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Reason #97 why you can’t lose weight…because let’s face it, there are potentially quite a few things contributing to the fact that you can’t lose weight. It’s supposed to be easy, right? Burn more calories than you consume and you “should”, in theory, lose weight. But what if you don’t? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons why this could be happening. Without a full blood panel, it’s impossible for me to tell you exactly why that is, since it could be related to thyroid issues, hormone imbalances, etc.). However, something you may or may not have heard of as being a culprit is called homeostasis.

Human homeostasis is derived from the Greek, homeo or “same”, and stasis or “stable” and means remaining stable or remaining the same. In other words, your body is going to attempt to maintain stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes. This is most often discussed in terms of survival, whereas the liver, the kidneys and the brain help maintain homeostasis by metabolizing toxic substances, regulating blood water levels and excreting wastes. Another example occurs as our body regulates temperature in an effort to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. We sweat to cool off when we are hot and we shiver to produce heat when we are cold.

However, homeostasis also plays a role in terms of weight loss. As your body starts to change, it will also try to “hold on” to what it’s known for so long. For example, if you have been 30 lbs. overweight for the last say…10 years and you are beginning to lose that weight, your body will fight to get back to that 30 lb. overweight “place” because that’s what it’s known for so long. This is just one more reason why to truly lose weight and keep it off for good, you have to make lasting lifestyle changes, not temporary fixes. Short-term, lose weight quick diets will only hurt you in the end, messing with your mental state as well as your hormones and metabolism.

We all know that there are a bizillion (yes, a “bizillion”) reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight. However, the more responsible, knowledgable and committed you are as you embark on your weight loss journey, the more successful you will be. There will be roadblocks, obstacles, plateaus and the like, but be aware, be smart and be persistent and you will minimize this homeostasis issue.

Peace, love and responsible weight loss,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

We all know that there are two main components to a successful weight loss program… Eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. But what happens when you can’t seem to get to the gym? Maybe you don’t have a membership, or maybe you’re full of excuses (pardon my straightforward-ness). Either way, in this post I’ll reveal several easy ways to increase your daily amount of exercise in order to get moving for this week’s Biggest Achiever challenge!

In today’s day and age, we work long hours, most of the time sitting still, we constantly use technology and automation, and are generally not required to move very much. Housekeepers, gardeners, cell phones, computers, remote controls and video games run our households. Our world now produces inactive and nonfunctional people physically molded by furniture, gravity and inactivity, and it’s taking a huge toll on public health. In 1985, the International Obesity Task Force deemed the prevalence of obesity an epidemic. In 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chronic diseases were responsible for five of the leading six causes of disease. One of them, obesity, leads to other chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and diabetes.

Physical activity has been proved to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and disorders related to lifestyle, such as increased triglycerides and cholesterol levels, obesity, glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and strokes. Regular exercise increases blood volume, which allows more blood to get to the cells. This results in greater flow of oxygen, helping the body remove waste and strengthening the heart. If that’s not enough, regular exercise also helps regulate weight, hormones, mood, sleep/wake cycles and improves your self confidence. So what are you waiting for?

For general health benefits, 30 minutes of exercise per day is recommended, 5-7 times per week. It has been shown that three 10 minute bouts of exercise are just as effective as one 30 minute continuous exercise at a moderate intensity. For improved fitness levels, on the other hand, your intensity would need to increase to 60-90% of your heart rate max (HR max) for 20-60 minutes per day, 3-5 times per week. – NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)

Click here for some simple ways to include more exercise in your everyday life. Everyone can use these tips, regardless of you don’t currently exercise at all, or if you’re a “workout junkie”, everyone should take advantage of every opportunity to move more often!

Peace, love and movement!

Melissa

Welcome to the second week of our Biggest Achiever Program! Feel free to join in at any time! Each week we announce a new challenge and although I encourage you to participate every week, you can also select which weeks you would like to participate in. Just remember that every tiny change you make for the better, you will eventually realize are huge steps and very pivotal moments in your healthier lifestyle.

Last week, we tracked our calories and nutritional content of the foods and beverages we consumed and learned a lot about where the majority of our calories come from. For many of us, not surprisingly, they come from beverages. Our favorite lattes, sodas, fruit juices and sports drinks contain terrifying amounts of sugar, sodium and dangerous chemicals such as sucralose, phenylalanine, methanol and more. If you look at the ingredients in that seemingly healthy fruit juice your children love so much, you will probably be shocked to see that many of those don’t contain much fruit juice at all! Although we will dive further into fruit juices and unhealthy beverages during our 3 month voyage, this week we will be focusing on soda.

“Twenty-one percent of the sugar in the American diet comes from soft drinks. That’s more than just an unhealthy consumption of empty calories. It is a dangerous overload of caffeine and nutrient-depleting additives.” – Dr. Earl Mindell

 

The side effects of soda (including diet/zero sodas), in short:

  • Cancer, heart disease, kidney damage, depression, asthma, diabetes
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Osteoporosis in adults, high risk of bone fracture in children
  • Tooth loss, erosion of tooth enamel, periodontal disease, gingivitis, tooth discoloration
  • Stomach and reproductive issues
  • Increased cravings
  • Inability to detect sweetness in fruits/vegetables
  • Diminished nerve impulse transmission
  • Weakened immune system
  • Adverse reactions with medications such as antibiotics and antacids

This list truly goes on and on. One of the single worst products you can put into your  body is a carbonated beverage. This includes soda, beer and even sparking/carbonated water. Just one 8 ounce carbonated beverage paralyzes the immune system for up to 12 hours! The carbonation in the beverage blocks the uptake of calcium, which is needed for every single metabolic function in your body.

It has been proven that increased soda consumption is a major factor in the development of osteoporosis. Sodas lower calcium levels and increase phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate is high and calcium is low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. This issue is worse for children. Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four times higher than those that do not.

Sodas contain phosphorous and phosphoric acid, which corrode the stomach lining, upset the alkaline-acid balance of the kidneys and eat away at your liver. They also contain sodium benzoate, a sodium preservative which reduces the availability of potassium in the body. Some reported reactions to sodium benzoate include rashes, eczema and asthma. Think about it, if you get a rash, you likely run to the dermatologist and they give you some sort of cream for it. Wouldn’t you know it that all along, it’s because you’re drinking soda!

Not only are the carbonation, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, sugar, phosphorus and other ingredients in soda extremely harmful, but the sugar and acid will dissolve tooth enamel too! It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking a “full calorie” Coke, a Diet Coke, or Coke Zero, you are harming your body in more ways than you realize.

“The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.” – Marion Nestle

Many people turn to diet or “zero” sodas in order to avoid the high sugar content and carbohydrates in “regular” sodas. This is quite possibly worse for you than drinking a “regular” soda. Many diet and “zero” sodas contain aspartame, sucralose and other harmful chemicals. Studies have tied diet soda consumption to an increased risk of obesity. A 2005 University of Texas Health Science Center Study found a 57.1% risk of obesity for those drinking more than two servings of diet soda a day. In case gaining weight wasn’t enough, aspartame and sucralose, the artificial sweeteners used in sodas, are tied to cancer and other deadly diseases! Why are you drinking this stuff?! Because it “tastes good”?! Of course it tastes good, people spend countless hours developing products that “taste good” and… wait for it… that you will become addicted to! They are obviously very good at their jobs!

The most commonly  used artificial sweeteners in soda include aspartame and sucralose. These are dangerous ingredients that have the following side effects: depression, birth defects, headaches, weight gain, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, rashes, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue and seizures. That’s right, I said weight gain. DIET SODA CAN MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT. Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar! Sucralose is actually considered a zero-calorie sweetener because the human digestive tract cannot metabolize it.

For more information on aspartame and sucralose, I encourage you to read The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners.

As a general note, it is helpful to remember that anything that is fat-free, sugar-free, “anything”-free… they have had to add artificial flavors and other chemicals in order to make that food taste good, without it being made from actual ingredients. Many dieters are unfortunate victims of marketing and product packaging. Just because something is fat-free, sugar-free, low in carbohydrates, etc., does NOT mean it is healthy! An apple is healthier than a sugar-free cookie! That and a sugar-free cookie will NEVER satisfy your appetite, but an apple will. People often gain weight when they consume fat-free and sugar-free foods because they end up consuming more calories. Consuming these foods which are void of nutrients will always leave you hungry and will possibly intensify your cravings. Your brain will not shut off its hunger signals until it gets the nutrients it needs. Therefore, if you’re hungry, and you eat a box of cookies or a loaf of white bread (common “appetizer” before meals at restaurants), you will still be hungry even though your stomach will feel full.

In short, if there is one thing you change in this 3 month program, I urge it to be giving up soda. Your immune system, your heart, your pancreas, your entire body will thank you for it! I can pretty much guarantee you that if you give up sodas entirely, you will lose weight. It’s not rocket science, it’s not magic, it’s just common sense. Sodas are one of the worst things you can put in your body, so give them up, and you will see benefits from it! Although this week’s challenge is to give us soda, I encourage you to give up aspartame, sucralose and other products that contain artificial sweeteners. You will find yourself feeling much better in the end!

With so many beverage choices available to us today, it’s hard to know what to drink and what to stay away from. For the most part, we’ve been taught that there are a lot of sugar and calories in “regular” sodas. Instead, many people have turned to diet and “zero” sodas in order to be able to still consume their favorite beverages, but without all the terrible sugar and calories. However what they don’t know, is that this choice may actually kill them.

What the soda companies don’t tell you (in their fancy commercials with all the beautiful, skinny people consuming their beverages) is that in order to make their sugary beverages taste “delicious” without actually adding sugar, they’ve had to add many dangerous chemicals. Many diet and “zero” sodas contain aspartame, sucralose and other harmful ingredients.

The most commonly  used artificial sweeteners in soda include aspartame and sucralose. These are dangerous ingredients that have the following side effects: depression, birth defects, headaches, weight gain, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, rashes, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue and seizures. That’s right, I said weight gain. DIET SODA CAN MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT. Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar! Sucralose is actually considered a zero-calorie sweetener because the human digestive tract cannot metabolize it.

Are you ready for the worst part? Studies have tied diet soda consumption to an increased risk of obesity. I know, you’re drinking that low-calorie beverage because you’re trying to lose weight, but, it’s going to have the opposite effect! A 2005 University of Texas Health Science Center Study found a 57.1% risk of obesity for those drinking more than two servings of diet soda a day. In case gaining weight wasn’t enough, aspartame and sucralose are tied to cancer and other deadly diseases! Why are you drinking this stuff?! Because it “tastes good”?! Of course it tastes good, people spend countless hours developing products that “taste good” and… wait for it… that you will become addicted to! They are obviously very good at their jobs!

Aspartame

One of the most commonly used low calorie sweeteners, aspartame, is a very dangerous ingredient added to make beverages without sugar taste sweet. At 180 times sweeter than sugar, aspartame is added to “sugar-free” juices like Kool-Aid and other diet drinks like Diet Snapple, as well as desserts, yogurts, jams/jellies and other sweeteners. It is made of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol, none of which sound like “healthy” ingredients to me! Aspartame, which is sold under the names NutraSweet and Equal, has been proven to be associated with the development of cancer and other illnesses and side effects including depression, birth defects, headaches, weight gain, 

rashes, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and seizures. That’s right, a DIET SODA CAN MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT.

When aspartame was put in front of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval, (be cautious with this group, for future reference), it was denied eight times. Despite recognizing 92 different symptoms that resulted from ingesting aspartame, the FDA approved it for use without restriction in 1996.

The FDA claims that an intake of 50 mg of aspartame per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day is “acceptable.” I’m not sure that any amount of something that causes cancer is acceptable, but unfortunately, I don’t work for the FDA. By the FDA’s math, If you weigh 150 lbs, you can consume approximately 68 mg of aspartame per day. The amount of aspartame in one 12 oz. can of diet soda is approximately 225 mg. Ruh row!

 

Aspartame has also been deemed an “excitotoxin”. Excitotoxins can cause damage to the appetite center of the brain, also leading to death of neural cells. Think I’m being overdramatic? These are chemicals, people. Not whole, healthy foods! What do you think they do to you? I could go on and on about aspartame. There are a myriad of resources out there proving how dangerous this ingredient truly is. There are even support groups out there for people who have been affected by aspartame! And for those people with a condition called phenylketonuria, or PKU, who cannot metabolize phenylalanine properly, aspartame can lead to mental retardation!

Sucralose

Think you’re safe with Splenda? Join the club! I too, was under the impression that the scientists of the world had finally come up with a safe way to make food sweeter without consuming the calories from table sugar. I have no idea what I was thinking. I have since learned that no food that comes from a scientist is safe! Sucralose was discovered in 1976 when British researchers were creating a new pesticide. Yum!

Your beloved Splenda, sucralose, is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and its actually a zero-calorie sweetener because the human digestive tract cannot metabolize it. There are studies that exist that show that sucralose is safe for human consumption. I will let you make that decision for yourself. I should mention that excess use of artificial products of any kind will alter your taste buds. When you consume artificial sweeteners, it may leave you unable to appreciate or even distinguish the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables.

Side effects of sucralose include: headaches, weight gain, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea (remember, your body cannot digest sucralose) and fatigue. Sounds great, huh?

As a general note, it is helpful to remember that anything that is fat-free, sugar-free, “anything”-free… they have had to add artificial flavors and other chemicals in order to make that food taste good, without it being made from actual ingredients. Many dieters are unfortunate victims of marketing and product packaging. Just because something is fat-free, sugar-free, low in carbohydrates, etc., does NOT mean it is healthy! An apple is healthier than a sugar-free cookie! That and a sugar-free cookie will NEVER satisfy your appetite, but an apple will. People often gain weight when they consume fat-free and sugar-free foods because they end up consuming more calories. Consuming these foods which are void of nutrients will always leave you hungry and will possibly intensify your cravings. Your brain will not shut off its hunger signals until it gets the nutrients it needs. Therefore, if you’re hungry, and you eat a box of cookies or a loaf of white bread (common “appetizer” before meals at restaurants), you will still be hungry even though your stomach will feel full. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! All that same great taste, but none of the calories!? Come on guys… think for a second. 🙂

Peace, love and soda-free lives,

Melissa

For more information on soda and it’s effect on our bodies, please read here!

I recently watched Food, Inc. (there is also a book) and it was one of the most influential documentaries I have ever seen. I was blind to exactly how corrupt our government really is, the hidden dangers in our food and the poor farmers that are too fearful to show their faces or use their real names in this documentary for fear of what will happen to them, their families and their businesses. It’s like a creepy farmer horror movie, but it’s actually happening, as we sit here, staring at our computer screens.

I highly recommend watching the movie for yourself, but here’s a sneak peek of what’s included until you get the chance.

Food has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the past 10,000, and not in a good way. “The idea that you have to write a book to tell people where their food came from shows you how far removed we are from it.” – Michael Pollan, Author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The American Supermarket

The modern American supermarket has on average 47,000 products.

There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Instead, food is picked green (way too early) and is ripened with ethylene gas. In the winter, you are eating the “idea” of a tomato.

70 percent of all processed foods in supermarkets have a genetically modified ingredient. (Or genetically modified organism, GMO).

Beef and Poultry

McDonalds, the largest purchaser of ground beef, wants all of their beef to taste the same, which creates a problem, since it will all have to be altered in order to achieve that.

There are currently only a handful of companies controlling our food system (enter fear and anxiety). The top four beef companies control 80 percent of the market. So even if you don’t eat at a fast food restaurant, you are still a part of this horrible system.

Tyson is the largest meat packaging company in the history of the world.

To meet demand, and of course, to make more money, chickens are now raised twice as fast, to be twice as big and have actually been redesigned to have larger breasts because people like white meat. Because they are produced so rapidly, their bones and internal organs can’t keep up with the weight they are carrying, they literally collapse because they cannot walk. Faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper, that about sums it up.

Hamburger meat is cleansed with ammonia to kill E. coli.

Corn and Corn Products

“So much of our industrial food is clever rearrangements of corn.” – Michael Pollan

Because of fertilizer, pesticides, etc., we can grow ten times as much corn than we could in the past. 20 bushels per acre has now become 200+ bushels per acre. 30 percent of our land is devoted to corn, thanks to government policy.

Corn farmers are encouraged to grow as much corn as possible, and the government will come up with uses for them (enter high fructose corn syrup). Our food is now engineered to last longer on shelves, to be produced at a lower cost, etc.

What else is made from corn? Probably the majority of what you eat in a day! Ketchup, cheese, twinkies, peanut butter, cheeze-itz, salad dressing, coke, jelly, sweet and low, syrup, juice, kool-aid, meat and fast food, to name a few. Maltodextrin, xantham gum and ascorbic acid can also all be made from corn. And it’s not just limited to food… Batteries, charcoal, diapers and motrin are corn products as well.

These calories are cheaper to produce, they are heavily subsidized. Snack food calories come from commodity crops like wheat, corn and soybeans.

We Feed Corn to Everyone and Everything

Corn is the main ingredient in feed. Unless you buy grass-fed beef, it was fed corn. Even farmed fish are fed corn. (Note, you can still eat beef and fish if you’d like, just buy grass-fed and wild-caught!)

Cows are not designed by evolution to eat corn, it’s just cheaper for us to eat and corn makes them fat. This high corn diet that the cows is harmful to them. It results in E. coli, and this strain of E. coli evolves, now entering the food system. The E. coli from this corn-fed cow is found in beef, spinach, apple juice and more because of run off. It’s scary to think that even as a vegetarian or vegan, you could be affected by this system.

Soybeans

90 percent of soybeans contain a patented gene that is unaffected by pesticides (2008, Monsanto patented gene). Monsanto is an evil chemical company, pretty much responsible for ruining farmers’ lives and ridding us of any non-GMO soybeans. Monsanto keeps a staff and surveillance teams to prosecute farmers for saving their own non-GMO seeds to plant next year. Monsanto puts those farmers who do not comply out of business by any means necessary. (Think dark and evil forces here).

Poor Treatment of Animals

When you watch the film, they show the hole that they have to cut into the side of the cow, to fish out the E. coli bacteria. Yum. Anyone for a burger? If not today, maybe tomorrow? The average American eats 200 lbs. of meat per year.

These obese, collapsing chickens are packed so tightly together, that they couldn’t walk even if they could. They’re often kept in wire cages, their feet growing over the wires beneath them. Their beaks are seared off so they don’t peck each other or the workers.

Animals stand knee deep in their manure all day long. If we put glass walls on all the processing facilities, we’d have a different food system in this country.

The Corrupted Government

Basically, everyone’s in bed with someone else. We put our faith in the government to protect us, but we’re not being protected at even the most basic level. Regulatory agencies are now being controlled by the companies they’re supposed to be scrutinizing.

In 1972, the FDA conducted approximately 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, they conducted only 9,164. Gross.

There are only 13 slaughter houses to process the majority of meat processed in the U.S. They’re all combined, so the odds of one of them carrying something infectious is extremely high.

Something is seriously wrong with some of these people. The meat/poultry associations actually took the USDA to court to say that the USDA doesn’t have the authority to shut down plants, even if the plant is contaminated. (What?!?!) However, after a young boy’s death resulted in a new law called Kevin’s Law, plants that continually produce contaminated meat will be shut down.

The food industry is always looking for steps in efficiency, but each step creates more problems. For instance, if a cow has E. coli, all that is necessary (instead of raging antibiotics, steroids, or another high-tech answer) is five days of a grass-fed diet. It will shed 80 percent of the bacteria that way.

The employers (Smithfield, for example) even have such a twisted hold of their employees, which are bussed in from 100 miles away, they can’t afford to quit.

In the last 25 years, our government has been dominated by the industries it was meant to be regulating.

Everything is about politics, centralized power being used against farmers, workers and consumer who are deliberately being kept in the dark about what they’re eating and what it is doing to their bodies. They don’t want  you to know what’s in it, and they make it against the law for you to criticize their products.

The food industry has different protections than other industries. Oprah was sued for loss of profit by the meat industry for something she said on her show. Six years of litigation, $1 million in legal fees, but Oprah won. Unfortunately there’s not enough people out there with $1 million lying around to fight these companies and win. Another example, in Colorado, you can go to PRISON for criticizing ground beef in the state of Colorado. And Colorado is not alone, there are laws passed in 13 U.S. states that make it easier for food producers to sue their critics for slander. These states include: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

You and I

We’re all different. But are we, really? Because there are companies that certainly have us all figured out. We are hard-wired to go for three tastes: fat, sugar and salt. These are rare in nature, but now we can find them everywhere. These things cause spikes in insulin and wear down our metabolism.

Type 2 Diabetes, a disease which in the past only affected adults, now affects children of epidemic proportions.

Hungry For Change?

Consumers CAN and have changed the food industry. An industry’s irresponsible behavior can be changed. Farmers will deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands.Start demanding good, wholesome food and those farmers will deliver.Buy from companies that treat workers, animals and the environment with respect. When you go to the supermarket, choose foods that are in season and organic. Know what’s in your food. Read labels.
The average meal travels 1500  miles from farm to supermarket.Shop at local farmers markets, plant a garden (even a small one). Cook a meal with your family and eat together. Buy local. Even your lovable, organic companies like Tom’s is owned by Colgate, Kashi is owned by Kellogg’s.Everyone has a right to healthy food. Make sure your farmers market takes food stamps. Ask your school board to provide healthy lunches. The FDA and USDA are supposed to protect us.Tell congress to enforce food safety standards and reintroduce Kevin’s Law. If you say grace, ask for food that will keep us and the planet healthy.You can change the world with every bite. Go to www.takepart.com/foodinc

 

If you haven’t heard of this yet, there’s a guy out there, a Personal Trainer, who in the last 5 months, has purposely made himself fat and unhealthy. It looks like he has about one month to go before he tries to get back to “fit.” His reasoning for this, is that he wants to be able to prove to people that you can in fact get healthy if you are overweight. Oh. My. Gosh. Wasn’t the Super Size Me guy enough? I mean, we see people make incredible transformations every day, (watch one season, or just one episode even, of The Biggest Loser), so why does he need to sacrifice HIS health and HIS body to prove that? I don’t think he does. Use others as examples, don’t be a contradiction.

So this guy, Drew Manning, says since he’s never been overweight and out of shape, he wants to see what it’s like and understand what obese people go through. Not only do I think it’s stupid and idiotic to put your body through something like that, but I feel like he is sending the wrong message… saying that it’s okay to let yourself go for awhile. Maybe this is his way of proving to everyone how passionate he is about health and fitness, but I think it’s the wrong approach! If you’re THAT passionate about it, you should never cause this mental and physical harm to yourself. Drew is causing potentially permanent damage to himself.

Maybe I’m not on board with this idea since I’m not exactly in his shoes. I already know what it feels like to be overweight, unhealthy and unhappy, and have absolutely NO desire to ever go back to that dark place. If I had never been there, would I ever consider doing this? Highly doubtful. I work hard to keep the only body I get in the best working order that I can!

People work so hard to rid themselves of the sugar and chemical cravings and addictions that processed foods give them, and here’s a guy who has none of those, and is introducing that crap into his body. I know people who would kill to get rid of these cravings, yet he’s bringing it on himself — on purpose. It boggles my mind. I understand what he’s doing, I really do, I just don’t know that I can say I support him in this because of the mixed signals it sends. It’s kind of like he’s sacrificing his body for science, but not. It’s not like he’s donating a kidney. And now when he dies, if he does donate a kidney, it will be a more damaged kidney than it would have been if he’d never made himself obese!

As I mentioned earlier, plenty of people make miraculous transformations everyday. I wish Drew would have used those people as examples instead of his own, healthy body that he worked so hard for. It’s kind of a shame. Good for him (I guess) that he’ll now be able to tell his overweight clients that he understands, but man, what a price to pay for that understanding. Seems like a great publicity stunt to me, but good luck to you Drew. You can follow him here.

What do you think about this Personal Trainer making himself obese on purpose? Leave your comments, let me know!

I’m an avid watcher of The Biggest Loser TV show. Although it can be incredibly frustrating to watch at times, I love seeing these people transform their lives. They start out as these incredibly sad, broken people, and through time they are on the show, they begin to find themselves. They end the show with smiles you can’t wipe from their faces and an undeniable healthy glow.

Although their individual stories may differ, they have one thing in common (besides being overweight), and that is how they got to be overweight and sick. In the second week of the show, the contestants sit with a doctor and their medical conditions are discussed. They all end the same way, the contestant is in tears saying “I don’t know how I got here.” It’s really very heartbreaking. The truth is, it’s very clear how they “got there,” they just aren’t able to see it yet. In reality, even the tiniest decisions you make every day are what gets you “there,” it didn’t happen overnight. However, most of the contestants are in denial and aren’t ready to take responsibility for their actions. It is their own actions that got them “here,” but many fail to see it for many weeks. It is a true turning point when you see these people start to “get it.”

The way many people think about food is what begins their path to self-destruction. “It’s only one donut;” “I have been really good today;” “I worked out this morning;” These are dangerous ways of thinking. It is difficult for many people to draw a definitive line once these statements begin. It’s also difficult to keep track of how often you’re using them as excuses to eat something you know you should not. Instead of thinking about this donut as a reward for a good workout, think about what type of food your body requires to rebuild and repair the muscles you’ve broken down. The answer is probably not a donut. Or maybe you haven’t worked out yet. Instead of thinking “It’s okay, I am allowed to eat this donut because I’ll work it off tonight,” think about what type of food your body needs to fuel it through a good, hard workout. Again, probably not a donut. I will get more into what to eat before/during/after workouts in future posts, but a major shift in thinking is required first.

Another issue with this last statement is the word “allowed.” In this country, we typically treat the foods that are killing us as rewards. What would you say if after a workout I said “Great job today, now you are allowed to eat foods that will eventually kill you”? You’d look at me like I was crazy, right? Well, that’s essentially what is happening. Foods such as ice cream, candy, donuts and other pastries, fried and fatty foods, etc. are deemed as “treats.” How are people so shocked that childhood obesity is at an all-time high? Or that for the first time in history, our children will not outlive us. Are you ready to bury your child? Harsh, I know, but this HAS to be addressed. Our kids get all their homework done on time, or receive excellent grades on their report cards, and to reward them we give them foods that not only will make them sick eventually, but are also incredibly addicting. We try so hard to teach our children to stay away from drugs, but do you know how many “drugs” or chemicals are in processed foods like cheese puffs, doritos, oreos and other snacks they consume every day? These foods are manufactured to be addicting, and it works! If you offer your child one of these snacks, will they turn it away and ask for carrots instead? Probably not. We have to teach them how to make healthy foods something they’ll actually want to eat. But again, that’s another post.

In short, if you want to make changes to your body, you’ll first need to make changes to your mind. When you start to look at things like donuts and candy as things that make you sick, you start to want them less and less. The more sweets you eat, the more sweets you will crave. Don’t give in to those sugar cravings, it’s bad news! As you begin to eat healthier, you will begin to crave healthier food. Think about food as fuel, and that will help aid your shift in thinking. This will take time, so be patient with yourself. If you slip, ask yourself why, don’t ignore your actions, deal with them. You shouldn’t abandon your goals altogether because you “slipped”, nor should you beat yourself up about it, but you absolutely cannot ignore it. Ignoring the bad choices we make during the day is exactly what will get you “there.”

Peace, love and healthy thoughts,

Melissa