I have been reading Tom Venuto’s amazing ebook, “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” this week and as a result, feel re-charged, motivated and inspired to continue my fitness journey and ramp it up even more. This book is particularly for serious fitness buffs, figure competitors, body builders, etc. while he also has another book out in bookstores at the moment called “The Body Fat Solution” which is geared more towards the average person who want to get tips on how to lower body fat and bettering their diet and work out regimen.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get some of my friends who are not into fitness or lifting as much as I am, to understand the level of interest I have in this field. I am determined to not let comments get to me or get me discouraged, or make me feel “crazy” or insane, because I know that everything I do is healthy – and the fact that I’m challenging myself each and every day can seem a bit ‘obsessive’ to some. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps some feel bad about themselves because they haven’t found their passion, that they are not working out enough or watching their diet as well as they should, and so on. At any rate, it is not my job to figure out someone else’s motives and reasons why they behave the way they do – I’m way too busy thinking about myself, ha! That may sound selfish and a bit narcissistic, but the fact of the matter is everyone should be thinking and concentrating more about themselves, before putting any focus on others. If everyone followed that rule, I swear there would be fewer wars in the world!!
Tom Venuto talks about goal setting as absolutely mandatory when wanting to improve your health, diet, physique, and for that matter- anything else you want to achieve in life. Human beings are naturally goal strivers, but most are not aware of their sub-conscious mind, which for the most part talks to us in a negative manner (something like 98% of the population). Have you ever set a goal but then deep down there is a voice that is doubting you’ll ever get there? That’s your subconsciousness showing up. When you set your goal, don’t focus on what you want to avoid, but what you want to achieve. Hence, don’t say “I don’t want to be fat anymore” but rather “I will be 10 lbs lighter in 8 weeks”. Talk to yourself in a positive manner, and write down your goals. This latter part many seem to shrug at and say “I already know what I want, I don’t need to write them down”, but this can be a very big mistake. In fact, in addition to writing them down, make sure to look at them twice a day – once in the morning and one at night, and more often if you can. Only by repetition can we change that subconscious mind of ours and turn it into a positive voice, that tells us ‘we can do this! and – we will do it!”. Why do you think for instance big companies like Coca Cola and McDonalds, just to mention a couple, invest so much in billboards, ads both in magazines and TV? By constantly being exposed to their messages, it eventually becomes engrained in our mind.
I wrote down my short-term and long-term goals last night and I read them this morning when having breakfast. Some of my short term goals, which I define as a 12-week goal, are to lose 3% body fat (which will get me down to single digits), get that six pack exposed, as well as increasing my cardio by 45 minutes per day. I would also like to be able to bench press 100 lbs on the incline. My long term goal (meaning 1 year from now) is to have registered for a figure competition and have entered it by next summer. With that in mind, I need to focus on day to day activities so I can slowly get to where I want to be in 12 weeks from now, and eventually – a year from now. I’ve decided to include glutamine in my day as a supplement to my diet of wholesome, healthy foods. Glutamine occurs naturally in your body, and the most common amino acid in your body (over 60% of skeletal muscle is glutamine). Taking an additional dosage of it in form of tablets or powder (I choose the latter and mix it in with my water), can prevent your muscles to be catabolized in order to provide glutamine for other cells in your body. It can also help speed up recovery between work outs and help produce growth hormones. It may also help boost your immune system, and for body builders this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete glutamine levels. This in turn decreases strength, stamina and recovery – none of which is good when building! Glutamine helps metabolize protein, and with increasing growth hormones, helps metabolize fat and support muscle growth. Especially when “cutting” – meaning decreasing body fat while needing to maintain muscle, glutamin has proven to be a good assistant. With this information in hand as cutting is my goal right now, I decided to add it in, in addition to my BCAA’s (Branch-chain amino acids) I take before and after my work out. Here’s a picture of my glutamine:
I’m not a fan of adding a ton of supplements, as I believe you can get most nutrients from “real food” but in addition to the BCAAs, I find that glutamine is well worth the experiment. I will be sure to report back on any developments!
Another thing I discovered and have been lucky to find is Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon that comes in these little pouches:
Much lighter in fat than the fresh salmon fillets, and of course being wild rather than farmed (which most salmons out there seem to be these days), they provide 120 calories per pouch, 1 g fat and 13 g of both protein and potassium – they are also an easy snack to bring along when you are out and about. I usually snack on one of these in the afternoon or mid morning after a very early breakfast. You can also add them to your salad, or mix with some mustard, vegetables and herbs for a delicious spread on your healthy sandwich! They are notoriously hard to find in these easy to carry pouches, mostly I find them in cans, but I was so lucky that my (avant garde, if I may mention) little grocery store carries them regularly so I buy as many as I can get my hands on when I see them. Having some protein for your snack or in between meals, is so much more satisfying and healthy than chewing on carbs, which only raises your blood sugar levels and make you crash and burn or get even hungrier. So consider this little guy next time you are hungry and need a pick me up!
After you read this – sit down and write down YOUR short term and long term goals. Don’t just think about it, do it now! If you read them to yourself often and consistently enough – only your own mind will be in your way of achieving these missions. Trust the process and be positive!