When the Going Gets Tough…

I used to think that if I tried something and I received resistance, or a push-back against accomplishing what I set out to do, that it was somehow a “sign” that it wasn’t the right thing to do.  I think that many of us feel the same way, especially if we set out to on a path that we are not sure is the right one.  The road starts to get bumpy and we immediately start to question whether we made the right choice.  But one important lesson I’ve learned, especially from my adoption experiences, is that the “rightness” of a decision has little or nothing to do with how difficult the result might be.  In fact, I believe that the more difficult the road, the more “right” it really is.  In battle, the closer you get to the enemy the more the bullets start whizzing over your head.  Head in the wrong direction and you’ll probably find the road pretty easy going.  Please be careful when someone tells you “this is an easy way to lose weight”.  Chances are the road is not taking where you really want to go.  Or, “what you’re doing is really hard, and I think God is telling you that you should stop and try something else.”  Standing tall in the face of adversity is a true sign of courage.  Don’t give up.   When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

J

The Truth About hCG

Question of the Week:  Finish this sentence:  When the going gets tough, …

Nugget of the Day: The truth about hCG for weight loss.

A client recently asked me what I thought about hCG as a weight loss tool.  For those of you not familiar with hCG, it stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.  It is a hormone released by the placenta of pregnant women.  (Huh?  Yeah, that’s most people’s response)  Believed to stimulate the consumption of excessive fat tissue in the pregnant mother in support of the growing fetus, it has been hypothesized to assist in metabolism of fat as an energy source in non-pregnant individuals, as well as suppress appetite.  When accompanied by what can only be classified as a “starvation” diet of 500 calories, it is believed to promote significant weight loss.

There are a few issues here to address.  The first is the effectiveness of hCG as a weight loss tool.  As of right now, both the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have concluded that hCG is neither safe nor effective as a weight loss aid.  The second is the starvation diet of 500 calories.  Obviously, any diet that absent of calories is going to promote weight loss, at least for a time.  However, not only does it wreak havoc on your metabolism, but it is nearly impossible to adhere to for any length of time.  Since it is not a plan that promotes healthy, long-term eating habits, most people will regain much of the weight, if not all of it when returning to their regular eating plan.  And, third, the FDA has prohibited the sale of over the counter hCG products and homeopathic versions, declaring them illegal and fraudulent.  So if you are going to try to skirt the physician-prescribed route, don’t waste your time or your money.  There isn’t enough real hCG in there to have any metabolic effect at all.

In conclusion, the hCG diet is no more than another “quick fix” scheme that is unproven at best and downright dangerous at worst.  It is simply another “starvation” diet routine that leaves you undernourished and destroys your metabolism, increasing the likelihood of you not only returning to your pre-diet weight, but even getting heavier in the long term.  Don’t be fooled.  There are no quick fixes that beat good, solid hard work and lifestyle change.   Stay the course, keep up the hard work, and don’t give up!

J

Workout of the Day: Circuit

Circuit:
Modified Pull-ups x 10
Push-ups x 20
Abdominal Crunches x 30
Squats x 40
Mountain Climbers x 50
(perform each exercise back to back with minimal rest, then rest for 90 sec and repeat 2-3 times)

This is a great full-body, circuit-style workout.  Get the heart-rate up and boost the metabolism with this workout that’s sure to leave you soaked and spent.  Enjoy!

J

Featured Exercise- Mountain Climbers

Featured Exercise: Mountain Climbers

Primary Muscles:  Abdominals, Hip Flexors, Cardiovascular System

Secondary Muscles:  Shoulders

The Mountain Climber is a great, multipurpose exercise.  In addition to stressing the abdominal muscles, it is an effective exercise for getting the heart rate elevated.  The abdominal muscles engage to drive the knees towards the chest, with the hip flexors assisting in the movement as well.  The shoulders act to stabilize the upper body during the active movement of the lower body.  Due to the vigorous nature of the exercise, the heart rate is also elevated, making it a great for anaerobic conditioning exercise as well.  Kick-start that body fat loss with this one!  Here’s how it goes:

Starting in a prone position on hands and feet with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, right foot back with leg extended and left knee drawn up to the chest, switch feet in the air, driving the right knee forward and driving the left foot back until you have completely switched foot positions. Repeat this movement at an elevated pace, engaging the abdominal muscles as you drive each knee towards the chest. Keep a regular breathing pattern as you perform the movement.  Perform the exercise for time or repetition number.  Start with 30 seconds without stopping or 50 total repetitions and work up from there.  Make sure that there is no discomfort in the shoulders or lower back.

This is how you create a strong, stable core and burn body fat at the same time.  Enjoy!

J

It Comes Down to Pride

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”  Romans 12:3

A couple of weeks ago I was helping out at the Escondido Community Wellness Day, and I was present during the door-prize giveaway of a year of financial planning for free.  A great offer, right?  A whole year of a professional looking over your budget, helping you trim where you need trimming, invest how you would most benefit.  But I have to be honest.  My first thought was “I’m not sure if I would use that.”  Why not?  I really can only say that it comes down to pride.  It’s not that I couldn’t use the help.  I’m sure that the advice would be invaluable.  I just don’t like the idea of someone poking around in my personal life, and I think I would have a tough time with someone telling me that what I am doing is wrong and that I need to change it.  But I got to thinking about my attitude, and I realized an important hypocrisy in my rationale.  What I do for people’s physical lives is no different than what a financial planner does for people’s financial health.  And I expect that people will come to me for help, willing to open themselves to a certain measure of scrutiny.  Physical health is a very personal topic for most people, but I expect them to be open and honest with me.

What about me?  How willing am I to open up to someone about my personal life?  Realizing this has made me much more understanding about the psyche of the individual who seeks me out for my advice and help.  That being said, don’t let your pride get in the way of finding the help that you need.  Don’t be afraid to seek out the accountability of a friend.  Ask that trainer in the gym if you are doing your exercises correctly.  Sign up for Weight Watchers.  Sometimes it takes admitting that we can’t do it on our own to start making progress.  This is one of the reasons that I write this blog.  Please don’t hesitate to leave comments and ask questions.  I am here to help.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to better your health because you won’t admit that you can’t do it on your own.

J