Is Obesity a dirty word and how can you prevent the accumulation of body fat?

The word obesity makes people uncomfortable. When we have conversations about obesity, the way we frame the conversation has a huge impact on the effect that it has on others.

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Even though obesity is an important concern for modern humans, I don’t believe that it is proper to label an individual as, “obese.”

I can’t imagine myself — where I am today — ever telling a person, “you are obese.” That seems so rude and insensitive. The word obesity carries a significant stigma because medical researchers have produced alarming studies that suggest there are many dangers of carrying excessive adipose tissue. If you take an objective look at the research, it is undeniable that there are real risks associated with existing in a much larger body for a long period of time.

Nobody wants to be objectified.

This is why I understand the powerful emotional response of people who have been told by doctors or other professionals that they are obese. It’s hurtful and de-humanizing to be judged for your body alone and this can be true in many contexts including romantic and professional.

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Many people who have struggled with weight issues feel that they are being unfairly attacked in all areas of society simply for existing. For anybody who has ever struggled with weight, we know that it’s not so simple as just waking up tomorrow and eating better. There are very powerful beliefs that we carry with us that either help us move forward, help us maintain, or cause us to regress. We need motivation, inspiration, and support.

It’s your beliefs and values that help you achieve the body that you have today.

Even though we are inseparable from the messages that society sends us, I know that the most successful people in life are those who take responsibility for their own beliefs without blaming others for their failures. I look at my personal failures and I own them. It doesn’t feel good to think about my mistakes, but it feels good when I stop making the same mistakes that have held me back in the past.

Fat shaming is highly inappropriate and rightfully offensive. However, only you can choose to take responsibility for your own choices. Attempting to change other people will only frustrate you and cause you to lose focus on what really matters. Think about changing the ways that you let other people affect you and perhaps you will become empowered. Nobody can affect you unless you let them.

Life is about balance — but some of us are already way too far out of balance.

It’s a fair analogy to say that being overweight is like being in debt. Carrying excess adipose tissue is literally a metabolic debt and the worst part about being in debt is having to pay interest on your debt.

People don’t realize that body fat is metabolically active and quite dangerous in the long term. Excess body fat releases inflammatory compounds which stimulate the immune system, cause stress on the body, and make it even harder to lose weight. Just like accumulating interest on a credit card balance, the longer you carry excess body fat, the more challenging it will be to pay off the metabolic debt. That’s why it will, “cost more,” metabolically speaking for an overweight person to consume high sugar because it adds to the debt, which adds to the accumulating interest payments which comes in the form of high inflammatory compounds.

People who’ve existed in larger bodies for a longer period of time may benefit from looking at the situation just like a person who has been in financial debt for a long period of time.

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How to get out of debt?

Stop spending on things you don’t need: sugars, high saturated fats, alcohol etc.

Start increasing your wealth/income: consume the most nutrient dense foods like green vegetables and probiotic foods.

Focus on yourself: people who are broke are often that way because of their beliefs about money/spending. People who are overweight are often that way because of their beliefs about activity/eating. It won’t get better unless you get better.

The term obesity is meant to be used in the context of the population, not so much as an application for the individual.

Obesity is “diagnosed” using the body mass index, which I am not a big fan of. Body mass index is simply an index of height and weight, leaving no other data to give us indication about the health of an individual.

 

Because we come in all different shapes and sizes, a person who is “obese,” on the body mass index could be very much a healthy person. That’s why obesity should be spoken of in the context of population-scale issues instead of applying the term to an individual. I personally don’t like labels in many capacities because I find labels to be self-limiting.

How we talk about our bodies and the bodies of others is definitely an area of opportunity for most people, especially parents. Self talk is always an opportunity for all of us.

There is no ideal body, only your ideal body.

I think your ideal body is one which helps you feel empowered, confident, capable and allows you to do whatever you want to do in life. Much of your ideal body has to do with your beliefs about your body and your beliefs about food.

You know you have achieved your ideal body when people’s comments no longer affect you. You know you’ve reached your ideal body when you feel that your existence is a blessing to others and this may even have nothing to do with your physical shape and everything to do with the love that you have for yourself and the love that you share for other people.

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3 Honest Examples of What I Eat

I’ve been asked lately about what I’ve been eating so here is a quick post to share with you today. You can see that even though I aim for nutrient dense foods, I also intake some inflammatory foods which I think is inevitable in real life.

Monday:

4AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha powder (of green tea leaves). Feeling: Energized.

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Matcha (bright green, powerful energizing, brain boosting, antioxidant rich substance). Chlorella (dark green, extremely high chlorophyll making it a potent cellular rejuvinater and energizer).

5:00AM-7:45AM (coaching)

8:00AM – 8:20AM: abbreviated workout (20 mins of sleds)

 9:00AM Scrambled pastured eggs cooked w/ coconut oil. Black beans, a small avocado, some pepperjack cheese, a few bites of raw saurkraut (PROBIOTIC), and boiled chard.
12:30 PM Another round of chlorella/matcha because I was going back to coach.
1:15 PM: Meeting at the studio, food provided by management. Berries, then some of those deli wraps which did have flour, processed meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
3:00PM-6:30 PM (coaching)
6:45 PM amazing chamomile tea from Roy Street coffee
7:30 PM Organic grass fed raw home-made Kefir (PROBIOTIC)

Tuesday:

3:50 AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha.

4:45AM – 7:30AM (coaching)

7:35 AM: Lots of blueberries as a gift from VIP member Deniz at LQA. Also a small peanut butter ball / protein snack that I had on the go walking from one training location to the next.

Blueberries are for antioxidant winners!

8:00AM – 9AM (coaching)
9:45 AM: Wild Alaskan King Salmon 8oz w/ raw saurkraut. (I wanted to have more veggies, but didn’t want to feel rushed during my short break so I just made it easy on myself and had the kraut).
11:00 AM: Americano from Analog Coffee. (nothing added)
12:20 PM: Small coconut nut butter protein ball (another little gift given to me from earlier) as a pre-workout energy source.
12:45 PM: Workout
1:45 PM: 16oz of coconut water (I just love a cold coconut water after the workout, not that I scientifically think it’s the best post-workout. It just makes me feel better than any of the hundred other post-workout drinks I’ve tried)
2:00 PM: Brew DR. Kombucha, “Spiced Apple,” flavor while chillin’ at Cal Anderson Park.
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Picture at Cal Anderson park yesterday for my Instagram followers and blog readers.

3:00 PM: 24oz of Wild Alaskan King Salmon. Took 20oz of fresh spinach and steamed it/ate it. Also 2 bundles of chard which I boiled and ate that. Only had half an avocado because I was getting so full from the veggies.
5:30 PM – 9PM (coaching)
9:45 PM: Organic grass fed raw home-made Kefir (PROBIOTIC)

Wednesday:

5:40 AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha

6:15 AM: Workout

7:20 AM: Post-workout, I had the Boar’s Head, “Rainier,” sandwhich from the QFC deli in Broadway Market w/ a coconut water of course. Another Brew Dr. Kombucha, this time “Clear Mind” flavor.
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM (coaching)
10:20 AM: During a quick break between coaching HIIT classes, I drank part of store bought Kefir called “Grace Harbor Farms, Plain Kefir” from QFC. This particular brand IS real legitimate kefir, unlike many store brands.
11:40 AM: Drank the other half of the bottle of kefir (Sometimes I only get a few moments to consume anything so I try to make it count, or otherwise I go too many hours without eating probably).
1:45 PM: Pho Than Brothers Pho #1 Large with extra broccoli.
2:30 PM – 4PM (coaching)
5:00 PM: One Chipotle Burrito Bowl with white rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, chicken, pico, salsa verde, corn, 1/2 serving sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce.
7:30PM: Goat Milk Kefir and start preparing for my day tomorrow.
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Kefir, a fermented milk beverage with promising health benefits.

Planning ahead for tomorrow

 Tomorrow I’ve planned that I will have more salmon/greens because today wasn’t my best eating day. I’ve taken on more work and helped other trainers at OTF so I notice that when my schedule becomes more demanding, I find it more challenging to consume the top foods. I’m sure you can relate.
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I can’t wait to get salmon back in my body.

I already know that I’m going to have my matcha/chlorella around 4:00AM tomorrow. By 9AM, I’ll have some pastured eggs meal similar to that I had on Monday. Then when 3-4PM rolls around, I’ll be preparing my meal of fresh salmon / greens that I’ll have just picked up from the store. I try to go to bed around 8PM because if I get less than 6 hours of sleep, I already know it’s going to be a STRUGGLE to choose healthy foods. Sleep is so crucial for making the right choices.

Tomorrow will be a new day though, with more opportunities for nutrient dense food. It’s not glamorous that I have to wash a bunch of pots and pans to keep up with my cooking, but you just gotta do what you gotta do. I sometimes remind myself what a blessing it is to have access to some of the best nutrition in the world here in my city of Seattle. Why let the opportunity slip by?

Fat is Not the Enemy

More and more people are living in bigger bodies due to environment and lifestyle.

Some authors argue that in the eyes of the society, there is a new class of, “bio-citizen,” which are the fit, healthy, and in elite shape. They argue that being overweight carries with it a huge stigma, causing larger people to feel that they are second class citizens.

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The problem with Fat Shaming.

You know the problem about fat shaming is that is says more about you than it does the other person. Seeing a person who is significantly bigger can arouse feelings of insecurity in others as they attempt to feel superior to somebody else.

Size is not the issue.

Our government’s concern with overweight and obesity BMI data brings this hugely simplistic message of the importance of calories in versus calories out for weight loss. Yes, this is true, but from a pure size perspective is an absolute failure to the nutritional needs of our fellow human. We need to focus on nutrients, not deficits.

By focusing so intently on big vs small, fat vs skinny, we are missing out on the foundation of nutrition: it must provide nutrients!

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Never apply BMI data to yourself as an individual because you are more than just a number that has been indexed by your height and weight.

When people who are overweight become obsessive about calories in vs calories out, they may fail miserably. The reason is that people who carry a lot of fat on their bodies are most likely nutrient deficient in some ways. If they start restricting calories significantly, they will get even LESS nutrients and it will exacerbate the deficiency.

Focus on nutrient density, empathy, and understanding.

Clearly, education is key when it comes to learning about nutrients. You need to arm yourself with information about the benefits of fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, phyto-nutrients, micro-nutrients, trace minerals, magnesium, probiotics, enzymes, macro-nutrients, and other health topics.

We need to empathize with others. Let me tell you, if you have always been a smaller sized person, you have no idea what the struggle is like for a person who has been of larger weight ever since their first memories.

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Understand that the complexities of weight loss and the healthy body are embedded deep within our culture, our genes, and our environment. There is no one answer to everybody’s challenges. We are all going to fail at some point, you take what you learn and choose to empower yourself. What types of examples are you setting and are you capable of empathy?

If you are truly, honestly and sincerely eating from the top 50 most nutrient dense foods available from your grocery store, then obesity is damn near impossible.

Let’s face reality. Most people know some reasons why they are the size that they are. People who have been bigger their entire lives know that losing weight truly is harder for them than it is for people who were smaller for most of their lives.

Bigness begins from a potential genetic predisposition to the accumulation of fat, and then the process continues as the parents serve high calories in excessive portions, quantities, and frequencies. If there is little physical activity during youth, weight gain can come on rapidly and being bigger becomes the new normal for this person. Hopefully, you can understand the significant challenges of a person who has been bigger their entire lives and empathize that we all have different challenges in life.

Imagine for 18+ years of your life, you were supplied with certain types of processed foods, fast and easily prepared foods, and plenty of soda, candy, and ice cream.

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Not this

I’m going to be honest, change won’t come easily but you already know that. It is always possible as long as you can find your reason. Do it for self-love, not for self-hate.

The key is to avoid, “dieting” and to avoid, “restriction.”

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This!

Abundance is what you want.

An abundance of nutrients that come from eating real, minimally processed, fresh foods. Frozen berries and vegetables are totally acceptable and very beneficial too. Lean proteins, healthy fatty acids, high fiber foods. If you truly consume an abundance of health promoting foods which are also enzyme rich, you will be privileged enough to experience the wide systemic benefits of nutritional healing in humans.

 

The most Powerful Gift is the Gift of Nutritional Healing.

How can I impact you significantly enough to help you experience nutritional healing? Let me tell you, there is always an answer if you’re willing to look hard enough and execute your plan. Foods and herbs heal you from the inside out. When your fat cells shrink and your lean muscle strengthens, that will merely be a side effect of nutritional healing and the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

Make this an All-Out War against Chronic Inflammation and the diseases that comprise metabolic syndrome.

Chronic inflammation occurs as a result of the standard American diet. On one hand, we have the idea of personal responsibility in what we put in our mouths. On the other side, literally billions of dollars have been spent to trick consumers into buying their processed “food” items.

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This is not an easy battle because only you know what it is like to experience living in your body and hopefully you practice self love so that your experience is one of overcoming.

Let me put it this way: Fat Cells tend to grow or increase in size under periods of inflammation. Sugar tends to increase inflammatory processes and that results in the inflammation causing stress to the immune system. A diet high in processed sugars will weaken the immune system’s ability to handle inflammation properly (manifesting with symptoms of all types, basically whatever you may be susceptible to specifically).

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When you eat a diet high in sugar, the inflammation allows harmful bacteria to flourish. When bacteria gets out of balance, the symptoms could be a poor mood, skin rashes, reddened skin, yeast infections, prone to colds/flu, etc.

We need *some* of this “bad” bacteria, but not when it becomes opportunistic as a results of eating an unhealthy diet. Try to eat foods that help you balance the healthy bacteria in your gut and other important places. You will feel stronger inside and have satisfying bowel movements every day.

Beware of Metabolic Syndrome!

Metabolic Syndrome is something you should know about. And you should know that diet and lifestyle is the answer.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

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You have to eat real food in order to prevent disease down the line. You will significantly increase the healthy years of your life by eating nutrient dense real food. It will give you power from the inside out.

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods and herbs may be the solution to every ailment, disease, or condition that a person can have.

Even if nutritional healing can’t cure you 100%, any person who is struggling will be able to experience some improvement in quality of life through foods that promote a healthy inflammatory response.

Here’s the short list: (I’ll have to make a broader and more in depth post soon)

  • Foods that are high in Omega-3’s and low in Omega-6’s (look for foods with a high Omega-3::Omega-6 ratio)
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  • Greens/Leaves of a variety of colors. If you’ve never prepared Red Chard in your life, then you better go give it a shot because it’s da bomb! Red Chard is a power food, it will make athletes stronger and faster, it will allow better sexual function, and you may experience nutritional healing. Tip: Boil the chard to get the bitterness out and discard the water.
  • Herbs: turmeric, ginger, garlic, green tea, holy basil, matcha, cayenne, cinnamon, etc. Great for anti-inflammatory, stress and blood sugar / insulin related processes.
  • Raw foods with powerful enzymes. You definitely want some raw food in your life because the enzymes are so heat sensitive that cooking kills enzymes. Raw Pineapple has some of THE BEST enzymes called Bromelain. This enzyme will break down excess proteins and increase the efficiency of your anti-inflammatory processes.
  • Water
  • Magnesium: crucial for healthy functioning of the central nervous system and the body’s recovery/metabolic systems because magnesium is needed for healthy hormone balance.

The struggle is real.

We all struggle at times and I truly believe this. It is a good thing for our human development. Surround yourself by positive influences because trust me if somebody near and dear to you won’t eat healthily, then it will be very difficult for you to do so. When I was in my last year in high school, I asked my dad to stop buying ice cream and he helped me succeed in my weight loss by skipping on the dessert.

I can honestly count the number of times that I eat ice cream in a year on my two hands. I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I know that ice cream harms my body and my immune system. I’d rather have a bunch of natural sugar from something like fresh fruit that also hydrates and nourishes my body.

I know a lot of people do eat ice cream regularly because that’s the only reason the grocery store would dedicate entire aisles to it. When I see less ice cream in the stores, then I know America has made progress because individuals have taken the opportunity to consume something else instead.

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Bad macronutrient ratio

I hope you found something useful in this post that broadened your nutritional understanding. Before I was a fitness trainer in Seattle, I worked with many sick people and also many people who have experienced nutritional healing. Disease prevention is a personal goal and it should not the business of the others to say that you’re fat and that it’s a drain on society — no, that’s not the right approach.

We are more the same, than we are different.

And that’s the key point. There are many shapes and sizes of human. We should attempt to understand the experience of others and I challenge us all to not make judgement. The next time you feel shame or the desire to shame, ask yourself for forgiveness and have some vegetables… you’ll feel amazing! Promise!