Take a look at my before and after picture here. I did this national fitness contest several years ago put on by fitness guru Bill Phillips in the Body For Life Transformation hosted by EAS. I came in 2nd in the nation in my age category for this transformation, and the entire event put me on a new road to fitness.
Building Muscle, losing fat and weight, keeping a sharp mind, being in tune with our food, exercising, and getting in sync with the emotional and spiritual side of things are crucial to our success in life. And if we ignore any aspect of that we find ourselves in trouble.
We’ve all been there. There are times when nothing seems to go right and despite our best efforts, our fitness levels sink to lower than normal levels. I guess you could say that I’ve let that level sink lower than most. Take a look at my before picture. It’s so easy with life’s challenges, trials and tribulations, to let go of how critically important it is to ignore the critical 5 steps to a better life. But when I’m on top of things and performing my best, those 5 steps always get me back on track.
These are so simple and yet a good many of us ignore them. Our modern culture seems expert and ignoring the basics of what we require. We go for fad diets, buy memberships into gyms and never go, eat processed unhealthy unnatural foods, suck down caffeine and never sleep, get intellectually lazy and then pay no attention to our spiritual side. But it really helps to just simply review 5 cornerstones of health. Please read them, acknowledge them, ingest them, and get back to how we are supposed to live. In order to build muscle and lose fat for the long run you have to deal with the total package.
The very simple 5 steps getting back on track
1. Sleep Comes First. This is so basic it is ridiculous and yet we Americans are especially good at ignoring the fact that we actually need 8 hours of sleep a day. When we are sleep deprived, no aspects of our mind, body, and spirit are working in an optimum fashion. Rest is critical for rejuvenation! All the energy drinks, and caffeine and denial do not change the fact that we have to get enough sleep for the needed repairs of our physical bodies to occur. Body building, exercise, every aspect of movement is simply better when our bodies are rested. So get rid of the stimulants and start getting some consistent sleep. Turn off the late night screen and get to bed early.
2. Eat Food That Grows. Proper nutrition is key to any type of body/mind/spirit transformation. We simply cannot get to the higher planes in life if we eat crap. So just eat the food that human beings have been eating for thousands and thousands of years: Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean fish and lean meats, non saturated fats, and that’s it. It’s that simple. Ignore the processed crud in the center of the grocery stores. That stuff is nothing but an impediment to feeling and living better. Eat food that grows, eat food that is natural — and you’ll develop lean muscle and lose fat. You will become energetic and you won’t have to ingest the caffeine and the energy drinks and all the other stimulants that just fool your body into more ill-health.
3. Move Your Body. If you don’t your body then you are moving yourself to ill health. Daily exercise is what human beings have been doing for millennia. It is only in the last century that humans have started to eliminate this basic requirement for health. Look at all the other mammals. They move constantly. So should we. Obviously jobs etc. don’t allow that (especially desk jobs) but still we have to take time every day to move our bodies. If we don’t we are fooling ourselves into sickness and health problems.
4. Exercise Your Brain. It is so easy in this era of passive participation with our electronics to ignore the fact that rather than just view we should challenge our brains. We should read books, practice solving problems, even something as simple as doing a crossword puzzle. It’s easy for people to get into a slump and just pig out in front of the TV and never bother to stimulant our minds. We should try and learn something new every day. We must challenge our brains so that like our bodies they can become fit.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Spiritual Side. Be good and you’ll be happy. Get in sync with others. Get in sync with God. Get in sync with the source of the universe. Live life with a general gratitude for life’s great blessings. Whether you are a Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, a new ager, an agnostic or whatever, remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Take time to nurture that. Rejoice in your family and friends and those you see on the street and at the mall and even on the roads commuting in the maze of traffic. We are all connected. Acknowledge and nurture the connection and you will find yourself in a better frame of health.
Good luck! Apply these simple 5 considerations to you life and you’ll succeed. You’ll build muscle, and lose fat, but even more important you’ll elevate your entire life to a new level of quality and enjoyment.
J. M. Editor