Friday, November 26, 2010

Tight Body Boot Camp is Officially Launching...Today!!!

Finally, it's been a work in the process, but we're here!!! So exciting. Wrapping up a few details before mass production and distribution begins. I'd just like to say 'thanks' again, to my wonderful, amazing, TIGHT Team: athletes, crew, and my dear friend, Lynette!

I won't go into much detail here on the program, as it's all outlined on the new 'TIGHT' website:   I hope you'll take a minute or two to check it out when you have time. Get ready for an amazing fitness program. Teams, gather your friends, begin putting your own teams and let's get to it!!!!

I'm all about support systems. 'TIGHT' is here to be a support system to you, and your buddies, as well. The more, the merrier. Commit to reach new levels in your health and fitness goals. Why wait until the 'New Year'? Begin today!!! Health and hugs!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Twinkie Diet? GET REAL!!!!

I'm sure you've heard by now how nutrition professor Mark Haub of Kansas State University, lost 27 pounds in two months by eating what he refers to as, "a convenient store diet". His diet consisted of eating a package of Hostess twinkie's, Little Debbie Nutty Bars, and powder coated donuts, along with a serving or two of veggies, and a protein drink, daily.

For one thing, a man his size generally consumes nearly 2600 calories a day. He limited himself to 1800 calories a day while on his 'diet'. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see how he would automatically lose weight simply by cutting calories, regardless of what he was ingesting! That's an 800 calorie a day deficit, equaling 5600 calories a week. As you know, 3500 calories constitutes a pound of weight, be it fat, muscle, or some of both. Right here is a loss of 12.8 pounds at the end of 2 months.

It also states Haub 'tried' to eat a healthy diet prior to his study. Tried? Come on. What's it like when you 'try' to stick with a certain diet? Let's face it, if you're going to do a study such as this, you'd better have your facts straight BEFORE you flaunt the tactless results to the public, as if you've come across some grand revelation. Everything the man ate for several months BEFORE his ridiculous study should have been meticulously recorded, date, time, amount, type, portion, etc.

Ditto Haub's termed moderate exercise he claims he performed both prior to and during his study. He doesn't even tell us what he did daily? Weekly? for his 'moderate' exercise. And by whose terms is 'moderate' anyway? His? I'm sorry, Mr. Haub, but your study holds no merit.

Mr. Haub also cut meats from his study 'diet'. Hello, this alone will have a significant impact on LDL and HDL levels, so let's stop flaunting his study as though he's stubbled across anything valid. Once he began eating meat again, his cholesterol values changed.

Yes, he lost weight. Yes, he lost bodyfat. Yes, his LDL went down, and HDL went up, but all of this really doesn't matter because there is a lot of important information lacking. 

Well, if you want to be average, do average things: eat like average, exercise like average, attain an average education, and live an average life. However, I think most people would agree, we desire more than average. The only problem here is few people make the transition from wanting to live an above average life, to actually taking the necessary steps to bring about above average anything, in order to change their circumstances.  

Twinkie diet is trash talk. Do not buy into it. Obviously the junk food mainstream is alive and well, as their profit margin hasn't seemed to suffer much through economic crisis or not. 'TIGHT' teams, stay on the path. Stay focused. Do not be distracted by such rubbish. Keep your systems primed with good, clean, healthy food. Drink plenty of water, rest, sleep, play, and train! Then, and then only, will you receive the benefits of your efforts in living an above average life. There are no shortcuts folks. Hugs. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis The Season: Giving Back

You turn on the radio, and hear stories of people in Africa suffering, and the announcer asking for our help. You go to the store and find a tree with many names on it, of families who are in need. You get your mail from the box, to find several requests for donations to every charity imaginable, and of course there are the local can food drives, and Santa's in front of stores here and there, ringing their bell.

Well, only you can answer that. For many years, I gave to specific organizations. One year, as more of an experiment than anything else, I gave to every person, charity, you name it, anyone, anywhere looking to fill a need. Wow, that was interesting. I have come to the conclusion now, that one must give truly from the heart, not necessarily from the pocketbook, or kitchen cabinets. You see, people need people. People also need people all year round, not just a few months out of the year. 

Let's think about it. We can send a donation. We can bag up some groceries. We can help in a soup kitchen. We can rake someone's leaves, shovel their walk, put wood on the fire. We can walk a mile with them, or simply sit in silence. We can sip tea together, or take them on their errands. We can watch their children for some much needed rest. We can surprise them with something fun on their doorstep. We can step in when no one else wants to. We can see into their hearts where no one else cares to. We can lend a hand when one is left sick, diseased or otherwise non-functional at full capacity. We can leave a note, write a letter, sing a song, or take them to a movie. We can be a friend, lend an ear, hold a hand, and lift one another's spirits. Yes, there is plenty that can be done in such small and simply ways which can touch someone's life for any length of time. 

No one needs a smile more than the one who has none. Holidays can be a wonderful, family gathering time for many, or a painful, lonely, time for others. We can only do what we are truly motivated to do from within, as nothing will make a difference as much as something that comes from the heart.

What are your talents? What are your hobbies? Share. Live. Learn. Grow. 

That is for each one of us to discover. Many times we give, sometimes reluctantly, only to discover later on, how much more we gained from the experience than anyone else. 

My best advice: EXPECT NOTHING! 

I look at my life over the years and it's all been give and take, no doubt about it. 

As you know there are also fundraisers like 10k's and the like. Find something you can relate to, make a go of it, it's amazing how much more effort goes into a workout when it involves, say, raising money for a kidney transplant patient, etc. Gather some like-minded friends and make a date of of it, take some photos, get some drinks afterwards, and enjoy the season! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving: What Does It Mean To You?

Aah, it's that time of year again. The leaves are falling, a chill is in the air, and if you live in a place like Utah, you have some snow on the ground. It's Thanksgiving.

It was a time of great adventure for the Pilgrims, landing in new territory, starting life anew, worshipping as they pleased, and living as they desired. It was also a time of great trial, and test of faith, as they met with cruel diseases, relentless weather, and didn't have enough homes or crops to support the masses, fast enough. The Indians, on the other hand, weren't quite sure what to make of these new beings inhabiting their territory. They watched them ever so closely, how they worked, hunted, built, fed their people, and cared for their sick. The Indians noticed how many of the Pilgrims had fallen ill, and how difficult it became for the Pilgrims to work the land, and get the food and medicine they needed. The Indians felt compassion. The Pilgrims needed help. We all know what happens next, the Indians assisted the Pilgrims, both peoples taught one another their ways, and a celebration was had for all. A celebration of harvest, health, friendship, and new beginnings.

We can learn plenty. We learn not to be too quick to judge one another. We learn that we can dress differently, live in different housing, eat different food fare, shop differently, and have different colored skin, and live together in a society in peace, if all parties are on the same wavelength. We learn no matter who we are, where we're from, or how strong we believe we are, we're all subject to illness, and disease. We learn compassion from these people. We learn sacrifice. We learn dedication. We learn that no matter how many differences there may appear on the outside, as human beings we all have the same basic needs and desires. 

Is there a difference? Look around you. What do you see? What do you read in the newspapers, and watch on the news? Has society changed over the years? Yes and no. Yes, as in there is much strife. There is much commercialism in holidays. No, as in there are many people who carry peace in their minds, love in their souls, and warmth in their hearts. Many greatly desire to show love for one another, to reach out to those around them, to strengthen those around them, and to be of service. It's all about choice. We are free to choose  how to spend our holidays, how to celebrate, how to give thanks. One thing for sure, it's more than a big feast, it truly is a celebration.

I'm celebrating life. I'm grateful for my family. I'm grateful that I have many fine brothers and sisters whom I love dearly, and have bonds with so tight, they are priceless. I'm grateful I have a sister and a brother who have both dealt with, and continue to deal with cancer, and are not only alive, but are troopers, examples of faith, strength, and determination. I'm grateful for parents who did the best they could, under the circumstances they were in, to raise me. I love them dearly. My mother has taught me nothing is impossible, she has always believed in everything I do. My father has taught me to pay attention to everything, learn, and listen. I'm grateful for a stepmother who's been a friend throughout the years. I'm grateful for my wonderful friends. For my special friends, the ones who have touched my life forever. You know who you are because I make it a point to tell you!!! I'm grateful for my Teams, each of you are a Golden Nugget in my life. I'm grateful for my Mentors, who are always there for me. I am grateful for the many men and women who serve this wonderful country we live in, for their faith, service, sacrifice, dedication, and determination. I am grateful for so much my heart could burst. 

What are you thankful for? Make a list of the 10 top things that come to your mind. Express thanks to those people who show up on your list, don't be afraid to tell them how you feel. They are the 'keepers'. Life is too short my friends. 

May your holiday be filled with good times, good memories, good people, joy, and abundance. Hugs!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Visualization: Can You See What I'm Talking About?

We've all heard it before: If you desire something in life, visualize it. 

Basically, forming a mental image. Say you're a runner. You visualize yourself at the starting line, the bang of the gun goes off, you feel a rush of adrenaline run through every fiber of your being, and you set all engines on high and begin your race. You feel the wind through your hair, sweat running down your face, the sun pounding on your skin, and your heart thumping to meet the demands of oxygen output. You come head to head with another runner, feel your second wind, and push through with all your might, pressing your chest against the finish line tape. You've won!!!

Or perhaps, you're the cancer patient who's been told there's nothing left for medical services to do for you. Rather than go home feeling defeated, alone, and hopeless, you immediately begin to take matters in your own hands. You go to your home, pack your bags, find a nearby hotel, check-in, call your family and let them know you need a bit of time to yourself, go to the local movie rental store, check out as many comedies as possible, return to your room, and commence the healing journey. You shower, shave, get cozy, watch comedy, after comedy, after comedy, until you are really laughing, enjoying yourself, and have not a care in the world. You tire, turn off the t.v., close your eyes, and begin visualizing your immune system going on a search and destroy mission, after cancer cells. You do this for a month or so, go back to the doc, and see improvement miraculously has been made, you continue the process. In time, the cancer has been overcome, and eventually you are declared in remission. Yes, this really happened to a man named Norman Vincent Peale.

Like Norman, elite athletes, performers, teachers, lecturers, anyone and everyone from every walk of life, somewhere, can testify of the power of visualization. I can testify of it myself. I teach many formats: Turbo Kick, Pump, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Hustle, and Bootcamp, to name a few. Many times I do not have time to practice choreography, so I will run through it visually whenever I can, at the store, fueling the car, washing dishes, etc. Class members will come in and comment on the class, and I'll have to say, "Thanks, that was the first I've done that myself, as well". It really does work.

What is it you would like to improve upon? Change? Your body composition? Awesome. Find a picture of someone who has the composition you're after. Hang the picture up everywhere, make copies, put it on your fridge, in your car, in your planner, on your desk, in your closet, on your bathroom mirror, and when you lay down to rest at night, see yourself in your new body, training, dressing, showering, and notice the big smile on your face, notice how healthy you feel, how much energy you have, and how well you handle stress in your life.

This method works in all aspects of life. Let it work for you. Be mindful of the talk you speak to yourself all day long. Be careful of the thoughts you think when you pass by a mirror and you see yourself. Use these moments and self-talk to empower yourself. You must be your Master. You are your own teacher. You listen to yourself all day long, what are you saying? Thinking? Empower yourself. Hugs.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Somehow saying "Happy Veteran's Day", doesn't seem quite right. It's not exactly a holiday like New Years. My heart is touched by all the men and women who serve our country. For many years I went with no regard, respect, or concern for the service people of America. I was young, not knowledgeable on the subject, and frankly, had no interest in it. 

Until one day.....

when I began to study the military, in an indirect way, and became very apparent of the sacrifice these individuals made for us on a daily basis, as a People. My heart melted. It ached. Tears were shed. I made it a point to say a word of Thanks everyday for them. 

I'm sure there are many a day when they feel weary, sad, perhaps even confused at what they are experiencing, that nothing on earth could completely prepare them for, but experience itself. Much like parenthood. There are the many strong, valiant ones, whose strength and determination will see them through anything and everything. Then there are those who for one reason or another don't fare as well, and become a statistic, not of war, but of suicide. This is indeed a tragedy. 

I want to Thank all of our Military. I hold these people in high regard. They enter the Forces with no idea what they will be facing, seeing, hearing, and participating in. They are changed, forever. I hope and pray, in some way, 'TIGHT' will be a strength to these folks, wherever they are, to strengthen them from the INSIDE, OUT. Form a team, a buddy system, workout together, and forge friendships that will help sustain you through crisis. 

May all who have served know they are remembered. May all who are serving know they are thought of and appreciated. May all those who are preparing to enter be strong, stay strong, and help lift those around them. Lastly, may all those who have lost a loved one find peace in their souls, and warmth in their hearts, as they perceive the gratitude of those around them for our Militia.


Friday, November 5, 2010

How a Habit Can Change Your Life

There are several definitions we can go by: a learned behavior that's repeated so many times, it becomes automatic, doing the same thing, the same way, the same time, with the same people, something you do over and over again until you no longer realize you're even doing it, an unconscious pattern of behavior acquired through repetition.

Many times we recognize others habits, the good, the bad, and the ugly. What about ourselves? Do we know ourselves well enough to recognize our own habits? Perform a brief self-evaluation. List the top 5  habits you have you consider a boost to your life, you know the habits that are on track with your goals and  inspirations. Now list 5 habits that come to you, you know are holding you back from what you're trying to achieve. What do you think when you look at those items? It's amazing how something so subtle such as food, might have such a powerful impact on your daily progress. You might not think food is powerful, or has power over you, why it sounds absurd. However, for many this is indeed the case. Whether it's food, television, internet, or even sleep.

Well, I believe it's more a state of mind. I do believe some habits, such as food, and internet, can be harder to break than habits such as television. Why? Because we must eat daily to survive, and function at our peak: mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, with these daily choices come regular tests of temptation. This is where one must have a plan of action. Go in with no plan, and you will also have no control over your actions, or at least believe you don't.

Make a plan. Force yourself to do what ever it is you are trying to do, or not do, differently. Yes, this means you must be consciously engaged, no more auto-pilot. Be the Master of your self. Take charge, become accountable, responsible, and determined to follow through. No one, absolutely no one can do it for you. You are the only one who can make the choice, and follow through with the appropriate action. Ditto exercise, and everything else in your life.

Don't we all wish we had the answer. Input our habit into the computer and have it spit out some magic number? That's part of the journey. Part of developing mental toughness, and exercising faith in yourself , trust in yourself, and in Universal Law. No one knows for sure, but studies have shown when you follow a particular behavior for 3-4 weeks, it sticks. This does not mean you can take it for granted. It simply means it becomes easier to do, or not do, depending on what you are after.

Why do people procrastinate change? Even when for their own benefit? Perhaps it is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of relying on a specific behavior for so long, one does not know how to deal with life, stress, etc., without it, or least they truly believe they cannot live without it. Decide what is truly important to you. Live your life for it. Eliminate the unnecessary obstacles. There are plenty of things to get in the way as it is, you do not need to create more.  

You'll discover you can indeed overcome a habit you felt was unchangeable. You will gain confidence in yourself. You will gain an inner strength that cannot be described otherwise. You will begin to look at the next item on your list, and decide you can tackle it, too. You will be 'free' from obsessive behavior, and therefore experience less stress. You will be a strength to all around you. Who knows you might even write your own book about it!

It can make it, or break it. It can set you free or hold you in bondage. It can take you to your dreams, or keep your dreams a forever mystery. It can enhance your relationships, or destroy them. It can lead to a life fulfilling, or a dull day to day feeling of guilt from knowing you could be doing better. A habit can truly change your life. 

Life is too short my friends. Make the most of what you've been given. It takes a lot of courage to take that step, to overcome, and perhaps face a fear, but I know you can do it. Best to you!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Overtraining vs. Rhabdo

Rhabdomyolysis (Rhabdo)
It's the destruction of skeletal muscle resulting in leakage into the urine of the muscle protein myoglobin. Myoglobin, a protein component of muscle cells, leaks into the bloodstream. An enzyme Creatine kinase, is a protein that assists chemical reactions in the body, and muscle cells. Each of these proteins can be measured in blood to monitor their levels, and degree of muscle injury from rhabdo. Myoglobin can also be measured in urine samples.

Common Causes of Rhabdo: I’ve highlighted some in yellow, as they especially pertain to athletes.

- Extreme Physical Activity
- Muscle trauma
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Infections (viral or bacterial)
- Not enough blood going to an extremity
- Severe hypothyroidism (low thyroid)
- Prescription medications: mainly statins for  high cholesterol.,
- Severe burns
- Low body temperature for a long time
- Alcohol intoxication
- Crush injury
- Coma
- Illegal drugs
- Trauma victims: People who fall, are unconscious, and unable to get up for a long time, such as, earthquake victims.

Know the Symptoms of Rhabdo:
Note: Rhabdomyolysis may not cause any symptoms at all.
- Muscle aches and pain
- Stiffness
- Muscle weakness (especially common with severe muscle damage). - Dark urine

From the above, you can see Rhabdo resembles much of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) The only way you can tell is to be mindful of other symptoms, and symptoms that are not getting better, or worse.

What Do I Do if I Have Several Symptoms?
- See your doctor immediately!

What Can I expect From My Doctor?
- Most likely tests will be performed, depending on your physician:
      - Complete Blood Count (CBC)
      - Urinalysis
      - Metabolic Panel
      - and/or  Muscle Enzymes

What If I Choose Not to See My Physician Because I Only Have a Couple, Less Threatening Symptoms?

For instance: I’m sore and feel weak, and stiff, but sometimes this happens when I have a ‘good’ workout, or push the line into slight overtraining.

- First of all, let someone else know what you’re experiencing, and your suspicions of Rhabdo. Many times others notice symptoms before we do. Do not keep this to yourself.
- Be mindful of how you feel each day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get plenty of rest/sleep.
- Gentle massage may be okay, but not deep, as it will stimulate the release of toxins.
- Pay attention to your urine, if it changes color, immediately get to the doctor.
- Pay attention to other symptoms, as well. If it progresses, you know you need to see your doctor.

Frankly, most cases of Rhabdo don’t require hospitalization, and many people recover within a week or so.  But you never know. Others show very little symptoms, some not at all, and with specific individuals it can be a serious threat, especially those who are on statins or other medications, have hypothyroid, or an electrolyte imbalance they’re not aware of. Worse case scenario, kidney failure, and death can result. Nothing to mess around with. The main point to get here is recognizing the symptoms and taking the appropriate action. The outcome is much more favorable the earlier you get help.

What Does This Mean To Athletes?
This means as athletes we need to pay attention to our training. Always consult your physician BEFORE engaging in physical exercise, particularly if you haven’t been consistent with exercising in the past, or you took a significant break due to illness, or injury.

When you’re good to go, start SLOWLY! There’s no rush. So your neighbor has been running steadily for months, and they talk you into running with them. Does this mean you have to keep THEIR pace? Go THEIR distance? Heck no! Ditto for sports teams where players run themselves crazy to impress their coach and/or teammates. Team, when a new season begins, take it SLOWLY! If you want to go like a madman (or mad-woman), then you’d better plan on maintaining that shape during your off season, as well. This is even more important if you have other health factors as a risk, or  exercising in cold or heat.

The same is true for weekend warriors, the marathoner, and strength and endurance athletes. Ditto ‘TIGHT’ Team. ‘TIGHT’ workouts are EXTREME, condition yourself appropriately, you’ll make gains soon enough, in the meantime enjoy the journey!!!! I counsel my team to not eat heavy for up to two hours before a workout, or doing a DVD. I encourage them to drink water, but not large amounts within an hour of the DVD, or training. Yes, sip/drink  as necessary, throughout your workout, but ideally you want to begin hydrating right after your workout, and continuously afterwards throughout the day/night until your next workout. This way you maintain hydration. I find those who drink large amounts during EXTREME training often throw it right back up.

This holds especially true for ‘TIGHT’s Series Two. These workouts are where it’s at, but you MUST work your way up to them, condition yourself consistently, refuel appropriately, rest/sleep as necessary, and back off, modify, or scale down when the need arises. It does not mean you’re a slacker, quite the opposite, it shows you have respect for your body, it’s functions, and ultimately you will become stronger as a result. 

Pay attention to pain. Pay attention to feeling weak. Pay attention to swelling, your meal plans, hydration, and state of mind. These things cannot be taken for granted.

Whenever the body is pushed to it’s max, whether mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, it takes its toll. The body needs time to recover, heal, and rebuild. Deny the process and pay the price. Listen and reap the rewards.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Effects of Unhealthy Fats and Large Meals

Have you seen the movie, “Super Size Me”? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s an eye opener to the effects of fast food  (what I prefer to refer to as DEAD food), on the human body. A man by the name of Morgan Spurlock decided to take it upon himself, and perform an experiment of the effects of fast food on the body, McDonald’s, in particular. He begins by going to his physician, getting his health stats, and used them as a baseline throughout the movie, as he challenged himself to eat nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days. It’s a low budget film, but gets its point across, sometimes in rather vulgar, but truthful ways.

Most people don’t eat McDonald's fare for every meal everyday, but many do patronize it everyday. Let’s face it, with all the ‘food’ stuffs that are currently classified as food, but rather are DEAD foods (meaning, they have been adulterated, processed, refined, and had things added to them to keep them stable for a shelf life of several years). Live foods are rich in enzymes, rich in flavor, easy to digest, and will quickly spoil if not eaten, and/or stored properly. LIVE foods FEED the body, DEAD foods tend to deplete, and in many instances, lower the vitality of the body,

Turns out, this man becomes ill, overweight, lethargic, gets high blood pressure, and experiences several other discomforts. You see, food fare such as Mcdonald's, or candy bars, or ice cream, or anything with a high unhealthy fat ratio, will leave the immune system, and circulatory system feeling groggy. The cells in our system that fight disease now must work through sludgy blood to get to where they need to be, transit time is slowed tremendously. Some people have performed this experiment on their own. They ate clean (live fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean proteins, and no mucus forming foods), for an entire week. Then they hit their cardio first thing in the morning hard, say the stairs. They made note of the highest level they could maintain for 1 minute, and the highest level they could maintain for 30 seconds. They waited three days to fully recover from their max levels on the stairs. Then, they ate one day of mucus forming foods: cheese, boxed cereals, pasta, eggs, perhaps a bowl of ice cream before going to bed. They woke and tried to perform the same cardio, at the same levels, at the same time of day. The result? They couldn’t hardly breathe, let alone keep the pace they had previously enjoyed just a few days prior. Of course, I don’t suggest anyone try this without the approval of your doctor, it could be risky. In fact, studies have shown that having either a meal with a large amount of unhealthy fats, or even an unusually large meal (such as one would have at Thanksgiving), quadrupled the chance of having a heart attack within the next two hours!!!!!

The reason for this is because cardiac output of blood is increased and diverted to the intestinal circulation to aid with the overwhelming task of digestion, which can take as long as 6 hours, or more, leaving other organs, including the heart and brain, relatively deprived.  As described earlier, circulation in general becomes less effecient.

Basically, eat clean, at least 80% of the time, ideally all the time. When holidays or other special occasions come around be sure to:
1. Eat clean prior to attending the event, this way you’re less likely to over do it.
2. Stay away from the small unhealthy finger foods. Look for a fresh vegetable tray. Skip the dressing.
3. Look for clean salads, or better yet, offer to bring one yourself.
4. Opt for a smaller plate if you’ve already had some munchies. Use a dessert plate for your dinner instead of the full size dinner plate.
5. Stay with modest portions on meats, and small portions on potatoes, stuffing and the like. Fill half your plate with fresh vegetables/salad.
5. Stay with water, tea, or other beverages low in sugar, if any.
6. Eat slowly, very slowly, enjoy the taste, enjoy the conversation. Enjoy the atmosphere.
7. Commit ahead of time, there will be no seconds.
8. Stick with a piece of fruit for dessert, or if you feel you just can't do without it, share a dessert.

Of course, the holidays and special events of our lives are meant to be enjoyed. I think we all have splurges every now and then, let’s just make mindful choices when we’re in these circumstances, and take responsibility for them. Let's learn from past experience, and challenge ourselves to bump it up a notch each year.

Happy Holidays!