No long ago I traveled to Machu Picchu. I was amazed not only by the ruins but by where they were built. The place has a divine feeling. It is impossible for me to put the feeling and experience into words.
While there, I also learned how the Incas had a system. Many people, like me, don’t take the time to think about how the ruins were built and the time and effort required. When we think about all the empires and ruins all over the world, we often don’t think about the years it took to build them. It was not an overnight construction or even a couple-of-months project.
Not only did it take time but it required discipline, a plan, structured systems among other things…
The king or leader needed to have control over every single detail to make any of this happen. Of course, just like the present, there are systems they used to control the outcome of their empires.
I could not stop thinking about how many of us want a successful life and to be happy and achieve our dreams — such as losing weight — without even thinking about a process and not taking the time to be disciplined. For example, we think that by taking hormones (or using pomade, or massage treatment, or taking pills, or getting a surgery done) we are going to have a nice body and lose weight.
Many times we put in the effort for one month and get discouraged because we are not where we want to be in a short period of time…
Can you imagine creating an empire in a month by just sitting on the couch contemplating the clouds; or sitting in front of your computer waiting for your multithousand-dollar check without putting in any effort; or having a nice, toned body by getting a massage every day? Everyone by now would have created their empire, be a millionaire and have a nice body.
This is exactly why many of us continue unhappily trying to achieve our dreams. We want things easy and fast. Therefore, we don’t put in the effort, and we get desperate when we don’t see the results.
I became overwhelmed by all my goals and dreams. I started to think about how far I have gotten, but that is nothing compared to how far I wanted to get. It made me think that I needed to be more disciplined about what I do and create a better system and know more and hire the right people to continue improving others’ lives.
I bet everything started with a dream or an idea…
Then that person started to plan and took action. Then he needed to make decisions throughout the process. This is how an empire was created. Nothing happened by accident. We read stories or watch documentaries, and because it takes us only a couple of hours to read or watch a documentary, we can’t really perceive all the years invested in an empire. We have not lived the time and effort invested.
Every decision you make will bring you consequences in the future. People who are successful did not become successful overnight even though it appears that way, just how we perceive an empire when we read or watch a documentary. We have not lived their lives or put in the effort and time like they did.
Successful people have shown us the traits to achieve that same success, but we opt to ignore them…
Now think about your life and see where you are going. If you continue making the same decisions you are making right now, where would you be in 30 years? Is your life looking better? Are you overweight? Are you broke? Are you ill? Are you working in a place you don’t like to work? Are you ignorant? Did you waste time and are you regretting the decisions you made?
Or are you financially free? Healthy with a nice body? Are you practicing your desired career? Are you enjoying every moment with your progress?
Where will you be in 30 years? If you save $5 a day for a year you get $1,825; over 30 years you end up with $54,750. And if you invest that money, it may double by then depending on your investment. But if you do the opposite, you probably will be in debt. The same happens with your food choices. If you have a couple of drinks and eat junk food for dinner every night, where do you think you will be in 30 years — overweight and maybe in the hospital?
The more disciplined and organized you are towards your goals, the more likely you will achieve them…
Every decision, every hour and every day counts when building your empire. Your body is an empire, your family is an empire, your finances are an empire, your connection with God is an empire, your profession is an empire. If you want to be successful in these areas, think about each decision you make every day.
Each decision brings a consequence, and leaders know this. This is why they are able to create empires. This is how you make your life better. This is how you become successful. Everything keeps adding up, and this is what appears to be overnight. Albert Einstein said, “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.” Not only your money compounds with interest when you invest it, but your actions and habits compound over time as well.
If you think about it when you see a friend whom you have not seen in a while and see the change in his or her body, you see the change but you don’t see the effort and time he or she has put in. Also, when you see a financially successful person enjoying his or her life you only see the success, you have not seen the effort and time the person has invested.
So to create an empire it is not enough to wish or dream. It is important to plan, follow systems, discipline oneself and be careful with every single action we take in every moment. These choices will compound overnight either you want to or not.
When I got into exercise, weight lifting, in the year 2001, one of the first things I learned is that if I wanted to grow muscle, I needed to eat foods high in protein…
In fact, most people know about protein shakes. I used to take at least 2 shakes every day. I did not know much about the subject. Like many people, I followed the flow and believed the myths that others told me. Back then, I used to order my protein online. It was cheaper than buying locally. So I ordered protein for other friends as well. A particular friend, who I ordered for, said that protein would give him pimples. Sometimes we don’t use common sense. I had many pimples on my back, but I did not put the dots together. Back then one of my desires was to gain a lot of muscle, be big. So I did not care about any consequences of anything I ate. I used to eat 2 Big Macs at MacDonald’s for lunch often. I used to buy processed food and eat anything because the myth was to eat as much as I could to acquire a lot of protein to build muscle.
At one point in my life, I deeply suffered, but not from the junk food or protein intake. However, that pain opened my eyes. I noticed many things I was doing wrong, such as believing the protein myth. I started a deep research into foods. This led me to study the protein shakes’ ingredients which are full of chemicals that are not made to digest. I continued studying foods and found out that junk food has a lot of chemicals and it was not made for nutrition, but for profit. I stopped drinking protein shakes and eating junk food, as well as fast food. My muscle mass did not decrease, nor did my strength. My energy levels increased, my skin cleared up from the pimples, my stomach problems stopped and I didn’t get sick anymore. It has now been almost 5 years since this specific change.
The protein myth is what I’m going emphasize today…
We tend to believe what the masses believe. If the masses, including school, tell us that diseases are genetic, we believe it. If they say that the economy is bad, we believe it, and if they said that the world is flat, we believe it. This is also true for the protein myth. We believe we need a high intake of protein, either from meat, milk, shakes, tofu or other products. However, many professionals now claim that we can get all the protein we need without eating meat and drinking other mammals’ milk. The reality is that many people are conscious about their protein intake. Even vegetarians look for some source of protein to meet their belief.
As a matter of fact, many people believe that toddlers need a good amount of protein to grow healthy. I read several researches that concluded that formulas weaken the infant immune system, cause stomach discomfort and are a factor for later cancer. The real food that Mother Nature provides for a toddler is the mom’s milk which makes the infant’s immune system stronger by protecting the infant against many diseases, infections and allergies; it helps with the developing of the brain and it decreases the baby’s predisposition to become overweight. In other words, babies who are breastfeeding are healthier than those who are not. Mother’s milk is 2.38 percent protein reducing to 1.2 percent six months later. In other words, when according to society we need the most protein is when we get the least and yet, we grow healthier. So, why is the myth so credible?
No one has an idea about how much protein we need…
Just as any other nutrient, including water, every body is different. Many people think that we need one gram of protein per each kilogram. But it is not only the size of the person, but the physiological needs of the person that determines the protein needed. In addition, Dr. Mark Hegstead’s research suggests that most human beings adapt to whatever protein intake is available to them. Also, new research shows that people do not need to combine foods to get complete proteins from vegetables and legumes. A report by the International Union of Nutritional Science claims that adult males consume 39 to 110 grams of protein. There is more research that claims that we don’t need animal protein to survive, be healthy and strong. In fact, much research shows that meats contribute to obesity and cancer among other disease. My point of view is that most meats are grown with hormones, antibiotics, certain grains and other products that are harmful for us. This is the reason why there is a link to health problems. However, the more I read about food, the more I found that protein from animals is not needed to have a healthy life.
The truth is the Western diet is loaded with animal protein and many of these products have been produced with hormones and other harmful ingredients…
I have cut my animal protein intake by more than fifty percent. I usually only eat meat at my dinner. People who have significantly cut their animal protein intake do lose weight drastically. Our success stories are good example. He cut his meat intake, started to exercise at CBF and lost just over 10 pounds on the scale in his first month, additionally increasing his energy and muscle mass.
Here is my recommendation, if you like animal protein and want to live a healthier life and lose weight, start reducing your meat intake. Eat animal protein, including milk, fish and eggs, only once a day. If you are worried about your calcium intake, you can find calcium in vegetables, such as the turnip greens which have more calcium than milk. Also, calcium is not the only mineral that you need to keep your bones strong; you will find the rest of most minerals in vegetables. In addition, buy local grassfed cattle. Artificially induced hormones do contribute to cancer and obesity. Find a competent dietitian who can help you understand your body needs. There are many people who have gone to a competent dietitian who has helped them to understand their bodies’ needs and they usually ended up cutting meats, especially industrialized meat.
The other day one of my clients asked me if fruits make people gain weight…
I told her that fruits are part of a healthy diet plan.
She said that she and her coworker were eating a banana and her manager told them that fruits make them fat because they’re high in sugar.
There are many myths about foods and one of them is that sugar makes you fat…
Let me clarify this myth. Fruits are not a contributor of the obesity epidemic. However, processed refined sugars are the real problem. These sugars are high in calories, don’t have a nutritional value, don’t make people feel full, easy to access, cheap, and they are addicting. Now, can you see why these sugars contribute to obesity?
However, sugars from real fruits are not high in calories; they have nutritional value such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and antioxidants; they are from Mother Nature; they make people feel full; there are a variety of fruits; they increase ones energy; they decreased heart attacks and they are not addicting.
I read that fruits are the most perfect food to eat. If fruits are eaten right, they do not require a lot of energy to digest. Fruits are made of a carbohydrate chain called fructose, but the body can be easily converted into glucose. Glucose is what the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and the peripheral system) needs to function properly. Also, fruits contain 90 to 95% water, not high in calories, and they hydrate the body easily. In addition, a high water content fruit is good for cleansing the body.
The myth of fruits making you fat is truly a myth, or a lie to be more specific…
I have yet to meet a vegetarian person (whom has a high intake of fruits) that is fat. No research has proven that fruits make people fat. Refined and processed sugar does.
So next time you go buy your groceries, fill up your shopping cart with fruits.
To take full advantage of fruit consumption one recommendation is to eat fruits in an empty stomach. Fruits are not primarily digested in the stomach. They are digested in the small intestine. However, if there are other foods in the stomach, such as meats, the fruits are fermented losing some nutritional value. It is okay to juice fruits, but not to buy juice from concentrate. Most bottled juices have been processed and have lost nutritional value. A juicer is a good investment. Someone told me that I should sell my car and buy a juicer instead.
Add fruits to your diet and get the best out of eating fruits. Make it a lifetime behavior, safe money in the long term, avoid diseases, lose weight, feel energetic, and enjoy a good meal or snack without the worry that you will gain weight.
Everything that is alive, has a high percentage of water.
The earth is 70% water. Sixty percent of our bodies are made of water. Water is very important to survive. A 5 to 8% decrease of water can cause fatigue and dizziness. Over 10% can cause physical and mental deterioration. When the body loses more than 15% to 25% of water it can be fatal.
I have read that 8 glasses of water a day are recommended. However, others say you should follow your thirst. And some say that if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Everyone’s body is different. Some people are taller than 6 feet and others shorter than 5. Some people are muscular built and others have excess of fat. It is obvious that 8 glasses of water is not truly a proper need for everyone. To drink when one is thirsty is obvious. However, sometimes we don’t have access to water. Drinking water when one is not thirsty is also uncomfortable for some people. Personally, I don’t want to force my body to drink water.I monitor my body and drink when I’m starting to get thirsty or I drink water when I’m not thirsty but I’m aware that I have not drink water. I make sure that I have access to water most times. This can be done by easily carrying a bottle of water.
I recommend buying the 5 gallon jug of filtered water to have at the house….
Let’s face it, faucet water contains many unpurified, toxic products that harm your health including, chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and other substances. And if you are close to a fracking area, you may also have some natural gas on it. Anyway, plastic also contains chemicals that harm your body. Therefore, the glass and metal bottles are recommended that. They are more expensive but more safe. By the way, alcohol is not water and can’t substitute water. It does the opposite; it dehydrates the body (sometimes I get this question or comment).
In addition, to drinking clean water and drinking enough, I recommend you get hydrated by another important intake which will help you more than water. Fruits, vegetables and sprouts are foods high in water. These products are more effective in hydrating one’s body than drinking water alone. Plus, they are also good for cleansing.
Many people eat low or no water content foods…
Guess what processed foods are? No or minimum water content foods. To keep the body hydrated, people should eat 70% of water content foods. Long time ago, before I put some common sense to work, I used to feed dry food to my dogs. They used to drink a lot of water. Every day I needed to refill the jug. Now that they eat high content water foods, they don’t drink much water. Have you checked your diet? Are you eating 15%, 30%, 50% or 70% of high water content foods? There is a saying that states, “You are what you eat.” This is complete true. If you eat unhealthy foods, you will become unhealthy. Organic and natural grown foods are the healthiest foods on earth.
To make a high content water foods diet is simple. Eat fruits as breakfast; snack on fruits and add a high percentage of vegetables to your main dishes, and cut all processed foods.
To conclude, drink water as your body asks you to. Don’t dehydrate yourself before you drink water. Drink clean water and keep pollution out by drinking filtered water and out of a glass container. To further increase your hydration, health and weight loss,eat foods rich in water, such as fruits vegetables and sprouts.
Oxygen plays a key role in weight loss, increasing your metabolism and muscle gain…
Here is why.
Each muscle of our body requires oxygen to survive. When we turn the age of 26, we have less muscle tissue and this is due to the loss of muscle mass aging provides. Every decade the body loses around 5% of muscle mass. American Council on Exercise claims that resting stroke volume declines approximately 30% between the age of 25 and 85 and when combined with the decrease in maximal heart rate, it leads to a drop in cardiac output of 30 to 60%. In fact, resting cardiac output declines 1% upon reaching adulthood. Also, oxygen extraction declines 8 to 10% after the human body reaches adulthood.
Oxygen is necessary to burn fat…
It metabolizes fat and carbohydrates and also makes adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the energy the body needs to function and survive.
When we breathe, we deliver oxygen to the lungs where blood comes and removes it, and then delivers it to the heart and the body, including muscles and cells by the lymph system. As a reminder, the cardiovascular system is responsible to deliver oxygen to the whole body and remove waste from the body. The arteries deliver blood (except for the pulmonary artery) and veins remove the carbon dioxin from the body (except for the pulmonary vein). The heart is the bump that pumps the blood through the body by the “pipes” called blood vessels (Arteries, veins and capillaries). People who don’t have the habit of exercise have not trained their cardiovascular system to deliver enough oxygen to the whole body to increase their metabolism.
Remember that our body is made by cells which play a big role in keeping it healthy, young and in shape. The Lymph system is a branch of the cardiovascular system. It happens after the capillaries diffused all the nutrients and oxygen in the fluid around the cell. Here in the lymph system is where the cells acquire all the oxygen needed and remove toxic and dead cells. According to research, the lymph system is activated by deep breathing. The reason is because the lymph system does not have a pump like the cardiovascular system. The way the lymph system gets rid of wastes and gets its need is by the muscular movement. The muscular movement that the lymph system needs is by deep breathing and exercise.
Some of us don’t take into consideration the amount of oxygen we are getting…
or if the lymph system is getting enough movement to work to the fullest. According to studies, if the lymph system stops functioning for 24 hours, the body would be dead because of the trapped proteins and excess of fluid around the cells. Personally, I don’t think people need to get tested to find out what their oxygen consumption is. However, they should be paying attention to the behaviors that they are doing and not doing to get the right amount of oxygen and get the lymph system working properly.
The first recommendations are to take care of your body by exercising, meditating and taking time to take deep breathes during the day. Doing strength training will increase the muscle mass of your body. A good example is weight training. Cardiovascular training will train your cardiovascular system including your heart. One example is running. These two exercises will allow you to deliver and extract more oxygen. Meditation it is very beneficial. Besides clearing your mind, it will make you more aware of your breathing and this will improve the function of your lymph system. I recommend you take some breathing classes or learn more about proper breathing.
Learning has become a regular habit that I practice every day…
I am aware that if I need to become successful in my life, I need to learn from a person who is successful in the area that I want and need to improve.
Many times I hear people sharing a lot of good and valid information. If they would apply the information they share in their lives, they would be in a better position. For example, I have heard overweight people giving advice about losing weight and broke people talking about investing. It is not that the information isn’t good, but they usually don’t know how it feels to apply such information in their own lives. Nothing speaks louder than actions.
So when I want to know something, such as how to make the right investment, improve my relationship, improve my health, improve my business, become a better person or have a higher connection with God, I make sure I ask people who are role models and are living what they know and, of course, are in a better position than me in that area.
I love to study people and make conclusions about who can help me improve my life…
When I am struggling or if I want to improve an area of my life, I make sure I ask the right person. For example, I have friends, clients and family who have been happily married for more than 20, 30 and 40 years. I think is safe to ask these people how they are happily married. Of course, there is not a single answer. What I have discovered is I need people to tell me their story, so I can make my conclusions.
I have heard so many amazing stories. My jaw drops when people open up to me and tell me all the hardships they have experienced, from losing loved ones, to being abused, to sacrificing years of their lives for others. Many are conscious choices and other times life just happens. But the truth is that nothing has been easy for them, and we don’t know how difficult other people’s lives are.
This is the reason many of us don’t improve our lives:
We are afraid of putting the new information in practice and pay the price.
I learned that being smart is applying the information we know and understanding that the information is not easy to apply. But I also learned that we don’t have an idea how difficult life has been for many people, and we don’t know their stories. Many of us think that they had it easy, until we find out otherwise.
I like telling people my story and my turnaround. The reason I tell my story is not to be the center of attention or for people to feel pity for me. I tell them my story so they can be motivated and realize they can do better. Nevertheless, after hearing so many stories about people’s struggles, I am the one who has noticed that I have not lived to my potential yet. These stories end up motivating me.
This is why I love supporting people in their goals. However, supporting people is not the same as spoiling…
It reminded me when I saw a guy finishing a marathon with his foot hurting. I could have told him, “You are hurting. You should stop,” but it would not do any good to his psyche.
We were sponsoring a marathon giving water to runners right before the last three miles. A woman drove to the station and asked me to wait for her boys because they were the last ones in the race. She mentioned that one of the boys had a hurt foot, but he is so persistent that he won’t give up. I responded that she might have a son with a hurting foot and I understand that she was concerned, but she should be proud of her son for being so persistent. These are the people who make it in life and achieve their goals. They learn how to play hurting.
I did not think much of the situation until 10 minutes later when the son arrived. He not only was hurting, he had other limitations, but he had a big smile on his face. The way he was limping showed real pain. Like I said, I did not think much of it. For some reason, I thought that he would just stop at our station and jump into his mom’s car. But he drank his water and continued limping to the finish line.
I am being completely honest with you. I stared at him, and many thoughts crossed my mind. Once of those thoughts is how easy many of us have it, yet we complain about any discomfort. And how much suffering is in this world, yet certain people continue to the finish line just like the brave guy finishing his marathon. This is what I called heart, spirit, purpose, motivation, desire … I thought about my life and struggles, and he lightened my heart to do better. He touched my heart so much that I even cried.
There are so many amazing stories of people who have changed the world…
but not because they are special. They have become special, extraordinary. You and I have the same potential. But we have to have the desire to do better and the courage to endure some pain.
So here is my conclusion: Get all the information you can, from the right people, to improve your situation, and make sure you apply the information to your life; don’t just gather information to collect it and prove you are smart. Smart people don’t just know — they do and live it.
Most of the time we don’t know other people’s stories until we listen to them. We need to listen between the words and understand that to change and become better, suffering is often required.
We think our lives have been hard until we hear someone else’s life story. Yes, our lives are difficult, but many others had it worse, and they have achieved more than we have.
People who have the desire and spirit to continue moving forward even though they are hurting will make it to the finish line. Many times pain is not a sign for you to stop, it is just an obstacle before your finish line.
What should I be eating?
It’s easy for me to tell you to eat healthy, but for many of us we don’t really know what “healthy” looks like. I remember back in my pre-Custom body Fitness Days I thought that I was eating healthy. But in reality I was 30 pounds overweight. Let me tell you what I would typically be eating. Breakfast I would make protein pancakes. This consisted of banana, oatmeal, eggs, and protein powder. Then I would have an apple and a protein bar for snack.
Lunch would consist of ground turkey, quinoa pasta, and spaghetti sauce. Then I would have another afternoon snack – maybe some crackers and hummus and then dinner would be the same thing I had for lunch. Now, this was if I followed my “meal plan”. Often times there would be a doughnut, cookie, or some other tempting snack readily available at my office.
Also, I ate out for many meals a lot of times as well. If I had documented everything I was eating back then and read it today, I am sure I would be appalled. This is what you should be eating. The number one staple in your diet should be vegetables. Shoot for 50% veggies in all your meals. And by vegetables I don’t mean 50% potatoes, although they are a wonderful food, keep your plate full of veggies like kale, spinach, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, squash. and carrots. Now that being said, be conscious of how you are cooking your vegetables.
Raw is always a great option in salads and other dishes. But if you prefer to cook them you should use healthy oils like coconut and avocado oil. You may also steam, bake, and dry sauté them. Another energy source for your body (because food is fuel) is carbohydrates such as fruit and other grains. Some of these carbohydrates are going to keep you fuller longer. Fruit is a fast acting carbohydrate and is going to burn much more quickly and is going to give you instant energy. Grains are going to metabolize slower than fruits and keep your blood sugar stable for longer. Therefore, it’s important to eat both depending on the situation.
The next energy source for your body is healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, dairy, nuts and seeds. These are going to help keep you fuller longer. It takes the body longer to break down fats than it does carbohydrates. The last energy source to burn is protein. Good sources of protein include organic meat, organic dairy, nuts, and many plants have protein as well. These should be incorporated in your diet as well. As you can see many foods contain a variety of the macro nutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) usually with one primary macronutrient.
The combination of all these energy sources, or foods, is what you should be consuming. Again, eating a variety of foods but also being conscious of which foods are higher in calories. Also, some people enjoy eating more protein and fat for energy, others enjoy less protein and fat and a higher carb diet. Some like to balance out the macronutrients a little more evenly. The point is again, watch the amount of high calorie foods you are eating and eat foods that grow on a tree or in the ground is a good rule of thumb for the majority of your diet.
Is exercise really that important?
In addition to eating a clean diet it is also recommended to exercise for weight loss. But what is more important, eating or exercise? Now if you really want to lose weight and tone your body there are three things that you need to be doing. I call it the weight loss triad. You must eat healthy, lift weights, and do cardiovascular exercise. All are very important; however, it is very difficult to out exercise a bad diet.
As I mentioned before, weight loss at it’s most basic level is calories in and calories out. So, if you are eating more calories than you are burning you are not going to lose weight. It’s not that diet is more important than exercise; they both have very important health benefits, it is simply the fact that if you eat too many calories it is impossible for the average person to reach a caloric deficit by going to the gym and exercising for an hour a day. I am going to give you an example of exactly what I mean in the following example.
How much sugar are you drinking?
For this example we are going to focus on sugar added drinks but this can also apply to processed and packaged foods as well. Make sure to read the label to find out how much sugar and how many calories you are consuming.
We have all heard that sugar-added drinks are bad for our health and lead to weight gain and even obesity. When I say sugar added drinks I am talking about soda, juice, teas, energy drinks, powdered mixers and even the so-called “healthy drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water. So the question on my mind is “Why do we still drink these beverages that are so bad for our health in the first place?”
The answer is clear to me- addiction. That’s right, we are so addicted to the feelings we get from drinking these sugar laden beverages that we lack the willpower to ditch these dirty drinks once and for all. Or, perhaps we have heard these drinks are bad for our health but we don’t really understand the actual consequences of ingesting them on a daily or frequent basis. So what exactly are the implications of drinking so much sugar?
Well many of you are reading this because you want to lose weight. Therefore, I am going to explain to you just how your sugar consumption is affecting your weight loss or contributing to weight gain. As I mentioned before, weight loss is basically calories in and calories out. All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight? Well that sounds pretty darn easy to me! I’ll just eat less and run more. Ok, great, we have a plan. Now let’s talk how many calories a typical person will burn each day.
Being a woman of 140 pounds and 5 feet 7 inches tall I will burn about 1200 calories a day without any additional movement. If I have a very active job I will probably burn more, but this is what I would burn if I were rather sedentary.
Earlier we talked about exercise being one of the key to weight loss due to the fact that it helps you burn extra calories as well as provide many other additional benefits. If I run a mile I would burn 100 to 110 calories and weight lifting burns anywhere from 400-500 calories an hour.
If I naturally burn 1,200 calories a day and I exercise for an hour or so I can burn anywhere from 1,600-1,700 calories in a day. This is the amount of calories I would need to consume to maintain my weight. If I want to lose weight then I need to consume less.
Here is what an average American’s day looks like when consuming sugar added drinks:
While at the gym they drink their 12oz Gatorade and that Gatorade is packed with 21 grams of sugar.
Then it’s time to eat breakfast. A meal replacement shake is awesome! For many that is breakfast and it has 7 grams of sugar, but a lot of people are still hungry so they have two eggs and a glass of Juicy Juice. The juice is a is a whopping 27 grams of sugar.
Then a peach tea with lunch because tea is healthy- 26 grams. Three pm crash rolls around and you need a cup of coffee in the afternoon, however, you must have creamer. But you only use a little, so it’s ok. When in reality many people don’t realize that they add around 3-5 table spoons of creamer to their cup of coffee- and this adds up to 15- 25 grams of sugar.
With dinner a nice glass or two of Chardonnay – which adds up to about 3 grams of sugar.
Now, let’s look at the amount of sugar consumed in a day. That totals up to 130 grams of sugar!! Just in what was drank!
The recommended intake of sugar for many people is 25 grams per day. Not to mention that 130 grams of sugar is 520 calories!!
This many grams of sugar would take an hour in the gym to burn off. Why not just ditch the sugary drinks and save some hours in the gym?
Use fear as your motivator
Emotional eating: We all struggle with it and we all wonder why. What are the some of the reasons that we eat? We are hungry, tired, bored, stressed, celebrating something, sad about something, out with friends, we are being peer pressured by our friends, our beliefs, it’s readily available, or we don’t want to make someone else feel bad. Now, I could stand here all day and give you superficial and silly ideas that will help to stop yourself from eating an entire bag of chocolate M&Ms when you are feeling the slightest bit of stress or sadness.
Here are a few examples I have come across over the years:
1. Pamper yourself: wear soft, comfortable clothes, take bubble baths, read a book with some hot tea.
That’s great and all but I know how busy you all are and when you’re running around during the day the last thing you can do is stop and take a bubble bath.
2. Create a “hunger scale.” Now when I saw this I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly.
I’m guessing it’s like a pain scale. You get vicoden if you’re at a certain level, if you’re a certain number on this then you can eat the potato chips.
3. Keep a food journal. I believe this does raise awareness and holds you accountable for what you are eating.
But is it sustainable long term?
4.Snap your wrist with a rubber band.
I have tried this one. I ended up taking the rubber band off of my hand after just one day.
5. Smell the food but don’t eat it. I will do this sometimes. Especially cake and doughnuts!
This is somewhat fulfilling, but it can also make it more tempting for someone who has no reason to not eat it other than weight loss.
6. Play with your dog.
I do love to play with my dog, but I found out that she enjoys potato chips just as much as I do! And she would probably encourage me to buy them! Alright, back to emotional eating. We have six primary emotions:
Out of these six emotions, which do you think is the strongest? Any marketing executive today will tell you that it is fear; fear is the most motivating emotion. Fear trumps all other emotions and when we are feeling fear our other emotions are no longer as powerful.
Fear is an emotion that has a bad reputation. We think fear and we automatically assume something negative, but do we ever consider that we can use fear constructively within ourselves?
Let me tell you my story. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease over ten years ago. I had an enlarged thyroid and my Mother noticed one day. She was concerned so I went to the doctor to get it checked out. I went in and the doctor told me that it was my thyroid. We ran some tests and I had an ultrasound done to confirm that it was not cancer. Turns out it was not cancer which is a blessing. However, I did have a very significant case of hypothyroidism. He gave me a pill and told me that I would have to be on this thyroid hormone the rest of my life. I wasn’t upset at all. You see, I had a very different mindset back then. It was, “oh poor me, I have this disease and there is nothing I can do about it” I’ll just get progressively worse. I will just have to live with these symptoms, and I did. Eating the Standard American Diet and continuing blindly on this path to self destruction. I figured I was just going to have to live with acne, weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, exhaustion, and brain fog. The majority of my early twenties were spent this way. I never once tied all my symptoms or my disease to the lifestyle that I was living.
If you remember earlier I told you I used to be 30 pounds overweight. I really began my health journey three years ago when I joined Custom Body Fitness. I call it my health journey because it has not been just about weight loss for me. I look back now and realize that I was a miserable shell of a human being and when I came to Sandro (the owner of Custom Body Fitness) he challenged my beliefs and he really pushed me to find a better solution and to improve my health. Not just with exercise but with lifestyle changes. At first I was resistant and even angry with him for questioning something that I thought he knew absolutely nothing about. But slowly I came around. I started doing my own research and little by little I changed my own way of thinking. I began realizing that when you accept something the way that it is, you have given up. Given up on yourself and the people that you love and who love you.
I began researching and finding alternative treatments. It wasn’t more than a year after I began my healing journey that I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, which is the autoimmune thyroid condition. I believe I had this condition all along but was never diagnosed. This was a huge setback for me! All of my effort and I get more bad news. I could have rolled over and given up right then, but no. Something inside of me wanted to fight. I knew there was a way to heal and improve my health. So I researched more and more. I became obsessed about my health. I finally found a hormone specialist who did IGG food sensitivity testing. I found out 35 foods including dairy, wheat, soy ,and corn were exactly what was causing all of my symptoms. I cut out all of these foods and started to feel much better. But then much to my dismay my symptoms started to reappear, so I did more research and tweaked my diet even more.
My diet is very restrictive, and it is difficult at times, but I always remember my motivation. My point here is that I have motivation to eat healthy due to all of my intolerances, but more than that what drives me is fear. What will my future look like concerning my thyroid if I don’t do the best I can every single time I chose to eat something?
We all fear something whether we like to admit it or not. What I have found to be the most powerful influence to make better choices is living through fear-at least in the beginning. Allowing the fear to consume you to the point that no other emotion is capable of taking it’s place in the arena of healthy eating. If we allow our fears to surface and use them as or reasons for wanting a healthier lifestyle then maybe we can consistently make better decisions.
Perhaps you have a health condition and you have never really thought about the implications or what you are consuming. Or maybe you have and are simply choosing to ignore that fear until you have to face it. Maybe you have a family member who is suffering from an illness, or maybe a friend. Maybe your fear is that you won’t be able to physically do the things you want to do. I focus these fears on health because ultimately that is what a poor diet and excess weight leads to, health issues. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute this is about weight loss not disease prevention. Well I think that we all know that obesity and poor health usually go hand in hand. Also, once you find the motivation to eat healthier for whatever your reason is, weight loss will automatically become a part of that.
I know this works because I have lived it and it has taken me many years. I was never able to make a permanent change until I allowed myself to want to be better and at first that was driven by fear. It is interesting though, sometime our fear can turn to hope and that is just as powerful. If you have found yourself in a situation similar to my own I want tell you right now that I live in one of the two places at all times. Fear or hope, fear for what could happen if I make the wrong choices and hope for what will happen if I continue to make the right choices. Our mind is amazingly powerful and the things that we choose to focus on are the things that we can control.
Weight loss is about knowing the best actions you can take for your health, caring enough to contemplate those actions, and controlling yourself enough to take those actions.
She started crying as she was relieving her stress,
She continued adding more details to the story.
It reminded me of the story of another of our members. She was the opposite…
“Many people compliment me because of the great body I have, and I feel uncomfortable and I tell them I owe a lot to my genes.”
“To your genes? So that means that you just started and soon you look like this?” I asked.
“Not really. I have been active since I was a child. I rode my bike everywhere, I was in sports, and I remember staying active all the time. My family always ate healthily and never gave us sodas or candies. My parents are a very good model to follow, so I am doing the same thing with my children. So I guess I have been active and eat healthily, and that is the reason why I am in shape.”
We have two different stories here:
one person who is coming from a very dysfunctional family and another who has great role models. The first member is in her third marriage, and the second has a very successful marriage. One does not have her emotions under control, and the other one does. One is struggling with her kids, and the other one has children who are adopting good habits.
This is not luck at all. The decisions they took earlier in their lives put them in this current situation. Therefore, for the first person to lose weight, no pill, surgery, shake or easy weight loss program will do it. She needs to undo her habits and replace them with good habits. To become active and stop being lazy, to be sober and stop drinking, to stop overeating and eat because she needs to — to control any problem — first she needs to understand that she has a problem. Then she needs to break the habit by planning, taking small steps and understanding that relapses are normal and they will become less frequent as she strengthen the new good habit.
The second member needs is a good program that she’s comfortable with where the routine is set up for her.
Making wrong decisions is not uncommon…
This is the message Jesus sent when he said, “Let he who is free of sin cast the first stone.” I am very aware of this. I know better, and I still make mistakes. Yet relapses are not as common as they used to be when I made unconscious decisions, but I still suffer from them (sorry, I am still human). It doesn’t feel good when I make a mistake because I know I am going to suffer the consequences and I will lose time and whatever goal is valuable to me.
Everything starts with our parents, their beliefs and the environment where they raised us. For example, in the case of our first member, she made many mistakes when she was raising her first son because she did not have good parental models, and no one taught her how to be a mom. She failed in her first marriage because no one taught her how to look for the right man, and maybe she was not the right woman either. Her beliefs about food and money came from her parents and were reinforced throughout her life by her peers. She did the best she could. Now she is paying the consequences of all the bad decisions she’s made. And not stressing out won’t help, but stressing out won’t help either. To fix her life, she needs to study her past and understand her mistakes, so she won’t make the same mistakes again and again. She needs to start making different decisions to help her son, work on her marriage, lose weight and reverse her diabetes.
I believe many of us have the same problem. We want all our current problems that were created by our past wrong decisions to go away over night…
For many of our members what they are experiencing now are not the results of last night’s decision or a genetic problem but are results of all the decisions they have made throughout their lives. This means that to fix many of our present problems we need to start making better decisions now to expect better results in the future.
I also made many wrong decisions until I turned 28 years of age. This is why I fell into depression, was in debt, failed my family and had subpar health. When I started making better decisions, my life changed — not right away, but it changed. Now I am in a different place. Can you imagine if I had made better decisions since the day I was born? I would be in a better position today. However, I did not know better, just like many of our members. And I still do not know better. I still make mistakes; I still have limited beliefs that are not letting me progress. But it helps me when I understand that many of my present problems are the results of many bad decisions, they are my responsibility, no else’s.
We all are going to continue making mistakes by making the wrong decisions…
However, the more aware we are of the consequence, the less prone to make bad decisions we’ll be. We all have weaknesses, and fighting them takes more than strength. It takes a plan and a Superior Power by our side.
My hope is always for our members to change their ways to a better life and find their happiness and understand that present problems can’t be solved superficially. They need time and effort. I have been in their shoes before.
I am going to reveal to you the most comfortable and easy way to lose weight…
I have heard many people say that when they were young their bodies were perfect and they did not need to exercise. A similar story I hear is that when people stop exercising within two years they are at least 20 pounds heavier.
There are many factors involved with weight gain, but we are going to focus on the obvious one. Probably you know that 3,500 calories is equal to 1 pound. So let’s say that you eat 500 calories extra a day or spend 500 calories less a day. If we add that up over a week it becomes 3,500 calories, which turns into 1 pound. There are 52 weeks in a year, and this is how you gain 52 pounds a year.
Have you heard about the compound effect?
You probably know it. If you make a penny a day and each day your savings double, in 24 days you will have more than $1.5 million. This is how the compound effect works. This is how people gain and lose weight, by compounding their habits. Each Coke that you drink daily, each pizza that you eat per week, each candy that you enjoy, each processed food that you eat, each alcoholic beverage that you drink, each workout that you miss, each walk that you avoid, and each failed attempt to exercise adds up, and you end up with a compounding effect of fat by the end of the year.
You can do the same thing to lose 52 pounds in a year that you did to gain it. All you have to do is increase your activity by 500 calories. However, be careful, because when you exercise you end up hungrier. You tend to eat more, and adding the calories you burned or eating the wrong calories won’t help. Also burning calories alone may not be all you need to do. Many times medication and processed foods will not allow you to lose weight because your body simply does not work properly. But, if you make the right changes, you will lose weight.
You can also cut your calories by 500 and make it 1 pound a week…
But once again, be careful, because 500 calories of beer is not the same as 500 calories of broccoli. Broccoli gives you many nutrients you need to metabolize calories, while you get empty calories from alcohol. In addition, alcohol won’t fill you up, and you will still need to eat, while with broccoli you won’t be able to even eat 100 calories worth when you are already full with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
So yes, it is about compounding your habits to decrease your caloric intake and increase your caloric use. Nevertheless, you need to be smart when you do it. Cut the right calories. If you stop drinking soda, eating processed foods, eating out and eating fast foods, for example, for sure you already are cutting 500 calories a day without the tedious action of counting calories. But remember that it’s not the one penny that adds up to make more than $1 million. It is the compound effect that makes $1 million. The same goes with your habits. It is not the one soda or one beer that you stop drinking, but all the habits that you are changing.
You don’t have to make all the changes at once…
and you don’t have to go crazy about your weight loss. You can start making small changes each month. However, each small change you make will compound, and you will see results in the long run. For example, if you decided to go for a walk every day this month and stop drinking soda, there you have your 500 calories a day. Make sure you keep this habit for life, and next month you can start thinking about your next move.
Next month maybe you can stop eating all processed food or eat bigger potions of veggies, and you can start running for 10 minutes in your 30-minute walk. And next month you add more changes, such as no longer eating fast foods and beginning resistance training. You do the same the month after. If you keep all the changes you have begun, not only will you see weight loss results in the beginning, but the changes will compound so that your weight loss will be impressive and you will achieve your desired weight loss quickly. You can see why Albert Einstein thought compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.
I went hiking with one of our members who has seen great results. He went from 30% body fat to 17% body fat. It took him only 8 months to lose that fat. We have studied his pictures, and it’s obvious how unhealthy and unhappy he used to look compared to the new picture.
He is an overachiever…
I recognize the overachievers, of course, for the effort they put into their program, and because, for them, what they do is not enough. They want to do more.
He has changed his way of eating, stopped drinking and become very active. There is not much he can improve now. Of course, there are always small improvements that can be done such as a cleanse or detoxification. However, if he continues doing what he is doing, results will continue coming his way. Results are inevitable. He will continue increasing his muscle mass because of his dedication to his weight training, and he will continue losing fat because he eats healthily.
As we were hiking, the question came up: What else can I do to get to 11% body fat? Because he is an overachiever, I was expecting this question from him, so I told him, “All you have to do now is be patient. You will get there soon.”
Could he really do something else?
Yes. He could take steroids, but I advocate health, and drugs come with serious negative consequences. He could diet, but dieting is only for the moment, and soon people end up where they started or get even fatter. He could spend more time at the gym — instead of exercising for only an hour at day, he could spend 3 hours. But that means he would need to take time from other areas of his life.
There are many things he could do that are not the best choice. I mean, unless he is competing or his career is bodybuilding, I don’t see the need to spend so much time in the gym or to jeopardize his health with drugs.
Our member is not a bodybuilder, and he is not competing. He has a successful business, a united family, he is financially free and he has a lot of dreams to accomplish. To be able to continue taking care of his business and keep his family united, and achieve his dreams, he needs time and energy.
We often want to get to our goals as fast as possible…
And, by doing that, we forget that results take time and patience. If you plant a seed and you are looking forward to the fruit, you know that you need to water it, take care of it, remove weeds from your garden and wait for the sunshine. That is the process, and then all you need is time. If you overwater the seed, or expose it to more light or heat than it needs, or you remove the good insects from the soil, you are going to kill your plant.
You can’t go to the gym for 9 hours one day and expect to be in shape the next day; or eat healthily or fast for one day and expect to be toned the next day. What it takes is a series of changes that you
need to do every day as a lifestyle, and then one day you’ll see results in the mirror.
Once you’re already taking the right path to health, don’t get desperate, you may lose the path…
Results will come thanks to the changes you have already made. All you have to do is be patient with the process. Trust the process. It has delivered results before, it should continue to deliver results.
Health is only one part of our life. It is not our life. When you start taking the right path to health, results will show up. All you need to do is to be patient.