Turning Points in my Fat Loss JourneyThe new year is here and over the past few days I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting (I’m 37 so I have the right to be able to use the phrase “reflecting”) on my journey down from 475 to a healthy, lean active 220 pounds (or thereabouts). I’ve been doing a lot more cardio over the past few days and the weather’s been good enough to get out for a run with some stair running too and I find that the cardio can be very meditative. Hence all the thinking and reflecting.
I’ve thought about all the principle’s I’ve learned since 1990 when I had my “episode” with my heart. I’ve made note of all the things I now encompass into my “fat burning toolbox”. These things were new to me when I learned of them, but have now been adopted as lifestyle.
My “episode” was probably the first turning point. I was 21 and was sitting in front of my TV playing Nintendo after having just smoked a joint when my heart told me in no uncertain terms that enough was enough. I was 475 pounds, smoking, drinking, using drugs and food was my best friend. I knew nothing about health or nutrition and just a very little about exercise but it was the decision to do something about it that was the pivotal point. When you make that decision, and commit to it, it opens doors. The universe sees that you’re serious and puts people, places, things and resources into your path for you to use if you just see them.
I found a book called Fit for life. That was a wake up call for me as to how the body is a machine that uses food as fuel and if you feed it correctly, it’ll take care of you. I learned about how important a function the “cleansing” of the body is and the things you can do to facilitate better cleansing on a daily basis.
I found a mentor. I friend of mine who had used and applied the principle’s in the book Fit For Life coached me. That was awesome. I had someone who saw that I was doing something about my health and provided the support and knowledge and friendship to apply these new things.
Becoming Vegetarian was another milestone. I read some philosophies about animal products, animal factories, unclean food supplies, animal stress, the amounts of land required to raise the animals and the drugs used or given to the animals so they can produce more food or heavier meats. These same drugs make their way into us, as does the stress the animal goes through. It can be a very unpleasant experience for the animal simply to put some meat on our table. Although I have gone back to eating meat, I am so totally respectful of what the animal has provided for me and I eat only the cleanest possible meats I can find. Wasting of any meats is such a disrespectful act to a being that was raised and then died to be thrown away without a thought. I learned so much about health and nutrition from my vegetarian ways. I learned about various types of grains and the history of ancient people and what they did and overcame to keep growing their grains to feed their people. A little intrinsic, I know, but there’s so much history to the simple grain Amaranth. Bet you never even heard of it.
Sunrider Whole Foods
Sunrider came into my life in the fall of 1991. A simple, convenient, effective way to get hundreds of organic system specific whole foods into your diet. My life changed completely. I had been juicing foods, eating raw, eating based on macrobiotics and was vegetarian. Sunrider finally made me feel like I thought I was supposed to feel from eating good clean foods. When I added Sunrider into my diet, I finally got the results from food that I was looking for. It’s been 14 years now and I’ll never be without them. They are the foundation of my health. I consider Sunrider to be my health insurance policy. Instead of paying into a fund where I get some money when I get sick or when I’m in the hospital, I invest in myself now… I remain healthy and get the use of my body until I die.
I began meditating way back in the mid 90’s. I had seen that the Beatles had been doing it when I was a kid, and it stuck in the back of my mind. Want to know why I started Meditation? For the bodybuilding applications of it. Exercise is simply a stimulus for muscle building. The other factors are proper consumption of the right ratios of foods and the proper rest. I figured that if meditation was a way to give the body the ultimate rest periods, then it should accelerate muscle gain. I got so many other benefits from it that I continued for years. It has since left me, but I don’t worry about it. When it’s right, it will be back in my life. Everything happens for a reason and that reason is here to server me.
Body Types - Ayurveda
I learned about body types and how we can eat based on our body types to improve every aspect of our health. The Indians call it Ayurveda and it’s history is as long as the Chinese experience with herbs and herbal foods. Ayurveda suggests three main body types, namely Vata, Pita and Kapha. I’m a mixture of Kapha and Pita and I eat accordingly. Even this new program I’m on, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is based on body types but with different names. Mesomorph, Endomorph and Ectomorph. Ayurveda also tweaked my knowledge of digestion and the importance it plays in all areas of our health.
Learning about Essential Fats and the fundamental role good fats play in our health was next on my journey. We actually NEED fat for vital functions in our body. I read some things by Udo Erasmus and eventually interviewed him on my radio show, Fit, Wise and Well. Very wise man that Mr. Erasmus. Good fats have been adopted as a daily routine for me now.
The Power of our Mind
The effect of our self limiting beliefs or how “your mind will take you out” was brought to my full attention after taking a course on money entitled the “Millionaire Mind Intensive” by T. Harv Eker. It’s funny how this came my way; funny but profound. You’ve got to just love the magic of the universe. I was just getting into this new reality TV series called Survivor. It was the only hour of TV I watched each week. It was the night of the final episode and a friend called and left me a message telling me “I had to take this course”. This guy never calls me. He’s one of my best friends, but I’m always calling him. Profound step #1. The course was on the same night of Survivor and the thought actually popped into my head that I can always “tape record” Survivor and go to this course. So I did. Turns out it was a 3 hour introduction called the Millionaire Mind Evening which then upsold the full 3 day Intensive weekend. I did it. I paid for the full 3 day weekend and then tried talking myself out of it for a full 3 months. I didn’t. It was pretty powerful stuff. I thought it was about money, but found that the title was just a way to get people in the door cause people want more money and want to be rich. The course is about money, but more than that. It’s about retraining your brain to remove the self limiting beliefs and planting self empowering beliefs. Within 6 months of leaving the course, my business went from $50 a month to over $5000. The first month alone, I was able to break a bench press goal I had set and couldn’t reach for years and I met a woman I had gone to high school with and we became friends. Hadn’t seen her in 16 years. I have taken his other courses, Enlightened Warrior training and Wizard training as well. Warrior is about breaking through fears of things you have in your life and getting the job done. Very transformational. Harv uses super learning techniques and the experiences become cellular, that is that they remain with you on a very deep level even after you leave. I now volunteer every summer to help facilitate at the camps. Because of an arrangement I have with Harv I am able to offer you a gift. The Millionaire Mind Intensive is a $1295 US 3 day intensive weekend. Harv is letting me give this gift to you (Happy New Year!). Why do I volunteer? I truly love seeing people change their lives in front of me over the course of a few days. It’s amazing the stuff that’s let go and the new stuff that’s allowed in. Probably in the top 5 best things I’ve ever done in my life. Do it.
End of Vegetarianism
It was the Fall of 2002 that I was beginning my journey away from vegetarianism. I had been thinking about it for almost a year and had to deal with some moral issues that were ingrained into my lifestyle and beliefs. What I teach people is to take action. To do something, to take that step and see what happens. Learn and continue to learn and then apply what you learn. Never stop. It’s called “constant and never-ending improvement” and applies to all areas of you life, not just your health. I had been weight training very hard for about 8 years at this point living a vegetarian lifestyle. For a Kapha body type, vegetarian diets aren’t necessarily the best. I decided that I would take my own advice and try animal protein again and see how I was affected by it. There was a girl involved too. I had met someone and she was going to cook me some chicken. Hmmmmm… all things considered, it was the right place and the right time. More so, “I was the right person in the right place at the right time”. I wasn’t doing it because of her, but again, the decision, the thinking about it, the choice to discover the changes and be open about it all put me in this place where she was going to cook me some chicken. I’ll tell you, I had never felt better. It was a matter of days and my energy levels rocketed like when I first started Sunrider. I started dropping body fat again and feeling really good. My blood sugar seemed even more stable that before. It’s been two years now and I still eat chicken and eggs.
It was the same month and I bet within days that I found out about Brad King and “fat wars”. I learned the true importance of protein and the role it plays in metabolism and thermogenics. It burns fat. Truly a turning point. Nuff said.
I still can’t believe that I knew nothing “specific” about the Glycemic Index until this late in my journey. It was a few short months after learning about protein that I learned about the GI. The Glycemic Index is about how fast food gets converted into sugar in your body which then has an affect on insulin which then either helps you burn fat or restricts you from burning fat.
And now, after 14 years of self training in the gym, following programs from magazines and what I see others doing, I got a personal trainer. Holy Shit (pardon my French). My fitness routine, by physique and my knowledge have never been better due to this little woman who trains me. She has become a very close friend and I’d do anything for her. I trust her completely and to be put a better way , I don’t trust anyone else. I have made gains in my strength and physique in less than a year that I had never seen in 14 years of training.
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
Which brings me full circle to why I’m writing this. I made some goals these past few months while attending T. Harv Ekers Wizard training as a facilitator and then tweaked them and made some more just before the end of 2004. In making those commitments and setting those goals in stone, I was set on a path by the universe (God, all that is, whatever you want to call it or however you want to describe it) and the past 14 days have brought me “ah ha” after “ah ha”. There have been so many dots connected in the past 14 days that I’m just grinning from ear to ear. One goal was to get my radio show back on the air and the other was to get to 4% body fat at 230lbs. A click here, a click there and so many new people have been brought into my life to support my goals. Tom Venuto has written a book called “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” (read my review here.) of which I am presently following. I dropped 300 pounds of fat in my journey but I needed that one little piece of information that would take me to the next level. As I say in my review, I not only got one new tool, I got five. This book is probably the best organized information on fat loss and muscle building on the planet. It’s like Tom tapped into my brain and has been watching over my shoulder because the principle’s are all things I do and believe. I just needed a couple of little secrets that he knew about that I didn’t. Not even that I didn’t know about them, but partly such that I needed him to kick me in the ass and get to work. He has just become my “fat loss coach”. There’s more to it than that, but I’ll tell you later. Go read my review of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
The whirlwind of the past 14 days has still not come to a close and I’m riding the wave with full sail! To quote McDonalds “I’m Loving It!”.
I encourage you to take your own steps. Reach out and do something. Learn, invest in your health and your life. Understand your “Why” of why you need to do what you need to do. Investing in your health is the best investment you can make.