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February 26, 2013

Emotional Eating, Get Rid of the Temptation

Today I Noticed Something About My Mood and My Eating Habits

This is going to be a super short blog, more of an observation than anything.  I was talking to Brett (www.fullfunctionalfitness.com) and we were discussing the ups and downs of the year and how you will have peaks and valleys in your mood.

Here it seems like it has rained every 2 days for the last month or so, if I didn’t know better I’d think it was Seattle as much as it’s rained.  What I noticed is how it effects your mood, when you seem stuck in the house and you can’t get out.  I watch our German Shepherd, she’s like a kid staring at the playground just hoping for the sun to come out so she can get outside and hang.

Well it has the same effect on me, as I’m sure you as well.  But what I noticed the last day or so, is that it leads to emotional eating for me.  I’ve talked about that in past blogs, I’m not immune to it.  But I realized today, that when the weather is crap for long periods of time, especially when it’s “Girl Scout Cookie Season”, hate those damn things, we do it to support the neighborhood kids, but we need them in the house like we need a hole in the head…..it just adds to the temptation.

If it’s in the house, I want to eat it.  So my advice to you is this, eliminate the temptation by getting rid of it.  It’s the safest way for you to avoid stumbling on your fitness journey.  We’re trying hard to really maximize our results from the Reset with our workouts and things like cookies or any type of sweets that are in the house, paired with crappy weather, is a lose-lose scenario for my will, at the moment.  Keeping track of my calories on My Fitness Pal helps me keep an eye on it, but it’s crazy how 2 girl scout cookies can equal 150 calories.  That’s the warm up on an Asylum workout!  Then you ask yourself is it worth it.  Depending on your fitness goals, you have to make that call.

I just wanted to write this to let you know that we’re all human and we all struggle, so you are not alone.

Stay strong brothers and sisters….and keep pushing play!

Peace out!

Todd

February 26, 2013

Does P90X Work? Yes, It Changed My Life!

How P90X Started Me on My Fitness Journey!

How My Journey Started

I was 255 lbs and sitting at a size 38 waist, and the 38 was getting tight!  It’s funny looking back on those days, because I never really considered myself fat, I just considered myself to be big or a little overweight, but never would have called myself fat.

I can’t even tell you when I started putting on the weight.  When I met Alisha, I was around 175lbs, give or take some, and had what she called “the college beer belly” but nothing major.  Then by the time we got married, the weight had already began to accumulate and then after we were married, it’s like it just happened….and happened quickly!

The only thing I can remember and pinpoint, is the point where I was afraid to take my shirt off at the pool or beach.  The feelings of insecurity began, the self confidence began to dip, my relationship with Alisha was not what it used to be, for the main reason that I didn’t feel good about myself.  Pretty simple to figure out now, but back then I wasn’t putting the pieces together yet.

It was funny, how I would find things to fill the void, whether it was food or buying things, you always try to feel the void with something else.  I can tell you where that will get you, fatter and more in debt.  It’s not a good recipe for happiness and I have a feeling it’s something more people experience than they want to admit.

The Day That Woke Me UP

So it was in January of 2008 and we had one of those “dusting” snow storms, where there was enough snow to cover the satellite dish and keep it from getting a signal.  Alisha woke me up at 7am and said she couldn’t get the tv to work and was wondering if Carly was out of school.  So I, being the genius that I am, go outside in my lawn-mowing shoes (no tread on the bottom) and decide to put the ladder up against the house and try to get to the dish to knock off the little bit of snow that had accumulated.  Now looking back, I should have just taken a broom and stayed on the ladder to brush it off, but that would have been smart, and wouldn’t have led to a life changing day.

I brushed the snow off the roof (unknowingly just exposing a sheet of ice) and put one foot on the roof, and then began to take the other foot off the ladder, you can guess what happened next.  I immediately, as if in a cartoon, had my feet slide out from under me and fell 10 feet, landing flat on my back on top of a landscape border (one of those log type things).  I literally saw my life flash before me.  It hurt like hell.  I crawled, and I mean on stomach like a baby who can’t walk, crawled to the house.  I was in so much pain, I couldn’t breath and literally tought I was bleeding from the inside and had broken ribs.

Alisha got me to the hospital, they ran all kinds of test and found out that I only had some serious abdominal bruising.  The doctor told me that I was very lucky and that normally people who have that type of fall are either dead or paralyzed.  I can back that up, I have an uncle who’s been paralyzed for years from the waist down from a similar fall.  Alisha then asked a question, out of pure curiosity I think, but none the less an attention grabber, she asked the doctor if the fact that I was so large if it helped, and the doctor said….yes.

Now there’s two ways to look at that, one that being fat saved my life or two, that it’s really sad to know I was that fat.  I chose to take the first approach.  This served as my “a-ha” moment.  They sent me home doped up on some good pain meds and told me to stay in bed until I could heal.  The next morning I get a call from the doctor who stated that when examining my c-scan that he noticed early signs of arthritis in my lower back.  Now I knew my mom’s family had that in it’s history, but I was 33!  That is too young to be hearing this and feeling like this.  All the pieces began to really come together quickly.  I then realized that I was a 33 yr. old man in a 60 yr old man’s body.

Then I Saw The P90X Workout

So as I’m laying in bed, I see the infomercial for P90X.  Something about it caught my attention.  I have never bought anything off of the tv, especially not a fitness dvd, but there was something about it that got to me.  The testimonials seemed real, they were different from what I had seen in the past.  I now know why, because they are real, the ones you see in the infomercial now are all people I personally know, so I can tell you it’s very real.  But I felt like I wanted to look into it.

I’ll never forget, Alisha got home from work, and I told her that I wanted to get P90X.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  She was like “yeah right, you’ll never stick with it.”.  She was justified for saying that, in the years prior, she had seen me go through phases of running on our treadmill and lifting weights on my old bench from high school, only to stop after a week or two.  So I could understand her hesitation.

So I began to research it and found the program Power 90, the program Tony first came out with before P90X.  I was intimidated by P90X and felt like Power 90 might be a better choice.  People ask me if I could do it over again, would I go straight into P90X, and I can say yes, but at the time I needed Power 90.  So we got it, we did it together and I lost about 30lbs in 3 months.

My Coach

So when I bought Power 90, I was assigned a coach from Beachbody because at the time I didn’t know anybody who was a coach, and was lucky to get my dear friend Monica Ward.  Monica is the reason I became a coach after I lost all the weight.  Why?  Because she showed me the value of a coach and how the support of a coach can get you to the finish line.  She never let me quit.  She plugged me into the message boards, because this was before Facebook, and would call me at least once a week to check in and say hey.  She began to build a relationship with Alisha and I that turned into one of our closest friends (in her and her husband Dave) that we have today.

She taught me that P90X does work, taught me how to make it work for me and how to help others get the same results.

P90X Begins

So we graduated to P90X.  Wow, it was a whole new ballgame.  Neither one of us could do a pull-up to save our lives!  It took me a good 2 rounds of P90X before I could even do 5-6 pull-ups with out a chair or some type of assistance.  I tell people all the time that it’s a journey and you have to be patient.  I remember the first time I did Plyometrics, I thought I was going to die!

We stuck with it, again with the help of our Coach Monica, and the transformation was crazy!  I remember telling Monica I wanted to look like Cameron Mathison, because at the time Alisha loved him on All My Children.  Monica was like, “ok, we’ll see”.  She understood something I had yet to grasp, that it’s not about looking good for superficial reasons, it’s about being healthy for the right reasons, the superficial stuff will happen by default.

P90X changed my life, no exaggeration, it did.  The Kenpo workout is what made me want to do Karate, Plyometrics does p90x work?made me want to start playing basketball again, and the rest of the program started to build the rest of me that I see in the mirror today.  It’s a cool feeling when your wife gives you a hug and says, “I love your arms” or “your chest looks good in that shirt”.  I’m telling you, that stuff right there is priceless.  Of course I return the favor, I tell her all the time how hot she is and how good she looks in a 2 piece.  Looking back on our marriage, I can’t remember us EVER telling each other stuff like that … ever.

It’s Now a Lifestyle

To date, I went from 255lbs. to 179lbs. at my lowest.  I’ve done several rounds of P90X, graduated to P90X+ which you now get for free with P90x, and then moved on to Insanity, The Asylum and more.  It’s truly become a lifestyle for us and our daughter.  Every year that goes by, Beachbody comes up with another new program or we learn about other things that we can incorporate, like our Paleo lifestyle, but it’s really about staying with it.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years this year.  We are truly addicted to fitness, but it’s not really the fitness as it is the way we feel that’s addictive.  And I’m ok with the word addicted, because in this case it’s a good term to describe what everyone should be addicted to.  I used to be addicted to burgers and fries, now I’m addicted to feeling amazing and setting a good example for my daughter.

You Can Do It Too!

It’s hard to throw a rock in a crowd and not hit a person who has P90X or Insanity.  Most of the people we meet, have it but never finished it.  My advice to you is this, make yourself a priority and commit to doing it.  Reach out to us and let us coach you through it.  If you don’t have it, you can get it from us, let us do for you what Monica did for us.  Let us show you how with the right support and tools, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  It’s not about what you suck at or how hard it is.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!  Things worth having, are worth working for.  Do you want your wife or husband to say to you, the things Alisha and I say to each other?  I have a feeling you do.

Let us put you in one of our Challenge Groups with either a P90X Challenge Pack or an Insanity Challenge Pack.  By joining our Challenge Group, we actually may PAY you for your results, assuming you commit!  We pay people for their transformations so that we can inspire others with real stories!  You’ll get Shakeology for almost nothing with the Challenge Pack and what I tell people is, give it 2 weeks, if you don’t like the Shakeology, then we’ll get your money back and move on without it – no risk to you.  Regardless, it has a 30 day money back guarantee, again, no risk.  We’ve yet to have anyone who did it, not like it and get results with it.  I’ve been on it for 4 years!  The programs themselves have a 90 day money back guarantee.  When you pair them with Shakeology, the results are amazing.

It doesn’t matter where you live, Monica was in Phoenix and we were in Charlotte!  Our challenge groups work no matter where you are!  The stories speak for themselves.  We want you to be one of those stories.  Question is, are you tired of being sick and tired?  Are you ready to make the change?  Are you ready to commit to a 60 or 90 day challenge that could change your life?!?

So if you are still asking “Does P90X Work” or wondering “How to make P90X work for you“, just CONTACT us today or click!  Can’t wait to work with you personally.

February 25, 2013

Paleo Part 3, Understanding Labels and Health Myths

Understanding Labels of Food and Some Myths to Not Buy Into from the FDA

So as I wrap up this 3 part set on Paleo, don’t worry there will be more to come, I wanted to address a couple of myths and mis-guided “truths” that are out there.

Watch Out for Hidden Sugar

Hidden Sugar is everywhere, especially if what you are buying is packaged, bottled and processed.  You need to turn over every package and read the label, even if you have bought it before, trust me it can change!  Read it again.

As we have gotten into Paleo and making our own Paleo Trail Mix, we were somewhat surprised at the added sugar that is in dried fruit and how hard it can be to find dried fruit without added sugar.  Does it make any sense to you at all that fruit, already sweet with natural sugar, would need any sugar added to it?  So never buy any type of fruit or juice with sugar or any other added sweetener on the ingredient list.  This will allow you to eliminate synthetic chemicals into your diet, because that’s what added sugar and sweeteners are.

Understand What “Natural” Means

DO NOT trust anything on the front of a package.  The word “natural” means nothing.  According to the FDA food labeling regulations, anything that originated from nature at one time can be called “natural” on a food label, no matter what has been done to it since it was in it’s natural state.  PLEASE say you understand what you just read.  When I read this, I wish I could say I was shocked, but mad is more the appropriate term.  But that’s another rant for another day, you get the picture.

Here’s what the FDA states: “From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer a product of the earth.  That said, the FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term ‘natural’ or its derivatives.  However, the agency has not objected the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic  substances.”

So what about your breakfast cereal that states it contains 100% of your daily vitamins and minerals?  The truth is, the cereal has been fortified with those vitamins and minerals, and fortified foods have been refined and stripped of those “vitamins and minerals” so therefore the manufacturer has to add them back in.  What’s wrong with that you may ask?  When you add back in vitamins and minerals, they are in synthetic form and the body is smart enough to know the difference.

Going back to the sweet potato and sugar comparison from the last week’s blog (part 2).  In that one little sweet potato, you get exactly the nutrients you need to metabolize the carbs that are in it.  They are all present in the “package” of the sweet potato, the nutrients work synergistically with your body.  So when we try to add synthetic nutrients back in at the factory, and try to outsmart Mother Nature, we make serious missteps.  Bottom line, when you add nutrients in to foods, you are putting nutrients in that aren’t in their natural place and therefore are missing their nutrient co-factors (the other nutrients the body needs to break them down, i.e. sweet potato example) so the body can not use them in the right way.  A perfect example of this is “added Omega-3’s”.  If it’s not a natural source of Omega-3, then your body will not process it the way it’s supposed to and you just bought into a marketing scheme to get you to buy it.  It’s not your fault, you and I just didn’t know better….til now.

Paleo and Your Cholesterol

Let me be the first to say, this was a big concern of mine as I started to investigate Paleo eating.  According to Uffe Ravnskov, a leading researcher and expert on cholesterol, states the direct effect of a lower dietary cholesterol intake on serum (blood) cholesterol measures about one half of 1%.  Yep, you read it right….that’s it.

Cholesterol is a precursor molecule for all our hormones.  We need it, and it isn’t healthy to have a cholesterol level that’s too low.  Truth is, the body makes as much as we need to function properly and keep oxidative damage from taking over.

High Cholesterol in your family genes means there is a genetic predisposition for a RARE condition called Familial Hpyercholersterolemis (FH), which is the inability to process lipoprotein molecules properly so that the levels stay high in the blood.  So basically, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, it probably means you have a family history of poor diet and lifestyle, not actual genetic disorder.  Guess what, that’s me.  I’ve always thought and been told it ran in my dad’s family, when in reality, fish fries, smoking, poor diet did.

Paleo will typically improve your cholesterol numbers as a result of less stress on your body, lowered inflammation in your system due to removing the processed sugars, grains, dairy etc.  My bud Brett Thornton, who I’ve referred to a lot in this series, had the “high cholesterol in his family” too, his cholesterol is at 133 the last time he told me.  So you be the judge.  Bottom line, studies show that the body needs the cholesterol and knows what to do with it, if it comes from Mother Nature and if the rest of your diet is in check.  So enjoy your eggs.

In Summary

That’s a wrap on my introduction to Paleo.  Over the weeks as I continue to grow, learn and live it, I’ll keep blogging about it in hopes that you learn and grow with us in the process.

We have Paleo Challenge Groups where we actually do a 5 week run and help people learn to live Paleo.  If you’d be interested, just contact us today at the top of the page!

Until next time….

Peace out!

Todd

 

Special thanks to The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and Pratical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo whom’s books I gathered the info and research.

 

February 18, 2013

4 Weeks to Be Gameday Ready!

We’ll be heading to see Shaun T and Tony Horton in about 4 weeks in Florida and I want to be “Gameday Ready”.

My dear friend Monica Ward (www.thefitclubnetwork.com) and I have come up with that term, it’s also from Insanity the Asylum, but for us it means being in a place in your life where you are ready for whatever opportunity comes your way.  It could relate to your fitness, your marriage or your business, whatever it is, make sure you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have done everything in your power to be ready to maximize the opportunity.

Since coming off the Beachbody Ultimate Reset about 3 weeks ago, I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss of 16lbs (give or take a few now), but I really want to tweak it and see how good a shape I can be in by the Disney trip.  I want to be able to workout with Shaun and all the other ripped Beachbody Coaches and hold my own.

So in order to do that, I have to dial back the sweet tooth and closely monitor the carbs with our Paleo eating.  I don’t mean that I’m going to cut carbs, just make sure I’m eating as clean as possible.  One of the things we do with our Paleo Challenge Groups, is to let them have Friday and Saturday as their “treat” nights.  Well we do the same, and that’s fine, but for the next 4 weeks I’m going to pull back on the amount that I “treat” in order to gain what little ground I need to gain over the next 4 weeks, to be “Gameday Ready”.

Luckily, it’s not far to go, but it’s still a challenge.  Sometimes I think that the little distances can sometimes be the hardest.  So I pledge to you to stay accountable to you on here as well as our Facebook Page and be completely open and honest about our diet.  I would expect nothing less from you, if you were working with us, so I shall return thy favor….

Happy Monday!

Peace Out!

Todd

February 18, 2013

Paleo Eating Part 2: Understanding Carbs

Let’s Dive Deeper Into the Benefits of Paleo Eating!

If you missed Part One of this blog, click HERE.

Last week we talked a little about the idea of Paleo and what it is, what some of the “anti-nutrients” are, this week, let’s talk in more detail about the effects that the Paleo lifestyle has on your body.

First, Let’s Talk Carbs!

There’s a lot of confusion out there about carbs, I can tell you first hand that I was one of the one’s who was very confused up until I really started researching the Paleo lifestyle.  I agree with most of you (people who I talk to) it can be confusing.  Good carbs vs bad carbs, how many carbs can I eat, when do I eat them, etc.

So let’s simplify it, as Paleo will do, all carbs are seen as sugar in your body, but that doesn’t mean all carbs are bad.  Any food that you eat that isn’t a protein or a fat is a carbohydrate.  Remember, there’s only three kinds of foods: proteins, fats and carbohydrates (or some combination of the three).

 

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs?

Yes there are good carbs and bad carbs, BUT that doesn’t mean what you think!  You’ve been told in the past that the difference was whether they were “complex” or “simple” carbs.  I want you to forget that way of thinking.  I’ll make it even simpler, or better yet, Paleo will.

Bad Carbs are those which are: (1) void of nutrients for their proper metabolism, (2) can cause digestive issues and (3) are refined and man-made/factory made.

Good Carbs are: (1) contain easily digestible, bio-available nutrients that can be metabolized at the cellular level and (2) are available from nature as WHOLE foods.

Pretty simple right?!?

When you eat carbs, your body has to use the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are in the food to break down the sugar (the carbs) within the food.

Let’s look at a comparison:

Four tablespoons of table sugar (bad carb) has 60 calories in carb form. That’s it, it doesn’t give you any nutrients at ALL.

Now look at a small sweet potato (good carb), it too contains 60 calories in carb form but also gives you B vitamins, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and chromium.

Pay close attention to this comparison!  Two different foods, SAME AMOUNT of carbs, BUT one has micronutrients in it which allows your body to break down and use the carbs, the other has ZERO micronutrients and forces your body to break it down on it’s own which causes problems!  It’s like taking an energy withdraw (causing your body to work on it’s own to break it down) and figure out what to do with it (usually store as fat).  As opposed to making a healthy deposit (consuming carbs w/ micronutrients in it) while also making a energy withdrawl (where your body can fuel you naturally) and give you the energy nature’s way.

 

Carbs and Exercise

You should eat carbs according to your average activity and stress level to avoid storing extra body fat.  This will also help keep your triglycerides at a healthy level and prevent visceral fat from being developed around your organs.

Let’s look at where most of you should be with your carb intake:

Low Carb: 30-75g / day: Not very active or participating in intense cardiovascular activity that lasts fewer thank 20 minutes.  This also works well for most weight lifting and strength training individuals.

Moderate Carbs: 75-150g / day: Moderately active or completing intense cardiovascular activity that lasts between 20 – 60 minutes.   This is you if you have a generally active lifestyle or job, or a somewhat stressful lifestyle.

Higher Carbs: 150g+ / day:  Intense cardiovascular exercise that’s more than 60 minutes a day, very active job or very stressful lifestyle that is mentally and physically demanding.

 

Carbs Vs. Fat

So if you don’t need a lot of carbs to fuel your body then what do you use as fuel?  It’s simple — fat.

As Brett Thornton (www.fullfunctionalfitness.com) says all the time to people, “fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.”  Remember, carbs are sugar.  Fat serves as the perfect, long-lasting fuel source for your body.  This is what Paleo is all about!  The caveman didn’t have sugar and processed foods to fuel his/her body, they ran off of fat!

In order to re-program your body (which Paleo does) you have to teach your body to burn fat, not sugar.  Here’s another thing you’ll find, when your body uses fat to fuel, you don’t have the dreaded “sugar crash” where your blood sugar spikes and crashes and you have to constantly eat every 2-3 hours.  Your body can regulate your insulin levels longer on fat than sugar.

Your body’s insulin response to carbs depends largely on the types and amounts of carbs you eat, as well as the frequency of when you eat them.  When you eat a lot of carbs, your body’s response is to release a lot of insulin to bring your blood sugar back down to non-toxic levels.  So think about it, when you eat a lot of carbs on high frequency basis, your body is constantly releasing insulin on a consistent basis.  This puts your body in “storage” mode all the time.  Or in other words…..IT MAKES YOU FAT.

High Blood Sugar = high insulin response

High Insulin = storage mode

Storage Mode = not burning fat for fuel, you’re actually GETTING FATTER.

HELLO? Does this ring any bells?  Look around you and ask yourself why there are so many people overweight and diabetic!  It’s so simple, but yet we can seem to get through to people that the very thing they want (a healthier, better looking self) is so easy to achieve.

But this is what we get:

I don’t want to give up my splenda (insert yours here)

I can’t stand the idea of drinking just water

Oh, but I just love my sodas

Oh, my kids or husband will never eat this way

My kids are too picky” Yep, and chances are if they are not fat by now, they are probably ill, moody, talk back, can’t concentrate in school, etc.  Not to come across rude, but how’s that working out for ya?  Here’s a good book for kids and Paleo right HERE.  Here’s one with a TON of kid and family approved recipes HERE.  We’re using both with our daughter, I’d recommend you do the same if you want to help them understand.  Their diet and sugar intake has everything to do with how they act.  I have a kid, I get it!  But my question is, when do we change the pattern?

But fast food (and processed food) is so cheap and eating healthy is expensive” -Let’s pause here, this is bold face LIE! Eating Paleo is not expensive at ALL. Don’t even go there.  And even if it cost you $5 more a week (which it won’t) are you really going to tell me that you and your family’s health isn’t worth it?

I’m busy and work a lot and never home to cook” – Two things, you can fix the food ahead of time, it’s not complicated cooking and you can also eat Paleo on the go at restraunts very easily.  Heck, Hardee’s (or Carl Jr’s depending on where you are) has a turkey burger in a lettuce wrap!  It’s not the best thing I have ever had, but it will work in a pinch.

It’s mind boggling to me the people who will argue with Mother Nature and the way God created this planet and think that some how man is smarter than nature and that we, in some way, have re-created the wheel and know better.  It’s simple, we don’t.

Let’s Talk Glucagon

So you now understand what “storage mode” is and how insulin affects it.  Now, let’s talk about the other side of the party, “releasing mode” and Glucagon.

 

Insulin and Glucagon are counter-regulatory hormones, so while insulin’s job is to store nutrients, glucagon’s job is to pull nutrients from storage to fuel your body.  You want glucagon dominance in your body, because that means your body is pulling from storage to fuel itself and not letting insulin control the situation where you are constantly putting fuel in the tank and not burning any!

Here’s 3 “Promoters” of Glucagon:

1- Dense source of protein.  This usually comes from an animal source and isn’t packed with insulin demanding carbs, a good example would be a steak.  It’s high in protein and no carbs at all.

2- Exercise. When you workout your body looks for available fuel sources to power your muscles.  The first place it looks is your bloodstream, which is about 4g of sugar circulating at the moment, especially if it’s been a while since you ate.  So glucagon then goes to work and starts “pulling” fuel sources to get you through the exercise.  This goes very smoothly when your body is used to burning fat for energy.

3- Hunger. When you are hungry, your blood sugar drops. It’s now up to the glucagon to find stored sugar and bring it to your bloodstream to keep your levels up.  Ever thought, “why when I haven’t eaten all day, I haven’t passed out from hypoglycemia?”.   Simple answer, your friend glucagon.  Pretty cool right?

Blood Sugar is SO Important!

People don’t realize how important regulating our blood sugar is, it effects so many things like: 

  • Clarity of mind – you can’t think straight if your body is constantly fighting to maintain your levels.
  • Your immune system – the stress your body goes through when you eat a ton of bad carbs and you are constantly withdrawing from your storage tanks to regulate and not depositing, your immune system then has nothing to use when it’s time to crank up and fight for you.  Just like any bank account, you will bounce that check.
  • Coritsol – also known as the “fight or flight” hormone.  When you stress your body out over regulating your blood sugar, ON TOP OF the daily stress of your life and job, you end up at a constant level of stress of 4 or 5 out of 10.  The body can handle levels of 7, 8, 9 or 10, but only if you follow it with very low levels for recovery.  So imagine what your body goes through at a consistent level of 4-5, 24 hours a day!  To change from the bank account to a car comparison, it would be like just running your car on cruise control down the highway and never stopping for gas….then wondering why the car quit running.  Heads up, your body is that car.

 

In Summary For This Week

Maintaining even levels of  blood sugar is good for: maintaining your hunger levels, your mental clarity, positive moods, fat loss, hormonal balance and managing inflammation.  Whether you are trying to lose weight or just be healthy, regulating your blood sugar is a must.

Eating a Paleo lifestyle will help you do just that!  If you would like more information or to join one of our Paleo Groups, please contact us (at top of the page) today and we will be more than happy to show you how to transform your body with some very simple steps, exercise optional.

Until next week, peace out!

Todd

Special thanks to The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and Pratical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo whom’s books I gathered the info and research.

 

 

February 15, 2013

Running, Why I Hated It Before and Now I May Hate It Less!

My Mindset About Running in the Beginning

When one of my fellow coaches, challenged me to run a 10k or a half marathon, I was like “Ummmm, maybe one day.”,  but apparently my wife had a secret desire to run, and you know what happens when you’re wife suddenly has an interest in something, it quickly becomes your interest.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have run in the past before and enjoyed it, but knew little to nothing about it.  We have friends who run all the time and talk about all the cool clothes and shoes and blah, blah….blah.  Well, that world just became my world.  It’s not quite the “hell on earth” I thought it would be.  It’s actually been a lot of fun, mainly because we are doing it together (Alisha and I).  So about 2 weeks ago, the journey began.

Shoes

First things first, we were told we had to get “fitted” for shoes.  Now in the past, over the many years of working out, I’ve always just run in my workout shoes, as I’m sure a lot of you have, and thought it was fine.  Apparently, that’s not true.  You have to have “running” shoes and you have to be fitted and they have to feel like you have nothing on your feet.  I was skeptical of all of this and thought it was all hype, but it wasn’t.

We went to a local run shop here in town and got fitted and it was actually really cool.  They actually watch you run and look at your stride, how you land and from that know which type of shoe you need.  Then you try on about 3 different brands of that “type” of shoe, just so you know when I say “type”, I mean whether you need a lot of arch support or if you run flat footed etc.  Those  are all the things they see when they watch you run.  We tried on several different types of shoes and I was amazed at how different they each felt!  The lady told me that it should feel like I have NOTHING on my feet, and she was right, we both ended up with a pair of Brooks running shoes that are awesome.  They weren’t quite as flashy as my Reebok Transitions but I accepted it and moved on.

First Run

So before we did the Beachbody Ultimate Reset in January, we knew we were going to start training after the Reset was over, so we wanted to see how well we ran and what times we ran before the Reset, then see how we would improve after the Reset.

It was a very cold January afternoon and we took off.  I remembered in the past when we had run some, that I was decent at it and I could hang with decent competition.  This particular day was a rude awakening, not in the sense that I couldn’t do it, but in the sense that the first mile, felt like FOREVER.  I forgot how bad that first mile sucked, but once you got through the first mile, your body seemed to get into a groove.  I ended up running about a 9 minute mile which is nothing special but I felt decent about it.

Running After the Reset

After the Reset, we ran again and my mile time dropped from 9:00 to 8:42, which I was thrilled with.  Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve continually improved.

We are following a running schedule that Alisha got off one the “runners” websites, where we run on Tuesdays and Thursdays (2 mile runs) and then on Sundays we have our longer runs, I think they’re 4 or 5 mile runs since we’re only training for a 10K.  The original plan was a half marathon, but after the first run, we decided to ease into it with a 10k.

Improvements

Alisha made a good observation the other night, after 2 weeks, that first mile doesn’t seem to hurt or suck as bad as it used to.  It’s no big deal at all really, so that’s improvement that I’ll take for sure.  The only thing that sucks right now is the cold weather.

I believe as we move forward the next couple of weeks, we’re going to try and run with some groups and start doing some “hill work” and “sprints”, God only knows what that means, but I’m down for the challenge!  I’ll keep you guys posted on how we do.

We are continuing to do our Beachbody workouts on top of running so we can still get our resistance training in as well.  Speaking of that, if there is anyone out there who is a runner and is interested in a cross training schedule using a program like P90X, Insanity, etc, along with your run training, let us know and we will hook you up.

I’m going to do a time lapse of of some of our runs, thought it might be cool, so I’ll post that one day when we shoot it.

Until next time…..peace out!

Todd

 

February 14, 2013

Kristen’s Insanity Workout Before & After Results

How being in a Challenge Group Helped Kristen Transform!

We met Kristen several months ago before the holidays and fell in love with her personality and her charisma, but we also knew that there was something she wanted out of her daily life that she was missing. Whatever that was, brought her to our local Fit Club in Charlotte and she can tell you the rest of the story.

(BTW, You’ll see her personality come blazing through in her BEFORE pictures)

 

 

 

Kristen’s story, written by Kristen Miller:

Thanks to my awesome coaches, Todd Midgett and Clinton Cowell, I was motivated to join their Insanity Challenge Group, I was in for the entire program and nervous!

These guys were great!!  They always checked in on me and held me accountable for the days when I had to workout on my own. I found the Facebook group that Todd started to be wonderful!! A small handful of people who kept up by adding videos, motivational articles and liking each other’s pictures and posts.  There’s a real value in having others (from all over the country!) doing this with me and watching them have the same struggles.

Before Insanity Pictures

Before I joined the group I had become awfully sluggish. I was in the middle of a location move, career change and just not happy with how I felt in my own clothes. I decided that enough was enough (…enough pizza and beer) and I had to start changing how I thought of exercise and my eating/drinking habits.

Being new to the area, I decided to join Fit Club as a way for me to meet some new friends. I’ll tell ya, the first two weeks were rough!! It took me at least a week before I didn’t want to quit after the “warm-up” and another week before I could complete a workout without “pausing” or taking extra breaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Insanity Pictures

After completing Insanity I feel wonderful!! It’s a big accomplishment for me to simply stick with it and follow through; regardless of how much weight I lost. However, the weight loss has been quite a benefit and I feel has earned me bragging rights!

When I started I weighed 156 lbs. and am now down to 142 lbs. — that’s 14 pounds in a steady, consistent, healthy manner — and it’s only the beginning as I’ve now graduated to Insanity’s Asylum Workout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned About Using Shakeology

In addition to the workout, I chose to do the Insanity Challenge Pack which came with Shakeology (Chocolate of course) and I never thought meal replacement shakes were for me, but Shakeology changed my mind!

It definitely helped me with energy and appetite as well as choosing healthier foods and eating less. I am also a huge fan of Weight Watchers and was able to stay with it while taking Shakeology (only 3 point plus!). I have been on Weight Watchers for a few years now. However, with the Insanity program, Shakeology and Weight Watchers I feel it has all come together like a perfect storm and really helped me to slim down.

It was a nice little balance to make for a nice little FIT me!

What Now?

I feel like I can finally breathe again and am conscious of making healthy choices on a day to day basis. Thanks to Todd and Clint for keeping me motivated, accountable, and welcoming me to a new group of healthy friends!!

I love being a part of a Challenge Groups, so much so, that I’ve now graduated into an Insanity the Asylum Group led by the guys!  Wish me luck!

If you want to join a group like Kristen did, CONTACT us today!

February 14, 2013

What is the Paleo Lifestyle and Paleo Food?

How Paleo Has Changed My Way of Thinking About Food

First off, you have to understand this is a journey that I’m embarking on after some much scrutinized thinking.  After we did the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, it really opened my eyes to processed foods and what they do the body as well as pastas, breads and grains, I already had several friends who’ve been doing Paleo for years and I figured maybe it’s worth investigating.  So I did.  My first mistake was to try and learn all I needed to learn by just watching my friends who do it and asking them questions…thinking that was going to give me all the understanding I needed.  I didn’t and it won’t for you either.  I had to start hitting the books, so I did.

 

Understanding What Paleo Is

It’s NOT Atkins.  People hear the description of Paleo and think “Oh, it’s no carbs, like Atkins!”.  Could not be more wrong.  One of the things you may hear “Paleo” lifestyle referred to is “Caveman” or “Primal” eating. All 3 would be correct descriptions.  It basically means if you can kill it, pick it or pull it, then you can eat it.  If Nature made it in other words, you’re good.  If man made it or grew it through the invention of agriculture, it’s a no-go.  You don’t cut out carbs!  You only eat nature’s carbs in vegetables and fruits.

It’s simple, mimic our ancestors, who suffered from fewer chronic diseases than modern populations.  It’s about eating whole foods that provide better fuel for your body and avoiding grains, legumes (beans), refined sugar and pasteurized dairy products that all have very little to no nutritional value to your body and even if they do, can’t be absorbed by the body because of the anti-nutrients that “we the people” put into the food that actually KEEPS your body from getting from the food what it needs.  It’s so laughable, but we’ll get there.

I have found that there is a lot of contradiction to Paleo eating.  Meaning, there’s different levels of commitment to the Paleo lifestyle.  Some people are hardcore no beans or grains etc, and some people still eat quinoa.  One book will say you can have sweet potatoes, one book will say you can’t.  One will say no dairy, one will say use unprocessed butter with all the fat in it.  It really comes down to connecting with someone who you know and trust and picking their brain and then finding out what works right for you.  One truth I think is a safe assumption, even if you only commit to Paleo 85%, it’s a start, and you’ll be healthier than 98% of your friends and family.

My very good friend Brett Thornton (www.fullfunctionalfitness.com) is someone I really respect and trust with advice on this topic.  As well as Dave and Monica Ward at (www.thefitclubnetwork.com).  All 3 of these friends have been living the Paleo lifestyle for years now and seem to have it figured out.  In addition, their fellow coaches and business partners in Beachbody with me, so how bad can they be?  Oh yeah, and Paleo goes well with your workouts (like P90X, Insanity, The Asylum, etc).   But we’ll get to more of that later in another blog.  I know, it’s a lot of teases!  But I don’t want to skimp on anything…it’s kind of a big deal to me.

First Off, The Plan!

First off, you need to understand this is not a “diet” or at least not in the way that you think of the word.  Diet to you may mean “a short lived plan to lose weight” by starving yourself, using a gimmick or depriving yourself of happiness, only to put all and more of the weight back on.  You need to change that meaning to “lifestyle”.  Your diet means what you eat on a regular basis.  When the doctor says your “diet and exercise” suck, he doesn’t mean “You need to start the Atkins diet and get your butt moving”, actually the second part is true, the first is not.

So when you talk to Dave and Monica, it wasn’t as clear on when and how they give themselves their cheats in their Paleo week (probably because I didn’t really ask).  Brett, I did ask!  Some people like Brett have their cheats very cut and dry and scheduled (i.e. Friday and Saturday nights only) for Brett.  Where as Monica, I know is hardcore into hitting her fitness goals right now with Les Mills Combat and is sticking to a pretty much “no cheat” philosophy.  Both are respectable ways to approach it.  I think you have to really find what’s right for you.  I know for a fact that both of them allow themselves “cheats”, it’s just a matter of what, when and how much.  Brett’s a big IPA guy, so Friday and Saturday nights are his pizza, pasta and beer nights.  Trust me, the dude is lean…he has it figured out.

So my plan is to eventually do what Brett does, give myself Friday and Saturday nights to let loose and really stick to the Paleo plan during the rest of the week.  You have to give yourself the “cheats” or a better term would be “treats” because you deserve it.  What I will tell you is this, you don’t really feel like you’re missing anything eating Paleo.  I do have a bigger sweet tooth than I realized, but there’s Paleo ways around that stuff.  Paleo eating is actually really good.  We’ll get into more recipes and stuff later as well.

First, Why No Grain?

So in the  weeks to come, I really want to break down the “science” behind Paleo, if science is even the right word for it, it may be more like Biology (a form of science, of which I did poorly on) but now have a sudden interest.

“Let Food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

So why does Paleo tell you to avoid grains like the plague?  Simple, it all boils down managing your blood sugar, insulin levels and systemic inflammation, which are all critical to your health.  Let’s agree that we are not smarter than nature, so therefore anything that we “do” to food including grains (to make them whole grains etc) is a form of processing.  If you manipulate a grain and tweak it, which is all the bread and pasta you buy, it’s processed.  That simple.  A sweet potato that you pull out of the ground is not processed, it’s healthy form of carbs.  A loaf of whole wheat bread or pasta, is VERY much processed and therefore is bad carbs.

Here’s a couple of things called anit-nutrients to understand and look for when shopping:

Phytate

Also known as phytic acid, phytate is an indigestible, mineral-binding compound that is located in the hulls of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  While animals like cows, sheep and goats have adequate enzymes in their digestive system to break down phytates, we humans…do not.

Phytates bind to minerals within foods, including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, and it’s process PREVENTS their absorption in our bodies.  So long story short, the very minerals your body needs from the food that has phytate in it….you don’t get, because it’s blocked by the phytate.

How important is the minerals that are blocked by the phytate?  Well, look at their purposes; minerals are responsible for regeneration of tissues, to prevent injuries to bones and ligaments, serve as anti-oxidants to help you better fight cancer and they help your body fight off things like heart disease.

Lectins

These are sugar-binding proteins that are resistant to digestive enzymes and stomach acid as well.  They are richly present in the seeds of plants, becoming less concentrated as plants grow.  They can stick to the cells in the lining of the small intestine, impairing digestive function by altering the texture of the cell walls.

The cells in the small intestine need to be intact and ready to absorb nutrients from the food you eat, but if the lectin attaches to it, they become sticky and are closed off to receiving the nutrients from the food, and we’re back to where we were again.  Wasting your time eating food that you get very little from due to the reactions the body has to the additives we put in.

Saponins

Bitter-tasting, soap-like molecules with the ability to puncture or create pores in cell membranes (walls); saponins are often used as carriers for vaccines due to their ability to infiltrate cells.  Saponins are key ingredient in quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). They stimulate an immune response in your cells and can cause your body to create more antibodies than you need.  When that happens, it can rev your body up for a fight and cause things like digestive distress when you eat certain foods or can cause chronic inflammation in your body.

That’s a Wrap for This Week

So that’s where I’m going to stop for this week, because I’ve thrown a lot at you.  What I will tell you is that if you’re interested in trying this lifestyle, we run challenge groups where Brett and I coach you and help you transition into that lifestyle and show you how to teach your body to burn fat and help you lose weight, which we’ll go into more next week when we talk about glucagon.

If you want more information on our Paleo Challenge, contact me today!

Special thanks to The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and Pratical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo whom’s books I gathered the info and research.

Til next time….peace out!

Todd

NC Fit Club