May 2001 Newsletter
The summer in California has arrived... and in Las Vegas as well. I am getting summer-ready, working on my proper nutrition, and leaning out, so I get my six-pack back. This year, I am trying something different. Everything is about the balance. Looking into TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) and how to balance the body with foods. I believe, that if the body is in balance, then everything will work perfectly - the digestion and the optimal nutrition absorption... and with that the muscle building and loosing the unwanted flash (i.e. fat). If the body is in balance, then we don't have cravings. Believe it or not, I haven't eaten any sweet/cookie/ice cream for about 6 weeks. And I am not even using my will. I just don't have the craving... Also, I must admit, that I have worked a little bit on my subconscious mind and reprogrammed it and learned how not to enjoy sweet processed food. Amazing, but it works... I like that a lot, because I don't feel like dieting, and my food choices are so "clean" that any normal human would feel disgusted :-). I dropped from 204 lbs to 193 lbs.
I also work together with a acupuncture doctor on a project, how we could help an athlete with the needles, for the muscle building, strength increasing, fat burning reasons. So I am his experiment rabbit, getting needles stuck in me every week. And then for a week I evaluate what how my body react, what it does, and how balanced my inner organs are. I must say that I find the experiment very interesting... Who wouldn't like to observe, daily, your tongue, temperature, moods, stool (yeah! fun, fun, fun), appetite, cravings, thoughts...
The new server for my site is going to be up very soon. Faster, better, and reliable... I apologize for any inconvenience this past month, hopefully everything will be just fine very soon.
In Venice, at Gold's, everybody is getting ready for the contest... everybody carrying these one gallons jars of pink water, looking tired, and in an excellent shape. I love that gym! Last week, I went to one of the Gold's gyms in Las Vegas, and I must tell, I am spoiled... the gym looked small, dirty and no energy... I did my workout, but I cannot imagine be there 7 days a week, like I am in Venice. If you haven't seen the Mecca, you need to stop by when you visit California... You might then do what many of us others did, you return home, pack your stuff, say "bye bye, my home town!" and move your flesh to Venice :-) (Am I trying to seduce you here???)
My weekends in Las Vegas are gorgeous. I guess the weather is at its best right now - about 95-100 degrees, a little breeze, and dry. It feels really gooooood... I diligently work on my tan, laying flat by the pool, occasionally jumping in the water to cool down a little bit. And the nights in Vegas are warm, 88 degrees. What else can you ask for? I just wait for that hot-hot-hot summer, when everybody is dying if they step out during the day... And I don't have an AC in my car! I'd better reprogram my subconscious mind to love natural saunas, huh?
I don't know yet when and if I am going to compete this year. I
made up my head yet. I am working on my TCM-experiment, and getting in
shape any way, without "dieting". So maybe later, after the summer, I
that I want to step up on the stage. I will be doing some photo shoots
in summer, among others with Mr. Bill
Dobbins... Look forward to some nice pictures.
Focused... a real life story
I've read this article in one of the muscle magazines. And I thought I have to share a part of it with you, because it really impressed me. Sometimes I think how busy I am with my workouts and eating/dieting and work. But then I read this real life story, and it just opens my eyes, how blessed I am to be able to do all these things that I do... and that everything is possible, if I just... really, really want it. I don't know that man in the story, but I sure am impressed. Read on...
This guy is 32 years old (Pete Ciccone is his name), and he works full time as a nurse, and also competes in drug free bodybuilding. He starts his day at 4:30 AM and finishes at 11 PM. His one day looks like following: he eats 8 full meals, he does two cardio sessions (45 minutes each, morning and night), lifts weights, works full time from 7:30 AM to 7 PM, writes and maintains a web site, designs diet plans for friends, and sometimes even goes hiking...
WOW, I say... So... what do you think... what is it that drives an individual forward in such an insane pace???
He says "I do it because I can. Part of what drives me is the realization that good health is a gift, and that good health maintenance through a healthy lifestyle is a responsibility, almost an obligation. I see so many people who can't do what you and I can physically: people limited by arthritis, amputations, fractures, stroke --- the whole spectrum of health-care problems. It really brings the gift of health and movement into perspective."
I hope this little real-life story put things in perspective for you as it did for me. Appreciate the health that you were given, and honor your body by exercising it and keeping yourself healthy. Rethink, if you think you are too busy to exercise every day for only one hour... Start now, because...
"NOW is the most interesting time of all".
"If you don't start, it's certain you won't arrive."
"Life is what's coming, not what was."
And now, you might wonder... I was just talking in the beginning about the balance, in our lives, and in our bodies... I must tell, that I don't think that this kind of life is very balanced, he seems not to have much time for relaxation and working on the mind and the spirit... But as a short term, intense focus, for a specific goal, it's cool. If you want to have that perfect, lean, six-pack abs body for the summer, you can do it... But in the long term, think of the balance.
Reading the labels
We know how important it is to read labels on the food that you are buying. You want to buy foods with lot of protein, low/moderate carbohydrates and low fat. Of course you need fat in your diet, but you are eating healthy fats, don't you? (flax seed oil, fatty fish, nuts). The fat in processed foods are often saturated. Now I will remind you, how to be careful about these labels... It is confusing at times. You think you are eating or buying a low fat food, but what a surprise when you do some calculations.
When you walk down the aisles in the grocery store, you have all these colorful packages of foods jumping on you from each shelf. You will see all these "healthy" claims way too often... "healthy", "low fat", "excellent source of fiber", "heart healthy", "95% fat free" and so on.
Now, take a look at the Nutrition Facts panel of for example a can of Star Kist Premium Chunk Light Tuna. In the nutrition facts you'll see "Serving Size". Next to that, you'll see, "2 oz. or about 1/4 cup." Underneath that, it says, "Servings Per Container about 3.5". Hmmm, interesting... now, there is a question... Is this serving size realistic? NO WAY! It's like a spit in the ocean for a person with a healthy appetite (excuse me the expression!) I am going to eat the entire can! All 3.5 servings, which is about 7 oz. total. And I am still hungry. Now, let's look down a little further at the section that says, "Calories". The calories are listed as 60. Next to that, you'll see "Calories From fat - 5". Is this truly a low fat food or not? To determine whether it's a low fat food, simply take the Calories From Fat (5), and divide it by the total calories in a serving (60.) Five divided by 60 is 0.8, or 8 percent calories from fat. This would qualify as a low fat food, which I generally classify as a food containing less than 15 percent fat. If you stick with foods that are less than 15 percent fat by calories, you're going to well.
Now, lets look at something different: the luncheon meat counter. You have probably seen the luncheon meats labeled "95 percent Fat Free" or "97 percent Fat Free", right? Lets look closer on a piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast, "95 percent Fat Free, 5 percent Fat". Under "Grams of Fat" it read, "8 Grams". Under "Calories" it read, "180 Calories". Lets make some calculations: a gram of fat contains 9 calories, multiply 8 grams of fat x 9 calories per gram of fat to get 72 calories from fat. Then I divide the fat calories by the total calories to get the percentage of fat. 72 fat calories divided by 180 total calories is 40 percent fat. FORTY PERCENT!!! Damn... As you can see, our 95 percent Fat Free chicken is actually 40 percent fat by calories! That's why it's important to read the labels... They are misleading at times.
Lets go back to our Star Kist Tuna and see something else. Under "Total Fat" it says, ". 5 Grams". The subheading under says "Saturated Fats: 0 Grams". That means that the fat comes from unsaturated sources or good fats, which can actually help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol).
Also watch out for companies that play the "serving size game". By making the serving size small enough, theoretically you could make fat disappear. That's why it is erroneous to look at the Nutrition Facts panel of the product and say, "Goody! It only has 1 gram of fat." If the serving size was 1 gram, and the product contained 1 gram of fat per serving, you'd have a product that is 100% fat!!! Hmmmm... Imagine that :-)
Be aware, read the labels and and eat yourself lean and healthy!
The Top 10 Mistakes People make in the gym
1. Mistaking the health club for a social club. The term is 'working out' and not 'playing out'. Look around at the gym and you'll see that gab and flab go hand in hand. Focus, focus, focus.
2. Refusing to warm up before a workout. You're body is not unlike your car. Give it a quick rev on the bicycle or stepper before cruising through your workout.
3. Not taking in enough water before, during, and after your training. Don't risk dehydrating yourself. Be sure to sip some good old H2O throughout your training session.
4. Working straight through painful (and sometimes serious) injuries. Remember, you macho types. Rambo is a fictional cartoon character. You are not. Learn how to distinguish the good pain of a touch training session from the bad pain of an injury . . . and above all trust your own body.
5. Sacrificing proper form in order to use heavy weights. You must learn to walk before you can run, right? Well, the same goes for weight training.
6. Not having clearly defined goals. Before you even walk in the door to the gym, you should be clear about what your training goals are for that day and how they fit into your overall health and fitness goals.
7. Over-training. More is not always better. Couple muscle groups that correspond to each another, like chest-triceps and back-biceps, etc. Get to the gym, train hard, and go home and GROW!
8. Doing the same exact exercises day after day after day. If you want to develop the V-shape, you must learn that imperative V-word first: VARIATION.
9. Waiting a hockey season in between sets. If you're looking to build a championship physique, your intermission periods should be short and sweet.
10. Bringing your cell phone along for the workout. This is the newest "hang-up" among gym patrons. Seriously. What's so important that you'd interrupt your training for it?
(I must disagree with the last one... how about if I am getting a
Running From Safety...
find what you love
and you learn everything about it.
You bet your life on what you know
and you run from safety,
off the mountain into the air,
trusting the Principle of Flight
to bring you soaring up on lift
you cannot see with your eyes.
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following:
There would be:
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth
and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
The following is also something to ponder...
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death...you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep...you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married ... you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
Someone once said:
What goes around comes around.
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.
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