The Christmas is behind the corner and we still have a beautiful sunshine and warm weather. Even though evenings and nights are cold now. And after the time change, it is dark just too early. We have to get used to it, the winter is knocking on the door. Venice Beach is all new. After all the rebuilding and renewing, it is almost done. They laid the grass last weekend and it really looks pretty. Now our rollerdancing spot is the old great atmosphere, but much nicer. People are hanging out, laying in the grass and watching us skating.
My competing season is definitely over. Last contest was a month ago, and since then I've been eating very dilligently. In 4 days, I gained 17 lbs. In another week, my weight went up another 3-5 lbs. I have been balancing it between 197 lbs and 200 lbs, every day with new resolutions that I have to drop down to about 186 lbs to feel good. But my mind was just lazy after all the dieting, and I just couldn't refocus and go back to the gym and do my cardio. I started last week, though. I got a new zest of energy, and it's going down and well. The good thing about being heavy and eating a lot is that my weight lifting is going really well. I feel strong, and motivated to increase my personal records.
You should see though how weak I am for nuts. I go to the health store and buy these yummy walnuts in bulk, 2 pounds or so, with an idea to give my meals little extra flavor. And the bag is gone the same afternoon. And every time I try to do better, and every time I eat the whole bag. I guess I am a nutoholic :-)
I am still riding my Big-O-scooter, or kick-bike, through the Venice
neigborhood. It is such a tough workout, that my warm-up ride to Gold's
gym, which is about 6 blocks away, makes me completely breathless. I
Are you a rut eater?
by Suzanna McGee
I just realized that I am a "rut eater". That's not good... Even though it might sound very interesting. What does that exactly mean and why is it so bad?
A "rut eater" gets into habit of eating the same food for 3 or 4 days in a row (I can do even more!) and then move on another food. A person who eats the same food at the same meal day after day is also a rut eater. Is it you, too? It sounds like a convenient eating style, doesn't it? You cook a huge amount of food, it doesn't take much longer time to prepare 10 portions than 1 portion, and then you can eat it every day without bothering about cooking. So why is it so bad for us?
The problem is that the rut eating first stimulates and then exhaust the pancreas gland by depleting the enzyme necessary for digesting that particular food. And as we all know, the pancreas' function is to break down carbohydrates or sugars which provide the main fuel source for the body. And what the body cannot burn, it will store as fat.
So to make the picture clear, following happens when we rut eat. Say I am going to indulge in a pizza and I really really like it. The first time I ate it, it would taste delicious and my pancreas would evaluate it and secrete the appropriate enzymes. If I eat it again for my next meal, it would still taste good and the pancreas would check its stores of enzymes and release the appropriate amount. By the third meal, the pizza doesn't look as good to me and the pancreas is getting worried since it's running out of some of the necessary enzymes. By the fourth meal, I am getting tired of it mainly because the pancreas goes into a panic since it is out of the necessary enzymes. The pancreas gets exhausted to produce the necessary enzymes, and the pizza has to be stored for later digestion when the pancreas has had a chance to recover and produce the right enzymes. Over time, this accumulated stored food becomes unwanted fat and excess weight gain. Hmm, that is not good, is it?
It generally takes four days for a food to completely leave the digestive system. In order to give the pancreas gland sufficient time to replenish the enzymes for any one food, it should not be eaten again for four days. To go back to my my example, I probably don't want to see any pizza for at least a week. :-) Sometimes this kind of rotation is just not practical, especially for basic foods, so there is a modified rotation that can be used. It involves varying the time of day that the food is eaten. For example, if you eat a turkey for dinner on Monday, turkey should be not eaten again until Friday. The modification would allow to eat turkey again at lunch on Wednesday. Varying the time relieves the pressure, especially when give a day's rest.
Some people are more sensitive to rut eating, some are less. Many
eat the same food for breakfast every day. These are rut eaters too! So
remember, to maintain a healthy pancreas, try to rotate your
Nature rhythms and the energy
by Suzanna McGee
Do you feel sometimes the absence of physical, intellectual or emotional energy? Or all of them? And maybe not sometimes, but all the time. This is a very normal sign in a modern Western society. We call it fatigue, or chronic fatigue if the energy lack goes over long time period. Even though it is a widespread phenomenon in our societies, you don't see it that much in the nature as a whole.
Nature is full of energy and purposeful activity, the birds are waking up early, signing, building their nests, squirrels are running up and down the trees, collecting nuts, the grass and flowers are growing. You can see the energy in the rivers rushing to the sea, the waves crashing against the shore, the sun producing incredible amounts of heat and light. It's puzzling, isn't it? So why do we feel fatigued? The main reason is that we completely lost the connection to the nature. We eat process food, we don't move much, we don't go out to the light much, we don't sleep enough... and much more.
We are a part of the nature, and its energy flows through us and if we are skillful with the universe that surrounds us, we can make a good use of the unlimited energy bank of the nature. As well as the nature operates in cycles, the human body does too. We actually have many different biological clocks within us, that regulate different organs and bodily functions.
One of the important cycles is 24 hour circadian rhythm, that controls body temperature, production of hormones and other biochemicals, and nervous system functions (waking and sleeping). There are larger cycles, too (women's menstrual cycle). To get the best use of the universal energy, the timing is everything. At some times it is appropriate to engage in some activities to create a balance and harmony, when at some other times it would be unproductive, causing more imbalance and fatigue. It's like surfing - when you catch the wave and allow yourself to get carried along their crests, it creates energy and joy. Fighting the waves by standing up at the board at the wrong time, will wipe out all your energy.
The rhythms of sleeping and awakening
The 24 hours day is divided in 4 hours interval, and three different cycles that repeat.
Earth+water (heavy, slow, stable, steady, cold)
Fire (hot, sharp, acidic, burning, transforming, digesting)
Wind (moving, quick, cold, dry, rough and light)
6 AM - 10 AM Earth/water
10 AM - 2 PM Fire
2 PM - 6 PM Wind
6 PM - 10 PM Earth/water
10 PM - 2 AM Fire
2 AM - 6 AM Wind
The best time to go to sleep is at the end of the Earth/water cycle, when the body tends to get heavy, relaxed and tired. As well as the nature is falling asleep during this time (unless you live in Los Angeles :-) ). If you go to sleep later, say after 11 PM, then the sleep is restless, more of the Fire quality. The best time to get up is again, at the end of the Wind cycle, when the body is still under the influence of Wind, light, energetic, alert, quick and enthusiastic. If you sleep longer, than you get into the Earth/Wind cycle which brings more heaviness, dullness and slowness. And if you sleeping patterns are out of the harmony with the natures cycles over long time, then you might feel like you are lacking the energy, or even worse, you feel a chronic fatigue. So you'd better start moving your bed time earlier, and waking up earlier. If it is a difficult task, try these hints:
* eat a light, early dinner - by 6 PM, not later then 7 PM, so you
completely digest your food before you go to bed.
* avoid focused work at night. Try to ease off by 9 PM
* plan relaxed activities, but don't watch TV, even if it is something "light". The TV overstimulates your nervous system.
* avoid reading, watching TV or working in your bedroom.
* if you don't fall asleep immediately, don't get out from the bed. Just lay there, relax your mind and rest.
The power of the attention
Whatever we put our attention on grows stronger in our lives. The quality of our attention determines whether we benefit or harm results. Attention is the projection of energy and consciousness, and it has a powerful force. Properly directed attention can have a nourishing quality, it can heal body and mind. But negative attention can increase any physical or mental symptoms.
If there is an imbalance in your mind/body system, nature will bring your attention to it through pain or discomfort. Now you have a choice to make - either you focus on the debilitating effects of the pain and make it even worse, or you strive for energy and vitality and gain strength and heal.
Remember, there's unlimited amounts of energy in the nature and the
universe around us. By focusing your awareness on that energy, and
in harmony with the nature, you can turn your little spark in a huge
Big Fat Waist that never wants to leave you?
Have you been trying all kind of diets and exercise and cannot get rid of the big, protruding stomach whatever you do? Cardio, crunches, heavy weights, no weights, slow and long cardio, intense interval training, low carbohydrate diets, Zone, hi fat diet... Name it. And the "thing", the monster around your waist is there like your best friend. You might get skinny arms, no legs, no fat anywhere and the gigantic protruding stomach is there.
The interesting thing could be, that if you measure your body fat percent, using the caliper method, and "pinch" all the different places on your big belly-friend, you might get small numbers, that show a low body fat percent. Like some other lean people. And if you push your stomach, it might be hard like a rock.
So how about this? Do you possibly eat large quantities of food late at night? Right before bed time? And maybe food high in fat? Maybe you even skip meals during the day and then, hungry like a wolf (or lioness) you eat a huge amount of food at dinner? Or maybe you even eat high amounts of fat at each meal?
Why is your pretty lean, and pretty hard protruding so much? This is commonly called an abdominal distension. And it is often brought by over-loading your intestinal system with large volumes of food, and then sitting or lying down and allowing the stomach muscles to relax. This, repeated often enough can lead to a permanent protrusion that is almost impossible to change. Almost... We can do something about it, right?
Another thing that could cause the protrusion is for weightlifting people. It says that heavy squatting might help to it, especially when following a heavy meal! The internal force and pressure created by the heavy meal in the intestinal tract multiplied with the force and pressure of the squat, pushes the abdominal cavity outward and causes the distension. And it is not just squats who are "bad boys" here, any other heavy exercise performed, particularly when holding your breath, and combined with a large meal can do the same.
And because I assume that you are a wise person who doesn't want to risk your health, you don't need to worry about steroids. But just to let you know, these also make a nice huge potbelly (as you can often see at different pro- contests: nice ripped abs on a pregnant looking stomach). It's because steroids don't discriminate, your muscles grow, your organs too, your heart, stomach, intestines etc.
How about your posture? Sometimes potbellies are lazy stomachs. Its
owner is simply allowing
the stomach wall to relax, never bothering to hold it in and stand upright. Many people with protruding stomachs also have weak lower back muscles and are playing in a dangerous zone for back injuries and problems due to their poor posture --- when you pull your stomach wall forward, the lower back is pulled inward as well. To compensate, the person usually tends to roll their shoulders forward. This poor posture leads to more strain on the lower back.
For women that have had children - when they gain the weight (the
inside and the added fat)
it causes the abdominal cavity to become stretched. This causes a lower abdominal pooch that is more a result of the muscle being stretched and losing their elasticity.
So now we have all the possibilities that might caused our potbelly. How do we get rid of it? First, you need to adjust your nutrition. Try to eat six evenly balanced, smaller meals that are spread throughout the day. And keep each meal low in fat. And also, avoid eating large quantities of food late at night. Recheck your eating habits that you have now, and if your last meal tends to be high in fat and calories, lower the fat and cut down on the carbohydrates.
Also it is important not to eat a meal and go directly to the gym.
your food time to digest, at least one hour before working out. At the
gym, pay attention to your breathing, and remember to breathe during
exercise. This is particularly important when you do heavy exercises,
squatting, leg presses, and bent over rows. Focus on doing some
work as well as hyperextensions for your lower back. By training
your abs, your posture should improve. And pay a good attention to
up straight. Suck in these abs!
So this was good news, we can get rid of our protruding stomach at least a little bit. The bad news is, that once you have a distended abdominal cavity you'll always have a wider girth than everyone else will. You will be able to lose some size in your midsection, but you probably never get a really flat (flat-flat!) stomach. The best thing would be to prevent it from happening, huh?
And the final note (good or bad? you decide) - if you have a big abdominal distention you have to be willing to engage in a high level of cardio. It is pretty important because by doing more cardio your body will stop depositing fat around the internal organs and also because the cardio is the only way to get your body to release the stored fat from around the visceral organs. You may not like this, but if you really want to see some good results, you should build up your cardio to 5 days a week for at least 40 minutes.
Hallelujah, protruding stomachs!!!
What exercise is good for your body type?
We already know that we have to exercise a bit to get rid of the unwanted fat and and the "fluff" that covers our muscles. You can change your body a lot with an exercising program, however you cannot turn a shortie into a tall person, or a stocky big boned one to a skinny, delicate looking one. You can change your body a lot within your genetics and maybe even beyond, and your body type can make you better suited to some activities than to others.
Most people fall into three categories: endomorphs, mesomorphs, or ectomorphs, based on their overall build, distribution of body fat, muscle tone, and height. Some people can show characteristics of more than one type. See the older newsletter to do a test of your body type.
Chubby, round, or soft looking. Broader at the hips than at the shoulders. Small-boned. Not very muscular. Carrying a higher-than-average amount of body fat.
Good activities: low-impact or nonimpact activities like biking,
or swimming, which minimize strain on the body frame.
Bad activities: jogging or any activity that calls for high impact with the ground.
Big-boned, with a strong, muscular physique. Broad-shouldered, with a narrow waist. Rugged looking.
Good activities: walking, and short-distance running (like 5K races)
Bad activities: marathons, martial arts, or sports requiring balance, power, and agility (like power lifting, tennis, or board-sailing).
Tall, with a long, slender neck. Having narrow shoulders, chests, and hips. Relatively long limbed. Having small wrists and ankles. Having little body fat. Having difficulty developing powerful muscles.
Good activities: jogging, skipping rope, basketball, tennis and other racquet sports, and cross-country skiing.
Bad activities: swimming (since they have so little body fat for buoyancy) and sprinting.
Some good rules for happy life
*) Treat people the way you want them to treat you.
if this would be the ony rule you followed in life, you would be doing pretty well. Simple and easy... You don't like when people lie to you? don't lie to them. You don't like it when people don't give you a chance to explain, don't tune them down when they're trying to explain themselves... Think about the law of karma - that everything you do comes back to you.
*) Remember that everyone needs as much love and reassurance as you do
Inside of each person you meet is the same need for love, approval, and validation, even though some people might have some twisted ways to get it.
*) Don't play games
Deception and manipulation may temporarily work to get you certain results in your personal and professional life, but they ultimately destroy your integrity and your character.
*) Be yourself,
regardless of the apparent outcome or other people's reactions, because you can't ever be good at being someone other than who you really are anyway.
*) If you like someone, let him/her know
and it includes your friends, relatives, neighbors, bus driver, your teacher or waitress, your dog or car. Don't assume that they already know, they will like to hear it.
*) Ask questions before you get too involved
Even before you rent an apartment, or book a hotel, you ask questions, don't you? So before you do anything important, ask questions (and listen to the answers!).
*) Surround yourself with people who have a good character
Don't just choose friends, roommates, business partners or other people in your life, based on convenience.
*) Pay attention to warning signs of possible problems
Pay attention to your body, your car, your finances, your moods, how people treat you... And especially pay attention to the things that you are uncomfortable paying attention to. The universe is giving us an abundance of messages. It's when we don't pay attention to them, that we get in the most trouble.
*) Judge people by the size of their hearts and not by anything else.
Nothing of these matters - how much money they have, how important or flashy job they do, how attractive they are, how successful they are, how the bodies look like, the color of the skin... what matters is what is inside a person's heart.
*) Show your most attractive feature - your mind
No one has mind like yours, so yours is the best one of its kind in the whole world. Show it off!
*) Be emotionally generous, not emotionally stingy
The more love you share with others, the more love you will feel in
your own heart, because when love is flowing out you are the first
You never lose by loving, so share your love with everyone and
through your smiles, your words, your actions and your thoughts. Don't
stop at people - let your love touch animals, trees, flowers, clouds,
all of nature's miracles.
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