Fat is Not the Enemy

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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!

 

Why you Shouldn’t Use the Leg Press 45 degree weight-loaded Sled machine at the gym

Squats vs Leg Press

Even though the leg press machine can be used with good effect, some people just take it too far.

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This is the most hated guy in the gym right now. Of course we aren’t going to take the time to body shame him because that’s not nice even though we do notice that it wouldn’t be impossible for him to take in many simple carbs and alcohol.

It happened at my gym.

I rolled in around 8AM to the local squat rack, ya see. First, I hit the cables for a little bit to get the joints and movements warmed up and I noticed that the usually strong squatters are not squatting much weight at all today. Some of them definitely squat more than I do.

I was working upper body anyway that day.

So I went to one of the open racks and began some warm up sets for the barbell press. My goal was to hit some rounds with the 135lbs so I needed two 45s. I only had one available. Then, I looked at the other guys trying to squat near me and said something to which we all agreed was unfortunate that one guy had stolen all of the 45 pound plates nearby for his Leg Press machine partial range of motion circuit training.

To make it worse, he was circuit training on other machines for the upper body and also using more 45 lb plates. Next time I see something like that, I’m going to engage that person because I am seriously curious as to what the mindset or thought process was.

Here is your answer: Squats are far more efficient for the amount of weight used.

Let’s put it this way: 45 lb plates are a limited resource in this busy city neighborhood gym. One guy took almost all of the plates in the weightlifting area for his 45 degree sled.

Think back to junior high for a second and realize that the math is simple. You need far less force to move an object on a machine fixed path forward and upward compared to the stability demands of a loaded barbell completely on top of you.

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Reason why Leg Press is inefficient for the amount of weight used

The squat utilizes those 45 plates more economically for the lifters that less 45 plates actually need to be used. This means more 45 plates will be available for everybody else.

If you can’t squat, Learn to Squat.

It’s that simple. Yes, squatting is completely necessary. Even if you have bad knees, you should practice some healthy range of motion in pretty much any squat variation of your choosing. Of course barbell squats are more advanced, so starting with a dumbbell in the goblet position as a novice lifter could help you get mad gains.

Motivation Monday: 4 Main Reasons that Inspire your Fitness Lifestyle

What is it that inspires people to get off their butts?

There are a lot of ideas that float through my mind on a daily basis. I’m always thinking about how to promote good postural alignment through exercise, I’m always thinking about expanding my knowledge of nutrition to educate others, and I’m ALWAYS thinking about glute activation (those who take my classes know the importance!).

Ultimately though, I’m in the business of motivation which is definitely a renewable resource even though at times it can feel scarce and elusive. But if it was easy, then it wouldn’t be worth fighting for.

Here are 4 big motivators for people in fitness.

We’ll start with the first fitness motivation…

1. That feeling

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For any avid exerciser, nothing beats that feeling.

It’s that feeling of being sweaty, wet, drenched, soaked, and accomplished.

It’s that feeling of knowing that today you did something good for yourself.

It’s that feeling that helped you kick your addictions or at the very least replace a harmful addiction with a helpful addiction.

It’s that feeling of recovery knowing that you used your body for what it was made for — which is to move.

It’s that post-workout feeling that changed your mindset, attitude, and affected you in a deeper place.

2. Sex appeal / Confidence

Even if you rid the world of all social media, magazines, movies, and television, you’d still know an attractive person when you see them (in action).

Fitness provides a certain aesthetic beyond toned abs and arms. I argue that beauty is more often displayed in motion than under any static circumstances. That’s why everybody can be beautiful if they choose to be.

It is my understanding that women can appreciate the bodies of other women and also that even straight men appreciate an athletic male body as a matter of inspiration and perhaps for no other reason than it looks good and serves a functional purpose.

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Confident guy

Ultimately, confidence tends to be more alluring than any body part and what you really need is to be in a mindset of self-appreciation when it comes to your own body. I guarantee it is more productive to change the way you feel about yourself than changing the way your body looks. What’s interesting is that when you feel that you actually care about yourself, you’ll tend to eat healthier foods and your body transforms into a vessel of health and love in a matter of weeks, months, years.

3. Health / Longevity

I used to think that anti-aging was nothing more than a marketing term and it took me years to get beyond that. Now I realize that some people really do age slower when they take care. On one hand, you have genetics, and on the other hand you’ve got the lifestyle choices and environmental conditions that literally slow the aging of your human cells.

Unfortunately, a lot of people really do need to hit a very low part in their lives to make them realize that they NEED fitness. Often, a person will be diagnosed with a serious disease that perhaps cannot be cured, but may be managed through lifestyle intervention. Exercise, fitness, and nutrition truly is the holy grail for living a long, healthy, and worthwhile existence.

Here’s the short list of how fitness and nutrition can benefit a person:

  • Manage acute and chronic diseases
  • Prevent and cure many types of ailments
  • Maintain healthy mood and ward off negative mindsets
  • Promote positive community through fitness groups
  • Improve quality of life due to mobility, posture, strengthening of the bones, brains, tendons, joints, and ligaments
  • Reproductive health and fertility

If you take a diabetic person and have them train with me for six weeks, I guarantee their next lab tests will likely impress the doctor. I can change your life. Fitness can change your life.

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4. Other people

Let’s face it, sometimes we need other people. I’ve realized there are many positive things/activities for me that I just don’t have the motivation to do alone. But, together we are stronger.

When I got into personal training, I studied the industry and realized that it is a growing industry and that I could make a life out of doing that which I am most passionate about. People benefit from coaching and I have no doubt about that.

Some lucky people have friends who are willing to take them to the gym with them and give them help, encouragement, and perhaps even expertise. I tell ya, if you have somebody like that in your life, treat them like gold and take them up on that offer. Most people would kill for that.

Personal training sessions can run between $60-$120 easy in any major city. Workout classes tend to run between $10-$40 so those can provide a great value when the intensity and attention is appropriate.

Meanwhile, as many coaches mention, don’t compare yourself to others. I have a friend who in my mind has become very successful in business and I remember one evening I was feeling down on myself and beating myself up for not having made the proper investments and put the work in. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I re-framed my thoughts and said to myself, “You know what, I’m fortunate to have successful people in my life who can inspire me and to have a network of successful people, because it is way better than any alternative!”

Believe in the process and put in work: Be consistent.

So here I am, writing this blog putting in the work on a Sunday night to inspire people for the week. Maybe I’ll never have the business acumen that others seem to have naturally, but none of that matters because as long as I put in the work, show up every day, and be intentional in my life, there’s nowhere to go but up. Give me the challenges, I dare you, and watch me overcome barriers left and right. So I can keep inspiring others!

Thanks for reading.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today.

And remember that you can support DreFitness.com by clicking this Amazon link before making a purchase at no extra cost to you. All revenue generated from being an Amazon.com affiliate will be re-invested into DreFitness.com.

Why your sorry-a** posture needs thoracic spine/upper back extension today: one simple stretch to help you out

People say they just love me because I am so positive.

I can still write headlines that aren’t so fuzzy and friendly though! See above. Bahah!

Do you suffer from poor posture, pain in your spine, pain in your upper back, pain in your shoulders?

I’m only writing this because I care. Most of your friends and family won’t tell you that your posture sucks. Okay, maybe your mom will tell you to sit up straight, but most people believe that posture is your own responsibility.

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Upper back/Thoracic spine extension and stretching at home on a foam roller

I’m here to help.

Be aware of the stability-mobility continuum.

In general, the neck should be stable, the upper back should be mobile, the lower back should be stable, the hips should be mobile, the knees should be stable, and the ankles should be mobile.

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Mobility/Stability continuum

The above statement is definitely a generality, but it applies to most people in the general population so it does have use.

By following these basic principles, a fitness professional can prescribe targeted exercises and stretches for an individual in need of optimal function.

Some people need to cure their bad posture, others are already wrecking their joints by exercising with poor form.

Here’s an example. If you are constantly performing back exercises with shrugged shoulders, over time it will probably end up stressing your joints. You need to be able to control the scapula by retracting and depressing the shoulder blade when appropriate.

Exercising with poor posture is like driving a car with axles and wheels out of alignment: it’s only going to work for so long until it breaks down.

Aside from the fact that good posture promotes a healthy self esteem and people respond better to you when you exhibit good posture, you also need to perform your exercises with good posture otherwise you’re not making the situation any better.

Our joints have a lifespan and you can increase the lifespan of your joints by exercising in good posture. Additionally, you can increase the lifespan of your joints by having training that promotes muscular balance and offers enough time for recovery.

(Related: Subscribe to my YouTube)

The healthy spine solution:

It CAN be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s the general idea to support a healthy spine…

  1. Train your glutes hard (glute bridge, weighted barbell hip bridge, single leg glute bridge, rear foot elevated split squat aka bench static lunge aka bulgarian split squat, single leg deadlift, barbell deadlifts, dumbbell deadlifts, barbell squats, goblet squats, etc.)
  2. Train your abdominals hard (TRX Pike, TRX knee tuck, ab dolly knee tuck, ab wheel rollout, reverse crunches, turkish get up, etc)
  3. Mobility in the upper back (upper back extension on the foam roller, upper back stretches on your chair, upper back stretch on the stability ball, upper back bends in yoga, etc)

These three keys will do WONDERS for your body. Moreover, you can also go ahead and stretch your hip flexors and other tight areas that relate to the hip. On top of that, perform some ankle mobility drills and strengthen your tibialis anterior and posterior and then you’re good to go!

Say hello to good posture forever

EVERYBODY has seen an elderly person with a horrible kyphotic posture that just makes you wonder how that even happened. Well, the truth is that they probably never performed upper back exercises and upper back extensions. As a result, their backs became hunched, which can lead to damages down the chain.

Upper back rigidity can lead to lower back pain

Everything in the kinetic chain is linked. You really need to address your posture from a holistic standpoint. If you have chronic lower back pain, it’s quite possible that it is linked to tightness of the upper back. Obviously I can’t prescribe for you through this blog, but it is worth being aware of for when you visit with a healthcare provider or fitness professional.

Take care of your body so that you can life a long, healthy and high quality life.

I don’t think you get more than one life, so make it count. You’d be surprised what happens when you start taking care of yourself.

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If you’re convinced, then buy a foam roller on Amazon today.

 

Cue CrossFit Seattle: Grand Opening 2017 Pioneer Square Fat Loss Workout

Cue CrossFit opens new CrossFit location by Century Link field in Seattle.

If you live or work in Pioneer Square, near Sodo, or the International District in Seattle, you now have a new option for high intensity workouts. Cue CrossFit just opened and of course Dre Fitness had to be there since we just love events that are fitness related.

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Cue CrossFit Seattle Grand Opening which is by CenturyLink field.

You can meet a lot of good people and strengthen friendships with existing people.

I love going to fitness events because I get to hang out — doing healthy activities — with friends, professional contacts, and with people I’ve never met before.

Fitness is about community.

When it comes down to it, as long as the workout is high enough intensity and safe, it really doesn’t matter what style of workout it is. Ultimately, group fitness gyms like CrossFit, Orangetheory, or growing gyms like Accelerate Seattle are all about community. We workout together, sweat together, and through the process, we become stronger together.

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Cue CrossFit Seattle WOD with my friends Brandon H., Brandon S, Katie, and more. Goblet Kettlebell Squats.

You can come up with new exercises or new ways to program an exercise, but ultimately if you’re not squatting, you’re just not allotting your time well. All good fitness programs will prescribe squats for you. All good fitness programs will work your muscles with exercises that promote strength and muscular balance. All good fitness programs will be prescribed by legitimate, motivational coaches.

Building community in Seattle.

People often ask me if I will ever make the leap to be the owner of my own gym. While I respect those who take the risk to open their own gyms, at this point I am going for the blogger, vlogger, and influencer route. I realize that there is only one of me and that I can produce content that is useful to many people as long as I stay dedicated and authentic to myself and my followers.

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I teased Brandon S. during the video only because I have great respect for his work!

Fitness is about more than a brand name.

Even though competition can be ruthless in the fitness industry, it is still an industry that is highly rewarding. I have more and more friends who are passionate about fitness but are stuck in office jobs that they simply have no love for. For that reason, I feel blessed to be part of a fitness lifestyle in which I can fully support myself here in Seattle and Capitol Hill to be specific.

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Fitness is love, need I say more?

Train hard, and use nutrition to recover your body.

Regardless of the workout, it’s all about nutrition and sleep in order to promote recovery. Excuse my language, but any jackass can go and do a hard workout. However, the person who eats wild Alaskan salmon with kale and avocado will have FARRRR superior results than the person who goes and drinks their gains away with alcohol and Dick’s burgers. It’s been my experience that people who eat Dick’s end up smelling like Dick’s too.

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Darsenio can jump this high. Thanks to nutrition!

Antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, probiotics, and other nutrients are 100% crucial to all fitness, athletic, bodybuilding, and health related goals. If you care for yourself, eat your damn vegetables!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel, Follow the DreFitness.com Blog and stay tuned for more.

Thanks for reading. Even though we’re in the early process of launching our YouTube, I guarantee we will have growth. I have too much passion for the fitness and too many friends who are willing to help out that it will be impossible to fail. All we have to do is stay consistent and get the message out there.

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It’s all about who you know, anyway.

How can I give you value? Reach out to me for inquiries, comments, or suggestions. Once again, thank you so much for reading!