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Throughout my years as a personal trainer, I've talked to a lot of people over 40 who were trying (unsuccessfully) to lose weight. On episode 555 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the 7 most common weight loss mistakes that people over 40 are making.
Today I want to share with you the seven weight loss mistakes that I see most people over 40 make. And these are really important because if you're making these mistakes, it's going to make weight loss much harder. So let's go through these seven weight loss mistakes and see if you're doing any of these. Okay?
The first one is cutting calories too much. A lot of people will drop their calories down to some drastic number in the hopes that they're going to lose the weight faster or begin losing weight again if they've stopped. And so I want you to think of body fat in the same terms that we would look at like our country's strategic reserves of oil.
OK? We keep those barrels of oil and gasoline. We keep that stuff in reserve because we know at some point we might need it. Okay? And what happens when you cut your calories too much is you're signaling to your body that you're going to war. And if your body believes that you're going to war, it's going to cling on to its energy reserves as much as possible, meaning it's going to hold on to that body fat. And so you actually are training your body to lower your metabolism and thereby not release that fat because it's afraid it's going to starve to death. And so while you're not really going into a starvation mode, that doesn't happen for many days. You are telling your body to function on less and your energy levels will go down whether you recognize it or not. When you work out, you're not working as hard, so it really cuts back on a lot of things and it keeps you from optimizing your health. So instead what I recommend is, yes, cut your calories a little. Your calories should never go below 1200. 1200 is the basics of what your body needs to survive.
Just with basic function, if you're down around the 1200 or below 1200, your body is going to struggle to function, right? It's going to turn certain things off and that's not a good thing. So if you just cut back your calories a little bit from what you would normally eat and then just move a little bit more than you normally move, you're going to create a slight deficit for a while. Your body will adjust. But you just rinse and repeat this. Instead of dropping down to say, 1500 calories, take a look at what you're eating today. And if you find that you're eating about 2000 calories, drop it down to 1800. And then just try to add a little bit of extra walking, a little extra movement into your day and see if that works for you. Give it a couple of weeks and see where it goes. But you have to make sure that you're not hungry because if you let yourself get hungry all the time, you're going to fall out of it. This is not going to work and it's not going to be sustainable in the long term. You're going to train your body to function on fewer calories and then you're not going to want to eat fewer calories because you're going to be hungry, and that's going to create a problem for weight loss.
The second mistake that I see people making is being a scale fanatic. Okay? Your worth is not determined by the number on that bathroom scale. It just isn't. That's not who you are. And the scale is measuring more than just body fat. So even if the weight is going down is not a good thing all the time. You could be losing muscle. If the weights going up, that could be a good thing, because now you're rehydrated instead of being dehydrated. So the scale is not you, and it's measuring more than body fat. And then the other things happen. You may step on the scale and weigh a pound more than you did yesterday. But I can tell you, I know you didn't eat enough food yesterday to gain a pound. That's 3500 calories. And you know you didn't eat 3500 calories. So if you let yourself believe that you're getting fatter, that's a huge mistake because it's not true. The other part of this truism stuff, when we're looking at this being a scale fanatic, is that it's never going to be a straight line. You're not going to consistently lose half a pound every day, each week.
It's just not going to happen. There's going to be spikes up and spikes down based on body water, hydration, and just things are sticking around in your system. Yeah, the poo is going through your system. If you didn't have your regular break, then maybe you have some of that in you. That's why you weigh slightly more or didn't lose weight. So it's not going to be a straight line. And so if you find when you step on the scale, that number is hurting your feelings, or that number is how you are now going to live your day, you really need to change your relationship with your scale. I don't recommend people weighing themselves every day if they feel they have an unhealthy relationship with the scale. I encourage you to weigh yourself about every four days, maybe once a week. Give it a little bit of time so you're seeing a trend over a few days and a week or four days, something like that, gives you enough time to make some course corrections. If you go through two weeks and what you're doing isn't working, then you might want to tweak it a little.
Not a lot, but a little. So don't be a scale fanatic. The scale is not the number you're interested in. It's body fat. And if you want to lose body fat and you want to measure that, start measuring your body in the places where you carry body fat. And that's when you're going to see that you are actually getting smaller. Might not show up on the scale, but then, you'll know.
The third weight loss mistake that I see a lot of people making is they become cardio bunnies. They're cardio and more cardio. It happens every year in January. You go into any fitness place and you're going to see all these newbies that just joined the gym and they're all on the cardio equipment and that's all they're going to do. And then they're just going to do more of that and more of that until they finally fall out. You've probably heard the statement that abs are built in the kitchen and that's the true fact. You're not going to lose weight just by doing cardio. I mean, I've seen people come to the gym and stick with it and they're there five days a week on the cardio equipment.
And over a year you don't see any change in them at all. They're literally the same size as they were a year ago and they're doing the cardio. So the cardio is not going to get you there. What you eat and how much you eat is what's going to move your weight. It's what's going to help you lose the weight and lose the body fat. So we want to eat whole food and we want to make sure that we're getting adequate nutrition and we're eating just enough to stay healthy and lose some weight. Okay, so cardio is a tool. If you want to have more stamina, cardio is a great tool for that and it can help you with your weight loss goals, but it is not the way to do it. And just doing ever more cardio is not the answer to weight loss.
Weight loss mistake number four is drinking your calories. Now this could be juices, smoothies, protein drinks, alcohol. We drink a lot of calories and some people don't even want to count those calories, but they can be quite significant. One of the problems that happens when you're drinking calories is one, a lot of the things that we drink are calorie dense and not nutritionally dense.
So alcohol is just empty calories. That's all it is. You might enjoy it, but it's not helping you lose weight. A lot of people will take these shakes as a way of losing weight and their meal replacement shakes, but again, they're not going to satiate you long enough for them to be effective over the long haul. And what's going to happen when you stop drinking those shakes? You're probably going to put the weight back on again, even if it did work for you. So avoid drinking your calories whenever you can. Eat whole food, chew it up. Make sure your body is going through the digestion process because there's an energy cost to digestion. And if we are drinking our calories, it's already digested practically just goes straight into our system. And you want to slow the process down so you feel full longer and your body burns energy, digesting the proteins and the fats and the fiber. You want that. You want that slow steady burn of calories over time and not just the big hit dose of boom here it is.
Number five, going it alone. Now there are people that can, there have been people that do but most don't.
Okay? Now that doesn't mean you're a bad person and it doesn't mean that you lack what you need willpower and motivation. But what you do is bring on a team. And when you have team members with you it makes your success better. It makes it easier. It makes it sustainable. It makes it a part of you. So having a workout buddy or a walking friend, hiring a coach, having these team members, having these partners and coaches they're all going to help you be more successful. They're going to help hold you accountable. And accountability is one of the most significant motivators out there. Some of us are self motivated and that's great. That intrinsic motivation is really good. But if you don't find yourself 100% intrinsically motivated to do your workouts every day, to do your movement every day, to do your eating the right way every time then you're going to struggle. But having an accountability partner is really really important and a lot of programs including my own are built on the structure of accountability. Okay? The other thing that going it alone means that sometimes you just don't know what the next step is.
I mean you know you're on a diet you're going to try this diet but how do you transition off of that way of eating after you've lost the weight and not getting it all back again? So having someone there to provide a little bit of guidance and support can also be very important on your journey. Otherwise you might find yourself chasing after all the snake oil salesmen that are trying to get you to do something else besides having a healthy diet. And that leads me to the next one.
Weight loss mistake number six is using the easy button. Okay? There are pills, there are shakes, all kinds of things out there that are sold to help you lose weight because it's a multi billion dollar industry to help you lose weight. The problem is that most of the time these things don't even work and many times they're quite dangerous. There was a drug on the market called Finfloramine. Okay? So they call it FinFan and basically FinFan was a drug and it was quite effective but it was also quite effective at destroying people's hearts and the heart valves in particular. And the sad part of this was that there have been supplement companies selling weight loss supplements and putting some of these banned substances in their products so they would be effective.
And so when you start trying to go down this road of trying this pill or trying that thing just buyer beware. They may not have your best interests at heart. They want to sell product and if they can give you a product that shows it's working but in the long term it's hurting you. They're going to sell a lot of product, they just are. Okay? So just realize that these guys are out there trying to sell you something. There is no easy button. There just is no easy button.
And then the 7th weight loss mistake is not getting your Mindset work done first. Too many people approach this with a strategies and tactics first model. They're going to go on this particular diet, they're going to exercise this many days per week on the treadmill. They got it all planned out, all these strategies and tactics. But then they stop. And why do they stop? They stop because they didn't get their mind right first. So you want to start your process by thinking about your why. Why do you want to lose this weight? If it's not important to you, not important enough, not emotionally important to you, then you're going to struggle.
You just are. So getting your why together, being very specific about why this is important to you, to get off your medications, to be healthier for your children and grandchildren, to not be in a nursing home when you get older. Those are all very compelling why's that I and some of my clients use every single day to make sure that we stay on track. Okay? The other thing that Mindset brings to the table is it helps you have the patience and for you to have the right pace in mind as you go forward. Because too many people want to lose the weight fast. And fast is not good when it comes to weight loss. It's not sustainable and it's not something that's going to stick long term. So having the mindset that this is going to take a while and I'm just going to keep chipping away at it and this is the pace I'm going to be able to go because I've got all of these other things going on in my life and I can't just diet and exercise all day long. The folks that are on the Biggest Loser program, that's all they do for the whole time they're in the camp.
They just work out and they don't eat much and that's how they lose that much weight. But most of them go home and they don't have that structure and they have to go back to work and you have to get back to normal lives and they gain the weight right back. So having the patience and going at the right pace makes it sustainable for the long term. Also, Mindset helps you deal with Pitfalls and Saboteurs. Now I talked a little bit about Saboteurs a few weeks ago and we can talk about some of the Pitfalls, but every one of us is going to have something happen or some struggle. Someone brings donuts to the office and God forbid I ate one of them. We're going to have those without the right mindset, a lot of people will go completely off the rails and say, hey, I blew it. I blew it with the doughnut, so I may as well go eat lunch with the group, and I may as well have a terrible dinner and some drinks tonight. They ruin the whole day instead of having one bad incident. So having the right mindset helps you maneuver and get where you need to be, even when you have a slip up.
And then the other thing Mindset gets you to do is it helps you keep the weight off because now you're thinking in terms of developing a healthy lifestyle, and you're not thinking about a temporary diet. You're not thinking about this as I'm going to diet because my daughter is getting married in November, and I want to weigh a certain weight and be a certain size by November. You're not thinking in those terms. You're thinking in terms of, okay, my daughter's getting married. Grandkids might be coming up within the next three to five years. I need to be fit to be the best grandfather I can be, right? I want to be able to spend time doing active things with them. And so that's my motivation. That's my why, that's my mindset. And that has to become a lifestyle and not a diet. I'm not going to diet for three to five years. I'm going to have a lifestyle for three to five years. It's going to help me ready, and that lifestyle is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. So the right mindset work done first is so important to this process. I put it number seven, but it's really in my mind, number one.
So to kind of summarize these a little bit, the seven weight loss mistakes most people over 40 make:
Now, in my opinion, and a lot of people believe this as well in this industry, a lot of them don't. They want to sell you something that's not going to help you. But I believe that a healthy lifestyle is what you should charge after, and that weight loss will end up being a side effect of doing the right things for your body. Movement, food, and stress are all information to your body. Your body is looking for information on how to operate for you. And if you're giving it the right food and you're moving the right ways and you're reducing your stress, the bad stress, your body is going to respond by making you healthier. And when it's healthier and it gets the information that this is going on good, you're getting a good communication in your body, then your body can sit there and say, you know, it's probably okay for us to get rid of this strategic reserve body fat that we have here, because we don't really seem to need it.
There's plenty of food. I'm satiated most of the time. We're moving, we're active, and we're getting enough. We're getting the nutrition our body needs. It's going to let go of that body fat. It will.
I want to finish with a quote by Michael Pollan. He wrote the book, In Defense of Food, and I think this kind of wraps up weight loss advice into seven words and one sentence. Three sentences, okay, but seven words. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Okay. So if you start putting the right food in your body and the right amount of food in your body, and you're moving and you're managing stress, the weight will come off. So don't fall for one of these seven mistakes. And if you are, it's time to make the change. So check us out. Come to 40plusfitness.com and see what's going on there. I have some challenges. I have my be fit for task program. Check it out at 40plusfitness.com/bfft.
[00:21:09.110] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, your seven weight loss mistakes are really perfect. I think I've made every single one of them at some point or another, and we might as well start with number one. Cutting calories too much. I know that I have done that.
[00:21:25.200] – Allan
Yeah. No one really knows how many calories your body needs, but we do know that there's a lower limit. We know there's just some point where your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to survive. Now, where is that line? Well, Ansel Keys did a study in 1944 called the starvation diet, or starvation. They want to study starvation. They wanted men to lose 25% of their body weight. And so they cut their calories down to 1570. And these men went nuts. They were doing self inflicted injuries. They couldn't let them leave. They kept them locked up in the University of Michigan stadium. If they left, they had to go with a buddy, and they do the buddy system to make sure that neither one of them cheated, and they needed them to lose 25% of their body weight. It was insane. These guys went insane. And that's at 1570.
[00:22:23.780] – Rachel
[00:22:24.830] – Allan
For a normal person. And the point being, though, is food today is very different. It's not just that you're not getting the energy that your body might need to function well. It's that you might not be getting the other nutrients that your body needs because you're just not eating enough food. And so, you know, yes, you can cut your calories down and lose the weight very fast. But the problem is other systems, other things start to shut down. And so people will talk about extended fast and things like that, and those can be done and managed. But almost every person that does an extended fast gains every one of those pounds back as soon as they stop the fast. So it's not an effective way to lose weight and keep weight off. The main point being is find the right level by experimenting. But don't just go on and say, well, this little formula says I should be eating this many calories. Therefore they didn't calculate that formula for you. They calculated the formula based on average people with normal functioning, this and that, wanting to lose weight. And there is no straight line to any of this.
[00:23:43.040] – Allan
There is no formula. Your body will burn more calories one day than it does the next and then more the day after. And there's no rhyme or reason exactly, other than hormones and the types of foods that you ate and when you ate them and your activity level, all those different things play into this. This is like trying to use plus and minus to deal with calculus. And there's a lot more operators out there in calculus than just plus and minus. So you can't just go at this and say, I'm just going to do the calories and calories out. It'll help you cut a little bit of body weight. It will, it'll work. It does work. The math makes sense in the short run. But if you're looking at making this sustainable and doing this over the long run, just cutting calories down to some very low number is not going to be sustainable. And unfortunately, as soon as you go back to eating the way that you ate, you're going to gain that weight back.
[00:24:43.470] – Rachel
Well, it's important to notice too. I mean, ages and ages ago when I used one of those food diaries, those online apps that you can use nowadays, I plugged in. I wanted to lose five or £10 and it set me at a 1200 calorie day for dieting. And at the time, I didn't know any different. Like I didn't know that 1200 calories was probably way too low. And I did my best to eat appropriately. But there's a lot of things wrong with this picture. It's just not enough calories. I was getting fatigued. I wasn't choosing the most nutrient dense foods. Number four is drinking your calories. Those diet shakes that you can drink are low calorie and they're supposed to be these meal replacement things, but those certainly aren't satiating. I mean, just a snowball of mistakes that happened and I really didn't get anywhere with it, to be honest.
[00:25:45.210] – Allan
And here's the point where I can empirically show you that the math doesn't work. Because that same company that puts out those same numbers who won't be named here, there's value to what they do, but it's not as valuable as a lot of people think is. They will tell you you had a great day. If you eat like this every day for the next six weeks, you will be down to your goal. Okay? But you notice as you weigh yourself, you're not losing that weight the same every day, or even every week, or even every month. There's declining results. And so what's happening is you're breaking the formula. And unfortunately, once you break that formula, what, are you going to recalculate the formula? Well, okay. Again. Now we're starting to get into calculus.
[00:26:43.230] – Rachel
[00:26:45.390] – Allan
If you just try to cut your calories and that's all you're going to do. I can just tell you overall, that doesn't work for 99% of the people. It might work for you, but that's only if you're going to be doing it very smart. Cut a little, move a little bit more. That might and can be sustainable. But you're not giving your body the nutrition it needs. You are destroying your health. You are not helping yourself.
[00:27:11.580] – Rachel
Well, I think that you just hit the nail on the head is that you can't just cut calories. You can't just say, I'll eat less of a salad, or less vegetables with dinner, or less this and that. You really need to focus on what less nutrient foods you can cut out of your diet. Drinking less calories and pops or teas or extravagant coffees. Can you swap out a cereal, sugar laden cereal, or donut at breakfast or maybe some eggs instead? You really need to focus on the nutritional part of it and what nutrients your body needs versus the fun to eat stuff. It's an easy place to cut.
[00:27:52.650] – Allan
Yeah. And sometimes it's not about eating less. It just isn't. It's about finding the right foods that your body needs so your body can actually feel cared for. If your body is in a mode where it feels like there's no food because realize your internal organs. Your body doesn't have eyes. When you stop feeding it food, the signal it gets is there's no food. That's the one signal, no food. She's not eating. There's no food. Okay. You stop moving. It's like, oh, we're in danger. We're hiding. All these signals are bad signals. Whereas if you're out and about doing things and you're eating good nutritious food, the signals are all clear. We don't need to hunker down. We don't need to hold on to this extra body fit. We just don't. We're storing it because we're afraid of what might happen. That's the body's control and protection. So you start teaching your body, we're in a good place. I'm not stressed, I'm sleeping good. I'm getting movement, and I'm eating well. Your body will say, oh, okay, well, maybe we don't need this body fat, and it starts to shed it. And if you keep feeding at those signals good.
[00:29:14.670] – Allan
The side effect is it will say, okay, we don't need to store this much body fat.
[00:29:19.330] – Rachel
Yeah, I like that. I like that approach. The weight loss is a side effect. If you take good care of your body, then your body will do what it needs to do and you'll be healthier and more fit for it.
[00:29:32.940] – Allan
And then in the end, is being skinny the answer is weighing lesser, because you could be skinny and unhealthy. You could be skinny and frail. You can be skinny and diseased, or you can be healthy and vibrant and likely still be able to get to a comfortable body fat percentage that way. And so I will always err on the side of the healthy, improving your wellness over what you weigh any given day, for sure.
[00:30:08.820] – Rachel
My goal is not to be skinny or to be focused on the number that's on that scale. My goal is to be healthy and fit and able to do the things that I want to do to live a happy life.
[00:30:21.400] – Allan
Yeah, but the problem is, if I had written the title, the Seven Health Mistakes People Make over 40, no one would have paid attention. But I put that word weight loss, and suddenly ding, ding, ding, everybody's clicking everybody's.
[00:30:34.910] – Rachel
That is so true. We've all been there, though. Like I said, I gained a lot of weight with both of my pregnancies, and I spent a lot of time trying to lose it. And like I said, I have made every single one of these seven weight loss mistakes in that attempt to lose that extra weight. So if we could steer people to realize that these are mistakes, that cutting calories drastically is not the answer, that doing tons of cardio is not the answer, and to please don't focus on your scale all the time, 24/7. That is definitely not the answer. Then we've probably cut some corners that people can focus on what they can do to lose a little weight, but primarily get healthier.
[00:31:17.740] – Allan
Yeah. I just came up with a million dollar product idea.
[00:31:21.770] – Rachel
[00:31:22.950] – Allan
Sneakers with scales in them.
[00:31:25.160] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.
[00:31:28.850] – Allan
Bluetooth to your phone. Tell you what you weigh at any point in time in the day.
[00:31:32.410] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. I don't want to know, Allan. I just don't want to know.
[00:31:38.270] – Allan
I just said that out loud on the podcast, so I'm sure it's going to show up on Indiegogo soon.
[00:31:42.900] – Rachel
[00:31:46.070] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I know you've got your hike to do. Tell Mike I said good luck to both of you. Thank you. I wish you well on that. I'm looking forward to in a few weeks when we get back together for this, having that conversation and understanding how your trip went, the good, the bad, and probably some funny interesting stories.
[00:32:07.320] – Rachel
I'm sure there will be.
[00:32:09.590] – Allan
And then, of course, I'll be driving around the United States and enjoying my time there with family. So even though you guys are listening to this on September 13th, Rachel and I will probably about that time, be talking to each other again for around the first time in a few weeks. So it's been great talking to you, Rachel, and then I'll talk to you in a few weeks. For everyone else, it'll seem like I'm talking to you next week. So be safe, enjoy yourself, and we'll talk then.
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For many people, turning 40 marks a point where weight loss seems so much harder if not impossible. On this episode, I share the 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40.
[00:03:21.070] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you doing?
[00:03:23.410] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:25.750] – Allan
Well, a little good, a little bad. I have an injury oh, no, I've done something to injure my mid back. Most back injuries you hear is lower back tends to be a big thing for a lot of people, and the neck tends to be so this is kind of an unusual thing. I can't point to anything acute. I can't say I was doing this lift and I felt uncomfortable. I can't say anything odd was going on other than it happened during a time when I was running Lula's and Tammy was away, so I spent a lot of time sitting at her desk and not a lot of time walking around town doing the normal things that I do in a day because I'm usually everywhere in the gym. I'm out and about. I go grocery shopping. I do everything on foot. But for that week or so that she was gone, I didn't get up and move around as much. And I was sitting at the desk. I was doing my workouts. So I can't point to anyone thing, but it is pretty intense and I can't really twist or lift or do anything, and it's been like that for a few weeks, so I've given it a few weeks to say, okay, if this is a muscular issue, it will resolve itself with rest and good nutrition and more rest.
[00:04:43.880] – Rachel
[00:04:44.500] – Allan
It hasn't really resolved itself. And so the worst part is I'm just about a month away from the Mudder and I'm detraining. Instead of training at a time when you want to hit a peak, I'm in a detraining mode, and so it's not looking good for the mudder because the last thing I'm going to do at 56 years old is go out there and injure myself.
[00:05:07.920] – Rachel
[00:05:09.190] – Allan
I did the Spartan. In hindsight, I knew what I was doing. I knew why I was doing it, but I didn't win any money. There wasn't a new car at the end of the finish line. I did it and it hurt and I didn't injure myself anymore. But with the back injury, I am not comfortable that it wouldn't be worse. And so I'm not winning any money. No one is paying me any money to do this. No one's threatening me. No one's threatened my family. So there's no upside to doing it if there's the risk that I could hurt myself even more.
[00:05:51.580] – Allan
So I'm thinking I'm going to have to bow out of the Mudder. And it's disappointing. It is disappointing. But that's part of this journey is being true to yourself, and we're going to talk about checking in with yourself, listening and making the right decisions for yourself. And sometimes the right decision is not to push forward, but to pause and breathe and find that alternate route to better health and fitness.
[00:06:20.850] – Allan
And so I'm disappointed. I'm probably going to be pulling out of the Tough Mudder here in a little bit, and I'm sad that I won't be able to do it, but I got other things that are more important to me than getting muddy and maybe hurt.
[00:06:37.930] – Rachel
We've been in the same position, having to not start a race or defer it to another year or something. We've been through this for a while, and it's just better that you heal yourself and feel better and then you'll be able to tackle the next race stronger than today. So I hope you figure out what you could do for your back. I hope some more rest and maybe some PT might help. I don't know.
[00:07:02.940] – Allan
Yeah, there's a physical therapist here. I'm setting up an appointment with him just to look it over. He doesn't have any equipment or anything. And yes, I could go to the hospital and get an X-ray, a self-directed X-ray.
[00:07:18.590] – Rachel
[00:07:18.590] – Allan
But yeah, there's not really an orthopedic sky here. So if I'm still hurting when I do go back to the States next month, I probably will set up an appointment with someone there to just really get a good thorough check over to try to see if we can figure out what it is. Because at that point, it would have been two months in that condition, and that's not muscular anymore. Something is more serious. So I'm hopeful it's not I'm hopeful that this was just a momentary something, and it's healing. It's just taking its time to do so.
[00:07:50.330] – Rachel
[00:07:51.510] – Allan
No, it is, but it doesn't mean I can't do things, and it doesn't mean that I can't continue to focus on sleep and stress management and nutrition and mobility and stretching and balance and cardio if I'm not tweaking it doing that. So I'm going to stay active, I'm going to get things done. It's just good. I won't be lifting tons of weight and throwing it over my head and running around like a wild animal.
[00:08:22.370] – Rachel
[00:08:24.350] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:08:25.800] – Rachel
Good. We just had a wonderful weekend. A lot of birthday celebrations, a lot of family time, a lot of traveling. So I'm a little bit tired today. And then poor Mike, he's flying to a job. He's got to work this week, so he's flying out of State. So he also had an early morning. He's probably sleeping on the plane. I hope to take a nap later.
[00:08:47.360] – Allan
There you go.
[00:08:47.920] – Rachel
It was a great weekend. We had a wonderful time with our family and some friends. So it was a good weekend. Worth being tired.
[00:08:55.550] – Allan
Yes. That social connection is so important, and it's often something we overlook until we get that dose. And they were kind of like, even though I'm exhausted, I needed that connection, I needed that social thing. I'm glad you all had a wonderful birthday.
[00:09:12.970] – Rachel
[00:09:13.320] – Allan
And a wonderful weekend. And you want to talk about some of the weight loss hacks that I shared?
[00:09:18.710] – Rachel
Yes, I do.
[00:09:20.200] – Allan
Let's have that conversation.
So today I want to share with you seven weight loss hacks that I found useful for helping myself and my clients lose the weight they want to lose. I recently did kind of an outreach study to try to figure out what were some of the main issues that people are dealing with in regards to weight loss and getting healthy and came back with really kind of two clear winners.
The first one was about motivation. In some cases it was worded as being lazy. The second was time. And so these are the two biggest issues and I wanted to share with you some hacks that will help you deal with low motivation or just not having enough time. So here are my seven weight loss hacks.
Weight loss hack number one: Get momentum.
Okay, now you start by starting and with food. That means just buying better food, having the food close by. Starting means starting a walking program or just movement that you're capable of doing, even if it's just for five minutes a day. Now, I want you to think back to times when you've been successful. We do that because when we think back to the reasons that we struggle and the reasons that we succeed, it gives us some clear indicators that we can succeed when we put our minds to it.
And it gives us some things to look at avoiding as we go forward. So the summary for weight loss hack number one is get started. It's the hardest thing you'll do, but once you get there and you start feeling that momentum, the motivation will come.
Weight loss hack number two: Understand why you're doing what you're doing.
So often I see people walk into the weight room, and this is typically in January, and they don't really know what they're there to do. And as a result, they don't really do the things that would make them the most benefit. They actually avoid those things because they find them intimidating or they don't know why those things are so important. So things you're going to do if you start lifting weights, which I highly encourage, or doing some form of resistance training, you might actually gain a little bit of weight. If you do a little bit of research to figure out why nuts and fruit are better choice than maybe the packaged protein bar or the sports drink, these are all ways for you to understand the things that you're doing and why you should be doing them and the things that maybe you need to stop doing.
So do a little bit of research, ask some questions. The Facebook Group we have is a really good place to do that. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group that will take you to our Facebook group. And I'm always answering questions in there, so if you have a question about why something is or why people recommend a certain thing, just go ahead and ask. So the summary is this understanding what you're doing is going to make you more motivated to do it because you'll know why you're doing. So you'll be able to use not only the emotion of getting yourself in better shape or doing something, you can use the logic behind it. So both of those are powerful tools, particularly when they're put together, it's harder to say no to something that you know is really good for you. So take some time to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Don't just do something without understanding why.
Weight loss hack number three: Check in with yourself.
It's important for you to be aware of how you feel about certain things, particularly nutrition and movement, and then understand how good you feel when you're getting good nutrition and better movement.
The way you feel can hamper your ability to do things or keep you from doing things. But then once you start paying attention to how you feel when you do them, that's a very powerful feedback mechanism to tell you what's working and what's not. And when you find that emotionally, you're just not charged up to do something, start looking for the triggers that caused that. Were you stressed out? Were you tired? Did you not get good sleep? Did something happen in your life that caused you to be off of kilter? So paying attention and checking in with yourself regularly is going to give you those tools.
So, the summary for weight loss hack number three is that this is about mindset. And if you haven't figured that out, a lot of what I'm talking about is about mindset I would consider journaling. So you can really put your finger on the pulse of what's happening, how you feel, what's working, what's not. You can break habits by understanding those triggers. And if you're interested, I have a worksheet at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit. So if you find there's a certain bad habit that you keep doing and you just want to figure out what that trigger is, you can use this worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit, and that will walk you through the process of documenting what's going on with your habits, where those triggers are coming from, and what you might be doing about them. So again, weight loss hack number three, make sure you're checking in with yourself regularly.
Weight loss hack number four: Listen to your words.
Back in episode 546, we talked about words, Rachel and I did, and we tend to use words in our head that we would never use with other people, and we call ourselves things or say things to ourselves we would never say to other people. That's where when some people said they were lazy instead of saying they were unmotivated, those are different words. Lacking motivation is something, but saying you're lazy is quite a different thing. So if you're using the wrong words, try to catch yourself doing it so it goes back a little bit to weight loss hack number three checking in. But just pay attention to the words you're using and then look for ways to add more positive words and or affirmations. I'm going to share with you the affirmation that I use each morning. It's part of my morning ritual. I go through a series of things that I talk about to myself every morning as a part of my morning routine, morning meditation.
So here's my affirmation: “I now have the ability to release whatever held me back in the past and I'm now taking the necessary actions to achieve my goals.”
Now, that might not mean a whole lot to you, but basically this statement which I make a few times in the morning, each morning, really helps me set my intention for the day and know that my actions are there to serve my goals, not the other way around. So I have the actions that drive to goals and I make sure that I start the day with these positive statements about myself, about where I'm going, about what I can do. And I use those as kind of my leaping board in the morning to get a lot done during the day. So weight loss hack number four, listen to your words.
Weight loss hack number five: Prioritize you.
You can't afford to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list all the time. Your family needs you. Sure, your work needs you, life needs you. But you can't let that be everything. And when you're not able to be there for them, how's that going to feel? So we've got to do some things to take care of ourselves first. Now, everybody likes to throw out the put your mask on before you help other people.
I'll put it a whole other way. If you can't swim, you're not going to be saving many lives. Fall in the water. So teach yourself to swim. Get out there and start doing things that are good for you. It will increase your energy, it will increase your drive. But you've got to be a priority because if you don't make yourself a priority, you'll never make the time to do it. You need to set yourself up as your priority.
Make this important to you. Make it emotional. Have a good why and a good place you want to go, good vision, and that will give you the commitment. Once you start prioritizing yourself, you're going to be in a lot better shape to help others. So weight loss hack number five, prioritize yourself.
Weight loss hack number six: Get some skin in the game.
Free things feel like they're a great value. You can bookmark a YouTube video and have it for later. It cost you nothing. But do you do that workout again? And so even though it's free, you're not using it, it's not much value to you at all. Now, paying a little bit of money or some money gets you some skin in the game.
And what I found when I have a paid challenge versus a free challenge is compliance for my paid challenges goes up astronomically. People who pay for a challenge get about 80% compliance whereas people who don't pay, we're looking at closer to ten to 20%. Why is that? They've got some skin in the game.
And I'll give you an example for myself. When I was trying to start getting myself in shape, I had three gym memberships. I had a payroll deduction for my gym membership that was close to my work. Because they did that, they would pay part of your feet and do a payroll deduction for the rest. I had a direct debit for a second gym so that went directly against my checking account. Each month they billed me and then I own thousands of dollars worth of fitness equipment that I put into a storage shed that I paid rent on every month and I paid that rent with my credit card. So as I was going through and looking at my finances each month I could see each and every one of those deductions, each and every one of those payments. So I knew I was investing in my health and fitness and it really felt like I needed to use that investment as best I could.
So I got rid of all the excuses and I put some skin in the game and that really helped a lot. I saw them coming out, I saw the investment and I wanted to do better. So weight loss hack number six get some skin in the game. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. It's the best investment you can ever make.
Weight loss hack number seven: Accountability.
The best accountability you can have is being accountable to yourself. That's called intrinsic motivation and it's the strongest kind of motivation you can have. But not all of us are going to have full on intrinsic motivation all the time. Some of us are just not going to get there without some help. And many times we have saboteurs in our life that are holding us back and making it harder for us to get the things done and stay true to ourselves.
Now, when I talk about saboteurs, I want you to understand that there are some bad intention saboteurs and there are some goodihearted saboteurs.
So I'll talk about the bad intention ones first. They don't want you to change. Now that might be because your success makes them feel bad or your success might scare them. Okay? So sometimes a loved one doesn't want you to lose all that weight because then you're not the same as them. They don't want you to stop eating and doing the things that you used to do because it feels like it's changing them and their lives. Or they just don't want you to succeed at all because it makes them feel bad. Those are the kind of people that you need to get away from where you can. Obviously, some of them are going to be family. Deep, deep friends. But just recognize the saboteurs.
Now there are some good-hearted saboteurs out there too. And these are a little harder to find or understand what's going on. They seem very supportive and they want to guide you, but they're often either misinformed or under-informed about health and fitness. A perfect example of that is the folks that are like, you should just eat salads, take this diet pill, don't eat fat, you'll have a heart attack.
They were told a lesson a long time ago and they just can't get away from it. So you tell them you're going keto, and they're like, “Oh my God, you're going to have a heart attack. You can't eat bacon all the time. You have to eat vegetables and fruit and you have to get the grains in.”
They're going on old information, but it's their information. They think they're doing you a favor. They think they're saving you. They've seen someone else take that pill and lose weight, so they believe it will work for you. They're good-hearted, but they're still sabotaging the work that you're trying to do. So you need to be aware of your saboteurs and make life decisions on how you communicate with them and what you share with them so that you can do the right things for yourself.
Now, for most of us, our family is our why. And they don't want you to be sick and frail. They really don't. But they're also probably not the right people to hold you accountable and for the very reasons that they don't necessarily want to change their life. And if you're changing yours and it's going to impact theirs, they're not always going to be in your corner. Even though they want the best for you, they're not always going to be there.
So what I recommend doing is finding people that can keep you grounded. Find people that are more like what you want to be and start surrounding yourself with them. You can find these people at the gym. If you start going to the gym at a certain hour most days, you're going to see the same people in that gym that same hour most days. It's just how it works. I was 05:00am guy. Same three guys in the gym every morning at 05:00am and I was one of them.
You can meet someone on a Facebook Group. There's a lot of Facebook groups out there, but the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group is really one that's designed for support. It's not designed to brag about how fit we are. It's designed to support you and help you. You can post and ask for an accountability buddy there. So finding a buddy that's online that can keep you on track, keep you on task, can hold you accountable, can go a long way towards keeping you fit and happy and progressing.
Another one is find another friend that could already be a friend that also wants to get healthier and more fit and is committed to the task. They've got skin in the game, they've got the right mindset, they've gone through all these other things that we talked about and they're going to stick with you. They can be your walking buddy, they can meet you at the gym. You guys can just trade recipes or batch cook together on Sundays so you guys have healthy meals for the whole week or you can hire a coach.
Now most of my clients stick with me because they like the accountability. They like the way I go about it. Now they might like me a little, but it's really the accountability that keeps them on task and keeps them here. Now I've hired a coach in the past when I was training for Spartan, I had strength coach and I knew he'd be at the gym every morning at 5:00am. So there was no hitting the snooze, there was no calling out. I was at the gym every single morning at 5:00am. I think he hit the snooze on me a couple of times. But at any rate, I still got a good workout in. I was still motivated. I had that accountability. So I was still going to tell the coach, hey, you weren't there, but I got the workout and here's my recorded results.
So having someone to hold you accountable, whether it's someone in a Facebook Group, rather it's someone you meet at the gym, whether it's just another buddy that wants to get in shape or you hire a coach, get some accountability, you don't have to do this alone. So the summary of weight loss hack, number seven, accountability, is everybody's going to need help from time to time. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't be afraid to ask for accountability and find the right people to surround yourself with so you can be successful.
So I shared the seven weight loss hacks and you might have picked up on something. These are not really weight loss hacks. They'll work and they'll work for you, but you have to do the work. So these are not easy button things. There's no easy buttons in weight loss. You've got to find these tasks and these actions and these tactics and these habits and you implement them and you work on them and you keep pushing through. And if you need accountability, you find accountability. If you've got saboteurs in your life, you put them on mute or you go away from them.
If you're dealing with some mindset issues, the way you talk to yourself, the other things that are going on in your life, you have to pay attention to that. You have to check in with yourself, you have to pay attention. The answers are there. Now if any of this resonated with you, I'd love to hear what's holding you back and see if there's something we can do to help again, you can catch us at the group, the Facebook Group, 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group. It's a very supportive and helpful environment. I have weekly challenges, I share cool things. I find it's a good group and a lot of questions come up and we're answering those questions and we're helping people there and it's a great place to find yourself an accountability buddy or at least understand what's working for other people. Or you can email me directly. Allan@40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com. I'd love to hear from you. These weight loss hacks are not hacks, but they're action steps that you can incorporate that will help you be successful, help you stay motivated, and help you find the time to get healthy and fit.
[00:27:15.930] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:27:17.370] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. I really loved every single one of these 7 weight loss hacks, but I'd like to start chatting about number six with getting skin in the game. And I just loved how you pointed out that free is great and I love free. The Internet is wide, it's vast, and it's full of all sorts of videos and blogs and all sorts of data that we can use in our weight loss journey and fitness journeys, but we just don't we choose not to.
[00:27:46.310] – Allan
Yeah, someone will sit there and see this great workout on YouTube. It looks like fun and they bookmark it and then they never go back to it.
[00:27:55.990] – Speaker 2
Right. There's a gap between what we want to do and the action it takes to actually do it. There's a big gap there.
[00:28:04.870] – Allan
Yeah. So I would do these free challenges and to me that's the best example. Someone would sign up for a 28-day challenge and they're really excited about it. Now, one of the things, I try to deliver most of these with email campaigns because it does a couple of things. One is it's got an automated a little bit so it's in your mailbox. Okay. And then it gives you a direct connect to come right back to me if you have a question. So you literally respond to that email and it comes back to me.
[00:28:31.960] – Allan
But another thing that it does is it lets me see who's opening the emails and who's clicking the links. So why is that important? Because that is the way that I'm holding people accountable in the challenge. Now, do I email someone and say, hey, you did an open day three, what the heck is going on? No, I don't. I probably should, but I don't. But at least at that point, I have some information. So what I'm saying is, the data I have, after running dozens and dozens of challenges with thousands of people that have gone through these challenges, some of my challenges had as many as 300 people and I see the open rates.
[00:29:13.600] – Allan
And 100% opened the first email because that's how they got on the list. They had to confirm their email address and 100%. And then the emails go out, and by day three, we're already in the eighties.
[00:29:28.170] – Rachel
[00:29:28.960] – Allan
And by the end, if we're in the 20% range, that's awesome.
[00:29:34.650] – Rachel
[00:29:36.870] – Allan
Now 20% of people opened the last email, which means 20% of people were still doing the challenge, they were still paying attention. So at least they open the email. Are they still keeping their sugar where they wanted to? Are they doing their squats? I don't know. Now, another thing I would do is I'd use the Facebook group as kind of some accountability. Tell me about your squats, tell me you're finished. And now some accountability, which is another one of the hacks that I talk about here. But what I found was if I charge a little bit of money, like $7, even $28, whatever, doesn't have to be a lot. The rate of people that do it goes up to 80%.
[00:30:14.490] – Rachel
[00:30:15.810] – Allan
And it's $7, literally. I don't even know if that right now that would cover a drink at Starbucks. I mean, the way prices have gone up. The drink you used to drink is $7, and you would spend that on one latte thing, and that's what I'm asking for. And I get 80% of the people do the challenge. Now, obviously it's not 300 people that are signing up to the challenge now. It's a subset of those that'll pay.
[00:30:44.350] – Allan
So the basic gist is this if you're willing to spend a little bit of money to have the support and then also have the accountability,
[00:30:53.850] – Rachel
That's a good piece
[00:30:55.500] – Allan
Then that's what you're paying for. That's what I pay for. These challenges at $7 means that, you know, I'm sitting on the other side of that email paying attention. Who's opening them? How many people are opening them? Are they opening all of them, and when are they opening them? So I can kind of see, okay, I send out email number 16. Today is day 16 and people are opening day 16. Then I see someone just open day twelve. And I'm like, okay, well, maybe they stopped and they're starting back.
[00:31:24.670] – Allan
And then I see they don't open anymore. I'm like, okay, maybe that was just a mistake. The cursor was on twelve, day twelve email, they clicked on it, it looks like it was open. So again, I only say that because finding out what works for you is really important, and paying for some of these other things that happen, the accountability, the guidance and support, you can't overlook that.
[00:31:48.360] – Allan
The YouTube video doesn't mean it knows. Person knows. Like 1000 people watch my YouTube video, they don't know you, and they're not sending an email or something directly to you. And knowing that, because I see your name, I know the people participating, I see your names, I see your email addresses. Some of them are quite creative, and I love that. And so you're doing the challenge, and I know you're doing the challenge, and I see you opening the emails. And that makes me very happy as a coach to see people doing this and then to get the feedback back. This is really great. I've lost 3 pounds. I lost 6 pounds. Just in the 28 days of doing something as simple as cutting sugar. And I put the sugar challenge out there.
[00:32:32.090] – Allan
It's out there on my website right now. If you go to 40 Fitness, you can get in the Sugar Challenge. The Functional Fitness Challenge is out there, and I'm looking at putting a couple of the other ones that I've done before, reworking them, resetting them, and setting them out there for you to do at your own pace. But again, you do still have the accountability, you still do have the support. And yeah, you've got a little bit of skin in the game, but I think it's worth it if it's going to be something that keeps you on track.
[00:33:00.800] – Rachel
It's an investment if you're going to invest in this knowledge and this activity, plus having the support and the gentle nudges to do your squats or Sugar Challenge or whatever, you're going to do it, you're going to put it on your calendar and you're going to commit to it. So, yeah, I think having skin in the game is a pretty important weight loss hack.
[00:33:19.230] – Allan
Yeah. And then there's another one you wanted to talk about.
[00:33:23.520] – Rachel
Oh, the checking in weight loss hack. Number three, check in with yourself and how you're feeling about the nutrition you're choosing or the exercises you're choosing. I think this is really important because at least in my world, in the running world, some people think that running is the best cardio out there and that's how they're going to lose weight, but they don't like it. So if you don't like the activity, then why do it? And the same thing with choosing a diet. There's a lot of propaganda out there about the vegan or what we do is low carb or keto or carnivore. If you don't like to eat vegetables, then a vegan diet is not your choice. So I think giving it some thought about what you're doing, what you're choosing and why you're doing it is important.
[00:34:09.350] – Allan
Yeah. And again, these are all interrelated. So you literally just talked about one, two, and three.
[00:34:16.200] – Rachel
I think I did, yes.
[00:34:17.200] – Allan
With that one paragraph but …
[00:34:19.390] – Rachel
[00:34:20.470] – Allan
He core of it is this. There are going to be days when we feel really good and there's going to be days when we feel really bad. Like right now, I am training some live clients at the gym. And so I had a girl and she came in. She couldn't make the workout that was scheduled. It was a little group training, so she missed the workout. But I had written up her program. I told her to come in. She said, okay, one of my staff was there. You could spot her on some of the lifts and all that. So she was good. She did it. She wrote all these little notes to me how she was feeling and how it was going, just the same question she knew I would be asking her.
[00:34:51.560] – Rachel
If I was awesome.
[00:34:52.790] – Allan
And so then I get through and she says, you know, I came in for that workout. I felt really good and energetic and I did really well. I really pushed it myself. And I'm like that's. Great. And she says, Today I just don't feel that same energy level. And I said, that's fine. I said, you're aware you're not going to beat yourself up if you can't match that workout. But you do have the guidance and support. You have someone sitting here, you know, why you're doing this. She's going to Italy and she kind of wants to lighten up a little bit so there's a little bit of body fat and just kind of get a better, more athletic look to herself as she goes on this holiday in Italy.
[00:35:30.850] – Allan
And that's what her goals are. And so that's what we're working or toward. So she knows when I come in, I might be more challenged with this workout and I'm okay with that. If my energy level isn't here, I know why. And I know why this workout isn't as good as the last one. And I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm not lazy. I'm not all these other things. It's just where I am and what my body is capable of today.
[00:35:55.230] – Allan
And so what ends up happening is I'm in there and I'm putting weights on the bar and she's working out and she's doing a better workout this time than she was the time before. And it was all because she got her mind right first. Okay. And if you can get your mind ahead of reality, okay, here I am. I understand the world. I check in with myself. I know my energy level. I check in with the world. And 60 pounds weighs 60 pounds. Okay, same 60 pounds three days ago. It's still just 60 pounds.
[00:36:32.680] – Allan
And I've done it before. I know I can do it again.
[00:36:35.640] – Rachel
Yeah, that right there is powerful.
[00:36:37.950] – Allan
Yeah, that's the checking in that's rewarding yourself with the knowledge of what you're capable of and understanding that you're capable of so much more. So it's like she asked the question because they're new to some of these weightlifting and things. So they're getting into it and they're like, okay, I don't understand. I can bench press 60 pounds. And I'm squatting 60 pounds. Aren't I supposed to be squatting a lot more? And I'm like, yes, you are. And you're capable of doing it. And I've told you that about a half a dozen times over the last couple of weeks.
[00:37:10.980] – Allan
But I said here's what's going on. The squat is a much more complex exercise, meaning there's a lot more moving parts and you haven't mastered those yet. So we're not going to put a heavy load on a body that's not with good form, okay? That's the support and guidance and stuff I'm providing. Now, she could load 120 on that bar and easily squat it. Now she'd probably hurt herself by not doing it with good form. So we're easing into that. So the self awareness of I'm learning form, and once I learn the form, I can actually maximize the strength because I'll start actually using my glutes instead of my quads.
[00:37:51.980] – Allan
And then so again, back to which I said, you kind of went through all three of them. Two is understand why you're doing what you're doing. Why is Allan holding me at 60 pounds on the squat and I'm already at 60 pounds on the bench press? And the reality is I'm doing that on purpose because we don't want to get hurt. The form when the form comes. This lady, I told her when she started to do this quiet, I said, you could throw that bar through the ceiling. If you just use your glutes and the power that you have, you could easily just launch that thing through the roof. When you figure it out, when you fire those glutes at the bottom and you figure that out, you're going to see that weight just lighten up, like just melt, and you're going to be able to do a lot more.
[00:38:32.920] – Allan
So just realize that the investment in yourself, understanding what you're doing and why you're doing it and then checking in with yourself, I mean, those are all critical to doing it right, keeping yourself on path. But to me, the number one on all of these is you just have to get started.
[00:38:51.740] – Rachel
[00:38:52.610] – Allan
If you're not starting, you're not finishing.
[00:38:56.230] – Rachel
[00:38:56.870] – Allan
Okay. I know that's the hardest part, but it's that mindset of, oh, I have to do something.
[00:39:05.720] – Speaker 2
Please, just take that step and do something. I think sometimes we get paralyzed with fear because we don't know what to do or where to start. And then we get paralyzed with the vast internet and all the data that surrounds us, and we know even less where to go and what to start and what to do. But I think if you listen to yourself and try and figure out what your strengths are, then you can just branch out and try something.
[00:39:33.050] – Allan
Yeah. It's as simple as this. I had a client that she was really out of shape, I mean, really deep conditioned. And she said, Allan, I get winded walking to my car in the driveway. OK? That's where her conditioning was at that point in time. And I said, okay. I said, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to your car in the morning and I want you to do one lap around your car.
[00:40:00.310] – Allan
And she said, what's that going to do? I said, you're going to end up taking about 30 more steps than you took to get to your car. And I said, after a week, let's talk about it. And she's like, well, okay, I can do a lap around my car. I said, okay, now do two. Okay. Within a few weeks, she's walking around the neighborhood. She's dropping weight. Now, because she's moving, she's starting to look at nutrition differently. It really creates this environment of, oh, if I'm improving my health by walking, then I probably shouldn't be eating those Doritos for dinner. True story. It happens, but the math starts to hit in your head. It's like, oh, well, if I'm doing this, I should do that.
[00:40:48.170] – Allan
The crux of all of this is there are no hacks.
[00:40:51.350] – Rachel
[00:40:52.230] – Allan
Okay? You can hack a computer because it's a language, it's a functions. You can hack a human. You can sit there and say, hey, I'm from AT&T, and we're noticing there's a problem with your credit card bill. Could you give me your credit card number, your Pin code, and I need your Social Security number? And before you know it, people are hacked, and they're giving all that information. They're talking to the AT&T person because they've been having trouble with AT&T, and then they're like, oh, they're calling me to fix it. I'm going to give them all the information to fix it. You can be hacked.
[00:41:23.450] – Allan
Science cannot be hacked. And so weight loss and fitness and all that biology, it's chemistry, it can't be hacked. But your brain is a powerful function over the way the body works. And if you get your mindset right, then motivation, finding time, those vanish.
[00:41:52.370] – Rachel
Yeah. And you get committed, and you enjoy the change, and it just propels you further forward.
[00:42:00.710] – Allan
So if you don't take anything from all of this that we've talked about, here is one. Just get started, and all the rest of these things will start to make sense to you as you find yourself at a different point in the journey. But if you don't take the first step, you're not on the journey.
[00:42:20.210] – Rachel
Yeah, great advice.
[00:42:23.270] – Allan
All right, well, anything else, Rachel?
[00:42:25.580] – Rachel
No, this is fantastic.
[00:42:27.250] – Allan
All right, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:42:29.240] – Rachel
[00:42:30.070] – Allan
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Deb Scarlett||– Ken McQuade||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Dachauer||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
Many people lose sight of the power words have in our lives, especially the words we choose to use about ourselves. On episode 546 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the types of words that may be sabotaging your health and fitness efforts.
[00:03:21.590] – Coach Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you doing?
[00:03:23.580] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:25.420] – Coach Allan
I'm doing all right.
[00:03:26.680] – Rachel
[00:03:27.180] – Coach Allan
Tammy's back from her trip to the United States she brought our granddaughter with us. So she's here experience. She's been here before, but she's going to be here for practically, I guess a whole month with us over the summer, her summer break. And we'll spend some time with her. When I talk about being fit for task, it's like, okay, now it's got to be the active grandfather that can keep up with the 6th grader. So we'll see what she's up to. But to make sure she's having some fun, we got to get out and be active with her and get some things done. So that'll be fun.
[00:04:03.030] – Rachel
Awesome. That sounds great.
[00:04:04.900] – Coach Allan
How are things up there?
[00:04:06.390] – Rachel
Great. Mike and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.
[00:04:11.290] – Coach Allan
[00:04:12.500] – Rachel
Thank you. And we did that doing things we love. We went camping over the weekend and we had a five K run where we were camping. So we had a really fun weekend.
[00:04:22.670] – Coach Allan
I am so proud of Mike for championing through this with what's going on in his life and the treatments and all that because a lot of people, they would use that as an excuse. And so I just tell Mike I said I'm just really proud that he's still out there doing things he loves and he's not letting this break him. I really have something special.
[00:04:46.560] – Rachel
Thank you. Just a quick reminder. Mike has kidney cancer and his chemo is kind of taking a toll on him. We were both signed up for the half marathon, so we technically downgraded to just the five K, but that's what we were doing. And we love being out there, we love being active and he is doing so good for the circumstances. So thank you. I will let him know.
[00:05:09.070] – Coach Allan
Okay. Well, he's a good example for what we're talking about here today. Mindset. So are you ready to have that conversation?
[00:05:15.960] – Rachel
Are your words sabotaging your health and fitness efforts?
I want to start today's conversation with a little story. This story happens to be about me. I was in my late thirty s and I was sitting on a beach in Puerto Vallarta. And the day before I had tried to play volleyball in the sand and failed miserably. I was so tired and so beat up from just one game that I had to sub out. And that was just not my story. It was not who I really thought I was. And at that point the thought came across to me that I was a fat bastard. Excuse the language, but it really was that I was doing great in my career, but I was hating life, I was hating myself. I was unfit, I was overweight, I was in a toxic relationship and I just really had no joy in my life. And I was losing my family. It was one of the low points of my life. And so I made this decision that I was going to change. And I even started a blog called fatbastard. And if you actually go search and you look up fatbaster.org, it'll actually take you to my current website for this podcast.
Cool. Interesting little fact. Yeah, it's a redirect, but I was sitting on the beach, and I kind of made the decision to do some things. And like most of us, I started on fire. And then I fizzled out. And maybe you can relate to that many times that maybe you've worked really hard and then ran out of energy, ran out of motivation, ran out of everything and eventually went right back to where you started. And what I want to try to go over is why that happens. And it all reflects around mindset and the words that we use and the way that we talk to ourselves, the thoughts that we have. All of these things are important. The mindset is really the driver of all of this. And by the end of this episode, I'm going to give you some tools to help you make sure that you don't fizzle out again. Because I know how that feels. I went through nearly a decade of starting and stopping, starting and stopping, getting further and further down that hole where I thought I was a fat bastard. It only got worse until I was able to turn it around.
And I want to help you turn it around, too. So the first kind of words that I want to talk about here are called absolutes. Okay? That includes words like never, always, can't, I'll never lose the weight. I'll never be able to do this thing. It always happens to me. Something always happens. The gym closes. Something like that always happens. And then examples of the can't is I can't do a squat. I can't use my legs properly to exercise, so I can't lose the weight. I can't exercise. I can't use my upper body. Now, some of these are injuries, and sometimes there's things we got to work through. But what I can tell you is absolutes are almost never true. They just aren't. Almost nothing in the world is absolute if you have the willpower and the staying power to do that. So the solution, what are the solutions that I came up with for absolutely. Well, the first one is whenever you catch yourself using or thinking the word never, always, or can't question it, question it big time. Like I said, those words are almost never true. So you do need to question yourself if you catch yourself using or thinking those words.
And then the next stage of this would be to introduce the term yet I will. So I have never been successful at surfing, yet I will be if I choose to surf. And so you can do that for just about any time you find yourself using one of these absolutes, put it in your head that there is a way, and you have to work your way to make it happen. So it hasn't happened yet, but it will. Okay, the next type of words that I want to talk about are called controlling words. And these are the words we use when we're trying to do something and we get into a situation where we're faced with an obstacle. So you're in the restaurant or you're out, and the guys say, Hey, let's go have a beer. And you're like, I can't, or I'm not allowed to. You've set these absolute rules for yourselves and for yourself, and then now you feel like you're being held back. You feel like it's unfair your friend can go have a beer and he's not worried about it. But if you go try to have a beer, you know you're going to break your code, you're going to break your diet, and then you'll be starting all over.
It's kind of the mindset of it. So you set these absolute controlling words, and for a lot of us, we rebel against those types of things. If I can't have something, I'm going to think about it all the time. So if I can't have the cake, I'm going to want the cake even more. So the solution for controlling words is to own it. Okay? You're in your health and fitness journey, and you have a mission, you have a goal, you have a target, you have a vision, a place you're going. And if these things that are there aren't going to get you there. Now, you made the choice. You made the choice to not drink the beer. You made the choice to not eat the cake. So instead of saying, I can't have cake or I'm not allowed to have cake on my diet, the simple word change is I choose not to, or you can say, It doesn't serve me. So no, in that way, you've now taken control of those controlling words. You're not letting the rules dictate your life. You put emphasis and intent behind your words. I choose not to. I choose not to have the cake.
I choose not to have the beer. And that can be a really empowering opportunity, and it's a very good indication that you own what you're trying to do, and you're much more likely to complete it. So if I said, hey, do you want to kiss that girl when you're married to somebody else? You wouldn't say, I can't, or I'm not allowed to. You would say, no, that's not me. That doesn't serve me. I'm in a relationship. I'm in this thing. So no, I don't want to do that. I choose not to do that. So there's a big difference there on how you use those controlling words and how either you're in control or the rule is the control. The next type of words I want to talk about are called enemy words. And these are where you use words like failed or you call yourself a failure. Words like stupid or idiot or you call yourself weak or you say something like I just really have bad willpower, I have weak willpower. You make those statements that are basically deriving yourself. And the solution to that? Well the funny solution to it is there's an episode of Bob Newhart, there was a show in the it's called Stop It and basically a woman comes in and has some phobias and fears and activities that she does and his answer is just stop it.
It's just hilarious. I don't know that it would be as funny for someone today because it seems a little insensitive to someone but if you're interested you can find that on YouTube. You can go to fortyplusfitnesspodcast. Comstop and that'll take you to a link to that YouTube video. It's about six minutes long and it's hilarious. It's one of my favorite clips from Bob Newhart and I think it's a favorite for a lot of people because it gets a lot of plays. So that is one solution. Obviously if you catch yourself using these words to talk about yourself just stop it. But there are other ways. One is I talked about the Slip to Success process last week. This is a way to do that. You forgive yourself, you recognize we're human. If we made a mistake we didn't fail. We got to learn from this and make it better. And so you can get that Slip to Success model is a little PDF guide that I did. You can go to 40 plusfitnesspodcast.com slip and that'll take you to that guide and it's a really interesting way to sit down and reframe the things that we do that are off plan.
But really the crux of all of this and particularly with the enemy words is you would never use these words to your best friend. If your best friend made a mistake you wouldn't be yelling at them idiot, you failed. You would never say that to them. You would never say that to another human being. Yet here we are saying it to ourselves or thinking it to ourselves. Now I'll admit that this is probably the one that gets me the most. I will do something silly and use something with forgetting or losing something and just be really upset that I misplaced something and I fall back into this little trap and I catch myself saying you idiot. And when it happens, it happens but I have to recover from it and then I have to remind myself I am my best friend, I have self love and that means I don't use those words communicating to myself. And so then that goes through the whole slip to Success process of forgiving myself, learning from my issue and planning for something different the next time and then putting into action. And the final bit of words that I want to talk about that can often fail us or make us mess up are these weak words.
We use these weak words to basically mark our mission, but I'll explain why they're weak words in a minute. They're words like resolution. In the new year, we make that resolution, we're going to lose that £30 this year, starting on January 1. We talk about motivation. Right now, we're motivated. We feel really good. Like I said, we start out on fire, and we fizzle out. We start talking about willpower. I got to work on my willpower. I only have so many decisions in me before decision fatigue causes me a problem. And then what happens is we fail. And when we do, we go back on the tried and true. Well, 90 some odd percent of people don't complete 30 years resolutions. So we're just normal. We can say, yeah, sometimes I lack the motivation to keep going. And we can just accept that people will understand that it's really hard to get motivated to stay on this keto diet, because it's really hard. So, yeah, I had a little bit of sugar, but I didn't really intend to have, and I fell out of ketosis. And then willpower everybody understands willpower is finite. And so our willpower doesn't hold up.
We just accept that. We accept these words. They're very weak words for doing what we want to do. So we counter strong, weak words with strong words. And the first strong word that I want to put out there is accountability. A lot of us will go into this journey not accountable to anybody. And so when I finally did decide I wanted to turn myself around, my accountability was to my daughter. I told her I wanted to do a tough mudder with her, and I didn't want to let her down. So that was a big driving factor to showing up, a big driving factor to changing my food, a big driving factor to everything that I was doing at that point in my life to get myself turned around. I had accountability. And then the other one, probably the strongest of words that I know is called commitment, okay? And when you are committed to something, change happens. Now, I want to finish that story of me, the fat bastard, and how I tried and I failed and I tried and I failed in almost eight years of stop and go and backtrack, stop, go backtrack, and just over and over, and I couldn't get it worked out.
So one morning I woke up. I was in a Malaysian hotel. I'm traveling a lot for work, and I was hungover. And I'm laying there, and I'm thinking, why am I right back here again? Why am I right back to being the fat bastard? And it occurred to me that every other thing that I did in my life that I'm really, really proud of everything that was really hard that I did, I was committed. I was committed to doing well in college. I was committed to doing well on the CPA exam. I was committed to my career when I did things, I didn't do anything halfway, particularly as it related to my career. And so I said, Well, I'm always committed to those things and I get them done. I don't fail and I very seldom even backtrack. So why was this different? And it wasn't. So it was no different for me to look at my life and say, if I want something bad enough, I will get it. And I hadn't committed yet. So that was the beginning of committing. And with the commitment I put in the effort, I made the changes.
And I can tell you, if you are committed and you have some accountability, all the weak words don't matter anymore. You're less likely to use the enemy words. The controlling words go away and the absolutes go away because you're committed to a task. You haven't done something, but you will. It's not that you can't do something, you choose not to. And the enemy words don't happen as often, particularly as you're going through that because you're being more successful, you're sticking with it. And then you don't have to worry about the weak words. You left those behind and you suck yourself to a strong word. And that's going to help drive you through this process of change. Change is hard and it requires commitment and it often requires accountability. So in summary, and the core thing I want you to take away from this episode is that words reflect your mindset, but they can also drive it. So it's really important for you to do the mindset stuff, get yourself settled in your head, because where your head goes, everything goes. So if you have a bad mindset, you're not going to complete the task, you're not going to make it where you want to be.
You've got to deal with mindset. And that's going to come from sometimes reversing it and making sure that the words you're using are the right words. And then they will drive your mindset, and then your mindset is reflected in your words. So you'll see this return on investment. You'll get better and easier at how you do things and things will just become a part of your lifestyle. And then there's no more can't, there's no more lacking motivation. They all just become natural to you. So the words that you want to avoid and deal with absolutes, because they're almost never true controlling words. And I'll tell you straight up, you are not weak. You're listening to this episode and you're still listening to this episode. You care about this. And I can tell you those words don't control you if you control them. Enemy words. Now, if you wouldn't talk to other people that way, stop talking to yourself that way. And then the weak words, don't let your words give you an excuse. Oh, well, it's resolution. I almost never do this resolution. This is the fifth year row that I've started on January 1 with a resolution and it always fails.
So don't allow weak words to be a part of who you are. So you want to start with commitment. You want to have self love. You want to be your own best friend. You want to forgive yourself when things don't go your way or you make a mistake. And you want to own your choices, they don't own you. And finally, find accountability that will help you keep this stuff on track and make sure that if you do slip up, it's much easier to get back up because there's someone there in your corner keeping you on task and watching out for you. So I hope you found this a good episode. I'm going to get on with Rachel here in a minute and we'll talk about this a little bit more. But thank you so much.
[00:22:32.230] – Coach Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:22:33.620] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. This is my favorite topic. You're going to have to keep me under control today. I love talking about mindset.
[00:22:41.020] – Coach Allan
I have a hard stop in 20 minutes and, yes, we can talk for a lot longer than 20 more minutes, but what are some of your thoughts?
[00:22:51.190] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. So many of these things I see every day. And I guess I'm going to skip right down to the enemy words and I see a lot of people that just don't say the kindest things to themselves. And I hear a lot of people say I'm fat and I can't and I'm lazy. And these are just kind of like waving the white flag of defeat before you even get started. And we are where we are today and we just need to figure out how to talk nicely and a little bit more motivated to ourselves to get going.
[00:23:29.530] – Coach Allan
Yeah. You know, you would never talk to your friends or family that way.
[00:23:37.810] – Rachel
[00:23:37.810] – Coach Allan
Your friend walks up to you and you say, oh, my God, you're fat. You look fat today. No, we would never say that. But we look at ourselves and we use that word talking to ourselves and that's where you have to stop it. I don't know if you watch that Bob Newhart, oh, gosh clip, I could watch it a thousand times. It's just hilarious. And, yes, maybe it would come off as a little mean, but if you need tough love to get you past what you're doing against yourself, then that's the way to do it. I prefer to do it in the self-love model. Be your own best friend and think of it in terms of the words used. When you find yourself doing that, you've got to stop and you've got to think. And then you've got to say, is this something coming out of love or is this something coming from a darker place?
[00:24:34.430] – Rachel
Right. Like what you said earlier, too, is you need to change the narrative. If you keep repeating these words, these hateful words to yourself, then they tend to get stuck. So what I like to do is I like to call my clients, athletes. You're my athlete. This is your training log for your activities. And I refer to them as athletes because I want them to think like an athlete.
[00:24:57.150] – Rachel
So they're going to think, well, what would an athlete eat? What would an athlete do for recovery? What should an athlete do about sleeping? And if you start to think forward in that way a little bit more positively, then you're giving yourself a little bit more self-love and a lot of grace, too.
[00:25:15.850] – Rachel
Just a few minutes ago, I said, Mike and I only did a 5K when we were supposed to do the half marathon. And that wasn't a very kind thing to say to myself. But a 5K is still a great thing to do, and we were trained and in good shape for a 5K. That's a very positive thing. So we just need to think and just a little bit.
[00:25:38.120] – Rachel
Changing that narrative, I think is a really important thing. Place to start.
[00:25:41.830] – Coach Allan
Yeah. What you're talking about? And I actually kind of picked this up from a business podcast I was listening to and I actually did an episode on it. It's called The Be Do Have Model. And so the Have is that you're an athlete. The Have is that you're a half marathoner or that you're fit for task. You're who you want to be.
[00:26:01.610] – Coach Allan
So you start with, Be that person.
[00:26:05.910] – Rachel
[00:26:06.510] – Coach Allan
So now it's like, okay, what does that person do? They get up and they run and they eat right. And they want to keep their body weight within a certain range because that's going to make it easier on their joints. And so the Do then is doing those things. So the Be Do Have is how you become the athlete that you want to be, the person you want to be.
[00:26:27.310] – Coach Allan
And so following that model of just saying, I have to think like them, then I have to act like them, and then I will be them.
[00:26:34.710] – Rachel
Yeah. You know, one of the other favorite words that I heard you speak was committed. The word committed, motivation is lacking. And right now we're in the middle of the summer. It's chaos. Our schedules are all out of focus with kids at home and vacation planning and all these things going on. It's just chaos.
[00:26:52.150] – Rachel
But when you're committed to your goals, you're going to get up in the morning and do your workout or your run or whatever your activity is, because you're committed to doing that. That's another good word to focus on.
[00:27:03.490] – Coach Allan
Yeah, that's the primary word. That's my favorite word when it comes to change, because change is hard. You're trying to rewire if you're working on mindset, you're trying to rewire 40, 50, 60 years of messaging. And sometimes that messaging was your messaging. But a lot of times, whether they meant it or not. People close to us said things that got stuck in our head.
[00:27:35.090] – Coach Allan
You're not good enough. You're looking a little out of shape. You hear these things and you internalize them. Now, I was a weirdo. Like you didn't know that.
[00:27:53.370] – Coach Allan
I grew up in an environment where saying bad things about someone became motivating to me. When someone told me I couldn't do something, I was ten times more likely to get it done. Not the first time, but the first time I was in football where there was actual tryouts, where you had to go in and earn your way on the team. I was cut. Okay. And you flash forward just three years later, and I'm one of the best athletes on the football field.
[00:28:28.660] – Rachel
[00:28:29.530] – Coach Allan
And it was because that one coach said, we just don't think he can do it. Now, I had a lot of disadvantages at that time because of my age and my weight. I was underweight, so I weighed maybe 90 pounds, and I had to be on the 110 pound team. So every kid on that team outweighed me by about 20 pounds. And that's significant 20 pounds relative to 90 pounds. I was way underweight, I was way small, and I wasn't fit.
[00:29:00.690] – Coach Allan
And so I started getting more fit. I started working on being able to go longer and work harder and get stronger and was back on the football field. So for me, a lot of times, the words that would stop somebody are the exact words that would get me going. Then I responded that when I was in the army, when I was playing football, if someone told me I was not doing well enough, I just started doing better. But that came from being obstinate and stubborn and saying, “No, I'm not going to let you stop me.”
[00:29:31.980] – Coach Allan
But I find myself doing the same thing, and I don't find it motivating when the words are coming from me it doesn't work that way. I have to go at it for myself with self-love. But if someone tells me I'm letting the team down, I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough, I'm going to work harder. But it doesn't work the same way for me. But these are things that were put in your head potentially decades ago.
[00:29:56.140] – Rachel
[00:29:56.620] – Coach Allan
And so the rewiring on it is not a one and done thing. The self awareness journey of going through all this process and paying attention to it, the Slip-to-Success stuff that Be-Do-Have, all those things, those are tools to help us do the rewiring. But the rewiring is going to take some time and patience and effort. But it's so worth it, because when you get to that point where you don't refer to yourself as the Fat Bastard, everything kind of changes, because you know that you have the power to do this, and you start doing it. You start seeing it and living it and experiencing it.
[00:30:35.000] – Coach Allan
And I can tell you, crossing that finish line with my daughter at that first Tough Mudder was one of the best experiences of my entire life. And there's nothing that's ever going to take that memory away from me, that work that I did to get to that place, to be able to do that thing, and that experience.
[00:30:56.070] – Coach Allan
And so I think everybody deserves to have those moments, to have that joy in their life, for sure. And that's why I do what I do. I know that's why you do what you do.
[00:31:06.410] – Rachel
[00:31:07.070] – Coach Allan
And it's just this whole idea of if you're defeating yourself, you're depriving yourself of some of the most joyous moments of your entire life. And that's a shame, and it shouldn't be that way.
[00:31:22.570] – Coach Allan
So get a coach. If you need the accountability, get someone that's going to help you work through this mindset stuff. My programs, we spend so much time talking about mindset, they're like, well, what about the coaching? Other stuff I'm like, sure, send me a video of your movements. You want a new workout? Give you a new workout. That stuff is just easy. It just happens. If you do the work, you see the results.
[00:31:45.000] – Coach Allan
But to keep you from quitting, keep you on task, keep you doing the things that you need to do, you got to get your mindset right.
[00:31:54.390] – Rachel
[00:31:54.390] – Coach Allan
It's all of it. It's 100%. I mean, people like to say 90% nutrition, start with mindset. The rest of it will just fall in place.
[00:32:04.740] – Rachel
It really does. Absolutely does. Yeah. Listen to how you talk to yourself. Change that narrative and take that challenge. Do something big. You got this. We can do it.
[00:32:14.730] – Coach Allan
All right, well, I think that's a good note to end on.
[00:32:17.510] – Rachel
[00:32:17.980] – Coach Allan
Rachel, all right, I'll see you next week. Okay?
[00:32:20.390] – Rachel
[00:32:21.230] – Coach Allan
You too. Bye.
[00:32:22.260] – Rachel
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Deb Scarlett||– Ken McQuade||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Dachauer||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
Lack of motivation is one of the primary reasons most people struggle with losing weight and getting fit. On episode 545 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, I discuss a way to use self-evaluation as a tool to stay motivated and always moving forward.
[00:02:48.430] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are things?
[00:02:50.330] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:52.050] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Just staying busy.
[00:02:56.230] – Rachel
That's good. Busy is good.
[00:02:58.070] – Allan
Yeah. A lot of moving parts, working with clients. I'd stopped for a little while, taking on new clients and had taken a break from that. I kept my old clients, I kept clients that have been around for a while, but I wasn't adding new clients. And so over the course of the last month, I've been adding new clients. And it's interesting because I was admittedly a little burned out when I took my break last time, but I'm finding this time that I'm much more energetic about it. And so I'm really excited to be bringing new clients on to the new program that I'm doing.
[00:03:33.170] – Allan
And six weeks actually feels right. I was doing twelve weeks and it was intense, and it was an intense twelve weeks. And then at one point I think I had eleven clients going through a twelve-week program all at the same time, and so it was just a little too much. So I think six weeks I can handle twelve and then take a break and see how things go.
[00:03:59.590] – Allan
This is working out really good and I'm loving the reactions and what's happening with the clients that are going through the program because they're seeing success and you think of six weeks, no, they're not seeing this crazy success from a standpoint. We're going to talk a little bit about measurement and how things look.
[00:04:20.970] – Allan
So no, they're not saying the scales like just falling off a cliff, but it's trending, it's going down, and that's important, and they say so. But what is more specific with this group as I'm going through at this time is their mindset shift. They're coming at this now with a can't lose attitude.
[00:04:43.600] – Rachel
Wow, that's great.
[00:04:45.210] – Allan
And you go through six weeks and have the confidence that what you're doing is working and that you can get this done, you'll get it done.
[00:04:52.730] – Rachel
Yeah. Well, they'll probably learn so much that they can carry forward, but that's great. Things are trending in the right direction.
[00:04:59.140] – Allan
[00:05:00.250] – Rachel
[00:05:01.150] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:05:02.420] – Rachel
Oh, really wonderful. Mike and I just went on a backpacking trip over the weekend. We are testing our gear for our upcoming trip to Isle Royal, and it was a beautiful weekend. We did really well. Definitely hard backpacking with a lot of weight, something I haven't done in a while, but it was a great trip and just gorgeous. Michigan is beautiful right now in the summer.
[00:05:25.730] – Allan
Did you load your packs in such a way that they'll be about the same weight that they would be when you were going to do the longer.
[00:05:31.360] – Rachel
One or no, not yet. I feel like starting out we wanted to have a little bit lighter of a pack because once we're on Isle Royal, I imagine my pack will be in the 30ish pound range. And so I wore about 18 pounds, just enough for an overnight. But we still had the tent, the sleeping bag, the water purifier, the gear that we will take with us.
[00:05:54.820] – Rachel
So really what we would be adding to our pack later will be a couple of extra clothing items and a lot more food. We'll be on the island, I think five or six days, I really can't remember. And so we only did an overnight, so we only had two days worth of food, but everything worked spendedly. It was a great first outing, so we got a lot to look forward to.
[00:06:16.140] – Allan
Good. Yes. And last week we had Katie Gerber on, and she was talking. So it's kind of that thing get yourself ready for your pack, understand what your needs are, and then train physically and mentally. Train for it.
[00:06:29.900] – Rachel
Train, train, train. A great time.
[00:06:31.050] – Allan
Awesome. You ready to get into this week's episode?
[00:06:35.180] – Rachel
So today I wanted to talk to you about a way of checking in with yourself, seeing how well you're doing and doing it in a way that's fun and gives you a big benefit. A lot of times when I've done ratings and things with my clients in the past, it was really hard to get to a point where they felt successful in their journey, and that typically was because we were measuring the wrong things. So today I want to talk about a new process that I've implemented with my clients called the MNS Temperature Check. And it's a culmination of several different things, several different people I've talked to over the years, and there's a little bit of behavior science built into this whole thing.
So hear me out. Here's how it goes. So typically when we're trying to determine how well we're doing on our health and fitness journey, we focus on results. Did the scale go down? Did my strength improve from workout to work out? But one of the problems with measuring results is we don't always have control over those results. You might be doing everything right. All your activities, all your efforts are exactly what you should be doing, but the scale doesn't move.
Or you go into the gym and your energy is just a little off. And so you're not quite as strong this workout as you were the last time. And it's nothing that you did wrong. It's just sometimes the results don't fully align with the effort and activity, and it's never a straight line. So that's often why we're seeing this. And then when we have objective measures, so we say, okay, did we do our workout today? It often gets to feeling like it's just a checkbox.
So my clients are like, did you do your workout today? Yes. No. It becomes very checkbox for some people. It doesn't really rate how well that workout went, how they felt about that workout. It's objective, did you do it or not? Yes or no? And this process can also lead to a very perfectionist role. Meaning if I wanted to work out four days per week and something came up this week and I didn't get that fourth workout in, did I fail? A lot of people will feel like they had not counting the fact that they had three great workouts, they look at that fourth and they think that they didn't get and they think they failed.
And many people will use this as an opportunity to fall off. They're looking for perfection. When we should be looking for is progress. So a few weeks ago, it's been a while, I had an interview with Alan Aragon, and he introduced a rating system in his book that was very subjective, and I really liked that and that's why I pulled it out in that interview. It's episode 541. You can hear a little bit about that there. Alan is fascinating.
And it's a really great book on eating for performance that I highly recommend. Probably the best book I've read this year so far. And with his subjective rating, one of the other key points he brought up was that you want to just make sure that you're in the high range, are pushing up into the high ranges most of the time. That's how we would measure success. So it's going to be much more subjective about how you feel about the things that you've done.
Now, I've done something like this in the past, and I used a traffic light, and I've seen that used in different masterminds and groups that I've been a part of over the years, and that can be pretty good. The problem I have with the traffic light, though, is what happens if you're not quite yellow and you're not quite green, and what happens if you're not quite read but you're not quite yellow. So you can see that that doesn't really give you much of a range to really project where you stand. And so it becomes this kind of, well, is it more red than yellow? Is it more green than yellow? You start having those kind of dialogues between the person coaching and the individual being coached.
So I came up with the idea of using temperatures, and the reason I like temperatures is a few different reasons, but it's a very broad range. And so if you're thinking in terms of the temperature from freezing all the way to boiling, it gives you a pretty good range, and it gives you an opportunity to just pick something that feels more like what you're feeling with regards to how you're doing. So how do we do this? What are we going to measure? Okay, well, what we want to measure with the MNS is movement, nutrition and self-care. Now, I believe if you're doing these three things well, then you're improving your health.
You just are. So obviously we know what movement is. That means that you're moving throughout the day, you're getting your exercises. And your training in nutrition means that overall, you're eating well, good quality food. It means that you're not eating too much, and it means that you're getting the nutrition that your body needs. Self-care includes a lot of different things. It includes your sleep, your stress management, social connections. Are you avoiding toxins and are you doing things that bring you joy? So there's a lot wrapped up in that word, self-care. But I didn't want this to be eight different things we're trying to measure. I broke it into the three core foundational things movement, nutrition, and self-care.
Let's take just a moment to go through how this MNS Temperature Check works. And I might change the name of that in the future, but this is just descriptive. So of course, M equals movement, N equals nutrition, and S equals self-care. Okay? These are going to be our foundations for wellness and longevity. So what we want to do is we want to periodically, typically, maybe like once a week, check-in with ourselves, how are we doing?
How do we feel? Okay? And I would encourage you to do this on paper rather than on a computer, maybe even a calendar. On episode 446, I had Tony Horton on and he recommended using a paper calendar, writing a red X each time you did your workout. And if you're seeing more X's on that sheet than you are blanks, then you're doing the right thing. And then what I would say is, if you're doing that, then at the end of the week, sit down and record your temperatures.
Now, one of the reasons I really like this process is because it really fits well with my Slip to Success model, where you're forgiving yourself, you're learning and planning and you're acting. And I'll get into the full process of all this in just a minute. But if you're interested in learning more about that Slip to Success process, I do have a guide that's free. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and there you'll find a copy of that guy. It walks you through the thought process of Slip to Success. And it's part of the backbone of how this process that I put together works with my clients and now with myself.
It is a two-part process. The first part is measurement. The second part is to look forward next week or next period, however you're doing this.
So the first thing you do is you ask yourself how you feel about your week for each of the three foundations movement, nutrition, and self care. And then I want you to use the words that you use to describe temperature. So you could say freezing, you could say boiling, you could say cooking, you could say lukewarm, you could say chilly. Just the words that you like to use that aptly describe what that temperature is for you. If you're doing great, everything's wonderful, and you really feel happy about your success and how you're doing with this one thing, say nutrition, you had a great week. You might say boiling. If you're having a bad week, you missed a couple of workouts or your energy level and the way you approach the workouts just weren't really motivated to work hard. And, you know, you didn't really push yourself as hard as you should have. You might want to say that you're lukewarm or cold. And so you can use the words that you like to use that are going to give you a good feel for where you are.
Okay. And after you do that, try to provide a little bit of color of why you feel that way. Maybe I don't feel good about my workouts because I had a couple of obstacles, and instead of being able to go into the gym for an hour and a half, I really could only get in there for half an hour. So I did get a workout in, but it wasn't as good a workout as it would have been if I'd been able to stay in the gym a little bit longer. So I have obstacles. I have roadblocks, maybe Saboteur, my wife is in the United States right now, wedding planning. And so I have a little bit of double duty trying to run the gym, run this, run Lulu. And that kind of puts a lot of stress on when and what I can do. And then there's just the emotions. Sometimes you just go into the gym, and you're just not emotionally ready to do what you need to do. And so there are different things that can be going on, so you can kind of write those things down. So you have a little bit of color to why you said cold for your workouts, and you can have some color, why you feel really good about your nutrition, whole food, plant meals, and at least at that point, you know, okay, when I do these things, I get boiling.
When I don't, what do I get? And this is going to give you a lot of information that's going to help you moving forward. So at the end of each week or each period, however you want to break it up, you do a measurement, and you do it on a temperature scale, and then you kind of put a little bit of color to why was it the way it was. Then we get to part two of this process. Now, part two is where we ask ourselves, okay, based on what I know, what I see, what is one area of these three, that if I put a little bit more energy and effort, I could move the needle and move the needle a good bit. And so I would say, if you're already boiling on your fitness, keep doing what you're doing. And if you need to improve your nutrition, then that's the one. Maybe you had a lot of stress this week, and you need to do something about stress. That's your one thing, and I want you to limit it to one thing. And the reason is, this is going to be your big rock.
This is the one thing you know is going to move the needle the most for you. So this is where you want your intention for the week to be. You really want to apply effort to this. And if we try to do more than one thing at a time, we often dilute our effort across all those things and we're not quite as successful. So don't be trying to pick up all the big rocks. There might be a lot of them. But know which is the biggest rock. Know which one you know you can do. And that is the best one for you to do now. And then think through some actionable steps, some things that you can do, strategies and tactics that you can implement, they're going to help you do this better. So if my nutrition was off and I know because I've seen it in previous weeks, that batch cooking on Sunday makes me much more effective at maintaining and staying on plan, then I need to add batch cooking to my week. I need to make sure that I do that. If it means, okay, I need to go through the pantry and throw out some things that I really don't need and don't want in there, then I do that.
So write out some strategies and tactics, the things that are going to help you be successful as you go into this next week.
So I want to share a few key points about this. It's subjective and with it being subjective, it's going to rely on how you feel at point in time. So yes, recognize that you want to do this when you're clear headed, when you're not mad or angry or frustrated, but just sit down. And subjectively, objectively but subjectively, write down your temperatures, write down why you feel that way. And then write down what your plan is to go forward. This is going to require honesty. Now if you're checking with me as a coach, I need you to be honest. I need you to be honest with yourself and I need you to be honest with me. But if you're doing this, check-in for yourself, then you need to be honest with yourself. Because if you're lying to yourself, you're not going to get very far. And then what this does, this process builds self-awareness. Why did I have a cold week? Because this happened. Because I did that. Because I didn't do that.
This builds self-awareness for you to understand what the obstacles are, the things you may be do to sabotage your own trip. And so this self-awareness is part of a reiterate process of do, learn, improve over time. So we're going to do what we do. We're going to learn from our mistakes. We're going to learn from our successes as well. And it's all going to be recorded as you go through this process each week. And it's quick. This is not like you have to sit down and get on a scale and pull out tape measures and then go get a blood test. It's just a quick sit down. This whole exercise shouldn't take more than a few minutes. And as you get better at it, you'll sit down and just be able to say, okay, I'm cold and nutrition. I'm cooking with my movement and I'm say Lukewarm with my self-care. My plan for the next week batch cooks so I can get my nutrition back on track. Avoid going to the restaurants because I'm more likely to order a beer at a restaurant than I am if I stay home. So just recognize it's very quick.
You can get that done in just a few minutes.
So to summarize this MNS Temperature Check Process, you're looking at movement, nutrition, and self-care. These are the three foundations of wellness and longevity.
There are two parts and each is just a quick thought exercise, very quick. You take a look back and you assess your temperature on movement, nutrition and self-care using the words that you like to use that give you a good feeling that you're understanding where you are. And then you want to look forward. What do we learn from this? What can we do next week to make our intentions and make sure that we're doing something a little better?
And then we get that incremental improvement because we implement a new strategy or a new tactic and we see incremental improvement. And as you get going on this, you'll notice that if you're doing all of these things the way that it's intended, the temperatures should start to go up. Now. Can they go down? Yes. We can have a bad week. We can have a bad day. Stuff happens, life happens. And so we can't rate ourselves and think that we're always going to be cooking and always going to be boiling, but we can do the best we can do.
And so in the example where I said I only got three of the four workouts I intended to do, three out of four is actually pretty good. You could give that a good warm temperature and feel good. You've done something. You're not just saying yes or no. I failed. I passed. This is a good way to say three-quarters of the time I did. Well, that's pretty darn warm, so bordering on hot. And you can give yourself that rating and understanding what you're doing. So I did put together a little worksheet for this to walk you through it. It's the 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mns and that'll pull up a guy. Now, I said to record this on the calendar, but I think when you first get started, it might be nice to have this worksheet so it will walk you through the process. You won't need this worksheet forever because you'll start to remember how to do it. But it's good to have it written down. And then as you go through and look at the words that are changing, again, having a record of this is going to really help you.
Also, again, if you don't remember the slip to success, you can get that guide. I'm going to have these links in the show notes for this episode, that's 40Plus FitnessPodcast.com/545.
I hope you enjoyed this. It's a new way that I'm checking in with my clients, and I'm really enjoying it because it's starting really good dialogues about why we feel the way we feel about our journey and what we can do to improve with a solid plan for the upcoming week. So I hope that works out for you. Let me know. You can comment on this, or you can join us in the Facebook group at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/group. I'd love to see how you're using this and what results you're getting. Thank you.
[00:24:00.870] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:24:02.260] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. I love your new measurement about taking a temperature check and checking in with yourself. I think this is a really great tool for people to use.
[00:24:12.750] – Allan
Yeah, it's funny. Little bits and pieces of this came to me over time, like the interview with Tony and having something visual in front of you all the time so you can kind of see the things that you're doing. Right.
[00:24:26.670] – Allan
And then talking to Alan Aragon and getting into the way he was going about this, people checking in and doing it, and I was thinking, okay, well, one, I want to cover the core things because you can overmeasure. Right. You waste a lot of time doing this and thinking through it and numbers and all that.
[00:24:48.730] – Allan
And then I also went and said, okay, well and I know that we did stoplights. I have one group. I'm still part of their mastermind, and they do stop lights every week. And I'm like, I'm puke yellow. Okay. A little bit of green in there.
[00:25:05.310] – Rachel
[00:25:05.310] – Allan
But no, so I want a little bit more granularity there so that someone can do that. And then the practice of the words and knowing that okay. The words we use are really important. In fact, I think the next solo episode I do, which I'm not absolutely certain, but might actually be next week, will be about that, about what are the words we're using when we're talking about ourselves.
[00:25:33.760] – Allan
We're talking about health and fitness and what you might find over time. And I'll see how this plays out, but you might actually start looking up new words to say hot. You might spell it a little differently, like H-A-W-T when you're really feeling hot.
[00:25:53.590] – Allan
So this can be fun. And the other side of it is to realize that self-reflection, self-assessment is not meant to be a punishment. It's meant to be a learning opportunity. And if you can make it fun and exciting for yourself to say, okay, I want to come up with a new word for what I'm doing here.
[00:26:11.310] – Allan
And you mentioned something earlier on the call when we're talking about this being a learning experience, is that you're not just learning from your failures.
[00:26:19.950] – Rachel
[00:26:20.570] – Allan
You're learning from your successes.
[00:26:22.460] – Rachel
Absolutely, yeah. When I work with my clients, I have a really detailed training log. I give them. And when they do a workout, hill repeats or speed drills or something, I want them to write details on there. How was that workout? Was it hard? Do your legs feel heavy? How did you feel afterwards?
[00:26:39.730] – Rachel
Because most of the time, even though hill repats are super hard, you feel really strong after that. And then after a couple of weeks of training, after doing that repeatedly, you're advancing from maybe four or five times up a hill to six or eight times up a hill, and you're still feeling really hard. And it's a challenge, but you're feeling even stronger.
[00:26:59.540] – Rachel
And as you look back over your entire training log, you can see the progress you made a lot easier. And maybe not day to day or week to week, but you do see it, and you feel so much stronger for having accomplished all these things. And then that propels you even forward. It gives you a lot of confidence to tackle the next big challenge.
[00:27:17.790] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's really important for people to recognize that self-awareness is a key component to change. And when you start recognizing that things are working, then you can double down on those. And when things are not working, then you can drop them, and you can try something else. Come up with a different strategy. Use a different tactic.
[00:27:40.090] – Allan
If you're doing a certain exercise and I'll tell you you're doing a certain exercise and it hurts, stop. Okay. Yeah, you're supposed to feel the muscle working, but you're not supposed to injure yourself doing exercise. And so we stop. So that's feedback. Okay. When I do upright rows, my shoulder hurts. Guess what I don't do anymore.
[00:28:01.810] – Rachel
[00:28:02.340] – Allan
And I actually cringe every time I see somebody in the gym doing it because I'm like, that's how you tear a rotator cuff. Just recognize that we have all this information from everything we do and journaling or like I said, putting it on a calendar is Tony recommended with the Xs. And I recommend doing this because you can literally look across the month and say, wow, I had an awesome June. Look at that June.
[00:28:29.366] – Rachel
[00:28:29.870] – Allan
All those hots and warms. And I compare that to May, and May was lukewarm and cold, and now I'm getting a lot more hots, and I'm getting a lot stronger, and my body weight is going down. And then I notice if I start recording a few lower ranges, that, okay, something's changed. I've got to diagnose that, and I've got to do something different.
[00:28:56.530] – Rachel
Yeah, well, like, you even mentioned the self-care aspect of it. If you're not getting a lot of sleep or if you're on vacation and not eating your right foods, then you may not perform quite as well. But all of this works together. And if you can pay attention to all these little details together, then it would make sense. If you're not hitting the marks that used to hit anything, and you have to give yourself some grace there.
[00:29:19.070] – Rachel
If you're on vacation and you're not sleeping well and not eating well, you know what you're having vacation. That's important for self-care. That's a hot spot right there. That's hot. Even though your movement may not be.
[00:29:31.150] – Allan
Yeah. And that's kind of the key. I did put the Slip to Success as a part of this discussion because I really want to put forward that this is your opportunity to use this for learning. So you can go I did an episode. You can go to the podcast page, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/podcast, and you can look up Slip to Success and probably find that episode. But I do have the guide, so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and get the Slip to Success Guide. It's not a huge thing. It's a one-page PDF to walk you through the process.
[00:30:05.060] – Allan
And then as you're working through your temperature check, I have a Worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mns, and you can just download that worksheet and use that for your starter to understand how the process works for you, get comfortable with it, and then you probably won't need that worksheet. After that, I'd encourage you to consider doing it on a calendar. Or you can just print out a bunch of worksheets and just put them in a binder and do your weekly check-ins or however frequently makes the most sense for you. Every four days, once a week, whatever you feel is a good reminder for you to sit down and tweak things on your go forward.
[00:30:43.520] – Allan
So take the lessons learned and move forward with that is really important.
[00:30:48.640] – Rachel
Yes, download. That would be great.
[00:30:50.990] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:30:53.540] – Rachel
Awesome. Take care.
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On this episode, Coach Allan shares three of his favorite tactics to break a plateau or lose those last 5 – 10 lbs.
[00:02:31.450] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are you?
[00:02:33.360] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?
[00:02:35.000] – Allan
I'm doing all right. I'm pretty excited. As we record this, I'm about to go on a two day staycation. My wife and I are going to go to this resort here. It's in Bocas del Toro, it's on a different island. No WiFi, no cell signal, no phones. Two days of being completely off the grid. And even though we take an annual trip and we did take a week off last year. Really? Since early September, I haven't had a break.
[00:03:07.550] – Rachel
[00:03:09.610] – Allan
Almost seven days a week every week since then. And so this is just kind of time for me to take a couple days, just a quick little mini vacation. It's on our anniversary, so that's a good thing to (worked out). So we're going to do that. And I'm pretty excited. We're packed up, ready to go, and later today, I get on a boat, and I'll come back 48 hours later, having been off the grid and unplugged for a full 48 hours.
[00:03:35.570] – Rachel
That sounds so wonderful. Well, happy anniversary. Early anniversary. But also, how wonderful to be off the grid for a little while. It sounds great.
[00:03:42.960] – Allan
Yeah. And so next week, I'll talk about what that feels like and what that's all about.
[00:03:47.400] – Rachel
[00:03:48.500] – Allan
No Twitter, no Facebook, no drama, no anything. So guys, don't blow up the world while I'm gone?
[00:03:56.410] – Rachel
We'll do our best
[00:03:57.650] – Allan
I'm sitting there looking on the horizon? All these mushroom clouds. I guess I missed it.
[00:04:01.420] – Rachel
Yeah, you missed something. Must have missed the headline. Well, I'm sure it sounds like a wonderful vacation. It's nice that you can finally get away after such a long time. My goodness.
[00:04:11.020] – Allan
All right. How are things up there?
[00:04:12.820] – Rachel
Good. We are also planning some vacations for the summer, but we've been a little bit sidelined. I told you earlier, but we haven't shared with listeners that my husband was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. And I wanted to share that for a couple of different reasons.
[00:04:29.830] – Rachel
The first reason I want to share it is that it was an incidental finding, and it was a strange finding at that. We're both 50, so I feel like it's still a little young, although not unheard of to have cancer at this age. But he noticed some blood in his urine right before our marathon weekend back in April. And I mentioned that because it is unusual. I mean, you should definitely go to the doctor anytime you have blood in places that doesn't belong, even in your urine. And so when we got home from our marathon, he did go in and urine test blood work, and a CT scan revealed that he had a pretty significant size tumor in his right kidney.
[00:05:14.170] – Rachel
So the good news is that it seems to be contained. It hasn't metastasized, which is great. The type of cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer. Almost 50% of the people that get kidney cancer get this particular variation, and it does respond very well to treatment.
[00:05:31.370] – Rachel
He started chemo, and he's doing okay with the chemo right now. He's not having any ill effects so far. And then after a couple of weeks on this, he'll be starting an immunotherapy, which sounds super cool, but that will help to keep it from spreading. And he might be on this for a year after he has his kidney removed in order to teach the body to fight it should it come back. So it's definitely boosting his immune system. That's the whole purpose of it.
[00:06:00.630] – Rachel
So a couple of months, chemo, hopefully the tumor will shrink enough so that it's able to be removed through surgery. He'll lose his kidney, but that's okay. His other kidney is untouched and just as healthy and he will be just fine. So hopefully by the end of the year he'll be one kidney down and cancer down.
[00:06:20.100] – Allan
Yes, absolutely. You know, we're there, we're thinking and praying for him. So thank you.
[00:06:24.030] – Rachel
Yes, thank you. Thank you so much.
[00:06:26.510] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to get into weight loss?
[00:06:30.630] – Rachel
How to lose your spare tire with three simple Tactics I wanted to talk about this topic in particular, because a lot of times I will have people come to me and say, I'm doing this, I'm doing that, and I just can't lose this last 10 lbs or I've plateaued and I really don't know what else to do to get my fat loss going. So if you have just a little bit to lose and or you're kind of plateaued and looking for some things that will kind of boost your weight loss, this is the episode for you. I'm going to talk about three basic tactics that you can incorporate into your day to day that are going to help you be more successful at weight loss.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The first one is high-intensity interval training, and I know that scares a lot of people, but this is really a simple and effective way to get a really good workout in in a short period of time and really boost your metabolism to make some things happen faster. Okay. Now, for a lot of people, they believe a HIIT training is 45 minutes to an hour and you'll have people bragging about their 45 minutes HIIT training.
And I'm here to tell you that, isn't it? It's a very specific thing, a certain thing that you need to do if you actually want to get the benefits of it. What most people are talking about, if they're going for more than 20 minutes, is called interval training and it is effective. It's not as effective as high-intensity interval training, so let's talk about the difference. Interval training is something that you can just keep doing. So there is a work phase and a rest phase, but you just keep going. You're not pushing at 100% during your work phase, so you have more juice in the can, if you will. You can keep going for longer and longer. And there's nothing wrong with interval training. It is quite effective. But HIIT training is very different in that with HIIT training, you're running really hard, you're moving really hard. So whatever movement patterns you're doing with HIIT training, they need to be really intense. That high intensity is the key, because if you're doing the high-intensity intervals, you're going to experience what's called excess post exercise consumption. EPOC and EPOC is the key for why this is effective for weight loss.
It raises your metabolism for a period of probably up to 12 hours after you do the work. And so it's basically requirement that you work as hard as you possibly can for a period of time usually no more than 30 seconds, and then you can have a rest phase, which can be anywhere up to four times the work phase. So usually when I'm programming for someone new and we're going to do some basic HIIT training, it's 20 seconds on and then 60 seconds off. That's a three times rest to work phase. So going through several rounds of that, the person is working really hard. The way I like to emphasize the work is I want you to think about carrying your baby through the forest and you see a bear and you have to run as hard as you can to get away from that bear or else you and the baby are done. If you're a little older, maybe it's your grandbaby, but you're moving as hard as you possibly can for that period of time, so be it. 20 seconds, 30 seconds, whatever your work phase is. And then you allow yourself to rest.
You've gotten away from the bear and you're able to recover. You won't recover all the way. So you go through your rest work, and if you find that you're not recovering enough to do another work, that program is over. That workout is over. When you first start this, you might only be able to do four or five rounds, and that's fine. That's a good workout. If you've gotten yourself up to a point where you're fatigued and exhausted and you're not recovering, you need to go ahead and stop. You've done enough. In no cases should you be doing more than ten rounds. If you're doing more than ten rounds or you're able to do a work phase that's longer than 30 seconds, you're not working at 100%. You're not pushing yourself hard enough for it to be HIIT training. It's all right. It's interval training. It's still something to do. But just realize that almost no one except potentially an elite athlete is going to be able to do true HIIT training for more than eight to ten rounds. It's just not going to happen. So for us, we want to basically try to target doing eight rounds, but we're not looking at the number of rounds as a measure of how good this workout is.
We're looking at how hard we can push ourselves and then recover as much as we can. The better performance you're going to see typically with his training is that you're recovering better as you go along. So if you're doing the work now and then you look at yourself six months later, you might find that your heart rate, if that's how you're going to measure your recovery, is dropping back down into a good zone for you to get started again quicker. And so you're seeing better recovery. You can do more work. And that's really where the benefit of it is. It affects you. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, your Vo two Max, as they say. And with that epoch, it's helping you burn calories. Well, after your workout now I'd be remiss to talk about high-intensity interval training without talking about Tabata. Tabata was developed by a doctor. Izumi Tabata. He's a scientist, and he was studying how high-intensity interval training can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness and particularly improved metabolism. And so he did some experiments, and he has come up with a process. It's a 20 seconds of work, ten-second rest. So again, this is not a multiple one.
This is the 50%. So 20 seconds as hard as you possibly can, 10 seconds rest. And for eight rounds, that's his structure. Now, in his structure in his workout, he has eight specific exercises, and these exercises are put together. All eight of them make a very robust, very hard full body workout. You have to be pretty athletic to be able to do most of these movements, and they're very metabolically challenging each and every one of them. So if you see someone who says they have a Tabata workout and it's not pulling those other exercises various extras or you're doing the same exercise over and over, what you have is an adaptation. When I'm programming for my clients, I'm very clear it's a Tabata style workout, which just means we're going with his formula of 20 seconds of work and then 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. The last thing I want to say as far as HIIT training, because it is so intense, start out with just once per week. And I know it's inviting to try to do this every day or do this all the time. And that's too much. That's too much volume for most people.
At some point, you might be able to put in a second. And if your fitness level gets up to a point, you may actually be able to do high intensity interval training for three times a week. But if you're doing it right, which I mean 100% all you got, like there's no other rounds to do. Each one is your last one. You're working that hard. If you're working that hard to get away from the bear, then your recovery is going to be slow. It's going to take a little while. And that epoch that's happening. Your body's not recovering while that epoch is going on. It's still in a work phase well after your workout. So don't try to put too many of these in there. A little bit goes a long way. So make sure you do one. You get good at it. You keep doing maybe once a week. And again, if you look at it about it, it's four minutes. I mean, you got to warm up, and then you got four minutes of hard work. So these are easy to fit in, but it's not something you want to do every day.
So time it out. Pay attention to your recovery. See how much these high-intensity interval training affect your other workouts. You might notice your cardiovascular strength gets better, but it might also adversely affect the workout that you are planning to do the next day if you haven't fully recovered. So pay attention to your recovery. But this is a really good way to get your metabolism up and keep it up for an extended period of time. And if you're doing it regularly, once a week, you will see an increase in your overall calorie burn. And that's going to help you cut some of that fat.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
The next topic I want to talk about is called NEAT. It's Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Now, NEAT is a term that is kind of neat because it's not exercise. It's just a way for you to help your body burn a little bit more and stop being as sedentary. Now, if you've ever sat down on the floor, you may notice that it's difficult to just sit in one place unless you're on a pad. You just sit on the hard floor. You start squirming and moving around.
So if you can imagine, our ancestors, they didn't have comfy couches in their living room. They didn't sit in front of the computer all day. So there was constant some form of movement most of their day where there was just moving around, walking, doing things, tapping your feet. Any movement that your body is doing is going to require some energy. Now is it a lot of energy? No. But put together, if you work to do some things that increase your needs, you will actually start burning some calories. And a little difference of even 20 calories a day over a period of time can be quite significant. So what are some things Besides tapping your feet and dancing that we can do that are non exercise activities that would get us there? The first thing I would say is recognize how our lifestyles have become easy and convenient. We get in the car, we drive to the grocery store, we try to find the closest spot to the door. We may even wait for a car to pull out. To get to that closest space, we go to work in our car, we sit at our office, things are brought to us, delivered to us.
We live a very convenient life for the most part. So try to avoid easy. Try to avoid convenient. Park a little bit further away at the grocery store. Park a little bit further away in the employee parking lot. Don't ask for someone to bring something to you. Get up and go get it. Avoid convenient. Make life less convenient. So you're moving around a little bit more. Instead of someone saying, I'm going to the break room to get a coffee, do you want one? It's like, sure, I'll walk with you and you walk that type of thing. So avoid the easy, convenient stuff that's keeping you sedentary and make sure you're adding a little bit more movement. And then the final bit I'll say on this is create opportunities for me, like I said, sitting on the floor instead of sitting in a chair. By the nature of that, you can still watch your program or do what you were doing, but you're going to move around more because it requires it for comfort sake. It's really hard to sit on a hard floor for any period of time. And it's more work getting up than it would be from a chair or a couch.
So look for opportunities to make your life a little bit more uncomfortable and you'll be moving more. You'll be less sedentary. And that little bit over time is going to be significant. So that's the second one Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis look for opportunities to move.
Don't Drink Your Calories
The final one, and this is probably going to be the hardest one for most people is to not drink calories. When we drink our calories, they go into our system almost immediately. Most of the digestive process has already occurred, and as a result, they don't really fill us up. And there's a lot of calories. Eating an orange is better than drinking orange juice. For example, the orange is already processed and chewed and ready to go, and you're absorbing it, and you're losing a lot of the fiber from that orange. So eating the orange is better than drinking the juice. And that goes for everything. So try to avoid drinking your food, even if it's protein, even if it's something else. Even if you're putting whole fruits and vegetables in there, yes, there's some fiber. Yes, you're getting some of the nutrients, most of the nutrients in a smoothie.
But the reality of it is it's going to go through really quick. It's not going to keep you full, and as a result, you're going to get hungrier sooner. So eating whole food, it's better to eat a chicken breast than it is to do a protein shake. It's better to eat a fruit than it is to drink the juice. So milk, juice, and then the final one, alcohol. Alcohol contains calories. Even if you're going with the low sugar, drink the vodka with the club soda and a little bit of lime, which is not a bad choice for alcohol consumption. A little bit a good wine, a dry wine, not a bad choice. But you're drinking calories, and they're not nutrient-dense calories. So as a result, it's just additional calories. And if you're working really hard with HIIT training and you're doing the NEAT and you're working out and you're doing your thing, you're putting calories in that aren't adding value to you unless it is having a drink is not a problem. But if you're trying to cut that last bit and you found yourself plateauing, this is something to consider. Should you abstain or significantly reduce the amount of alcohol that you're drinking?
And then the final bit I'll talk about is shakes and smoothies. Anyone that trains with me knows that protein, protein, protein. We've got to make sure we're getting our protein. And if you're training hard, which you're doing the training, you're probably training pretty hard. Then you're going to need enough protein. And sometimes it's just really hard to get that from whole foods unless you have specific strategies to make that happen. For a lot of people, those strategies involve drinking protein shakes. Some people are in the habit in the mornings of having a smoothie so that they're getting their Greens and a lot of the nutrients that they need. It's quick and easy, that type of thing. We talked about convenience earlier. This is another situation where we might want to look to strategies that are a little less convenient. So I might have to say my snack is not going to be the. Nuts and seeds and things that I would normally eat.
I'm going to eat chicken breast for snack just to get the protein. I'm not going to drink a protein shake after my workout. I'm going to eat my protein. By doing that, you're causing your body to have to do the work. And here's one of the interesting things. Digestion uses energy. So if we are eating chicken breasts, there's a thermogenic effect to food that is going to happen. And as a result, that protein grams or the grams of protein that I'm eating aren't going to give me the full calorie load that they would if I drank, say, whey protein. So I'm getting the same nutrition, so to speak, at a fewer calories. So it's less calorie-dense. It's more nutrient-dense food. So all the way across the board, if you know you're drinking calories, look for ways to reduce that. So if you have cream in your coffee, try to reduce it, try to use less or try to avoid it if you can. Again, drinking calories, it's a zero sum game. You're not digesting that. So all those calories are just pure calories into your system. And even if there's some nutrition involved in them, they might be slowing down your weight loss.
So to kind of recap these, these are three of my favorite tactics and strategies for how I go about. If I want to cut or help someone cut some body fat or if they've plateaued, we're going to do high-intensity interval training that is as hard as you can go for the work period. Get your rest. Stop when you can't recover. Or if you're doing a Tabata, push yourself. Grind through those eight rounds. It's four minutes so you can do this. Make sure you're recovering. Make sure you're not trying to do this too often, and do exercises that you're comfortable you can do and go full speed. So work hard, rest, and then give yourself adequate recovery, knowing that you're going to have EPOC. And that's going to help you burn more calories than you would have otherwise. Next is NEAT. The near Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and this is just basically where we look for opportunities to be a little more active, to move our bodies a little bit more. We're not scheduling exercise, we're just saying I can move my arms more. I can tap my feet. I can dance while I'm brushing my teeth rather than just stand there.
I can park further away. I can make my life a little less convenient and burn more calories as a result. And then the final bit is don't drink your calories. If you want to lose weight and you want to really lean out, you want to avoid drinking calories because those calories are not being digested. You're losing the thermic effect of food if you were getting those nutrients from whole food. So try to avoid drinking calories. So those are my three top tips. If you have any questions, you should join us on our group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and we have a Facebook group there. I post challenges and other things over the course of the week and we can have discussions there. If I see something cool, I tend to put it out there. So I'd love for you to come join our group. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I'll see you there.
[00:24:12.710] – Allan
Hey, Rachel, how's it going?
[00:24:14.170] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Good. I love having these extra tips. We all get through our weight loss journey in different ways, but I'm sure everybody has had a plateau or has stagnated in some form and just needs some boost to get through it. And these are all great tips.
[00:24:32.350] – Allan
Yeah. A lot of people will set a weight loss goal and, you know, it's not a linear journey. It's never a linear journey. And particularly when you're at that last stages, most of us are going to plateau. We're going to have this set point. We're going to be like, I'm at this weight and I really want to be maybe 10 pounds lighter. And it doesn't seem like the things we're doing are working and it can get kind of frustrating. So I wanted to put out a few tips for folks that are in that position of things that they can do or not do that would help them kind of push that journey going, whether it's a plateau or just kind of that last five or ten pounds you're trying to cut.
[00:25:12.860] – Rachel
Yeah, right. All of them are great tips, but I've never tried HIIT training. And I suppose maybe it's because I'm a little bit intimidated about how intense that it could be. But after listening to you talk about it, I feel a little less intimidated.
[00:25:27.300] – Allan
Now, probably as a part of your running training, you've done a fartlek before.
[00:25:31.060] – Rachel
Yeah. Lots of speed drills.
[00:25:33.270] – Allan
Okay. So far is basically a speed drill where you run a little faster and then you run a little slower. It's an interval, interval training and it's good because it actually builds VO2 Max and allows you to run a little faster. This is a similar thing. Although the difference between standard interval training and HIIT training is that in a fire like you don't want to get gas. You want to run right at your threshold and hold at that threshold and slow down when you need to. Whereas with high-intensity interval training all the ropes are off, all the bets are off. We really want to push ourselves past that point. We want to actually gas ourselves in a sense and run as many as we can and still recover. And if you do that, you're boosting your metabolism like nothing else you could do. No long, slow anything is going to compare to what you can do with a HIIT session.
[00:26:27.170] – Rachel
Well when you mentioned that you're on for 20 seconds and off for 60 seconds, I didn't put two and two together until you just mentioned the fartlek training. Because one of the first things that I did in my marathon training and that I have my runners do as well is some 20 second strides. So it's kind of funny. It's the exact same thing. You go out full force for 20 seconds and take a minute or so to recover and then do it again. So that's funny that we do those things.
[00:26:56.520] – Allan
Yeah, there's some science behind it because we have different energy sources. Our body uses different energy sources. So when you first start movement you're on one energy source. Okay. It's basically the ATP that exists in your muscle at that point in time that's going to last you maybe 20 seconds. Okay. And then you start getting into anaerobic and you're using oxygen past that which is shortly after like 30 seconds. Then you're at this point where now you're going to have to slow down.
[00:27:30.210] – Allan
You're going to have to start being able to pull on the blood sugar and other things because you've burned all that ATP, you burned all that energy and you'll just feel yourself naturally just not be able to keep sprinting. That's why they tell you if you're going to get into a race, pace yourself. But in training it's the exact opposite. We want to actually reach that threshold. We want to get to a point and so we do multiple rounds of this and we have to then yes, allow enough time for recovery which for most people is going to be three times. Sometimes you want to go four times.
[00:28:02.840] – Allan
It seems like a long time. But I promise you if you go out there and push as hard as you can for 20 seconds, a minute does not feel like a minute.
[00:28:11.580] – Rachel
[00:28:11.960] – Allan
Any other time you experienced a minute. This is not an experienced minute. This is really quickly. And then particularly as you start getting towards the end of what you can do, when you're not recovering all the way, you'll want to sit longer, you won't want to do another round and that's your body talking to you and that's maybe a good time to quit. But really the easiest way to know whether you're recovering or not is to actually look at your heart rate and find out what that base level is for you.
[00:28:38.220] – Allan
The 220 formula can work for some people. It doesn't work for me because my heart rate will naturally go higher when I'm pushing and I can handle that. And when it comes down, it's going to stay at a higher base. So I'm not going to get down to like for a lot of people, you might get down to 120. I'm not going to get down to 120, but I'm also not going to stop at 175, which is what my age formula would say. It's probably stopped somewhere in the 170s.
[00:29:04.630] – Allan
My heart rate can get up to 190 on a good push. I can't stay there again because I'm out of ATP and everything else. So I HIIT that and then I watch my recovery. If I get down below 145, then I know I have it in me to do one more round. But it's a mental game and it's a push game and it does wonders.
[00:29:26.610] – Rachel
It does, I think in running, I think that was a big crux of how successful I was at my marathon, because I just felt really cardiovascularly strong for that. And I'm sure it was because of some of those speed drill type of activities. Yeah, HIIT training sounds like a great thing.
[00:29:44.000] – Allan
It can be. You can do it very easily. It's a body weight movement for the most part. Sprinting or something like body weight squats with jumps maybe, burpees. Just anything that's really going to get your body moving and moving most of your body, particularly your legs, which are some of the bigger muscles. But the more you're moving, the more energy you're expending. Sprinting is good.
[00:30:09.220] – Allan
I would encourage you not to do it on a treadmill, even though I said running is good only because treadmills have the safety devices in them to slow down slowly and speed up slowly. So it's not going to work for the change that you're going to want to have a full out and then fall off, or at least very slow to allow recovery. Treadmills don't work very well for that, but elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, versa climbers, those things can be very effective for HIIT training.
[00:30:39.070] – Rachel
[00:30:39.600] – Allan
You're pushing yourself. Now with the treadmill, you can do more, just basic interval, slow it down, speed it up, change the angle, but at the same time, it's not going to be HIIT and it's very hard to do it safely on the treadmill.
[00:30:54.670] – Rachel
Sure, that makes sense. And then the Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). As we're talking right now, I'm standing and I'm kind of rocking back and forth because I can't stand still very much. I don't sit down very much either, but I do love all those tips about parking farther away and taking the stairs all the things that we hear all the time. Just introducing a few more of those types of energy uses throughout the day could add up over time.
[00:31:24.020] – Allan
It does. You could sit down and do the math and just say, what if I burned an extra ten calories each day?
[00:31:32.530] – Rachel
Sure doesn't sound like a lot, but.
[00:31:34.660] – Allan
It does not sound like a lot. But that's a whole pound in a year.
[00:31:38.810] – Rachel
[00:31:40.910] – Allan
And I can tell you, like, when I was doing the rower, I could burn an entire calorie in one pull if I pulled really hard. So it's not hard to burn an extra ten calories with a short walk, doing things that are a little bit more work than they have to be. And just even things like yard work, things that would make your job easier, like a wheelbarrow, you load it all in a wheelbarrow and go, well, no, just grab a clump and walk and then go back and get another clump. There's that extra walking around while you're doing yard work. Those things, they can add up. And like I said, just an additional ten calories that you're burning each day, it adds up to at least a whole pound of body fat in a year.
[00:32:29.910] – Rachel
That's fantastic. But there are three tips I have to say that number three is my favorite. And to not drink your calories. My goodness.
[00:32:38.610] – Allan
Yeah. A lot of people, they don't want to give up alcohol.
[00:32:42.190] – Rachel
[00:32:42.720] – Allan
They're looking for convenience. Again, convenience. So if I can get a protein shake, is that the easiest way for me to get my protein in? Absolutely. Get through workout, go over, put some whey protein or vegan protein or even beef or egg based protein into a shaker, shake it up and drink it. And you're getting your protein quickly. But the problem is it's just not going to help you if your goal is weight loss because you've thrown calories at yourself, that your body is going to digest really quickly because you've done most of the work for it and doesn't have to do the work. So we talk about NEAT. Chewing food is NEAT is the digestive process.
[00:33:27.580] – Allan
There's a thermal effect of food that's going through digestion. So eating a chicken breast is going to be so much better for you than taking a protein powder because your body has to digest that and pull it in and use it. It just takes time. So you stay full longer and your body is burning more energy to obtain that protein from what you just ate.
[00:33:50.360] – Rachel
Yeah. The other day I fixed myself a nice bowl of a keto friendly yogurt, and then I put on there some blueberries and raspberries. And then just because I like the taste of coconut, I put shredded coconut on top of it. And it was a delicious dessert for me the other night, especially now that we've got almost 80 degrees here in Michigan. But a lot of people would throw that in a smoothie and drink it down, which I'm sure would taste just as good in smoothie form. But I just got a lot more out of it. And it's full food, proper form, taking my time eating it, taking my time, chewing it. And the blender would have done all that work for me. Yeah, eating your food is a lot more enjoyable than drinking it.
[00:34:35.820] – Allan
And had I done a fourth tip, the slowing down would have been my fourth tip. So I'm glad you brought that up. Being more mindful of the food that you're eating and the nutrition that you're getting. Slowing down so you can feel the sensations of getting full. So you stop eating.
[00:34:58.970] – Allan
An experiment, that someone's doubting this. Try this. Make a smoothie in the morning. Go ahead and make a smoothie and get a bag of the spinach. You can put half of that bag in your smoothie, about two and a half ounces of spinach. It's good nutrition. You get it in there. You drink that 32 ounce smoothie really quickly, and then you're still going to be hungry an hour or two later. Sit down and try to eat a salad that has two and a half ounces of spinach. You put a nice dressing on it. You put other stuff in there.
[00:35:33.250] – Rachel
That's a lot
[00:35:34.730] – Allan
that's a lot. Big honking bowl of salad. And it's going to take you a long time to chew and eat that salad. And that's where this all comes from is the speed with which you put it in, the speed with which it leaves your stomach and the signals that your body is going to give you that it's no longer full.
[00:35:51.370] – Rachel
[00:35:52.610] – Allan
You still put in the same amount of calories, but because it didn't take as long to digest it, you're going to feel full sooner. So slowing down absolutely is how you feel when you're starting to get there and over and over. The advice, blue zones, everything else all the way through is if you feel you're starting to get full, stop, because you'll end up overeating, past almost every time.
[00:36:18.370] – Allan
So 80% is where a lot of people like to target it. If you feel like where you are eating is about 80%, give it a break. Don't throw your plate outright yet, but just give it a break. Slow down and just feel how you feel. And then if you start feeling full, then if you've gotten the nutrition your body needs, full stop. No reason to eat the rest of it.
[00:36:39.220] – Rachel
So funny, Allan, you and I both I'm sure we're raised as kids where you need to finish everything on your plate.
[00:36:44.640] – Allan
Everything on that plate, everything brought out to the table… leftovers? Who has leftovers?
[00:36:53.530] – Rachel
[00:36:55.410] – Allan
Now I'm famous here in our house for we'll fix dinner and I'll be halfway through with dinner. And then I'm like, okay, done. And I'll set my plate down. I'll go get up, get some foil or a bowl or something. And I'll put my food in the bowl.
[00:37:11.010] – Rachel
There you go.
[00:37:11.690] – Allan
And that's my lunch tomorrow and probably about a third of what my dinner would have been like ten years ago.
[00:37:19.420] – Rachel
Sure, it's funny. It's a hard habit to break, but it's definitely a good one. Save it for later.
[00:37:25.260] – Allan
Yeah. All right. Well, I'm going to go get on a boat and take my holiday here. Give Mike my best and I'll see you guys next week.
[00:37:35.700] – Rachel
Thanks. Take care, Allan. Have fun.
[00:37:37.670] – Rachel
[00:37:38.300] – Rachel
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Many people walk into the gym without an idea what they are there to do other than get a workout in. As a result, they don't see the results they want. On this episode, we discuss how you can build the right fitness program for yourself.
[00:01:11.230] – Allan
Hello, Ras. How are things going?
[00:01:13.440] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:01:15.530] – Allan
Going well, just kind of busy, actually. Kind of funny. I was supposed to have a call and I completely lost track of days.
[00:01:23.780] – Rachel
[00:01:26.650] – Allan
I switched up my workouts and I did a weight lifting workout on a Sunday. And as a result, I woke up the next day thinking it was Tuesday and did a weight lifting workout and then woke up today thinking it was a Wednesday, when, in fact, we're recording this on a Tuesday. And so it's like I was completely backwards on my thinking, fell behind, thought I was way behind. And then even though everything being what it was, I should have known different. I didn't. And as a result, kind of miss some appointments and things I was supposed to do. So if I was supposed to be on a call with you on Monday night, I apologize. I thought it was Tuesday night. I just don't even know what was going on last night when I thought, okay, it's Tuesday night, tomorrow's Wednesday. What do I have going on? And okay, well, tomorrow is another weightlifting day, and it wasn't today was a cardio day. And we'll talk a little bit more in detail about that at the end. But it was just kind of one of those things of the weather here is the same every day.
[00:02:35.170] – Allan
There's not a lot of differences. I don't really have weekends the way a lot of people have weekends. Any day could be a weekend. Everybody's here on holidays. So it doesn't feel different one day to the next, for the most part, any day here. So, yeah, just kind of lost track of days.
[00:02:54.420] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness. How crazy is that? Do you keep a calendar? Do you have a paper or a digital calendar?
[00:03:00.430] – Allan
I have a digital calendar, but it's kind of one of those things where I'm trying to condition myself to not look at things unless I need to look at things. So social media maybe not look at it all the time. Log in and check in on my clients once a day or so where I need to and do what I need to do. And then it's the same thing with a calendar. It's typically just, okay, what do I know is going on today and on the Monday, but I knew I needed to record something so we could have this call because I failed to do it on what I thought was Monday. And then again, just like, complete confusion. Didn't do what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it and then didn't know what day of the week it was and did other things, failed to do other things I was supposed to do.
[00:03:56.110] – Allan
So it just kind of put me in. I'm in this kind of weird juxtaposition because my weekend and the first part of next week is going to be intense because we're moving all the gym equipment. We're moving in. So the paint is late, the light fixtures are late. So those are going to be like, I had to go actually buy replacement/alternate light fixtures, not the light fixtures I want to keep. I had to pay for those just to have light fixtures because you need light the building to do what you got to do sometimes. And then the paint is not in because we were put off the paint waiting on the light fixtures because it's coming from the same source. And I'm like, no, I got to have the paint because they're finishing up now and now I don't have paint. So I told the person we were telling them, okay, look, regardless of whether the lights are ready, bring the paint, because I've got a paint because we're moving all the equipment in on Sunday.
[00:04:51.080] – Allan
So I'm hopeful I'll get the paint on Thursday, Friday the latest, and then I'll start painting where I can paint. And then I'll start moving equipment in and continue to try to paint around the equipment. That's going to be harder, but it kind of is what it is. So a lot of moving parts in my life right now, and I just completely lost track of days. But I won't lose track of days those days because those are going to be four or five really hard days.
[00:05:18.510] – Rachel
That sounds like it. My gosh, no wonder you've lost track of days. There's a lot going on. A lot of things you're balancing right now.
[00:05:25.780] – Allan
Yeah. How about yourself?
[00:05:28.690] – Rachel
Good. I'm far less busy than you are, but things are going good. I mentioned I have a trainer and I'm working on my marathon program, and over the weekend I ran 16 miles on my treadmill, and it was hard. It was a challenge.
[00:05:51.190] – Allan
When you're training on the treadmill, do you use the distraction, like watching Netflix or something like that?
[00:05:58.820] – Rachel
I can't watch anything because I feel like I have lost balance and I don't want to accidentally trip. I think I was watching something like, I don't know, the Matrix or something ages ago, and I was trying to bob and weave along with Neo there, and I almost fell off the treadmill. I prefer to listen to podcasts or on certain days, music is actually easier to listen to. So that's about my limits of my distraction. But it was just a long day and I chose that over outside, we had single-digit temperatures and double-digit wind gusts, so I chose the safer route.
[00:06:41.130] – Allan
Yeah. And those are not the conditions that you're going to be running your race in. So there's no value to pushing yourself through something like that, other than just saying, I want to be uncomfortable for what was probably about two and a half hours.
[00:06:55.180] – Rachel
Yeah. It was definitely the right guess. Exactly like that. The snow and the ice is just too sketchy, and it would have impacted my gate so greatly that I probably would have put myself at more risk than I got off the treadmill. So at least on the treadmill, I had a consistent gate, which I think is far more beneficial for that long run.
[00:07:19.910] – Allan
Day treadmills were originally a punishment.
[00:07:24.730] – Rachel
I know, I know. I could tell you. Yeah. So things are good up here.
[00:07:32.220] – Allan
Good. So let's go ahead and get into today's episode where we talk about programming for yourself.
[00:07:38.550] – Rachel
Hello, and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today, I want to talk about a topic that is actually really important if you're looking to build your fitness and make it really matter. A lot of people approach fitness programs the wrong way. They try something that's generic. They don't get the results they really wanted. As a result, a lot of them give up. So today I want to discuss how to build a fitness program that's right for you. So first, let's define the problem. Now, the initial problem with a fitness program is that most people seem to have a singular view on fitness. So you either think that you need to build cardio or you think you need to build strength or you think you need to do this. And as a result, people get tied into one dimension of fitness. So they become runners or they go in and they start taking the classes. They really enjoy them. And so it's just basically you're doing classes. And then there's also things like people that just go in and do yoga and think that's sufficient for what they need, or people that actually just go in and do weightlifting and say, okay, that's all I need.
The reality is most of the time that's not enough. And when we do this, what happens is we tend to put the workouts first. So you enjoy the class. The class is what you do. You feel like you're getting what you need. And as a result, what we've done is we've effectively put the tactics in without really having a strategy for what we're trying to accomplish. So if you're going to work on your fitness, you need to ensure that the fitness is doing. The work you're doing for fitness is working for you. So why do we do some of these things? Well, the first one is if you enjoy doing something like you really enjoy running or you really enjoy your fitness classes, you tend to want to do it more. Or another thing that I've seen quite often is people are really good at one thing, so you're really good at running or you're really good at lifting. And as a result, that's why you want to do that one thing. But movement for the sake of movement is not necessarily always a good thing. Now I will be the first to tell you I'm not going to poopoo anyone who takes the time to do a workout.
If you're doing a workout, that's a thousand times better than not doing a workout. But there's a reason why the treadmills are at the front of the gym. And the reason the treadmills are at the front of the gym is because 99% of the time that's as far as most people are going to go, they're going to walk into the gym and they're going to get on the treadmill, they're going to do their time, literally, and then they're going to get off the treadmill, and that's their workout. Now, again, movement for the sake of movement, fine. But realize that won't necessarily get you where you want to be. You need to get a little deeper. You need to do a little bit more because you're not only missing modalities, you're missing key one of the ones you're doing. Okay. So it's great you're on the treadmill. It's great that you're lifting, but are you really pushing yourself? Are you really doing the things that are necessary to move the needle for your health and fitness? So how do we make this happen? Because it's so easy to get wrapped up into the I'm really good at lifting, and I really don't want to do these other things or I'm really good at running, and I don't want to do these other things or I really enjoy doing the elliptical or the treadmill.
And I'm really somewhat intimidated by doing anything further. So the first thing you want to do is you want to go all the way back to the beginning. I'm going to do this to you over and over again. You have to go back to the grounding that you did at the front of this whole process. And if you don't know what that means, I'd encourage you to go back and listen to any of the lessons I've talked about with regards to commitment. And so within commitment, we have this vision. Okay. And within the vision, there are multiple segments of fitness that you're going to need to have. I've never seen anyone who has this vision to be able to run 50 miles a day and that's their vision. That's not what people emotionally attached to. The vision is about enjoying your life. It's about being the person you're meant to be. It's about being able to do the things that you need to do, which is fit for task. So if you want to be fit for task, you've got to really pay attention to what that means. What does the future you what are they capable of doing?
Okay, so let's say, for example, you want to be able to travel and there are certain places you want to be able to go, like let's just say Europe and you want to be able to do the Mediterranean, you want to be able to arrive there and enjoy yourself and do the things that you want to do. Well, I can tell you one of the first challenges you're going to get when you get that trip going, because you're most likely going to have to get on an airplane or some kind of mode of transportation that's public and you're going to have to load your bag, you have to carry your bag, you're going to put it up over into the overhead bin. There's things you're going to have to be able to do that will require strength. If you're going to do something and go somewhere and you're going to be doing walking or anything like that, you're going to need some stamina. And if the roads are cobbled like they are in most of Europe, you're maybe going to need some balance and mobility is always a good test thing to have just to keep your body moving in the way that it's supposed to so you don't injure yourself.
So just in that one vision of being able to travel successfully, you're going to need strength, stamina, mobility and balance. Okay, so that's four different training modalities that you don't get if you're only doing one thing. Now, how much of each of these do you need? Again, we go back to the base. The base is your vision. Okay. If your overhead is not going to weigh over £30, then there's very little reason for you to train to be able to press over £30 over your head. Okay. If the most you feel like you're going to ever have to walk or run or do. If you're going to go do a tour or something would be about three or 4 miles, then maybe that's the stamina that you need to have. So if your vision is travel, then you need to be fit for that task. If your vision is to do something else, like be an awesome grandmother and keep up with your grandkid, maybe your stamina needs to be a little higher at certain points in time. You're picking up the child, maybe your strength needs to be a little higher at certain points in time.
And then the other thing is mobility and balance. Obviously if you live in locations where there is a potential for you to fall or slip, you need to have those skills too. So looking at your vision is really an independent topic, independent approach to you doing you to you being the fit that you need fit for task. So what you need to do, the work that you need to do is really should be driven by that vision. And if it is, that breaks down all the motivational problems that you would have. Yes, it can be intimidating to try something that you're not good at. I walk into a yoga class. I am like a bear in a Penguin shop. I don't belong there and I know I don't belong there. But if I need to work on mobility, that's a great place to do it. If I want to get into body weight strength, that's a great place to do it. Even if I'm uncomfortable, it's important for me to push myself through. And if my vision is a part of that, it makes it a lot easier to do. So how do we get started with all of this?
And I'll say the first step is always going to be a self assessment. Now the self assessment goes along with my GPS model, and the S is the self assessment. So how are we going to self assess? Well, the first is to look at our fitness and what our capabilities are. Okay, so what areas of fitness am I really good at? And I'll tell you generally strength. However, I did tear my rotator cuff a few years ago, and as a result, I am not as strong in my upper body from a pushing perspective as I was back then. So there are areas of fitness where I'm good, particularly leg strength and pulls with my back. But there are areas of strength that I'm not so good at. So kind of looking and saying, what are the areas of fitness I'm good at? I know that I'm good at strength. I know that I'm good at long, slow cardio. Where am I not good. I'm not good in balance, I'm not good at mobility. So those are areas that I may need to focus on. Okay, do I want to do more where I'm already strong?
And the short answer to that is it depends. If I need to be stronger, like I'm trying to work on building my pushing strength because I'm weaker, then that's something I need to consider. Okay, so what effort is now necessary for me to maintain or gain the fitness I need? For most of us over 40, that's going to require working each body part at least once per week. But probably just twice per week would be enough for most of us to maintain or gain some fitness at that level. Meaning if I want to get stronger at lifting weights, I'll probably need to do weight training for my whole body or for body parts at least twice a week. So what are some fitness areas that I'm not so good at? And I mentioned earlier, I'm not so good at balance. I'm not so good at mobility. So what effort is necessary for me to gain or maintain those? And that's some balance training that's putting myself in some positions where I might not be as comfortable. So instead of doing a two legged squat, maybe I'm going to do a one legged squat, or maybe I do some form where I'm moving side to side and then doing a squat.
So there's opportunities there for me to work on my balance. As for mobility, that's paying attention to where I'm tighter, where I'm not as mobile and working on stretching, working on some other efforts to make sure that I'm gaining that mobility. And for those types of modalities, for balance and for mobility, those are things that I could practically do every day. So if I'm lifting two times per week as a whole body workout, I now have five days left. I can focus on doing these other things and in some cases, maybe go ahead and double them up and I can do these others more often. So you kind of see how I'm beginning to do from this self assessment to build out the training things that I need to get in to build fitness, to maintain fitness based on where I currently am and based on where I want to go. So the first question is, is a predefined workout for you? Because they're everywhere. You can go on the Internet, you can do a quick search for anything you want to train on. And basically a workout is going to come in. So if you went on YouTube and you type, which is the second largest search engine in the world, and you Typed in mobility workout, you would be inundated by all kinds of videos that you could do as a predefined workout.
Now, I would say that for most of these, yes, for balance and mobility, a typical class or plan will work fine. So you can go in and say, okay, I'm going to do this basic stretching class or I'm going to work on this balance program. Those typically are fine for just about everybody. However, I'm going to say this, not all muscles need to be stretched. If you have good solid mobility in certain movement ranges, say you're almost double jointed in the upper body or in the lower body, you don't need to stretch those muscles. Those muscles are already long. They're already doing what they're supposed to do. Look for other muscles that are a little tighter and focus on those. So while basic plans and classes work, you just need to make sure that where you need to be focused, you are getting that focus. The next is stamina. Now, stamina is kind of one of these things that I think a lot of people struggle with particularly as we get older, and that's because we have physical limitations. Now, as we went through that self assessment, we talked about reasons why we were good or not so good at things.
I mentioned the shoulder problem, so you may have issues with your needs. There's a lot of different examples of where we have physical limitations that would prohibit us from doing certain activities where we're trying to build stamina. So at least knowing those ahead of time is really important. For most of us working on stamina, it's really good to try to get this done outside. Getting outside is going to be better for you. However, there are a lot of machines that can help you do this, particularly when the weather is not so nice. This episode is coming out in March, maybe it's in March, but as this episode comes out, you're going to see that the weather is starting to improve. This is a great opportunity to get outside, but in the event you can't, it's raining, the weather's not good. It just isn't conducive for you to be outside doing these things. Treadmills, elliptical rowers, bikes. There's all kinds of machines that can help you build different forms of stamina. Mixing them up, trying different things always a good thing. Get that variety in there where you can, particularly if you're trying to work around a problem like knees or shoulders or something like that.
All that said, like I said, outside is better. Outside is better. So if you can do these things outside, go ahead and do it. And then if you're going to do a program for stamina, I strongly encourage you to use one that has been proven to be effective. One of my favorites is Jeff Galloway's run walk run method. We interviewed him on episode 248, so you can go back and listen to that episode. I'll have a link in the show notes, but that's a great program about how to build your running stamina without injuring yourself. Other great programs. You can find a couch to five K program. It's going to be sort of a similar walk run kind of thing. So you can build up that stamina in a controlled perspective to try to get you ready for a five K, which is 5 km or basically 3.1 mile. So you're looking to do something specific, either just program or the five day programs. Both are great programs and it can help you start your spam in a process. And as you get a little bit more specialized or start building up to longer distances or longer periods of time, there are other things that you can use that are fixed and then always.
We had a conversation with Rachel not long ago. She has hired a running coach to help her improve her stamina even further so she can run faster and have better times on her run. So if you're looking for that, sometimes having a running coach can go a long way towards helping you build superior stamina. So now we'll talk about my favorite thing. Okay. As I mentioned earlier, it's really important for you to understand your limitations before you start a strength program. Some of those are physical limitations. As I mentioned, my shoulder, my ability to push, my ability to do shoulder exercises very much different than what it was just even five years ago. So I have to be aware of that. I have to address that as I put my training plan together, and then the other is knowledge gap. So one of the reasons that I work on getting my certified personal trainer and the different specializations that I did was just recognizing that I had a knowledge gap in what my body was capable of doing and what I need to do. I was building most of my programming for the first several years off of what I knew when I was in my 20s.
And guess what? It doesn't work and it breaks you time and time again. So I knew I had a knowledge gap. If you have a knowledge gap, you don't know the form of particular exercises. It's really important for you to get this right. Don't do an exercise right and you put load on yourself. Opportunities to hurt yourself is huge, so make sure you've bridged that knowledge gap before you leap into any kind of program. Now, when you're getting started for most lifters, as long as you do know the form and you find the right coach or you find the right website. Strong Lifts Five by Five is one of my favorites. They teach you basic workouts, basic programming, simple lifts, five sets of five reps. It's pretty straightforward and it will help you get stronger. It's a really good entry level basic workout that you can do for quite some time before you need to switch that up. And then most gyms will have a machine circuit. And while machines are not optimal from a form perspective, it's really hard to screw up. If you're sitting in the seat properly and you've got the right posture, a machine workout can be quite good.
You just have to make sure that your settings on the machine are appropriate so that it fits your body. Most machines can adjust seats up and down, back and forward. Just making sure you're in a good position to do that workout is really important. You go to most gyms, they're going to have people available to help you learn how to set up that machine and use that machine appropriately. Take advantage of that or as I mentioned earlier, hire a coach to walk you through it. But strength is probably the only fitness modality that I would say is non negotiable. You have to be training strength, and second behind that is stamina. You have to be training stamina. Mobility and balance are also important, but if you aren't building strength and you're really just focused on stamina, you're going to lose strength, you're going to lose muscle mass. And in the long run, as we age, that's not going to be a good thing. So strength has to be a part of your program. Stamina must be a part of your program. Mobility and balance will very likely need to be a part of your training.
It's just a function of how mobile and how much balance you have now and how much work you need to do to enhance that or at least maintain it, depending on where you stand. So those are the basic training modalities. Now I want to skip into something a little bit deeper about fitness that I think is probably some things that people really struggle with in the long run. First off, a lot of people will start a fitness program and then they'll get bored. And like I said, if you downloaded a program and you started it and it's not something that's progressive, then it can get kind of boring. So if your decision was that you were going to go out and run or walk the same path, and so you're going to walk around the field or you're going to walk through the neighborhood and you've got your horse, if you will, you've measured it out and you know the length and the distance that you're going, and you're maybe keeping up with your time. You know, this takes you a certain amount of time so you can get your workouts done before dinner or before you have to go to work.
So you know how much time it's going to take you to do this. But if you keep doing the same route week in and week out, other than changes of weather and other things that might be going on in that neighborhood or in that field, it could get pretty boring. So that's one thing to be very concerned about is if you get bored and you want to quit, it can be a problem. Likewise with lifting weights, you may go in and do the same basic five exercises. When I mentioned strong lifts and you do them and do them and do them, and then you kind of say, okay, I do these every two times a week, and then eventually kind of getting boring. I mean, okay, squats are great, bench press is great, pulls are great. But in the end, that can get a little boring when you're doing the same workout week in, week out. And yes, maybe you are seeing some progression on that, but it can get kind of just dry. And so don't make sure that what you're doing and the fitness routines that you're doing don't bore you. Some people are able to do the same thing over and over and over again, and they're fine with it.
Others do need some variety. So at least be aware of where you stand with some of those things. Next, some people will see diminishing returns or plateaus. Now, this is completely normal in all phases of training. Initially, you see some pretty good results because your body is not accustomed to what you're doing. Your brain and your muscles are having a conversation. It's a very easy conversation to have once they figure out the wiring, the very difficult conversation when you first get started. So you will see yourself from a strength perspective, potentially from a stamina perspective, from a balanced perspective, and even from a mobility perspective, actually sees some pretty good gains in returns when you first start. And then it kind of slows down and then it kind of Plateau. You've seen this with weight loss. You'll see it with fitness. So a lot of people get disgruntled or upset when they don't see that continued linear progression. And I'm going to tell you, you almost never see a linear progression over and over, because if you did, then the strongest people in the world would never stop getting stronger. So there's a natural limitation on what the brain muscle conversation can do.
And then there's a limited potential for when you're actually building muscle and building strength or building stamina that can continue. At some point, you will Plateau. Now, there are things we can do to break those plateaus, but just realize, don't get dismissive. Don't quit just because you're not seeing the return. And then the other thing is sometimes you're going to see unequal returns. And so maybe your stocks are not exactly what you wanted it to be. Whereas some individuals just really can't put on a lot of muscle mass, they're getting stronger, but they're not seeing their muscles get bigger. They're putting on all the stamina. They're capable of going further. Distances are going and or going faster, but they're not necessarily losing weight because they thought, okay, I'm burning all these calories, I should be losing weight. So just recognize that even though you're pushing yourself in a fitness direction, you won't always see equal gains going forward. And even within body parts, you might not see the same. So like for me, it always was the case. My legs get stronger. They get bigger very easily now. Probably not as easily now as they did before when I was younger.
But that said, I can get really strong with my legs. I'm not capable of getting that much stronger with my upper body the same way. So I see unequal returns. And I also see my legs getting bigger when I lift weights with my legs do leg strength stuff, my upper body doesn't respond quite as well. So recognizing that I'm going to have those biological limitations, I have to keep pushing through, I cannot let that break me mentally. So these are things that are really hard to get through mentally, as if your workout is boring. If you're not seeing the returns that you used to be seeing or you're seeing unequal returns a lot of times that makes it really difficult to stick with, but I want you to go back to what commitment your grounding. There's a reason why you're doing this. There's a vision of what you want to accomplish. If you want it bad enough and you know where you're going, you will still get there. It's never going to be a straight line, so you got to keep pushing through. And that takes a lot of guts, it takes a lot of mental fortitude.
But if you have a good why and you have a good vision, that makes it a lot easier, stick with it and it'll pay off. Okay. So the whole reason we're on this podcast is to learn how to program for yourself. Okay, so first, let's get into the basics of all this. Now, the first thing is you have to know your muscle groups. You have to know what you're doing and why you're doing it. I'm going to talk about this predominantly from a lifting perspective, but a lot of this will fly across the board. Okay. So first, know your muscle groups. When you're doing a certain movement, what muscles are you supposed to be building? What muscles are you supposed to be using? For most exercises, there's going to be a pro mover, there's going to be a primate mover that's causing that exercise to move. Even if it's a compound style movement, there's a prime mover for parts of it and then potentially a different prime mover for other parts of it. So knowing which muscles you're trying to work for each exercise makes it easier for you to know that you're doing the exercise.
Right. So knowing the exercise. Okay, so what muscles am I going to work if I'm doing the deadlift? Well, the deadlift is a very complex work exercise. It is a compound movement, meaning multiple muscles are working. The deadlift happens to work the entire posterior chain. So you're working basically your back, your butt and you're working your hamstrings. So all the way from almost top to bottom, you are working the back of your body, the posterior part of your body. When you do squats, you initially start by using your quadriceps, which are the muscles in the front of your legs. And then as you get deeper into the squat, eventually your glutes are going to kick in and they're the braking mechanism at the bottom, and they're the muscles, the biggest muscle, they're going to start you moving back upwards. So knowing that a squat will require you to use both the front of your legs for a period of time and then the back your butt for the rest of the movement, and then reversing that going back up will help you make sure that you're keeping good form, working the muscles you're supposed to.
So understanding the work that you're doing is really important. That starts with understanding the muscles. Okay. Next is for every exercise you can do has a particular form to it. The form is important to making sure that, one, you avoid injury. But two, understanding that form also affects the angles on the muscles. And so a couple of examples would be whether you're doing something a pull from above your head, like a lap, pull down or pull up, whether you're doing a high row, a low row or a shrub. So what I just talked through were three different angles of rows that are all intended to work a different muscle group across, mostly your back. So the laps when you're pulling down the lats are the main mover, the prime mover. It's going to pull that bar down. If you're pulling the bar, the cable potentially to your upper chest, that's a high row.
So that's working more of the upper back, the rhomboids and the trapezes. And so there you go. There's a whole different set of muscles. When you're doing low rows, you're now working more of the middle back. And when you're doing shrugs, you're working most of the traps and larger traps there. So you can kind of see as you change the angle of something, it's a different exercise. Hand position can also be a very different thing. If your grip is wide. When you're doing something like a bench press or push up, you're really focusing on the chest. If you get your hands closer together now, your triceps are more involved in the movement and maybe less of the chest. And if you get your hands all the way together almost now you're doing well, you're doing a push up, push up. And at that point, now you're working mostly your triceps, the back of your arm. So where you put your hands also affects the movement you're doing. So as you're putting together exercises, again, knowing the muscle you want to do and understanding the form of the exercise, these are critically the next important phase of this, or at least understanding level, is to know your volume.
Now I'm not going to get into that on this episode because we're probably already going long. But on episode 506, we discussed how to increase volume and knowing what your volume is. And volume relates to the amount of weight, the amount of reps, amount of sets, and also how fast or slow you're moving the weight. And so all of those things add to your volume. And so knowing how to adjust those so that you're getting the most benefit out of the work for what your goals are is important. So you might want to go back after you get started here, go back and listen to episode 506 just to make sure you've got a grip on what your volume is as you're getting into work. Now if you're someone who's going to get bored and you start a program, the easiest way to change a program that you already have is to swap exercises. So I'll give you a couple of examples. Let's say you have a program like the five by five. And the back squat is the exercise that was in the book or on the website. You say, okay, I'm going to do this exercise.
And then you get kind of bored with your back squats or you've got toe and you want to try something different. Maybe you try a front squat. It's a very different exercise from the perspective of the angles with which the bar is going down, how your body structured. You're going to move that center of mass a little bit. That's going to change the exercise. So the front squat is a good exercise to go back to. Another one is a lot of people will work on a leg press. Leg press is a great way for you to build overall leg strength.
A lot of leg strength, actually.
You can get really strong in your legs using a leg press. But sometimes people get to a point where they're a little bit tired of the leg press. They've gotten up to a particular weight and they feel like, okay, they've done enough. They really want to change the structure of their work or they want to do something slightly different. Maybe you introduce a hip rust. So you're basically at this point, you're elevating your back maybe on the bench and you've got a weight on your lap and you're trying to do rust. So your feet are flat on the floor, your butt goes down your hips, and then your hips go up to basically try to thrust upwards against the weight. This is a great butt glute word, which again is similar to the leg press. So something you can swap. So basically, anytime you have an exercise, you get a little bored with it or you're not seeing the progress, you can swap out another exercise that works the same muscles or muscle and plug it into the work and use that as your exercise. So not the easiest thing, but every exercise that you do, particularly if one of them is bothering you, can be swapped with another exercise, typically works the same muscle groups and gives you the same effort or at least similar effort and results.
Now, if you're going to make a change, if you're going to do something, I highly recommend that you stick with something for at least six to eight weeks before making a change. You're doing a different workout every day, every time. You're not really going to get the optimal benefit of what you're doing. For one, we talked about that brain muscle, the neuromuscular connection. That's really important. If you don't do an exercise enough, you're not going to get that your brain and your muscles are not going to talk as well as they could without that communication. You're not getting enough work. So you're not going to continue to see gains. If you're swapping exercises every week, you're not going to see those gains the way that you'd like. That will be. So you're going to want to make sure that you stick with something for a while. Six to eight weeks tends to be a really good time before we make a change. Next, you got to increase the load. If you stay with the same weights. And I see this all the time, people will go in and do a circuit. They'll set the machines on exactly the same weight and they go through them time and time again and then they don't really know or see that they're getting any stronger.
The fact that they try to raise it up one weight, they don't really feel like they're able to do it. And that's the struggle. They really haven't pushed themselves, they really haven't made it progressive. So adding a little bit of load when you're using good form creates the stimulus that causes the muscles to react and get stronger and get bigger in most cases. Okay. And then when you're doing this work and sticking with it for a while, you begin to see that strength starting to kick in. So last week you were doing the pulls and you were only pulling £20. This week you're pulling. You're now up to 22 or 25. So now you're seeing the weights get bigger as you learn the exercise, there's communication between the muscles in the brain and then actually, yes, your muscles are changing, they're adapting to the stimulus and they're getting stronger. That's a huge motivation. You start realizing that the work you're doing has a positive effect of actually seeing fitness improvement. That's a great way to know. That's a mile marker to know, hey, I am moving towards my vision. I see it, I see what I'm doing and that's important.
So make sure you stick with it at least long enough. Six to eight weeks to know what you're doing is working before you start trying to mix it up. I know, boredom, boredom, boredom, right, but that's important. So find that balance between switching things up and sticking with it long enough to know that it's working. Okay. So this is how most of us got our start. Most of us, back in the day, it was trial and error. We walked into a gym much like you might, and we had no idea what was going on. There was all this equipment, all these weights. Sometimes there were really big guys back in the back rowing around big dumbbells and big plates and all that. We see that. And I agree it can be a little intimidating for the trial and error part where we just really don't know what we're doing and we're approaching it. I hope today that I've given you some ideas of how you can approach this from a little bit more upscale. You have access to the Internet, you have access to a lot of information, you have access to me. So you won't have to go through trial and error.
Another thing that we did back in the day was we had fitness magazines, so Flex and Muslim Fitness. Those were the main magazines that came out. There were a lot of other bodybuilding magazines in the day. Those have pretty much been replaced by YouTube and different websites. But the concept is the same. There's stuff out there, some of it's good.
Some of it's really bad.
So just kind of knowing that, okay, I have to learn and I can't just try to apply this thing because I can tell you, I read magazine articles where guys were doing 100, which means they're doing 100 reps for a muscle group. A little muscle group at that. I tried it. It hurt. Did it give me additional muscle gain? No, not at all. It was probably a wasted workout because it was too much and it really wasn't set for what I was trying to accomplish at the time. But it looked cool, it sounded cool. And the bodybuilder that was touting it in the magazine was someone that I respected, but again, not necessarily the right thing to do. So take what you see online with a grain of salt, spend some time doing some research, asking questions, and put together a program that's going to get you to your vision. All things considered, being over 40 does add some challenges. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I went to NASM and got certified. And yes, there was a good bit of expense to that. I can't even tell you how much money I have spent on my education, my fitness education over the years.
And so there are ways for you to get around that. Hiring a trainer is a great way to do that. And along the way.
I've done the same.
I've hired coaches to program for me and to push me because when you have someone there, you work harder. So every time I've hired a coach, I've never regretted it. I've never regretted having someone there who wrote a program. I could look at the program and say, this is reasonable, this makes sense. And then I could push myself. And they were there to help. They were there to encourage, they were there to critique. And so my form was better, my work was better, I worked harder, I got more results, and it was well worth the investment. Now, if you want to fast track your fitness and weight loss, I'd encourage you to go to 40 Plusfitness.com. I have an application there had some problems with that website up until I today, but I will have a link to the application there. Go ahead and complete that form. And then we can go ahead and connect and see if 40 Plus Fitness Online training is for you. Programming is not rocket science, but it's also not something you can just pull something off the Internet and do and know that you're optimizing your health and fitness. So if you're still stuck and you need help or you want help or you really want to fast track what you're doing, go to 40 Plusfitness.com and there you'll see a link for an application.
Go to the application. It's not long. It won't take you long. But then we'll get on a call, I'll get on the call and we'll come up with a plan just for you. And it may not be 40 Plus Fitness online training. And that's cool. I really want to help you get where you want to go. And if this training program isn't the right thing, I will help you find the thing that is and get you started and get you moving in the right direction. So thank you so much again for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:46:38.750] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:46:40.290] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. What a really great and timely podcast. I think the tips that you've given about developing your own training program could not be more perfectly timed. I'm seeing a lot of questions on the Internet about why do we do this or how do we do that? And right now it seems to be revolving around strength training. That's an important modality that people just don't know how to fold into their current training programs. But I like what you set up here for the listeners because there's a good way to go about developing your own program.
[00:47:14.800] – Allan
Yeah, well, first it has to align with what you're trying to do. And that can be an event or that can just be a lifestyle you want to have or both and probably should be both. Me, I get highly motivated by having an event in front of me. I think I posted something this week in the group about how even the most elite athletes are not what they would call optimally fit all the time. They have their ebbs and flows, their seasons and off seasons. And so they're going through those things themselves.
[00:47:48.480] – Allan
But that said, they're hiring the professionals. They're doing little things that they're supposed to do. And yes, you can do those things yourself. And when I work with clients, I think the thing that sometimes just it kind of frustrates me a little bit is to have a client that really just wants to work out in front of them. They don't want to think about it. They don't want to learn anything about what they're doing. It's just like make me skinny is sort of the mantra. And I'm like, well, okay, skinny doesn't mean healthy. Lifting weights will get you stronger.
[00:48:24.560] – Allan
If they're asking questions. Well, how strong do I need to be? And I'm like, I don't know, what do you want to do? And so they're not able to answer that question because they haven't really done the initial homework. So to them, it's the workout is. And I hate to say this, as we said earlier, the punishment for being unfit. I'm not healthy and fit. I'm not the weight I'm supposed to be. So I have to effectively punish myself. So I've got to do this running. I've got to get on the treadmill or elliptical and they're not really planning out what they're doing. And then even if they do pick up a program, they don't know why they're doing the exercises they're doing. Other than that's what the program says. So they're following a program.
[00:49:05.880] – Allan
And while I said in my talk, that can be great. But at the same time, it's really hard to stay motivated. When you get to the end of that program, it's like, okay, well, I just do it again. Is there something else? And a lot of people get stuck at that. And so I'll work with someone for a number of months, maybe even a couple of years, and at the end they're like, okay, I'll see you. And I'm like, okay, cool. And then they just keep doing what I gave them until they stopped because they get bored or something gets in the way, and then they just don't know where to start back. They're like, well, I was doing this weight and doing that exercise, and now I don't know, should I lower it this amount do that, or should I just go back in and do what I was doing?
[00:49:51.610] – Allan
And that fear keeps them from starting again. And then they're out. And so I talked to him a couple of months after that, and they're like, how's it going? It's like, well, kind of fell off with the exercise. I still run and they still do the thing they enjoy doing. So they're still doing the cardio stuff, if that's what they enjoyed, or the hiking or whatever, the biking. They're still doing some of that stuff. Not all the time, but some.
[00:50:17.030] – Allan
But their eating completely falls off because again, the exercise kind of drives eating. And I don't mean that you can exercise out of bad diet, but what I found is almost implicitly 100%, someone who works out, puts time in in the gym, pays the trainer, starts eating better, and when they stop paying the trainer and then they stop working out, they go back to their old habits. So just realize that there's more there than just doing a workout.
[00:50:49.390] – Rachel
Well, I think you mentioned the very first place to start is to have your vision, to have your long term goals. And it's not necessarily like for me right now, I'm training for a marathon in April or the ultra, maybe I'll do in the fall, but I've got good role models in my life. My great grandparents didn't leave their farm property until they were in their 90s, their late 90s at that.
[00:51:14.080] – Rachel
So I'm looking that far forward. I want to be active and able to live independently well into my 70s, 80s or 90s if I'm so allowed to do so. So lucky. But that's the thing is that I've got these long-term goals and then in the medium, I've got these short-term goals about running, and I think that's what people might forget about. Sure, you can do a couch to 5K program. That's a great place to start. Absolutely. But what are you going to do after that? What is going to keep you motivated to stay active and to stay healthy and fit for the long-term? And some of these tips, like having a vision is a good place to start.
[00:51:56.800] – Allan
Yeah. When you have that vision, then everything seems to make a little bit more sense. You know, that okay, I could have all the stamina on the world, but if my grandchild comes running up to me and I can't pick them up or I have to sit in a chair because I can't kneel down and tie their shoe, those are things that are going to emotionally affect me in a way that I don't want to experience. I want to be able to get down on the floor and tie their shoe and roll around with them in the grass and not feel like, okay, now someone has to come help me up. I want to be able to do all this stuff. And so, yeah, there's this long-range plan.
[00:52:34.090] – Allan
And then for me, the short run is okay, I'm doing another Tough Mudder. And what I found is these particular obstacle course races are requiring me to be more fit in more direct ways, meaning I have to have more stamina than I think I would ever need with a grandchild.
[00:52:54.290] – Rachel
[00:52:56.810] – Allan
Grandchild is not going to make me do 15K running in addition to 25 obstacles in a given day. Now over the course of a month, maybe. And then the other side of it is just the physical strength and being able to do the things that I'm going to have to be able to do without knowing what some of those things are because they don't broadcast all of their obstacles. You know, some of them, but you don't know all of them unless you've already done a race that season. And then generally maybe you do. But for most of us going into the race, they don't broadcast and tell you what all the obstacles are. So I know I'm going to need strength, I need grip strength, and then I'm just going to need grit.
[00:53:38.570] – Rachel
[00:53:41.730] – Allan
One of the things I can say my training is that my cardio came back really quickly. I've taken a break I've taken a break from training and everything to kind of just say, okay, I'm off. I'm going to take an off-season. Good long off-season. And then I said, okay, now I'm back in and I'm going to work really hard all the way up until the race. But my cardio was right back there. I'm hitting anywhere from ten to twelve and a half miles easy. I'm not doing the run the way you are. I'm literally just doing a good Huff walk. But doing that today, I think I did a little over 7 miles, but the terrain was hilly so some of the grades were up to I would probably say somewhere around 15% in places that I was going so…
[00:54:29.380] – Rachel
[00:54:31.170] – Allan
It was a good walk, particularly considering it was just the 7 miles. And I know I say just the 7 miles. Oh my God, 7 miles. I'm like, I didn't start with 7 miles, I didn't start with 7 miles. It was a progression that I did over time and then your body has some memory to it and you're able to take a break and get back at it at some level and work your way back up. And that's part of fitness. It's the ebbs and flows of working your way through.
[00:55:01.490] – Allan
Now, same way with strength. I'm back in the gym, I'm working with weights that are in my opinion pathetically low. But at the same time I know for other people I'd be like, oh my God, if I could actually do that, I would be really happy. So this is not about evaluating where you are relative to other people, it's about evaluating yourself relative to those vision. What do I need to be successful for this Tough Mudder/ and a couple of things we've talked about is I've got to lose body weight. I talked about that, what is it, two or three weeks ago? Okay, well, I've already shed 12 pounds.
[00:55:40.760] – Rachel
Good for you.
[00:55:41.600] – Allan
Okay, great. And that was again, I got into ketosis and one of the cool things is a good long walk really strikes up your ketosis levels. It's kind of insane. A good long walk for you and I that's two to 3 hours or so. And so I tell you, if you check your ketones before and after doing one of your events, one of the things your trainings, particularly the longer trainings, you'll be surprised at the change in your ketones. Now if you do a weight lifting, it's actually going to increase your blood sugar and you might not see that. So just kind of knowing that and knowing where I'm going and having the experience, which is great, but you don't get the experience without the experience.
[00:56:31.020] – Allan
So if you're going to put something together, know why you're doing what you're doing, have a plan, pay attention, do some research. And above all, if you're going to hire a coach, which I encourage a lot of people to do like you've done like I do, is ask why. Have those conversations learn from it. Because that's your ability in the future be able to do some of those things for yourself.
[00:56:58.750] – Allan
I just wish I had a coach on this island that could be in there for my workouts because I know physically if they were there, I would work a lot harder. Other than the fact that I have my way of eating and my way of doing things, I don't know of another coach for people over 40 that would know how to treat me like I was 20 when I needed to be 20, because there's things I can do that I was doing when I was in my 20s.
[00:57:28.610] – Rachel
[00:57:28.910] – Allan
Some people in their 40s can't. Okay. But also know when to treat me like I'm in my 40s and be cool with the fact that I have a way of eating that is different than what they would encourage people to typically eat. You got to have your carbs before you work out. And I'm like, well, no, if I had carbs, I just go to sleep. I'd be in a coma. So no, I don't need the carbs before and I don't even need them during literally I can take a liter of water and I'm good. That's my 3 hours of go, go, go. A liter of water.
[00:58:07.190] – Rachel
[00:58:08.630] – Allan
And I do hydrate a lot after, and I've hydrated a bit before. But all I need to have with me as I go is that liter of water and I don't bonk. There's no bonk if there's anything that's going to stop me, it's just the fatigue and the legs.
[00:58:27.630] – Rachel
[00:58:28.510] – Allan
At that point where, OK, you push yourself to the line, which is where you need to be for this training session. Good. But I know that again, from experience, from being a coach and coaching myself. So as you're putting your programs together, I think it's just really important for you to take those lessons. Realize you're also you're bio-unique. So downloading a program off the Internet works for 80% of the people. That Bell curve. But if you're an outlier, you're out of luck. You're going to have to figure something else out. And that takes experience and time and effort and paying attention to your body and doing those things.
[00:59:09.000] – Allan
And so I just encourage people, if you don't know what you're doing, ask for help. It's not that hard. And I am opening up five slots in my training. And for these five slots, I'm particularly looking for people that want to up their fitness game. So in the past, I've really focused on the weight loss. I think I've gotten those clients in that want to really work on weight loss. And if you still want to work on weight loss, you can reach out to me.
[00:59:37.960] – Allan
But right now, for at least the next six months or so because of what I'm doing for myself, my brain has really turned on to the fitness aspects of it. So if you're looking to up your game in fitness, and that can mean starting from zero and wanting to get to level one or that can be being at level five and wanting to be level seven wherever you are, I'm able to meet you there. And we can put together training programs. You can learn why we're doing what we're doing, and we can help you get that fitness together. So if that's what you want, go to 40plusfitness.com, not 40plusfitnesspodcast.com, but 40plusfitness.com and I'll have an application link there. You can fill out the application. We'll get on the phone and we'll figure out what you need. If it's my training program to get you there, it's not a fixed program. It's custom. So like I said, if you're starting from zero and just want to get to one, we can do that. If you want to ratchet it up a little bit more, we can do that too. So do reach out if you're interested in that.
[01:00:42.330] – Rachel
And then of course if it's running that you're interested in really getting good at then Rachel?
[01:00:49.940] – Rachel
I'm here. Just ask me any questions.
[01:00:52.500] – Allan
Where should they go? You've got a website, too.
Strong-souls.com. You can just reach out for me there or even on my socials. I'm on Facebook and Instagram. Just shoot me a message and I'll be happy to help you out.
[01:01:05.730] – Allan
All right. And we'll have the links in the show notes for this one so if you have any questions, please do reach out to us.
[01:01:12.440] – Allan
Also, again, we're trying to put together a Q&A episode. So if some of these questions you would rather just ask and have answered on a podcast then I do want you to reach out Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and just email me there. Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. We'll take those questions. I may reach out and see if you want to record and ask your question vocally and be on the podcast that way. Or I can just read your question from your email on the podcast. But if you have a question you'd like for us to answer on an episode, we do want to try to accumulate some of those so we can get those questions together and have a duo episode with Rachel and I answering your health and fitness questions.
[01:01:58.420] – Rachel
Sweet. That would be fun.
[01:02:00.320] – Allan
Great. Rachel, anything else you want to get into?
[01:02:02.910] – Rachel
No, this is great.
[01:02:04.460] – Allan
All right guys, have a great week and we'll talk to you next week.
[01:02:08.080] – Rachel
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A lot has changed in the past 200 years. And while we're living longer, we're not necessarily living better. On episode 527 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss what some of those changes mean to our health and fitness today. Those lessons can help you see where progress is not as it seems.
[00:01:11.770] – Allan
Hi, Ras. How are you doing?
[00:01:13.680] – Rachel
Good. Allan. How are you today?
[00:01:15.680] – Allan
I'm doing well. It's kind of an interesting week. I'm in the process of doing the build out for the new gym. And so we're getting into the new space. And obviously as you start doing construction and things like that, you learn things about the building you just rented. And so there are leaks and there's this and that. Just things to work through.
[00:01:37.430] – Allan
And then my wife, Tammy, we were supposed to spend some time together this week, go out to dinner and all because we're recording this over the Valentine's week, and she got a last minute opportunity to go see a specialist for nose and throat (she's had some sinus issues) in David, which means, okay, she's got to take a boat and then take a bus, and then it's a five-hour trip over. So she goes over and she's over there and I'm like, okay.
[00:02:03.870] – Allan
And then she says, well, yeah, they called me. They did get me in at 05:00pm tomorrow. I'm like, okay, well, you could have done tomorrow. But anyway, so she spends the night and then her appointments can be for us later today. And then she spends the night, comes back tomorrow.
[00:02:18.520] – Allan
And like most times when Tammy leaves and things look reasonably open, like we had three rooms open. So really low volume here for us to kind of just say, OK, there's basically three breakfast to do in the morning. One check out easy stuff. Actually, we had no check. I'm not supposed to have any check out this morning. But then all of a sudden we have two couples booking. I'm like, okay running around because I don't she usually goes picks them up and this and that. So I'm trying to manage all that and run that. So it's a little bit of juggling. But it's good juggling because it's growth and it's opportunity, new people. So, yeah, it's good. It's just kind of busy.
[00:02:59.530] – Allan
And I do have some other news. I have signed an agreement and affiliate agreement with Keto Mojo. And this is my favorite glucose keto blood monitor. And the reason I like these guys so much is that the keto strips are the cheapest you're going to find on the market. They're really expensive if you want to do blood ketones all the time, regularly. But the Keto Mojo makes it much more cost effective to do it if you want to do it every day. And the machine they have does both the glucose and the ketones. And they have their own proprietary little formula for kind of how you're potentially optimizing your glucose ketone levels. Now the new one there's, the GK Plus. It actually syncs with your phone. So you have an app on your phone and you take the readings. You don't have to write anything down or put anything like a spreadsheet. It just literally just goes right to your phone. And you've got charts and diagrams and the whole bit. It's actually really cool. And they just came out with this GK Plus. I had their old monitor. When I saw they had the GK Plus, I immediately bought it. And so I've been using that for about a week. And this thing, it's literally like having someone standing there telling you how to do it because you turn it on and it tells you, okay, put the meter thing in. And you put the meter thing in. It tells you it's in, all right? And then it says, okay, now put the blood and you stick yourself and you put a little bit of blood on there not much actually, probably less than on the last ones.
[00:04:31.950] – Allan
And then boom, it counts it down from nine all the way down. And then it gives you your reading. And like I said, then it can sync with an app on your phone and you've got that data right there. So it's a really cool thing. And the other thing that's cool about it is they're giving anyone that follows my link a 15% discount off the meter. Any of the meter kits, they got like a couple of different kits, like a starter kit, like a Deluxe kit. They can't do that on the strips because the strips are already really well priced. So they can't give you the 15% of the strips, but they will on the meter. So if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mojo. So 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mojo, that will take you to the site. If you purchase either one of the two major kits, like the starter and then the Deluxe. If you purchase one of those kits, when you get to the checkout, they'll apply a discount of 15%. So it ends up being a really cost effective meter with really cost effective strips. And like I said, it works like a charm. I love this little thing.
[00:05:39.600] – Allan
I'm using it every day now because again, the strips are inexpensive and it's so easy to use. So I'm keeping up with my ketones because I'm just now kind of cycling back into ketosis after the Superbowl and monitoring where my ketones are, because again, as I'm looking at starting to try to build up my fitness level, I want to understand if I have a bad day in the gym. Was that because my glucose was a little low? Is that because my ketones weren't where they needed to be and that kind of thing? And I also use their urine strips, even though, again, I don't think they're going to be included in the discount. But those are all available. You can go to 40 plusfitnesspodcast.com/Mojo. It's going to give me a slight little kickback on that. Not much, but it's going to give you a 15% discount, which I think is really cool.
[00:06:25.920] – Rachel
That is fantastic. What a great partnership.
[00:06:28.770] – Allan
So, Rachel, what's going on with you?
[00:06:30.940] – Rachel
Good. Things are good. You know, once a year I take a visit to my hospital where I visit the high risk breast cancer clinic. I've mentioned in the past that I've got a high risk, high family predisposition to breast cancer. And so I see this particular doctor every year, and every year, it's like a breath of fresh air to hear that I'm ticking all the right boxes. My doctor mentioned that I get enough exercise. Obviously, I eat well, of course, I eat the foods that they suggest we eat to have a healthy, reducing our risk cancer type diet and don't smoke, don't drink in excess. And I'm living the right lifestyle that should reduce my risk for developing breast cancer. And the other interesting thing is that now that I'm 50, I am eligible for breast MRIs in addition to a traditional mammogram. Although based on my age and my lifestyle, the doctor feels like it's not a really good cost risk benefit. So I probably am going to put that off for a little while longer. But the other benefit to this appointment, again, probably because I'm 50, they connected me to the hospital's cancer genetics Department.
[00:07:53.670] – Rachel
And so I have an appointment a couple of months out because everybody's backlog these days. But I have decided to pursue genetic testing to see if there are any predispositions to breast and other cancers. So I'm pretty excited to take that route. So it was a great visit. I'm glad I went. And I feel pretty good with my health right now.
[00:08:16.280] – Allan
Yeah, well, there definitely are some genetic snips, I think is what they call them that give you that predisposition to that Angelina her mother and had family history. So she went kind of radical, which a lot of people talked about, which is good. You have those conversations. We're not into October right now, but it's just don't wait until October. There's no reason to wait until October to do the right thing for your health. So glad you got that opportunity. And it will be interesting to hear how your foray into the genetics? Because obviously, the science is always getting better around some of these things. So it'll be interesting to hear what your geneticist doctor or whatever, whoever you're dealing with is going to be able to tell you what information and how things look for you on that side of the equation.
[00:09:10.170] – Rachel
Absolutely. Yes. I'll keep you posted for sure.
[00:09:13.010] – Allan
All right. So let's have a little bit of a history lesson. What do you think?
[00:09:17.540] – Rachel
Today, I wanted to take a moment to give you a little bit of a history lesson about health and fitness, particularly in the United States. Interestingly enough, in the last 200 years, we've managed to extend our lives almost double. In 1860, the average lifespan for someone was 39.4 years. Take that in context to what it generally is today. And we're looking at an average lifespan of about 78.9%. So effectively doubling the life that we have on this Earth. And there's a lot of reasons for that. But lifespan does not equal health span. And I want to talk in more detail about what that means is living longer does not mean living better, and in fact, it actually probably means living worse. And so I want to take a few minutes to kind of talk about those things, how they relate, and some of the things that have changed over the course of the last 200 years that have made these things possible. So let's talk a little bit about lifespan. How have we managed to double our lifespan in just the last, really, 200 years? Less than 200 years, really. The first is babies live. In the past, more babies were lost to early death, infant death, birth death at birth.
Those things were happening on a fairly regular basis. And it was relatively hard to get a family member baby up to the age of about 15 and still be alive. There were a lot of diseases, a lot of things going on, and then just again, just the loss at birth. We fixed a lot of that. We have a lot more technology around medicine that allows us to have the babies live longer and in many cases, live full, productive lives. So that's been one good thing for increasing our lifespan. Probably the biggest overall mover in lifespan. The second would be basically safer conditions. We're aware of a lot more toxins, things that are not safe. We've changed the way we do construction. We've changed the way we build cars. Cars today are much safer than they were when they first came out. And just everything else, as far as a general lifestyle puts us in a safer position to survive longer. And now, again, labels on things typically, you know, there's a story for a reason why you don't eat the Silicon packet. And there has to be a sign on it for you to not eat that Silicon packet because you're not supposed to eat it.
But someone eventually did or obviously did, or they wouldn't have to put the sign there. So again, there's a lot more safety encouraged in the workplace, in the home and consumer products, and all of these different things that have made life longer. We've invented medications and vaccines. So the invention of penicillin, which I'll get into in more detail, the invention of certain vaccines, which I'll also get into in a little bit more detail later, they've actually allowed us to live longer. Fewer people are dying of polio and smallpox and measles and that thing. And then, of course, when someone gets sick, they get an infection. We have medications to keep them alive, and we're able to do that. And people are living longer as a result. And again, just general medicine. We're able to do heart bypass surgeries and things like that and remove tumors and do things like that that we weren't able to do 200 years ago, even 100 years ago. And as a result, people are living longer. And then there's generally food security. In the past, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people have starved due to not having enough food to feed their family.
We have much more food security today, which is allowing us to grow healthier. Babies have healthier lives. Unfortunately, the type of food we now use is actually detrimental to our overall health and our overall lifespan. But no one's starving to death today. In a general sense, very few people on this Earth starved to death today versus 100 years ago and 200 years ago. So a lot of things have happened in the last 200 years to extend our lifespan. And so as a result, in the past, they would have more babies because fewer babies would survive as a percentage. So law of average is if you have ten kids, you can expect a few of them to survive. Now, we know that's not necessary. We don't have that problem. So people aren't having multiple babies. They can have one or two and generally understand that those two have a very high probability of making it to adulthood. So lifespan hasn't been increased incredibly, but that creates some problems for us on the other side. Health span. So when we look at our overall health and particularly the Western economies, some of the things we find is that we're overweight and obese.
The overweight obese category now makes up the majority of people in Western countries, particularly United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. So if you start looking at that, you realize, okay, if almost 70% of people are overweight and obese, we are not helping our health span while we might be living longer. That's leading to some pretty significant problems in what we call now lifestyle diseases heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmunity cancer. These diseases were not a huge problem 200 years ago for various reasons, but predominantly because of the foods and the types of foods that we eat, the lack of movement, different things that have happened. And I'm going to get into that in a lot more detail coming up. But just realize we now suffer from lifestyle diseases that really were very rare 200 years ago. And so the other side of it is, though, we also by living longer, we subject ourselves to more opportunities. So someone may have died an accident on the farm at the age of 30. Now they're not working. The same individuals are not working on farms. They have much safer jobs. They're living until their 60s. And that's just given them more time for certain lifestyle problems to catch up with them on a Healthspan.
So we've increased our lifespan, but we haven't necessarily done as much to improve our health span over that same period of time. And there's a lot of reasons for it, and I want to dive into those today. So what has changed in the last 100 and 5200 years? Well, probably the biggest is convenience. We do a lot less physical work. Tools, machines, everything else. All of that has made our lives easier. So when you look at it 200 years ago, if you were going to travel to the next town, you would take a horse. Okay, well, riding a horse, if you haven't done it before can pretty much wear you out, depending on how long you ride and what the course is like, that you're riding on the path or the road or whatever. Being on a horse takes a lot more physicality than a lot of people think. If you're not used to riding a horse, you're likely to be sore after you've ridden a horse for a while. Then there were cars, but the first cars were cranked cars and required a little bit of effort to get started. They were a little bit more work to drive.
We didn't have power steering. We didn't have those other things going on. So there's a little bit more even with a car, there was still more work than a current car. A current car, you can literally start it with a push of a button or start it before you even get in the car. You can literally drive away without using almost any effort at all sitting in a seat. And when you're going the speed you want to go, you can literally push a button and it will stay at that speed until you tell it not to. And now with autonomous cars, you don't even have to do that. You tell the car where you want to go and it just takes you there. So less and less effort. And then the other side of it, well, why even get in a car when there's takeout and delivery? So recognizing that we've had conveniences thrust on us, we've taken advantage of those conveniences because it makes our lives easier. But easier does not necessarily improve health span. So the next big thing that's happened and one that's just really circling back around as being a problem is an understanding of the dangers of over consuming sugar.
In 1800, the average American consumed £22.5 of sugar per year. Now, that may seem like a lot when you look at what a five pound bag is, but let's compare and contrast that with what's going on today and realize most of the 1800 food was not processed at all. It was literally coming from fruits and vegetables. Today, that's not the case. So by 1919, we're going to see some changes in the way food is done. By that time, we were eating £99 over four times as much 100 years later. And even today at 2000, we got up to over £150 per year. That is a ton of sugar. That's a whole person worth of sugar. Now, it's trailed down in the last few years, and mainly because of an outreach of people to understand how bad sugar is. So people are cutting back a little bit on their consumption, but we're still well over £140 per year. So in contrast, we're looking at almost a seven fold increase in the amount of sugar we're eating relative to what our ancestors ate as late as the 1800. Now, one of the reasons that we eat more sugar is processed food, just a few little tidbits.
Oatmeal was invented in 1854. Now, the interesting thing about oatmeal is up until that time, it was horse food. So all this joking about taking horse meds, the real joke back then was who's eating horse food? But once it was accepted that people were willing to eat horses, the cereal market was born. So in 1877, they started making cereals. And in fact, most of the major brands you recognize today started in around that time, shortly after that time, or in the early 1900, those large companies, they started making cereals, then perfecting recipes, competing with each other, combining and forming these global companies that sell tons and tons of this stuff, a lot of it with a lot of extra sugar. And it's all high calorie, low nutrition. I mean, they add nutrition or they try to make it nutritious, but in a general sense, they have to go after taste. And so food science today is about taste and texture. It's not about your health. And so recognize that these food companies are making products they know you'll eat more of. They want you to eat more of them. And they've even done some things that really are uncool to make sure that you continue to consume a lot of these products.
But processed foods are not your friend if you're looking at health and fitness because they're not designed to help make you healthy. They're not designed to be like real food. They're designed to make you buy more, to make it taste good, to make it appealing so you buy more. Another thing that's happened in the last 200 years is we've moved to a format of industrial farming. So large farms of animals, be it cows or chickens or whatever, are raised together in very, very tight spaces, being that close to all these other animals illnesses get passed around relatively quickly. So antibiotics are introduced on a fairly regular basis. And then, of course, they want the largest possible animal they can get for the meat or basically to make sure that they're getting volume. So they're injecting these animals with hormones to make them grow faster. So the effect of all of this, the lack of space, the antibiotics, the hormones and everything else that they do these animals makes them very sick animals. Eating a sick animal does not make you healthy. So even though you think you're getting a better cut of the animal or you're farming at a better pace, the reality of is most of these animals are very, very sick and they're not healthy for you.
So let's talk about plants, because then everybody says, well, let's move to plantbased nutrition. And that would be better, right? Well, not necessarily. So fertilizer was originally invented in slightly before then, and then it was adopted as a normal thing. So we're talking about there were fertilizers probably back as far as we know, people were growing things, but we're talking about chemicals. We're talking about synthetic fertilizers, these kind of these inventions of if we add this to the soil, the plant grows faster. And that was adopted early 1861. And all the way through World War II became kind of this growing trend of using more and more of these chemical synthetic fertilizers so that the crops had a larger yield. Those fertilizers are causing some problems I'll get into in just a moment. Next, they had to develop these plants to be able to be transported. So if I'm going to try to get this avocado to you that is grown in Mexico, it has to last a little while. If I'm going to take apples that were gotten in, say, Washington state, and I need to deliver them to Florida, I have to make sure that they're transportable so they've bred the plants, the fruits and vegetables, to be more durable, not necessarily for better health, but just durability.
How is this thing going to look when it arrives at its location? And then another thing that they do to make sure that these plants are just right when they get to your grocery store is they pick them early, so they will pick them before they ripen. And then they use this technology to keep them from ripening until they get to the location. They call it delayed ripening technology. And they use this ethylene gas that they'll spray on these plants to ripen them up quickly right there at the store or right at the warehouse for that particular vendor. So they're not in the ground nearly as long as they would be if they were normal plants. If you just planted a heirloom tomato in your backyard that hasn't been farmed lately. Those plants will grow slow. They will grow a little. And when they're done and they're ready and they're ripe, they've drawn as much benefit out of the ground the minerals and the vitamins that you need that they possibly can. Whereas when you pick them early and they're ripening at the store, they didn't have nearly as much time to pick up that stuff that you need.
And then again, with the fertilizers and all the other things that are going on, they're growing very quickly and not necessarily for the right reasons, and you're not necessarily getting all the nutrition. So plants that we have today, fruits and vegetables we eat today are not as nutrient rich as plants were when our great grandparents and our great great grandparents were farming. So just realized that we're not getting as much value for the calorie as we would have in the past. And then, of course, with plants, there's the weed killers, like roundup glyphosate. Okay, this was introduced in the 19s 70s. And even though that more and more they know that this is a cancer causing element and it's in our foods. And when we eat the foods that are made with these things, if they're not cleaned properly, and even then, maybe not, then we're getting these getting this glyphosate in our body. This chemical is in our body as a function of these things. Next, I want to jump into light pollution. Now, it seems like a mild thing, but most folks don't realize that actual household lights are not something that's been around forever.
Incandescent lights were invented by a guy named Humphrey Davy, but it was Edison that kind of made these things more popular in the 1880s. And so most houses didn't have electricity for a long, long time after that. So most houses were lit by gas lighter, candles all the way past well into the 1019 hundreds. In fact, almost half the houses didn't have electric power. So you're looking at lights not being a part of the indoor or at least unnatural lights not being a part of our normal environment, really in less than 100 years. So for our bodies to adapt to night time light, that can be a problem. The next area I want to jump into as toxins. Tens of thousands of toxic chemicals are released into our environment and homes every single day. And over 800 of those are known as endocrine disruptors. Now, an endocrine disruptor basically means it messes with your hormones, in particular your sex hormones. So if you're feeling kind of blah, you're a little bit maybe feeling a little bloated, it might be that you're being subjected to too many endocrine disruptors. And your estrogen is messed up, your testosterone is messed up, and it's causing you some problems.
So where are we getting these toxins? All these toxins are out there. This is not necessarily plants pumping a lot of it in the air, although they are. It's also in your home. So if you have furniture that has flame retardants in it, the pesticides you're using in your yard, the Pharmaceuticals that we flush down our toilets that end up in our water. And on and on and on. We are subjected to tens of thousands of toxic chemicals every single day, and those are adversely affecting our endocrine system, our health, the function of our liver on and on and on. So the subjection of these toxins, which were not available, not out there 200 years ago, is another problem that's affecting our health span. And then the last one I want to talk about is stress. We live in this new 24/7 news cycle. The news is always there. This was not the case 100 years ago. Even when the TV was on, there was one news or two news casts per day. When I was growing up as a young adult, I know they had the morning news, and then they would turn off and talk about other stuff.
You'd come home, there might be a 04:00, 05:00, and 06:00 and then 11:00 news, but they'd give you one news cycle each day. It might change a little bit from the morning to the evening. But most people sat they read the newspaper in the morning, and then they watched the news that night, and that was about it. Now news hits us every single day, all day, all the time. We have notifications on our phone, notifications on our computer, and then add social media, the toxic relationships, the things that are going on there. And then just the fact that the news media is on the social media feeding you the stuff, the headlines all day and all night, it's there constant, constant, constant. And then, of course, we have to add tribalism. And this takes all of that, the 24 hours news cycle, the social media. And this literally takes up a factor of ten. The tribalism that's going on in the world today, particularly in the United States. And now we're seeing in other places like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere. This tribalism is exploding our stress levels, and that's really adversely affecting our health.
And so I put these in an order. As far as we're talking about our food, our food is messed up. It's not what it used to be. We're not training or working out as much as we used to or at least doing things physically as we used to. We don't have good quality food. And then there's light pollution. Cell phones did not exist, and now they do, and they're in our hands 24/7. We've got watches that buzz and beep and moan, so we're not sleeping as well. We've got all these toxins that our liver and our body is having to deal with, and we're not functioning very well with these toxins. And then, of course, the introduction of stress your job, whether you're going to keep your job, lose your job. People used to live knowing that they're going to work. They have a job for the next 35, 50 years, and nothing is going to take that away from them. That's not the case today. Too much is changing too fast, and it's really struggle for most of us to keep up with that. So with all this bad stuff that's going on, what do we do?
How do we take the fact that our bodies were not designed for the lifestyle that we live today? How do we take that step back and solve this problem? The first step in solving any problem is knowing you have a problem. So the first thing I want you to do, listening to this podcast is come to the realization that these things are affecting you, even though you might not believe that they are. They are. And so it's important for you to recognize that first and then take some actions. Now, in my kind of mindset, my opinion, the first place to start is food. It's the easiest for you to change, and it's the one that's probably going to move the needle the most for most of us. And the answer for food is get the highest quality, real food you can afford. So when I say high quality, I'm not just talking about organic, which, yes, is more expensive in the grocery store. I'm talking about food that didn't have to be transported across the world, meaning it was locally grown, it was fresh. You didn't have to go anywhere. So, you know, stayed in the ground until it was ripe, and then it was picked and then it was sold to you.
You can do this at farmers markets. You can do this at coops you can look for in your grocery store locally grown product that's typically going to be better for you than what you find in most standard grocery store aisles. The other is frozen foods. Surprisingly, a lot of frozen foods, organic frozen foods were grown all the way to ripeness and then flash frozen, so they were then able to be distributed. That's a better model than the distribution and then ethanol, Ethylene, gas. So look for foods that are going to give you the highest quality that you can still afford. And farmers markets, local farms, buying half a cow with your friends, whatever you need to do, find ways to get the highest quality real food that you can possibly afford. And that's going to move the needle the most for most of us. The second is movement. You have to make movement a priority. And the easiest way to do that is to stop leaning on basic conveniences. If you live within a mile of your grocery store, in all likelihood, you could walk to that grocery store to do your shopping most days and walk back.
You don't have to buy 15 bags of groceries. You can go to the store by a couple of bags. So you get some fresh vegetables, some fresh meat, everything fresh. Go home, Cook up meals, and then two days later, go back. Yes, it takes time, but that investment of time is going to improve your health significantly. So make movement a priority. It doesn't have to be exercise, but just make movement a regular part of most of your days and try to pull some of those conveniences back. I don't own a car here. I live on an island. Quite literally, the furthest thing for me right now is 15 km. I could walk there if I had to. So as you look at the way you're living and the things you're doing, look for those conveniences that are not serving you unless they need to serve you. So yes, of course, if you need to get somewhere quickly, an automobile is the best way to do it. If you don't, can you walk there? Can you walk there? Can you take a taxi back or a bus back? Can you walk there and walk back? Take those opportunities to add more movement to your day stress.
Now, stress was the biggest one for me and it took a long time, but finally I started saying I have to prioritize this and it was the last thing I addressed. I wish I had addressed it earlier. Choose When You Let News and Social Media In So if you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check news and social media, you're already setting yourself up for kind of a frustrating day. Something bad is going to hit you in the face every single time you do that. Now there might be some nice things. You might see a little cat video and this and that make you laugh. That's great. But just recognize that you control your consumption of social media. And so choose when you're going to let that end and do it in bite sized pieces. It does not need to be a 24 hours cycle. And if you find yourself at 200 in the morning checking social media, you already have an issue. Okay? And then the final thing is on stress is check yourself and see if you feel like you're getting wrapped up in this tribalism stuff.
It's really easy because the headline is built to set you off. It's built to set you off as a yes, that's good. Or it's built to say, oh my God, they're doing that again. Every single one of those headlines is built to do that. It is a tribal, one sided message focused on an ideology that's intended to upset the other ideology and get both ideologies reading that copy. So check yourself. If you find yourself getting drawn into this stuff on social media or just when you're reading different things, recognize when it's happening, take the step back and turn it off. You don't need this. Do some meditation do some things that help you relax and get over this, particularly if it's in the evening, if you know that it's going to affect your sleep, which is the next one. Sleep is huge, very important. I'm not going to put it over food, but I'm going to put it way up there. But I'm just going to say this is probably one of the hardest things for most people to address because you either feel like you sleep well or you don't. But I'm going to say you need to have a natural nightly ritual, something that's going to relax you, something that's going to let you unwind, something that's going to communicate to your body.
It's time to go to sleep. And that means getting away from unnatural light, like screens and light bulbs and other things, TVs and literally just saying, I need some time to unwind. And this can be a warm bath. This can be listening to music and can be reading fiction in a paper book. It can be just meditating, it can be a lot of things brushing your teeth can be a part of and it should be a part of your nightly ritual. So just set yourself up with a nightly ritual that communicates to your body. It's time to let go. Move away from the unnatural blue light, move back to the more Amber, flame based lights like candles, and let yourself relax before sleep so your body can get a good restful sleep. I know this is harder said than done, but it's really important. And then the final one is toxins. And again, toxins are all around you. So consistently take a moment and audit your lifestyle. The Environmental working group has email@example.com. They've got this really cool app that you can put on your phone and it literally lets you look up consumer goods.
Just scan the barcode. So you go to EWG.org and go on your phone. You can look up EWG or Environmental working Group pull down their app. It literally lets you look this stuff up so you can see what's in the products that you're using. So your cleaners or your shampoo or your body wash or your makeup or any of that. It may be introducing toxins into your system, including some of those 800 or so endocrine disruptors we talked about earlier. So to recap this, the first step in fixing your health and aligning your health span with your lifespan is to understand that there is a disconnect, there is a problem. The first step is getting good, high quality real food, the highest and best quality you can afford. And that preferably means organic, fewer pesticides, fewer hormones and locally grown. So there's not the artificial things that they tend to do with the food and where possible, heirloom and some of those and a proper rotation of crops where they're getting all the nutrients your body needs. Again, highest quality, real food you can afford. Movement. Movement has to be a priority. Walk if you can, ride a bike when you can, don't lean on the conveniences of having a car for something as simple as taking a little jaunt over to the convenience store, the grocery store to buy something you need.
If you can take the time, walk there, walk back, ride a bike there, ride a bike back. Those things are going to help you feel a lot better. Be healthier, more fit, and align your health span with your lifespan. Anything you can do to manage stress, which means not letting some of it in in the first place. Tribalism, the 24 hours news cycle and social media are all within your control. You control those inputs into your brain. You control those stressors. So if you let them in, they're going to mess with you. Don't let them in. Choose the times, particularly in the evening. There's no reason there's nothing on the Internet, there's nothing on the television that's going to adversely affect you before you wake up in the morning. 99 point 99% of the time. So let it go. Let all that go. Find a distressed way to spend the evening. So that the final thing here. Sleep. You're getting great sleep. Have a good nightly ritual that pulls you away from those things and get your body ready for a good restful sleep. And then finally, toxins. So do an audit of your lifestyle.
What are some things that you're doing that are adding toxins to your life? I talked about the website or the app from Environmental Working Group, but also just other things like if you smoke or if you drink alcohol, those are toxins and so they're adding to your toxic load. So think about the toxins in your life. Do that lifestyle audit and do what you can to reduce those toxins. So if you do these things, you will make sure that your health span is more in line with your lifespan and you'll spend less of your life unhealthy. And in the end, none of us really wants to live longer if we can't live better. So focus on aligning your health span with your lifespan and you'll be happy, healthy and fit. Thank you.
[00:41:28.850] – Allan
Welcome back Ras!
[00:41:30.590] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. You know, way back when I was taking the NASM certified personal trainer course and test, they had said that at that time, 66% of Americans older than 20 are overweight, 34% are obese. And it was such a high percent to me that it was just really it just stuck with me. And then they went on to say that, of course, the World Health Organization thinks that lack of physical activity is probably a culprit of that, which I kind of agree with as well. But based on your history lesson, that is certainly not the only reason that our country is overweight or obese.
[00:42:12.650] – Allan
Yeah. A couple of things come to mind. One is it's worse now that textbook was not that old. But every year the number gets bigger on both sides, the obesity and overweight. So the number is getting bigger. And we're not being given necessarily all the data we need to resolve that, because you're absolutely right. The movement aspects of it are a park, but it's like part of a car. You're not going to get anywhere with the chassis. You need the wheels and everything else you can look at and say, okay, this is part of the problem, but you could take and fix part of the problem and not really fix the whole problem. It's all of it. It's nutrition, it's movement, it's stress management, it's sleep. Yeah, it's all of those things. And the frustrating thing for me is that I could pull 100 people off the street and say, if you needed to lose weight, what would you do? What would you do? What are the things you need to do? And so it's like if you put them out there, like the squares where you can fill in more than one, okay, everybody's going to know it's diet.
[00:43:32.290] – Allan
And the term they would probably use in the survey would be exercise, better sleep, stress management, take a pill. And a small percentage would click, take a pill, of course. But they all know you change what you eat, you move more, you try to get better sleep, you try to manage your stress. Those things are going to help you lose weight. Now, they may say exercise is the most important and we can go back and forth. I've had doctors tell me sleep is actually maybe the most important. And I personally believe the food is the most important, but we can go back and forth on that. But I think everybody generally knows those are the things you have to do.
[00:44:12.260] – Rachel
[00:44:12.680] – Allan
The problem is this is the guidelines and things that come forward. And we've seen that in history, is that it gets skewed. It gets skewed by politics and people being involved. And so the nutrition rules that we've been given, the things we think we're supposed to do, they're politicized. And as a result, they're not right. They're wrong. And in many cases, they're so horrifically wrong that we now have an overweight and obesity, 70+ percent of Americans are overweight or obese. It's like 39% of Americans are obese. That's insane.
[00:44:56.180] – Allan
And it's based on data that was skewed. And even if new data comes out, the guidelines barely budged. And if they do budge, like they recently decided to drop saturated fat or cholesterol from being the bad food, the bad guy, but they didn't announce it and say, oh, well, guess what? You should actually probably eat eggs and bacon for breakfast. No, they didn't. They just quietly shoved it to the side. No harm, no foul. And there is harm, and there is a foul, but it's this quiet back away that occurred two or three generations later, and we're suffering the consequences of that.
[00:45:40.330] – Allan
Now, what does that mean for the go forward? And unfortunately, we are repeating history again, and we will continue to do so until we learn from history. So with Covid and this frustrates me more than anything. So if I get a little rowdy, I apologize and I have to bleep some of my language out, which kind of happens. I apologize.
[00:46:03.170] – Allan
But you do not hear the leaders anywhere explaining to you the best thing you can do for this disease is to be healthy in the first place. And so anything you do to improve your health and fitness makes you a better combatant against this virus. This virus kills the weak. I'm sorry, but that's what happens. It's people over 85. It's people with comorbidities. That's who it's killing. It's not killing generally healthy people. Now, if you see someone who thought was healthy and they died, you probably can look around. And if they did some workouts, they might find some other things that just weren't visible on the outside. We know people who have type II diabetes, but they look completely healthy. We know people who have heart problems, but they look completely healthy. We know people who have lung issues, but they look completely healthy.
[00:47:07.070] – Allan
And so it happens. And yes, it can be hit or miss if you're already healthy to know those things. So a good check up and making sure you're dotting your I's and like you said, checking off the boxes you're supposed to check off. We have this within our power if we do the bare minimum, which okay, so per the World Health Organization, you keep your sugar down here. Per the government guidelines, US guidelines, if you move intensely for 75 minutes per week, that's enough. Okay. But that's low bar thinking.
[00:47:44.660] – Rachel
[00:47:45.450] – Allan
Yeah, I'm just going to get by.
[00:47:49.310] – Rachel
[00:47:50.750] – Allan
It's the same thing as like if you sat there and said, oh, well, here's this chart. And as long as my BMI is 29 and not 30, as long as my waist is 39 and not 40, I'm okay. And that's low bar thinking.
[00:48:06.820] – Rachel
That's a good point. I think that's absolutely right. I think the information or the guidelines that are out there are just that just guidelines and not necessarily the right things. And I think my main takeaway would be to consult with your doctor and get some more information or…
[00:48:30.170] – Rachel
The Standard American Diet is an old diet. It's been around and it's hardly changed over the years. But maybe it's time to experiment. Maybe it's time to try a plant Forward diet or a low carb/keto-type diet or the Mediterranean diet. I think it's worth changing or switching things up to see if that benefits you in any way.
[00:48:52.570] – Allan
Well, the standard American diet has drastically changed since the 1950s. As we talked about the introduction of cereals, we talked about the introduction of carbs, and as a result, people started eating more of those things. They were cost effective. More sugar was available, it was cheap, it was easy, and it was delicious. So more of that was being eaten. And then there's more processed food. So it's calorie dense, nutritionally weak.
[00:49:23.010] – Allan
And we kept doing that and kept doing that. And then they're like, well, why the heck are we having heart attacks? And they asked the wrong guy. They literally asked the wrong guy. And everybody got in line. And the corporations that were benefiting from it, they paid off scientists. They did the things they had to do to make sure they were on the bottom of that pyramid to make sure that they were the ones that got the most juice out of the whole thing and noone will back away completely from it. You can look at the Canadian guidelines, relative, the US guidelines, and kind of see the divergence. Canada is going in the right direction with nutrition. The United States is not going fast enough.
[00:50:06.830] – Allan
And as a result, we are suffering this crisis. And we have to learn from this. We have to learn that the guidelines and things that are put forward to you while rudimentary and right can be great. So Covid, wash your hands.
[00:50:22.620] – Rachel
[00:50:23.570] – Allan
Try to avoid touching your face and stay away from sick people.
[00:50:29.360] – Rachel
[00:50:30.100] – Allan
Those are excellent. But then as soon as the vaccine was introduced, they stopped talking about that. Up until that point, that's all they talked about those three things. It was like over and over. I actually walked around and took pictures of different sinks I was washing my hands in. It kind of became a thing. And that was it. Just remind people, wash your hands more often. And then beyond that, all they had to say was, we noticed the data says the people who are older and have comorbidities are the ones that are dying the most. You can look at a chart, it's easy as you see it, and it's like, okay, so if you have a comorbidity, that is a lifestyle disease, like diabetes, like heart disease, like being overweight those things, you can do something about it. If you're listening to this podcast, then you know you can because I've said you can. But beyond that, you wouldn't be listening to this podcast if you didn't know there was an answer.
[00:51:27.400] – Rachel
[00:51:28.420] – Allan
You're wanting to change something. So to change something, you got to do something. And all I'm saying is from this whole prospect is learn from history. You are your advocate, you are the right person to take care of you. And you know in your heart exactly what you need to do. You need to change the way you eat. You need to change your movement, improve it, do more.
[00:51:49.120] – Allan
You need to look at this all holistically and say, what do I need to do to make myself healthier? And that is going to make you more resilient. And that's going to help you beat this. Yes. You can go get vaccinated. And I encourage you, particularly if you're in a high risk group, go do that. Yes. Stay away from sick people if you need to. If you can. Do what you have to do to protect yourself, for sure. But the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to just be healthier. Get your vitamin D, get outside, move around, find joy in your life, sleep well, eat well, do the things you know that are going to make you healthier and happier. And that's going to help you get past this.
[00:52:33.900] – Rachel
Absolutely. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I work really hard to maintain as healthy of a lifestyle that I can because I want to suppress as much as I possibly have under my control, the chances of me getting breast cancer. That is my biggest health fear, because that's what I've been dealt for genetics. And so I work really hard at that. But that translates to everything. I'm also working hard to reduce my risk for diabetes and heart disease and survive illnesses, whether I get shingles or the chicken pox or even Covid. So I feel like the healthier my body is, the healthier I'll be able to respond. And I think that's the key takeaway that everybody should take home today.
[00:53:19.070] – Allan
Yeah. Because when I went into the hospital here and got tested, because Tammy tested positive first for the next day, because you have to go in the morning. It's like a two hour window for testing. So I went in the next morning, and I got tested, and I'm sitting out there, and the doctor calls me over, and he said. “positivo”. I'm like, “okay.”
[00:53:39.780] – Allan
And he's like, no. I'm like, okay, I got it. I'm going to go home. I'm going to stay home for a couple of weeks, and then I'm going to get over it. But he's looking at me. He's like, no, I know what he's thinking. You're 56 years old and you have Covid. You're going to die, right? And he's like, no, Positivo. This is solemn Positivo. And I'm like, okay, I know this is not good news, but okay. And then I just said to him, I just go home. And he's like, no. He says, you have a ride? And I'm like, no, I was going to walk home, and I think that hospital is something like about maybe a mile and a quarter.
[00:54:23.680] – Rachel
[00:54:24.390] – Allan
No, maybe 2 miles. Maybe close to 2 miles from my home, from Lulu. I'm just going to walk home, and then I'll be there, and he's like, no, you have to go in the ambulance.
[00:54:34.990] – Rachel
[00:54:38.570] – Allan
Right. Well, I had Covid, so in their minds, I was done. My blood oxygen never went below 95.
[00:54:47.160] – Rachel
[00:54:48.420] – Allan
Most of the time I was sitting right around 97, 98. I was never in any danger. I was never anything. I was fatigued and lost taste and smell and I still don't have my smell back. But that makes me capable to do a lot of jobs around Lulu's that most people wouldn't want to do.
[00:55:07.490] – Rachel
[00:55:09.350] – Allan
But all that said, and I don't mean to joke about it because I know it's a very serious thing, but I ate well, I slept well, I managed stress. And while during that period of time because of Covid, because everything else I couldn't do the things I always did, I had put on some weight and so I was at a higher weight than I would normally like to be within the normal ranges that I bounced around. I was maybe about 5 or 8 pounds over what my normal roof was for a feasting period of the year. But that makes sense because I stretched a normal feasting of like 4 months into 16, of course. But that said, even when I feast, I tend to eat really good food, I go for the higher quality stuff, I eat a lot of vegetables, I eat meat, I don't eat a lot of processed stuff, I don't eat a lot of bread and other stuff.
[00:56:08.050] – Allan
When I'm on my feastt, I tend to eat a little more of it. But now I'm back in a famine and I don't. It's just meat and vegetables, that's it. But that's the point. If you want to learn from history, history tells you that the guidelines that are out there are not what you necessarily need to be following and in many cases they just don't go far enough.
[00:56:31.010] – Allan
So find your lines. Yes. If you're not getting the 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise, set that as your next goal. A lot of people sit there and say due to that 10,000 steps you're looking at, I'm only doing two. Now that seems like a huge well then just make a five. Just start with something.
[00:56:50.540] – Rachel
[00:56:50.960] – Allan
Set it at 5000, start with something. And then when you get to five, look at ten, you get to ten and say, Well, I wonder what 15 would feel like.
[00:56:58.780] – Rachel
[00:56:59.520] – Allan
And that's how you get there. But if you just sit there and say, oh, well, I'm at ten, I'm just going to stay at ten, and then that's not enough to help you get to your goals, you'll give up on it. So just realize that those guidelines are fine. The rules of thumbs are simple because we love simple. But life is more complex than that. Our biology is much more complex than that. So take the time, but be your own advocate and don't just settle for what the government or what the standards say you should do. Do what you know you need to do for yourself.
[00:57:35.220] – Rachel
Yes, I think that's great. Great takeaway, Allan.
[00:57:38.370] – Allan
All right. Well, as I'll talk to you next week then.
[00:57:41.250] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.
[00:57:42.620] – Allan
[00:57:43.500] – Rachel
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