The FDA approval of a weight-loss drug called “Qsymia” generated a bit of buzz today. So, I felt the need to create a quick table highlighting the benefits and potential side effects of this new drug vs. good ol’ exercise. Yes, I know it is a little tongue-in-cheek. But, I am so very tired of people waiting and hoping for some miracle drug that will enable them to lose weight without all of that pesky exercising or eating healthy. Is it true that some people may not be able to exercise enough to control their weight? Yes, that is true for some people. But, let’s be honest here. Do you truly think that only people with the most extreme cases of obesity and special circumstances will be asking for this drug? The pharmaceutical company wouldn’t make its multimillion dollar profit if that was the case.
For fun and science, I tracked my daily intake yesterday for my entire day of meals, snacks, and treats. I was quite surprised at the total calories and discovered that I really should be taking in about 1000 more calories. I already feel like I’m eating a ton of food every day. I eat steak, chicken breasts, lots of veggies, some fruit, snacks, and even have a small treat every night.
I now know that a single large-sized meal at McDonald’s is pretty close to my daily intake. So, I created this chart just to visualize the crazy comparison.
I was reading a good post today that inspired me to say a few words on the subject of fitness and weight loss. I am continually amazed at all of the misconceptions, misinformation, and old-fashioned BS advice that keeps floating around regarding how to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy. There is no magic pill or drink, there is no magical exercise, there is no way to lose weight and be fit while continuing to eat crappy food. Sorry, if you’ve been told that and you believe it, you’ve been lied to (again) and you’re fooling yourself.
On the flip side, if you are already eating healthy, but you refuse to get serious about exercise, you won’t really be fit and healthy either. You may look “skinny”, but you won’t be strong or healthy. And I promise you that your body will eventually pay the price.
Like I said, it isn’t rocket science. If you sat down and had a really deep session of thinking about how our bodies work, why they work the way they do, and were completely honest with yourself; you would come to the same conclusion. To be an optimal physical organism (i.e., fit and healthy), you have to fuel your body with the real food it was built to run on and you need to use that body the way it was meant to be used.
I sometimes use the sports car analogy. If you take the most amazing sports car and put crappy fuel in it, it will run poorly and eventually break down. If you put great fuel in the sports car but you leave it parked in the garage and never drive it, it will eventually break down as well.
If you follow my blog, you know that I competed in a Paleo Challenge back in January 2011 with the rest of my CrossFit box. I was pretty darn strict with myself: No sugars of any sort (even honey), no grains at all, and no dairy products of any sort. I was very happy with the results. I lost body fat, gained muscle, have more energy, enjoy clear skin, have no more stomach troubles, and just generally feel great when I eat Paleo. It is pretty amazing. My body definitely became leaner and my muscle definition increased considerably. I even got my six pack back! And my strength kept up pretty well, so I continued to see gains in my weightlifting and improvements in my CrossFit WODs. But, the biggest benefit is how I feel. I always knew that I had issues with dairy and had reduced it considerably in my diet. But now I know that I also have issues with wheat. When I finished the challenge, I had some celebration meals that weekend that included grains and dairy. Ouch. I felt lousy for 2-3 days after that. So, I’m staying Paleo and for the best reason of all: I simply feel great when I eat Paleo and avoid grains, dairy, and sugars. It’s pretty easy to avoid those foods now and I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything. Because it doesn’t matter how good something tastes, if you feel lousy afterwards.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear or read; “I want his/her body!” or “How do I get that body?”. The focus is entirely on their physical appearance and they just want to hear how to achieve that “look“. Well, I have a shocking revelation for you. You don’t get that body by focusing on how you look or how much you weigh. That body is the byproduct of focusing on something else entirely: Your Performance. Take a look at the people below and tell me what they all have in common.
I have been doing CrossFit for almost a year and what a journey it has been! For the first 2-3 weeks I was so sore that I seriously couldn’t even walk down stairs. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. I had to find alternative ways to get places. I remember days that I couldn’t lift my arms over my head. I almost quit. I thought I was seriously damaging my body.
I found this article by Lyle McDonald on Bodyrecomposition.com very interesting: How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need? It’s a question that I have been asking myself a lot, since I have been following the Paleo diet and actively do CrossFit every week. I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t. The answer is “It Depends“. It depends on who you are, your activity level, and what you want to accomplish (e.g., weight loss, endurance running, muscle building, etc.).
We’ve come to the end of the week, March 26, 2011. The “Strong is Sexy” weekly event had its first male participant. Thank you Martin! His photo is featured at the end of this blog post. Martin is very busy with his family and little kids, but continues his focus on a health and fitness regimen of Crossfit with Zone/Paleo.
We’ve come to the end of the week, March 19, 2011. The “Strong is Sexy” weekly event is off to a slow start, with the monkey tying for positive votes with the strong lady. But, since the monkey received more thumbs-down votes, the win has to go to the lady. Her photo is featured below. Each week we will feature the strongest and sexiest women as determined by votes from all of you. To participate, you can upload a photo of yourself. Once we approve the photo, it will be available for voting. So, be sure to tell all of your friends about it so that they can come back and vote for you here!
As I wrote about in “Women and CrossFit – Time to Kill the Weightlifting Myth“, there are many misconceptions and poor role models for women who want to be fit. It isn’t about becoming “skinny” and looking like a supermodel. It is about being healthy, strong, and achieving a level of fitness that is right for you and sustainable for your lifestyle. That is what’s really sexy: Being the strongest you that you can be! So, to prove this point, every week we will feature the strongest and sexiest women as determined by votes from all of you. To participate, you can upload a photo of yourself. Once we approve the photo, it will be available for voting. So, be sure to tell all of your friends about it so that they can come back and vote for you here!