BLOG 159 GAS
Well, farting is part of life. This socially unaccepted normal occurrence in our bodies isn’t exactly fragrance friendly. And I know you are thinking this is an unexplored topic you didn’t expect me to write about haha. The oldest know recorded joke was about farting. Although a private matter, gas in the body happens to every BODY. But let’s be sophisticated and call it fluctulence 😊
In fact, according to Medical News Today, “The average person passes wind between 8 and 10 times a day” (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7622.php).
It’s simple: when we chew to eat, we then swallow, and we are taking in air. The digestive system uses nitrogen and oxygen and releases these gases while doing its work. Here’s the catch… the smell. So let’s take a look: “In the process of converting our meals into useful nutrients, these food-munching microbes produce a smelly by-product of hydrogen sulfide gas — the same stench that emanates from rotten eggs” (https://www.livescience.com/32405-what-makes-us-fart.html).
Fiber is the common culprit. However, sugars actually produce the most gas and include the following:
• Fructose — A natural ingredient in plants like onions, corn, wheat and even pears. It’s often concentrated into a sugary syrup for soft drinks and fruit drinks.
• Lactose — Milk’s sweet natural ingredient, also added to foods like bread and cereal. Some people are born with low levels of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, a fact that inflates their gassy susceptibility.
• Raffinose — The secret gassy ingredient in beans, which is also found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus and other vegetables. Products like Beano, designed to reduce gas production, break down the sugar before it can reach eager intestinal bacteria.
• Sorbitol — Found in almost all fruits, this indigestible sugar is also used as an artificial sweetener in “diet” and sugar-free foods. Yes, sugar-free gum, candy, soda and anything else deceptively sweet can cause gas.
Carbonated beverages and gum chewing also involve taking in extra air in the body producing gas. And yes, exercise can produce gas. As we move the body during its digestive stages, we can create air bubbles.
Not that I want you to stink up my studio, but I get it…. a little movement might cause some of that fluctuance. But hey did you read that part that says sugar causes gas?? Maybe I found another deterrent for you haha. In other news, let’s hit the gas and become the best version of ourselves.
Side note: Interesting Amazon Prime video watch called “Fart: A Documentary” (2016) by Troy Hale
BLOG 158 BPAs
Eat this. Don’t eat that. Drink this. Don’t drink that. We hear confusing, changes, messages all the time from the news, internet, and social media about what is best for our bodies and what should be ruled out. BPA is on the list for me as another one of these confusions. How can drinking out my water bottle be bad for me?? All I want to do is drink water, which I’m told I’m supposed to do, but now it has to be out a certain type of bottle??
The FDA is looking into BPA. Let’s start with defining this entity: “BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331). The research isn’t 100% yet about the side effects. The chemical is basically everywhere because plastic is everywhere. The chemical hardens plastics. However, it can seep into our foods and liquids. SO the reality is this: “More than 90% of us have BPA in our bodies right now. We get most of it by eating foods that have been in containers made with BPA. It’s also possible to pick up BPA through air, dust, and water” (https://www.webmd.com/children/bpa#1).
Here are the concerns:
1. Hormones: BPA might act like a hormone so it can disrupt our body’s hormones
2. Brain and behavior: it may alter these
3. Cancer: possibly from ongoing exposure
4. Heart problems: studies show that people with higher levels are more likely to have these
5. Infants and children at risk: because many bottles and baby products use BPA that are exposed at an early age when the body is not able to fight off substances
Alternatives to BPA can be found and used. Start with glass containers and jars. Minimize plastic and can use. Keep what plastics you do use cool and don’t put them in the microwave because BPA can leach. Look for non-toxic and BPA free toys and products.
Better safe than sorry and since BPA has only been in use since the 1960s we truly don’t know the long-term side-effects. Chemicals are everywhere even in the air we breathe. We can only control what we can control. Every small, better, choice counts. Guess that means you will have to start eating fresh fruits and vegetables and brings glass cups to the studio 😊
BLOG WEIGHT 157 COMPARISONS
The scale. Oh the scale. That piece of equipment can be a psychological mess, but when it shows a number less than then it was last time, it’s our best friend. An unhealthy relationship for sure. But I thought it would be fun and insightful to chat about how much a pound really is. We have this anticipation that weight loss means a big number, when in fact, when you compare any number lost to real world items, the accomplishment is quite eye opening.
• Human brain
• A box of wine
• A 2-slice bread toaster
• The average coffee maker
• A bag of sugar
• A 2 liter bottle of soda
• Average 3 month old baby
• Most vacuum cleaners
• A sack of potatoes
• A car tire
• Propane tank
• Steve Nash 😊
• 60 bottles of water
• 270 eggs
• 15 boxes of spaghetti
• 30 boxes of butter
• The average 3-year-old child
• 5 gallon bottle of water
• The average human leg
• Small bale of hay
• 2 average 2-year-old children
• 50 footballs
• 3 one gallon water jugs
So as you can see, smile, because you lost more than you think. One pound looks differently on every BODY, but just remember your Fitness Journey means so much more than that scale. Take the weight off your shoulders and focus on ALL your progress, because every moment of success counts 😊
BLOG 156 ORGANIC FOOD
Organic. The labels screams “healthy”. But why is organic healthier or better for you?? 73% of Americans eat it. In 2010, sales were at $28.6 billion when the term was in its early years, thus, today sales are astounding. After researching and watching the documentary, “In Organic We Trust”, I want to share what organic truly means.
The 1940s presented organic produce. In the 1960s, organic purchasing became popular. In 2002, a proper certification was put in place to obtain the USDA certified label. Organic doesn’t actually refer to the quality of the produce, rather, it means the item has been regulated. An agent from the United States Department of Agriculture inspects these organic farms and makes sure that there is no irradiation (being exposed to radiation), genetic modification, or antibiotics being used. To my surprise, this does not include the use of pesticides, so organic foods still do posses these chemicals just in a lesser form. It is unlikely that the USDA will revoke an organic license, because as we have learned, the government wants to make money. These licenses carry high fees and costs (thus the more expensive result of organic produce), so they don’t want to lose this revenue. For example, in 2010, 13,000 organic farms went under inspection, but only 10 had their license revoked. Big name organic companies are actually partnerships with large corporations (again money involved). Odwalla is under Coca Cola. Kashi is under Kelloggs. Nature Valley is under General Mills.
The reason to eat organic is because of the toxins. We assume that pesticides are safe because the government allows them. 60 billion pounds of pesticides are used per year. There are no studies of chronic toxicity, only acute/short term and only on animals. Yet, there our youth are especially at risk when ingesting these toxins so early on and for their lifetime. Children think that food comes from trucks and the grocery store. There is a disconnect from farm to table. The rate of neurological disorders are on the rise and even President Obama told us that 41% of our population will at some point have cancer in their lifetime. When companies that sell these pesticides are turned down by the U.S., they go overseas to be used in their food or to feed their livestock. We trade with these overseas sites, so eventually they come back to us.
The Environment Working Group EWG.org made a list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen produce items. The items that contain the most amount of pesticides include:
• Bell Peppers
• Kale & Collard Greens
The items that contain the least amount of pesticides include:
• Sweet Corn
• Sweet Peas
• Sweet Potatoes
Pesticides are foreign to our bodies and are toxic to our internal functions. Eat organic when you can. Always be mindful of your choices. Take care of your BODY. It is a temple and you only get one. The more informed, the better YOU can be and that is why I write these Blogs 😊
“In Organic We Trust” (2011). R. Kiplin Pastor.
BLOG 155 DISFIGURED
What we see in the mirror can dictate our self-esteem, personality, motivation, and overall emotional well-being. Somehow what we might see isn’t different from what the world sees, but ultimately our eye’s opinion counts the most. For some, no matter the compliment, no matter the weight loss, no matter the surgery, the result of that reflection will never be enough. Being your own worst enemy is no way to live.
The human body comes in all shapes, sized and heights. In our world of social media what’s deemed as “normal” or “average” has been skewed. The following definition is lengthy but really hits the bull’s eye: “Body dysmorphic disorder, also known as dysmorphophobia, is a common affliction, affecting approximately 1.7% to 2.4% of the population, with roughly equal distribution among men and women. The disorder usually first surfaces in adolescence and is characterized not only by obsessive thinking about a flaw that is usually imagined or if present, hardly noticeable to the general population, but also characterized by compulsive checking of the perceived flaw (for example, spending lots of time in front of the mirror), engaging in behaviors to minimize the appearance of the perceived flaw (i.e., covering it up with makeup or an article of clothing), and hiding the disorder from others due to fear of social stigma” (https://www.psycom.net/eating-disorders/body-dysmorphic-disorder).
It’s interesting at the studio. Some people won’t’ work out in front of the mirrors. Some people won’t stop looking at themselves in the mirror. The trainer and wellness coach reads into this as part of their fitness journey and self-assessment. As the layers come off and the time spent in front of the mirror or group increases, I know positive vibes are starting to take place. I recently watched a movie called, “Disfigured”, and there were two take-aways from it for me. An anorexic woman tried to join a Fat Acceptance Support Group. Why?? She viewed herself as fat. The group rejected her. The second was that the leader of the Fat Acceptance group was infuriated by a member who wanted to start a walking group for everyone. The leader said that this went against everything the group stood for. Fat acceptance isn’t about trying to conform, loose weight, or getting healthy together. No, the group is about making society accept them for who they are. The “No Body Shame”campaign, which is about the acceptance of obesity and bodies of all types, sends a mixed message. Obesity isn’t healthy, bottom line. Society does still ridicule and have preconceived stereotypes towards larger people, but that shouldn’t come at a cost of being healthy.
We are our own worst critics. Part of the reason I post client’s progress online is so that they feel the love and praise for their success. Not everyone gets that support from home, relationships, or else- where. I aim to create an encouraging environment, where yes, every BODY is fit. Learning to love yourself is part of the process on your fitness journey. For some, self-care has been neglected for so long. Being healthy isn’t selfish, rather it’s the best action you can take to help others even more. Inspire through your efforts, your positive choices, and your BEST YOU!!!!
“Disfigured” (2008), by Glenn Gers.
BLOG 154 COWSPIRACY
It’s baffling to think of how many people live on this Earth and how many resources each one of us uses per day. We are told to be mindful of our water use, to recycle, and to cut back on the energy sources. We are told these are the main culprits of environmental hazards, but there actually may be a large secret being kept from us…. what animal agriculture does to our planet. After watching the documentary on Netflix called, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”, I became aware of what our government doesn’t want us to know “environmentally” speaking.
I have never been an environmentalist, one who has “gone green”, and I’m a meat eater for sure. Red meat isn’t in my diet. But I’m not innocent to the concept of global warming. Climate change is very apparent. When Al Gore was Vice President, and his movie, “The Inconvenient Truth”, came out, environmentalists all over called upon society to do every little thing they can to help. We were told to take shorter showers, monitor sprinkler use, walk or ride our bikes for transportation, and of course to recycle.
But did you know that raising cattle produces more greenhouse gases than all planes, trains, and automobiles combined?? The cattle production line produces methane gas which is 86 times more destructive than the carbon released from vehicles. So why didn’t you know this??
More shockingly, 34 trillion gallons of water are used per year for livestock alone. Think of all the grains used to feed them. It takes 660 gallons to produce 1 hamburger, which is the equivalent of about 2 months of showering for a human. So why take shorter showers when it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef??
Agriculture for livestock is only increasing because our population is growing. In 1812 there were 1 billion people on Earth and now there are over 7 billion or more. If the average person eats 9 ounces of meat per day, how can we sustain this?? Some say change to a plant-based diet others say buy grass fed beef. When in reality it takes 8 months longer to raise a grass-fed cow than it does a normal cow, so that just means they use more resources.
Big businesses tell us it’s the oil and coal industry, paper use, soy and palm oil agriculture, and gases, that are the cause of our struggling environment. In the past, when people have spoken out against the cattle industry, even to major environmentalist agencies that protect that rain forest and Amazon, the consequences have been dire. A nun named, Sister Dorothy Story, was actually gunned down in Brazil for bringing light to the cattle topic. In fact, in Brazil over 1,100 activists have been killed. A former member of Greenpeace USA when interviewed says big industries refuse to admit it’s the cattle.
It takes 10 acres to raise 1 cow.
Cattle produce 130 times more waist than humans do.
After watching this documentary it was hard to believe no one talks about it. Even if we all ate a plant- based diet, wouldn’t we use more water and more land?? How can our planet sustain the growing population?? What can you and I do?? The problem won’t be solved today or tomorrow, or maybe during our time on Earth, but it’s obvious changes need to be made. The “Cowspiracy” sure does makes you reconsider that hamburger.
“Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”. (2017). Kip Anderson, Keegan Kuhn.
BLOG 153 COMMON INJURY AREAS
Our bodies are machines that are amazingly designed to be resilient and durable. However, certain parts seem to have expiration dates despite our life capacity. As a trainer, the 3 most common injuries I work with are knee, back, and shoulder. Most of you reading this can probably attest to one of these areas if not now, at some point, one or more have given you troubles. For most, the areas are chronic and we just have to keep pushing through on this journey despite them.
Knee injuries typically result from wear and tear, overuse, or from an actual injury. Repetitive movements can cause breakdown. Your knees are being used daily and practically all day, everyday despite sedentary increments. I have actually torn both my ACL and meniscus in college playing basketball. Did you know that the knee is the largest joint in the body?? Below are common acute and severe knee problems:
• Sprains, strains, or other injuries to the ligaments and tendons that connect and support the kneecap.
• A tear in the rubbery cushions of the knee joint (meniscus).
• Ligament tears, such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee.
• Breaks (fracture) of the kneecap, lower portion of the femur, or upper part of the tibia or fibula. Knee fractures are most commonly caused by abnormal force, such as a falling on the knee, a severe twisting motion, severe force that bends the knee, or when the knee forcefully hits an object.
• Kneecap dislocation
• Pieces of bone or tissue (loose bodies) from a fracture or dislocation that may get caught in the joint and interfere with movement.
Back problems are another common injury that most suffer from at one point or another in their life. Low back pain is very common. Back aches may be caused by sports, work environment, or just everyday tasks. Some injuries that may occur can involve discs, the spine (vertebrae), the tailbone (coccyx), and then the muscles that hold the spine together. This would involve the low back because the core is not strong. Little known fact that your core includes your back. Twisting, bending, lifting…. the back can take the blow when done wrong. Sitting and poor posture can accumulate to injury. (https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/back-problems-and-injuries-topic-overview#1)
Then there are the shoulders. Realistically, every time you move your arm, you move your shoulder. Common injuries would include sprains (injury to the ligaments), strains (pulled muscle), nerve damage, separation from the collarbone, torn rotator cuff, fractures to the bones, frozen shoulder, overuse, and inflammation. My shoulders seem to get fatigued so fast during exercise. Sometimes I can feel the over use from years of shooting basketballs. (https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/shoulder-problems-and-injuries-topic-overview#2)
At Every BODY’s Fit, the show must go on!!!! There is a modification and accommodation for each exercise. The Fitness Journey doesn’t stop. Believe you can still do it, and you CAN.
BLOG 152 HORMONES
Our bodies are fascinating functioning entities that are designed to endure and last. Machines don’t always function properly and fine tuning may be needed. If our heart is acting strange, we see a cardiologist. If we are having issues with our feet, we go see a podiatrist. But sometimes the answers aren’t so obvious when we know something just isn’t right. Endocrinology, the study of hormones is only 100 years old so it’s in its state of infancy. Hence, why there isn’t always a direct response from a doctor when it comes to a woman’s inquiry about her sudden weight gain or lack of energy, or a male feeling depressed or sluggish.
Hormones can rule our lives. They turn children into adults, affect or appetites, and affect our passions. We may not think of them in our daily thoughts, but they are part of our daily lives for sure. The earliest example of hormone study was with the famous opera singer of the 1700s named, Ferinelli. He was castrated to keep his opera voice high. As a result, he had many female features. Later, cattle and roosters were the lab rats to be tested on.
In the 1800s, when women were having issues the answer was to remove their ovaries. 150,000 women in Europe were treated this way to address their unsolved womanly ailments. Yet, that just caused early menopause.
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate much differently than our nervous system. The word “hormone” came from the ever-famous Greek poet, Homer. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Adrenaline is the flight or fight hormone and there are many more. The pituitary gland is the major house of these hormonal operations. It regulates our levels like a thermostat.
Studies of obesity led to the discovery of insulin and leptin. Without insulin, one will develop diabetes and long ago diabetes was a death sentence. Hence, the name “Die” abetes. Sugar passes straight to urine when insulin is not properly functioning. Leptin is the fat hormone and provides feedback to brain about our appetite. More fat leads to more leptin and studies show this is caused by genetics in addition to self-control.
The movie, “The Fantastical World of Hormones”, by Andrew Smith, was very helpful in my research. This is just a synopsis because we know that hormones are not a straightforward answer. On our fitness journeys there may be speed bumps, but the road to your goals will lead you to better health and a better YOU!!!!
BLOG 151 POLY-CYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
Women and hormones…. the subject matter goes hand in hand. Our health is a culmination of bodily operations functioning effectively, but there are an array of medical conditions that can impact our fitness journeys. Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome, better known as PCOS, is a hormonal imbalance which can lead to many problems for females. I was actually inspired to write this Blog because my best friend has this and the star of a reality T.V. show I watch called, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, has it too. So let’s take a closer look.
PCOS has to do with cysts growing in the ovaries, and “poly” means many small cysts. On their own, these cysts are not dangerous, but they can cause havoc in other ways. Hormones are communicators in our bodies. They send signals and messages for functions to occur. But when there is a hormone imbalance, the following can result: “One hormone change triggers another, which changes another. For example:
• The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
• The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.
There has not been a direct cause of PCOS, but it seems to be genetic. Hormones really don’t make sense, much like behavior during puberty doesn’t either. There are associated symptoms which include:
• Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
• Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
• Thinning hair on the scalp.
• Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
• Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
The star of the show I watch, Whitney, from “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, blames her weight gain on PCOS. But the controversy arises in that it wasn’t PCOS that put the weight on, rather it is difficult to take the weight off because of it. It’s a culmination of these symptoms that impact the psyche which impacts one’s fitness journey. It is said that 8-20% of women suffer from this condition (nichd.nih.gov), and are diagnosed in their twenties and thirties. Treatment is hormone based and might include birth control to regulate periods, diabetes medication, hormones for fertility and then any hair removal procedures. Thus, this can be a frustrating experience for those on their fitness journeys having a hard time losing weight. I know some of my clients have found comfort in having a diagnosis when they feel like they are eating well and exercising very well, but don’t see the results they want.
Good old lady hormones, and men don’t like them either. They are only a speed bump on the road to health, but like we know, this is a journey not a sprint. Results will come and the scale isn’t the only measurable indication of success. You are so much more than that number!!!!
BLOG 150 THE REALITIES OF OBESITY
I’m a sucker for a good health and fitness reality documentary, as I’m sure you are well aware of reading my blogs. In my years of this industry, shows like, “My 600 Pound Life” and “The Biggest Loser” are rather depressing and surprisingly hard to view for me. But I’m intrigued by the emotional struggles and mental capacity of those who go on national television in their most vulnerable state. So I watched another. This time is was called, “Fat”. I guess the only difference with a movie vs a reality TV show was that the lead character was his total true self, cussing and behaving as he normally would.
Sean was obese. He was well aware he needed change, but the motivation to take action was more than lacking. Finally, he took a trip to the doctor just to see what could be done, of course with the mindset that there’s a quick, easy fix for all this. Sean didn’t get the answer he was looking for, rather the doctor prescribed him medication for high blood pressure. Sean inquired about weight loss surgery, but instead the doctor recommended seeing a nutritionist. Sean continued to feel defeated when he left.
His best friend was on his team, trying to be an advocate for his change. He even set him up with a lady friend. However, when initially shown a picture of the gal, he said, “What the hell, she’s fat” and “fat people aren’t into other fat people”. So what did he do?? He called up his ex who he had been really stuck on. She, however, upon meeting him said that he had let himself go, and why was he asking for closure when it was such an insignificant relationship. Crushed, he met up with best friend at their regular bar. On a bet, he asked out the bartender. They go out, he tells her that he slept with a homeless person once before. Ruined that. When he finally did go out with the original woman his best buddy set him up with, he actually liked her. She revealed she was getting the lap-band and later on in an argument he said to her, “Ohh that’s right take the easy way out like your surgery”. That ended the relationship.
He got a trainer who he ended up standing up. He attended O.A. (Overeaters Anonymous). He blew up at the man running the meeting. Sean was diagnosed with diabetes. His best friend admitted to him that he smelled bad. His nutritionist fired him.
The point of my Blog is to tell your how poorly we have represented obese people to be in the media and on T.V. We watch as they are degraded and made out to be lazy and weak. What about discussing the causes, the psychology of their current state, and what can be done for them for long term results?? No, obesity is a money- making industry from the diseases it causes, the billions of dollars spent on diets and surgeries, and the insane amount of money spent on food. Someday I will write a book that discusses this. For now, don’t judge obese people by their cover.
Mark Phinney. (2015). “Fat”.