Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Steps to Weight Loss & Fitness Success

What Are You Aiming at?

Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” And each of us knows from our own experience that he is right.  The general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort.  One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.

Those ‘good intentions,’ while no doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealized mainly because they are too vague.  Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for; they are moving targets.

Do you have moving targets in your life?  Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you.  Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time.
The keys to your success are two-fold:  steady the target and create momentum. 

How to stop a moving target

Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target.  He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left.  Will he ever hit that target?  Not likely.

Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target.  You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make a change in your diet--but without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.

The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down: 

·       How much weight do you want to lose? 
·       What kind of changes do you want to make in your diet? 
·       How many days per week do you want to exercise?
·       Which article of clothing do you wish would fit your body again?
·       How much weight would you like to lift while strength training?

Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there.

But you have to start moving toward your goals.  That is where momentum comes in.

Create momentum to reach your goals

In his book, Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy discusses the Momentum Principle of Success.  In Tracy’s words:

This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.”1

There is much wisdom in his words.  Sometimes, the hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started.  That first day of doing things differently or the first experience of bypassing an unhealthy treat in favor of a food that will give you more energy can be daunting.  It isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t fun. 

So how do you get that momentum?  How do you start moving?  

Accountability is the answer.  Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success. 

It is hard to change lifelong habits on your own.  You need radical motivation that comes from involving others in your efforts.  Setting deadlines, making commitments and entering contests all provide an external motivation that will carry you through even the toughest temptations.

And once you get started, you will find that the momentum principle kicks in and it becomes easier and easier to keep going.

Start NOW

You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of it by taking a few minutes to write down what you want.  Don’t make it your goals too broad; be specific.  And then begin brainstorming ways to get others involved with you; that will provide your momentum.  Success is within your reach.  You can do this!

Oh, and remember, we’re here to help you the entire way!  J


1Tracy, Brian (2007-01-01). Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (p. 107). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

For a better workout, drink two cups of coffee prior to it.

According to the British Coffee Association, caffeine before a workout will make you more alert, improve your motor skills, give you renewed vigor, increase your output level and help you be more persistent.  Plus you'll be able to perform 30% longer.

The caffeine reduces the chemical messages in your brain that normally induce fatigue and instead stimulates energy production and fat oxidation.

Having said that, there are also negative effects related to caffeine such as insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heart palpitations and high blood pressure.

So how much caffeine per day will keep you free from the negative effects?
Most health experts recommend that you have no more than 400 milligrams a day.
One cup of coffee contains approximately 100 mg so you should drink no more than 4 cups of coffee each day.

Mind you that's four cups of coffee if during your day you don't drink a soft drink (a 12 fl oz (368 g) has 29 mg of caffeine) or an energy drink (a Five Hour Energy Drink has 200 mg of caffeine; a 10 Hour Energy Shot has 422 mg of caffeine).

When it comes to coffee, you should drink coffee one hour before your morning or lunchtime exercise (if you exercise in the afternoon or evening, a coffee with lunch will suffice).

Note:  It's recommended that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day (or about two cups of coffee).

- "I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake." - Lewis Black

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why is there so much confusion over whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable?

When you type "tomato definition" into Google it comes up with the following definition...

"A glossy red, or occasionally yellow, pulpy edible fruit that is typically eaten as a vegetable or in salad."

The main reason why it's classified as a fruit is that it's "pulpy" and has edible seeds.

Often when we think of a tomato our minds automatically classifies it as a "vegetable."

But here's the thing...

Under the definition of "edible seeds, "squash, cucumbers, green beans, corn kernels, eggplants, and peppers are also labelled as fruits.

One of the reasons why we've come to think of these fruits as vegetables is that we generally consider fruits as being sweet and vegetables as being "not sweet."

But there's another reason that may just be at the heart of all this "tomato fruit or vegetable issue."

It involves a man by the name of John Nix.  And another man by the name of John Nix.  And George Nix and Frank Nix.

In the United States the Tariff Act of March 3rd 1883 called for a tax to be paid on all imported vegetables, but not fruit.

The Nix boys (rightly so) considered the tomato to be a fruit.  But the government was classifying it as a vegetable and taxing it accordingly.

So they brought suit against Edward L Heeden, the Collector of the Port Of New York.
They wanted to recover all duties they had paid up to that point.

It turned into a battle of the dictionary definitions.  And not surprisingly the government's dictionary won.  From 1893's Nix v Hedden decision onward, for custom purposes, the tomato has been classified as a vegetable.

In 2005, the state of New Jersey made the tomato its official state vegetable citing Nix v Hedden as a reference point.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A way for elderly men to lower their risk of death by 40%.

Research recently published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that thirty minutes of physical activity a day, six days a week lowered the risk of death in elderly men by 40%.  The intensity of the activity did not matter.

The initial health check of the study participants was in 1972/73.  All 15,000 men who took part were born between 1923 and 1932.

During that year, 2,000 the participants who were still living were monitored for almost 12 years.  Of the 5,738 who took part in both health checks, 2,154 died over the course of the 12 years.

Here's they found:
-Less than half an hour a week of light physical activity was not associated with a lowered risk of death from any cause.
-But more than an hour a week was linked to a 32% to 56% lowered risk of death. 
-Less than an hour of vigorous physical activity, on the other hand, was linked to a reduction in risk of between 23% and 37% for cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.
-The more time spent doing vigorous exercise; the lower the risk seemed to be -- falling between 36% and 49%.
-Men who regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time lived five years longer, on average, than those who were classified as sedentary.

Overall, the study showed that 30 minutes of physical activity--of light or vigorous intensity--6 days a week was associated with a 40% lower risk of death from any cause.

Researchers pointed out that the impact of exercise on this age group is similar to the improvement in their health if they quit smoking.


"Even if you're ill, physical activity at a lower level will help you beat it." - Dr. Jim Loehr