Presented without comment. These are some of the articles I’ve read this week which caught my attention.
Debbie Rosslan is a school physical education in Jefferson City, Missouri. She’s the perfect embodiment of the Body-for-Life philosophy. You see, it’s not just about how you can make yourself better. It’s about how you help others reach their potential.
She’s been using the Body-for-Life program for a few years now. Along the way, she realized that in order to keep building her own best body and life, she needed to grow. For her that growth came via Cross-fit. Cross-fit is a very intense and demanding workout system which integrates body weight movements, high intensity cardiovascular work, gymnastics, and strength training. Debbie enjoyed these workouts and quickly realized that they could have a positive impact on the kids in her physical education classes.
Putting her students through mini Cross-fit style workouts allowed Debbie to challenge them and teach them valuable lessons about pushing through adversity. Her passion and intensity carried over to the parents of these students. Soon she found herself running boot camp style workouts for these parents. She also started doing Body-for-Life orientation workshops to help people get started on a lifetime of fitness.
Her passion, desire and heart are clearly making an impact on students and their families. I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Debbie this past weekend in Dallas. She was in town working to obtain her Cross-fit Kids certification. Her intensity and enthusiasm are contagious.
In the best tradition of Body-for-Life, Debbie is living the life of a champion. She’s not only walking the walk, she is reaching out to help others along the way. She’s not willing to settle for average. She’s encouraging the people around her to be unwilling to settle either. She’s going to continue making a big difference in the lives of Jefferson City residents.
That’s the definition of a champion. It’s not about what you win, it’s about what you share with others.
If you’re in the Jefferson City area, check out one of Coach Roz’s boot camps. It may be just the thing to help you change your own body and life.
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. — Michael Pollan
These seven words sum up the basic concept behind "Food Rules". It's remarkably simple advice, and it's an approach that has been attracting the interest of the fitness community. This week is my first week on this project, so I'm still feeling my way a bit. Today I'm pondering a bit how to distill the three concepts that Pollan focuses on.
Eat food. Real food that can be quickly identified as such. No strange random processed lumps of chicken parts smushed together into a chicken flavored patty. No products containing Yellow #5 and requiring a major in chemistry to decipher the bag.
For trainers, this recommendation has turned into the general, "cut back on processed crap," suggestion. I take it one step further. In my case eat food means cutting out protein powders and meal replacement shakes. Now I'd taken to cutting back on commercial meal replacement shakes over the last 18 months. I discovered that they didn't let me feel full long enough. I burn through them pretty quick. I found that switching from shakes to whole foods resulted in eating more, yet still losing weight.
I happen to enjoy eating, so this was a nice deal.
Not too much. For many Americans this is a big deal. Between liquid calories and increasing portion sizes, the Center for Disease Control shows the average American diet increasing 200-300 calories a day. That rapidly adds up to extra pounds. When you consider that a single visit to McBurger chain for a deluxe burger, large fries, and large drink can add up to 1500 calories in a single sitting, there's a problem. So you need to learn how to rework portion size, and start working to watch how much food you consume.
Not too much is not an easy concept to figure out. It's taken me 5 years of eating using calorie counting, portion control, and spending way too much time playing with numbers to identify what "too much" is for me. Pollan emphasizes a simpler approach. Slow down with your eating, leave food on the plate, and walk away just a little bit hungry.
This is a different approach from scarfing down prepackaged and preportioned foods in 15 minutes or less.
Mostly plants. You can find an increasing number of trainers shifting to plant based eating. Fitness expert Craig Ballantyne has gone vegan. John Berardi's Precision Nutrition system has a whole section on going plant based. Heck, even the guys at local Austin Fire Department Engine 2 have gotten on the plant bandwagon!
Now you can go all plant based for your eats. That particular eating modality is what we call vegan eating. No animal product at all in your food. Pure vegans eliminate any product which comes from an animal source. So no meat, milk, or even honey.
Pollan isn't talking about that. He's discussing shifting away from an animal protein based diet to a plant based one. There's no elimination of animal protein, merely a reduction. For me personally, I started to shift to plant based after realizing a) I could cut back on animal protein sources and still build an impressive physique and b) the discovery that going plant based made a big impact on my food budget. I save about $50 a month by eating critter protein at one meal a day.
So there's the basics. I guess the big question is how did I get here from where I was? But I think that's a question for another day.