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Friday, December 4, 2009

I talked to a woman today who had financial problems. She was complaining that if her relatives didn't give her help, she wouldn't have food to eat. She was AT LEAST 150 pounds overweight, and could barely breathe because of it. She was getting plenty of calories from somewhere. Sounds mean, right? I know. It sounded mean to me when I wrote it, too. It just illustrates the problems with our society, though. The absolute poorest in this country still have such an easy physical lifestyle that the fat just keeps packing on. Ironically, the food that seems to be the easiest to get cheaply in large quantities is loaded with carbohydrates. That is exactly the WRONG thing that someone needs nutritionally.

In short, don't let yourself fall into this woman's trap. Earn your food every day, and pick foods to which your ancestors had access. Your body will love you for it, and will, almost immediately, begin to regulate itself back to normal proportions. Send it the message that the hunt for food is on, and the feasting is over.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When it comes to weight management, mind-set is everything. The feeling of hunger is something most of us never really experience. Those few individuals who have become stranded, without access to nourishment for an extended period of time can tell us what it is really like. Those pangs at 11:30 am when your breakfast begins to wear off are just an early warning signal to Ogg. Time to start looking for food. If you ignore them for a while, they subside. If you begin to feel a drop in energy, or weak or shaky, then your body is telling you that it is necessary for you to find something to eat, or it will go into energy preservation mode. Hunger pangs are not a bad thing. If you keep stuffing the furnace with fuel, you never even get a chance for your body to tell you that it's finished digesting the last load. Give it a little time to burn off breakfast before you stoke the burner with lunch.

These sensations are something you can learn to look forward to, even enjoy to some extent, as your body puts you in touch with your ancestry. Looking for food isn't a challenge to us anymore, so we need to simulate it. If you can, wait an hour after the first pangs of hunger hit. Take a walk, do something a little bit physical, so Ogg can earn his lunch. If you run to the vending machine and eat a package of cookies the first time you get a twinge of hunger, your body will shrug it's figurative shoulders and happily digest the quick sugar that you have just ingested. A few minutes later, the old hunger will be back, though, along with a "sugar crash" as your insulin levels shoot up to deal with the unexpected sugar equivalent of a dozen bananas or more.

Substitute something close to what old Ogg would have had access to. Fruit, nuts, vegetables and meat.

So our mantra of the day: "WWOD" What would Ogg do?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I have a friend who tries every fad diet that they can find. Books, Internet, you name it. They all end up in failure and cost money. Today that friend is on the third day of the "detox" phase that is supposed to rid your body of all of its toxins in order for you to lose weight. You have to drink this stuff that's some kind of mixture of algae and berries, and, I think, cabbage. This friend is thrilled today because of a 3lb. weight loss in 3 days! YaaaaYYYYY!!!! Well, ...............duh! You drink nothing but cabbage juice and algae for 3 days and, yeah, you're bound to lose some weight. The problem is that a crap diet like that is not sustainable, nor healthy. This friend did not want to hear that the weight loss was just an initial drop from eating nothing and drinking cabbage juice. Drinking just that stuff=less caloric intake=initial weight loss. So much for the book that cost, I don't know, 20-30-50 bucks!

Multiply this times the number of overweight people in our society, and you see the potential for abuse. Everybody, including my friend, is looking for the "magic bullet" that will be the end all cure all for FAT. It won't! It is just a reaction from our bodies from too much food intake. We store it for future need. The trouble is, the future need never arrives in our advanced society, so everybody just keeps getting fatter! Eat less, move around more. Lose weight and you don't have to drink cabbage juice and algae! Ogg no like cabbage juice!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It occurred to me this morning that our bodies will react well if we simply don't use modern "labor-saving devices" when we don't need to. If you live 10 miles from work, you probably need transportation. If your office is on the 10th floor, though, you don't need to take the elevator. Take the stairs, and do it regularly. Once will do you no good. 10 times and you will start to feel good. Take any opportunity to burn up some of those calories. Little amounts burned add up, just as do little amounts consumed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The nice thing about this blog is that I can be as brutally honest as needed. I can attack you and make statements about laziness and flab because guess what? I'm included in the readership. These comments are about me as well as you, and I'm not going to go easy on myself. We need RESULTS! Not gonna get 'em by telling ourselves what we want to hear.

I took a walk for a couple of miles at lunchtime today. I need to do it frequently, but I noticed things that you don't see from your desk, workstation, car, wherever you happen to be. I saw the rampant overindulgence in graphic display. It became surreal as I walked. I saw people, some probably a hundred pounds overweight, waddle out of the building, waddle to their cars, and trundle off to gorge themselves on a 1500k calorie lunch at one of a dozen fast food or other eating places in the area. 1500 doesn't sound like much. Probably 3/4 of your daily need.

Throw in a 400 calorie bagel with 200 calories of cream cheese for breakfast, a big "coffee" (milk, lots of sugar, caramel, with some coffee thrown in) on the way to work, a handful of cookies when you get home, a piece of your co-worker's birthday cake, a bowl of ice cream and/or a bowl of potato chips in front of the TV while you watch "Biggest Loser", and you're at 4,000 calories NOT INCLUDING YOUR DINNER! Guess what?.........Eat that way one day and you're ok. Eat that way everyday and you are GONNA BE F........A.............T!!!

I walked past a fast food chicken place (No, not that one, just for the record), and saw a line of cars lined up behind the drive through. I suddenly realized.........that's nothing more than a trough! Have you ever been to a farm where pigs are raised? Aside from smelling really bad, there's something else that stands out. When the food comes, slop, grain, miscellaneous scraps, garbage, whatever, they all come running and squealing for their turn at the trough. As long as you throw food of any kind in there, they'll keep gorging and grunting until it's gone. This line of cars is no different. We don't have to expend any energy to obtain nourishment now. Is it a wonder that the country is getting fatter by the minute? Two things have the potential to change this, and one is unimaginable to us. A catastrophe of such magnitude that the food supply is seriously interrupted would reduce our waistlines, but at what price? Kids would go wanting for nutrition, people who are in marginal health would suffer.

The other thing that can change it is ...........YOU. One meal, one step (literally) at a time. I am now announcing the greatest diet in the history of the world.....it doesn't cost you fifty bucks a month plus prepackaged food. It doesn't require meetings. It is "THE TWO WORD DIET" soon
NOT coming to a bookstore near you. OK 4 words if you count the alternative..........ready?.............here it is...................... (drum roll simulated here).................................CALORIE DEFICIT. You're ingo's gotta be less than your outgo. The opposite, (which is really easy by the way) is CALORIE SURPLUS. You eat more that you use, so you store it. You're FAT. You've been doing "CALORIE SURPLUS" to the point that you need your own zip code. Time to use your body's paleolithic metabolism to clear out the storehouse.

How you want to do it is up to you. Don't go extreme without a physician's ok. Just keep track of your caloric intake (and I mean ALL OF IT), calculate your caloric need, and keep the intake less than the need by either reducing the intake, or increasing the activity (hopefully a reasonable amount of both).

Don't believe the old saw "One cookie a day less will lead to (X# of pounds lost in the next year. .........................B.S.

If your caloric need is 2500/day, and you've been taking in 4000, well, one less cookie will mean that you'll gain weight a little more slowly than you would've with the cookie. Don't expect to lose weight unless you eat below your need level. Don't go too far below, or your body will react by shutting down to conserve energy due to a perceived starvation situation.

I like to use a rule of thumb that you need about 13 times your bodyweight per day. That's not totally accurate, and will vary from person to person, and according to activity level, but it's an OK guide, and it generally works for me.

Different people find what works for them. I know that, for me, it works to keep a food log. I use About.com "Calorie Count", and it seems pretty easy to keep track. You have to track EVERYTHING, however. Don't cheat or you will have bad results. Every drink, every peanut, cracker, mayonnaise on your sandwich...........EVERYTHING. It will surprise you how quickly the calories rack up. You will find yourself looking for healthy low cal alternatives, and passing up the co-worker's birthday cake.

Fortunately, although our bodies haven't evolved much since Ogg, we have developed our intelligence and skills. We have the ability to manage weight in this high-tech, physically non-demanding world, but it is necessary to be really pro-active in order to do it. Go get in touch with your Ogg.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The old body has started using its' stored reserves! For the first few days back on serious calorie control, there wasn't much noticeable progress. After a week, we're showing down 3 lbs. As long as you're alive, the formula of less intake than output will work. Your body will use its' stores. It may take a little longer than you expected, but you can't get discouraged! You have to keep eating, though, or you'll throw your body into starvation mode and it will start managing your reserves better, resulting in much slower fat loss. I'm running about a 500 calorie deficit day to day. Some of the weight loss is likely fluid. This much deficit can't result in a 3 lb. fat loss. Just keep moving.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I continue to marvel at how our paleolithic hunter-gatherer bodies function. As mentioned in previous posts, due to a change in routine over the summer, and an increase in caloric consumption, coupled with a decrease in exercise resulted in a weight gain. I'm back running a caloric deficit daily now, and this old body is struggling to hold onto its' reserves. I've been tracking things pretty carefully for a week now, and am only down about a pound. The increase in physical activity to my previous level has likely increased some muscle mass, so that may be offsetting the loss of fat to some extent. It will be interesting to see how long this takes. I calculate that I have 15-20 pounds of "bad weight".......ok.......fat to lose. We'll see how it goes, and I'll follow with regular updates. Keep Ogg in your thoughts as you eat today. Take the stairs, walk a few blocks. burn 'em up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lots of "Ogg-stuff" to do now! Just moved into a place on a big country property with lots of limbs to chop, holes to dig, rocks to move! Ogg happy! Keeping it a bit leaner in the calorie consumption, and the weight is starting to drop. Amazing formula, isn't it? Energy output greater than caloric intake=weight loss. That's the only magic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, I haven't posted for a long time. Life just got in the way :-). I have, however, proven my theory, in the flesh. Things were happening, major changes going on, and I didn't exercise enough, nor eat right. Never claimed to be perfect, but the theory is correct. Weight went up.
Things have settled down now, and normal life has resumed. I will post regularly as the weight comes back down. Ogg has gorged a bit in the past months, but now has run into an area where food will be more sparse, and he'll need to expend more energy to get it. Just watch. My weight went up about 15 pounds in the past 7 months or so. A little over 2 pounds per month. Doesn't sound much, but if that goes on for a couple of years, you're talking nearly 50 pounds. Gotta catch it now. Can't afford to wait any longer.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Keep Ogg Happy and Stay Healthy

Our common ancestor, "Ogg", lived an "earthy" life. He was exposed to the elements, endured hardships, fought, ate, slept, reproduced..........LIVED! We have our hardships, too, but when you compare what he and his collective family went through, it's easy to see how soft and complacent that we have become. Ogg wore basic clothing, if any, to protect him from the elements. At some point, he fashioned shoes for his feet, but for eons, there were none. Feet adapt, and callouses grow to allow you to run across the savanna in pursuit of game. We step barefoot on the cold kitchen tile in the morning, and cringe, or go running for the slippers.

Ogg got dirty, he probably smelled like a goat. I'm not suggesting that you not shower, (particularly if you are someone I have to work with :-). I'm jut saying that it's OK to get dirty. It's OK to get wet, to get tired, to get your belly full and go to sleep. That's what he did! He knew no other way. The day was spent surviving to fight and scratch another day!

You know when Ogg is happy. Just look for the signs. Belly full......Ogg happy. Make love......Ogg happy. Drink cool water........Ogg happy. Warm place to sleep........Ogg happy.
Old Ogg was a pretty basic guy. He didn't need an I-pod or a Wii to garner happiness. We enjoy all of our amenities, to be sure. That's FINE! Look at little kids, though if you want to know how to keep Ogg happy. Toddlers are priceless little glimpses into our past. They don't care if they have a dirty face. They just know that they are enjoying that big hunk of watermelon on a hot summer day. Juice may be dripping off their elbows, to the point that most adults would be horrified. Not little Junior. Let 'em drip, this is GOOOD!!

This is gonna sound weird, but one of the most satisfied feelings, and you will agree if you let yourself, is when you REEEEAAALLLYYY have to go to the bathroom, and you've been unable to go for a period of time, such as on a car trip, etc. When you finally get there and get relief............Ogg happy!!

Get barefoot sometimes. Get a little wet, go out in the rain. Get a little dirty. Make love to your spouse. Get really hungry. Eat a great meal, then take a nap. Go out and get some great exercise doing whatever it is that you can find enjoyable. Keep Ogg happy. When you're engaged in any activity, just stop for a minute and ask yourself............"Is Ogg happy?" If you use that as a guide, you can live a really basically fulfilled life, regardless of your social or economic status or educational level.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

YOU OWE IT, NOT ONLY TO YOURSELF, BUT TO THOSE AROUND YOU!

Could you drag someone out of a car? Could you run a hundred yards right now, if you needed to? Could you swim across a pool? If you had to stop and think about those, ..........GOOD! It means that you're thinking! We have few real physical demands in our lives today. We ride elevators when ascending the floors in a building. We jump on an escalator at the mall, and take the "moving sidewalk" at the airport. We drive 2 blocks to the store, and load our food into a wheeled cart, then push it out to the car to load up before driving home. There are few times throughout the course of our lives when we really NEED to be able to do something physically demanding. When those times come, however, our lives, and the lives of those around us could very well depend upon our ability to rise to such an occasion. The recent airplane crash in the Hudson River in New York is a perfect example. None of those people boarded the plane that day thinking that they would be called upon to climb out onto the wing of a downed jetliner and help other people wade through freezing water and make their way to safety by climbing onto a ferry boat. None of them.

Some people are legitimately disabled, and those of us who are not owe it to those around us to be able to help out. That warning on the card in the seat pocket means something. It says that if you are sitting in the seat near the escape door, you must be physically able to open it and help with a possible evacuation. If your muscles are soft and weak from disuse, and you are so overweight from excess food consumption, you can't do as much. Your body will respond to an adrenaline rush, and let you do some, almost regardless of your condition, however if you will only spend a bit of time and effort, you can have a body that, like that of OGG, will respond to any challenge.

In short, you never know what the next moment will bring. To assure yourself the best possibility of survival, and to be able to help those around you, you need to keep yourself in some reasonable condition. You don't have to be a Recon Marine or a Navy Seal. Your don't have to be a marathoner or an Olympic swimmer. Those are uncommon individuals who have worked countless hours and sacrificed to get where they are. Ask yourself this, if you were in that plane crash situation, who would you want on that plane with you? A bunch of out of shape people who never gave a thought to such an eventuality, or a few Marines? Easy answer, huh? Well, get yourself up off the couch, drop the donut, and put one foot in front of the other. Your duty to yourself, and to those whose fate has put them near you at any given moment, is to be able to perform to YOUR PARTICULAR maximum efficiency. That's all.

The Samurai in ancient Japan had a saying, "One who is Samurai must, before all things, keep constantly in mind, the fact that he has to die." This didn't mean that they WANTED to die, but that, every day, every moment, every second, they should be prepared to face a life and death situation. We should do the same. You may have to pull someone out of a burning car today on your way to work. Kind of a scary thought, huh?

I had the fortune to be able, once, to wade into a lagoon, yank open the door of an overturned pick up truck, and drag an unconscious lady out of the water. It wasn't some big dangerous thing to do, but the point is, I was ABLE to do it. When something like that happens, it can be life changing. You need to be ready. It will happen to you, sooner or later. Maybe something dramatic, maybe not so dramatic, but life will put some demands upon you eventually. Be prepared to help yourself, and help those around you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIFE, HERE!

This is easy to do, but it's serious business! Old Ogg fought for his life every day, against other people, against animals, against disease, and against the elements. He lived "closer to the Earth" than we do. He was in the dirt, scratching out an existence, and he scratched for it day in and day out. Stop..........and die! There was no grocery store to which he could go to get bananas. You want a banana, you climb up the cotton pickin' tree and get one yourself! That cost energy!

To get healthy, (and hopefully STAY healthy), you need to treat this day, and all future days the same. You have to expend energy when you consume energy. Treat this as survival, just the way your ancestors did. That extra donut on the table in the break room in your office is to be treated as a predator, ready to do harm to your body. Just as that wild cat or wolf could do injury to Ogg if it caught him unawares, that extra unnecessary food will do harm to you. If Ogg got injured or sick, he stood the great risk of starvation and death. His ability to get nourishment for himself and his family on an ongoing basis was critical to his survival. You don't have THAT problem. There is certainly no lack of food around us today! We have a sometimes tougher task, that is, RESISTING that innate urge to gorge when we find a large stash of food. Your body, as I have said many times before, doesn't know that this food will be available tomorrow, as well as the day after that, and on an ongoing basis, probably for the rest of your life. All this Paleolithic body knows is, "When there's plenty of food, I need to pack it in, because tomorrow there may be NONE!"

Realizing WHY we have these urges is critical to taking steps to MANAGE them! So, step AWAY from the snack table. You had breakfast an hour ago. You'll have lunch in two more hours, and you won't have to chase it down and kill it, nor will you have to climb a tree to pick it. You don't NEED the damned donut! It is a benign-looking predator upon your body, ready to attack your health. Treat it that way.

Monday, February 2, 2009

LET YOUR BODY DO ITS' JOB

You are living inside of an incredible machine! This body that you have been provided can fuel itself, heal itself, clean itself, and keep itself in great working order. If only our CARS could do that!
The brain and the endocrine system is an amazing, self-contained pharmacy that produces what your body needs, on demand, and under the most stressful conditions imaginable. We've all read accounts of people who were severely injured in remote areas. Their bodies produced substances that suppressed pain to allow movement, thus allowing locomotion toward safety.

Your body produces substances when you exercise for longer periods of time, called "endorphins". They can actually provide a sense of well-being. It is really necessary to experience "runner's high" to really understand it. When you run for longer distances, say, 10 miles or more, you have ups and downs, when you alternately feel good, ..........and sometimes.....lousy. The body is managing the extreme energy output, and the pain on feet, joints, etc. It has been rising to these challenges for countless thousands of years as our ancestors drew on their personal reserves to get through one crisis after another.

The body can detoxify itself, as well. When you engage in hard exercise, you breath more deeply, the blood flows throughout the body at a higher rate, sweat pours out of your skin, your intestines respond to the movement and work more efficiently. All of this helps the body "blow out" the (excuse the expression) crap that has been building up inside. We live in an environment where there is pollution in the air, pesticide in the food, and other substances which our body will recognize as waste products that it does not need. If you sit on your duff, day in and day out, it will still get rid of some of the stuff. Get yourself out and work up a sweat, however, and the body's waste management system gets happy and kicks into overdrive. It starts housecleaning. You owe it to yourself to at least try this. You will feel better. If you are healthy, and you have your physician's OK, get out and try some progressively more challenging activities. You will feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

TREAT YOUR CALORIC INTAKE LIKE A BANK ACCOUNT

Depending upon your weight and activity level, you have a basic caloric need every day. If you are sedentary and just don't move much, you need less food (fuel) than if you are very active. It's that simple. If you take in more than you need, you are bankrupting your body that day. If you do it on a regular basis, you gain weight. If you take in less than you need, you lose weight. If you are healthy, the more you move around, the more caloric intake you can afford without weight gain. I'm not going to get into numbers here. You can go to dozens of sites to calculate calories burned for various activities, and caloric food values. Treat each day like a bank account. Let's say, for an example, that you have determined that your basic caloric need for your weight and activity level for the day is 2,500 kilocalories. That means that you can, in essence, consume that much food for the day without weight gain. If you throw in an hour of exercise on top of that, you can afford a bit more food to break even, or, if you don't eat more, you will begin some weight loss. Forget what the scale says on a daily basis. This is a process that shows up over a period of a week or more. My weight will fluctuate 3-5 pounds a day, depending upon whether I've eaten, how much water I've consumed, etc. It helps me to keep a log of activity and caloric intake showing what has happened over the course of a week, or even month. That slow progress is how you begin to manage your weight. Is it a pain to keep track of calories in and calories out? Sure, sometimes, but the benefits are priceless.
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Friday, January 30, 2009

PREVENTABLE ILLNESS

Healthcare can be expensive. What has continually baffled me, however, is that people will go to great lengths to GET healthcare when they are ill, however they won't take the simplest steps to AVOID becoming ill in the first place!

As I have said before, and will continue to say, "This ain't rocket science, here!" Your knees hurt, your ankles hurt, your hips hurt, you have high blood pressure, you have joint pains everywhere, you have difficulty breathing, you have heart problems, you have late onset diabetes, (have we hit yours yet?) Well, guess what! The fact that you're 50-200lbs. overweight, haven't walked a mile in 10 years or more, and eat 3-4 times the amount of food that you need EVERY SINGLE DAY, has a LOT to do with that!

If you continuously stuff yourself with thousands of kilocalories per day more than your body needs, it will dutifuly try to deal with the onslaught. That process, continued over years or decades, however, will cause the body's functions to begin to break down. If you are heavily muscled, your legs may be able to handle some extra weight. This is functioning weight. If you pile an extra hundred pounds of fat onto a pair of knees that are designed for carrying much less of a load, and they will start to break down.

You don't need two cheeseburgers, fries, a large soda, and a tablespoon of salt if you are going to spend the day doing sedentary or minimal activities. If you are really active, and I mean REALLY active, you may be able to metabolize such a meal with minimal damage to your health. The cholesterol, other fats, and salt won't do you much good, however.

Use a little "OGG sense". He had to work his tail off to score 1000 kilocalories for a meal. You can drive up to a window and hand over a few bucks! Your body doesn't know the difference between 10,000 years ago and today. Just give it what it needs, and it will take care of you. Abuse it with excesses, and it will do its' best to survive, but will function on a much lower efficiency level.

If you need to use your hands to raise yourself out of the car or up from the chair because you packed on an extra 100 lbs that your muscles aren't able to move around, you may want to re-think that next meal. I'm not being sarcastic, mean, or facetious. I know that it sounds mean to put it this way, but it's the T.R.U.T.H.!! That is what this blog is about. "Just the facts, ma'am", as Sgt. Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet. I'm telling you the truth because there are SO MANY charlatans out there who are peddling this drink or that pill or this procedure. They want your MONEY. I am not asking for anything but a bit of your attention for a few minutes.

I really want you to get healthy..............naturally! Stop abusing your body, and it will, if not too far gone already, come back to it's naturally healthy state. It is designed to carry you through a long and productive life. GIVE IT A CHANCE TO DO ITS' JOB! If you get healthy, you won't be an unnecessary drain on the health care system, and my premiums won't go up to pay for your corroded arteries. There, if you need me to have a financial motive in order to listen, there it is. I don't want to pay for them to "Roto-router" your arteries because you CHOSE to sit on your but and eat nachos for 20 years.

Get healthy..............start..............Now.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

HOW FAR WILL WE GO?

First, let me clearly state that I am not giving medical or psychological advice. If you have medical or psychological questions, definitely address them to the health care professionals. All I'm offering here is the truth and common sense, something that seems to be lacking in the "weight loss industry".

There are places advertising on radio and TV, in print and on the web, that promise phenomenal weight loss from taking pills, or having SURGERY! I'm sure the weight loss surgery works. I have, in fact, seen it work on a number of individuals. These people had otherwise healthy bodies that were simply too fat from years of overeating and under exercising. These unfortunate people finally, after probably years of failed "dieting", succumbed to the lure of having part of their stomachs either removed, or rendered unuseable, simply to make themselves eat less! What's worse? I've seen that surgery NOT WORK! I have actually seen someone lose, probably 100 pounds in a few months after the surgery, only to see that person about 2 years later, and, to my utter amazement, the person had gained nearly all the weight BACK! That takes real committment to stuffing yourself with food and to not moving around much! To me this is incredible. You allow, no..........you PAY someone to remove or alter your internal organs so you can eat less. This is the place to which we have come. We've failed to give our bodies what they are desperate for, namely reasonable food intake and reasonable amounts of exercise! This is a no-brainer, in my opinion. You render yourself partially incapacitated because you don't have the wherewithal to turn down a second helping of food.

As long as there are "quick fix" options like this, some people will pay virtually ANY cost to avoid eating and exercising at reasonable levels. Just be sure of the motivation before someone talks you into taking such drastic action. There is another way. It doesn't cost. It doesn't hurt. There are no side effects. It is simply living within the boundries for which your body was evolved. To me, this seems like a much better option than allowing someone to slice open your belly and start removing or clamping off things that it took 2 million years to create.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!

Well, here at the end of January, most of the New Year's resolutions have worn off. The membership in the health clubs that peaks after January 1 each year starts to decline. What does this show? You can take it two ways. I prefer to put it in the positive light. Look how many people WANT to be healthier! It's just that they go about it the wrong way. If you can do it, a gym membership gives you a world of opportunities for great exercise. What we're talking about here, however, is using your muscles and burning up the calories that you eat. That's all.

Going to a gym takes time. Some people are embarrassed because of their appearance, so they try a few times, get demoralized and quit. Don't quit. Just change, if that gym or health club isn't working for you. As we've been harping on here, Ogg walked. Ogg ran. Ogg climbed. Ogg turned over rocks and logs. Ogg.................MOVED! He moved and he had limited intake of daily calories. All you have to do is simulate his lifestyle within your own boundries. If you can walk, walk. If you are able, run a bit. Climb a few flights of stairs. Pick things up. It doesn't have to be a barbell. Bend, stoop, sit on the ground, get up. These things all burn calories.

I saw two somewhat overweight people the other day taking a walk at lunch. That's what it takes. If they can be CONSISTENT, and limit their daily caloric intake, they will be healthier. If you walk 2 miles at lunch once, then decide, "Oh, that made me all sweaty, I can't do that at work", you might as well not bother. It doesn't have to be 2 miles uphill. It just has to be regular, and it has to burn up some of the calories that you take in. If you increase your energy output on a consistent basis, you will be healthier for it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

STAYIN' ALIVE

The words to the disco hit now ringing in your head notwithstanding, that was Ogg's primary goal. Living in a harsh environment, without much between him and the elements, he had not much choice but to concentrate upon survival. Survive he did, thus here we are today, countless generations later. Ogg survived and reproduced.

Today, we don't generally have to spend so much of our waking time concentrating upon survival. If you don't go to a REALLY BAD neighborhood late at night with hundred dollar bills sticking out of your pockets, and if you don't step off the curb in front of a bus, you pretty much can survive. We have the luxury of spending our time, if we so choose, working on the quality of our life. Living today just doesn't require as much physical effort as it did, even a couple of generations ago. We don't have to cut firewood, feed and care for livestock, walk very far, do laundry in a washtub, etc. At the same time, food is plentiful. Low physical demand, plentiful food =F.A.T.!! That's just nature. The only way to avoid it is to consciously make the decision to increase your physical energy output and decrease your caloric intake.

21ST CENTURY MIND, 40,000B.C. BRAIN AND BODY

Realizing that our physical bodies have yet to adapt to our present situation is the key to staying healthy. The easy excesses of our society make it MONDO tough to do! Hey, I like Doritos as much (if not more) than the next guy! A few handfuls of things like that, now and then, and your fine. A bag of them and you added a couple of thousand calories to your daily food intake, give or take a few hundred. It's really sneaky. Calories are everywhere.........lurking..............ready to pounce directly onto your expanding ...........(you pick the body part that works for you). You have to be on the alert for these predators. They prey upon you like the bears, big cats, etc. preyed upon Ogg. If you keep your wits about you, however, you can escape them. You are home alone. You feel a little "snacky". You find yourself in front of the cupboard in the kitchen. As you open it, the Psycho shower theme music should play in your head. That bag of chocolate chip cookies is ready to dive on you! Close the door and save yourself!! Of course we're being a little silly here. The point is that you have the choice. We know, with all of the resources available to us now, what we have to do. The key is to find, within yourself, the will power to manage your health. You can do it, but you have to do it EVERY DAY. Just like Ogg had to survive....EVERY DAY.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

EXCUSES

There are no limits to these. Let's see........."I'm too far gone. I have pain. I have physical limitations. I'm too busy. I have kids to raise. I have long work hours. I need results FAST....the list will go on to infinity. It is so easy to find an excuse not to get up off of the couch. I know. I go through the same thing. There's no magic bullet here. Energy in.......Energy out. This is becoming a mantra. It's hard to change for the better. Your ancestry works against you. If Ogg had an unlimited supply of food piled outside the cave just for the taking, do you think he'd be out climbing trees to get bananas? Pursuing some hapless game animal to bring home for a trophy? Not on your life. He'd be sitting on his paleolithic butt, getting fat, just like we do. He would be denying what his body was designed for, just like we do now!

We are virtually no different physically from our ancestors who inhabited this planet up to about 10,000 years ago. That is the wink of an eye in evolutionary terms. We, however, have that "pile of food" stacked up for the taking at every grocery store on every corner, every drive through fast food place, every "birthday treat table" at virtually every workplace.

You can take control, however. Don't waste this beautiful machine that you inherited. Just move. Just start becoming, at least, AWARE of your caloric intake. Keep a log or a diary for a month. Write down everything you eat. Every soda, every sample from the wholesale warehouse while you are browsing, every potato chip...everything. You will amaze yourself at what you eat! There are lots of formulas for calculating your necessary caloric needs. I put a gadget on this site for basic metabolic rate. You can try the one I've been successful with, too. I allow about 13x my body weight in daily basic calories, then add to the allotment if I do some physical exercise. If you weigh 200 lb., for example, you can try to keep to about 2600 calories as a base, factoring in some light movement, just daily living stuff. I'm not saying that this will work for everyone, but it does for me. This is a way that I can manage my caloric intake and my energy needs to try to keep a little bit of a deficit in calories each day. This results in a slow, progressive loss of body fat, without being hungry, without feeling weak or unable to be physically active. Play with it a bit and find what's right for you. Keep an "Ogg image" in your mind. "WWOD?" "What would Ogg do?", or more correctly, what would Ogg NEED to do to get these calories?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ARE YOU A "PINKIE"?

You see them from time to time. Most often coming out of the computer store. Pudgy looking, sallow complexion, hands completely soft and pink. (thus the moniker I have given them). They look like they never push away from the keyboard, except to eat and browse for more software. They are the epitome of a sedentary lifestyle. With the wonders of modern health care, they can probably live as long as anyone, with the right medications, beginning sometime in their 40s or 50s when that Paleolithic body finally can't function on it's own without chemical help. They will get to deal with all the side-effects, as well, though.

The human body just wasn't designed for this. It was made................to WORK! If you, like I, have a "white collar" job, that's FINE! You need to do more to keep your body functioning properly, however. I'm at a desk the majority of the workday, pushing paper. How did I spend my day off, yesterday? Swinging an axe, removing a big ole' tree stump. It feels good on a visceral level to do things like that. I have a chainsaw, I could have fired it up, and my hands wouldn't have taken the beating that they did yesterday after many hundreds of axe strikes on hard wood. My arms, legs, back, shoulders, chest, core muscles, and cardiovascular system wouldn't have received the benefits, either! Talk about a total body workout! My inner "Ogg" loved that time. Just me, the axe, and a stubborn stump, that seemed to defy each strike, until Ogg, soaked in good healthy sweat, finally prevailed!

It doesn't matter what you do, but, If you are healthy, and I need to stress that, do SOMETHING! Do what you, personally can do. If it's running a marathon, or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, great! If it's walking the length of the living room, EQUALLY great! Challenge your body and, it will respond, on some level.

Monday, January 19, 2009


KIDS ARE CAVEMEN
I'll never forget the first time my son had a taste of real food. I mean something other than Mom's milk or formula. It was a little bite of honeydew melon. The look on his face was priceless. A whole new world of possibilities had opened up to him. Kids just seem to be more in touch with our primitive nature than are we adults. It's largely because, at a young age, they haven't been taught those things that separate us, in modern society, from our primitive legacy.

Kids will enjoy an apple or a banana, up to the point that you give them a big piece of chocolate cake. Somehow the easy sugar intake can easily become nearly addictive. We need to learn lessons from them by observing how they naturally act and react to the world around them. Watching their actions is such a valuable resource, that it's a shame to waste.

Watching kids on a playground, if unsupervised, is like turning the clock back a few thousand years. They run, they wrestle, they climb, they get on the ground, they get up, they fight over possessions. In order to prepare them to live in "polite society", we have to teach them some boundries, of course. It is just my hope that, in the process, we don't stifle all of their naturally wonderful abilities. We teach them not to run with sharp things in their hands instead of HOW to run with sharp things in their hands. I'm not telling you to have your kids run with the scissors, but at some point, they have to know how to carry sharp things, how to cut things with a knife, etc. The age at which an individual child is ready will vary, of course.

Kids will find a way to have fun with anything. It doesn't require a PS-3, or other sophisticated gaming device. Give some kids a pile of dirt and they will invariably end up playing "king of the mountain". Give them a bunch of tree branches laying in the yard after a pruning session, and they will be fencing with them, or using them to knock leaves off of high branches. That's what they do, because that's what they were evolved to do. Don't make the mistake of parking them in front of the TV with a plate full of cookies or a bowl of sugary cereal. Give them the means to move, give them good REAL food, and watch them go. You might just learn something!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

BEST OF ALL, AS I SAID BEFORE, THIS IS ALL.........FREE

You don't have to spend 30 bucks a month on a gym membership. That's fine, if that works for you, and you can afford it. A lot of people can't, particularly in light of the current state of the economy. Go to the gym and work out with a medicine ball?.................naw, not really necessary. Ogg had lots of equivalents, and it didn't cost him a cent (not that he would have known a "cent" if he saw one! Get out and just DO STUFF! A great example in the picture here is a really simple example of "nature's medicine ball."
A rock or a log will do, as well. You don't need to run or walk on a treadmill, although I like to do this, too. You can walk on the street, in the mall, you name it. You just gotta keep moving, and moving in different ways! Mix it up a little. Don't get into a rut of doing the same thing over and over again. Your Paleolithic body is really smart and efficient. If you do the same thing over time, it will learn to do it more efficiently, and use less energy to do the same task. If you keep surprising the body, it will keep getting stronger and more efficient in multiple ways. This is how you will achieve REAL Primitive Fitness! Assuming your health it good, you can do all sorts of things to get more fit. When is the last time you climbed a tree? Probably when you were 8. How about the last time you actually did a somersault? Think about it. Kids are really flexible, and full of energy. If you still are fortunate enough to be young, don't lose those qualities! If you aren't, find a way to recover some. Stretch those old muscles, tendons, and joints a bit. Just a little at a time. Don't overdo it. There's no rush. Just......................MOVE!

Friday, January 16, 2009

DO I "PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH?" and WHAT DOES "OGG" THINK ABOUT THIS?

First of all, let's get something really straight here. We aren't REALLY "OGGS". We live in modern society, and have the trappings and expectations of "normal" life, whatever that happens to be for the individual person. Am I going to have a piece of my kids' birthday cake? You bet. Am I going to share a bowl of tortilla chips during "movie night?" Absolutely. Will I "indulge" with the rest of the family at an "All you can eat" restaurant sometimes? I did that last night!

You need to realize that it's O.K. to partake of such things. If you have a family, you would not be very fun to be around if you sat at the table eating a handful of nuts while everyone else shares a nice dinner! We're talking about health, happiness, and quality of life here!

While you do this, however, if you look around, you will see that a whole lot of people do that sort of thing on an ongoing basis. Therein lies the problem. If you go to a restaurant where the food is unlimited once in a while, it's no big deal. Your weight may spike for a day or two, then your "OGG" lifestyle will get you back to "normal". If, however, you do this 2 or 3 times a week, AND eat a bowl of chips in front of the TV every night, you are courting disaster, eventually.

The one trip to the buffet restaurant will have OGG thinking, "HOT DOG, I JUST SCORED AN ANTELOPE AND A BIG BERRY PATCH!" He eats a lot, then moves happily along. OGG, however, doesn't get that big score 2 or 3 times a week. Tomorrow he will be scratching for food again, or traveling across the grasslands or hills looking for another "kill" to make for the family.

If you hit the buffet line last night, and hit it hard, just TAKE IT EASY the next day, for Pete's sake. You'll be fine. What people on "diets" do, unfortunately, is give up when they break over like that. The next day they say to themselves, "What the heck, I blew it last night, I can't stay on this diet. I might as well have a couple of doughnuts for breakfast!" There they go, down that slippery slope to fat city. If you eat a lot one day, you didn't "Blow it". You feasted. So what? That's what you're supposed to do. That's what your body evolved to do. It will put on a little fat storage from that, and you will access it over the next few days as you get back to your regular routine. Simple. Natural. No guilt!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The beauty about "Primitive Health and Fitness" is its incredible flexiblity and forgiving nature! This whole concept is based upon inconsistency. That's right. Old OGG didn't know from one day to the next what he was going to eat, how much energy he would need to expend, what dangers he might face, or how long he could sleep.

We have the great opportunity to glean the best parts of his existence, while still enjoying the things we like, to a great extent. You don't have to eat nuts and berries every day. You should not, in fact, do anything exactly the same each day, if you want to emulate OGG's lifestyle. Hard days, easy days, high volume food days, fasting days. Climbing one day, running the next, lifting (the modern equivalent if you must-weights) rocks and logs, running short, fast sprints, swimming, running long distances at a steady pace, etc. If this gets to be too much for you, take a break for a few days. Eat what you want, move (or don't move) if you like.

The benefits of our society leaves us with the ability to pick and choose the good parts of OGG's life without having to worry about where to sleep, whether we will actually be ABLE to eat tomorrow or next week, whether we will suddenly go from predator to prey at a given moment, etc.

The key is to eliminate the long term, unfettered, overindulgent sedentary lifestyle that has left us with a quickly expanding (pun fully intended) obesity problem. Along with that lifestyle come the side effects; high blood pressure, heart ailments, cardiovascular problems, the list is never ending.

If you change even one day per week of your habits, you will gain some benefit. Change every day and the effects are exponential!
BREAKING THE CYCLE

Your body evolved to be a highly efficient machine. It carried your ancestors over mountains, deserts, seas, and survived famine, cold, heat, sun, rain, snow, hail, and countless predators. You really need to gain an appreciation for its capabilities. You only get one. No replacements, no returns, no exchanges. If you are so fortunate as to have received a body without serious defect, show some respect for this gift. If you have one with limitations, find ways to explore its full potential.

When you see someone who has been a serious drug abuser or alcoholic for, maybe decades, realize what that body has gone through, and still functions on some level! You can go without food for over a month, and still survive, (not that you should try it), but these bodies will keep functioning under the most extreme of circumstances. That's how we evolved to this point. Our bodies were made to survive and produce offspring, regardless of circumstances.

With the good, comes the bad. With our current unlimited access to calorie dense foods, the body uses less energy to process its fuel. You slam down a couple of doughnuts, and the body realizes, "Hey, here are 400 calories worth of energy, and it's already sugar, so virtually no work required to break it down!" It goes virtually directly to your bloodstream, which gives you a short energy burst. Sugar burns off quickly, however, and the body has adjusted your insulin to regulate the now high blood sugar level, so you are left with the "crash". We all know the feeling, the sleepy, lethargic malaise that sets in an hour after a high sugar snack or meal.

Our ancestor, to whom we will henceforth refer to as "Ogg", (I don't know why, it just seems like he/she should be "Ogg) never had access to doughnuts. The closest he came was, maybe overripe fruit, which still falls short of the refined sugar rush of modern sweets.

Our bodies simply don't need, nor do they do well with this type of input. It's a pleasant taste, a quick sugar rush, so we do it. Your body starts to get used to not having to do much to process fuel. Bad cycle. You need to break it, to get you body back to doing what it does best, that is dealing with natural foods that Ogg could get his grubby hands on. Fruit, nuts, meat, etc.

A piece of fruit may not give you the fun sugar rush of a chocolate chip cookie, but it gives you something the cookie doesn't ...............real nutrients! You will feel strangely satisfied on a gut level if you can make the switch. Try it for a few days and see.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"BUT, BUT, WHAT IF I HATE EXERCISE?"

Well, that's ok. You don't have to "exercise" in the traditional sense. That's where we need an understanding of our genetics and history. Our Paleolithic hunter/gatherer ancestors NEVER exercised. If you could go back there, and try to convince them to run and do calisthentics for fun, they would, at best, think you were one pea short of a full pod.

They lived. They walked, sometimes they ran. They climbed, they sat on the ground, they got up and moved around. They searched for food, they hunted. You don't have to "exercise", either, but you do have to move around to be healthy. There are some very simple lifestyle changes that can make a world of difference in your health. Walk. Get down on the floor and play with the kids or the dog. Take the stairs instead of the stupid escalator at the mall. If you are otherwise healthy, just get out and move around!

Go to a park. If you really hate to exercise so much, don't call it that. Call it ..........oh, I don't know............, how about LIVING! Don't drive your car 2 blocks to the store. Walk around the block. Walk up a hill. Reach and bend. Pick things up. Get off the couch, turn off the TV and just M.O.V.E.

The benefits are immeasurable. The main benefit I like is that it allows me to...............EAT MORE! Look, I know that eating is more than just caloric intake. It's one of life's greatest pleasures! I love great foods, and some that aren't good for you at all. The more you move, the more you can afford to eat. Remember, energy in, energy out?

I am fortunate, in that I like to "exercise". I love to run, work out, etc. I know that not everyone shares this view. Find what works for you that will get your body started doing what nature spent 2 million years designing it to do. All that effort wasn't so you could plant your expanding butt on the couch, gain weight, and have your health fall apart. That effort that nature spent was so you could have a fit healthy body that could rise to the challenges of harsh daily life.

You may never need to climb a tree. You may never need to run a mile. Your body was genetically engineered to do those things, and oh, so much more. You have the chance to realize its true potential.

WHO AM I?

Good question. I'm not a fitness expert. I'm not a health expert. So why should you pay any attention to what I'm saying here? Because.....................I'm right. You know it. Nobody can seriously refute it. What I'm saying is the absolute truth, and it's FREE.

Look, this multi-billion diet industry is one of the biggest scams in history. It's targeted at those people who, perhaps for decades, have floated from one diet fad to another, ballooning up, slimming down, ballooning up, slimming down, making one failed New Year's resolution after another, spending hundreds of dollars on this pill or that device. That industry has marketing analysts. They know what to say, and they know who to target. Do you think the ads on TV at 3:00 am are there by accident? You can get rich and be slim and healthy, with a better sex life by sending 39.95 to somebody who puts an ad on tv at 3:00 in the morning. Right. Wake up.

I'm not selling you anything. I'm handing you the answer, the REAL answer Free on a silver platter. Will I get rich from this? Nope. Can you take a pill and fix your problem? Nope. It doesn't work like that. Never has. Never will. There will continue to be people and groups who sell you "food plans" and supplements that will miraculously change your body. You'll lose 40 pounds in 3 months! If you read the fine print, you'll see. "Results not typical". How about "Results pure B.S." You will also see that it will, someplace on the ad, say, "combined with exercise and a sensible diet". DUH!! Standing in the street in front of your house shaking a tree branch at passing cars will help you lose weight too, when combined with "exercise and a sensible diet!" (Don't do that. It will probably get you picked up for a psychiatric evaluation, too.)

So, who am I? I'm just a guy who got sick and tired of being overweight and feeling like crap, just like you do right now.

You don't have to run around chewing the bark off of trees to "go primitive". Just keep in mind what your ancestors did and you'll be fine. More next time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PAY AS YOU GO.......OR PAY LATER

Your body needs a finite amount of fuel for the energy it expends on life functions, like heartbeat and breathing, producing heat and digestion. It also needs an additional amount of fuel for things like walking, climbing, running, standing, sitting, and throwing. It's a simple equation, really. To attain (and more importantly) maintain your optimum weight and body mass composition, you need to manage the caloric surplus or deficit each day. If you do, your weight will go to it's correct level over time. If you take in to many calories for what your body needs, it will store them as fat. If you take in less, it will consume it's reserves. No diet programs needed, no "fat burning supplements", no club, no weight loss motivational speakers. Food in, energy out. Nothing more, nothing less.

As the title says, you simply have to "pay as you go". If you have a sedentary day, week, month, year, life........you need less fuel. If you have an active day, week, month, year, or life, you need more fuel. While you're getting used to this fact, and it is a FACT, you will need to track your intake for a period of time, so that you understand what you are REALLY consuming. That mayo on your sandwich may have added 25% to the caloric value of the sandwich itself.
The sugar filled carmel-whatever that you stopped off for on the way back from your 1 hour workout at the gym just replaced approximately enough calories to fuel a 2 hour workout, and without any real useable nutrients. Just sugar.

To be successful, you need to watch, not only the quantity of food that you consume, but the quality. The quick sugar rush of candy and sweet drinks is pleasant to nearly everyone. Your body, in this regard, however, is separate from your mind. It doesn't know that you are still going to have a 2,000 calorie dinner. Your body only deals with the quick, large input of energy, greatly in excess of need, so it goes about storing it away for later. If you do this once a month, you can probably burn it up. If you do it once a day, you will continue running a caloric surplus. Your body will continue storing it for later, but later never comes.

All this applies to "holiday weight gain" about which you see a dozen stories every holiday season. If you go to office, school, other parties, it doesn't cause you to gain weight. If you go and consume, without thinking, 5 handfulls of nuts while you are "mingling" (about 1000 cal), another 500 calories worth of eggnog, cheese crackers, crab cakes, chips, and then have a 2000 calorie dinner followed by another 750 calories or so in a dessert, you can see where it goes. Throw in a few alcoholic drinks, and you have a total caloric ingestion orgy totalling about 4,500 calories, and that doesn't count what you had for breakfast, maybe a snack, and lunch. We're talking about, maybe a 6000 calorie day here. That's enough to sustain, for example, a 165 lb. man for about 3 days. You do that once and then get back on track, and you can undo the damage in a week or two. You do it day after day, even at a bit lower level, and you're headed for, literally, "Fat City"!

If you run a marathon the day before, or a couple of days after this food orgy, you may be about on track for break even. If not, it goes to fat. Period.

The moral to this story, manage your input vs. output on a daily basis, or you will pay for it later. There's no "get out of jail free" card here. If you eat it, you either burn it, or store it. There is no third option.

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