Do this and thank me later

It gives you that look of confidence, the look of strength, and makes everyday physical tasks easier. But typically we train them incorrectly paying too much attention to one and neglecting the others.

And inevitably injury happens. And then you are out for weeks. Think of putting all your money into upgrading the appearance of your house: new kitchen with marble countertops, upgraded bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, expensive flooring but because you spent all your money on the things you see, there’s no money left to address the weak, crumbling foundation. No one sees the foundation so you don’t make it a priority. But this is what holds up the house that has the new kitchen, bathroom, floors. Then one day the foundation fails and your floors now have big cracks because of the shifting understructure. The countertop also cracked because the cabinets shifted due to the floor shifting. A lot of money wasted due to not addressing a weakening base.

What

fitness
Who doesn’t want strong shoulders!

In my opinion, most of us have this issue when it comes to our shoulders. We don’t know, or we don’t take the time. We want large shoulders, who doesn’t, but we don’t take the time to strengthen the supporting structure and then we end up overworking the front of our shoulders, neglect the rear of our shoulders and most importantly we neglect our rotator cuff. This generally leads to injury the most common injury being tendon injuries.

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that hold the shoulder joint in place. It’s what allows you the vast amount of freedom in the movement of the shoulders. Our shoulders have an enormous amount of range of motion. And when we encur a shoulder injury it can have a great impact because we use our shoulders all the time: picking things up, putting things away, driving, lifting, etc.

The rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles along with the tendons that join them:

      • Supraspinatus. This holds your humerus in place and keeps your upper arm stable. And helps lift your arm.
      • Infraspinatus. This is the main muscle that lets you rotate and extend your shoulder.
      • Teres Minor. This is the smallest rotator cuff muscle. Its main job is to assist with rotation of the arm away from the body.
      • Subscapularis. This holds your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade and helps you rotate your arm, hold it straight out and lower it.

How

Let’s look at exercises that we can do to strengthen our rotator cuff:

      • Resisted External Rotation: Holding a resistance band of the appropriate resistance, have your arms tucked tight to your sides bent at the elbows at 90 degree angle having hands out in front of you holding the band in both hands. Now, holding the band in both hands move your hands outwardly like a swinging door, then bring back to the start. To reiterate, you start with hands straight in front of you, bent at the elbows, holding the band in both hands and then keeping elbows tight to your sides, rotate hands/lower arms outwardly away from your body.
      • Side lying external rotation: Lie on your right side (left if you are left-handed) keeping your body stabilized and your upper arm bent at the elbow at 90 degrees (your hand should almost be on the floor). Holding a light weighted dumbbell slowly lift the hand up towards the ceiling keeping your elbow tight to your body. This is the same motion as the above exercise.
      • External rotation at 90 degrees: Stay with me on this one. Put your arms straight out in front of you like you are a zombie. Now, bring your elbows back without dropping your arms so you have a 90 degree bend in your arms but your hands are still out in front. Great, that’s it. Now that you know the starting position you can do this exercise with a dumbbell or band. The goal here is to then rotate at the shoulder bringing your hands up, but still keeping your upper arm parallel with the floor. So you should look like a robber told you to stick them up, but your upper arms are parallel with the floor, and lower arm is vertical. That’s the rotation, from this position back to the starting position.

Have you done these before? Probably not. It falls into the same category as stretching, no one does it. But do them to help prevent injury and without injury you can train using exercises that will give you bigger shoulders.

Too many of these?

And if you are doing a lot of pushups, or bench presses I hope you are doing exercises for the rear delts. Those rear delts get neglected so bad and they are screaming out for attention. So do it and along with working out the rear delts be sure to stretch the front delts because for sure they are super tight (all those push ups)

Lastly, when doing any shoulder exercise do your best to follow proper technique and also don’t overload with weight. Keep it to clean slow smooth motion. And if you feel any pain at all while exercising STOP! Never exercise a muscle when feeling pain.

Strengthen the rotator cuff, stretch the tight front deltoid and you will be better prepared to build strong, large shoulders that will give you more confidence.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world

It’s become easy to blur reality from fiction, to believe the false narratives that are often pushed onto us. We live in a world where to find and understand the truth of something requires us to do our own work and through that work come to our logical, not emotional, truths. Blogs, social media, traditional media have become tools used by industries to push their agenda which is higher profits, not health.

What

I want to use a recent example to highlight my point. This should show how we as people react emotionally instead of logically when someone challenges, even subtlely, our long-held beliefs.

If you watched the Oscars and stayed up late enough to catch the acceptance speech for best actor in a movie you would have seen Joaquin Pheonix lay out some truths. In my opinion, he very eloquently explained how we as a species are exploiting other species, and each other, because we have become disconnected from the natural world and tend to live in an egocentric world. We believe we are the centre of the universe and we have the right to plunder the natural world for its resources. We fear the idea of personal change because we think we may need to sacrifice something.

Joaquin used those words along with words explaining how we do this with cows because we think we need their milk. It wasn’t a speech where he condemned people who use dairy, harshly condemns the farmers who work in the industry, no, he very passionately explained that we do these things not because we have to but because we continue to unnecessarily put ourselves first, no matter what the cost. It was very much a speech highlighting our innate attitude that we have this belief that we have the right to dominate others, use and control another with impunity. We do this with people but people have the ability to talk back and challenge us. The animals we exploit don’t have a voice, don’t have a way to stand up for themselves. They are helpless to act against these things we do to them.

His words were delivered very calmly, well-articulated and without ego. Yet the responses were quick and filled with vitriol, hate, malice. Ad hominem attacks from farmers instead of providing evidence contrary to what was said. Facts were presented such as cows are artificially inseminated so we can drink their milk, calves are separated from their moms so we can drink their milk. Mom cows cry in pain and anguish when this happens yet none of the farmers denied this or provided evidence stating otherwise. Because they couldn’t so they resorted to attacking the person who gave the message. An Op Ed piece in the New York Post branded him a disgrace. Here’s what one rancher, The Meat Lady, had to say:  “I think Joaquin Phoenix is a pompous, entitled, first-world, out of touch, value signaling troll, and rewearing a suit and throwing shade at cows shouldn’t make him an environmental expert.” And this from Bryn Davies, who shared a video of himself drinking a glass of milk, captioning it: “Let’s raise our glass to the biggest flog on twitter [flog is Australian slang for a contemptible, often arrogant person].”

Again, no rebuttal using facts but instead attacking someone’s character.

If you really take in what was said, it is social commentary more so than an attack on farming. I’ve taken part of the speech that is being criticized to show this:

I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. 

I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

I believe if you are honest with yourself and look at what it is we do as a society today, and historically, you cannot help but agree with this. We do this in many ways animal agriculture is one of them. It is said someone’s character can be measured on how they treat those who can’t speak up for themselves, those who don’t have a voice and of course those they believe to be below themselves.

And the sad thing is there is no need to continue to do these things. Many, many, many studies show that we can thrive healthily without consuming animal products. Many people are doing this too. Joaquin himself has been doing this since age 3.

If we are compassionate people, if we care about those around us no matter what species, then we need to show this through our actions. No one is asking people to drastically change their lives, but to make changes that have an impact and are manageable. In fact, here is the definition of veganism from the Vegan Society:

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

As far as possible and practicable. It’s important to understand that. It doesn’t mean that you have to turn your world upside down to have an impact. Want to make a change? Instead of reaching out and grabbing the box of cows milk, move your hand 8 feet in the other direction and grab the Almond, Soy, Oat milk. Trust me, you won’t notice a difference, really.

If we are not able to treat the most vulnerable with compassion, how can we do that with others?

Lastly, if you have doubts about what are the practices in the dairy industry, watch this. WARNING: it’s very upsetting.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

 

Someone’s junk is another persons…

Somethings are looked at as ugly, a nuisance, good for nothing. Take the dandelion, a weed by most people’s definition that is nothing but a pain in the ass. Having to pull the dandelions out of the ground because they offer no value and take away from your nice manicured front lawn. Yet if you are of Italian descent you might be thinking of making a nice dandelion wine from those ‘weeds’. It wasn’t until the 20th century with the invention of lawns did the dandelion get demonized. Before that grass was cleared to grow dandelions because of their medicinal and magical benefits and also a great source of food. With the need of having to have a beautiful front lawn the dandelion was doomed.

Another weed

Dandelions are bad when you have a well manicured lawn

Just recently I came across information that another ‘weed’, the duckweed (specifically the Mankai duckweed) has been shown to possibly be the only plant that has the vitamin B12 readily available in it. Water lentils, or Duckweed, is also a source of high quality protein and studies have also shown that it does very well in managing glucose levels. Sounds almost like a super food.

Controlled growing

What is Duckweed? If you have come across ponds that don’t have a lot of water movement, and it’s covered in green stuff kind of looking like tiny green lentils than you have more than likely seen Duckweed. And much like the dandelion, this is why people hate Duckweed. But hate it at your own parrel. Let’s look at some interesting facts about Duckweed:

      • Can double in just 16 hours to 2 days
      • Cost effective renewable energy as biofuel
      • Natural water filter
      • Prevents Mosquitos
      • Prevents algae growth
      • and food for humans

Pretty impresive, isn’t it. But let’s focus on the B12 vitamin aspect. If you know your B12 you might be thinking that duckweed is high in B12 because it’s been sitting on top of a pond soaking in all that bacteria. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Analysis has shown that the Duckweed’s B12 is naturally occurring, not the result of sitting on top of a pond that is bacteria laden. This is great news in that you can harvest Duckweed by growing it in controlled environments.

But think of it. A plant that contains in just 100 grams over 750% of your daily B12 requirement. THIS IS HUGE! Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with supplementing B12 but I think this might be the new response to eating a plant based diet and having to discuss B12 needs and where B12 comes from. “Where do you get your B12 from…” is one of the arguments people use when they find out you are vegan and there is a lot of misinformation out there being perpetuated endlessly. Let’s look at a frequent guess on the Joe Rogan Experience, Chris Kresser. If Joe Rogan wasn’t an honorable person in inviting one of the producers of The Game Changers onto his show to debate Chris following Chris’ ‘debunking’ of the documentary The Game Changers we would have never had heard Chris admit he was factually incorrect on his points on B12. There still is a strong belief that B12 is made by animals, which we know it isn’t, it’s a bacteria found in soil and in ponds.

A plant based, renewable source of B12, protein, and other vitamins and minerals that can double it’s volume in as quickly as 16 hours! This could be the new soy in the sense that it should be readily available and inexpensive to grow as it can be grown in a controlled environment.

Finally

I’m excited about this. A naturally occurring source of B12 and other nutrients. Who knows, maybe this is something I can grow myself and harvest my own Duckweed. It might be worth some looking into.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

grounded in facts

With popularity, and when things start to shift, watch out for the affected to start to rebel.

Real meat alternatives have finally started to take off, and give real competition to the product they market themselves to be replacing. It was only a year ago that it would be difficult to find a Beyond Meat, or Impossible burger when either eating out or visiting the market. Now it’s almost ubiquitous. Our famous Canadian coffee shop Tim Hortons launched a Beyond Meat breakfast sausage earlier this year followed by the Beyond Burger. Burger King has launched the Impossible Whopper statewide and in Brazil, the largest country of meat consumers has launched what it calls the Rebel Whopper. Burger King has reported that launching the Impossible Whopper using the Impossible burger has resulted in increased sales not by only people replacing the meat patty with the Impossible burger but more so the increase is due to new customers. Burrito restaurants are using Beyond Meat ground to use in their vegetarian burritos and tacos. Carl’s Junior, known for its high meat content menu also offers the Beyond Meat burger.

So what does this mean? Lost sales for the meat industry. And not only a little bit of a loss but a substantial loss. For the first time, people are finding that they can enjoy a vegan burger that actually tastes like a burger. And the same for Beyond Meat’s vegan sausage and their other products. Gone are the dry, flavourless products having been replaced by juicy products that feel and taste like the product they have replaced.

With the substantial loss of sales companies are now trying through FUD, fear, uncertainty, doubt to gain back thier market share. I think, much like the tobacco industry years ago, the meat industry is following the same plan. Let’s look at part of a memo from the tobacco industry years ago when people started to worry about health consequences:

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

Lately I have found it difficult to not see an article or media post stating that Beyond Meat Burgers or Impossible Burgers may not be better for you than what it is they replace. High in salt and saturated fat than traditional burgers is what is being reported on. Articles with headlines such as ‘Plant based burgers may not be as healthy as you think‘ or ‘The Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat aren’t healthier‘ get people to think is it worth the extra money than buying an actual burger.

First, let’s keep in mind that burgers be it meat burgers or plant based burgers are processed foods. Unless you make a plant based burger yourself limiting the salt and saturated oil that you add it is processed food. Processed foods are traditionally high in salt and fats and the plant based meat alternatives are no exception. But they fail to report on a few main concerns with respect to eating processed meat; processed meat is a type one carcinogen:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer. And it has classified red meat as a probable carcinogen, something that probably causes cancer. IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.Oct 26, 2015″

Let’s put that into perspective. What are other type 1 carcinogens? Let’s take a look:

        • Asbestos
        • Tobacco
        • Formaldehyde
        • Plutonium

Iron from red meat is another issue. Known as heme iron, research has shown its impact on certain cancers:

“For both esophageal and stomach cancer, we observed significantly increased risk with high intake of red meat. High intake of heme and meat iron were associated with increased risk of esophageal and stomach cancers; whereas, iron intake from all foods was not associated with risk of these cancers.”

Knowing this, why would someone consume processed red meat, or red meat at all?

The problem is we don’t know this. This information is easier to find if you google for it and cut out the industry-funded studies but no one has time for that. Most of us get our news and information from podcasts full of bro science to the mainstream media that are basically corporations. News on the TV, media web sites, newspapers are mainly funded by advertising and they are not going to present stories that are contrary to the companies that are paying to advertise. Would you find it effective to advertise on a commercial break during a news show when they just did a piece on how your product is harmful? It wouldn’t be the best way to spend your advertising dollars, would it.

Finally

But in my opinion, we need to start making decisions that are good for us, but also good for the world we live in and the world we share with all living things. Processed foods should always be kept to a minimum. But when you do choose processed food make the right choice and choose a product that doesn’t cause the unnecessary suffering and killing of animals, a product that doesn’t contribute to climate change as much as animal farming does, a product that isn’t a type 1 carcinogen.

We need to make decisions that are grounded in logic, not illogical decisions that appeal to tradition, history, faith, etc. The greatest impact to your health is what you eat. Ask yourself this question, why is it that countries that follow a western diet have the highest rates of fatal diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and those countries that follow a whole foods plant based diet don’t.

I lost my dad to cancer. Instead of saying ‘F**k cancer’ and living the same lifestyle that promotes cancer, do something meaningful about it. There is a lot of information out there waiting for you to find it that will show you that diseases we have come accustom to can be avoided, or conquered by eating the right foods.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

the first taste was cold

but it quenched my thirst.

Sometimes we don’t know where to start, or how to start. We have big plans, plans to change things but how do we do that? How do we make a change that can make things better? Ideas run through our head but they don’t match up to what we want to do. They seem too small, not adequate for the purpose. It has to hit the target right in the bulls eye otherwise why bother?

But I don’t think everything that has ever happened that made a huge impact started this way. Some things maybe, but I think those are few and far between. And always trying to find the perfect solution can lead to nothing being done at all and in the end, what is worse, not having the solution that will fix everything or not having the solution that will start the beginnings of a wave that can potentially grow into a tsunami?

It’s good to think big but thinking big can become overwhelming and take a long time to put into place. Sometimes those ideas that may seem smaller in comparison can end up taking a life of it’s own and end up growing into that large thing you were thinking of. And it can happen without even knowing it was destined to happen.

I went vegan 5 years ago because of someone I know who is vegan. She was the first person I met who I knew was vegan and she opened my eyes to the reality of how the foods we eat end up on our plates and the cruelty, unnecessary suffering and death that is involved in this. I myself know of a large handful of people who have also gone vegan because of knowing me and listening to me talk about animal cruelty, the health benefits and the positive impact on the environment from being vegan. I can only imagine how many people they have touched and have also switched.

Sometimes it’s hard to see or understand the impact of our actions. But one person CAN make a difference, a huge difference. When thinking about this Rosa Parks always comes to mind. When the bus in Montgomery Alabama became full and all the white seats were occupied and white people were left standing, the bus driver told Rosa and 3 others to move to the back and give up their seats from the colored section. The 3 complied but Rosa, in her words, ‘felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night’. She refused to give up her seat and was arrested because of this. This action, the action of one person is said to have invigorated the struggle for racial equality. And now I also think of Greta Thunberg, The sixteen-year-old environmentalist, who featured on TIME’s Influential People Of 2019 list for her efforts demanding political action to save the environment. How many people has she influenced? Probably in the thousands

I don’t think we ever know who we touch, or how many we touch. It can be the subtlest action or a large action like Live 8. But positive change is positive change no matter how small and it will make a difference.

Follow your heart and try not to get overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation you are trying to improve. You’ll never know how it will play out until you take that first step. You got this.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill


who disappeared into those shadows

We all have voices. Some tend to be very vocal quite often and some of us tend to not use our voice. Of course we all speak but I’m referring to the voice that advocates for ourselves.

It’s  a tough thing to do. Often we don’t advocate for ourselves for a number of reasons. We may have been brought up where you were never aloud to be heard. Often told to shush, be quiet. We can be raised to always respect and not question authority which extends to the people we deal with in health care. Your personality might be that of a quiet person, someone who is more introverted than extroverted. On the extreme side of things a traumatic event could have happened that makes it very difficult to speak up for yourself. And if you won’t speak up for yourself, who will?

I think also many times we don’t speak up for ourselves in fear of the consequences. But the consequences of not speaking up can directly affect you but in the short term and long term.

Why does it matter?

What does this have to do with a health and fitness blog? A lot. All of us have been injured at some point, or if not a physical injury we may have something going on with our body such as nagging pains, or generally not feeling well. What do we do? We usually visit our doctor. Hopefully it’s a successful visit and whatever was ailing you is resolved. But that’s not always the case.

Does he have your best intentions in mind and is he highly competent?

How many of us go to our doctor and then leave feeling that it was a waste of time? How may of us visit our doctor and end up still dealing with the same issue months later? 

Who cares more than you do

I’ve been there. And I’m sure a lot of you have too. I know I feel guilty if I start to question my doctor. And honestly how many of us know what the next step is if we don’t agree with our doctor? It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is sitting in the doctor’s office while the nurse gets the doctor. She happens to glance at her medical file the nurse left behind and sees a note left by a doctor that she’s difficult. The doctor walks in catching Elaine reading her file. He’s not pleased that the ‘confidentiality’ of the medical file on her has been broken. She is quickly dismissed without him even looking at her issue she came in for. She then sees another doctor hoping to leave all that stuff behind. Elaine is surprised to see he has her file in his hand and after looking at her file quickly dismisses her too having read the entry from her last doctor.

It shouldn’t be that way. We shouldn’t feel that there are negative repercussions speaking up for ourselves when we see any health care professional. People in the medical profession are just like anyone else in any other profession. Lousy mechanics, lousy lawyers, lousy customer service representatives, etc. We tend to hold these people in high esteem but really they are no different then us. Just like any profession, there are competent people and there are the other ones.


You

Take charge of you health and wellness. If after a visit with a health care professional you feel that the issue hasn’t been taken care of, go back and explain this. I always believe in giving that person a chance to hear you out. Then, if you make no progress, ask to see another professional. We have all seen stories of people, or know people who have been misdiagnosed and have suffered for months, or years, or in the worse case, have died. When I broke my foot and went to the hospital the nurse told me I was lucky that an orthopedic surgeon happened to look at my x-ray because the first doctor who saw it did not see the break. It’s not always an issue of competency either. The health care system is overtaxed and health care professionals have less time to spend with their patients. People can make mistakes when they are rushed.

If you don’t speak up for yourself, who will?

Be your own ombudsman. Advocate for yourself. And keep advocating for yourself until you feel better, are better. Ask if there is a specialist you can see regarding the issue. Don’t be that person who a year later is still dealing with the same issue. That’s not fair to you!

Be persistent and never give up. Never forget you are worth it.

Yours in health,

Darryl

mushin

無心

We’ve grown accustomed to our environment. Constant input. Especially over the last 10 years. I want you to think. Think hard. How often is it you have a period of 5 minutes without stimuli, and sleeping doesn’t count? Probably not that often. Maybe once a year? I don’t know, am I going out on a limb saying that?

I think over the last 10 years our lives have become more stimulated due to technology, mainly smart phones. That train ride, bus ride, visit to the doctors where you sat and enjoyed the peacefulness, or read a book, or went over your life. Those are gone now. Even social gathering are not the same. People no longer just sit together and enjoy the silence when talking is done. The phones come out and that moment is gone where you had the chance to just enjoy the quietness.

But, I think it goes deeper than that. I think we are slowly changing how our brains work. What might have happened during that 10, 20, 60 minute period where you were left to your own thinking? What process would your brain have gone through to keep yourself occupied? What electrical pulses would have fired, what chemical processes would have reacted? Are we reshaping our brains by not letting this happen? There is a strong belief that children’s brains are not developing the same way because they are over stimulated and are always having things done for them, in a sense. No longer are children left to come up with activities to keep themselves occupied, things like drawing, playing with blocks, spending time outside hiking around adventuring or just left to figure out what to do when they are bored.

How many of us have actually gone somewhere and not had any stimulus other than what the natural world has to offer? Even camping has changed. TV’s, radio’s, internet, phones, etc. I remember going camping and portaging through 5 lakes until I ended up somewhere where I was the only person around. I was on an island and there was nothing around me other than animals for about two or three miles. It was amazing. At night I had a beautiful star filled sky above me and nothing but quietness. It can be a profound experience, something that you come to yearn for. When you come out of that location it can be unnerving, getting back to the hustle of everyday life. The business, the impatience, the effect it has in wearing you down.

To the point

That’s interesting and all, but what does this have to do with fitness and health? It’s not everything but it’s something. Do you want to get more out of your workouts? Are you working on a specific goal? Is your physical activity part of a bigger plan, a goal to achieve? Our mind plays a role in this. It can help us achieve what it is we are going after our it can be our downfall.

Let me talk about the title of this post, Mushin. Empty mind, no mind. What does it mean? Not the obvious in that no mind does not mean you don’t have a mind. Let’s look at the two characters that make up the word mushin: 無心. The first character, 無 can be translated into nothing. The second character, 心 meaning heart, mind, or spirit (the word kokoro will also come up when translating this word. To the Japanese everything has kokoro, or a spirit).

So what does mushin mean when it comes to working out, or reaching for your endeavors. Think of it as blocking out all that doesn’t matter, nothing that is important at the moment. I have started to adopt this myself when working out . I try to empty my mind when performing kata or especially when sparring since the only thing I need to focus on or should be focusing on is my kata, or my opponent. But how does this come into play when working out? Simple. Focus on your body’s movement. Focus on your breathing, focus on your heart beating. Focus on your feet landing when running. Focus on your body movement when pressing weight. Take the earbuds out and focus on these things. It will change how you work out.

I want to talk about an experience I had recently when teaching a class. I have noticed recently that I would talk about specific technique, something such as keeping your hands up when striking and how when one hand goes out to strike the other hand reciprocates and protects the jaw. I talked about this for about 2 minutes, showing the technique, giving analogies to help drive home the point. ‘Ok, back on the bags and get striking’ is what I finished up with. The students started hitting the bags again and maybe one student was actually doing what I talked about. I think because of the constant ‘noise’ in our lives we have lost the ability to listen. We hear, but we don’t listen. I stopped the class and talked about this. I said that in this example you have to go up to the heavy bag and tell yourself what you need to do – you have to say it in your mind. It’s the only way your technique will change.

How

So what do you do? You have a stressful event coming up. You fear failure. You fear that you are going to walk into this event and fail. It’s unnerving. And that’s fine. If you didn’t have this fear of failure than what is driving you? But try not to let this fear consume you. Use the fear to drive you. And accept it. Let it push you and help you to prepare for the event. To deny it is to deny something that is a part of you.

Believe in yourself. Know that you have the ability and the skill to accomplish this because you would not be where you are if you didn’t. You will make mistakes. Once that mistake has happened it is now history. No matter how much you let it affect you, no matter how much you regret it, it can’t be undone. Gone. It can’t be reversed. Accept that and move on.

Mushin. Give it no mind. Give it no regard.

Mind your body, mind your breathing, mind your stance, mind your block. Mind your peacefulness.

Don’t mind history. That is for later as we use our experience to better ourselves. But that is not now.

 

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

It seems pointless

You’ve been working really hard. Been very diligent with your eating habits. But your body has stopped responding. It’s been weeks since you have noticed any weight loss. Why?

Influences

Eating: What we eat can have the largest influence on our weight. The quality and amount of carbs, the quality of fat and protein. There is the saying “calories in vs calories out” that concludes if we use more calories than we consume we will lose weight. But this doesn’t take into account the type of calorie.

Calories from simple carbs has a much different impact to our body then calories from fat or protein. Eating simple carbs causes a release of hormones that negatively impact our body causing greater fat storage.

Try to consume quality calories to help lose fat.

Also be sure to not skip meals. If our body is not getting the calories it needs when it needs them the body will go into starvation mode slowing down the bodies metabolism, thus slowing down weight loss. Eating less does not always mean you will lose weight.

Exercise: Most of us think that the best and quickest way to lose weight is to do lots of cardio. Doing cardio is great for health and fitness but we need to also include resistance training into our workouts. Resistance training done properly increases muscle mass which increases our resting metabolism rate thus increasing the amount of calories our body requires daily to function.

Basically,the more muscle mass, the more fat burned.

Counting: How many of us actually know the amount of calories we consume daily and also the type of calories? We may think we know but more than likely we are consuming more than what we think we are. Take the time to measure your meals over a few days to really know how much that is.

Change: The body is a wonderful thing. It can adapt to change and will adapt. What used to be a workout that shocked your body no longer has the same affect. The body isn’t challenged the way it used to be.

Mix up your workouts every six weeks or so to introduce change and shock the body into getting results again.

Priority: Are you fit? Is it only that last 10 pounds you are worried about? Are you kicking ass in your workouts? Then be happy with who and what you are. Our focus should be on being healthy not just looking healthy. There is a phrase skinny fat which talks to being thin but not really healthy.

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focus on your health and the rest will take care of itself. The fat will eventually come off. And your health is much more important than your appearance.

Yours in health,

Darryl