Dispensing the Truth…

You don’t have to do everything all at once. Nor should you. But you do have to do something. Like now. And you have to continue doing that ‘something’ over and over and over again until that something becomes ingrained. And you will know when it becomes ingrained because you will feel as though something is missing from your life if you ever (on the off chance) forget to do it.

For example, have you ever wandered or staggered into work on a Monday with a constant nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you forgot something? You just can’t place your finger quite on what it is until you realize you need it. “It” being… your phone…

Personally, I feel naked whenever I leave my phone at home. And I hate to admit that because I really do hate using the stupid thing. But, like most everyone else I have indeed become addicted to using it. Every little ping, ding, and vibration is a siren’s call to my attention. So much so, that I now make a regular practice of burying it deep into the bowels of my bag every morning so that I am less tempted to check it every 60 seconds.

Shamefully, I admit that my phone is essentially a detachable part of me. If I lose it or forget it I feel lost, naked and out of rhythm. I have become so used to using it and relying on it and having it whenever I need it that to leave it at home and not have it around would be like snapping off my pinky finger. I would miss it immediately, but wouldn’t really know it until it was gone.

The point of this side story is that if you want your life to change, you need to have behaviors and surrounding environmental factors available to you. But not just available. They need to be ingrained, un-detachable and rooted into every fiber of your living being in order for them to be effective. In this example… the phone. Although admittedly it is probably not a good change.

But it can work for you as well. So if you want to change your life in a positive way, like loosing weight, you need to become the kind of person that is fit, muscular, thin and active. The person that subconsciously makes good, healthy eating decisions. The person that feels remiss if they miss their scheduled day at the gym (just as you may currently feel remiss if you forget your phone at home). The person that feels absolutely sluggish and slow and disgusting if they deviate from their way of eating for anything longer than one or two meals. The kind of person that has a repertoire of behaviors at their disposal that allow them to be a fit, attractive and muscular person.

These behaviors though, do not just accumulate because you tried to diet for 2 weeks. The life and lifestyle that you are currently living absolutely will not change noticeably in 2 weeks (excluding some extreme level of physical or mental trauma). I am saying this not to “rain on your parade” and “put you in your place,” but to help you understand human change behavior.

You have cultivated and harbored the beliefs, actions and habits you currently possess for years. And they have gotten you to where you currently sit as you read this. Like my personal addiction to a cellular device, you will not curb your addiction to (insert guilty eating pleasure here) in a mere 21 days like the magazine would have you believe.

BUT… you absolutely can change.

It just requires a much more focused, systemized and rational way to do so. Oh, and time. It takes time. And lots of it. But, yes. It is possible. I see it happen all the time because it is the nature of my job. But the expectation and the ways that people go about it are, quite simply, INCREDIBLY irrational.

How I Make My Best Progress

A quote that has spoken to me recently:

“Just a little hard, smart, basic work. It’s boring. I agree. Do you want to be entertained or get strong?”

-Jim Wendler

It’s funny to me how every time I seem to be losing “ground,” so to speak, I take a step back and re-adjust myself to working solely on making the basics better.

More attention to the principles that are known to work. More attention to making those principles and the corresponding details of those principles as good as I possibly can. More stubborn refusal to veer away from the latest ‘gurus’ and “conventional wisdom” as I can.

It is in these moments that I make the most progress on whatever it is I am doing.

Novel concept really… But the basics rule. Period.

The old adage “Less is more,” is very cliche. But also very true.

So be wary of ‘the new way’ of doing something. Shy away from fads.

Take today to focus only on that which is proven. If that seems even too difficult. Break it down into manageable chunks and practice, practice, practice.

And then, once you have that small chunk down better than everyone else you know. Move on to the next small chunk.

Over time and with consistency, walls will fall and new pinnacles of achievement will unfold before you. Better than any complicated, over-the-top plan will give you.

Stick to what works. And ruthlessly discard everything else.

Motivation or Dedication? Is One Better than the Other?

Motivation and dedication.

 

Are they synonyms for the same thing, polar opposites or maybe distantly related like twice-removed cousins.

 

Here is my two cents:

 

I think both are necessary.

 

Motivation is defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

 

Dedication is “the quality of being committed to a task or purpose.”

 

The difference I think lies in longevity. What I mean by that is, oftentimes, the term ‘motivation’ is used in a very brief context,  as in “I feel motivated after the church sermon today.”

 

First of all…, great! I am glad that church got you feeling good. That is part of the reason as to why it is there.

 

Motivational feelings can oftentimes inspire us to action, particularly if we have been slacking or procrastinating on said action for a while.

 

This is  a good thing.

 

However, it does have a shortcoming, in that it is fleeting.

 

There is a reason why this quote below exists:

 

“motivation is like bathing; once daily is recommended.”

-(I don’t know who said this, but I like it)

 

Motivation does not last.

 

If we could somehow harness those positive and inspiring feelings and channel them on a continual basis, mankind might be inhabiting other planets at this point and there would likely be a world filled with so much more ‘good.’

 

But alas, it is not so.

 

Dedication, on the other hand, is the stuff that separates the men from the boys.

 

Dedication is commitment to a purpose.

 

Dedication carries you through the mountains (motivation) and the valleys (depression or anxiety) because it is tied to a much more significant factor than feelings.

 

Think about it in these terms…

 

Motivation is an emotional high. Dedication is a concentration and a fixation on a purpose.

 

Motivation is how you feel after you hear Les Brown or Eric Thomas speak (both phenomenal speakers by the way. Check out some of my favorite speeches). There is no way you can listen to these guys and not feel pumped up.

 

Dedication is the love that a mother has for a child. There are certainly such joyous and inspiring times that you will have with you kids, but they also come with sleepless nights, diapers to change, and lots of crying.

 

Personally, I don’t find it very emotionally rewarding or inspiring if an infant spits up into your mouth… just saying…

 

So when it comes to goals, both motivation and dedication have a role to play. In fact, I would argue that motivation is what prompted you to write those goals.

 

But it will be dedication to the repeated tasks, day in and day out, that allow you to hit your goals.

 

Undoubtedly, if you are trying to get in the best physical shape of your life, it will not always be fun.

 

In this scenario, motivation is what propels you to walk into the gym and seek those that can help you.

 

Dedication is what is needed when you hit a weight loss plateau and you notice that Sally is losing weight faster than you.

 

Dedication is what is needed to recover when you find yourself eating things you know won’t help you accomplish your goals while binge watching your favorite TV show (again), instead of throwing in the towel because you ‘ruined’ your diet.

 

Dedication is the commitment to a purpose, no matter the circumstances, even when motivation fades for, what seems like weeks.

 

Dedication is the reason you continue getting back up so that you eventually look back at your accomplished goal, smile and think to yourself…

 

‘What next?’

 

 

The Reason Most People Wont Achieve Their Goals and What to do About It

When I was in school, I dreaded going to physics class. It was soul-sucking for me.

 

Why? Because I was terrible at it. I was not comfortable spending time attempting to figure out what the sum-total of all the vectors are… It just was not in my wheel house.

 

But, I desired to become better at it, if only because my academic standing depended on it (I was pretty diligent in high school. College is another story).

 

Therefore, I spent countless hours and days studying the material and practicing what I had learned through application of various problems in the back of the text books.

 

Then, a weird thing happened… My test grades began to improve. I found myself paying closer attention in class.

 

I enjoyed going to physics class. Didn’t see that coming.

 

Now, contrast this with a classmate.

 

They started, like me, with an absolute abhorrence to the subject. It was the worst part of the day for them.

 

Also, like me, the grades were very much sub-par.

 

The difference with this student, however, was that they let their feelings override their potential for success. 

 

Read into that statement a little more.

 

Their feelings got in the way of their success.

 

They didn’t have any different opinions of the class than i did. In fact, I probably complained about it more.

 

But the major difference, was that I tabled my insecurities, fears and pesky feelings of dread and dislike in order to succeed.

 

According to scientific study, about 95% of our actions are made based upon feelings.

 

So what does this mean?

 

For most of us, that is terrible news.

 

In short, you are never going to feel like doing those actions that need to be done for improved results and positive change, therefore, science says that you won’t do it.

 

“I’ll do it later when Im more motivated.”

 

“Now is not the time.”

 

“That makes me nervous.”

 

“There is no WAY I would do that.”

 

Any of these sound familiar? You think anything is going to change if you hear yourself spout these phrases?

 

The reason most people give up on their goals is because of fear.

 

In my example above, it is the fear of spending/wasting time a subject that is of little to no interest combined with the fear of missing out on much more enjoyable activities. Activities like watching re-runs of “friends.”

 

The feeling of fear is a giant-killer.

 

So how do we accomplish anything and begin striving towards our goals?

 

In short, embrace the pain as soon as you feel that feeling of dread start to rise, and, without hesitation, jump immediately into that thing.

 

Yea… sorry, unfortunately there is no easy fix here. This is the reason so many people fail to achieve their goals. Reality can be harsh.

 

So, that being said, here is a pro-tip:

 

Count down from 5, and do the thing standing between you and accomplishment.

 

Take a page from Nike. Just do it.

 

Here is the deal. If you wait longer than 5 seconds, you will not do it.

 

Your brain is designed to essentially kill the thought that scares you if you do not act on it within 5 seconds. Some weird, caveman, safety mechanism that humans have had for, well… ever in order to help us survive.

 

So, instead of thinking about it, (swiftly) count down from 5 and take immediate action.

 

Make the phone call, walk into the gym, talk to that guy or girl.

 

It will hurt, but you will accomplish SOOOO much more than you ever thought.

 

Give it a try and watch your goals become reality.

 

The Most Effective Tip for Fat Loss that you Never Do

Yes or no?

If healthy food is available, you will be more likely to eat it as opposed to the ‘not-so-good’ stuff?

For the most part, I will assume this to be true.

That is, unless you are a raging, viking food heathen, whereupon I’m not sure if I am the one that should help you…Counseling…?

Therefore, the answer to the timeless question of “How do I lose fat the fastest?” I will answer with the following, simple statement:

Change your environment to change your body

To frame this in a bit more of an applicable context, consider your friend circle. What do they normally eat? What do they normally drink? How often do you do these activities together? Do you go to McDonald’s together? Do you hold hands? Have they influenced you to order an item that they claimed was “the bees knees.”

Another example: Open your freezer. Is ice cream or some other frozen confection the most populous item in the there? Does it exist there at all?

Open your pantry… Are there copious amounts of pop-tart flavors lining the shelves? Is Mrs. Butterworth or her best friend Aunt Jemima waving at you?

Go to your fridge. How many different varieties of ranch dressing do you have? What flavor(s) of sugary yogurt do you posses? Is there any kind of fizzy drink in there (this includes adult beverages as well)?

Now stop and think about this for a second…

If you are overweight and want to lose weight, do you believe that you will suddenly stop eating all of those items without a shred of temptation?

Would it be reasonable to assume that you will eventually succumb to the siren’s call of the honey bun in your pantry?

Your immediate environment affects you much, much more than you want to believe.

If you truly desire quick and unquestionable change, this one tip is probably the most important and most difficult: Change your environment.

This means you need to stop meeting Jerry for lunch at his favorite restaurant, Chili’s, because you know that those honey chicken crispers are irresistible.

Also, follow this procedure:

Step 1: Procure large, black trash bag

Step 2: Open the pantry door and place the bag, with the mouth open, wide, at the base of the shelf

Step 3: In a sweeping motion, take your arm and drag it from the back of the shelf to the front of the shelf.

Step 4: Repeat for each shelf, along with the freezer and refrigerator until no tempting food is left.

Note: It is ok to leave the bagged vegetables that you never used before

Bottom line: If you want to win in the game of fat loss, change your surroundings so that you don’t have to battle your own head as to whether or not your are going to cram the entire hershey bar into your mouth and let it melt down.

Get rid of it, and the temptation is gone along with the item that will give you absolutely zero benefit.

 

Does One Size Fit All???

If you have ever tried to improve your eating you may find yourself following the sequence below…

Step 1: I heard that Janice (acquaintance) is really losing a lot of weight on that 30-holes diet thing… Maybe I should text her to see if I should try it. The love handles are showing a little too much love these days.

Step 2: Let me google this…Oh…, it’s “Whole30.” Whoops. Wait… I can’t have a granule of sugar for 30 days unless nature made it?! Sugar cane is technically…nature… right? So…. I CAN have sugar??? Im confused.

Step 3: YOLO! I’ll give it a try.

Step 4: Forget this. Forget the dang girl scouts and their cookies! Im going to curl up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watch re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy.

Obviously this may be a tad exaggerated.

But there is no denying that there is an element of truth to it. Maybe you are the one this sounds like. Maybe you have tried over and over with different diets but it always ends up with you saying something along the lines of “abs aren’t worth the trouble” and you quitting on your health and fitness goals altogether.

So where did you go wrong? Did you even DO anything wrong? Maybe, maybe not. Here is my take.

For starters, I think that the desire to undertake a diet shows initiative. To me, I see that that someone, maybe you, desires to change bad enough to undertake a radical change in the way they eat.

This is good.

They desire a better health profile, want to feel better and let’s just be plain honest, they want to look good and fit in the clothes they wore when they were in their aesthetic prime.

But what is the best way to go about this? IS there a ‘best’ way to go about this?

Here’s the answer you want to hear:

Yes

Here’s the answer you don’t want to hear:

It depends

I often say that the term ‘it depends’ is the best answer in the health and fitness industry, and it’s because that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

It just doesn’t exist.

Parents will get this reference better than most. Others can infer.

Do you parent the same way you do with your first-born that you do with your 3rd child? Or 4th? Or 5th?

No.

But why??

Because they are different people, with different strengths and weaknesses, different habits and different approaches to the same task.

Whereas Jimmy might eat his breakfast with proper etiquette and manners, Harold is making a cave painting on the table with his scrambled eggs before shoveling them down the hatch with his bare hands.

Good luck treating them the same.

The same rule applies when coaching people toward better health and fitness.

In the beginning of this article, Janice did great on the whole30 diet. You did not. Janice is telling every one of her friends to do the whole30. You wouldn’t recommend it to your worst enemy. Janice eats ‘gluten free.’ You think gluten tastes fantastic. Hell, maybe you don’t even know what gluten is. OR CARE!

What works for one person does not necessarily mean that it will work for you.

The bit take-away here is, you can actually accommodate your eating preferences into a plan that works for you. You may have to make trade-offs here and there, but that is ok.

And just because it seems like everyone else is benefitting from the latest diet craze does not mean that you have to do it, or even that it will work for you.

You are a special snowflake of a human. Embrace it and do what works for you because it is your life.

That being said, if you need help figuring out what works for you, I am only an email away and I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at augustworden@gmail.com

I will answer all of your questions, even if they may not be fitness related. I will forgive you. 

ALSO… if you enjoyed this article, or if it spoke to you in any way, I would be tickled pink if you would kindly share it with your fellow humans. Thanks a lot!

 

 

3 Key Things to Fat Loss in the Work Place

What’s up everyone!

So, I’ve noticed a common theme recently…. “Hey, Gus.. How do I make good, healthy decisions at work??”

Great question. Here’s the thing… The gym is my favorite place on this earth. My seem a bit exaggerated, but unless you personally know me, you probably can’t quite relate.

I spend all day in the gym. I get there at around 5 in the morning. I leave sometime around 7:30 or 8 at night. In between those hours, I train lots of people, visit with even more people, sell fitness stuff and, oh yea, workout.

It is my second home.

A little about my situation: For me, staying healthy is easy. Ever heard of the saying “you are a product of your environment?” Or maybe “You are the average of the 5 people you associate closest with?” For you business-y types “Your net worth is your network?”

Starting to catch the drift? I have made it my living to associate, eat, breathe and sleep (done it before) all things gym.

Why?

Because my passion is to help people get healthy. I have surrounded myself with all things ‘health and fitness.’

So this begs the question… How do people who don’t literally live at the gym, get healthy and into good shape?

How do those who work in places that are not-quite-so-health-oriented get ahead on their fat loss goals?

Below, I have answered with the following points:

 

1. Have a written plan

 

What do all successful people have in common with each other?

Here is a big clue… look at the heading. Talk to just about anyone that has become successful, be it in fitness or business or health, life, whatever. They have a written plan.

Why climb the ladder of success only to realize that your ladder was leaning against the wrong building.

Know what you goals are, write them down, and then write several action steps that will allow you to walk purposefully toward that goal.

For me, that plan is a written workout log along with my goal at the top of the page. Yes, I write my goal down every day to know what I am aiming at. Then I make sure that the workout below matches with that goal.

For those of you trying to lose weight, this is my suggestion. Write down a ‘not-to-eat’ list. Make a list of the foods that you know are ‘kryptonite’ to your weight loss journey and tape it up on your fridge. Make another list and keep it duct-taped and/or super glued to your work desk so that you see it as much as possible.

This is your written plan.

*side note: maybe ask your boss before you super glue a list down to their desk…

 

2. Find healthy friends

 

If you have hefty friends that go out every day at lunch to buffalo wild wings or mcdonald’s please find healthier friends.

This is not to say, never talk to them again, but please understand that you pick up the habits of those that are closest to you.

If you think “nah. I’ll be fine.” Then go ahead and ignore this one, however studies show that having a positive support group is one of the biggest factors (top 3) for people trying to elicit change in their life.

Trust me. You need someone to have your back when the co-worker brings doughnuts into the workplace.

Hell. I still need help around doughnuts and I’m the fitness professional.

 

3. Single task

 

Don’t try and conquer everything at once. By that I mean, don’t all of a sudden decide that you will go from 8 16 oz. sodas a day to ‘cold-turkey.’ Don’t make a promise to yourself that you will no longer succumb to the siren’s call of lays potato chips (you really can’t have just one). And don’t think that you will go from professional couch potato to 5k in 2 weeks.

That is too much, too quick.

You may be thinking ‘But, Gus! You said…”

Trust me. I know what I said. But heed my words right now… Willpower has been proven in multiple studies to fade. It runs out. Physically, it has been shown to cause fatigue in other areas that also require this resource.

So, therefore, the name of the game is single-tasking. Pick one thing that you wish to change and focus your efforts there for about 1-2 weeks until it becomes habit.

Habits don’t require willpower. They are automatic. So in your health journey, the goal is to create lasting change that you can fall back on and not even think about.

Pick one thing, and ONLY one thing, and focus on that for a period of 2 weeks.

 

Do these 3 things above and watch your body and mind change for the better.

If you need any assistance or need help deciding which habits to choose/work on, feel free to send me an email at augustworden@gmail.com

I’m here to help.

Salutations

 

Overcome Your Fat Loss Plateaus

Time and time again I receive the following complaint:

“I think I’ve hit a plateau. I’m not losing anymore weight and I don’t know what to do.”

Well, here’s the thing… The body is an incredibly adaptable machine. Seriously.

And the body will change when you tell it to. The thing is, most people believe that it has to be some gigantic, huge, cumbersome change. They get bogged down, almost to the point of quitting (in fact many do) because they believe that they are truly stuck.

But let me give a quick analogy.

If you chain a baby elephant to a stake, it will struggle and struggle and struggle to get free up until the point it becomes exhausted and it will eventually tire out and give up. Eventually, each consecutive time the elephant will struggle less until it finally associates the stake and chain as an insurmountable obstacle. Or, in other words, it quits trying.elephant-3

But here is the interesting twist, the elephant will continue to grow. Duh. And it will become bigger and stronger until it finally reaches its full size and strength as the largest and strongest animal to walk on dry land.

Now, do you really believe that an elephant is going to be held down by a wooden stake tethered to a chain?

Are you joking? NO. The stake might as well be a toothpick and the chain a piece of floss compared to the mass and size of a fully grown elephant. It could simply lift its leg and either the stake would come right out of the ground or the chain would snap cleanly in two, freeing the elephant.

But tell that to the elephant.

You see, it grew up thinking that the chain and stake meant that it was stuck in that spot because when it was a baby, it didn’t have the strength to overcome the obstacle.

And for a time that was true. When it was a baby, the chain and stake were strong enough to hold the elephant there.

But the belief of captivity remained long after the elephant became plenty strong enough to rip it’s rope from the ground without much effort. The elephant, originally slave to the stake and chain, is now slave purely to its own belief system.

And that is what happens once we reach a plateau. We start out great, motivated that the weight is coming off and that we are getting noticeably stronger. Everything is going smoothly, our drive is strong and confidence is high and our energy levels are through the roof.

And then… the plateau open-hand slaps you in the face.

What you are doing is no longer working. The scale has been the same for 2 months. Inches are no longer melting off and we think something is wrong.

But really, all we have to do is simply break the chain.

And for us that merely amounts to changing something.

As I mentioned above the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and it will change if you ask it to.

The way that we ‘ask’ is to change our actions.

That is it.

And really, it does not have to be a big change.

You see the once we reach that plateau, the thing we don’t understand is that our body has adapted to the stimulus that we are giving it. It is no longer responsive to your actions because you have been doing them for too long.

If we want it to continue the trend of losing weight, we just need to tweak the input that we are giving the body just a bit.

This can be as simple as adding an extra workout during the week, adding a little extra protein to our meals, or sometimes even drinking a little extra water throughout the day.

Again, it really doesn’t have to be a big change. Just something substantive enough to shock the body back into a fat loss machine.

Where people get bogged down and overwhelmed is that they, like the elephant, are used to existing in a certain state of mind. In their thoughts, there is no way out, but really, all that has to be done is just a little change, and they are back on track.

Don’t be like the elephant.

Simply take a step back, breath and think about what you have been doing, and change one thing. JUST ONE.

Then, observe if that works over a couple of weeks and re-try if it does not.

If it does. Winning. Keep doing that.

If you like this article, please share it with someone who needs to hear this. If you have any questions or would like my help overcoming your ‘stake and chain,’ simply email me or find me on social media. I will respond promptly.

A Quick Interview with the Father of Paleo: Dr. Loren Cordain

Unless you have been living underneath a rock, most people by now have heard of the Paleo movement.

The premise is simple:

Our genetic makeup is made to eat a certain way; that of our ancestors in the Paleolithic Era (hence the name), while the advent of civilization and the agricultural revolution gave us another.

The argument, is that if we return to the diet of our ancestors, we will also return our level of optimal health that was prevalent in the Paleolithic time period and erase the maladies that our present society is plagued with.

Dr. Loren Cordain is considered by many to be the father of this movement.cordainloren0736-2400x3000

Not only that but he has also appeared in many of the world’s top scientific journals to include the American Journal of clinical Nutrition, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition as well as several others.

He has published many books to include The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes.

He has even been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as made several appearances on major news networks.

Currently he maintains a position as Professor Emeritus with Colorado State University.

To say that he is knowledgeable and well-respected would be the understatement of the year.

Fortunately, he took the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions, which I have listed below…

Me:

Can you briefly describe your life work and philosophy to someone who may have never heard of the term ‘Paleo’ before?

Dr. Cordain:

The word “Paleo” in today’s nutritional and fitness community has generally been ascribed to a diet which emulates a contemporary nutritional program that maintains certain dietary characteristics of our Stone Age ancestors. 

Paleo is short for “Paleolithic” which means, The Old Stone Age, a period that first ended in some places in the world about 10,000 years ago.  Prior to the Paleolithic era, all humans made their living as hunter gatherers, consuming only those wild plant and animal foods which could be foraged from their natural environment. ron-swanson

Clearly, contemporary humans, even if they wanted to, could not exactly emulate the dietary characteristics of our hunter gatherer ancestors.

Consequently, present day “Paleo” diets, generally, mimic the food groups our ancestors ate, but not precisely the exact foods they would have consumed.

Contemporary Paleo diets are generally comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grass produced meats, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood.

Modern Paleo diets generally avoid all processed and packaged foods, refined sugars, refined grains, refined vegetable oils, salt, whole grains and legumes and all modern foods made with a mixture of these elements.

Me:

What was the ‘Ah-HA!’ or ‘Lightbulb moment’ when you decided that you wanted to make this your life’s work?

Dr. Cordain:

In 1987, I first read Boyd Eaton’s (M.D), now classic paper (1985) in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.  

This seminal paper acknowledged the evolutionary basis for contemporary human nutrition, and made more sense to me than anything I had previously read about optimal human nutrition. 

I read everything I could on the topic and eventually contacted Dr. Eaton.  We ended up giving talks together, co-publishing scientific articles, and worked collectively to help establish the seminal work that became the contemporary Paleo Diet movement.

Me:

There is plenty of knowledge out there about proper nutrition and the Paleo movement, especially since it has been gaining much traction in the fitness world over the past several years. However, people still have a hard time practicing proper eating and nutritional habits despite the almost unlimited access to knowledge and resources. Why do you believe that this is so and what is your advice to these people?

Dr. Cordain:

I believe we really don’t have sufficient data to know how many people are aware of contemporary Paleo Diets and how many people who actually practice them, or to what degree they maintain compliance.  This information would be important to answer your question, particularly compared to other diets promoted as being health giving, such as the USDM My Pyramid, the Mediterranean Diet and others.

Me:

If you could only give one piece of advice to someone about to undertake a life of self-improvement through proper exercise and nutrition practices, what would that be?

Dr. Cordain:

Avoid processed, packaged foods while replacing them with fresh, living whole foods and exercise whenever possible.

Personally, I have adopted the Paleo style of eating as the method that I keep falling back on.

Influences and knowledgeable experts such as Dr. Cordain and Robb Wolf have been the ones to provide the most insight into this dietary lifestyle, so if you have further questions, I would highly recommend you to pick up both of their books.

From my experience, it has had the greatest impact on my personal health.

In the past I have suffered from thyroid disorder; hyperthyroidism to be precise.

I was on medication to keep it under wraps and decided to fully commit to this method of eating to attempt to resolve the issue.

Miraculously, it did fix itself. Whether that is directly attributable to the Paleo lifestyle, I cannot definitively say.

However, I will say that thyroid disease is considered to be a medically dependent disease. In other words, medication is considered permanent and necessary in order to effectively manage it.

So, with that argument, I make my case for Dr. Cordain’s Paleo diet.

I rest my case.

Lewis Howes Answers Some of My Questions

This past week I have had the opportunity to connect with a man by the name of Lewis Howes.

 

Some of you may recognize him, some of you may not. Nonetheless I will give him the proper accolades.

lewis_howes

Lewis is a former professional arena football player turned mega-successful entrepreneur and author in his quest to achieve greatness.

 

Currently he hosts the “School of Greatness Podcast,” which interviews the likes of Olympic gold medalists, CEO’s of billion dollar companies, revolutionary doctors and scientists as well as leading influencers across varying industries to learn what makes them tick.

 

To say that Lewis is a successful guy would be a vast understatement, which is why I am incredibly grateful that he took the time to respond to a few of my own questions.

 

Because Lewis is a busy guy I did not want to waste his time with a page full of questions (and because he probably would not have answered had I done so), so I narrowed the possible book of questions that I had for him down to just four that I hope will be beneficial to you.

 

My goal in this was to provide you with some insight into the health habits of the highly successful and Lewis is certainly one who takes this aspect of his life very seriously.

 

So, without boring you with further diatribes, here is the good stuff:

 

Gus:

So I am curious to know, how does your health affect your work and your relationships?

 

Lewis:

It is everything.

 

If I don’t work out regularly (my goal is daily) and eat right, my energy goes down pretty fast. I feel sluggish and tired and don’t have as much mental energy to make decisions for my business.

 

I don’t have as much patience and clarity in my relationships either. Health is number one!

 

Gus:

Is there a certain way that you manage your stress levels and if so, how?

 

Lewis:

I really try to meditate daily, either when I wake up or when I go to bed.

 

I’m really loving Headspace right now because they are simple, 10 minute guided meditations I can quickly access on my phone.

 

Working out is, again, a huge part of managing my stress. I also get out of my condo every day, even if just to take a walk, to make sure I’m seeing the sun and appreciating wherever I am.

 

Gus:

What is the one (best) piece of health advice that you would give to someone?

 

Lewis:

Treat your body like the temple that it is.

 

It’s your biggest ally but it can’t take care of itself. Taking care of your health lets you perform at your peak in every area of your life.

 

Gus:

Do you have six-pack abs (everyone wants to know)?

 

Lewis:

Hahahaha no not right now. I need to hang out with Steve Weatherford more often.

 

As you can see, even the massively successful make the time in their busy schedules to prioritize their health.

 

And, hopefully, from this brief email interview I hope that you will as well, because it truly is, as Lewis says, “number one.”

 

My own, personal take-away from this interview is that health is not something that you just happen to be able to fit into your schedule.

 

Lewis flies all over the country conducting interviews with incredibly successful people and also runs his own business teaching others how to follow in his footsteps.

 

This man is incredibly short on time, more so than us mere mortals.

 

If he can find the time to exercise daily, as he says and still manage to eat healthy and meditate, then so can we.

 

And even though the last question was meant to be a bit of a comedic twist, it also serves a purpose:

 

Lewis is a very healthy and athletic guy. In fact, he also is on the men’s national handball team along with being a former football player.

 

However, even he does not have abs.

 

Nobody is perfect. He is human too.

 

And I hope that you understand that the point of health is not perfection.

 

Instead, it is in the process of constantly and intentionally improving yourself in order that you live a more wholesome and enjoyable life with those you love, and from what I understand, Lewis certainly accomplishes this.

 

 

If you enjoyed reading this article, I would love it if you would hit the share buttons on the screen and email this to 1-2 people that need to hear this.

 

Also, for more information on Lewis Howes or The School of Greatness Podcast, simply click on the linked text located within the article or go and buy his book, ‘The School of Greatness.’

 

I again want to thank Lewis and his team for taking the time out of their busy schedule to further progress and spread the incredible benefits of health and fitness.