Tag Archives for " nutrition "

Rest is Over Rated

“This is a rest based workout.  That means that you actually want to rest in this workout. If you do this workout correctly you could be resting as much as you are working.  Your goal is to push as hard as you can, force yourself to rest… then get back into it.”  (Introduction to Metabolic Effect group workout created by Dr. Jade Teta and Dr. Keoni Teta)

Ok wow!!! What is so foreign to us in this rat race of our American society is taking rest and the needed time out in order to “Work as Hard as we can” as stated by these Metabolic Effect group class instructions.  Is this an acceptable means of doing things or is this just being lazy?

Not long ago, Dr. Jade Teta wrote an article written in Idea Fitness Journal discussing American style living vs. “rest based living”.  What is the difference between the two? We as American’s pace ourselves to work as many hours as possible and rest less than we need.  The timer goes off, or your alarm clock wakes you up in the morning at the allotted time, then you get up, get dressed and get going with your day.  And whether you are truly rested or not, you don’t rest again until the clock tells you it is time to rest. There is really no true autonomy to deciding when you should or shouldn’t rest you just work when you are told and rest when you are told.  And the norm is to work more than you rest.  And the side effects of this type of living can be your family, work, and health can suffer.  Besides the fact that you are cranky, impatient, distracted or numb to everyone and everything around you.

Jen's Phone 100

So, let’s explore the possibility of what Dr. Jade Teta suggests, if you are living a rest based life, you work hard, then you rest, force yourself to rest, especially when you need it, knowing that you will work hard again when you get back into it. This way of living helps you become more autonomous, and listening to your personal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual signs of need for complete disengaged rest.  Based on his clinical experience, he has found, the results from “rest based living” far exceed our current American pushy lifestyle.

Now in theory this works, however putting it into practice is the true challenge.   Let’s face it, as a society, American’s encourage overworking, as a badge of honor, if you disengage you are viewed as lacking ambition and drive.  It is accepted to either workout feverishly to excess, then pushing ourselves through the day with coffee and ending the day with several glasses of whatever alcohol is on tap, or just skipping your workouts completely to answer another urgent email at work.  So we pace ourselves based on necessity to get ahead of everything and never truly work as hard as we can, because we never force ourselves to truly rest.  Your best is less than mediocre due to the amount of time you waste loading more “things” to do in your life.

“Balancing stress and recovery is critical not just in competitive sports, but also in managing energy in all facets of our lives.”  This is a quote from an awesome book I am reading, The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr.  The key to success according to both sources is not time management but balancing our energy reserves.  We need to “push as hard as we can”, then rest, and resting means emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Ok as a self-imposed pusher I have to admit, I am totally guilty of being so busy, to the point of total exhaustion. Everything that gets done is not really done at my best, I can be unusually cranky, weepy, impatient, weak, confused, lack the energy or will to do anything meaningful.  My workouts suffer or become few and far between, eating a good meal is the last thing that is a priority so I either skip my meals or just eat whatever is in front of me (which could be just protein bars, gluten free chips, many cups of coffee, or even a ½ bottle of wine).  The most energy I can muster is getting my daily job done, don’t ask me to do anything that is outside my daily tasks that would require any additional amount of energy that I just can’t muster.

Then low and behold Mike and I spontaneously took a night away that became two and it opened my eyes to what it really means to really shut down and rest.  Those two days had no schedule, nothing planned except dinner reservations and wandering the streets of Philadelphia.  We slept, walked the dog, talked and just enjoyed each other’s company; no business, no computers, just taking in the sights and sounds.

The true nature of resting my mind, body and soul, is what enabled me to realize that my constantly working was becoming counterproductive. In the days prior to our impromptu getaway, my work was all consuming, no time to walk the dog, eat a complete meal, my workouts were sparse, I was completely edgy, impatient and with constant body pain. As a business owner, that is a fitness business, I can get caught up in the necessity to keep moving and doing, because there is no one else to get it done, right? That, in and of itself is so egotistical and selfish.  It didn’t really occur to me, until this impromptu rest happened, that my preaching rest and time out for all my clients was extremely hypocritical.

So I have learned, thankfully with the help of Jade Teta’s research and reading The Power of Full Engagement, in order to rest, I have to disengage enough to get back at it, fully “engaged”.  There is a necessity on a daily basis to step away, take my energy breaks, in order to make my work and my living more impactful.  A life that is being led by work and not by example is really not the right kind of life to live….. To Be Continued

Lost in the Cloud!

Why torture yourself doing something that doesn’t come naturally? What is the real motivation to keep doing something when it only brings you pain?Livin in the Cloud

“Bad habits are easy to acquire but hard to live with; Good habits are difficult to develop. A good habit results from a desire to work and sacrifice and sometimes a willingness to endure pain and suffering. But good habits are easy to live with. If you are willing to be uncomfortable for a little while, so you can press past the initial pain of change, in the long run your life will be much better. Pain doesn’t last forever, in fact, once you develop the new habit, the pain disappears.” Joel Osteen

Today I am admitting to the fact that technology has far surpassed me and it frustrates the crap out of me! I worked so hard on the latest blog and guess what, my computers didn’t sync with the cloud and now I lost all my changes. What the $%#@, REALLY, why bother, right!!!

Then I remembered why I am writing, and why I need to keep going and doing this… as frustrating as it may be to keep writing the same words over and over, it is important to do it, so each time it gets better and just more natural. Man this is painful, it is so uncomfortable putting all these feelings, thoughts and concepts down on the proverbial technology paper and then finding out those words are lost in the technology abyss. I would so rather be working out or writing a workout or reviewing the newest movement patterns, just training clients, things that come to me naturally.

Ah-ha!! Wait, I didn’t always feel comfortable or natural working out, writing the workouts, reviewing movement patterns, or even training clients. It took me facing the pain of doing these things more often that really got me feeling more comfortable and more natural doing these things.

Right now I am in the midst of reading “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard. It is really hitting home, Burchard hits the nail on the head talking about having a true purpose and not allowing anything to get in the way. “A mark of greatness” can be lost without intention and purpose. Doing the work, not allowing the distractions, laziness, or complaints of the work, sideline or detract from your passion, this is a mark of true greatness.

So here is the thing, yes I want to write and talk to all of you on a regular basis, but it is not the person I think I am, and it is really quite painful. Yet I am motivated by a God given purpose to be a part of the change that needs to happen in this world. If I can endure this uncomfortable pain, it may be possible that I can impact more people to change to be their best. What can you say truly motivates you, is it always trying to avoid pain, or is it to be the person you wish you could be, what drives you more? What are you willing to sacrifice to be a better person?

What can you take away from this? It takes doing the painful work to become your best, as Brendon Burchard says your “mark of greatness”. Are you willing to endure the work and the pain to make your “mark of greatness”? Or is today just another day of living in your comfort zone?

As I struggle with my technology woes and pains, I know I am moving closer to becoming better, and possibly impacting you to become better as well.

Keeping it Real – Jen Brango

New Year’s Miracle Weight Loss Drug or Not?

So the time of year has come to put your New Year’s resolutions into action, but buyer beware! There are many tempting products on the market claiming to help you achieve your goal in a quick, sustainable manner. However, beware of any claims that are too good to be true.

Do you remember back in the 80s and mid-90s all the hype about a miracle weight loss combination pill Fen-Phen, also known as fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine and phentermine?

This combination of pharmaceuticals was being prescribed by doctors who believed the drug curbed appetite and helped patients shed pounds.

However on Sept. 15, 1997, the FDA announced the withdrawal of Fen-Phen from the market, according to FDA.gov:

The Food and Drug Administration has asked the manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw both treatments for obesity from the market.

The action was based on new findings from doctors who have evaluated patients taking these two drugs with echocardiograms, a special procedure that can test the functioning of heart valves. These findings indicated that approximately 30 percent of patients who were evaluated, had abnormal echocardiograms, even though they had no symptoms. This is a much higher than expected percentage of abnormal test results.

“These findings called for prompt action,” said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., the Lead Deputy Commissioner of the FDA. “The data we have obtained indicate that fenfluramine, and the chemically closely related dexfenfluramine, present an unacceptable risk at this time to patients who take them.”

So, bring us back to present day. As of Dec. 6, the FDA issued another withdrawal of a weight loss miracle drug and this time it is for a homeopathic weight loss aid. The weight loss aid is human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG. The use of HCG was never intended for weight loss. The use of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin was only approved for the use of infertility, fertility and as a tumor marker.

Although this drug has been believed to be a new weight loss miracle, it was first introduced to the weight loss market in the 1950s by Dr. Albert T.W. Simeon. The claims made were never proven true even after extensive clinical trials, so the usage of HCG for weight loss became less popular in the 1970s.

The reintroduction of HCG was due in part by a book written by Kevin Trudeau “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” and presented in the format of infomercials. This book was just a long line of misrepresentations; ironically Kevin Trudeau had a history of misrepresenting himself and was charged so by the FTC.

In 1998 Kevin Trudeau was charged with making false claims. In doing so he moved to selling his systems, such as his weight loss system through his books. Although Trudeau was not the only reason for HCG to be reintroduced, the help of his late night infomercials played a large role.

“These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they’re losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG,” as stated on the FDA’s consumer page on HCG.

The HCG Diet is making remarkable claims about losing large amounts of weight in a short period of time. The claim is that your appetite is being suppressed, so you should consume only 500 calories a day in combination with HCG and you will lose plenty of weight. However, as explained by one of the FDA’s nutritionists, Shirley Blakely, “Living on 500 calories a day is not only unhealthy—it’s hazardous, according to FDA experts. Consumers on such restrictive diets are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat.”

They can be dangerous, she says, and potentially fatal.

Even the American Society of Bariatric Physicians has stated concerns in a position paper “On Use of HCG for the Treatment of Obesity“:

Although there were a few early studies in agreement with Simeons recommendations, a number of subsequent studies produced evidence that the HCG in the Simeons method was ineffectual and that the weight loss was entirely due to the diet. A meta-analysis review in 1995 of prior studies concluded that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity. The meta-analysis found insufficient evidence supporting the claims that HCG is effective in altering fat-distribution, hunger reduction or in inducing a feeling of well-being. The authors stated ‘ …the use of HCG should be regarded as an inappropriate therapy for weight reduction.’ In the authors’ opinion, ‘Pharmacists and physicians should be alert on the use of HCG for Simeons therapy.’

According to a press release issued Dec. 6, the FDA is advising consumers to steer clear of these “homeopathic” HCG weight-loss products.

“They are sold in the form of oral drops, pellets and sprays and can be found online and in some retail stores,” the press release states. “FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims.

“FDA advises consumers who have purchased homeopathic HCG for weight loss to stop using it, throw it out, and stop following the dieting instructions. Harmful effects should be reported online toFDA’s MedWatch program or by phone at 800-FDA-1088 (800-332-1088) and to the consumer’s health care professional.”

As history would tell us about Fen-Phen, although the significant effects of HCG have not been found at this time, the FDA has chosen to remove these products due to their overwhelming surge in popularity again. So, if you are currently hoping that your New Year’s resolution can be solved by a quick fix, think again and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, you are probably right.

When it comes to health and wellness, a balanced approach of healthy eating, purposeful exercise and a healthy lifestyle are the true keys to reaching any resolution. The lasting effects of balance are truly what make your quality of life better than the potential lasting effects of a hazardous “miracle” pill.