Archive for the Motivation Category

60 is the new ___?

Posted in Fitness, Motivation on March 12, 2008 by Dr. CJ

I had another patient tonight that solidly earned my respect for his fitness accomplishments [note: doesn’t happen often enough].

67-year-old guy in for his physical. I was reviewing his labs from a week ago that were done in anticipation of this visit, including his cholesterol.

LDL 99, HDL 89.

Chew on that a second. His HDL is almost as high as his LDL. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this thought before, but I consider that the ultimate goal with the lipid panel.  I have never seen an HDL as high as an LDL. Unfortunately, I’m doomed by my family history of abnormal lipids, but I’m still shooting for it.

His secret: he runs 8-10 miles daily on his home treadmill. On top of that, he does weight lifting and just started once weekly boxing. In fact, without any prompting from me, he started explaining how he thinks people waste too much time on doing strictly cardio, as he has noticed significant improvement in his health and physique when incorporating weights.

He was incredibly full of energy – I wish I could have taken a picture to capture it, because it was truly a satisfying glimpse at what a lifetime of fitness can do for you. Nothing is slowing him down, not that 67 is all that old, but I’ve seen 20-30-year-olds in much worse shape than him.  With lipid numbers like that, he will likely never develop heart disease.

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Losing weight can save you money

Posted in Motivation with tags , , on March 3, 2008 by Dr. CJ

Lest you think that fitness is a goal for the sake of fitness alone, allow me to highlight another huge benefit of getting in shape: to save money.

This article highlights numerous ways in which a healthier lifestyle helps you cut costs.  There’s no doubt that improved health/fitness makes a big difference to insurance companies (health, life, disability), as they often require extensive medical screening and testing to determine whether or not you qualify for coverage as well as to determine your rates.

One of the many personal finance blogs highlighted an article about how to achieve financial success starting with good health as the first key step.  Again, this report demonstrates increased savings/wealth in healthier individuals.  Then, to think that your health may determine your wage/salary at work . . . I guess employers want to see that their employees take care of themselves.

There are plenty of other ways that fitness can increase your wealth, also, for example starting a fitness-related business, modeling, competing in bodybuilding/fitness shows, etc.  I think that smarter grocery shopping is a great bonus, too – cutting unnecessary spending on snacks, soda.  However, it gets expensive if regular food items are being replaced by healthy options like fish.  I’m more than willing, however, to fork out a little extra dough to eat healthy.

More motivational success stories in weight loss

Posted in Motivation with tags , , on February 24, 2008 by Dr. CJ

I find that it helps once in a while to  read about how other people achieve their success with weight loss, not only to see what techniques they use, but also to reiterate the idea that it’s possible for anyone in any state of health to take charge and transform their bodies.

Instead of looking at the “young bucks” today, let’s look at the “over-40” crowd.  Though metabolism slows with age, there is never an excuse not to work towards improving your body.

First, a woman in her 50’s who struggled with weight gain in her 40’s, but turned the tide by cleaning up her diet and hitting the weights.

Then, this amazing transformation, not so much by his incredible results, but because of his age.  This 65-year-old man achieved incredible results with a disciplined plan that evolved as he learned how diet and exercise affected him.  Note especially the effect this transformation had on his blood pressure.

It can be done . . . by anyone.

Weight loss registry

Posted in Motivation with tags , on February 18, 2008 by Dr. CJ

There is a website for The National Weight Control Registry that serves as a collecting pot for individuals who have managed to drop at least 30 pounds of weight and maintain that weight loss for an entire year.  Some research findings are produced based on this registry – take a look at these statistics about those who were sucessful.  You may recognize some common themes that keep coming up with all weight loss advice.   In addition, there are some “Success Stories” that may serve as some “It can be done” motivation.

Body transformation – Who needs a New Year’s Resolution?

Posted in Getting started, Motivation on December 29, 2007 by Dr. CJ

As much as I hate the cliche’ nature of New Year’s Resolutions, I am setting myself up for one. I have been off my workout regimen for several weeks, thanks to recent illnesses, demands of work, and just plain lack of motivation. I have no doubt as to whether or not I will make a change. When I put my mind to it, I will do it. Unfortunately, I am suffering from that “inertia” of inactivity right now, and it’s killing me. I have been plotting my next round of my “transformation” but have been reluctant to put it into action, especially knowing that I’ll probably be a bit naughty on New Year’s Eve (Who doesn’t want to be?).

Too bad. No more excuses. I am starting now.

I will get my butt out of bed by 6:00 AM no matter how lazy I am feeling.

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I will take a ‘before’ photo in the morning.

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I will kick my ass on the elliptical with Blue October blaring throughout the house.

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I will eat ‘clean’.

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I will lift weights in the evening.

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Most importantly, I will not give up.

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Stay tuned . . .

Weight control during the holidays

Posted in Motivation on December 22, 2007 by Dr. CJ

Ah, the holidays.  What better excuse to indulge in the sweets and drinks that come out only once a year.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to exercise any sort of self-control when you’re in a “party” atmosphere.  After all, who wants to be the party pooper?

There are a number of sources offering recommendations about how to avoid gaining unnecessary pounds during the holidays.  They offer some pretty good ideas, but you’re nonetheless still likely to gain at least a couple pounds.  Go ahead and do so – as long as you know that it means you’ll have to work them back off in a week or two.

I, unfortunately, have been in a major slump lately – unable to work out because of some ridiculous work hours and a stubborn illness.  Did I mention indulging on chocolate?  At least it was primarily dark chocolate – certainly better than just milk chocolate.  I feel tired and miserable – I’m actually begging for the energy to get back into my workout regimen.

Whatever you do, don’t get too discouraged – you’ve lost weight before, you can do so again.  Prepare yourself to get back into your routine after the holidays.   My favorite off-time activity is reading about other people’s successful transformations, particularly on www.bodybuilding.comHere’s one that I’d love to mimic – pay attention to this guy’s diet – I love the bland diet approach, although you are likely to burn out and head for the candy store after a couple weeks doing that.  I’m particularly impressed with his muscle definition – truly amazing.

False hope syndrome

Posted in Motivation on December 5, 2007 by Dr. CJ

We are all familiar with the annual devotion to New Year’s Resolutions, an attempt to regain control over some aspect of our lives. Weight loss and exercise are likely among the top resolutions, but unfortunately they also likely appear on the same person’s list year after year. While perseverance is certainly an admirable trait in some settings, it is most definitely an indicator of failure in this situation. The cycle of repeated failure and renewed effort has been coined the “false hope syndrome” by Polivy and Herman in their article titled “If at first you don’t succeed. False hopes of self-change” [Am Psychol. 2002 Sep; 57(9): 677-89]. They question why people persist at further attempts at self-change in light of the initial failures, and offer possible explanations for this phenomenon:

-Expectations are too high

-Results are expected too early

-Results are expected to be attained too easily

-Ability to make said changes is overestimated

-Unreasonable expectations for how the changes will improve one’s life

The consequences of “false hope syndrome” are potentially devastating, as individuals will start to play the “blame game” – against the diet, against the value of lifestyle changes, against themselves, etc. There will probably be a new diet, new exercise program, new strategy to be embraced at the New Year, but high likelihood of failure again if continuing with the same attitude and expectations.

Knowledge is key, and this site is just one of countless resources for gaining a better understanding of strategies for weight loss. I encourage you to do research before getting frustrated with your fitness plan; understand what kinds of results could reasonably be expected for someone in your situation. Nothing good comes easily, but the results are well worth the effort. Unsure of the source, but this quote sums it up:

Pain is temporary; pride is forever.”