Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Supplements

I know that you have heard that there are certain supplements that are really suppose to be good for you. I have had many people over the last several months ask me about what I do in the nutritional area and I have told them that I take glucosamine and omega 3 everyday and it has done wonders for me. However the purpose of this blog is not to tell you what I take but it is to give you some information on how much is truly enough and what I would recommend to you for your individual issues.
Here is the problem as I see it, many of you feel as though when it comes to supplements, if a little is good for you then even more is better and that is so far from the truth. The bottom line is that our bodies can only take but so much before it has no effect on your system. There is a reason why they put the percentages of daily allowances on the bottles. More is not better and you are wasting your money if you think so.
Now I will not tell you what supplements you should be considering depending on your situation of course.
For those that are having weight problems. You are trying just not to lose weight but keep it off, there is a product called Bios Life Slim that is on the market that can help you with that. This product does the following: Reduces your appetite, Absorbs and Removes Fat, Promotes Fat burning ability, Decreases Leptin resistance, Lowers your Triglycerides, Improves your Cholesterol levels by decreasing your LDL and increasing your HDL. This product comes in packets or canister and is dissolvable in water. I have many people on this product and everyone has told me about the results they have gotten from it. From increased energy to weight loss, everyone has told me that they should have gotten it months ago. I have many people that have lost more than 20 pounds in two months on this product.
For those that have knee and joint issues: You have tried everything and now you are seriously considering surgery or a cortisone shot, there is a product called BM&C Plus. This regenerative herbal formula helps reduce tissue inflammation, nourish ligament and tendons, and strengthen the body against infections. There is also a product called Osteo Essential. This propriety blend of glucosamine, calcium, manganese, and other nutrients helps support and rebuild cartilage and bone.
For those that need daily Nutrition: You have been telling yourself that you need to begin to take some sort of multi-vitamin but you just don’t know which one. Well the first problem with a lot of the vitamins on the shelf is that the body ends up excreting them out no more than a few hours after taking them. So in essence you are wasting your money on something that the body won’t use 90% of. However there is a product called CoreHealth Basics which replenishes low mineral, vitamin, and electrolyte levels with Core Health Basics to keep your body in optimal condition. The body absorbs 100% of this product and uses 100% of it, I know I take it.
There is also another product on the market called PowerMeal. This natural super food features the best and most nutritious organic ingredients- harvested and prepared in order to allow the natural enzymes, vitamins, proteins and amino acids to remain intact and easily absorbed by the body.
For my athletic friends that are looking to enhance their athletic abilities there is a product called MYoCap. This is a post workout recovery blend containing an exclusive blend of nutrients that promote recovery after training and exercise and help support the recuperative process. Designed to be taken after exercise, this special formula provides the nutrients release energy for cellular regeneration and provides antioxidants to fight against the free radicals that result from workouts. There is also Power Generation. This product has an effective herbal blend to boost your athletic performance while promoting optimal physical energy and mental focus.
For those that have heart and cardiovascular issues: There is a product called Vascular Complete that I recommend. This unique product has been specifically formulated with nutrients known to optimize the health of blood vessels by promoting blood vessel elasticity, strength and efficiency. Vascular Complete provides nutrients and cell repair factors to optimize the function of blood vessels and the entire cardiovascular system.
I recommend any of these and they work. I know this because they are all in the Physicians Directory especially the Bios Life Slim. That is huge because most supplements are not.
Now the question still remains… how much should a person take? I would recommend taking only as much as the product tells you. Don’t double to dosage or triple the amount just thinking that you will be really giving your body extra. The body will only take what is needs and can absorb and nothing more. I really recommend these supplements and I know they work.
Now the one thing I don’t want you to do is just go and buy them blindly just because “I recommended them”, however try them for one month and see if you feel or see a difference. If so you may have just found what you have been looking for. Please go to my website myunicity.net/ParkersPlace and once there go to where it says “shipping” and learn more about the products I told you about, then order one month… just one month and see what happens.
The New Year is quickly coming upon us… let’s start it right. Our bodies will thank us for it in so many ways.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Preparing for the holidays

Well Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming upon us very quickly and with those holidays, comes the four F’s and they are, family fun and festivities and one other things…lots of food. Now don’t get me wrong, eating with your family and your loved ones is a great thing and I am not trying to keep you from enjoying your time with them however, here are a few things that I want to share with you.

1) Statistics show that the average person after high school graduation gains about 1 pound per year and most of that weight is put on around the holidays. If you don’t believe me count the number of years from the time you were 18 until now. Now step on a scale. Read it and weep! Now this does not go for every person but for the average person it works.
2) Statistics show that more heart attacks and strokes occur during the holiday times
3) The average person consumes enough food so that if they were to try and work it off they would have to burn 5000 calories and that is only thanksgiving dinner
4) There are more turkeys killed at Thanksgiving than at any other time in the year (poor turkeys what did they do to us)
5) The average retailer looks for this time of the year because 40% of their revenue is made in just this next two months (amazing the deals you can get. Just goes to show you that during the year everything is marked up big time)
6) The average consumer does the majority of their purchases in retail stores in these next two months
7) The average man, if they are like me, spend less than 10 minutes doing their Christmas shopping (probably not true, but I know I do)
8) As we become lazier internet sales increase exponentially and every year.
9) Fast food restaurants located in malls do 60% of their business in just these next two months
10) The Green Bay Packers will repeat as Super bowl Champions next year 2012 (Just had to throw that in, sorry my New York friends, still love ya though)

Getting serious again, here are some helpful tips to keep those unwanted extra pounds off during the holidays.

1) When you go to do your shopping, walk and at a faster pace than normal. Get your heart rate up a little and why not kill two birds with one stone. Get your exercise in and shop at the same time. This will add new meaning to the term “shop till you drop”.
2) Be very mindful of what you are consuming daily and try this. Before eating or after eating instead of sitting around, immediately get some exercise
3) Remember you want to burn off at least what you have eaten
4) Stay away from the excess alcohol. I did not say do not drink. I said stay away from too much drinking
5) After your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals go for a fast pace walk and take your family and friends with you and enjoy each other’s company as you sweat those unwanted extra pounds away
6) If you find yourself at a mall park further away than you would normally. This will force you to at least walk a few extra steps before you walk into that fast food restaurant and order those cheeseburgers.
7) Watch your soda consumption. Soda is not filling and it was designed that way purposely. You need to be very mindful of this.
8) When you are watching television during the holidays at every commercial drop to the floor and do some sit-ups and or push-ups. You only need to do 10 reps each commercial and no you don’t need to drink a gallon of water after each set.

Here is a true story, one that just happened to me a few weeks ago. I had a person join membership at my gym. Now this person is grossly overweight and it is very noticeable. Every Tuesday they would get weighed in at Weight Watchers and she noticed that her weight was beginning to go up even more and just walking up the stairs was impossible. Well I started her on a low intense workout that even after 10 minutes on the treadmill she was done and she kept this workout up for the whole week. The next week she goes back to weight watchers and I just knew she was going to like the results. Well she comes back to me and tells me that she gains 2 pounds. TWO POUNDS! I thought to myself, “How can that be. She must be doing something and not telling me”.

Well for the next few weeks as I intensified her workout and she kept coming back to me and telling me that she was gaining weight. After a month of this I asked her to come into my office and have a little chat with me. As soon as she sat down, she started to cry and she told me that she has been working so hard and she asks me why she can’t lose any weight. I knew in my heart of hearts that she had to be doing something because she was so heavy that just walking in a circle should help her lose a few 20 pounds. I was getting as frustrated as she was until one day as we were talking she noticed that I was drinking some tea. She asked me how many cups of tea I drank a day and I told her that the tea I make in the morning lasts me all day and that is about 16oz. I followed up with my question to her, “So how much tea do you drink?” She them tells me that she drinks at least a gallon of coffee in the morning and a second gallon in the afternoon.

I looked at her and I think steam began to come out of me ears. I then asked her when she drinks this coffee and she tells me about an hour before she goes to weight watchers but after she works out. If my gym were on the third floor of a building I would have jumped out the window! There was the problem. She was sabotaging her own efforts. I told her this and now two weeks later she is down 30 pounds. Hello! How could she not know that? Well it doesn’t matter case solved.

Anyway back to the thought at hand…this year let’s be very mindful of our eating habits and let’s keep exercise at the forefront of our minds. Remember this… exercise makes the body and mind happy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How fast and how far can you walk?

I find this very interesting. The researchers asked how far you could walk and not run. At first I thought about why they would ask such a question and the answer came pretty quickly, because most people don’t like running and everyone walks (with the exception of the disabled). Walking and at a quick pace over a length or period of time can give a person the same results than if they ran that same distance.

Now to test this theory, I walked two miles at a very hard brisk pace. The question I wanted to answer was if I would feel the same fatigue as if I had ran that same distance and the answer was a resounding yes. Now don’t get me wrong it was a much slower time but the end result was pretty much the same, leg fatigue. The hardest thing to do during that walk was keep the same pace going. On so many occasions my body wanted to naturally slow down that I found myself really concentrating on my foot cadence to keep the same pace up. At the end of the walk I evaluated myself to figure out if my cardio conditioning for the first two mile walk and this gave me a bench mark or base line. The next day a ran that same two mile course at a moderate pace, 7 minutes per mile and remarkably at the end of my run, whereas I was breathing a little heavier, when I went to take my pulse rate, it was lower than when I walked the day before.

Here is my thought, I am a believer that running isn’t for everyone and in the end, for the general public, whether you run or walk at a fast pace, doesn’t really matter. You can achieve the same ultimate goal using either method. Now I know some of you are shaking your heads and saying that you are walkers and not runners, but have you ever done a study comparing to two and which one really gets you in the best shape? Or are you just saying that because you “feel” that running is too hard and difficult and it is too uncomfortable? Is your statement “feeling” of logic based?

Did you know that there is a big difference between running and walking fast pace? With running you are using your mid foot and rolling to your toes (with the exception of sprinters that are always on the balls of their feet) and with walking your are rolling from your heal to your toe. With walking you are using much more of your Tibialis anterior and much more of your Illiopsoas muscle than you do when running. Your legs are more engaged while fast paced walking compared to running. One foot is always on the ground with fast pace walking and with running you spend more of your time in the air than on the ground. I can honestly tell you that fast walking was much harder than it first appeared and much more taxing on my legs.

Now try this as an exercise. For two weeks find yourself a one mile or two mile course and time yourself. Then over the next two weeks try and better that time. Every time you finish I want you then to take your pulse and keep record of it. Then compare when you first started to your 14th day. Then I want you to run (at your own pace) that two miles and do the same thing, take your pulse when you finish. See if after your walking there was a noticeable difference and after you’re running there was a noticeable difference. After you first walk that will give you a baseline as to the amount of beats per minute your heart rate was at. Chart it and look at the progression for the 14 days. Then do the same with the running. Now once you finish both exercises then compare them both and see which discipline gave you the best overall results. Numbers don’t lie nor are they emotional.

Now how you base your final results is on looking at your first initial pulse rate and then charting your progress throughout the 14 days. As an example let’s assume you started your first day after walking with BPM of 118 and after 14 days of walking that same course at that same time, it went down to 108 beats per minute. Then you started the running and after your initial run your BPM was 118 again but this time after 14 days your BPM was 112, then the best way for you to get into good general condition would be by fast pace walking. Why? Well when you started the walking your BPM was 118 and you lost 10 BPM compared to running where you only lost 6 BPM over that same amount of days.

Well from that you can begin to plan out how you will get yourself into better cardio condition. Hey a one other thing, remember this, the better condition you are in the lower your resting heart rate… the longer you will live. Now go do it!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, everywhere

So many people have asked me over the past few years about running shoes and I have told everyone of them that it really doesn’t matter what type of running shoe you get, but what matters is that they invest in a good pair of orthotics. I have told so many of them that all they need to do is go to the local bargain store and buy a reasonably cost effective pair of shoes but invest in a good pair of orthotics.

However, every person that I have told that to has never taken my advice seriously. In the end they would go to some specialty store and spend hundreds of dollars on shoes thinking that they have the “right” pair for them. I remember when Air Jordan’s came out and every basketball kid in America just knew that if they got those shoes they would play like him. Since that time every good basketball player has their brand name shoe and we spend hundreds of dollars just to be like “Mike”.

Over the past several years I have seen shoe commercials come out talking about their latest and greatest find and how much research has come out to support their newest findings. Recently a shoe that looks like a rocker has come out and a friend told me that every time she goes walking this shoe helps strengthen her legs because of the design of the sole of the shoe. It could never have anything to do with the fact that she is walking now when she wasn’t before? But I could be wrong. Just for giggles I found myself in one of those specialty stores just to find out what was the latest and greatest thing on the market. I was met at the door and greeted like I was a king and as an ex-sales person, for you to be able to make any inroads with anyone you need to treat them like royalty. Moments later they had me up on a treadmill and they were looking at my running style. They told me that by looking at that, they could get me the right shoe for my foot.

Well they had me running at 5.0 with no incline and they took film of my running ability. No one asked me if I was a long distance runner or a sprinter. I personally don’t think they cared. I think they just wanted to sell shoes and the more “information” they could get from me would make them seem smarter and I would just rely on them and buy whatever they suggested. Before I knew it they were having me try on these $200 shoes telling me that this is what I had to wear to correct my foot issues. I let them go thru their sales pitch as they told me that I would probably lose about 2 minutes off my 5k mile time which I thought was really funny being that they never asked me how fast I’ve run it in and I am a sprinter not a distance runner what do I care about running 3.1 miles. Give me 100 meters any day. But I listened not asking any questions until the end. My only question was if they thought that I should get orthotics and their response was that I could but did not need it with those $200 shoes.

I took the shoes off my feet and looked inside them and felt around to see if there was any arch support in them… there was none. When I asked about that they said that the arch support was on the side of the shoe and the shoe would be good for about 300 miles of running. I graciously thanked them for the information, handed them back the shoe and left. Then I went to the local bargain store and bought the same shoe for much much less and invested in a good pair of orthotics. Instead of me spending $200 I ended up spending $40 plus the orthotics of $35 my total was $75. Now since that time (6 months ago) I have bought one other pair of shoes but I still have the same orthotics. I will spend no more than $40 for any pair of sneakers and I truly believe no one has to spend any more than that… but that is my opinion and I could be wrong.

This morning I was watching television and there was a report on Reebok and their “Easytone” sneakers. I am not making this up, these shoes are suppose to reshape your glutes and strengthen your legs and how they do it is by these bubbles they have on the bottom of the shoes. From the beginning many people have been skeptical about this new shoe so there were two independent studies done and one of those places that did a study on the shoe was University of Wisconsin Lacrosse and what they found out is that there was no difference from wearing those shoes or not wearing them. It has been found according to this report that Reeboks advertising was misleading and deceptive. No really! It couldn’t be because they are using 20 something year old models who have never been pregnant and probably work out their whole life. Or that 20 something year old guy how just finished playing some sport at some university? Hey, let’s use that 40 something women who had 3 kids or that average man who is in his 40’s. No, that wouldn’t sell! Now it has been found that there has been deception going on. Hello!

In a nut shell, there is not one shoe out there now on the market that has good arch support nor are really good for your feet. You won’t find it. They have taken the arch supports out to save money. Whether it maximizes profits or not I don’t know, all I just know is that they have taken them out. (Remember Sam Goody and their shoes? Oh now that was a good pair of sturdy, foot pleasing shoes.) However, I am going to try and help you all who read this blog out… If you want good pair of running or walking shoes and your feet are hurting, don’t go out and spend $100 dollars on a pair of sneakers. Don’t do it! Invest in a good pair of orthotics to support your arches then go out and buy a pair of sneakers within your budget. They problem are the arches for most people and orthotics will definitely take care of that.

Now I could get really scientific and explain to you why your arch is so important and how with a weak arch you will displace your right foot strike and compromise your walking and running gate, but I won’t just know go out and buy so flexible orthotics and enjoy walking again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank you



Over the last few months I have not been myself and I know that some people have suffered because of it. Just last week, as many of you knew, I buried my mother after a long bout with cancer. Some of you have read my first book and if you recall I mentioned that back in august of 2009 she started the fight of her life and little did in know what affect it would have on me, my family and my community here in Wisconsin and your patience has really made me appreciated even more how blessed I am to know you all.

A special thanks goes out to my Parkers Place members who really stepped up to the plate and took over the business while I was gone. Once again you blessed me with how you took control and took care of “your” gym. I even heard that we have a few new members that have joined while I was gone, wow!

Special thanks goes out for all those that braved the weather and came out to the viewing and funeral. It was good to see you all especially those I haven’t seen for a long time. Thank you also for all the prayers that went out on behalf of my family. I truly believe that God heard you and now my mother is comforted in heaven and my father’s rehabilitation is going quicker than even the doctors thought. Please continue to pray for a quick recovery for my father.

Thank you Spring Creek Church for you many cards and prayers. I believe they were heard and felt by my whole family and because of your prayers even in the midst of a hurricane, an earth quake and power outages my mother’s final burial time was peaceful and will never be forgotten.

Well the story is not over yet. My wife is still fighting the good fight and my prayer is that she concurs her fight against cancer. The future is uncertain, however I know one thing… I have a support network that even in my most lowest point will help me thru anything I may go thru. With that I can rest my head on my pillow at night and sleep well. Thank you all for you help and support.




Friday, August 19, 2011

Depression

Everyone at some time in their life goes through it. No one is exempt but how we react and deal with that state can determine the path of one’s life. But what is depression. Depression to me is when our expectations of life are not met and we fall short of some goal we thought that we would achieve now understanding that the probability of achieving that goal is small at best. As an example the marriage that breaks up. You went into that marriage with the idea that you both would grow old together and watch the grand if not great grand children play. Now the marriage has ended. Or that business person who wanted to be a millionaire only to find out that their dreams of becoming a millionaire are a pipe dream at best. Or the woman who desperately wants to have a child only to find out that she or her husband cannot because of physical reason. Or the dream job that you had now has been cut either in pay or termination and now you need to find another job to make ends meet. All of these plus others can and do lead to depression.

Life is like the stock market. You watch it go up and up and you think you have mastered it. You watch your stock portfolio get higher and higher and then one day without warning it crashes and begins a downward spiral that seemingly feels out of control. Most people at this point begin selling things off to keep from losing everything, but is that the real time to do that? Quite the opposite, you should be buying more shares as prices drop so that you can purchase cheaper shares so that over the long term your portfolio will appreciate that much more when the market begins to go up again. Most people just sell off and take their losses never to invest again.

Isn’t life like that? For weeks, months or years you are riding high on life. Everything seems to be going really well. The kids are doing well in school. Your health is perfect. Your job couldn’t be better. Your friends look at you in awe and see you as the perfect person and their idol. Then one day the bottom begins to fall out. You lose your job do to downsizing. You get a real bad report from your doctor about your health or the heath of a loved one. A child has done something that will have an altering lifetime effect on their life or maybe the perfect storm happens where you have your business and personal life crash all at once. Depression sets in and you begin to ask yourself the question why. You begin to doubt the people around you and you wonder if you will ever get out of the situation you are in. You get so low you begin to doubt life itself. Now what do you do?

What I can tell you is that just like the stock market problems are temporary and how you deal in the situation will determine the course of your life going forward. Now I said “deal in the situation” not “deal with the situation” understand that. Dealing in a situation is much different than dealing with a situation. A positive way of dealing in a situation is our attitude telling us that this problem is only temporary and that in the end everything will work out. Now that is not to say you don’t try and work out the problem which is “dealing with” that particular situation. To consistently have a stress-less demeanor we must realize that whatever the problem, we have a higher being that has our back and that what we are going through, in the end, is really temporary and that there is a greater good that needs to and will come from this situation. You need to look past your current issues and focus on your end goals whatever they may be.

I know how depression can get you down. I know how you begin to doubt everything including life itself. Trust me I know. However here is an idea you can use that worked for me. Surround yourself with people who really love and care for you. These people need to love you “unconditionally” and it may not be those who you think it should be. In most cases it is someone that you least expect. Open your heart and don’t close down. So many think that in the case of feeling depressed they need to go into a closet and hid never to be seen until they can be happy again and I need to tell you that that is the biggest lie one could ever tell or believe. We need each other and it is your turn to get the physical, mental or monetary help you may need.

Someone once told me that if you help another person out, it makes your problems seem much small or manageable. I don’t know how true that is but what I do know is this, while in your depression state so many things are going through your mind that you need to not trust your own thoughts and feelings. This is the time when they will lead you astray, but rely on the people you trust around you to give you good advice and follow it. Remember only those with no added ulterior motive. By doing this you are giving yourself the ability to replenish and think about the future. In a depression state our eyes are clouded with confused thoughts and feelings and every decision you make will be more for pleasure in some way more so than common sense.

Depression is an emotion we all go thru. How we handle it can determine many things in our life. If you are in a depressive state find those unconditional friends to come along side you and help you. Don’t rely on yourself but trust in that higher power and know that what you are going thru is temporary and he that higher power has got your back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What type of exercise are you doing?

Webster defines exercise as an activity that requires physical or mental exertion, especially when performed to develop or maintain fitness. With this said I want to talk about how you know what type of exercise you are doing and for some this may not sit right and it may hurt some feelings but in the end I hope we all have a much better understanding of what we are doing.
I know you have heard that Americans are getting fatter every year. Why is that when we are “exercising” more now than we have every exercised before? Are we just not doing enough or what? Is it our dietary habits? What is it and how can we stop this trend.
Well we are getting fatter as a nation and we are exercising more than we ever have in history but are we really? Absolutely not and this is when the definition of exercise needs to be explored. Once again exercise is an activity that requires physical or mental exertion. You see there is a difference between physical and mental exercise. Here are some questions that I just want you to think about and answer and in my next blogs I will give you my opinion own what I feel they are.
1) A person in their daily routine walking up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. They have never taken the elevator before and walking up stairs is just common place. Is this physical or mental exercise?
2) A person sitting in their easy-chair and reading a good book. Is this physical or mental exercise?
3) A person working in their garden weeding and planting. Is this physical or mental exercise?
4) A person putting in long hours at their job. Constantly in meetings and meet new people and at the end of the day they are just tired. Is the physical or mental exercise?
5) A person going for a brisk walk at a really fast walk. Physical or mental?
6) A person taking their dog out for a walk. Physical or mental?
7) A person taking a friend out for a walk and they are walking for a few hours while talking and solving each other’s problems. Physical or mental?
8) A person running miles outside preparing for an upcoming event. Physical or mental?
9) A person who runs every day at the same pace and same distance and now that distance has become very easy for them to run but they just don’t want to increase speed or length. Physical or mental?
10) A person riding their bike at a slow pace avoiding as many hills as possible and when they come to a hill, they walk up the hill instead of riding up the hill. Physical or mental.
11) A person going to the gym to workout. They get there and run into some friends and strike up a great conversation while working out a little. Three hours later they leave not feeling tired or muscle fatigue. Physical or mental?
12) That same person going to the gym and really hitting the weights hard. Sweating like they never sweat before and in the end feeling totally spent. Physical or mental?
13) A person doing exercise but only to the point where they almost begin to sweat. At that point they stop activity to get water and check pulse rate. They don’t want their pulse to get above 100 beats per minute. After thirty minutes they are finished and on their way home after stopping at the grocery store for food. Physical or mental?
14) A person who starts running but once they get to the end of the block and they begin to breath heavy they stop and walk the rest of the time at an easy pace. They do this for 3 miles. Physical or mental?
15) A person who goes to the gym once or twice a week and exercises their full body. Physical or mental?
16) A person who goes to the gym five days a week to exercise and exercises their full body. Physical or mental?
17) A person who teaches aerobic classes three times a week at the local gym. They teach entry level classes and have been doing so now for a few years. Physical or Mental?
18) A person who hangs out with really well built people. They don’t dear to walk into a facility but they like hanging around people who do. Physical or mental?
19) A person who runs a mile a day. They run the same mile everyday and have been doing it for a few years now never intending to break that routine. Physical or mental?
20) Person who goes to the gym one time a week for about one hour. The other days they work in an office at a desk behind a computer. All the activity they get is that one day. Physical or mental?
IN my next few blogs I will be giving you my honest opinion on whether these activities fall into the Physical or Mental categories. I would love to hear what your answers are.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Out of the mouth of Babes

My wife calls me into the computer room at our house and says that she wants me to read something my son had just finished writing for school. She seemed really excited about it so I felt as though I needed to read it. The paper he wrote had the title “Childhood Obesity” and as soon as I saw that it caught my attention.

The first sentence jumped out at me. It was really powerful. It said, “Parents are slowly killing their children.” Wow, what a way to hit adults between the eyes. Out of the mouth of Babes comes the truth. I have never had a talk with him about this nor had he ever spoken to me about how he really felt about this subject. In his second paragraph his opening sentence was, “Parents are to blame for childhood obesity because of what they teach their children during the first years of life.” How true is this?

During the first five years of your child’s life is when they learn the most about you. You are around them all day and most of the night. You are telling them what to do and how to do it. They are learning their right and wrong from you. So imagine if you, as the parent, are clueless what you will be bringing up.

I was at a water park a few weeks back and I was sitting by the pool area with my ten year old daughter just people watching and along came this couple and sat right beside us and we drummed up a brief conversation. Well no more than a few seconds into the conversation the guy started using words that I thought were not appropriate for young ears to hear and I asked him to chill-out as well as his wife but he kept on sucking down his beer and thinking it was funny. This guy turns to his wife and says, “He sooner or later they will all hear this stuff anyway so what’s the big deal.” At that his wife got out of the pool and walked away and he followed. While sitting there in this awkward moment I was trying to find some teachable moment and did not want the time to go by. Then she looks at me and asks me, “Is that what alcohol does to a person daddy?” I said, “Absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt. It really messes you up and that is why your mother and I don’t drink.”

In this paper my son wrote it talked about our appearance and how they only see what they see. He says that we can talk to them until we are blue in the face but in the end it is our actions that speak louder than anything else. If we eat bad food and drink bad drinks they will think that it is ok to do the same. Hey what is good enough for mommy and daddy should be good enough for me, right? If we ourselves are obese and in poor condition, well it must be OK because mom and dad are that way, right? If my parents come home and watch television all night, isn’t that Ok then? Our children are only splitting images of who we are threw and threw.

In his paper he quotes Michelle Zive how wrote the book “Parents should play a role in fighting Childhood obesity”. In this his book Zive states, “It is critical that parent’s model and practice those eating habits that they want their juveniles to learn.” Does this need to be explained, I think not. We need to model what our kids should grow up to be period. We need to fight the obesity first with ourselves then even without you trying our kids will join suit.

I am proud of my son and the paper he wrote. It is good to know that all that my wife has been preaching and all we have been actually doing is sticking and not going on deaf ears. My hopes are that your children feel the same way and that my son’s first statement never comes true. Let’s not slowly kill our children but make them stronger and faster than we were and have ever been. First we need to start with us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Being a Parent

John walks into my office one day and he is visibly upset. John tells me that he is both concerned and upset with his son. He tells me that his son has been very lazy and his son, in the last few months, has gain a lot of weight. He tells me that every time he tells his son to do something it always ends up in a fight and he is just sick and tired of fighting with him. While John was tell me all of this I just kept my mouth shut because, well, it sounded like how I felt about John.

I remember seeing his son just a few days prior to John coming into my office and I remember telling myself that he was beginning to look like his father. I think John is beginning to realize that too subconsciously and just not aware of it consciously.

Sharon has been a smoker her whole life and after smoking for over forty years her doctor tells her that she has some spots on her lungs that need looking at. Now she is fifty four years old and for years she has been preaching to her kids not to start smoking. Well one day while going thru her daughter’s room she finds a pack of cigarettes and she gets very upset. Sharon tells me that she has told her daughter on so many occasions not to start because it is a bad habit with no really good benefits. Sharon’s daughter is fourteen years of age.

Mike has been a member of my gym for a few years now and his resume is extensive. Since he was six years old he has been into athletics and healthy eating and it shows. He is forty eight years old but looks like he could be early thirties. He tells me that everywhere he goes now he looks for alternative ways to keep himself in shape and always prepares for that next competition. One day while at church I see Mike with his kids. I knew that we were going to be a long while at the church and I was wondering what he would have his children doing while they were with him.

At first I see them just sitting in the pews reading but after about thirty minutes of that they began to well, act like kids and at first it was fine with me but then he did something that I thought was very cool. He gets up from his seat and goes over to them. I could see him telling them something and he is pointing at the stairs. As soon as he finishes I see his kids begin running the stadium stairs. Just not once but each isle seven times. Wow! I asked him why he had them do that and he said because they are getting ready to get into their track season and need the extra time to get in better condition and what better time to do it but now instead of get in trouble. Now when you consider that each isle is three stories high and there are eight isles and they are running each isle seven times, you do the math, it is over one hundred flights of stairs. For the rest of rehearsal his kids were no problem and they finished just as we finished our practice. Then I saw something even cooler, I saw Mike begin to run the stairs just like his kids did. That next week I brought my kids and you know what happened next.

After John was finished airing out his frustration I sat with him for a few minutes not saying anything and he looks at me and says, “Don’t you have anything to say? What should I do?” I looked at him and smiled. I asked him to follow me out to the all purpose room where all the mirrors were. We stood right in the middle of the floor and I said, “For a few months now everything that I have tried to get you to do to better yourself his fallen on deaf ears. You always seem to have an excuse on why you can’t do certain things or you find some sort of an alternative because in the end you think my way is too difficult for you to accomplish. For the last month I have not even seen you here. I am not shocked that your son is acting like he is.” Then I stopped and had him face the mirrors. “You see that person in the mirror? That is who your son WILL turn out to be. Mike it starts with you. You cannot tell your son to do something if you are not willing to do it yourself, period. Our kids are only and extension of ourselves. So as long as you are the way you are and as long as you want it YOUR way and as long as you continue in the life style you are in, well nothing will change but one thing, your frustration level. Mike it starts with you.”

He looks at me shocked at what I just said. “What do I have to do with my son and his attitude? I was never that way when I was his age.”

“I don’t doubt that Mike. But you are that way now and that is all he knows” I responded.

He walks out of the room and out of the gym. I have not seen him since. Mike is leading by example, unfortunately.

After listening to Sharon for a while I stop her and ask her a question, “Hey when did you start smoking?” her response was, “Well when I was fourteen and this is why I am so concerned. You see what is happening with me now.”

“Yes I do and I am not happy about it, however, have you confronted your daughter about this?”

Of course she said “no” but that she was going to talk to her tonight. I asked her to do something for me. “Instead of confronting her and causing a scene tell her about your personal issues and what is now happening to you and ask her to help you stop smoking. Don’t even bring up the fact that you found those cigarettes in her room. Ask her to help to keep you accountable because you cannot do it by yourself.”

Well, Sharon and I parted company and I thought that I would never see her again but something happened. Six months later I see Sharon in a Mall walking around with her daughter and she tells me that my method worked like a charm. Not just for Sharon but without her saying anything her daughter quit the habit. Sharon is leading by example.

When Mike was in high school he became an All American in track and field and well his oldest son is on his way to becoming that also. His oldest son is a freshman this year and he is running Varsity Track and he is one of the fastest kids not just on the track team but in the conference and state. Mike has lead by example and it is showing.

It really stinks to be a parent because, who we are our kids will someday be. How we act around others our children will emulate. We lead by example and not by our words. Our kids don’t know any other way to act but how they see us act. We need to fix ourselves first before we can fix them or lead them in the right way. If you are a drinker and they start, don’t get mad at them but if you don’t like it you stop and soon enough they will also.

I remember one day when I was driving my oldest son to soccer practice and he tells me that he can’t wait until he is twenty one because then he can start drinking. Now I was really surprised to hear that from him because I don’t drink. But after questioning his statement he tells me, “ Dad, mom drinks so why can’t I try it.” I told her about this conversation we had and since then she has not touched a drop of alcohol. A few months later, while in the car with him, he tells me that he has reconsidered and doesn’t think that it is wise for him to drink.

If you don’t want your kids to turn out like you are today. If you want your kids to be in much better shape than you are in right now. If you don’t want your kids to grow up obese, then it starts with you. Show them and get yourself into condition and they will follow your lead. Parents the future of our children are dependent on who we are today. If you don’t like it… then change it.

My Penn Relay expereince

Its 4/28/2011 and 6:15pm and I am sitting in the airport wait to board my flight to Philly to run in the Penn Relays. So many years prior I ran in this meet and never really appreciated it for what it was. Just three weeks ago if you had asked me if I was going to run in this event I would probably said absolutely not. I had no intention in running in this meet. I was going to wait until I was 50 years of age where I would be the youngest in that age group.
Then in the beginning of March I went to visit my mother and father. It was good to see them but not in the condition my mother was in. Cancer has really taken a big time toll on her body and she is in a lot of pain and always sleeping because of the medication they have her on. My mom and Dad have done so much for my sister and I that I felt as though I just needed to do something for them. In that same week my mother had to quit her dance troop and quit the track team. The two things that she loved to do the most and looked forward to doing while in retirement but now she was physically unable to continue and she made that hard decision to resign in both things. This was a very hard thing for her to do and I could feel her sadness. Just staying alive was all she could do and I felt helpless watching her suffer as she was.
Then three days into my visit with them I got an idea. My concern was giving my mother something to look forward to. To give her hope and reason to fight and live so I began talking to her about my kids and how well my oldest son was doing in Track and Field and she began to cry. “I am so proud of you and your kids. You all give me the fuel to keep going even when I just want to give up.” For three hours, while she was awake, we talked and cried and talked some more. Then about three hours later she fell back asleep in her chair. A few moments later I get a text from a friend asking me if I was going to run in the Penn’s this year and at first I was going to text him back, “absolutely not” but then I thought about it some more and asked myself, “ why not run in the Penn Relays?” This could be the last track event my mother may see me in.
I have been running everyday and in Wisconsin any way I have not lost a race and was looking for a higher caliber of competition so why not. I decided on that day that I would begin my preparation for the event. The only problem was, I was not invited and did not fill out an application as of that date. I immediately got onto my computer and went online and, well what do I see here, an email from the director of the meet asking me if I would like to attend this year’s one hundred meter race. Well you don’t have to hit me over the head with a two by four I replied back by filling out the application and emailing it to him.
Now I still did not get my hopes up because they only take the elite runners. The runners who are ranked in their age group and most likely in the world are usually the only ones that get to compete at this event. I knew I had a really good indoor Champaign, I was number one indoors at that time in the 55 meters, running a pretty quick time, but that doesn’t guarantee that I was going to get in. Well now it is a waiting game.
A few hours later, well six to be exact, my mother wakes up and she looks up at me from her chair, “What’s up Kevin? You have very big smile on your face. What did you do now?”
“Actually I did nothing wrong but there is something that I am going to do and for you.” I said to her.
“What?” she said to me trying to lift up to relieve the pain in her lower back.
“What if I said I was running in the Penn Relays, would you go?”
All of a sudden her whole demeanor changed. She began to smile and tried to lift herself out of the chair. “You made the Penn’s! That is great! Of course I would go! I am so proud of you!”
The energy now that she had reminded me of the mother I use to know. The fire was back in her eyes and her voice was now not cracking but filled with energy and hope. I know I had just put my application in but I just could not bring myself to telling her that I had not been accepted yet. I did not want her to loss hope or a reason to continue and fight. “Oh lord I pray that I make it.”
However I wasn’t going to wait for the acceptance I began my work outs as though I had been accepted and was running in them.
Now it’s the day before the big event at 6:15pm and I am at the airport. My workouts were ok but not the best. Just two weeks ago I strained my left hamstring. I stopped in enough time not to pull it but it really put a damper on my preparation. It was kind of a weird injury though. I could still run and while running I had no pain. However stretching on it was and is very hard. I was afraid to go all out and work speed but when I did I would feel a little twinge and I would have to stop. Then just the other day while doing block work, I tweaked my lower back and had a problem just standing up. This problem ended me in the Chiropractors office. Then at that same time my neck has begun to hurt. Is this nerves? I don’t know. All I know is this, I am doing this for my mother and father. I don’t want to do this… I need to do this.

Being a Parent

John walks into my office one day and he is visibly upset. John tells me that he is both concerned and upset with his son. He tells me that his son has been very lazy and his son, in the last few months, has gain a lot of weight. He tells me that every time he tells his son to do something it always ends up in a fight and he is just sick and tired of fighting with him. While John was tell me all of this I just kept my mouth shut because, well, it sounded like how I felt about John.

I remember seeing his son just a few days prior to John coming into my office and I remember telling myself that he was beginning to look like his father. I think John is beginning to realize that too subconsciously and just not aware of it consciously.

Sharon has been a smoker her whole life and after smoking for over forty years her doctor tells her that she has some spots on her lungs that need looking at. Now she is fifty four years old and for years she has been preaching to her kids not to start smoking. Well one day while going thru her daughter’s room she finds a pack of cigarettes and she gets very upset. Sharon tells me that she has told her daughter on so many occasions not to start because it is a bad habit with no really good benefits. Sharon’s daughter is fourteen years of age.

Mike has been a member of my gym for a few years now and his resume is extensive. Since he was six years old he has been into athletics and healthy eating and it shows. He is forty eight years old but looks like he could be early thirties. He tells me that everywhere he goes now he looks for alternative ways to keep himself in shape and always prepares for that next competition. One day while at church I see Mike with his kids. I knew that we were going to be a long while at the church and I was wondering what he would have his children doing while they were with him.

At first I see them just sitting in the pews reading but after about thirty minutes of that they began to well, act like kids and at first it was fine with me but then he did something that I thought was very cool. He gets up from his seat and goes over to them. I could see him telling them something and he is pointing at the stairs. As soon as he finishes I see his kids begin running the stadium stairs. Just not once but each isle seven times. Wow! I asked him why he had them do that and he said because they are getting ready to get into their track season and need the extra time to get in better condition and what better time to do it but now instead of get in trouble. Now when you consider that each isle is three stories high and there are eight isles and they are running each isle seven times, you do the math, it is over one hundred flights of stairs. For the rest of rehearsal his kids were no problem and they finished just as we finished our practice. Then I saw something even cooler, I saw Mike begin to run the stairs just like his kids did. That next week I brought my kids and you know what happened next.

After John was finished airing out his frustration I sat with him for a few minutes not saying anything and he looks at me and says, “Don’t you have anything to say? What should I do?” I looked at him and smiled. I asked him to follow me out to the all purpose room where all the mirrors were. We stood right in the middle of the floor and I said, “For a few months now everything that I have tried to get you to do to better yourself his fallen on deaf ears. You always seem to have an excuse on why you can’t do certain things or you find some sort of an alternative because in the end you think my way is too difficult for you to accomplish. For the last month I have not even seen you here. I am not shocked that your son is acting like he is.” Then I stopped and had him face the mirrors. “You see that person in the mirror? That is who your son WILL turn out to be. Mike it starts with you. You cannot tell your son to do something if you are not willing to do it yourself, period. Our kids are only and extension of ourselves. So as long as you are the way you are and as long as you want it YOUR way and as long as you continue in the life style you are in, well nothing will change but one thing, your frustration level. Mike it starts with you.”

He looks at me shocked at what I just said. “What do I have to do with my son and his attitude? I was never that way when I was his age.”

“I don’t doubt that Mike. But you are that way now and that is all he knows” I responded.

He walks out of the room and out of the gym. I have not seen him since. Mike is leading by example, unfortunately.

After listening to Sharon for a while I stop her and ask her a question, “Hey when did you start smoking?” her response was, “Well when I was fourteen and this is why I am so concerned. You see what is happening with me now.”

“Yes I do and I am not happy about it, however, have you confronted your daughter about this?”

Of course she said “no” but that she was going to talk to her tonight. I asked her to do something for me. “Instead of confronting her and causing a scene tell her about your personal issues and what is now happening to you and ask her to help you stop smoking. Don’t even bring up the fact that you found those cigarettes in her room. Ask her to help to keep you accountable because you cannot do it by yourself.”

Well, Sharon and I parted company and I thought that I would never see her again but something happened. Six months later I see Sharon in a Mall walking around with her daughter and she tells me that my method worked like a charm. Not just for Sharon but without her saying anything her daughter quit the habit. Sharon is leading by example.

When Mike was in high school he became an All American in track and field and well his oldest son is on his way to becoming that also. His oldest son is a freshman this year and he is running Varsity Track and he is one of the fastest kids not just on the track team but in the conference and state. Mike has lead by example and it is showing.

It really stinks to be a parent because, who we are our kids will someday be. How we act around others our children will emulate. We lead by example and not by our words. Our kids don’t know any other way to act but how they see us act. We need to fix ourselves first before we can fix them or lead them in the right way. If you are a drinker and they start, don’t get mad at them but if you don’t like it you stop and soon enough they will also.

I remember one day when I was driving my oldest son to soccer practice and he tells me that he can’t wait until he is twenty one because then he can start drinking. Now I was really surprised to hear that from him because I don’t drink. But after questioning his statement he tells me, “ Dad, mom drinks so why can’t I try it.” I told her about this conversation we had and since then she has not touched a drop of alcohol. A few months later, while in the car with him, he tells me that he has reconsidered and doesn’t think that it is wise for him to drink.

If you don’t want your kids to turn out like you are today. If you want your kids to be in much better shape than you are in right now. If you don’t want your kids to grow up obese, then it starts with you. Show them and get yourself into condition and they will follow your lead. Parents the future of our children are dependent on who we are today. If you don’t like it… then change it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Valid concern but don't worry

I have thought about this for a long time and I think I may just have an explanation. Many of my female members have asked me a question that I want to address and that is what happens to men as they get older? At one point when they are in High School and even into College they are active and in some cases very sports oriented. While back in the day you remember your husband being fit and trim and let’s admit it ladies you were attracted to him because of that. You probably say to yourself, “What happened to that man that I once knew and loved to look at?” So you have taken it upon yourself to mention to him that he may need to go to the gym and workout… hint, hint, hint and all through this process of nagging him he rebels and in most cases ignores you. Well let me see if I can shed some light on this issue.

Besides the obvious physiological things that happen to us as we age there is something else that we have tend to over looked. As I have written in the past, what is important to a person, they will concentrate on and become successful at. I have also stated on many occasions that without a clear cut objective and goal any efforts will be futile at best and very short lived. With that said, back in the days when you were dating your husband he might have been on some sports team like track and field, football, soccer, swimming, rugby, baseball or even tennis and at that time their focus was on one thing… winning and becoming the best at their sport. They wanted to see their name in lights so they spent countless hours practicing and sweating. Sports were their motivation at that time and because of that they were fit and trim.

Now you are asking yourself, what happened? Well it is simple and not an excuse… life. Yes, most men have gone from thinking about themselves and achieving goals for themselves to becoming the provider of the family and satisfying the needs associated there. Their whole world has changed from self centered to family centered. It’s what men do, they provide for their families and because of that what use to be takes a back seat. Yes, that means at the end of the day they will gain unwanted weight and they will lose there once sculpted bodies.

Now with that said, women are very sensitive about their environment and especially their health and the health of their family. I can see where a wife would become concerned about her husband’s health especially if he was very attractive at one point. But ladies look at it this way, once you had children; those kids became the focal point of your life and existence. You put yourself on hold until they were able to pretty much fend for themselves. In some cases for women it is around the time the last child enters kindergarten and then that is if they are not involved in extracurricular activities and in that case then it could be many years before you began to take care of yourself as you once did.

Well if you are taking care of your kids and your husband is taking care of the family now do you understand why he is the way he is. His focus is on providing and not looking fit. Now this does not mean he should use that as an excuse. No quite the contrary. He should be doing something to help himself and by doing that he in turn is helping his family for eternity.

How you may ask. Well, have you heard the saying the apple never falls far from the tree. Well it’s true, very true. Who you are… your kids WILL become. If you are a sedentary, out of shape, diabetic, smoking and drinking person, guess what, so will they become. If you are a go getter with an “A” type personality so will they be. If you are an athletic person and you kept your conditioning up and they see how important it is to you, they will only know that and it will become important to them.

As an example, I had something happen to me that, now that I look back it was funny but in the moment it was actually unnerving. I was officiating an under 14 indoor soccer game and the game was really tight. Everyone just knew that team A was going to beat team B and on paper this should have been a slam dunk for them. In the past I have seen both these teams play and to say the least they knew how to work the officials so that they could get the calls their way. Well I’m sorry but in my years of officiating I have never been persuaded by any one coach and I have sent coaches packing, which I am not happy about doing especially in front of their players. Well what I have learned over the years is that how the coach is so will his players be. If the coach is a quite person only making observations now and then, so will his players be. If the coach is obnoxious and irate, well so will his players be. Now throw in the attitudes of the parents and you can imagine what their little angles are like to be around. I have seen many times when the parents were cursing at the top of their lungs and I can assure you that junior has said or will say something profound by the end of that game.

Well, while officiating this game I made a call on a kid that he did not like and decided that he would tell me his opinion on the issue. After listening to him (a 14 year old) for about three seconds I decided that he needed to have an attitude adjustment and sent him to the bench for the rest of the game. Did in mention that this was a championship game and the game had just started? Well to make a long story short at the end of the game I was approached by his mother and she had a few “nice” words to say to me. After she was done I looked at her and said the following, “I can see the apple has not fallen far from the tree” and I turned around and walked away. My point is this, who we are… our kids will be, so fitness and conditioning should always be on the top of our list even when life seems to get in the way. So to answer the question whether or not you should be worried about your husbands, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. But remember he is doing his primary job at this point, providing for his family.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

1.5 mile run WLC 2011




As spring approaches we find our selves getting busier and busier running around like a chicken with our heads cut off. We, by this time, have losdt our focus on what we thought was so important in the beginning of the year and we don’t even use excuses anymore on why we don’t so things to get in better shape, we just stopped doing it.

Well Saturday just to jump start the Weight Loss Challengers, their task was to run 1.5 miles. This was s flat course and the goal for them was just to finish and finish well. This challenge was done to give them all a bench mark that they can shoot at and improve upon. How many of you still use weight as your fitness goal only to lose some weight and then put that weight back on plus an extra couple of pounds for measure? Well now and for the rest of their challenges my goals is for them to begin to understand that losing weight is a byproduct of them achieving a goal, a tangable goal. Something that at the end of the day can be improved upon. Once that goal, what ever it may be, is achieved then they can shoot for a better faster, quicker, stronger goal and only then will your conditioning and fitness become fun and enjoyable. They are slowly learning that.

Because of the success that they are having outside of thinking about losing weight. Because of the gaols they are achieving by their running and weight training, their weight is dropping and this week was a clear indication of that when everyone of them lost at least 1 pound this week. One of the challengers came up to me this week and said that this has become fun for her because she now knows that she could do certain things that she thought she could never do and by trying new exciting things, her weight is dropping. You all should try it.

Now for you all that think that you are too busy to get yourselves in better condition, hog-wash. I told one of the challengers the other day that it was amazing how we make time for the things that we see are most important to us and not give anytime to the things that either we don’t care about or don’t see the reason why we should improve on them. In most cases as I see it, it is not that you don’t care about your health it is that you just think it is going to be there for you, whenever you need it. Well unfortunately sooner or later for all the abuse you have put your body thru, for all the smoking or drinking you did. For all the hard fun you had (football, Rugby, Basketball, etc), at one point you will have to pay the bill and you know just as well as I, the bill never comes due when you are ready for it, it just comes.
Begin to refocus yourself just as the Weight Loss Challenge people are doing and get back to achieving the goals you set for yourself in January trust me you will thank me in the end.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I DO

Over the past few months my eyes have been open to how powerful those words are and how important family is in a person’s life. I remember when my wife was walking down the aisle and how nervous I was when we were saying our vows. At that time if you were to ask me what I just did I would have probably told you that I just got married but I really had no clue on what that really meant nor what affect it would have on the rest of my life.
In my nineteen years of being married I have come to believe that there are so many deeper aspects to love that, well, until you experience it yourself you have no clue. At first when you get married you are totally “in love” with that person. You just can’t stop being around each other and you have great dreams of a life that will be filled with happiness and very few problems. But as time goes on “love” begins to take on different forms and the definition of love changes from infatuation to commitment.
For those that have gotten married, do we really understand what the words “I DO” really mean? Do you truly understand the depth of just those two words? With my parents and my in-laws I believe I have a bit of a clue on what those words truly mean.
When you look at those two words, the word I is pretty explanatory. It is referring to you in the present and future tense. You are making a statement that is saying that YOU are going to do something and you are aware of and are will to take on the consequences of your actions. That word “I” in itself in the context of marriage is telling the other person that you are fully aware o and are of sound mind and body at the time the vows were spoken.
Then there is the word “DO” and this is an action word referring to you taking on the responsibility to do something in a non-selfish manner. Just look at the phrase “for better or for worse”, whoever put this in the marriage vows was deeper than you think because there is a lot more worse than there is better the closer and closer you get to the end of our lives and this is when that two word response is put to the test.
• When you spouse is suffering from an incurable disease, will you be there to help them thru it (I Do)
• When you’re faced with financial burdens will you both stick thru the hard times when just getting groceries becomes a chore (I Do)
• When you find out that your spouse has had an affair will you forgive them and stay in the marriage (I Do)
• When your kids act up and discipline needs to be given will you both work together to give out the discipline needed (I Do)
• When for whatever reason you or your spouse can no longer perform in an intimate way will you stay with them and love them anyway forsaking all others (I Do)
• When, because of an illness, your spouse keeps you up all night for weeks on end will you love them thru it (I Do)
• When you are away and temptation is all around you will you not give in (I Do)
• When you just don’t “like” that person anymore will you stay with them because of the commitment you made to them (I Do)
• When your spouse isn’t the same person physically you remember in high school that brought you two together will you stay with them (I Do)
I am finding out that as we age and grow older, life and love takes on a new and different meaning, the two become one. Now this is a process that takes years and I mean years to achieve and it is not done easily. Think in these terms; the reasons why most people argue in marriages is because we have our OWN wills and we want to push our will on the other person. We don’t want to give up anything we think or have for that other person. But the longer we are married the more of our will we give up because we begin to find out that in the end does that whatever really matter. Then and only then when we begin to let our will go and begin the process of selflessness do we begin the process of two becoming one. This is something that when you first get married does not exist in any form trust me I know this.
I now see that in both sets of parents. Now life isn’t easy for them. My In-laws are in the final stages of life and my mother-in-law is suffering from Dementia in a big way. They both live in a nursing home and my father-n-law may see his bride, wife of 56 years, maybe twice a week. They live in separate sections of the nursing home and after living in a 2500 square foot home their whole lives together now they have two separate dorm style rooms and no worldly possessions. I asked my Father-n-law if he still loved his wife and he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Kevin I love her more now than I ever have loved her before”. Now that is powerful
With my parents, my mother is suffering with major cancer and is fighting for her life. Most of the day now she spends in her chair fast asleep and at night she spends in their room crying because of the pain she is in and every night my father rubs her back until she falls asleep . My dad doesn’t get any more than 2 hours of sleep a night at best now. While I was home I witnessed him in the middle of the night fighting sleep and rubbing her back as she laid there in pain. This went on for hours at a time every night and every night I would watch this happen. Sleeping for him has only become an option, His first priority, my mother and his wife. Just the other day she was in her chair sleeping and he looks at me and says, “There is my wife, there is my wife. I love that lady”. Wow, I was blown away with that statement and it gave me hope and understanding that as bad as it may seem on my end, life does prepare you for the worst.
Hollywood has got it wrong in a big way. Marriage is not about what you can get out of it but marriage is what you can bring to the table for the other person. It takes years for a marriage to grow and it take even more time for you to separate, independent, selfish people to become one. Go to your spouse tonight and look at them and just say, “I do” but this time really mean it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ForeverYoung

I was just watching a program on television that I found very interesting. The question they were discussing was, is age a state of mind and personally they think it is. In this program they said that there was a survey done that suggested that most women believe that they are getting old at age 29 or when they see their first gray hair while men have no problem with grey hair or age but they begin to feel old when they cannot perform in the bedroom. The question they wanted to tackle was what can keep us from feeling old and these were the answers;
1) Have younger people you hang out with. You should have friends your own age but you should also have friends that are younger than you. This is good because they help you by giving you energy that ordinarily you would not have and you help them by giving them your wisdom and life experiences. I have seen this at my place. I have a lady that, well if you saw her and watched her you would not think she was 79 years old. She comes in every morning at 7am to work out and her work out partner is 55 years old and they really work well together. One day I asked Shirley (my 79 year old) what keeps her thinking and feeling young she tells me that it is the company she keeps. She has no friends over the age of 60 and her best friend is 52 years “young”. She tells me that they keep her feeling young and in return she gets to share her life experiences and wisdom with them so everyone wins.
2) Exercise every day. Now weight training is important when you get older however in most gyms there are aerobic classes like Zumba and step. Now you don’t actually have to go to a gym however. Go outside and do outside activities. Find yourself outside more than inside during the day and fill your day up with activities you love to do.
3) Allow your mind that think of the possibilities you can achieve and let no one, including your family stop you from achieving it. It is true that we love our family but sometimes to death. We are so protective of our parents that we sometimes smoother them and stifle their ability to dream big dreams and continue to achieve what they feel they can still do. We need to allow each other to be and feel free.
4) Stay positive. This is important because anything negative in our lives can and does bring our emotions and feelings down. We need to surround ourselves with people that are positive in nature only.
5) Every day have an activity goal. It doesn’t have to be big it can be as small as getting out in the garden or taking a walk around the block. But each day have a goal in mind and then go out and do it.
6) Eat a balanced diet and cut out those foods that can do you harm. This is self explanatory and needs no more further explanation.
Taking these steps can keep us forever young. Have a great healthy day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

challenge 3/12

Today we did not have a challenge but we did something that was much more valuable and that was we talked. Well, actually I talked and they listened and then at the end they had great questions.
One of the biggest concerns they have been voicing to me over the past few weeks is the ability to make this weight loss a lifelong thing and not just a shoot in the dark only to repeat it over and over again. The question I have been asked revolved around the concerns of falling back into old habits and what to do to keep from letting that happen. The ultimate answer to that is “focus” but today I will elaborate on that.
First I had them write down what their goals actually were. One thing though, they could not use losing a specific weight as a goal. Goals had to be something that once met could be improved upon or maintained. Once you hit a goal weight, you cannot stay on that weight or better it. If you could, what you would go down to zero?
Well once they completed that task, I then asked them to think about the reasons why they choose those goals and write them down. The reason why we do things is important. There needs to be a reason or you won’t do it for a long time. Remember this is to be a life style changing process not a shot in the dark. I also shared with them that if they were doing this with the thought in the back of their minds that they would go back to the way they were after they lost the weight , that they have already set themselves up for failure and they might as well leave now.
Once they completed the “why” portion, I then asked them to write down what it would take to get them there and only the first two steps. This is important because it gives them direction and plots a certain course of action to begin to achieve those goals.
Now once that was completed, we discussed how, by following that formula, their goals will be achieved and how after a while they will become or should become a passion (I will discuss what I mean by “a passion” at a later date) in life. But what I will you is that regardless of what is happening in their world, nothing will or should stop them from achieving their goals. When life gets hard, your drive to succeed is still there. When you get injured, your drive is still there. It doesn’t waiver and it doesn’t matter about your external situation, you just get it done and focus.
I believe that this time was very valuable to all and my hopes are that they have walked away from this with a better focus and understanding and a renewed sprirt.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Basketball for the Challengers


Well today we had some fun. Today the challengers played basketball. As I enter the court I looked at some of them and they seemed to be a little nervous, but in the end all had fun.

How many of your have thought about doing something like that but have told yourself that because of your age, build, or physical condition you just can’t do it or just don’t want to do it. Well here is an example of people who are doing it when ordinarily they would have talked themselves out of it.

Now the purpose of this event was to again give them options on things they could continue to pursue and get better at. Some of the people playing today told me that they had played in high school and just that little pickup game kind of got their juices back up and thanked me afterwards.

Many of you have asked me about how one can maintain their conditioning, well here is another option. Join a league and then better your skills. There are many master’s events that you can join and have fun with people your own age. There are millions of people that are looking to get involved in something that they can do and have fun doing it. Well even with the business of the day, as adults we can do this. There are Basketball leagues, Soccer leagues, baseball leagues, track and field, wrestling, swimming, and so many other competitive leagues for people over forty now it is incredible. I truly believe that forty is the new twenty because of all the options we now have at our disposal.

So now go out and find that sport and go for it!!! Congrats to all the weight loss challenge people for another successful event.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lose weight or Change Lifestyle... that is the question

It is not the weight that needs to change in reality it is your lifestyle. Anyone can lose weight, just stop eating for a while but the real challenge is keeping it off and not just for a little while but for the rest of your life. Most people who say that they want to change their life is really stating that they want to lose weight so that they can go back to what they were doing prior, which got them where they are today. “If I only lose ten, fifteen, twenty… one hundred pounds, my life will be better and I will change”, I hear so often. However that is the wrong attitude to have because you are approaching the problem the wrong way. Yes I agree that you need to lose the weight. But where I disagree is that once you lose the weight you would have gone thru a life altering experience.

I was talking to a bunch of people that other day and they were telling me how frustrated they were about trying to keep those unwanted pounds off. How do you keep those pounds off? Here were their answers:

1) Reduce your calorie intake
2) Stop eating between meals
3) Eat only three meals a day
4) Portion control
5) I don’t know (at least this person was honest)

I then asked them, assuming that they reach that magic number, what they would do to maintain that ideal number and they all looked at me like I had three eyes. They then asked me what my opinion was on the subject and my response was; plan an active goal and then go after it. Once you achieve that goal plan another active one and go after it and keep going until you cannot reach any more milestones then just maintain that level of activity.

Notice how I said nothing about food, eating or portion control? In the end, whereas that stuff in important to have under control, there are other pieces of the puzzle once understood, it will make your life much easier.

There are some basic understanding one needs to have before they can truly understand what I am saying so lets start with understanding what a calorie is. When I asked them that question they looked at each other as if someone had the answer or at least collectively they could figure it out and none of them could do it. I got answers such as:

1) Three thousand calories equal a pound of fat
2) Calories are evil
3) I know I eat too many calories

Of course at this point, after listening to them jabber on for some time, I finally chimed in and told them what a calorie was. A calorie is a measure of heat energy (it is a little more complicated than that but in a nut shell that is what is was for my example). Then I asked them another question, assume we gas our cars up with gasoline to go on a trip. At first we can put our hands on the engine and it is relatively cool. Burt after a while isn’t it impossible to put your hand on the engine because it is too hot? How did it get so hot? Was it the gas that caused it or was it something else? Well after talking about it for a while it was understood that it was not the gas but the friction from the engine that cause a lot of that heat. Now the gas is the fuel that the engine needs to work and the heat is what is formed so that the gas could be used in its proper state to make to car run. Isn’t that heat considered calories? Think about it. Yes it is.

Well with that said I then went on to discuss their first answers about how they were going to maintain or reduce their weight. You see it is not the food that is the problem but the lack of activity. Most of us just need to get a little more active and allow the body to work as it was designed to do.

Now is the calories in the food or in does our bodies generate them? Remember our example of the gasoline for the car. Well food does not have calories. Our bodies generate the calories to break down the food so that it can use it in its purest form. The more food you eat, the more the body has to work to break it down. Now let’s get back to our car example. Now let’s assume that on Monday we fill the car up because we are suppose to go on a long drive. However after filling the car up we only end up traveling 1 mile. Now we did not use a lot of gas so we still have a lot in the tank. But the next day you go back to the gas station and refill with the same amount as the previous day. Now what happens to that excess gas? Where does it go?

We do this to our bodies. We have become very sedentary in our lives but we eat like we are going on a long, very long hike. We eat like a champion and the next day after not doing a lot the day before we repeat the cycle. Now our bodies did not use the energy you gave it yesterday because of your inactivity so what it does is now take what you are eating and store it for a “rainy day”. You see what is happening here. It is not the food’s fault that you are getting heavier, but your inactivity so start getting more active.

Now with that said as I stated in the beginning it isn’t the weight that you need to change it is your lifestyle. Does it make sense now? If you just begin to get a little more active and plan goals, tangible goals, goals that once achieved you can better. It will make a big, no huge difference in the way you look at life and then weight won’t be the issue anymore.

It is not the weight that needs to be changed, but you lifestyle. Now go do it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Weigh In

A few things happened at this weigh in that I think some of the Challengers finally may be getting a clue. I was approached by one of the challengers and she was totally frustrated.

“Kevin you know I worked really hard this last week and I only lost two pounds, but the week before I did not work as hard and I lost five pounds. Why is that? What did I do different?”

Then another comes to me and says, “Are you sure that was right? How could this be? I did not work any harder than the week before and I had a six pound loss, what’s up with that?”

I have heard this time and time again only to remind them that in the end it should not be about the weight because that will fluctuate, but the total changing your lifestyle. Now I know I have said this before but let me see if I can further explain.

If you follow your weight, if you constantly weigh yourself, you will get frustrated and after a while just give up because you will find it almost impossible to first achieve that goal of whatever magic number you are trying to hit, then try to maintain it. You will give up. However if you took your mind off of the numbers and began the process of creating tangible active goals here is what will happen;

1) Life won’t be has hard and difficult. You won’t be living under the umbrella of the “I can’t have syndrome” and replace that with the “I could have… because it will get me to…” syndrome
2) Your goals will now become much more tangible and now fun to go after
3) You will feel more confident achieving little mile markers
4) Your consistency will improve and you will hold your level of conditioning longer. You will no longer have those ups and downs and now they could be visually measured
5) You could know where your conditioning level is on a more consistent basis without ever getting on the scale ever again
6) You will be able to maintain you fitness levels much longer and always have something to strive after or to improve upon.

I think some of them are beginning to get a clue and I am happy for that. Well here are the numbers for last week’s weigh in after 7 weeks:

Matt (-32.0), Sharon (-9.2), Linda (-8.2), John (-29.0), Jessica (-9.8), Kati (-6.4), Kate (-11.4), Susan (-9.6), Maureen (-4.8), Dan (-24.0), Melissa (-10.2), Roy (-31.8), Kathy (-9.2), Jackie (15.0), Mary (-2.6), Mike (-17.8), Dawn (-2.6), Cori (-4.4), Sara (-22.2), Ken (-10.8).

Roy is our overall leader at 10.53% lost followed closely behind by John at 10.08% and Dan at 9.47%. The leading woman is Sara at 7.27% and currently in fifth place overall. They are all doing well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goal Weight or Ideal Weight

Goal Weight, Ideal Weight

What is your goal weight? How is it defined? Who determines it anyway?
When picking a weight for yourself, checking the federal government's standard guidelines for adults can be helpful. Don't just land on one number; choose a range of three to five pounds. After all, body weights naturally fluctuate, especially among women, and it's unlikely that your weight will stay exactly the same day after day, no matter how diligent you are about your diet and exercise program. There's no point in setting yourself up for psychological disappointment, and if you allow yourself a range of a few pounds, you'll still be able to monitor how you're doing, and catch yourself in plenty of time if your weight starts creeping up past that acceptable limit.
Note that the ranges are for both men and women, with the higher numbers in the range intended for men. Also note that the heights are measured without shoes on and the weights taken without clothes on.
Height Weight
19 to 34 years 35 and older
5'0" 97 - 128 108 - 138
5'1" 101 - 132 111 – 143
5'2" 104 - 137 115 – 148
5'3" 107 - 141 119 – 152
5'4" 111 - 146 122 – 157
5'5" 114 - 150 126 – 162
5'6" 118 - 155 130 – 167
5'7" 121 - 160 134 – 172
5'8" 125 - 164 138 – 178
5'9" 129 - 169 142 – 183
5'10" 132 - 174 146 – 188
5'11" 136 - 179 151 – 194
6'0" 140 - 184 155 – 199
6'1" 144 - 189 159 – 205
6'2" 148 - 195 164 – 210
6'3" 152 - 200 168 – 216
6'4" 156 - 205 173 – 222
6'5" 160 - 211 177 – 228
6'6" 164 - 216 182 – 234

Now looking at that chart above what does that tell you? I believe the message it is conveying is poor at best. I personally don’t believe that there really is an ideal weight or as I stated above a goal weight. I believe that it should be determined by the activity you are taking part in. Now with that said, DON’T USE THAT AS AN EXCUSE TO NOT GET YOURSELF IN BETTER CONDITION! I know some of you will begin to relax and use the fact that you cannot lose weight as your ideal weight even though you are still suffering from overweight related illnesses. So don’t go there.
Depending on the activity we are doing our bodies need to prepare themselves for the load or stress we will be putting on them. As an example take a 6’6” football player who plays the offensive line, do you think that he should be no more than 234 pounds? I would hope not. However the opposing defensive line would love that. What about a 6’3” marathon runner, think they should be 216 pounds? Well if you want to take all day to run the course, why not.

My point is this, we need not to look at the “guide-lines” the federal government puts out because it is just impossible generalize over such a great population of people. However, this is what you need to gage your “ideal weight” with;

1) How are your blood numbers? Cholesterol (HDL, LDL) if your HDL is over 60 then it really doesn’t matter what your total cholesterol is. (THIS IS WITHOUT MEDICATIONS). Medications really doesn’t make you better, it just stabilize you. Your true numbers are those without the drugs in you.
2) Are you physically able to perform the duties you need to on a daily basis and if called upon go above and beyond what you normally do? Conditioning is the key here. Being able to push yourself without feeling as though you are totally fatigued.
3) Can you walk 5 miles in less than seventy five minutes? This is a fifteen minute mile. The average American can walk a 12 minute mile while sipping on a cappuccino and talking on their cell phone.
4) What are your measurements? (Hips, Abdominal, Chest, Neck, Upper Arms, Upper Legs) Very important because if your body is out of proportion you could be doing some damage to your skeletal system. As an example, men with protruding stomachs tend to complain about lower back issues.
5) How are your sleeping patterns? Do you snore so loud that you wake up your neighbors? Do you only get one or two hours a sleep at a time? Do you wake up tired and then can’t shake it throughout the day? Can you get to sleep without medications?
6) How’s your sex drive? Well I won’t go into detail, but studies show that a body that is well taken care of has no problem with response time. (THIS IS WITHOUT MEDICATIONS GUYS)

These are just a few of the questions you need to answer. If all of these questions are answered in the positive then you are in good condition, now just try and constantly improve on it. Soon I will discuss what I mean by that but I will tell you this, by trying to consistently improve on your health, you will slow the aging processes down and you will stay and feel younger longer.

Well enough on that now. Remember get your mind off of what they say YOU should be or look like. If that were the case, I would be considered grade 1 obese.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good News

I have been doing some research on people and our ages. Did you know that age forty is the new 20? Well let me be more specific, I have been trying to answer in terms I could understand if we are truly living linger lives and what evidence we have to prove it true or false.

I personally believe we are living longer and this is my reason why. I have seen a huge surge in the population that are now exercising regularly and understanding that exercise is an important lifelong ingredient. Science and the medical industry has also stated the exercise may increase life expectancy. I have been part of the Masters Track and Field Circuit now for several years and I have noticed a upswing on the amount of people in their seventies and eighties that are beginning to get back in the game again. I have seen them running 1 mile and even half marathons and running well, very well. Just the other day a friend told me that he was running in a 5k event and right at about the half way mark this person goes passing him like he was standing still. After the race he went over to that guy just to find out that the person who passed him and came in third overall was 61 years old and ran the 3.1 miles in under 18 minutes. That’s right 18 minutes.

I have been working at a nursing home helping the seniors there exercise and I asked one of my 90 years old plus people why they keep on exercising, and they told me because it has given them a great quality of life and the alternative is not an option. Age is quickly just becoming a random number and really having very little effect on ability. Just this last week I was at a track meet and the meet director gave an important message about drug testing and screening on Masters Athletes and when it would start. Besides the fact that I believe any athlete that uses any type of sports enhancer is stupid and needs their heads examined. Anyway, I have noticed that there has been an up-surge in people understanding that our fitness levels are very important to just quality of life issues.

I was just reading an article the AMA and heard on PBS television about dementia and one of the things they said was an important ingredient to fending it off was “exercise”. They said that , “Regular exercise stimulates production of chemicals called growth factors that help neurons survive and adapt to new situations. These gains may help to delay the onset of dementia symptoms. Exercise also may reduce the risk of brain damage from atherosclerosis.” That’s huge and makes sense. Think about it constant blood flow and a more efficient working body leads to less health issues and a much better quality of life in the end.

The good news… no the great news is that so many more Americans are getting a clue. I have noticed that people in my age group are competing against people much younger than themselves and winning. I am noticing that people are not retiring at age 65 but starting new careers and becoming even more successful than they were years prior. I am noticing that people in their older ages are now beginning to live their lives as they wanted to. My mother is a prime example of that. After she slowed down in her first working career, teaching, (some call it retirement but not her she still coaches the track team there) she decided to try out for a professional dance troop and made it and now dances in front of thousands while the Nets basketball season is on. Here is the great part; she is not the oldest member. She is one of the youngest members of the troop. The oldest is 80 and oh boy can they hip-hop!

Hey, let’s take a lesson from them and instead of waiting until we are old and gray and cannot move, let’s do something about it now and start a program that will last you a lifetime. Forty could be your new twenty the decision is yours.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Did you know that....

Did you know that:
• 80 percent of Americans say that during the past few years they have become more aware of how mental health and emotions can affect their physical health and vice versa (APA 2005)
• Two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress related symptoms (American Academy of Family Physicians)
• 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress (“The Stress Solution: An action plan to manage the stress in your life”, Lyle H. Miller, and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D.)
• 93 percent of Americans say that perception, thoughts and choices affect physical health (APA 2005)
• 58 percent of American believe that you cannot have good physical health without good mental health (APA 2005)
• High levels of hostility, Smoking, obesity and high cholesterol have been found to cause heart disease ( Health Psychology November 2002)
• Men in high optimism were less than half as likely to develop heart disease then the men who were much more pessimistic (Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study)
• 64 percent of Americans are saying that they are trying to reduce the amount of stress in their lives (APA 2005)
• Employees that work out on a regular basis are less likely to end up in a doctor’s office (APA 2005)
Did you know that there is a link between physical health, mental health and longevity of life?
• Stress is one of the leading causes of so many physical and mental issues. However when you are in better condition your body can handle the stress loads much better and you tend not to have long lasting physical issues. When you are out of shape your body has a hard enough time trying to keep alive and together. Now add on the stresses of life. Whereas if you are in shape the stress load on your body is minimized and you are able to handle the stresses of life much easier. (“The Stress Solution: An action plan to manage the stress in your life”, Lyle H. Miller and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D.)
• People that are out of shape and obese and have high levels of anxiety (stress) have between two and seven times the risk of heart disease. ( “Emotional Longevity: What really determines How Long we live”, Norman B Anderson and Elizabeth P. Anderson, 2003)
Did you know that there is a link between fitness and productivity?
• In the work place physical conditioning has shown that those people tend to have a higher productivity rate (American Institute of Stress, A.M.A.)
• Those that are in good condition tend not to be absent as much as their colleagues who are out of condition. (A.M.A., A.P.A 2005)
• Medical costs are much greater on those that are out of condition and the cost to companies can be staggering. In some cases up to ten time greater. Many companies have been ruined because of one or two major claims. (A.M.A., A.P.A.2005)
• In 1999, stress related disorders cost the U.S. $42 billion dollars in work related medical costs (National Institute of Mental Health)