Reaching the right "Fat Loss Mindset" and how weight loss can be as difficult or simple as you want it to be!

An Industry Ripe with Failure

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Most folks who try to lose body fat struggle and ultimately fail to achieve their goals. This is not their fault and neither was becoming obese in the first place. The fault lies within the "system". Without sounding conspiratorial, "the system" represents the advice of working within the constraints of the Standard American Diet and Standard American Exercise Recommendations as the basis for weight loss. The truth of the matter is that trying to cure obesity and all its related co-morbid conditions within the current "system" is like trying to quit smoking by switching light cigarettes.

I can't remember who said "All diets work, all diets fail" but it is the absolute truth in the management of obesity. After treating hundreds of obese individuals, I can tell you that most encounters start with the following questions:

  • What medication can I take to lose weight?
  • What diet should I try?
  • What supplement works the best?
  • Which exercise program works the best?

What do all these questions have in common? They are simply the wrong ones to ask and usually tip me off that the patient is in the wrong mindset for a successful attempt at fat loss. They suggest that curing obesity is a matter of discovering the right fat loss tool which can be adopted into our current way of living that will allow us to enjoy the Standard American Diet (SAD) yet see the weight magically come off.  

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Before weight loss tools are even discussed, it is critical to understand obesity is a multi-factorial disease process in which hormonal regulation, stress, sleep patterns, dietary patterns (both what and when people eat) and most importantly behavioral patterns are all equally to blame. Obesity is caused by an astronomically complicated group of interrelated physiological processes which have fallen into disarray as a result of the processed "foods" (I prefer to call them "edible food-like substances") which have become commonplace in the SAD. Our bodies become overwhelmed with the task of dealing with this highly-processed-garbage deficient in any basic nutrients. Our primary metabolic functions, including cell repair and energy regulation (stored energy versus burned energy), become so dysfunctional that the result is obesity and all its related co-morbidities (diabetes, heart disease, cancer). So, recommending a specific workout routine, supplement, diet, or medication doesn't address the underlying issue. It's akin to turning on the heat in the summer because the air conditioner is set too cold.   

But I Know Someone Who Lost Weight by Drinking "Supplement" Shakes!

I'm often asked, "If convention doesn't work, why do I know people who have lost weight using conventional approaches?" By conventional approaches, I assume you are talking about anything you've seen on TV or heard around the water bubbler at work. Think Adkins, South Beach, BCG, meal replacement plans, point system plans, etc. Typically, all methods will work initially due to multiple variables including the fact that most weight loss regimens require users to reduce "sweets" and cut processed carbohydrates. The problem is that dieters typically cut all foods, the bad and the good, across the board, because they erroneously think weight loss is about reducing your caloric intake and increasing your exercise output. If this were the indeed the case, the record number of Americans adhering to the government's diet and exercise recommendations would be stifling obesity rates yet the numbers are skyrocketing! The truth is, conventional weight loss recommendations (eat-less/move-more) simply do not work and it has been proven time and time again. Why? Humans have overcome adversity (droughts, famines, fires, ice) over the past 200,000 years because our bodies compensate. We mimic these historical adversities by reducing our caloric intake and increasing our exercise. In return, our bodies compensate to keep us alive by slowing our metabolisms.

Here is an oversimplified rundown of the typical weight loss attempt: 

Your body needs a certain amount of energy to run its functions throughout the day (breathing, pumping blood, repairing cells, growing hair, etc.). Let's say it is 2000 calories. You have excess fat to lose so you decide to only consume 1200 calories a day. In theory, you should be left with a caloric deficit (meaning your burning more calories than you are eating) and have to tap into your energy stores (your fat) to make up the difference. And this is true, temporarily at least. There are a lot of things going on which will actually cause your daily caloric expenditure to fluctuate by several hundred calories a day (but that is for another post). When we deprive our bodies of the required caloric intake, it responds by saying "Hey?! What the hell is going on here?! Eat something dummy!" These cues (hunger & cravings) are hormonal and cause the familiar gnawing hunger of a calorie-reduced diet. But, because you're determined to lose weight before summer, you ignore these hunger cues and continue your caloric deficit for... say... 3 months (in my experience, that is the average). At first, the weight comes off fast, then it slows, reaches a plateau and ultimately starts to come back on! But why?! The answer is simple: you purposely denied your body nutrition and this freaked it out. The human body worked hard during the caveman days to keep us alive through the good times and the bad times. During the bad times, the body slows down various processes to conserve energy. This is why when you're dieting you often feel fatigued and cranky, your immune system dysfunctions, sometimes your hair will thin, your sex drive decreases (a starving person is not a good candidate for reproduction) and the weight comes back on despite the fact that you're still denying your body the calories that it is pleading for. Think of this like using power saving mode on your cell phone. You can't do any of the fun stuff with it until it's recharged. You can argue with me all day about the validity of this process but ultimately, nature and evolution are right. 

The Reward Cycle

The current system is built on triggering your evolutionary program to eat foods that give you reward. I was there, I know. I would go to bed looking forward to breakfast. Breakfast made me feel good because it was a reward. Who doesn't like a tall stack of pancakes with syrup? Then I would look forward to my mid-morning snack - trail mix or a granola bar: reward. Then lunch - a sandwich and some kind of chips/crackers: reward. Dinner was the same. Fridays were the best because it was pizza night: BIG REWARD! It's no wonder we crave the food we crave because they are full of rewards and this genetically programmed reward system kept us hunting for foods that were high in energy for eons.

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Curing obesity is both exquisitely simple as it is infinitely difficult! A key point is the need to work within the confines our physiology and genetics rather than against these processes with drugs and unsustainable diets. This current paradigm forces the individual to approach their weight goals through the act of constant DEPRIVATION. This runs in contrast to our genetic programming to seek out rewards to ensure survival. For instance, we decide we are going to deprive ourselves of ice cream, beer, sugar, carbs, pizza. etc. This becomes a lifestyle of negativity and of constant reminders of what you cannot eat and certain foods become taboo. The "aha!" moment comes when you realize that losing weight is not about making a list of foods that you have to avoid and restrict. It doesn't mean taking three months off these taboo foods only to have a cheat day or to return to them after bikini season. The point I am trying to make is that a successful weight loss inducing diet is not about restricting things from the Standard American Diet but about shirking the Standard American Diet altogether.

Food is Sacred

I encourage patients to think outside the box and remove themselves from the current nutrition paradigm. Their relationship changes from being controlled by cravings and struggling to limit the processed foods to one where foods are worthy of their consumption. You can get to a place where you ask not "when can I eat a piece of cake" but "why would I even want to eat that piece of cake?" I encourage patients to ask themselves "what will the food do for me?" Is the self-ridicule, the feeling of cheating yourself or the feeling of defeat worth three minutes of "yum"? Once a patient realizes their body is sacred and the food which fuels it is sacred as well, they reach a zen-type level of understanding nutrition. When the paradigm shifts from RESTRICTING certain foods from the SAD framework to eliminating the framework altogether there comes the realization that you are not restricting anything! You CAN teach your taste buds to enjoy the endless combinations of flavor available from nature rather than allow chemical cocktails to hijack your evolutionary responses and make you crave the unnatural.

Our grandparents (and generations before them) understood this principle and is why they had the skills and knowledge to bake and cook from whole foods scratch to grow and can foods for storage, and that some foods were indeed a reward and reserved for special occasions (once, maybe twice a year). Once you "see the light" and recognize real food, you simply ignore the junk and trust me... YOU NO LONGER CRAVE IT! You are not depriving yourself of cakes, sugar and processed carbs, you are deciding that those food-like-substances are not part of your ecosystem. And yes, you'll get looks at holiday dinners and birthday parties when you push away the pastries but you have to realize that it is their issue, not yours. If they want to tease you because you won't eat a piece of chemically generated sugar filled, trans fat laden cake for little Johnny's 3rd birthday party, let them. 

So you may ask, "What program is healthy and how do I start it?" I am a HUGE proponent of the Paleo lifestyle (follow the link for a brief description). YES, Paleo people can be as annoying as vegans (not really) and I understand that no program is one size fits all. The biggest takeaway from Paleo is to just stick with natural whole foods. That's it. You can adjust your macros if you want, you can try "going keto" knock yourself out; if you want to try vegetarian (and miss out on essential nutrients from a balanced diet which includes meat) then hey, it's a free country. If you're frustrated and confused the BECOME AN EXPERT YOURSELF! Here is a partial list of books that completely changed my way of thinking about nutrition: Paleo/Whole Foods Resources.

Functional Medicine? Dysfunction in Disguise ;-)

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I am formally trained in the western medicine (WM) philosophy of treating human disease and injury as a Physician Assistant (take note that I am not a Physician's Assistant... that little apostrophe can kiss my... sorry... back on track!). I'll be the first to admit that there are some flaws to WM but in the same breath, I cannot begin to describe the emotion feel when listening to the beating of a donor's heart in the chest of patient who would otherwise be dead. The feeling is a combination of awe, inspiration and a bit of pride to be a member of a system that made something like this possible. I have learned so much in my practice and I have developed a deep respect for this centuries old art. The truth is, no matter what criticisms you bestow upon WM (I admit there are plenty), you cannot deny the substantial victories it has claimed against the onslaught of human pathology.

With that said...

   ...where does WM fail? We are really really good at TREATING DISEASES. I mean crazy good. Like Lebron... no... JORDAN good at it. But we seem to only focus on the end game which is disease. Time for a sports metaphor? Sure! Lets say you're a golfer and you go to a practice putting green ever day and to spend hours honing your short game. You learn to analyse subtle dips and rolls of the short cropped grass and perfect the very slight power adjustments and angular trajectories in order to get the ball in the hole. It is the perfect problem solving scenario ripe with analyzing the physical world and controlling the mental. Your time and energy on the green should pay off in your ability to sink the ball with precision and perfection time and time again! But, in a typical par 5 course, the green should only represent about 20% of the game? What about the 80% of the course which came before it? How did you move the ball 300 yards to the putting green in the first place? 

Jason Seib - One of the best Paleo coaches on the planet! Read his books!   

Jason Seib - One of the best Paleo coaches on the planet! Read his books!

 

Well, WM is quite similar. Most of the time, people come to me when they are already sick (on the putting green). I still like to hear about how they played through the green (this is called the Patient History). Getting this right is important... like REALLY important. In fact, back in PA School, we were taught that the "history is 90% of the diagnosis." But history is history, the damage is already done and I am typically forced to treat conditions with a host of medical interventions to include medications and physical therapy and maybe even surgery. To keep with the metaphor, ideally, I sink the ball with as few strokes as possible. I love chalking up "Wins" in the "Cured" column! The problem is that the "Win's" can be hard to come by (see Jets 2017... sorry), especially in the realm of chronic disease. So how do we improve our "Wins"? We focus on the rest of the game! In medicine, this translates to identifying contributing lifestyle factors that increase chances of developing disease states. This is fine and most medical practitioners are aware of this. But keep in mind, most practitioners are running a business and they need profits to grow and make payroll. Today's fee for service, insurance brokering, overcharging, inconsistent medical payment atmosphere, if you spend the necessary 60-120 minute encounter with patients, then your business will fail. So yes, we need to improve and everyone is aware of this. This also creates a market for "alternatives" to the current paradigm. Is there room for these alternatives? Maybe. Should we give them the same clout as western medical facilities... nope!

Enter Functional Medicine (dysfunction in disguise)

The term "functional" is being added to the beginning of lots of terms these days to denote a sort of better quality/healthier choice. I've heard of functional diets, functional eating patterns, functional yoga, functional exercise, and now functional medicine. The problem with "functional-anything" is that the term is ambiguous and can be used as a marketing scheme to drive customers to a product. Let's focus on medicine. In most cases, functional medicine is a unscientifically verified "medical" methodology claiming good health and vitality to it's users. (yeah... snake oil promises this too). Functional medicine claims to be a developmental practice that addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. Instead of treating disease states, functional medicine centers around the causation of disease. So far, this sounds okay but it gets a bit fishy.  Functional medicine was invented by nutritionists Jeffrey and Susan Bland (<- not Medical Doctors... or even lowly PAs!). They founded the Institute for Functional Medicine back in the early 1990s. 

Their site claims:

Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
— Institute for Functional Medicine

This all sounds good on the surface, but Dr. Harriett Hall (real doctor) does a nice job dismantling the claim on Skeptic.com:

Dr. Berry give a great critique to modern western medicine!

Dr. Berry give a great critique to modern western medicine!

[The claims] sound good, until you realize that it also describes good conventional medicine. Conventional medicine always addresses the underlying causes of disease: when you have appendicitis, you don’t just get morphine for the pain, you get an appendectomy to remove the cause of the pain. Conventional medicine deals with real underlying causes; FM makes up hypothetical, speculative, or imaginary causes.

Conventional medicine uses a systems-oriented approach when appropriate, but it is not helpful for setting a broken bone. Conventional doctors always engage their patients in a therapeutic partnership; the days of paternalistic medicine are long gone. Conventional doctors have always addressed the whole person. As early as ancient Greece, Hippocrates said it was more important to know which person had the disease than to know which disease the person had. Conventional doctors have to spend time with their patients, since the history is 70% of the diagnostic process.

In other words, WE DO THE SAME DAMN THING! Yes, I get it. The current leaders within the paradigm (western medicine institutions) receive the brunt of the criticism and they rightly should. It is only through criticism that we adjust and perfect. And I DO like some premises of functional medicine especially in the evaluation of the entire individual's life, not a single encounter's "snapshot" of their health and I think this is an important concept. Today, a typical family practitioner has around 7 minutes to walk into a room, greet the patient, discuss current medications, ask how they are feeling, perform a physical exam and then make a recommendation. Remember, most medical providers are running a business and they get very little in compensation per patient, so they are forced to fill their schedules. When the suggestion to shift medicine from a fast-paced disease management system to a more patient-lifestyle approach, people are going to feel empowered and folks will respond. From what I have read, these "practitioners" invest a lot of energy with their patients and tune in to their personal histories, while assessing their living environment, lifestyle choices, and hereditary factors. This approach offers patients a one of a kind hands-on personal involvement in healthcare, which prompts higher engagement. That's not a bad thing. 

So, What's My Final Verdict?

I may be hard on functional medicine and I would suggest my critiques are well founded (the whole avoidance of the scientific method really sets off my bullsh!t meter)... BUT... western medicine may want to take a chapter out of the functional medicine playbook. Spending time with patients, listening, and reassuring pays a lot of dividends. Unfortunately, this may not be feasible within the confines of the current model as reimbursement plays a major role. This is why many practitioners are bailing completely from the insurance reimbursement model and opening old-school fee-for-service clinics. 

Let's revisit two things I opened the article with. First, western medicine, for all its faults, is still the Michael Jordan of all medical models. Don't believe me? I would love for you to feel the rhythmic thump of a donor's heart in the chest of a patient that has peaked behind the curtain of death but came out the other side healthy and enjoying life. That would be unheard of without the marvels of modern medical practices. However, I think the western medical model needs some fine tuning and we need to find a way to address the many lifestyle factors that relate to health and wellness. We need to see patients when they are WELL and preempt disease before it leads to death and disability. 

 

Hope you enjoyed the latest Civil Primate Blog post! Looking for a Podcast that inspires and motivates through interviews with authors, filmmakers, and everyday philosophers? Then look no further! Check out The Wait What If Podcast on iTunes, Podbean, or Stitcher.

Cheers - KS

Is The Paleo Diet Right for You?

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WWI Podcast listeners save $7 on Waiola Coconut Water Till 4/9/18

WWI Podcast listeners save $7 on Waiola Coconut Water Till 4/9/18

The answer is a resounding YES! There are zero negatives for which switching your diet to ancestral whole foods based eating plan. Humans have been around for approximately 200,000 years. That is a long time for the trial and error dependent tools of evolution to hone our physiology into well-orchestrated perfection. However, the story takes a turn for the worst. Back in the mid-20th century, humans decided to capitalize on nature with a pathetic attempt at improving on her methods. Rather than relying on food which grows from the power of the sun (all real foods come from the sun... even MEAT... queue vegan gasps!), we switched to foods mass produced on assembly lines pumped full of sugar and dangerously unstable and highly processed vegetable oils! What has resulted? A worldwide epidemic of chronic medical conditions set to bankrupt our society and send our children to early graves. That's right, we've reached the first generation of humans who may live shorter and markedly sicker lives compared to their parents. 

Here is Everything You Need To Know About the Paleo Diet

 

What Is Paleo Diet?

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The Paleo Diet refers to the consumption of foods that were available during the Paleolithic period. That means consuming plant and animal products that were available to humans 2.6 million to 12,000 years ago when the earth was in its purest state. Scientific studies in various fields of research including biology and biochemistry suggest that this diet is highly beneficial to humans. More specifically, it facilitates our physiological processes naturally. It helps us fight diseases as well. In contrast, modern foods are full of preservatives and artificial flavors among other chemical products. They work against the body leading to the development of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease among others.

Paleo Foods

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Sources of protein on a Paleo Diet include beef obtained from grass-fed cattle. You can also eat chicken, bacon, and pork to get this nutrient. Other sources of protein include fish, geese, and oysters. Vitamins are another critical food group in the Paleo Diet Plan. You can eat fruits such as mangoes, papaya, pineapples, and oranges among others. Recommended vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, and kales. Sources of fat while you are on a Paleo Diet include avocados, coconut oil, ghee, and lard. You have to avoid some foods if you are on this diet. For example, avoid dairy products including milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese. Remember, the consumption of these products started in 9,000 to 8,000 BC, which is past the Paleolithic period that ended in 12,000 BC. Other foods to avoid include grains, legumes, and starches. Moreover, the Paleo Diet discourages the consumption of all processed foods and sugars. Even alcohol is not okay. In other words, the Paleo Diet encourages you to eat foods that nature designed for you.

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The Benefits of a Paleo Diet Plan

A study by S. Linderberg and J. Soffman among other researchers determined that a Paleo Diet improves the level of glucose tolerance in people who suffer from ischemic heart disease. In fact, they compared it to the Mediterranean Diet over a twelve-week period, and they found that the Paleo Diet was better than the Mediterranean one when it came to helping people who are living with Type 2 Diabetes. The publication of these findings took place in the September 2007 issue of Diabetologia. Other studies have shown positive results for people who persist with this diet plan. For example, some of them indicate that a Paleo Diet leads to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. It improves your immunity as well. Finally, Paleo foods are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat lowering your risk of becoming obese. Remember foods in contemporary society are rich in saturated fats, which are bad for your body. Avoid them as much as possible by switching to a Paleo Diet as soon as you can.

In conclusion, the Paleo Diet Plan is a way of improving the physical health of your body naturally. It does that by helping you consume foods that facilitate physiological processes in your body. Remember, the Paleo diet is the key to health and wellness in life. Start your Paleo Diet Plan today and stick to it.

THe Absolute BEST Sources for Paleo Lifestyle:

The "Paleo Fitness Plan" that Saved My Joints!

Imagine never doubting yourself physically. Always being up for activities as experiences present themselves. Waking up everyday without any worries about nagging pains or limitations. Instead, you feel anticipation for the possibility of fun and exploration in the day ahead.” - GMB Fitness

Survival of the FITest

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I've been on an ancestral-type lifestyle program for about two years now and have reaped many benefits which include- higher energy, decreased joint pain, increased mobility and better overall health. How/why did I make the transition from traditional thinking? First of all, I was all-in, "hook line and sinker" with the paradigm "eat-less/move more" for optimum health. I was definitely moving more, often exercising intensely 6 days a week with crossfit-type workouts. I was lifting heavy and pushing myself hard. Interestingly, I didn't feel great. In fact, I felt terrible! I was always tired, my joints ached and I was plagued with vague bouts nerve pain. This wasn't supposed to happen! I am a medical professional and have been counseling my patients to do the very same things I was doing even though I was feeling horrible. The 'ah-ha' moment came when I turned forty last winter and realized if I felt this way now, how bad would I fell at fifty, sixty, seventy, and so on? I was simply doing it all wrong.

Magnificant Machines

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Humans have been around for about 200,000 years. Our bodies are magnificent machines which work like little organic all-terrain vehicles specialized to navigate the variable terrains we encounter here on Earth. The mechanisms of evolution have fine tuned our cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, and even our digestive systems from the slow-and-steady pace of nomadic migrations to the stressful sprints of big game hunts. We adapted a body composition and metabolic processes to adjust for periods of plentiful bounty followed by periods of famine. This was our way of life for millennia after millennia until we figured out ways to increase the efficiency of movement by reducing workload.

Our bones, once strengthened against the punishment of long treks, and our skin, once thickened and calloused for grip, have been dangerously softened. Our posture once tall and outstretched to spy predators and prey is now slumped as we sit at desks tapping away at keyboards. The fundamental issue being we've lost touch with one of our body's most basic human functions: movement. 

 

Moving Forward by Looking Back

Katy Bowman

Katy Bowman

Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA and creator of Nutritious Movement, elegantly describes the modern limitations imposed on our body's natural abilities as casting, similar to the medical casts we apply to broken limbs. A cast purposefully limits the mobility of a broken bone in order to reduce mechanical stresses to allow the bone to heal properly. Bowman applies this principle to everything in our lives which limit natural movements. Take, for example, the athletic shoe  which binds the natural contours of our feet, reducing inefficient movements and isolating single muscle groups. This ignores the process of adaptation. Our feet are designed to take a beating. The outcome of constant cushioning is weakness and deconditioning. Bowman suggests the idea of casting can be applied to almost every area in our lives. Casts weaken historically strong muscles resulting in dysfunction and leading to abnormal wear and tear setting us up for injury and chronic pain.

 

This Gets Personal

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In the winter of 2016, I decided to set a goal to deadlift 400 pounds before my odometer clicked past 39 years, 11 months and 31 days. Some may say that this goal was foolishly fueled by the prototypical mid-life-crises and those individuals would probably be right. Despite a decade passing since my “twenty-something” perception of invincibility, I decided to set this deadlifting goal to become the strongest I had ever been. Unfortunately, no matter how much will and dedication I applied to this task, my body remained insubordinate through chronic aches, pains, multiple injuries. Somewhere between the numbness in my fingertips and the rational part of my brain, reality set in and I chose to readdress my fitness goals while I still had the ability to move my limbs.

I researched bodyweight strength and flexibility oriented programs to try and loosen up my rusty old spine and protect it for future endeavors. I avoided most programs which were too similar to others I had completed in the past. I had a lot of fun with CrossFit programs and they work well in their ability to pound you into shape but if my body was still injury prone, what would be my motivation to continue with these? Aesthetics? Therein lies an important distinction everyone must address when considering a workout program. Am I doing this to look good or am I doing this to feel good? I had never taken time to consider feeling better as a fitness goal. My motivations were always aimed towards lifting heavier, going farther and getting faster. What if I changed that mindset to moving better, feeling better and increasing my flexibility

Always with a Smile

Ryan Hurst from GMB Fitness showing "unparalleled" strength. (lol - get it?)

Ryan Hurst from GMB Fitness showing "unparalleled" strength. (lol - get it?)

Enter the guys from GMB Fitness. I discovered their website after seeing a lot of chatter about them on twitter. They talked about mindfulness, listening to your body and exploring movements through various workflows. Their website showcased videos and images of athletes bounding around on all fours like monkeys, jumping like frogs and balancing in contorted poses sometimes on one hand, one leg, or upside down and most importantly always with a smile. It was the first paragraph on the website caught my attention the most:

Lately, the word “fitness” has been perverted to mean shaming yourself into doing things you hate to impress people you don’t like with a body that looks good but is too beat-up and tired to do anything fun.

Hey, that sounded familiar. Why had I chosen the 400 pound deadlift as a goal? I wanted to prove that I wasn't getting older. But to who? The fact is, I am getting older and that's okay. Humility teaches us that most people don't care how you look and could care even less about how much weight you can lift. The creators of GMB Fitness, Andy Fosset, Ryan Hurst and Jarlo Ilano, developed their approach to fitness by embracing this very concept. Their backgrounds in martial arts, gymnastics and physical therapy allows for a program which combines medically appropriate movement, athletic flexibility and functional strength at the pace and intensity of the user. Their approach is simple: relearn the ways our bodies were meant to move and celebrate your improvements. So, for 12 months, I put down my barbell and found myself  focusing on bear crawls, monkey walks and frog jumps. My first attempt at bear walking for 5 minutes resulted in my collapse to the floor in only 45 seconds! I could snatch a 32 kg kettlebell overhead but couldn’t walk on all fours for a minute! Eventually, the movements became smoother, easier and almost felt cleaner. I would reach a level of relaxation and mindfulness that carried beyond my workouts and

I learned to measure goals by performance and flexibility. I've returned to a modified injury free weight training program (thank you Body by Science). Yet, I never really stray far from the GMB basics as I don't want to stiffen up. I plan on incorporating these lessons throughout my life and hope to stay limber, strong and pain free till I'm old and gray (well, older and grayer).

 

If you want to learn more about GMB Fitness, Ryan Hurst appeared on The Wait What If Podcast to discuss the essentials of human movement and further talk about the GMB philosophy. Visit GMB Fitness at www.gmb.io