The image says it all. Think about it and then truly ask yourself if you are doing the work to get the results you want?
No Surgery, No Pills Necessary!
The one thing that most people don’t know is that even if you can’t see them, most people have a six-pack under that cover. The fat cells lay on top of your stomach muscles. That isn’t to say that, that fat layer doesn’t weaken you or your abdominals. But it means if you get that fat layer out of the way, everyone will be able to see your tight abs! Hmmm, so what is the super secret recipe for getting that fat free belly? Simple: first, cut down on fatty foods you consume, way down, and secondly, exercise to force your body to burn some of the that energy reserve you are carrying around. Funny how an energy reserve can become an energy drain! I guess to much of anything is bad. Notice in that last sentence I said “Simple”. That is because the solution is easy, it is the implementation that gives people the most trouble!
It starts with a thought, an image really, in your mind of what you want to accomplish. Visualizing is very important to helping you stay focused and committed, we humans tend to have short attention spans, visualizing helps. Of course you would not be reading this if you weren’t ready to commit, so let’s get started. While visualization will help you stay committed one thing helps more then all the others, having fun. No one likes a chore but everyone loves to have fun! So let’s have some fun!!
We are going to cut down our intake of fatty foods and increase our exercise. The type of exercise we engage in is very important. We can easily get on the treadmill or eliptical for hours on end and never loose that belly fat (or any other fat for that matter). The reason for that is those are cardio exercises and while they do burn calories, they are not great for building muscles. If you want to burn fat, you need to build muscles. The way our bodies work, muscles burn fat. Given this fact, the more muscles you work and build the more fat you will burn and the faster you will see results.
Back to having fun… Since it is important to build muscles it is important to find fun activities to accomplish that. Some exercises you will just have to learn to enjoy. Experience has taught me that learning to do an exercise correctly makes doing it more enjoyable and definitely more rewarding. Most of the time we dread exercise because we are not or don’t feel we are in good enough shape. Unfortunately that mindset will keep you from achieving your goals. To combat that, start out slowly and if possible with some professional assistance so you learn to proper technique for the various exercises you will need to do. You don’t need to hire a professional consultant there are plenty of resources on-line, including here on this blog.
Variety is the spice of life…and Life requires balance. As a Martial Artist balance has special meaning from both practical and philosophical perspectives. When we are striving to get into shape we also need balance, in our diet and in our activities. The Martial Arts provides a nice mixture of strength and cardio exercises but I always encourage my students to incorporate additional strength and cardio exercises outside of class. While many a Martial Artist gets obsessed with their training it is good to add other fun activities like swimming or racquetball. You will find that doing this keeps you more active, helps your body build different muscles and as a result burn more fat! Even before you begin to notice your weight loss and diminishing layers of fat, your body will be getting stronger and more agile. By the time you do notice the benefits of your work you will begin to find new motivation!
I want to stress again the two simple rules, improve your dietary intake and build muscles. That is it. I have know a lot of people who workout extensively yet never seem to reduce their weight or attain their goals. 90 percent of the time this is due to the simple fact that they do not understand those two rules. They feel simply increasing activity (treadmill, etc) will get the “in shape”, they don’t realize or don’t take it to the next step and work on building muscle which will burn the fat. Don’t make that mistake. It is difficult but like anything if you stick with it for long enough it will become a part of your life and easy to continue. Above all have fun (so you don’t get bored), take your time (it is a long race) and stay safe by doing things right (proper technique).
As you begin to cut down on the fats in your diet and exercise you should see some immediate results, these will slow or become less noticeable as you continue your training, don’t get discouraged. Our bodies heal from the inside, out and part of this process is repairing the damage done by an unhealthy lifestyle. Keep that in mind when you feel that you are not making any progress. Good Luck and please let us know how you are doing in the comments!
I’ll post some exercises that will help build muscle and burn that fat soon so stay tuned and read often.
I got this notice in a Barnes & Noble advertisement (along with links to anti-bullying books).
OK, I know as a Martial Arts instructor and Self-Defense advocate I should be totally on board with the new Politically Correct drive to stop bullying, but this just goes to far. I am very against this type of campaign. I have never been afraid of words, haven’t met one yet that could do me any real physical damage. Today our children are taught to treat words as dangerous tools, weapons capable of causing great personal injury (minus the bruising). Though in fairness I should note that the term bully is being used interchangeably with bullying and picking on.
We are officially living the in Bizarro word of Seinfeld, Up is officially down, hot is now cold, sticks and stones won’t hurt you, and Men are the new Women. Hmmm…. As a society we are failing our youth by …wimpifying them! Some prefer the Pu..ification term but this is a family blog so will stick to Wimpification. How far can we turn away from reality before we are forced to face that which we pretend can be solved with a slogan. What is the point of this new campaign against bullies? Bullies exist and will continue to exist forever…period. Maybe tomorrow they will just speak in a nicer tone. So what is the point?
Perhaps a better campaign would be ‘Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones and Names Will Never Hurt You‘. Some moron forgot the Never and no one called him or her on it. I know I am being harsh and probably ruffling a few feathers, to bad. What we should be teaching our children is threefold; believe in yourself, stand up for yourself, and; keep things in perspective. I know some are saying…Huh? Let me explain.
Believe in yourself – Have some confidence in yourself. You do this by knowing who you are. Unfortunately many kids are brought up in such a void of morals and beliefs that they are encouraged to discover who they are, like they are lost?! So what is a child to do who is given no direction or sense of self? That’s right, listen to their peers. If their peers tell them they are great, well then they must be. If their peers tell them they are a loser, well they must be. The PC (politically correct) crowd like the former but not the later situation. The problem is not everyone can be great. Perhaps it would be better to raise our children know who they are so that others will not have that much effect on them. (Notice I said ‘that much’ as I understand it is impossible to completely unaffected). But if the child (or adult) knows who they are and has a sense of their worth, they can knuckle down and get through this unpleasant chapter in their life (being bullied/picked on).
Stand up for yourself – But what if the person doesn’t back down?! Good question. We all win and lose some fights, the important thing is how we walk out of the room (chin up or head down). I can speak from personal experience here; at a certain point it is much better to stand up for yourself. I advocate defending yourself anytime someone touches you in a threatening way, no hesitations, you take control of the situation. I am not advocating fighting over an insult or comment, take the source and ignore it. That leads us to the final point…
Keep things in perspective – I always ask my students this question “do you value this persons opinion?” they invariably say No! If you react to words then you must really value the opinion of the Bully’s opinion. Though if you do not believe in yourself (see the first point) you might just hold anything anyone says about you as a possible truth. But if you stand up for yourself by not being affected by mean spirited words you can walk out with your head held high, chin up. There are to many techniques to cover now on deflecting insults and such.
Bullying and ‘Picking-on’ each other is a normal part of growing up. It is the ugly truth. Should we step in and engage kids when we can, yes but not at the risk of making them a bunch of wimps. There is an old movie, The Bells of St. Mary’s, that shows the differences of how things have changed. In the movie Father O’Malley and Sister Benedict differ on how to handle the school wimp and the school bully. The Sister adopts Father O’Malley’s approach, she helps the wimp stand up for himself. If we simply correct the Bully, the wimp is still just a wimp without a bully.
Perhaps that is something you will think about when (if) you listen to what your children are being taught the school of political correctness.
And let’s not forget to place the blame where it really belongs for raising abusive bully’s…their parents…bully’s don’t just happen, they are raised. Regardless we have to learn to deal with Bully’s…
This is going to be a new series to stimulate some discussion and get different perspectives.
Where should you look when facing an opponent?
This is an important question that most students don’t seem to get right away. Many instructors I have worked with also don’t seem to have ever learned this, I believe mostly from a lack of experience.
SO what is your answer? I’ll follow up in the comments with my 2 cents once the discussion gets started.