Chronic Disease Caused by Consumer Demand

23 05 2016
Traveling and enjoying good company keeps a mind and body fit healthy. Astoria OR, column.

Traveling and enjoying good company keeps a mind and body healthy.  Marc at the Column, Astoria OR.

One of the first articles I wrote in November 2007 was inspired by a network news and publications article titled “Is Cancer in Your Tub?”  What caught my attention were two glycol ether solvents used in everyday household, food and hygiene products.  Also a key ingredient used in anti-freeze.  Well I knew I didn’t want to drink or eat anti-freeze, so this caught my eye.

The thing I didn’t put into perspective back then was how the consumer created a convenience demand in the marketplace.  A choice that continues to make the populous sick and cause disease.  And the best way to bring “you” the reader up to speed is to start from the beginning… 8 years ago.

What exactly are these two solvents and why would an anti-freeze ingredient be in our home cleaners, hygiene and food products?  “Glycol ethers are a group of solvents based on alkyl ethers of ethylene glycol or Propylene Glycol (PG) commonly used in paints and cleaners.  These solvents typically have a higher boiling point, together with the favorable solvent properties of lower-molecular weight ethers and alcohols [Wikipedia 2016].”

AntiFreeze

Note the main Ingredient: ethylene glycol and Warning Label.

Note the main Ingredient: ethylene glycol and Warning Label.

“Ethylene glycol are still used in anti-freeze preparation, household, automotive cleaners, laundry cleaners, etc.  Propylene glycol is also used in many of the same consumer products, such as home cleaners, hair, cosmetics, creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, pet foods, deodorants, etc. (GoodGuide 2011).”  The list of products containing both glycol ethers is long.

Propylene glycol is also used as a food stabilizer in many processed foods as I’m now more familiar.  And the FDA stands by their PG approval-to-market SAFE for human consumption like tens of thousands of other consumer chemicals.  “The Food and Drug Administration has classified Propylene Glycol as “generally recognized as safe,” which means that it is acceptable for use in flavorings, drugs, and cosmetics, and as a direct food additive. According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable dietary intake of propylene glycol is 25 mg of propylene glycol for every kilogram (kg) of body weight (ATSDR 2015).”

The unique qualities of PG is it “provides unique inherent properties with regard to holding/attracting both water- and oil-based substances.  In food, it is used to retain food color pigments and provide for homogeneous distribution within the mixture.”

    IMG_20130405_175029It is also used as a “Solvent and carrier for flavor and color in food and beverage manufacturing processes, for drinks, biscuits, cakes, sweets.  ‘Thickener, clarifier and stabilizer in food and beverage such as beer, salad dressings or baking mixtures (PO/PG 2016).”

PG is also used as the main liquid component of e-cigarettes.  For example, “PG exposure per puff of the Ruyan® e-cigarette.  The cartridge of the Ruyan® e-cigarette contains approximately 1g [or 1000mg’s] of PG, of which 0.9 g is extractable from the pad. The concentration of PG in the mouth from one drag of the Ruyan® e-cigarette (900 mg per cartridge, 300 puffs = 3mg) is 3 mg per mouthful.”

It should also be noted within the report there is an “Inhalational Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs)” citation.   “No MRLs for acute- or chronic-duration inhalation exposure to propylene glycol were derived because data are insufficient.”  And this report also highlights “Carcinogenicity.  Stating ‘There is no evidence that PG is a carcinogen.”

But a “SAFE use” contradiction is also apparent within the same report.  “MRLs of acute- or chronic duration inhalation… data are insufficient (Laugesen 2008).”  Or to better clarify and understand the meaning of this statement, ‘absent of long-term risk data on health’ OR ‘No Evidence for lack of long term data.’

To better relate to the FDA approval process, think about it this way.

NW Nutria

NW Nutria is not used in lab studies and is much more interesting to gander upon than a field mouse.

Most FDA approvals are based on animal studies of relatively short duration.  Whereas the data is extrapolated to make relative to human metabolism, weight, environment, habits, dosage, frequency etc.  One last point to make, we are humans, not rodents.  So one must ask… how relevant are these studies to human DNA and disease?  And how much pressure is there to release and approve a new product to market?   And once released don’t industries have something to loose should an approved SAFE chemical be recalled from the marketplace?  The answers to these questions are economically and politically by design and connected.  The short of it is, It’s all about special interest power, control and money!

To date, I was curious to see if GP was removed, banned or listed as a health risk on any consumer product.  Of course I wasn’t surprised to find anything of the kind.  However glycol ethers may be the least of consumer product toxin worries.

Prior to reading that November 2007 publication, consumer safety advocates warned the world years earlier of carcinogenic household items.      For instance,  On February 23 a “1998 CBS’s morning talk show, ‘This Morning’ reported the findings of a study from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program that sent shock waves throughout the cosmetics and personal care products industries.”

Personal hygiene should be replaced with green products to reduce health risk associated accumulative daily toxin uptake.

Personal hygiene and home cleaners can be replaced with green products to reduce health risk associated with daily toxin uptake.

Fast forward… the moment of truth, our everyday household items have carcinogenic toxins as exposed by various laboratory controlled studies.  They “confirm serious health issues with long term use of our FDA Qualified “SAFE” products! (Young 2011).”  [Shocker?  Not at all.  Simply look at the billions of dollars industries spend and profits made.  Changing profitable industry culture course is an act of God.]

During 2007 I also procured brochures from author Debra Lynn Dadd, “Please Protect Yourself from Household Toxics.”  I handed them out to clients for consumer safety information and audit of household products.

Clients audited bathroom and laundry cabinets. They replace all cleaning and hygiene products with natural/organic products.

Clients audited bathroom hygiene and laundry cabinets. They replaced toxic products with natural/organic ones.

I recommended they audit and remove the toxic products and go green.  And advised them to keep diaries of certain medical symptoms which had abated after removal of certain toxic products after reading Dadd‘s article.

She stated, “While certain people may be more sensitive than others, and some chemical(s) may bring on reactions only after many years of repeated exposure, I discovered household cleaning and bathing chemicals may bring on reactions only after many years of repeated exposure.”

Many of the home use product(s) that increased certain health risks listed in the brochure were cancer, birth defects, genetic changes, heart disease.  Literally any symptom imaginable both physical and psychological could be linked to a common household product.

“Scientist admit these toxic chemicals can lodge in our endocrine system contributing to thyroid problems, diabetes, weight gain, and infertility.  At greatest risk are fetuses, children, the elderly, and those who are already ill, but these chemicals are threatening the health of everyone, every day (Barry 2013).”

I also cited an AARP Bulletin from May 2008, Vol.49 No. 4, titled “Hazards at Home,” within that original 2007 article by Reed Karaim.  Making similar statements as Debra Lynn Dadd.  Karaim followed in suit, “older people are more likely to have conditions – such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes.”  Adding to the collective demographic concern “Older people are more like infants and children in their ability to fend off toxic assaults says Sandra Steingraber, the author of Living Downstream:  An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment.”

What's in your Laundry Room?

What’s in your Laundry Room?

Within the same Bulletin a statement of stern warning is made over the use of home “Cleaners – Chemicals to avoid in cleaners, says McRandle (Paul McRandle, Deputy Editor at the National Geographic Green Guide), run from ammonia, which is known to trigger asthma, elements in chlorine bleach, which is a lung irritant and will kill you if you swallow it, to things like glycol ethers, which are used to dissolve grime and dirt, and can cause nerve damage (Karaim 2008).”

PG is still listed safe by the FDA.  However, I’ve no doubt science will prove the long-term PG health risk effects through e-cig smoker data.  By studying habits of consumption, dose, toxicity and patients presenting similar “cause and effect” symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and disease connections, and discovery commonalities will occur over time.

Convenience does not come without a health risk price.

Convenience does not come without a health risk price.

The most disheartening and overwhelming reality is there are more chemicals used in foods and household products than ever before.  Including expanded use of glycol ethers in foods.  Also “Of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health (NRDC 2016).”

It appears most likely disease is linked to a cocktail of multiple consumer products, not just one.  “Chemicals found in household products may be causing significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility, the European Environment Agency has warned. ‘In recent decades, there has been a significant growth in many human diseases and disorders including breast and prostate cancer, male infertility and diabetes. ‘Many scientists think that this growth is connected to the ‘rising levels of exposure’ to mixtures of some chemicals in widespread use (Smith 2012).”

“Some of the most pervasive chemicals are used in plastic products, and are known as “endocrine disruptors.” Convenience food products are bagged, bottled and plastic lined canned containers.

Almost all food and drink containers have varying levels of toxins that leach into consumables.

Almost all food and drink containers have varying levels of toxins that leach into consumables.

“On February 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.” Concern over the increase of chemical use in convenience foods, household and personal use products.

My takeaway and interpretation of past and current trends, scientific studies and consumer health risk and industrial data; these chemicals are destroying or mutating DNA within cellular structures of endocrine [hormone] and neurological function leading to serious and chronic disease.

“The report suggests a ban of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may be needed to protect the health of future generations. ‘Health risks include: Non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system in children, attention-deficit hyperactivity in children, thyroid cancer (Mercola 2013).”

Marc clearing his Northern CA backwoods property. Wilderness living has its perks.

Marc clearing his Northern CA backwoods property.  Wilderness lifestyle has its perks.  And is as close as I can get to the way the pioneers lived.

“In some ways, our ancestors had it easy. Because they didn’t have chemically treated food and chemically enhanced kitchenware, their diets and cooking practices exposed them to fewer toxic hazards (Breast Cancer Fund 2016).”

Unfortunately Big-Ag, food processors and manufactures see a huge demand for convenience products with chemicals that make our foods smell, and taste and look more appetizing with long storage life.   Including cheap and toxic convenient household and hygiene products.  We’re addicted to all of them.   As long as consumer convenience demand and profits are high and long term health risk is not connected to an FDA approved SAFE chemical… the toxic environmental uptake and increase of insidious disease won’t be in decline anytime soon.

Nothing has changed much after years of health risk warnings from consumer safety advocates, epidemiologists and independent lab studies, etc.   Chemicals used in products are on the rise and so is disease.

Big Ag-Corps may appear green. Health conscious consumers should qualify... was the product produced by a certified organic farm?

Big Ag-Corps may appear green.  Health conscious consumers should seek to qualify the quality of product on labels… I.e., was the product produced by a certified organic farm?

The big winners are Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Big-Ag and Health Care industries.  To include a plethora of consumer product and processor manufactures.  Why do I list Health care services and Big-Pharm industries?

Treating acute and chronic disease is big business.  Cures are not.

“If it’s not about the money, what is it?”  I’d say it’s 2-fold.  Customers need and want lower cost and convenience products.  And industries are more than happy to continue providing profitable and cheap product that meet demand.

Until consumer demand changes to provide healthier products for you and your family, there are things you can do to reduce household and environmental toxins.

Recommendations,

What can you do to protect your family?

What can I say. I like sponge Bob. But this ones not made out of plastic toxins.

What can I say. I like sponge Bob. Although not made out of plastic toxins… it is likely made of a percentage of synthetic materials with toxins.

1   Don’t give plastic toys to small children unless marked BPA or Phthalates free.  “On October 15, 2007, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 1108 (also known as the California Toxic Toys Bill), making California the first state in the country to ban the use of phthalates from children’s products (West 2016).”

2   Eat less processed and convenience foods and consume more whole foods.

3   Purchase organic ‘green’ home cleaners, cosmetics and personal hygiene products.

4   Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) e.g. gloves, mask, boots, hoodie, pants, long sleeve shirts, apron when using non-green cleaning products.

5   Read food, home cleaning products and hygiene labels – if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s most likely a chemical preservative, additive, stabilizer, dye, solvent, etc., of varying toxic quality.  Go Green and Organic as often as possible and available.

Purchase green-organic when possible..

Purchase natural/organic when possible..

6   Don’t consume the same drinks and foods every day, especially convenience and fast foods.

7   Consume plenty of fruits, vegetable and water.

8.  Infrequently purchase water, juice, sodas and foods stored in plastics and cans.  Glass is the best container to store foods and drinks.

9   Check dates of frozen foods and use within a 30 day window.

10  Vent and circulate fresh outdoor air throughout the home by leaving windows cracked ¼” open.  Clean HVAC systems and ductwork per manufacturer recommendation.

11  Become a conscientious consumer safety advocate and practitioner and family educator of green/natural products.

12  Become a voice and vote.  Use your 1st Amendment rights to petition government and special interests to win voter-consumer choice.  Be an advocate, or support to ban or remove certain toxic ingredients from consumer goods and services.  Or call for label laws that inform shoppers ingredients known to cause cancer and other chronic disease.

Conclusion,

If consumers don’t demand the marketplace change; then realize cost and convenience has greater value to a majority populace than long term health risk.   With this reality and without consumer and health risk prevention education in our K-12 schools, it should be no surprise new generations don’t value healthy lifestyle.  While disease and health care costs continue to rise.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.

References,

ATSDR. “Public Health Statement for Propylene Glycol.” ATSDR. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 May 2016.

Barry, R. M. “Please…Protect Yourself from Household Toxics Pamphlet by Debra Lynn Dadd.” Melaleuca Cleaning Products. RM Barry Publications, 2005-13. Web. 20 May 2016.

Breast Cancer Fund. “Chemicals in Food.” Breast Cancer Fund. Breast Cancer Fund, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

GoodGuide. “What Kinds of Consumer Products May Contain This Chemical?” ETHYLENE GLYCOL — Consumer Products. GoodGuide, 2011. Web. 20 May 2016.

Karaim, Reed. “Hazards at Home.” AARP Bulletin Today. AARP, May 2008. Web. 20 May 2016.

Laugesen, Murray. Safety Report on the Ruyan® E-cigarette Cartridge and Inhaled Aerosol. Rep. Christchurch, New Zealand: Health New Zealand, 2008. Print.

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Common Household Chemicals Linked to Human Disease.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 8 July 2013. Web. 20 May 2016.

NRDC. “Health, Toxic Chemicals.” NRDC. Natural Resources Defense Council, 2016. Web. 20 May 2016.

PO/PG. “Food, Taste, Fun and Convenience.” – Propylene Glycol. PO/PG Sector Group of Cefic, Brussels, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Smith, Graham. “Chemicals in Household Items Are ‘causing Huge Increase in Cancer, Obesity and Falling Fertility'” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 11 May 2012. Web. 20 May 2016.

West, Larry. “Toxic Toys: Chemicals in Toys Endanger Children.” About.com News & Issues. About.com, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Young, Dr. “Is Cancer in Your Tub.” Is Cancer in Your Tub. Dr. Young, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 May 2016.

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Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome

22 11 2015

Hike where ever in comfort. Even in an inactive Hawaiian volcano

Updated: Nov 22, 2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may cause much discomfort in the large intestine. But it is not considered a serious health risk. It also does not cause more serious diseases such as intestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. IBS can also irritate, aggravate and inflame hemorrhoids which is a separate medical condition.

What causes IBS? No one knows for sure. There is not one identifiable organic factor. However clinical studies and research show symptoms are likely caused by various internal and external stimuli.

Those sensitive to IBS may be influenced by weakened immune system, reproductive hormones, diet, environment, mental health and lifestyle choice. Where 1 out of every 5 adults experience IBS or ~58 million Americans. The condition is more prominent in women starting as early as 20 years of age. And for all it is typically experienced under the age of 45. Women also tend to be two times more likely than men to become symptomatic via stimuli response.

Common triggers associated with IBS discomforts are thought to be mentally, environmentally and genetically stimulated. For instance, if IBS runs in a family, suspect genetics and environment may influence the same stimuli response within offspring. Whereas environment may cause stress, anxiety, depression and where poor diet, drug use and sedentary lifestyle cause similar IBS symptoms. It is then reasonable to assume like-cessation and treatment, or change in lifestyle may alleviate the condition.

Internal and external environment stimuli influence the digestive food coordination process. The intestines, rectum and colon have reactive triggers that are piped to the brain and are partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system [much like the heart and the lungs]. However the signals from the brain to the intestines are also lined with muscle that work in a rhythmic contraction and relaxation coordination to move food through the body.

City environment can trigger stress and IBS.

City environment can trigger stress and IBS.

Environmental stressors may cause intestine function for some to contract too little, or too much whereas the following discomfort conditions result. Removing too little water through the intestinal lining causes diarrhea. And when too much water is removed constipation occurs. It is when arithmetic muscle coordination incrementally increases within the large intestine so do the IBS symptoms. Either condition can cause cramping, bloating and gas felt within the stomach and accompanied to varying degree of either condition. Since we’re all wired a little bit different not all of us react the same way to stimuli sensitivity triggers.

Another common IBS trigger occurs when too many bad bacteria buildup within the intestines. Where antibiotics or probiotics may help to alleviate this problem.

For some cruise aversion prevents stress triggers that cause IBS symptoms. For others it’s just what they need to relieve them. That’s how different we’re wired. Identifying triggers is the first step to feeling better and living life to the fullest.

IBS “IS NOT” considered a disease. It can be more or less thought of as an aggravated condition triggered by lifestyle, environment or relationship stressors that interrupt the connected mind-body digestive coordination process. The most common stressors include: undiagnosed mental health disorders, relationship and employer stress, anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive behavior, etc. Or where other behavioral habits, illness and disease and drug use stimulate and trigger IBS-like symptoms.

Common treatment for diarrhea and constipation,

Prescription for Diarrhea: Lotronex, Prevalite, Colestid or Welchol. Over-the-counter drugs: loperamide (Imodium), or Kaopectate could help.

Prescription for constipation: Zelnorm or a laxative such as milk of magnesia, etc. Over-the counter drugs: fiber supplements like Metamucil or Citrucel could help.

Be sure to ask for specifics of IBS treatment from treating physicians. And when purchasing an over-the-counter drug be sure to speak with a pharmacist to determine best product and application use. If either prescription or over-the-counter products are not used correctly, they can cause other health problems. Alternative IBS treatments includes: herbs, acupuncture, massage, meditation and hypnosis.

“IBS has no cures. You must manage what triggers the symptoms!”

Recommendations:

1 Make a medical appointment with gastroenterologist and prepare in advance. For instance, keep a journal of the foods you eat, how much of suspected food irritants, daily exercise and any drugs taken. Then be mindful of what may likely stimulate the IBS episodes, time of day and how severe the symptoms feel. E.g., on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the worst.

2 Reduce large meal intake, which can cause cramping, and diarrhea [try consuming smaller and more frequent meals], slow down when you eat. And stop chewing gum, both results in too much gas (air).

3 Check risk warnings on medicines prescribed. Ask your doctor about questionable medications.

4 Remove chocolate, caffeine, milk-dairy products [determine if lactose intolerant], bread [determine if gluten intolerant] and alcohol from diet. Try removing one at a time to see if symptoms improve. Log this information in your daily journal.

5 Remove stress, conflict and other emotional upsetting factors from environment.

6 Drink 6-8 glasses of water/day, especially for diarrhea. This seems counter intuitive, but it will make you feel better by flushing your system. And you must rehydrate when losing too much water within the body. Don’t drink carbonated drinks. It’s a no brainer to drink more water when constipated.

Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels

Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels

7 Try consuming low fat & higher in carbohydrate foods, such as pasta, rice and “whole grain breads & cereals, unless you have “celiac disease. This disease mimics IBS… If you are diagnosed with this, your body can’t digest gluten (wheat, rye, barley, etc.,) a blood test can rule out if you have celiac disease).

8 Increase fruits and vegetable consumption within your diet.

9 Get enough exercise and sleep.

References,

Bolen, Barbara, Dr. “What Is IBS and Do You Have It?” About.com Health. About.com, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Cunha, John P., DO, FACOEP. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS: Symptoms and Diet Info.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 July 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-Topic Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





New Year Resolution Guarantees Weight Loss Success

20 12 2014
Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Is this the secret to safe weight loss?  The answers may surprise you.

After all the Holiday festivities, one has to wonder what fitness and/or health resolution will be made this year and stuck too?

It seems as we age and for many of us, increased body is added each year.  And with that being said, we continually resolve to improve our eating and exercise habits and quit unhealthy vices.

We tell ourselves we’re going to get serious this time and get fit while losing weight.  I realize we all have good resolution intentions.  However, for most this is easier said than done.

If you lack will power to change bad habits long term, the results on the organic brain/body will experience more pain and suffering than necessary in the long run.  If one is not concerned about such things then risk of disease and shorten life span may ensue if positive change does not occur.

If your serious about healthy change and willing to follow a fitness plan that’s right for you, “you can” improve quality of life experiences in a more fit body.  But you must keep the following perspective in mind.  It took years to become unfit and unhealthy.  It may take some time to turn around an unfit condition.  The good news is this change can be done in a reasonable time with little effort, once the body chemical activation secret is understood.

Yah I know, easier said than done for some of you.  Because some believe “I can’t change, or I’m too old, or I’m going to die eventually, so what the hell.”  You say these things not because you don’t believe change is possible.  But it’s easier to talk yourself out of change for lack of knowing what dietary and exercise actions may actually work for you

What would you say if I could provide you valuable insight on how to improve health, lose weight safely, increase fitness levels and increase longevity odds at no cost and modest will power?

And this knowledge simply involved understanding how to activate addictive body chemicals produced by your own body. Thereby increasing will power to continue a fitness plan and achieve your desired fitness result?  Would you be interested in this insight?  Most would say yes, what’s the catch?

No Catch.

What, you thought I was talking about a magic pill or have some other hidden agenda?

Nope.

No need for pills or gimmicks, your body produces these powerful chemicals once you know how to activate them daily.  And I’m going to give you this known scientific information at no cost.  And believe me the marketers don’t want you to have this information, why?  Because they lose fitness and nutrition sales revenues.

If your looking to select a fitness or diet plan, don’t get duked into one that guarantees quick results!   Man-made products produced from unnatural chemical additives compromise the mind and body at the cellular level.  Also fad and fitness diet-exercise plans not relative to your lifestyle will only work short term, or not at all.

These “quick fix” fast weight loss and fitness fad concoctions are wrong for most of us long term.  Especially if one becomes dependent on them.  Thereafter has potential, if nothing else changes to cause more harm than good in the long run.

Now click on the following link and learn how to activate those powerful body chemicals naturally, lose weight safely and improve health and fitness levels long term.

Click: on Link:  “Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals.”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG MSC CPT Ret. 2014 MirrorAthlete® Copyright, All rights reserved. Visit MirrorAthlete® home site and sign up for free monthly newsletter.





Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals

11 11 2014
IMG_0277

Any aerobic endurance activity will release addictive body chemicals that benefit health and wellbeing

One way to increase the odds of longevity, good health and wellness is through daily physical activities that stimulate the body’s natural release of addictive feel good chemicals.

Of course eating a balanced diet is very important to sustain good health, body weight and wellness.  But through daily exercise activities the metabolisms effect on will power and motivation to continue it increases everyday you stay the fitness course.

What chemicals are stimulated through exercise and how do they help us sustain the daily activity habit?

1) Adrenaline a neurotransmitter and hormone produced by the adrenalin gland just above the kidneys, also known as norepinephrine and epinephrine (provides attention focus in brain).  Together these chemicals activate your fight or flight stimulation designed to get the body out of a stressful situation, or survive an injury scenario.  It acts as a natural pain killer, boosts oxygen and glucose fuel to brain, muscles and suppresses depression.  2)   Dopamine is produced and synthesized in the brain which boosts positive behavior, cognition, motor activity, motivation, sleep, mood, learning and attention.  3)  Serotonin is synthesized within the CNS (Central Nervous System).  This chemical is also found in many mushrooms, plants, fruits and vegetables.  Research shows Serotonin plays an important role in liver regeneration and induces cell division throughout the body (important for repair and healing of the body).  Serotonins role as a neurotransmitter of the brain is to modulate anger, mood, aggression, sleep, sexuality, appetite and metabolism.

How does one initially find the will power and motivation to exercise relative to lifestyle and fitness needs and stick to it?

I do realize exercise activities that work for some may not work for others.  But with a little more insight, maybe a daily workout concept can by applied on self that will resonate with you long-term. If you can commit to a low impact aerobics exercise program daily you will then begin to release the feel good chemicals to make exercise a joy as opposed to a burden and painful experience.

Continuous daily exercise triggers these feel good chemicals and will cause “for most” an addictive exercise habit within 1-2 weeks.  However, everyone differs slightly in metabolism, exercise interest, motivations, intensity and mode of exercise, etc.  For some the body chemicals release an instant craving for daily exercise.  Where for others it may take a little longer once daily exercise begins.  However these addictive cravings for daily exercise may be trumped by bad behavioral habits;  thereby challenging will power and the motivation to exercise daily.  And until these bad habits are changed, modified or stopped, the commitment to daily exercise is threatened.

To maximize the odds of achieving healthy  longevity and wellness 4 behavioral habits must be addressed. 1)  Stop substance abuse.  2)  Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.  3) Become addicted to your body’s natural producing chemicals through exercise.  4)  Remove yourself from unhealthy and stressful environments.

The increased exercise activities experienced by clients did not require a lot of will power, but did require some effort and discipline.  Hence a small amount of will power is required when you begin a daily walking program.

Find a motivator to increase your will power to get you moving.  For example, have a fitness goal in mind: weight loss, body tone, want to feel and look well, etc.  Then start daily exercise slowly by increasing intensity, duration and frequency when your body tells you its okay to do so.  In time your body will release more feel good chemicals, then you’ll become better conditioned as a daily practitioner of aerobic exercise.

The best New Year’s fitness resolution advice I could give you as I’ve done with so many past clients is to start a daily walking habit.  Walking is a low impact fat burning activity.  Many don’t understand the exercise science and benefits of a daily aerobic walking habit.  But I assure you, if you walk for at least 15 minutes a day, you’ll begin to release more of those feel good chemicals.  And in time, your walk pace and distances will increase, so will your muscle tone, metabolism and circulatory function and body fat weight will decrease and you’ll look and feel better.

If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, walking at first may seem uncomfortable and maybe feel unnatural.  But keep this in mind.  As hunters and gatherers are bodies were designed to move by walking.  Walking is a very natural thing for us to do.  And in a short period of time, if you walk daily you will become addicted to it.  From this point forward fitness levels increase and you’ll find yourself challenged and wanting to do other advanced activities you thought were no longer possible.

I’ve had some obese clients walk or ride a stationary bike for a year.  Thereafter participated in a competitive long distance walking, hiking, jogging and biking event, etc.  They never imagined themselves capable of doing anything like it.

Be excited about all the possibilities that lye in front of you and enjoy life to the fullest by maintaining a daily mobility exercise habit!   Now go get addicted to the natural feel good drugs produced by your own body and reap the wellness and health benefits!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.





Resolve to Lose Weight through Simple Changes

11 11 2014

Wild Turkeys in California on Rural Walk

So your New Year’s resolution is to improve your fitness levels.  What will your fitness goals look like and how will you achieve them?

The most common and desired fitness goals by clients are:  weight loss, reduced body fat, muscle strength, increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance and flexibility.

One must also recognize the will power necessary to change habits and behaviors and is an essential mind set attribute if long-term fitness goals are to stick.  So what will be your fit-healthy strategy to succeed in your New Year’s resolution?  First you must know how to develop and apply a fitness plan that’s relative and right for you.

What fitness goal will you be working on?  The most typical New Year’s Resolution after the Holidays is weight loss.  Since I’m targeting weight loss as a fitness goal you will have to have a little will power and motivation to do this on your own?

First of all, “you know yourself better than anyone.”  Am I right?  Of course I am.  If you’ve been telling yourself for the last 2-3 years your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and you’ve still had no success, hopefully this insight will help increase your will power and motivation to achieve a desired weight loss result.

I know many of you are conflicted with life events that seem to sabotage your fitness plan each year.  Like you, I can easily relate to these things.  For example, job stress, kid and adult care, relationships, feeling tired, addicted to bad habits that take away motivation-energy-will power (bad food & drink habits, smoking, drugs, etc.), lack of sleep, stressful and/or toxic environment, etc.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.

You get the picture.

If any of these life events and issues are preventing you from achieving a fitness goal(s), you must find a workable solution to change a bad situation/ or stressful environment if you expect an opposite result.  If you cannot make the positive lifestyle changes needed that motivate you to achieve personal goals, you’ll forever struggle to enjoy life to the fullest while fitness levels, mindset and health continue to suffer.

And if you fail repeatedly and continue to feel bad about yourself and situation, you’ll eventually give up on other life ambitions and goals.  Repeated fitness failure and feeling miserable for too long is a recipe for “depression,” which is also a common cause of physical illness and disease.

Also, if you begin a restrictive and dangerous weight loss program out of desperation as a short cut to lose weight you may cause further harm to your mind and body.  When the body’s metabolism discovers it’s been duked unnaturally, it will eventually retaliate by packing on weight with a vengeance after the fact.  And if you become dependent on  yo-yo dieting abusive tactics, you’ll break your metabolism permanently, gain more weight and in time will cause more pain, depression and other unnecessary illness and disease.

When weight loss failure happens too often, this reinforces a defeated mindset, “I can’t lose weight,” therefore I’ll continue the bad habits and further compromise health and quality of life experiences.  The mind then accepts an unhealthy viewpoint which intern harms the encompassing being throughout time.   I’m here today to tell you, you don’t have to accept unhealthy weight loss short-cut practices to lose weight naturally.

Through years of personal client experience, I explain the healthy and unhealthy lifestyle habits and resulting effects and how to eventually change a poor dietary and/or bad activity habits.  But it ultimately is the individual, armed with useful and relatable information; and if medical help is needed seek it out; and where they must chose, decide and truly want to make change.  The key elements in achieving a desired fitness goal, if you’ve not been successful at it for years is to admit you need help in understanding the following concepts and applying the necessary lifestyle changes.

1)    If you have “repeated” failures at losing weight or your health is at risk, you must change the habits, or behaviors that are causing your weight problems.   If you are grossly obese and/or your health is at risk seek medical attention immediately!  See your primary care physician and seek a referral to a behavioral therapist, nutritional, life coach or fitness trainer-consulting service to help target your weight gain nemesis, or bad behavioral habits.  Then build an action plan and resolve to change to healthier lifestyle habits and/or healthier environmental conditions.

2)   It is my belief you must exercise to have effective long-lasting weight loss and sustaining results.  However, for those that have not participated in a fitness exercise activity and now find themselves overweight, a walking program will be your best course to aerobically burn body fat and lose weight with minimum risk of weight bearing joints.

Exercise activity can be performed in many different ways, e.g., resistive weight training, walking, hiking, biking, jogging, etc.   Basically anything that moves the body consistently for a period of time provides an aerobic fitness benefit.  Walking at a brisk pace (3-5 days/wk for 15-60mins) is the best metabolic fat burning, low-stress exercise activity which results in weight loss and cardiovascular benefits.  However, if you are just starting a walk program, “do not start out walking at a fast pace,” you may work your way to higher intensity, or brisk walking pace over an extended period of time if you’ve been sedentary for awhile.

When you incorporate exercise into a weight loss program you reap other benefits, such as:  Increased metabolism, muscle development, fat loss, body toning, mood enhancement, strength, flexibility.  And decreased cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood swings, depression, stress and other illness and disease risk.

3)   There are certain habits that will sabotage any weight loss goal:  Uncontrollable and bad eating habits and smoking, drinking and legal/illegal drug addictions need to be addressed.  Behavior therapy or in combination with cessation treatment and group therapy may be ideal in order for you to be successful in your weight loss and healthy lifestyle objectives.

4)   As we age our bodies require anti-oxidant and whole food quality nutrients to boost metabolism, increase energy, mood; maintain weight and overall health.  So balanced diet in the form of healthy macro and micronutrients become more important especially if one expects to optimize weight loss results.  If you can’t get fresh whole foods in your diet, I highly recommend you supplement your food source with a high-quality vitamin-mineral product.  Food is energy and certain foods have more or less high nutrient concentrates that don’t always find their way into the daily diets for whatever reason.

5)   It is also true, in the short-term a weight loss program which incorporates exercise may add weight.  You say what?  That’s right, depending on body type and exercise activity it can increase muscle mass (muscle cells are more dense and heavier than fat cells).  When you exercise the muscle fiber can increase in mass and weight.  So as you lose body fat “at first,” muscle mass increase will keep your weight consistent and may even show a slight increase on the scale.  The trick here is to understand this is normal and eventually, the more muscle developed means greater fat burn.  This equates to greater fat weight loss in time.  Eventually, the weight on the scale begins to drop after the bodies muscles become better conditioned.

6)   There are simple weight loss measurements to measure success.  If this is not done you may lose focus on your goal.  The simplest and quickest form of weight loss measurement is a scale and the way clothes fit around the waste.  If my weight increases and waist band feels loose, I equate this to muscle mass weight increase.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels tight, I equate this to body fat increase and muscle mass loss.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels loose while aerobics walking activity continues; I equate this to lean muscle mass toning and body fat loss.  “For me,” this represents an easy way to measure my weight loss success.

Is this the best way to measure fitness and body fat weight loss success?  No it’s not, but it serves as an inexpensive base line reference that provides some positive feedback results for your efforts.

So what is the perfect weight loss program for you?  The answer lies within developing a relative daily exercise and balanced nutrition program relative to your lifestyle needs and wants, and a plan in place that can sustain healthier habits long term.

When exercise is included into the day then will power also increases to stay the healthy lifestyle course.  Why?  because the mind and body craves the addictive body chemicals released by exercise!”   Read article (Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals, November 2014, Woodard).

In understanding these concepts and principles you’ll experience more daily productivity, feel happier, healthier, have more energy, feel and look better and enjoy more quality living experiences.  You will also boost your MirrorAthlete image “the way you see yourself in the mirror” which will definitely boost your ego and motivate you to accomplish other life goals you thought impossible.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Corp., Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





This Year’s Fitness Weight Loss Goals

22 12 2010
Wild Turkeys in California on Rural Walk

    So your New Year’s resolution is to improve your fitness levels.  What will your fitness goals look like and how will you achieve them?  It is easy to make testament and claim to improve your overall fitness levels.  But to say it and make an effective plan are two different things.  And really, what is a fitness goal anyway?  Let’s start by defining what a fitness goal is, or should be.  A fitness goal is achieved by modifying behavior resulting in an intended fitness outcome and is measurable.       Measureable fitness goals are:  Lose weight, reduce body fat, gain muscle or increase cardiovascular endurance, reduce blood pressure or cholesterol etc.  In order to accomplish any of these goals behavior must be modified to achieve the desired outcome.  One must also recognize will power to change behavior is a driving factor toward meeting long-term fitness goals.  Will power is enforced with a deep desire to make a change in life style habits and behaviors that may require months, or even years to achieve the desired outcome results.  (Also Read, “Will Power to Control Compensation Weight Gain Effect, Woodard, Nov 2009).

     So what will be your fit-healthy criterion to gain a wellness benefit for the New Year?  First you must know what it is you’d like to change about your current fitness health, or lack thereof.  You must make sure your goals are realistic and you have a specific plan to reach them.  Also you most likely are aware there will be days that you will lack enthusiasm as fitness goals will appear “through time” to get further and further away.  This fact alone is enough to knock the best intended New Year’s fitness resolution right off the table.

     What fitness goal will you be working on?  The most typical New Year’s Resolution for many is to lose weight, quit smoking-drinking and/or get into better shape, etc. 

     For me, weight management is the toughest.  This is because I can flex in weight by 5 lbs on any given day.  And I can hold these higher end weights for days.  But I understand my physiologies metabolism based on a bunch of factors.  And I will tell you, my weight is in decline during my weight loss program even though I see these hiccups in weight gain sporadically.  I also understand the body’s ability to hang onto liquids and fats and that these things are temporary when I slip off my weight management program.

     Most don’t know the body can remove these short-term weight gain hiccups rather quickly once you get back on target.  My point is, regardless of your fitness activity program, you must not give up if you have a few bad days.  Stay focused and keep chipping away at your fitness goal(s).  Your net result will be a new look, which will motivate you to stay the course for the long duration.

     It stands to good reason that weight loss is a number one New Year’s focus due to our abundance of fast foods and access to food in general causing a great percentage of our obesity problems and lack of activity.  Since I’m targeting weight loss as a fitness goal for you how will you set a realistic weight loss program that fits into your lifestyle and one in which you will not lose enthusiasm?  Will you set a short-term or long-term goal strategy that will take weeks, months or years to complete?  Do you need support to accomplish the fitness goals, or do you have the will power and motivation to do this on your own?

     First of all, “you know you better than anyone.”  Am I right?  Of course I am.  If you’ve been telling yourself for the last 3 years your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and you’ve still had no success and/or lack will power to change habits; you may need some help.  I know many of you are conflicted with many daily issues that seem to sabotage your fit-healthy plan each year.  Let me name a few conflictions that interfere for many that I’m sure you can identify with:  Lack of funds to purchase fitness membership, clothing and/or specialized diet, or supplements; job stress, kids, significant other, too tired, not enough time in the day, addicted to bad habits that take away motivation, energy, will power (drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.); lack of sleep, lack of enthusiasm-motivation, extended family influence, cooking is a big part of your family culture, etc.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.  You get the picture.

     Have I hit on one, or numerous conflicts you’ve experienced in attempting to lose weight, or to get more activity, or exercise as a fitness goal?  If any of these conflictions resonate within your decision making process you must find a solution to remove it in order to get the desired fitness result.  If you cannot make positive change to your lifestyle by modifying behavior, or removing the bad habits you will forever struggle to achieve your goal.  And when this happens, you tell yourself you can’t do it and what’s the point.  The point is for many “depression,” and letting your body go will lead to other ill-health problems through time.

     I’ve stated the obvious for many now leading into the meat of the topic.  The not so obvious weight loss secret our industries don’t reveal to the consumer.  Many quick result weight loss diet programs are designed to result in short-term weight loss results.”  Read how this occurs by clicking on the link, [Lose Weight, Through Behavioral Change Not Fad Dieting, Woodard, Oct 2007].

     Recall, you get as much out of something as you put into it.  Literally, if you exert little energy to achieve a fitness goal such as losing weight by swallowing pills, or consuming a specialized diet; a majority of consumers will often experience a short-term weight loss result.  But little effort to achieve short-term results doesn’t appear to last long.  And quick results also tend to provide the consumer with a short lived euphoria of weight loss success.  This is because most fad diets don’t change behaviors, especially if you have addictions.  Instead the weight loss results are based on tricking the body’s metabolism into reducing weight.  But when the body’s metabolism discovers it’s been deceived, it will pack on weight with a vengeance after the cheating practices stop.  After years of abuse, if repeating yo-yo diets, “they stop producing short-term results all together!”

     And when this happens, this newly formed weight gain reinforces a defeating aspect within the conscious mindset.  The mind then accepts an unhealthy fitness lifestyle “once again.”   Why?  It is easier for one to accept their lot in life.  By embracing behavior that is incapable of changing bad habits, insidious ill-health conditions “through time” build within the mind and body.  And I’m here today to tell you, you don’t have to accept an unhealthy lifestyle!

     So what are the answers to achieving healthy long-lasting fitness goals for a new you?  This is a very tough question to put into summarized print.  But I’ll do my best.

     I believe there are 8 principle givens in understanding “how to” apply long-lasting weight loss and increased fitness results that will stick; when applied, “with commitment!”  These scientifically proven givens coupled with personal experience tell me optimum weight loss success is based on a combination of these givens.

 1)     If you have “repeated” failures at losing weight or health is at risk, you must change the behavior, or habit that is causing your weight problems.  Get professional medical advice if you have not done so.  See your primary care physician and ask for a referral to behavioral and/or nutritional counseling and target the stimulus triggers that are the cause of your weight loss failure.  If you are obese and/or your health is at risk seek medical attention!

 2)   It is my belief you must exercise to have effective long-lasting weight loss and sustaining results.  However, for many that have not participated in a fitness exercise program, see your medical care provider to see what type of exercise/activity you should start with.  Exercise comes in many forms: Within a fitness center, walking, hiking, biking, jogging… Basically anything that moves the body consistently for a period of time provides a fitness benefit.  Walking at a brisk pace (3-5 days/wk for 15-60mins) is the best metabolic fat burning, low-stress exercise that results in weight loss fitness benefits.  However, if you are just starting a walking program, “do not start out walking at a brisk pace,” you must work your way to higher intensity walking exercise if you’ve been sedentary.  Read [Improve Fitness after Rehabilitation, Woodard, March 2010].

 3)   There are certain habits that will sabotage any weight loss fitness goal:  Bad eating habits, smoking, drinking and legal/illegal drugs.  Behavior therapy or in combination with a cessation prescription treatment may be required by a prescribing physician in order for you to be successful in your New Year’s Resolution weight loss program.  Read [Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks, Woodard, November 2010].

 4)   As we age our bodies require super food quality nutrients to boost metabolism, increase energy, mood; maintain weight and influences will power.  So balanced diet in the form of healthy nutrients become more important especially if one expects to optimize fitness results.  If you can’t get super food quality foods in your diet, I highly recommend you supplement your food source with a super food high-quality vitamin mineral product.  Food is energy and certain foods have more or less heavier nutrient concentrates that don’t always find their way into our daily diets for whatever reason.  Think of vitamin-mineral supplementation as metabolism optimization insurance to assist in body-mind fitness efficiency results.  Read [Lose Weight with Super Foods, Woodard, January 2009].

 5)    When you incorporate exercise into a weight loss program you reap other benefits, such as:  Increased metabolism, muscle mass, body toning, mood enhancement, bad-to-good habit changes, increased will power, strength, flexibility.  Decreased:  Cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood swings, depression, stress and illness/disease risk.

 6)   It is also true, in the short-term a weight loss program that incorporates exercise may add weight.  You say what?  That’s right, depending on body type, exercise will typically build muscle (muscle cells are more dense and heavier than fat cells) dependent on the exercise.  When you exercise the muscle fiber increases in mass and weight.  Your body for some period will attempt to hang onto the fat, cause you to want to eat more; hence you gain weight (Excess Calorie Storage + Increased Muscle Mass).  So as you lose body fat “at first,” muscle mass increase will keep your weight consistent and may even show as an increase of weight on the scale.  The trick here is to understand this is normal and eventually, the more muscle developed means greater fat burning.  This equates to greater weight loss.  Eventually, the weight on the scale begins to drop after the body becomes better conditioned.  Read [Science Proves Exercise Alone May Promote Weight Gain, Woodard, Oct 2009]

 7)    There are conflictions within daily life that sabotage our New Year’s Resolution weight loss goals.  See conflictions above and find solutions to resolve these road blocks to your fitness goals.

 8)   There are simple weight loss measurements to measure success that must be performed daily and tallied on a daily calendar.  If this is not done, “out-of-sight/mind” will not help to keep you on track.  The simplest and quick form of weight loss measurement for me is a scale and the way my pants feel around my waste.  If my weight increases and waist band feels loose, I equate this to muscle mass weight increase.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels tight, I equate this to body fat increase and muscle mass loss.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels loose and fitness aerobics in the gym increases; I equate this to lean muscle mass toning and body fat loss.  “For me,” this represents a successful long-term weight loss and sustaining weight management program.

   So what is the perfect weight loss program for you?  The answer lies within the 8 principles and customizing these concepts in a way that works for you.  And one you can stick with long enough to receive a fit-healthy result.  That’s right, once you understand these principles; you can customize a weight loss fitness program that will become a long-lasting habit that modifies behavior for life.  “And when behavior and activity is changed to accommodate healthy habits then will power is optimized because it craves the healthy addictive changes!”  This also occurs because of stimulating and releasing addictive brain chemicals that occur during exercise and activity.  Read article (New Year’s Resolution, Activate Addictive Healthy Chemicals, January 2009, Woodard).

   In understanding these principles you will experience more productivity, activity, feel happier, healthier, have more energy, feel more fit and experience better living quality experiences.  You will also boost your Mirror Athlete image on a mega-success scale; that will definitely alter your image ego to accomplish bigger goals in life!

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





This Year’s Goal is Weight Loss

22 12 2010

Wild Turkeys in California on Rural Walk

So your New Year’s resolution is to improve your fitness levels.  What will your fitness goals look like and how will you achieve them?

And really, what is a fitness goal anyway?  A fitness goal is a desired physical outcome that can be programmed by a planned strategy or objectives to to achieve it.

The most common and desired fitness goals are:  weight loss, reduced body fat, muscle strength, increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance and flexibility.

One must also recognize will power to change habits and behaviors is a driving factor toward meeting long-term fitness goals.  Will power is enforced to sustain the course when  positive results are realized.

So what will be your fit-healthy strategy to succeed in your New Years fitness resolution?  First you must know what it is you’d like to change about your current fitness-health-relational situation, or lack thereof and make a plan that is relative and right for you.

What fitness goal will you be working on?  The most typical New Year’s Resolution after the Holidays is weight loss and to become more fit.

Most don’t know the body can remove short-term weight gain hiccups and get more fit rather quickly once you get back into a low-intensity activity exercise program.

It stands to good reason that weight loss is a number one New Year’s resolution after eating so many rich foods during the Holiday season.

Since I’m targeting weight loss as a fitness goal how will you set a realistic weight loss program that fits your unique lifestyle and one in which you will not lose enthusiasm?   Do you need support to achieve the goal and will you have the will power and motivation to do this on your own?

First of all, “you know you better than anyone.”  Am I right?  Of course I am.  If you’ve been telling yourself for the last 2-3 years your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and you’ve still had no success or lack will power to change old habits you’ll surely be able  to make use of this insight .

I know many of you are conflicted with many daily issues that seem to sabotage your fit-healthy plan each year.  Let me name a few, I’m sure you can identify with them:  job stress, kids, significant other, too tired, not enough time in the day, addicted to bad habits that take away motivation-energy-will power (drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.); lack of sleep, lack of enthusiasm, extended family influence, general environment, etc.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.  You get the picture.

If any of these issues resonate within your inability to succeed at your fitness goal you must find a solution to change it if you expect the desired results.  If you cannot make positive change in your life by modifying your lifestyle, you will forever struggle to enjoy life to the fullest.

And when you fail repeatedly, you tell yourself you can’t do it, what’s the point.  The point is repeated failure and feeling miserable for too long is a recipe for “depression,” and other ill-health problems throughout time.

Also, if you begin a restrictive and dangerous weight loss plan as a short cut to lose weight fast through diet pills and restrictive diets in general; you will have short-term weight loss results.  But when the body’s metabolism discovers it’s been deceived, it will pack on weight with a vengeance after the cheating practices stop.  After years of yo-yo dieting abuse, “these short-cut methods will stop producing results all together and you will, if this course does not change, get sick!””

When this happens, this newly formed weight gain and poor health reinforces the defeated mindset, “I can’t lose weight, therefore I’ll accept my obesity and other health problems.  The mind then accepts an unhealthy lifestyle which than has an impact on the physical body.   I’m here today to tell you, you don’t have to accept unhealthy short-cut practices to fix your weight gain problems temporarily!

There are 7 common practices that can support healthy weight loss.  These practices coupled with years of personal client experience tell me optimum weight loss success can be achieved with slight modifications of daily habit and behaviors.

1)     If you have “repeated” failures at losing weight or your health is at risk, you must change the habits, or behaviors that are causing your weight problems.   See your primary care physician and/or seek referral to a behavioral, nutritional, life coach or fitness consulting service to help target your weight gain nemesis and develop an action plan to resolve the problem that is sustainable.  If you are grossly obese and/or your health is at risk seek medical attention!

2)   It is my belief you must exercise to have effective long-lasting weight loss and sustaining results.  However, for those that have not participated in a fitness exercise and now overweight a walking program will be your best course to burn body fat and lose body weight with minimum risk of weight bearing injury.

Exercise comes in many forms: resistive weight training, walking, hiking, biking, jogging… Basically anything that moves the body consistently for a period of time provides a fitness benefit.  Walking at a brisk pace (3-5 days/wk for 15-60mins) is the best metabolic fat burning, low-stress exercise that results in weight loss and cardiovascular benefits.  However, if you are just starting a walk program, “do not start out walking at a brisk pace,” you must work your way to higher intensity walking exercise over a longer period of time if you’ve been sedentary for some time.

3)   There are certain habits that will sabotage any weight loss fitness goal:  Bad eating habits, smoking, drinking and legal/illegal drugs.  Behavior therapy or in combination with cessation treatment and group therapy may be required in order for you to be successful in your weight loss program.

4)   As we age our bodies require anti-oxidant and whole food quality nutrients to boost metabolism, increase energy, mood; maintain weight and overall health.  So balanced diet in the form of healthy macro and micronutrients become more important especially if one expects to optimize weight loss results.  If you can’t get fresh whole foods in your diet, I highly recommend you supplement your food source with a super food high-quality vitamin-mineral product.  Food is energy and certain foods have more or less nutrient concentrates that don’t always find their way into the daily diets for whatever reason.

5)    When you incorporate exercise into a weight loss program you reap other benefits, such as:  Increased metabolism, muscle development, fat loss, body toning, mood enhancement, strength, flexibility.  Decreased:  Cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood swings, depression, stress and illness/disease risk.

6)   It is also true, in the short-term a weight loss program that incorporates exercise may add weight.  You say what?  That’s right, depending on body type, exercise will typically increase muscle mass (muscle cells are more dense and heavier than fat cells).  When you exercise the muscle fiber increases in mass and weight.  So as you lose body fat “at first,” muscle mass increase will keep your weight consistent and may even show a slight increase of weight on the scale.  The trick here is to understand this is normal and eventually, the more muscle developed means greater fat burning.  This equates to greater weight loss in the long run.  Eventually, the weight on the scale begins to drop after the body becomes better conditioned.  Read [Science Proves Exercise Alone May Promote Weight Gain, Woodard, Oct 2009]

7)   There are simple weight loss measurements to measure success.  If this is not done, “out-of-sight/mind” will not help to keep you  focused on your goal.  The simplest and quick form of weight loss measurement for me is a scale and the way my pants feel around my waste.  If my weight increases and waist band feels loose, I equate this to muscle mass weight increase.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels tight, I equate this to body fat increase and muscle mass loss.  If my weight decreases and waist band feels loose while aerobics walking activity continues; I equate this to lean muscle mass toning and body fat loss.  “For me,” this represents an easy way to measure my weight loss success.

So what is the perfect weight loss program for you?  The answer lies within customizing daily habits and behaviors that are relative to your needs and wants and a plan that you can sustain.

When daily activities are changed to accommodate healthy habits then will power also  increases to stay the course because it craves these addictive healthy changes!”  This also occurs because of released addictive brain chemicals that occur during exercise activity.  Read article (New Year’s Resolution, Activate Addictive Healthy Chemicals, January 2009, Woodard).

In understanding these concepts and principles you will experience more productivity, feel happier, healthier, have more energy, feel more fit and experience more quality living experiences.  You will also boost your Mirror Athlete image on a mega-success scale that will definitely alter your ego and lead you towards other successes in life!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Corp., Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.