Tuesday 31 May 2016

Everything you need to know about Type 2 Diabetes

What Is It?
When you have this disease, your body does a poor job turning the carbohydrates in food into energy. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Over time it raises your risk for heart disease, blindness, nerve and organ damage, and other serious conditions. It strikes people of all ages, and early symptoms are mild. About 1 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it.People with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms. When they do appear, one of the first may be being thirsty a lot. Others include dry mouth, bigger appetite, peeing a lot -- sometimes as often as every hour -- and unusual weight loss or gain.As your blood sugar levels get higher, you may have other problems like headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue.
Signs of Serious Problems
In many cases, type 2 diabetes isn't discovered until it takes a serious toll on your health. Some red flags include:
•Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
•Frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections
•Itchy skin, especially in the groin area
Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in your genitals. This could lead to a loss of feeling and make it hard to have an orgasm. Women are also prone to vaginal dryness. About 1 in 3 who have diabetes will have some form of sexual trouble. Between 35% and 70% of men who have the disease will have at least some degree of impotence in their lifetime.
Risk Factors You Can Control
Some health habits and medical conditions related to your lifestyle can raise your odds of having type 2 diabetes, including
•Being overweight, especially at the waist
•A couch potato lifestyle
•Eating a lot of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweets
•Unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Risk Factors You Can't Control
Other risk factors are out of your control, including:
•Race or ethnicity: Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians are more likely to get it
•Family history of diabetes: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes boosts your odds.
•Age: Being 45 and older raises your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The more risk factors you have, the more likely you'll get type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Women
You're more likely to get type 2 diabetes later on if you:
•Had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant
•Delivered a baby that weighed over 9 pounds
•Had polycystic ovary syndrome
How Does Insulin Work?
In a healthy person, insulin helps turn food into energy. Your stomach breaks down carbohydrates into sugars. They enter the bloodstream, prompting your pancreas to release the hormone insulin in just the right amount. It helps your cells use the sugar for fuel.In type 2 diabetes, your cells can’t use sugar properly. That means there's a lot of it in your blood. If you have a condition called insulin resistance, your body makes the hormone, but your cells don’t use it or respond to it like they should. If you’ve had type 2 diabetes for a while but haven’t treated it, your pancreas will make less insulin
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your doctor will take some blood and do an A1c test. It shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. If you already have symptoms, he might give you a random blood glucose test, which shows what your current level is.
Your Diet Makes a Difference
You can control blood sugar levels by changing your diet and losing extra weight. That will also cut your risk of complications. Carefully track the carbs in your diet. Keep amounts the same at every meal, watch how much fat and protein you eat, and cut calories. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian to help you make healthy choices and an eating plan.
Exercise Is Important
Regular exercise, like strength training or walking, improves your body's use of insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Being active also helps get rid of body fat, lower blood pressure, and protect you from heart disease. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.
Relaxation Is Key
Stress can boost your blood pressure and blood sugar. Some people don't do anything for it. Others turn to food to cope with it. Instead, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Talking to a friend, family member, counselor, or a religious leader could help. If you can’t beat it, reach out to your doctor
Oral Medications Can Help  
If diet and exercise can’t get your blood sugar under control, your doctor may add medication. There are many types of diabetes pills available. They’re often combined. Some work by telling your pancreas to make more insulin. Others help your body use it better or block the digestion of starches. Some slow insulin breakdown.
Insulin: It's Not Just for Type 1  
Your doctor may prescribe insulin early in your treatment and combine it with pills. It can also help people with type 2 diabetes who develop "beta-cell failure." This means the cells in your pancreas no longer make insulin when blood sugar is high. If this happens, insulin will become part of your daily routine.
New Non-Insulin Injectables 
New drugs called non-insulin injectables are available for people with type 2 diabetes. These medications cause your body to make insulin to control blood sugar levels
Why Blood Sugar Testing Matters
Your doctor can show you how to use a glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This lets you know how your treatment plan is working. How often and when you test will be based on how well controlled your diabetes is, the type of treatment you use, and how stable your blood sugar is. Common testing times are when you wake up, before and after meals and exercise, and at bedtime.
Heart and Artery Troubles  
If you don't treat diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise, you're more likely to get plaque in your arteries than people who don't have it. This sticky substance slows blood flow and increases your risk of clots. It leads to hardening of the arteries (called atherosclerosis), which makes you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. About 2 of 3 people with diabetes die of heart disease.
Kidney Complications  
The longer you have diabetes, the greater the chance you’ll get chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. It's to blame for about half of new cases. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol can lower your risk for this complication. Yearly tests and medications can slow the disease and keep your kidneys healthy.
Eye Problems
High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the retina, a critical part of your eye. This is known as diabetic retinopathy, and it can lead to vision loss. It’s the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people between the ages of 20 and 74. Pools of blood, or hemorrhages, on the retina of an eye are visible in this image.
Diabetic Nerve Pain
Over time, uncontrolled diabetes and high blood sugar can cause nerve damage. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, pain, and a pins and needles sensation -- often in your fingers, hands, toes, or feet. The damage can’t be reversed, but there are treatments. Controlling your diabetes can help prevent further harm.
 Foot Injuries Can Take a Toll
Diabetic nerve damage can make it hard to feel your feet. You might not notice wounds. At the same time, hardening of the arteries reduces blood flow to the area. Even a small injury can cause foot sores and gangrene. In severe cases, infections can result in an amputation.
Teeth and Gums Are Targets 
High blood sugar levels can feed the bacteria that make plaque. Plaque buildup leads to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Severe gum disease can cause tooth loss. It weakens gums and the tissues and bones that hold teeth in place. That makes it easier to get an infection, too.
Can It Be Prevented? 
One of the most surprising things about type 2 diabetes is that you can avoid it. To lower your risk, follow the same guidelines for warding off heart disease:
•Eat a healthy diet.
•Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
•Stay at a healthy weight.
•Talk to your doctor about being tested for prediabetes.
People with prediabetes can avoid getting diabetes with lifestyle changes and medication. Most importantly remember this. Type 2 diabetes left unchecked is a painful and debilitating disease. No matter what your personal situation is it’s never to late.

What Men Can Gain From Therapy

Speaking for my gender, there are two qualities that define most men: we seldom like to ask for help, and we do not like to talk about our feelings. Combining the two — asking for help about our feelings — is the ultimate affront to many men’s masculinity.
We like to think of ourselves as strong, problem-solver types. But when it comes to emotional and mental issues, men need to quit trying to bottle up their feelings and tough it out, says Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. Not addressing negative feelings can carry over to all aspects of your life and have a profound impact.”
When to see a therapist.
Depression is the most common reason men should seek professional help. Many life situations — jobs, relationships — can trigger its trademark symptoms, such as prolonged sadness, lack of energy, and a constant feeling of stress. For older men, it can also be brought on by financial anxiety about retirement, the death of a spouse or friend, or even the loss of independence, like losing the ability to drive. Left unchecked, these feelings could cause other health problems, such as rapid weight loss, insomnia, declining libido, and changes in memory. They may even lead to destructive behavior like alcohol or opioid dependence.
“While men may recognize these changes when they occur, they may not know the root cause, or if they do, what they can do about it,” says Dr. Mehta. This is when a therapist can lend a hand — or ear. “A therapist can help identify the source of your problems and then help resolve them,” he adds.
How to find a therapist
First, talk with your doctor about your situation, how you feel, and your symptoms. He or she will no doubt know therapists who can help with your specific issues. There are other places to start besides your primary care doctor, too. For example, many employee health care plans offer confidential help lines where you can ask questions and find therapists in your network.
There are many kinds of professionals who offer many different types of therapy. Their individual approaches are based on their particular training and experience. The main ones include:
•Psychiatrist. A doctor with a medical degree who can prescribe medication. He or she often helps with more severe issues, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
•Psychologist. A professional who has a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology. He or she can treat a full range of emotional and psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, but in most states cannot prescribe medication.
•Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). He or she has a master’s degree plus 2,000 hours of supervised psychotherapy experience. This type of mental health professional focuses on the problems of everyday living, like stress and anxiety, relationship conflicts, and mild depression.
•Clinician Nurse Specialist. Like psychiatrists, he or she can prescribe medication. This type of professional works either independently or in collaboration with a supervising physician.
•Licensed Social Worker/Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. These mental health professionals assess and treat people living with mental illness and substance abuse issues. By providing group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention programs, and social rehabilitation, social workers help to ease clients back into their communities and daily lives. Clinical social workers provide care through numerous avenues, including hospitals, family service agencies and organizations .
What to expect
Your therapist should help you establish goals of care and then outline a strategy to meet them. This may include a combination of therapy during regular sessions as well as “homework” to follow in between visits. Weekly visits are typical. Yours may be more or less frequent than that depending on how you respond to the therapy. After your initial treatment sessions, you might return periodically for “booster” visits to prevent a future relapse.
Do not give up if you do not feel a strong connection with the first therapist you try, says Dr. Mehta. “Try someone else and do not get discouraged. The goal is to find the right person who can guide you.” While therapy may feel awkward at first, most men soon recognize its value, he adds. “Once they make that connection with a therapist, they are quite receptive to therapy and welcome what it can offer.”

Sunday 29 May 2016

You Don't Have To Buy EVERYTHING Organic To Be Healthy

     Some foods are important, and others you can definitely get by with the regular stuff. For example, I always choose organic meats to avoid being exposed to the synthetic hormones that non-organic livestock is generally treated with throughout their life cycle. Sure, it's a little more expensive, but some things are just worth paying for -- protecting the health of my family is definitely one of them! That said, I'm all about saving cash where it makes sense, and that's why there are certain foods we NEVER buy organic. Why? Because for some foods, there is no additional benefit to the organic vs. the non-organic version. Let me explain.
   When it comes to produce, the benefit of buying organic is to avoid ingesting pesticides and chemicals that are generally used on non-organic fruits and vegetables. That said, foods like bananas, avocados, oranges, melons, and grapefruits have a thick skin barrier between the outside world and the fruit itself so the pesticides actually never come in contact with the fruit that you eat, and of course these are fruits where the outer layer is typically discarded. Contrast that with apples, tomatoes, pears, and other fruits and veggies where you eat the skin, and you'll see why it's important to choose organic for some and not for others.
     So, Rule #1, if a fruit has a thick skin that you discard and don't eat, save some cash and go with the non-organic version. Next up, there are other veggies that pests simply aren't attracted to due to their high sulfur content, such as onions and garlic. Don't bother spending the extra cash here either as these veggies aren't typically treated with pesticides in the first place.
   In the end, spend the money where there's benefit, and pinch those pennies when there's not!

Friday 27 May 2016

7 Super Foods That Naturally Boost Your Immunity

    Your immunity is very important to your health and quality of life. Believe it or not, if your immunity is in bad shape, you could have major problems on the way. The body can be amazing at protecting you from various infections and illnesses. The immune system is made up of various structures that help to collectively fight against disease. Hence, to be able to carry out this task successfully,the immune system is able to detect various microscopic or clearly visible pathogens which could wreck havoc on the body. Such pathogens include bacteria, viruses, worms and other parasites that attempt to introduce disease to the body.
     In addition, once pathogens get into the body and cause infections or disease, the situation could becomes quickly exacerbated as these pathogens are able to evolve rapidly, increase in quantity and possibly adapt to certain changes in the environment or possibly adapt to some medications which may be used to try to get rid of the pathogens.  Hence, it is essential that you maintain a high state of immunity in the body. One way to keep your body's immunity in great shape is to eat foods that are able to naturally boost your immunity and 7 of these superfoods are discussed below. 
# 1 – Yogurt : When you want a healthy snack, a cup of yogurt can be a good choice. Yogurt has certain kinds of bacteria that are really good for you and these are also referred to as probiotics. These good bacteria work towards tackling any bad bacteria in your body and thereby neutralize negative effects including aches, pains, indigestion and feelings of sickness. Hence, the more good bacteria you have in the body, the better equipped you are to handle bad bacteria that may inadvertently show up.  However, you do not want to overdo your consumption of yogurt. Also, you do need to beware that there are various kinds of yogurt including yogurt that may have high sugar content. Greek yogurt does present a healthier option to the sugar-filled versions and Greek yogurt could also contain more protein than other kinds of yogurt.  Hence, look for healthier yogurt options.
# 2 - Tea :Tea is a great way to improve your body's immunity.Green tea, in particular, is rich in catechins which are antioxidants and directly linked to high immunity levels. Research studies also reveal that green tea contains high anti-inflammatory properties . There are also other studies that connect green tea's catechins as a way to provide a preventive or therapeutic strategic approach to treating oxidative stress, which in turn induces inflammation .  Consuming green tea could keep viruses away. Especially if you feel down in the dumps or under the weather, green tea could help lift your spirit and minimize how long you actually feel sick. When your immune system needs some help, green tea could bring you back to balance with a renewed feeling of health. Ginger tea can also be helpful because ginger tackles toxins that may accumulate in the sinuses or in the lungs. There are also other types of herbal teas with antioxidant and calming properties which could assist in building up your immune system. Thus, grab a cup of tea today!
# 3 - Garlic :This food may have a strong smell, but it is also very rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants serve as pathogen fighters and are ready to attack at the slightest sign of any infection. It can be easy to include garlic while cooking meals and by doing this, you also help your body fight colds, infections and other ailments. Garlic can also fight immune dysfunction, cancer insurgence, oxidative stress and cardiovascular complexities[3]. The potency of garlic could help protect you for seasons that are more prone to colds and the flu. Crushed garlic could also be mixed with lemon for a potent mix that can be used to increase immunity. Despite its strong flavour and smell, research does show that garlic can be used to lower lipid levels, prevent blood coagulation, fight cancer, combat microbial effects, and treat hypertension .
# 4 - Oranges :Fruit such as oranges are able to load the body with adequate levels of vitamin C to fight colds and the flu. The body needs vitamins and minerals to activate the immune system and eating oranges or drinking fresh orange juice could help build up the levels of vitamin C. Thus, if you feel the onset of a cold, you may want to load up on this superfood. When consuming orange juice, fresh juice is always best and can be quite refreshing as well. Make a habit of keeping fruit like oranges handy and you will be helping your immune system.
# 5 - Sweet Potatoes :In keeping up with the theme of foods rich in vitamin C, sweet potatoes do make the list. Rich in vitamin C, sweet potatoes are able to boost the body's immunity and also provide other nutrients as well. In addition to vitamin C, sweet potatoes have high vitamin A content and this vitamin has significant ties to the body's immunity. Mucus membranes in the throat and nose use vitamin A to protect these structures and keep the body safe from pathogens that try to take over the body. Consuming sweet potatoes increases the amount of carotene in the body and can also be connected to improved eye health .
# 6 - Honey :The best superfoods are usually acquired in their natural state and honey is one of these foods.  It can soothe the mouth and throat.  Honey can boost your energy, act as a remedy and builds up the immune system [6]. Honey could also be used in teas or warm drinks when trying to get rid of a cold. The texture of honey is soothing and helps to gently massage any irritation being felt in the mouth or linings of the throat.  Hence, you must really consider picking up this superfood the next time you are at the grocery store.  Natural honey could also be purchased at farmer's markets or similar events.  It can be a good idea to stay away from honey that has been processed or adjusted with artificial content and added sugars.
# 7 - Soup :Yes, we simply cannot complete this list of superfoods without including good old-fashioned soup. Warm hearty soup on a cold day may feel like heaven for the soul. You may also recall the wise stories regarding how helpful chicken soup is when you may not be feeling your best health-wise. Indeed, there is some truth to these stories. When your immune system has taken a beating from infection, stress, travel or general pollution in your environment, consider helping yourself to a bowl of soup such as chicken noodle soup or any other kind of hearty soup that contains natural, high quality ingredients.  The beauty of soup is that many really great and immune system building foods could be included as ingredients in soup. These may include ginger, garlic and sweet potatoes. Mushrooms are also easy to add to soups and this food can support health as well .
      Apart from having a vibrant immune system to keep you safe from sickness and disease on ordinary days, there are also times when a great immune system saves the day when your body could have been susceptible to illness.  Such periods may include periods of disease outbreaks like flu season or perhaps when a specific type of illness seems to be making its rounds.
     Having an immune system that stands up to pathogens can keep you feeling great and healthy when others around you are succumbing to attacks from these viruses and other pathogens. It is also becoming increasingly more desirable and popular to use natural products like garlic to combat various threats to the body 
    To keep on the right track regarding your body's immunity, eating the right foods could get you well on your way towards living a life that is free from disease and one that provides you with renewed energy to take on each new day and simply because you used superfoods to naturally boost your immunity.
    In addition to the superfoods listed above, there are other foods that are loaded with immunity-building components including Japanese mushrooms which contain antioxidants and which also preserve these healthy components while being cooked and oregano oil which is helpful for gut health.
   In addition, vegetables from the cruciferous family such as cabbage, kale, broccoli and lettuce help the liver flush out toxins within the body.  Like oranges, black currants are also rich in vitamin C and can help to keep colds away. With a large number of superfoods at your disposal, your body's immunity can be in great shape.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

This Hormone Controls All Weight Loss

Today  I want to talk to you about the one solitary hormone that can either make or break your weight loss journey…
In fact, if you don't learn to control this hormone, you might as well forget about losing fat at all…it really is that big of a deal.
There is one hormone known as the "Fat Burning Hormone", and that hormone's name is leptin.
Leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), is essentially the "master" hormone that more or less controls EVERY other weight loss hormone in your body… and your ability to burn fat as a whole.You see, when you have leptin on your side, fat loss becomes easy.  When you don't, losing even a single pound can become virtually impossible.And here's the unfortunate news:  just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with leptin each and every time they attempt to lose weight. 
You see, the REAL underlying reason you may have failed to lose weight in the past isn’t for lack of trying, you don’t have bad genetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with you… the truth is that you failed simply because you didn’t know the simple ways to control your #1 weight loss hormone… leptin.With that said, it's pretty easy to see why so many folks, and perhaps you're one of them, downright struggle to shed their unwanted body fat like I did, month after month, year after year.
Let me explain…
First, in order to burn fat, your body depends on these two things:
1) high levels of leptin
2) highly sensitive leptin "receptors" (which acts as the “lock” to leptin’s “key”)
Now for the bad news…
Anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, leptin levels plummet and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail's pace.
Because leptin's main function is to protect your body against starvation, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e. dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival.
After all, body fat provides a vast supply of stored energy and warmth, both highly-valued resources when food is in short supply.You see, when you go on a diet, your body isn't aware of your hopes for a slim, tight waistline or your desire to drop 20 lbs in time for your high school reunion or summer beach season.  In fact, the only thing it does know is that your calorie intake is now below "normal"… and to your brain, that's a big red flag.
The result: reduced leptin levels and dramatically decreased fat burning.
In fact, research has shown that leptin levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting.  That puts you at only 50% of your fat-burning potential just one WEEK in to your fat loss plan, and it only gets worse with each passing day.
And if that wasn't bad enough, with every pound you DO struggle to lose, leptin levels fall even further, making it even more difficult for you to continue to lose fat.
Because, as mentioned, in the face of calorie restriction, your body views stored body fat as an asset to survival. The more fat you lose, the more "danger" your body senses, and the harder it is to strip away that next pound.
Hello, fat loss plateaus!
Now, I hate to continue to be the bearer of bad news, but the scenario I just explained is actually only HALF the problem.
The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from a condition known as "leptin resistance" due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.
Leptin resistance simply means that even at high levels, leptin is no longer able to properly signal fat burning to your body, dramatically decreasing its fat loss effects.
That's a pretty disheartening truth for the fat loss enthusiast. There are some things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Simply put…….
1.    When you reach a weight loss plateau try eating more
2.    Be sure to change up your exercise routine
3.    Don’t get stuck doing long slow cardio sessions
4.    Remember : Everything works, Nothing works for ever    

Monday 23 May 2016

Not Everybody's OK

That fit person who’s ‘got it all together’… doesn’t.
Take it from me: Everyone else is struggling, too.Seem like everyone else is better, fitter and healthier than you? Like you’ll never be that ‘fit person’? If so,I have some surprising news for you. Plus 7 steps to feeling more “OK” with you.
Fifteen years ago, thousands of male clients came to trainers with one burning wish: Make me look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
Who could forget Pitt’s lean, sinewy, anti-establishment Tyler Durden, all abs and dirt and knuckles and free spirit? For those male clients, Tyler Durden was That Guy.
That Guy gets romance and adventure, kicks life in the ass, and rides off into the sunset.
That Guy doesn’t have to clean out eavestroughs, or slog through freeway traffic. He doesn’t have bad knees or get heartburn after eating a chili dog.
That Guy doesn’t say “uff” when he bends over to tie his shoes. His doctor isn’t telling him his rotator cuff is messed up, or that his blood cholesterol is too high. He’s not worrying about how to parent teenagers.
Female clients, of course, often have That Woman as their ideal. The jacked, gun-toting arms of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 sent a generation of women racing towards biceps curls in the 1990s.
Generally, though, That Woman may be somewhat more domestic than That Guy. (A little more First Lady Michelle Obama than freedom fighter, perhaps.
That Woman fits into all her clothes (especially wedding dresses). She rocks Lululemon leggings and skinny jeans… even after having three angelic children
If you are a female client who idealizes That Woman, you know this because That Woman is at your kids’ school picking up her well-groomed offspring.
She looks fabulous and together. She’s into Pilates or running or Crossfit or kale juice or something else that seems to keep her full of energy.
She’s a lawyer or a neurosurgeon or an international diplomat or perhaps a stay-at-home mother, but whatever she does, she excels at it and is fulfilled. She uses hashtags like #honored and #grateful and #blessed, and means it.
Meanwhile, you’re shoving aside banana peels and empty soda cups to make room for your kid’s dog-hair-encrusted car seat. And you’re wearing your husband’s track ant bottoms with baby spit-up on them, because they’re the only things that fit you right now.
If only we could become That Guy or That Woman.
They’re OK. Awesome, even.
And we’re not.
This might sound kind of weird, but…
As a professional personal trainer I know my clients’ secrets.Now, this doesn’t mean I’m a creepy peeper.I am discreet and committed to confidentiality. One trusted and caring personal trainer sees one client in total confidence and privacy.
At some point, you tell us your daily routine, so we can see how to make changes.
At some point, you tell us honestly what’s going on, so we can help you.
That’s when it gets real.And that’s when we both learn:Everyone is NOT OK.
If you don’t have the big picture, as we do, it seems like Everyone Else is doing so much better than you.It seems like Everyone Else can handle their lives. Everyone Else quickly learns the habits we teach.Everyone Else is losing weight or gaining muscle or getting fitter so much faster and more effortlessly than you. Everyone Else has everything you don’t.
It feels like you are the only person in the world with your problems.
The truth is:There is no Everyone Else.
There are only imperfect, wonderful, messy, very-much-human beings with hopes and fears and desires and neuroses and jobs and lives and kids and dogs or cats and family demands and toilets that need unclogging and lines-becoming-wrinkles and hangnails and alarms that go off too early and a love of chocolate-chip cookies… and all the rest of reality.
Like you. Like me. Like all of us.
“We’re all bozos on the bus,” said Woodstock MC Wavy Gravy in 1969, “so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.”
Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open and a TED speaker, adds: “If we’re all bozos, then we can put down the burden of pretense and get on with being bozos.”
In other words…
•we can stop worrying about being the only person who isn’t fit enough, smart enough, together enough, getting enough things done in a day, a good enough mom / dad / worker, whatever.
•we can pursue fitness, nutrition, and health goals that are actually realistic and attainable — and feel good about what we do instead of inadequate.
Here are 7 ways to start feeling more OK, right now, in your own imperfect, messy life.
1. Reboot your expectations.
Getting into reasonable, moderate shape isn’t too complicated.All you need are small consistent changes here and there. Walking the dog after dinner, perhaps a weekly class at the gym, or packing an apple in your lunch will generally do the trick.
Getting into pretty good shape is a little trickier, but can be done if you’re committed.You might need to focus more on food quality and portion sizes, work out a bit more, be more careful with your indulgences. Still, do-able if you’re so inclined.
Getting into film-shoot-ready or magazine-cover-ready shape is a whole other game.You give up your life to do this.You eat out of Tupperware. You measure everything that goes into your mouth. Your entire routine revolves around eating (or not eating), working out, and sleeping so you have enough energy to work out again.
Now here’s the secret.
People in the third group — the ones we often imagine are Everyone Else — are professionals who make their living that way. 99.99 percent of you are not those people.
They only look like that for a few hours or days. But they might pour thousands of hours of work and maybe thousands of dollars of money into that project of getting super jacked and ripped. Brad Pitt had an entire staff of well-paid professionals making sure he rolled into his shoot looking that way.I know. I worked in Hollywood.
Which means that even the 0.01 percent still don’t look like that all the time.
Nor are their lives awesome.In fact, arguably, their lives are much less awesome.
Because they’re eating three ounces of plain cold chicken out of Tupperware at a family barbecue before they go and do their third workout of the day.
(Actor Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy complained to British GQ that Brad Pitt “ruined it for everyone” by creating unrealistic body expectations, so Hunnam was forced to go and work out two and a half hours a day on top of a 14-15 hour shooting schedule.)
In short:
•Getting into slightly better shape, or a slightly healthier routine, doesn’t take much effort. That may be what is realistic for most of us, right now.
•Getting into epic shape takes tremendous sacrifice… and kinda sucks. It probably isn’t worth it for most of us, right now.
•Getting into epic shape creates other problems. Because of the demands of their job, cover models are often less happy, healthy, and balanced than the average person. (If you’ve ever chased this dream, you may have discovered this firsthand in the form of workout injuries, anxiety and depression, disordered eating, hormonal disruption, social isolation, and a host of other problems.)
So if magazine covers are off the table at the moment, what can you do?
2. Find realistic role models.
There are more “fit and healthy” people than you imagine. They might not look like you expect. Personally,I get my role models from my client list. They all have a story to tell and quite often I look at them and ask my self “ would I have the courage to go on ?”
“Fit and healthy” comes in many sizes, shapes, and abilities.
Look around.   
The gray-haired octogenarian standing at the bus stop. Did you know that despite her arthritis, she pops a painkiller and gets out to her dance class four times a week?
The rotund guy that delivers your mail. He walks 10 miles a day as a postman.
Your child’s preschool teacher. She only has 20 minutes a day to exercise, but she does them faithfully, hitting her exercise bike and Netflix every day before she comes to corral your kid. (Then she tries to spend all recess playing tag with 4-year-olds.)
What if you shifted your perspective to “good enough”, “a little bit better”, or “trying”?
What if you looked for small moments of health, fitness, and wellness everywhere?
What if you focused on doing what you could, today, anyway?
3. Embrace the struggle.
It’s not going anywhere.Grappling with pain — whether that’s actual pain and suffering, or just small daily annoyances — is part of being human. As adults, we recognize life’s complexity and richness. Wanting to “be perfect” or “have it all” is not an adult wish. It’s a child wish: to have all the toys, all the time, even your sister’s. A wise old Chinese proverb says” If you haven’t  failed lately ,your not trying hard enough”.
Everyone has a struggle. You might just not see it.
For instance:
•65 percent of my clients take prescription medication.
•45 percent of my clients take  anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication.
•70 percent of my clients have injuries. And struggle with chronic pain.
Many of these challenges are invisible.You often can’t see pain or disability. You often can’t see psychological distress. Unless you see someone pop a pill, you don’t know what they’re taking.
And guess what —  I struggle with the exact same things.
•I have injuries. Or had them. Or will have them.
•I’ve struggled with mental and emotional health sometimes. 

•I’ve struggled with addictions — whether that’s to work, or exercise, or food, or alcohol,drugs or anything else that someone could get hooked on.
No matter what the challenge is, at least a few of us have faced it, and certainly none of us are getting any younger.
Someone who looks fit may be at the end of a long and difficult journey.
•Like the cancer survivors whom I've coached through post-treatment rehab.
•Like people who are coming back from an injury or illness.
•Like people who are dealing with serious family issues
They’re all being “good enough” — just showing up and trying their best in an imperfect  and difficult situation.
4. Recognize and respect your NOT-OK-ness.
It’s OK to not be OK. None of us are 100 percent OK.At the same time, sometimes things are really NOT-OK.
For instance, if you’re experiencing things like:
•chronic insomnia or poor quality sleep
•chronic pain or lack of mobility
•frequent injuries and/or illnesses
•chronic and debilitating depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns
•chronic social isolation and relationship difficulties
•chronic lethargy and lack of energy
•feeling like you need alcohol or recreational drugs to function
•concerns with food, eating, and/or exercise that seem to be taking over your life and/or harming your health…
… then you could probably benefit from making some changes.
Sometimes, being in the depths of NOT-OK — for instance, having a debilitating gym injury, getting a scary medical diagnosis, or ending a relationship — is exactly the wake-up call we need to start working on being a little more OK.
Pay attention to your “dashboard indicator lights”.
Are your current struggles and imperfections more like garden-variety ups and downs? If they are, that’s just fine. It’s all part of being human.On the other hand, if something feels really off, you might need a little extra help. You might talk to a trained coach, counsellor, or other health care professional.
Learn to heed your own signals. Know when not-OK is actually not OK, and requires extra help.
5. Learn to be OK with being “not OK”.
As a Professional Personal Trainer much of my time is spent actually helping my clients get a little more comfortable with discomfort.You are human. You are normal. You are not a weirdo. You are not alone.
Life is never going to be completely OK, 100 percent of the time.
The trick is to learn how to be OK with that not-OKness, and work on making things just a little bit better.
6. Take small steps towards slightly more OK.
If there’s a lot of invisible suffering in the world, there are also a lot of invisible successes and joys too.
•Nobody besides the newspaper delivery person sees you running at a dark 6 AM. But you know. And you’re proud of your dedication.
•Nobody besides your doctor knows you need anti-anxiety medications or anti-inflammatories or some other drug to function. But you know. And you’re proud of weighing your options and deciding on what’s best for you, even if that choice isn’t “perfect”.
•Nobody besides your grocer sees you picking out leafy greens and lean protein to put in your shopping cart. But you know. And you’re proud of passing by the Nutella and Oreos that once called your name when you struggled with binge eating.
•Nobody besides the inside of your brain sees you grappling with the “right choice” in a situation where you don’t have to make the right choice. But you know. And when you make that choice… you’re proud of yourself for sticking to your values.
Maybe that “right choice” was pausing for ten seconds to review what matters most to you.
Maybe you were just following your shopping list when you grabbed those leafy greens.
Maybe you think that effort was so small, it didn’t “count”.
But here’s a coaching secret: the steps that lead to success? They’re almost all small things.
You must celebrate WINS ! A win is a win. Be fair with yourself. Don’t externalise the victories and then internalise the failures. That’s not fair.
Success comes from putting small things on top of small things on top of small things.
7. Find your work-arounds.
Do you need  help? Find it. Get it.
Work on creating a system that you trust to help yourself.
•If you have one body part that’s not working very well, explore other movement options, or workouts that don’t depend on that body part.
•If you don’t like cooking alone or working out alone, find someone else to do this with. Grab a buddy for Sunday chili-making day, or hit a group class.
•If you’re having trouble “finding time” for things, get out a calendar and start planning. Book appointments for everything, even grocery shopping. Track your time use so that you know when you’re wasting time. Then, set alarms and reminders, stick up Post-it notes, and carve out 15 minutes a day to ditch Facebook and hang out with the squirrels during a walk in the park instead.
Here’s a secret : Most people aren’t “naturally” good at most things.
The people who look like they’re good at things are getting help, and/or have a trusted system to guide them.
When we start accepting our own limitations — our own “not-OKness” — that’s when we start making changes for the better.We embrace the small improvements that add up over time.
We treat ourselves with more compassion and evolve past an “all or nothing” attitude.
We pick ourselves up after we fall down, and we make course corrections when we need to.
And we ask for help when we need it.
Best of all, the more we accept being not OK, the more life feels… well, a little more OK.
Give yourself a break.
What to do next
Gather data.
If you’re feeling not-OK, start recording what and why.
Write down all the ways in which you don’t feel OK.
Analyze your data.
What is regular not-OK (tendonitis, having a bad day, eating a waffle over the sink for dinner, etc.) and what is not-OK worth checking out (chronic illness, debilitating depression, etc.)?
Calibrate your expectations and check your blind spots.
What are you trying to do? Write out the things you are trying to accomplish or achieve right now.Now review those expectations.
Would a sane, kind, wise friend or mentor tell you those expectations are realistic?
(If you actually have a sane, kind, wise friend or mentor, ask them for advice.)
Using their advice (real or imaginary) as a guide, re-consider your expectations. How could you adjust them to make them more realistic and attainable?
Consider a few small next steps.
One of the hallmarks of not-OK-ness is that it often feels paralyzing. It’s like swimming through peanut butter.Action is the antidote to paralysis.
Whatever you can do, no matter how tiny, do something to affirm your basic OK-ness, even when things don’t feel OK at all.
Assemble your team.
Do you need to add people to your “Project OK” team? Such as a trusted buddy or family member, a coach, counsellor, or other health care provider?
If so, find them and recruit them to Project OK.
Ask for what you need. Let them help.
Start building a system.
OK-ness is not a do-it-yourself project. Nor does OK-ness happen spontaneously.
Along with helpers, you need systems to be OK. Things that remind you, guide you, help you, fill in the gaps for you, and generally help you stay more or less on track. I won’t mislead you. This is going to take some time and work. It’s not going to happen overnight but I think you will find it’s well worth it.  


Success Fitness Training

Professional Personal Fitness Trainer