Also notable, we often look at cause-effect relationships in too short of a timeline. The physical damage an individual does to himself or herself continues beyond the self.
Better sleep provides the willpower to get up early. Getting up early provides the resource to start a day with something good for yourself. That workout or reading or meditation puts you in a dominant position to control the day. And so on.
Additionally, I would argue each decision represents in our minds our perceived identity, which then influences our subsequent decisions.
I've seen it many times where someone makes one bad decision and their willpower evaporates. In their minds it marked the end of the road; and now they are fully committed to throwing away opportunities.
In the same way, it can simply begin with one execution of willpower to beget more.
These are paired books of poetry I’d written for my parents and gifted for their forthcoming birthdays (though on Christmas). The coverlets were designed and crafted by @sproutecreative. The contents are personal, but essentially about their unique (each book is different, but can be read as a single poem) contributions to my life.
I once heard a sermon about how Jesus’ followers are called not just to minister but to accept the help/service of others.
When we decline assistance, don’t ask for help, or reject outreach, we have injured ourselves and others. We have denied others the ability to become givers, to practice service, to spiritually mature, to grow and improve, to follow-through on divine ordinance.
When we deny service, we think we’re making a statement about our personal resolve or adhering to a code about “not being a burden” to others. But, in fact, we are generally investing in a greater future burden for ourselves and them, turning our backs on what it means to be perfected and setting a precedent for a detached and uncaring world.
As I was enjoying the opportunity to help my parents, and as they accepted my assistance, I was stricken by the experience that we were all able to have in our spirits and our humanity. People have a tendency to focus on a fiction: “I did/do all this BY MYSELF and FOR YOU (coworkers, partners, kids, etc.).” However, that service is an opportunity to grow in your humanity and spirit. Both when we serve and when we accept service we are able to become more whole. All other pretense is an insistence on staying broken and hoping brokenness on others.
No weight-loss program that relies on decreased caloric intake and increased caloric expenditure has proven to be effective in the long term. It was a difficult journey for me to come to understand that calories-in versus calories-out is meaningless. But, alas, the truth is the truth. I know your defenses are up. They should be. Just hear me out. If we define "works" by long-term sustained results, you'll see that this is incontestable. I'm going to show you negative calorie balance plans can't work beyond a few years. In fact, even in meta-analyses aimed at showing the long-term benefit of hypocaloric diets, the absolute best results are an average loss of 15 pounds with only 7 gained in the following years . This of course includes no data about body composition, only weight. Therefore, these already bleak stats, which are amusingly heralded as proof of success, could (and most likely do) represent a net loss of 20lbs of bone tissue and 12lbs gained in fat tissue. For most people, being down in weight most often means getting fatter, not leaner. For the uninitiated this may seem surprising. But veterans in the fitness community know what I'm talking about when I say I have taken skinfold caliper readings of 35% bodyfat (obese) on 95lb people and 4% bodyfat on 220lb people.
It's hard to know where to begin with this topic. It took me over thirty years, fifteen in the fitness industry, 100 hour work weeks, thousands of client hours, over ten thousand consults, thousands upon thousands of research hours to get to where I am. So I get it. I'm not going to change the world with one article. Just stay mindful that American fitness hasn't progressed a nanometer coming from the paradigm of the last sixty years: cut calories; eat whole grains; cut fats out; avoid saturated fat; do lots of cardio; get a diet plan, fully customized, etc. And every person out there who has failed to reach an easy maintenance program after year two or five is more evidence that we're doing the wrong things. So, maybe... just maybe, you're willing to listen to this without ridicule and without dismissing it.
Whatever you're gathering up inside yourself in order to reject this article's angle, I've been there and heard it. One day, when working with a cardiologist, I began to explain the reasons why one should consider avoiding gluten. The cardiologist, without even hearing one word, cut in and said, "let's sit down and I'll explain." I was his guest at the hospital so I diplomatically obliged to give him the floor. He proceeded to put forth an anecdote he'd heard of some guy who put himself on a super-low calorie diet of only candy. "And," the cardiologist gleefully sniped, "the guy lost weight; ergo, PROOF that the only thing that matters is calories-in versus calories-out." This is the type of sentiment I know I'm up against when writing this.
Not only was it preposterous that a one-person population study, in anecdote fashion, be touted as proof of anything, especially without reference to what the "weight" was comprised of, long term impact and the like. But then, the greatest offense was the contrast of storyteller and audience. At the time I had recently cut down to about 8% bodyfat with a decent six pack by doing no more than 4 hours of intense activity per week and my calories were VERY high, in the 6000+ range. The lecturing cardiologist, on the other hand, had about 80lbs of visceral belly fat, even though he worked up to 12 hour days with 40lbs of lead vest sitting on his shoulders, and never eating anywhere near a much as I did.
So where are we going with all this? Firstly, let me make the distinction between energy balance and energy distribution. Energy balance tells us nothing and gives us no tools. To clarify, I think Gary Taubes, author of "Good Calories, Bad Calories," gives one of the best illustrations: it's like trying to explain why so many people are in a room by saying, "well, you see, more people entered the room than left" - that isn't an explanation; it's a description. Likewise, saying that you grew fat tissue because you took in more calories isn't an explanation. Actually, it's not even a description. It's nonsense.
All weight-loss and all weight-gain can be explained by calorie or energy distribution, not by calorie or energy balance. Think of a 250lb lean bodybuilder. How did he net a result of increased muscle weight and decreased fat weight? Was it by a means of calorie balance or calorie distribution? Did he eat more calories than he burned in order to gain 100lbs of muscle, or did he eat fewer calories than he burned to lose so much fat? People say, "he's got good genes" or "steroids," as their usual retort. But how does that change anything? I thought calories-in versus calories-out was the explanation we were relying on. Now we're invoking genes and steroids?
I first became aware that something was amiss with the calorie balance paradigm when I was a kid. I was a heavier kid who later got skinny in high school. I couldn't seem to figure out how to get heavier AND leaner. I was either moderately lean and very light or fatter and more muscular. The energy balance equation wasn't netting me a great physique. Fast forward from there about a decade and I was performing metabolic testing as a young trainer at Bally Total Fitness. To make a long story short, I found that people who ate a lot had high metabolisms; and people who dieted hard and did a lot of cardio had very low metabolisms. Later I would put the pieces together on hormone balance, hypothyroidism and the like.
Fast forward almost fifteen more years and here we are. Though what I'm saying at first seems very controversial, it really isn't. Energy distribution is all that matters. And we all instinctively know this. That's why we make appeals to heredity or hormones when confronted with examples which challenge the standard paradigm. We know that calories-in versus calories-out doesn't tell us anything. When we eat a thousand extra calories, some people allocate it toward increased bone density, some toward increased mitochondrial output, some toward increased thyroid output, some toward lean mass synthesis, some toward cancer cell growth, and most toward adipose anabolism (fat gain). The thousand extra calories does not matter. All that matters is how you distribute it.
In fact, let us take a step back. In the previous paragraph I used the terminology "extra calories" and you just accepted it without scrutiny. I tricked you. There's no such thing as excess calories. Energy gets used toward something. Thus, the very concept of too many calories is defunct.
If you're sharp, you're already thinking, "so what determines distribution?" The answer is complex and includes a lot of our intuited response: genetics, hormones, activity and nutrition. Just none of them play the role you may be thinking.
First on the chopping block is genetics. Your genes aren't fixed. This had been supposed for a long time. Then, in 2008, researchers at Johns Hopkins confirmed it. It's given rise to a whole new area of interest within the study of epigenetics. Consider this: every moment of your day you transcribe DNA. Throughout your life you execute this process sometimes at a rate of 2800 nucleotides per minute. Every 1/43rd of a second you choose which piece of data you will encode, keep around, pass on, etc. That means that you can and do change your DNA within the span of your life. In fact, you already do this every time you subject yourself to a stress, with every chemical to which you do or do not subject yourself, with every food choice and every lifestyle decision. This may mean that someone is lean because they're genetically lean and someone is fat because they're genetically fat; but if we accept the premise, then the good news is that you can stop encoding for fatness and begin encoding for leanness. There are some limits (i.e. - eye color), but very few. You can encode for intelligence and less for stupidity. I don't want to get too controversial with this; but you can start to imagine some of the ramifications toward psychology, addiction, identity and so on. It's just going to take some work to change. How exactly do you change your genes? We'll get to that in a coming article.
Second on the chopping block is hormones, obviously intertwined with genetics. They aren't fixed. Not even close. Intra-daily fluctuations can be drastic. Lifestyle will tell your body to create hormones that make you fatter or hormones that make you leaner. Concerning metabolic rate, blood serum levels of thyroid hormone increase with more calories and decrease with fewer. This is actually one of several reasons why standard dieting is a perpetually disempowering proposition. As you create a "caloric deficit," you suppress your thyroid, sometimes irreparably. Interestingly enough, even the American Medical Association , although late to the party by about 70 years, is coming along for the ride. In 2012 a very well-conducted study, accepted for publication in JAMA, demonstrated that as fat intake decreases so does metabolic rate . It also showed that even with compensatory increases in carbohydrate intake the net impact to metabolism was not good: proof positive that mere calories are simply an incomplete picture.
We're starting to really get into the nitty gritty. However, I'm going to have to sacrifice a lot of details for the sake of brevity and impact. Your mind is hopefully swimming with a lot of new ideas and new questions; and one article won't address them all. But, what we can do is begin to clear up fat growth versus non-fat energy distribution. On to activity and nutrition.
A simplified primer on preferential lean mass caloric distribution:
Let us look first at activity. Keep in mind that muscle cells have receptors that take up energy and fat cells have receptors that take up energy. As you challenge muscles in specific ways you increase the hormones that make you leaner  while up-regulating and growing more receptors in muscle cells that are going to demand energy that might otherwise go toward fat tissue. Although some people can try to stimulate these pathways through varieties of activity, only heavy resistance training is unequivocally good at it for all people.
Conversely, long bouts of cardiovascular activity send the communication to your body that it needs to store energy for long bouts of exertion. Therefore, surprise surprise, it's best at up-regulating and growing more receptors in fat tissue. You read that right. Extended bouts of cardio grow fat cells, which, if you pause and consider what is happening under the surface, makes this an obvious and scientific fact. Think about it from a survival perspective. As you log hours of moderately intense activity, your body's need to hold onto stored energy (i.e. - fat) increases, so it's going to downregulate the capacity of ALL other (including cardiac and brain) tissue to take up energy while increasing fat's ability to do so. A major function of the fat cell is to store energy for the long haul. So when you do the long haul, don't be surprised at fat growth after the long haul. That's just your body preparing for the next long haul. This response is so strong that standard weight loss program subjects have higher concentrations of LPL for years after the program than they did before starting the program . LPL in its feedback loop makes it possible for circulating triglycerides to get deposited or redeposited into the fat cell.
And at long last, let us look at nutrition. Some foods instigate the hormones that grow fat. Some foods instigate the hormones that break down fat. We can't cover them all here. We'll just stick to two hormones: insulin and cortisol. I chose perhaps the most complicated ones, since insulin can grow all tissue and cortisol can break down all tissue. But they explain a lot.
How do we make cortisol break down only fat? Restore optimal adrenal function (yeah I know this is a huge subject in and of itself). Afterwards, increase cortisol in the absence of blood sugar. Cortisol is trying to help you cope. If your blood sugar is low, it will help you cope by breaking down fat to unlock energy that can be used in the addressing of whatever needs your attention.
How do we prevent insulin from growing fat? Keep blood sugar low. If blood sugar is high, insulin is high for the most part. Insulin is going to knock on the doors of transport molecules in all tissue, but mostly fat, especially if you've already been priming the fat cells with your long bouts of moderately intense activity. Perhaps you're seeing a theme: elevated blood sugar prevents cortisol from breaking down fat; elevated blood sugar ensures insulin primarily grows fat. Where does elevated blood sugar come from? Carbohydrates and too much stress. So guess what happens with persistently elevated carbohydrate intake and stress? Yeah, you're figuring it out.
To wrap this up, let me paint two pictures of weight loss for you:
Imagine one person, Ms. Jones, whose primary method of weight loss is based on calorie balance. She cuts her calories and fat low; and she takes her activity sky high. As a result, her blood sugar plummets, so her insulin drops and her capacity to make fat decreases. Her long bouts of exercise stimulate her adrenal cortex to pump out cortisol, so she breaks down fat. Pounds melt away. After several weeks the lack of dietary fat intake suppresses her capacity to make all hormones, including cortisol, sex hormones and thyroid hormones. She uses all of the nutrients that should be supporting cell integrity instead toward barely supporting her high activity. Lean mass wastes. Metabolic hormones crash. Gut health suffers. Progress grinds to a halt. Cravings to restore stasis begin with a vengeance. Fat cells are upregulated in their capacity to take in energy. All other cells are turned off. Ms. Jones' motivation wanes because she's no longer making the hormones that keep her mind engaged and driven. She's hungry. She's seeing results slow or stop. Then, one week, she decides it isn't worth all this work and she eats a little more and works out a little less. But remember, her fat cells are the only tissue that can take in energy at this moment. So every resource goes toward growing fat, especially because her cravings are for sweets and that's what she eats, just a little, because "life is about moderation." Then one week turns to two. The forty pounds she lost in the prior four months has all returned, except now she has less muscle/bone and more fat than when she started. Oh yeah, and her hormones are shot and her metabolism is garbage. Next time she joins a gym, 60lbs heavier, she tells the story of her great success of 40lbs lost, and she knows what to do, she just has to apply herself with discipline. Did I mention that the second time she tries this method the metabolic outcome is two orders worse?
Now imagine yourself. You lift weights. Lean tissue upregulates. Muscles arrogantly steal calories from the dinner table. Fat cells starve and shrink. You cut carbs from the front of your day when cortisol is highest, so you burn fat for hours by simply existing. You eat more fat. As a result, your body learns to rely on body fat for fueling everything it does. Also, high dietary fat ensures you have plenty of raw material to make hormones. So, you can make cortisol when needed to break down fat. Mental clarity sharpens. Drive increases. Thyroid output goes up healthily. Hunger goes down. You can make melatonin to sleep, regulate serotonin to enjoy, maintain sufficient mucosal barrier to never have bad gut health. Cravings disappear. Willpower attains a lifelong peak. Then, imagine a major disruption to your life occurs. Oh wait, you weren't relying on long bouts of exercise anyway. Your weight stays exactly the same. The stress was doable. The motivation to reach your goal weight intensifies. You never burn out. This just becomes who you are. It's not a diet or a "plan".
It's just changing your genes.
 january 25, 2001 American Society for Clinical Nutrition
Long-term weight-loss maintenance: a meta-analysis of US studies1,2,3
James W Anderson, Elizabeth C Konz, Robert C Frederich, and Constance L Wood
+ Author Affiliations
1From the VA Medical Center, Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky Health Management Resources Weight Management Program, Lexington, and the Departments of Internal Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
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Preliminary Communication | June 27, 2012
Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance FREE
Cara B. Ebbeling, PhD; Janis F. Swain, MS, RD; Henry A. Feldman, PhD; William W. Wong, PhD; David L. Hachey, PhD; Erica Garcia-Lago, BA; David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD
[+] Author Affiliations
JAMA. 2012;307(24):2627-2634. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6607.
 Med Hypotheses. 2013 Mar 12. pii: S0306-9877(13)00085-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.02.013. [Epub ahead of print]
Resistance exercise: A non-pharmacological strategy to minimize or reverse sleep deprivation-induced muscle atrophy.
Mônico-Neto M, Antunes HK, Dattilo M, Medeiros A, Souza HS, Lee KS, de Melo CM, Tufik S, de Mello MT.
 J Clin Invest. 1981 May; 67(5): 1425–1430.
Increase of adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase activity with weight loss.
R S Schwartz and J D Brunzell
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Urgency can spark change. Dissatisfaction makes us re-evaluate that which isn't effective. But impatience has no place in health and fitness. "I want it now" makes no sense when we put what we're actually saying into its honest wording: right now I want a retroactive reversal of all the accumulated negative behaviors over my entire life. Begin a process, yes. Expect immediate product? No.
Rapid transformations are exciting. I don't contend that. In person I've seen thousands of examples of near-immediate gratification. I've had clients lose over 100lbs in 8 months. I once met with a girl who'd been incapable of turning her head for 2 years (after whiplash from a car accident and 2 full years of physical therapy); and after I performed just 10 minutes of assisted mobility, she regained full range of motion with no pain. There are a lot of case studies like this, in fact. But it doesn't change the truth that we cannot expect those outcomes regularly. Be open to the possibility. Just don't hitch your emotions to the necessity of a miracle. Too many factors play a role. And, even when there is an "instant healing," how do we KEEP the achieved outcome? Is it still a success if we zoom the camera out to 5 or 10 year aftermath?
Despite what the really erudite bros on YouTube and Instagram say, tissue turnover is slow. Sorry. That's the science. Regeneration takes 5 days just to turnover skin cells after a basic superficial cut (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3055648/). When we get into total redesign of deep connective tissue, the initial cascade is six months or more. Everything prior to that is basic morphological changes, nervous system skill improvement, fuller glycogen reserves inside muscles. NEW muscle and tendon lengths and size occur some time after six months. Understand that. Tissue isn't going to change substantially in a period that's less than six months. It's not opinion. It's biology as contingent on immutable properties in biochemistry. Even the heart muscle cells only turnover AT MOST 10% per year, not dissimilar from skeletal bone turnover rates (http://book.bionumbers.org/how-quickly-do-different-cells-in-the-body-replace-themselves/). Do the math, genius. That's ten years. You aren't going to revise muscular makeup in 30 days. We can reprogram certain nervous system controls of skeletal muscle in a few seconds. But the tissue's potential capacity doesn't budge for six months. So, really, I'm not sure it's even remotely honest to discuss workout plans of less than 12 months.
Most tissue stress is just damage without upside. Again, I'm sad to report this, but the majority of muscular training is permanently injurious. Even tiny injuries to muscles do not result in replacement with MUSCLE tissue, but rather collagen filler (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23733696). You read that right. When you damage muscle cells, you don't replace them with muscle cells. You replace them with collagen filler. You think you're getting a good workout; but you're actually just reducing your long term potential. Most high intensity cross-training is making people weaker in the long run. The faster the rate of strength progression, the tighter the ceiling on long term performance. Incredible soreness, excessive work load and volume do not produce benefit. Only a small handful of people appear to gain strength from "insane" training; however, this is only an illusion, since they merely survived due to preexisting genetic and environmental factors. Most "success stories" and "testimonials" are this. They survived IN SPITE of bad methodology. They did not succeed BECAUSE of good methodology. This is evident by the fact that the general populace is increasingly obese and weaker.
There is no scientific basis for the types of workouts in which people "feel" the burn and repeatedly get sore over and over and over again. Adaptations from progressive overload are real. Yes, you gain improved capacity from CONTROLLED stress. No, you do not benefit from excessive stress. I repeat: you do not benefit from excessive stress.
Even with the incredibly low bar for what constitutes activity (i.e. - even walking, camping and fishing count), about 30% of Americans are inactive (http://www.physicalactivitycouncil.com/pdfs/current.pdf). Only one sixth of the populace has any sort of fitness membership (https://www.statista.com/statistics/236123/us-fitness-center--health-club-memberships/). I know, from seeing internally-gathered stats within the industry, that only about 10% of American adults have regular access. Of that, only 10% are active users. Among active users, visit anywhere, and you can see for yourself success rates, which are less than 10% even in the near term. You don't need the insight from me or any other person who's been inside the fitness industry. You can quickly figure out for yourself that, even if there were such a thing as rapid tissue change, at most it is less than a fraction of a fraction of a percent of people who can experience this.
Don't be an idiot. Look around your gym. The same guy who squatted 800lbs five years ago MAY still be squatting 800lbs, but not an ounce more. Go ahead and find your superhero online. The same strongmen who were deadlifting 1000lbs years ago are lucky if they still can. People outstrip their recovery timetables. They get hurt. They replace damaged muscle tissue with collagen and get weaker. Be smart. Go slow.
A current client of mine would, by most measures, be considered impossible. Some weeks he may perform zero workouts. Most weeks he does one to two. He's a busy professional, but a young guy with persistent back pain. Correction: he WAS a guy with persistent back pain. Most of my peers with ten or more years of experience would have appropriately assessed his imbalances and obvious weaknesses and mobility issues. However, for someone who will not realistically practice mobility with frequency, how are we going to correct those issues? I can get people 30-150% improvement in certain angles of flexibility in one session. But they can't keep that if they don't practice. And, in my experience, people with this level of rigidity do not/cannot benefit from static stretching/long-held poses. They usually get worse and/or hurt. Vinyasa helps some people with high inflexibility, but, again, only if they enjoy it and practice frequently.
For this guy, the only answer was patience. If you are honest and admit that you won't commit to high frequency, you have to honestly acknowledge the timeline. In fact, even if you committed to high frequency, you have to honestly acknowledge that your health and fitness behaviors have a timeline that is precisely equal to your remaining years on earth. It isn't six weeks. It isn't six months. Like a college degree or new language learned, you can certainly house the intense period of study within a more finite period. But the maintenance lifestyle behaviors are lifelong, not months or even a few years.
I bring up this client with former back pain for a few reasons. Firstly, he is completely transformed. He could not safely bend over to tie his shoes when we met. All attempts at yoga, strength training, and even just day-to-day work and activity yielded irritation. It took months to retrain his proprioception such that he would brace his spine appropriately and properly control eccentric loading in the hamstrings. Simply put, he had trained himself to flex at the spine almost exclusively for a life time. He could not bow at the hip with his gluteal weakness and hamstring/adductor immobility.
Like most advanced practitioners, I can get him to change patterns immediately. Look around the fitness, chiropractic, physical therapy, and sports performance worlds, and you'll find all kinds of techniques which gift immediate gratification, from old school PNF, to AIS, to MAT, to the nouveaux sequential firing assessments. But if he won't practice, it won't stick. Rather than just keep performing a mini-healing every time he shows up, we decided to map out workout programming he WILL perform. Novel idea, huh?
This meant we had to restart and retrain certain exercises. His deadlift, for example, was a mess. I could cue him into proficiency; but I had low confidence in his ability to replicate in homework. So we adapted to a sumo stance rack pull. Trolls would disapprove, of course. Many fitness "professionals" would skip this step, hurt him, and forget about him among the graveyard of other "failed" clients. But I know better. Slow and steady wins the race. His risk of injury on his own was reduced as much as possible while still approximating the movement. His confidence improved. His strength improved. He didn't get hurt. Thus he stayed the course for over a year.
It's not sexy. But it laid the groundwork for athleticism with all of his givens. Also, it allowed us to gain enough resilience, control, and mobility, that after a year we could safely take his deadlift to the ground, though it still needed to be sumo/wide stance. I could see his active flexibility slowly improving. I felt confident he would gain full mobility by continuing to stay patient. He did.
I know that a lot of other coaches and trainers don't take this tact. I know, because many of my clients over the years come to me after they got hurt or discouraged with someone else. This is also why I've repeatedly decried rapid transformation testimonials. They happen. But they're exceptions and almost exclusively survival stories. When you see pages of rapid transformations, remember that you need to multiply that number by 100 to understand how many people aren't featured because they didn't survive the "methodology." Rapid transformation itself is folly.
So, let's get back to this client with former aches and rigidity. Today, in standard position, he can deadlift 250lbs for reps. Most importantly, he hasn't been hurt for over two years. So he can keep building. Ten years from now, he will be stronger, as long as he continues being patient. The funny thing is, at that point he will also be stronger than most of the current social media gurus. They'll be stagnant, weaker, or long since quit. He'll be going to the gym a few days a month, but consistently, and in better shape than them all. It's all due simply to the fact that impatience doesn't yield real health and fitness.
Activated charcoal. That’s right. At your local drug store, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, etc., there will be in the “digestion” aisle something called activated charcoal. Near the beano and digestive enzymes and such. And that something may be one of the best kept holiday secrets. Just check the wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activated_carbon
I have been working with people who have extremely impaired gut health since I started professionally training and coaching clients in 2004. It’s part of what led me to fasting. It’s part of why I pursued weight loss coaching, nutrition science, and understanding lab testing and hormone profiles.
I know behavioral change. I know training. I know biology. I know nutrition. As such, I also know that people have a propensity to mismanage themselves and outright shoot themselves in the foot. But charcoal can help change all that.
It’s a good enough binder to be preferred for drug overdose victims in the ER. Imagine what it can do for food poisoning; and I don’t just mean food that’s left out too long. I mean you ate processed, refined garbage that someone is passing off as food or drink. You accidentally had cross contamination with something that triggers migraine, gastric distress, brain fog or anaphylaxis.
It’s cheap. It’s easy. No. It’s not a substitute for good nutritional programming. But especially for people with compromised health, compromised gut health, growing sensitivities, or willpower issues around weight loss, HAVE THIS ON HAND.
We will never be always motivated; so we can't be "a little disciplined."
You never "almost" ride a bike.
Navy SEALs don't "sort of" get through Hell week training.
No one is "more-or-less" on time.
A predator doesn't "just about" assault someone.
Gaining back all the weight lost doesn't mean the program was "pretty" successful.
There is. And there isn't. There exists do. And there exists don't.
Five days of adherence followed by two days of chaos is not "kinda disciplined." Six weeks of rigor followed by one day of torpor is not "almost" anything. Either that day off was part of disciplined plan or it was lack of plan.
I have been waking up between 2:45 and 4:30am for 15 years. And I'm not a morning person. It started as part of my job. And it became part of how I dominate a day, week, month, year, or life. It couldn't have been a "part of the time" proposition when I was getting accolade for highest performing trainer, coach, director, etc. in the country at large companies or in my own independent ventures. Discipline is simply consistency. And consistency is simply ALL THE TIME.
For the forthcoming New Year, you need discipline EVERY DAY. So pick behaviors and endeavors you WILL DO every day. Will you perform a two hour workout every day? Then don't make that a goal. Will you eat zero carbs every day? Then don't make that a goal. Part of being disciplined is being honest and realistic. What WILL YOU DO every day? THAT will be your discipline.
Broad review of clinical research indicates physical activity is as or more effective at addressing depression than medication, talk therapy, and social support.
Strength is a skill. All human movement is directed by strength. All sports and athletics involve movement. Skills are best developed over time. Elderly athletes have had incredibly unfair excesses of time to practice their skill.
I once had a client in his 60s bemoan his age, lamenting his various imagined limitations, and asking me, in all seriousness, "is it possible to do push-ups as you age; and what's the most a person can do in their 50s versus 60s versus 70s?" I looked at him like he was crazy. His obvious implied belief was that there is some sort of biological fatalism dictating that we magically gain strength for pushups when we're "young," and with every passing year the deities subtract a specific number of strength units from our life aura. I said, "how many more years has a 70 year old had to train pushups than I have?" The fact is, people 10, 20, 30 years older than me ought to be 10, 20, 30 years more skilled. That includes strength.
Pictured above is a woman now in her 90s who can nail a PLANCHE. This is harder than 50 pushups. This is harder than 500lb deadlifts. This is harder than 400lb benchpress. This takes more strength than all the bros at your local gym ever have had. Go ahead. Ask ten of your fittest young friends and colleagues to nail a planche. Ask your young nieces, nephews, kids, friends' kids. Their young age clearly makes ALL OF THEM super strong and capable of doing a planche, right? No? Oh. Weird. I thought that being young just magically made you skillful at strength. Hmm.
Age is an indication of how long we've had to practice any set of skills, including strength skill. If you don't practice, then yes, age is an indicator of weakness. That is solely due to many years of practicing weakness. That doesn't have a damn thing to do with the inherent nature of time passage. So let's stop pretending weakness, frailness, slowness, and loss of balance is about the inevitability of "aging," and take ownership and responsibility for our own targeted efforts at getting as weak as we possibly can. More importantly, take it in the opposite direction. Practice strength. The older you get, the more unfair advantage you'll have had.