GO TO ALLTHATCHAZZ.com for more health news

March 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Given some changes to my health (and exciting new goals) I’m bring content from this website over to my author website.

For starters, check out the All That Chazz Podcast: Weight Loss for a Loser.

It’s all about health, fitness and plans for world domination.

Then check out this video update featuring video on treatment for knee pain with cupping. It’s pretty wild.

See you at AllThatChazz.com! Thanks!

~ Chazz

The V word: Plant-based or vegan or vegetarian?

May 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

This isn’t a post about the differences between vegan and vegetarian. There’s plenty of that elsewhere. This is about changing minds and lives, no matter what you want to change. It’s about spreading the word and getting out of our own way.

The problem with the V-word

In the documentary Forks Over Knives, the word “vegan” is never used. Instead, the doctors talk about following a plant-based diet for greater health. That’s probably a good strategy. I’ve known about the benefits of eating raw, unprocessed foods for a long time. The truth is, I would have converted to a plant-based diet sooner if the first guy who preached to me about it hadn’t been such a dick.

Vegan vs. Omnivore vs. Carnivore. When we talk about diet choices, the words we use are loaded down with such heavy baggage, it gets in the way of helping anyone.

Pragmatism versus Idealism

To illustrate the problem, I’m going to talk briefly about something that isn’t threatening to anyone’s Diet Identity. (Diet Identity = tribalism and politics and condemnation. It’s the “I’m a carnivore!” versus “I’m not!” thing.) Let’s skip that because you’ve heard all that before.

Instead, consider the incompetent receptionist.

Years ago, I had an incompetent receptionist. One of my colleagues suggested we go get the clients from reception at the appointed time because the cog we were stuck with at the front desk wasn’t turning. I objected that it wasn’t our job. That wasn’t how the system was supposed to work. My colleague replied that, since the receptionist wasn’t going to change, we should take over part of her role.

Why? Because the clients were more important than rusty cog.

She was right. I’d lost sight of the higher goal there for a minute. The clients were the important thing, not The Way Things Are Supposed to Be. In confusing an Ought with an Is, I wasn’t serving my clients. I got over my minor inconvenience and let the receptionist do other things. I got my clients myself and stayed on schedule and helped more people without delay.

The Point

I’m a bit of a rebel, so when someone tells me to do something, even if it’s good for me, I’m less likely to go that way. It’s not a stance that serves me well all the time. There are a lot of people like me, though. Nobody wants to be told they’re wrong. Nobody likes to feel wrong.

In fact, studies show you can demonstrate to people in the wrong how wrong they are with persuasive facts and they’re more likely to double down on dumb.

That’s pretty bleak. How can we help our friends and family eat healthier if facts won’t do?

Don’t preach. Demonstrate.

Two of my best friends, Victor Morin and Brenda Beattie, are Registered Massage Therapists at Equilibrium Massage in Victoria, BC. (If you’re in Victoria, go get yourself some Massage Therapy!) They’re a couple of the healthiest people I know and they look the part. They’ve been staying active and eating healthy foods for many years. You can see it. They don’t have to tell. They show.

Let others ask for help first.

When you lose the weight or gain muscle or run farther and faster or heal your body of pain and sickness, you’re living the truth of what works. People will come to you and ask how it is that you’re looking so good and doing so well. Then you can tell them without anger and self-righteousness, “This is what I do…” They’ll be more likely to listen that way.

Discussions are helpful. Arguments entrench. 

I know many people are passionate about animal rights. Many are dogmatic about their lifestyle choices. But if you’re really out to change the world (as I hope we all are) we have to come at the world with a friendly, smiling face. If the goal is just to vent your spleen, shout all you want.

You might win over more people by inviting them to dinner and serving them something delicious instead of shouting. You can casually mention that the meal was meat-free and farm market-fresh after your guests are full and happy. A gentle invitation beats missionary zeal in changing the ways we live.

Be a shining example and let them come to you.

Win the argument by not arguing. The soft approach is what got me eating healthier. Scare tactics and the hard sell makes me want a sloppy burger and greasy fries.

 

~ As soon as I hit publish on this post, I read this one. Maybe it is truly hopeless. Oh, the humanity!

Diet and Mood

April 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Got my mojo going with eating fruits and vegetables.

After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives and looking over The China Study again, I got back on track to taking better care of myself and eating clean. No processed foods. Fruits and vegetables. Lots of soup and no pop at all. (Instead, it’s cold water with cut up limes in the fridge at all times.) I’m feeling lighter and generally much better.

Here’s the weird part:

This might be a transitory issue, but since I’ve cut the bad carbs out, I seem more sensitive and emotional. It kind of makes sense in that I have frequently self-medicated with food. Sometimes I miss the kick of all the drugs in processed crap. Bad fats and bad carbs can be a protective layer against life’s sharp bits.

For instance, this week I saw a story on Facebook wherein a fundraiser donated money to poor, hungry kids in school lunch programs. For this act of charity, he actually caught hell from people more interested in judging the “deadbeat” parents of the kids than feeding children. That bothered me and more than a little. I suspect it wasn’t just righteous outrage. On my old diet, I don’t think I would have felt the irritation so deeply.

Recently I made the mistake of having a coffee. I’ve cut back but when I do choose it, I choose decaf. This was a not a large cup of coffee, and it wasn’t decaf, either. The pot of decaf wasn’t ready so, rather than wait, I took a smaller cup of caffeinated hot bean juice. I soon felt edgy and shaky and anxious and the effect lasted quite a while. I’ve never felt that from one cup of regular coffee before. I’ll be more careful in the future.

 

When I eat raw, the world feels a little more raw, too.

When I was eating poorly, I often felt numb to things or I would just put my head down and barrel through.

Increased self-awareness sure can be a bitch, but it is better for me in the long run.

UPDATE: Mark Young from Mondays Are Meatless sent me this link about improving mood through dietary change.

Today’s Fitbit dashboard so far…

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here’s what a Fitbit dashboard looks like on a desktop:Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 4.34.05 PMSee the green part of the graph under “Activity”? That’s me at the gym.

Not getting enough sleep. Not drinking enough water.

However, I did get to the gym and got my “Very Active Minutes” today, so there’s a start.

But the kitchen is more important than the gym. Ounces are lost in the gym. Pounds are lost in the kitchen.

2014: Make the resolution every day, not just today.

January 1, 2014 § 1 Comment

The decision has to be made again and again, at every meal. It means going to the gym when you don’t feel like it. 

Let’s slow down, plan and think about our decisions so they’re rational and conscious decisions. When we decide ahead of time what’s acceptable and what’s not, we’ll make better choices.

 

What does health look like?

December 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Fewer Than 10% of Canadians have ideal heart health.

Body mass index (BMI) values

Body mass index (BMI) values (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay. “Ideal” is a pretty high standard. However, I’m working on doing better. We don’t all have to be chiseled and ripped and climbing mountains each morning before breakfast to be healthier. The point is to have a life that’s better for you and others. But achieving an ideal? Isn’t that for pathologically obsessed or those afflicted with body dysmorphia?

From Wikipedia:

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD, also known as body dysmorphia, dysmorphic syndrome; originally dysmorphophobia) is a chronic mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the afflicted individual is concerned withbody image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical appearance. An individual with BDD has perpetual negative thoughts about their appearance; in the majority of cases, an individual suffering from BDD is obsessed with a minor or imagined flaw.[1] Afflicted individuals think they have a defect in either one or several features of their body, which causes psychological and clinically significant distress or impairs occupational or social functioning. BDD often co-occurs with depressionanxiety, social withdrawal, and social isolation.[2]

Or from your local gym:

See the guy whose body looks like a roadmap who also happens to be impossibly massive? He didn’t get that way without dangerous drugs. The Greek statues are achievable without drugs or living at the gym. However, the guys with huge jaws, heavy acne, tiny testicles and an increased risk of cancer are seething with steroids meant to repair injuries in racehorses.

My point is, don’t feel bad if you aren’t ideal. A lot of people who appear ideal, certainly are not.

If you’ve got the best VO2 max in a hundred miles but you’re a mean twit who never cracks a book or is incapable of anything but self-love, I want you to die young. Or grow a nicer personality. That would be good.

Speaking of making positive changes, I’ve been dealing with some health problems lately. I may not achieve an “ideal” anything. However, I haven’t given up on me. I’m more active. I’m eating healthier. I’m tracking my progress again. 

My Missing Component

I’ve discovered what I needed to make my commitments stick. I’m not talking about logistics (though a Fitbit, a calendar for time management and a food and exercise plan are solid choices.) I’m talking about finding the Why. If you have the Why, you’ll figure out the How and make it work. For me, taking better care of my body wasn’t enough motivation. (Tragic. True.) What does interest me more is taking better care of my brain. (More on that in a follow-up article soon in a review of Grain Brain by Dr,. David Perlmutter.) 

By integrating exercise deeper into my lifestyle and becoming more healthy, we decrease our chances of developing brain disorders (like dementia). Alzheimers scares the shit out of me. That’s like dying twice. Meanwhile, my risk factors have gone up as my medical concerns have compounded, so here I am working my plan. More details on that soon, too.

Obsession isn’t healthy. Enthusiasm is.

For me, health is based on the verbs we live by. We have to do things to become the person we want to be. Health looks like this:

1. Get in a body weight range that is considered healthy according to the Body Mass Index. (Note: Not one number. A range.)

2. Become active enough to be able to stimulate my brain with new experiences, based on concrete desires and goals. For instance, if you can’t walk comfortably in an amusement park all day with your kids, you’re missing out. If you want to swim like you did when you were a kid but now you’re too self-conscious to go to the pool, you’re missing out. If you want to try kayaking but worry about fitting into the boat, you’re missing out.

3. Enjoy food. If you don’t like your diet, it won’t last.

4. Choose consciously. I recently decided that I’d had my last French fry. I’m generally against outright bans that are supposed to go on forever, but I chose that ban for a simple reason. It’s not just that French fries are unhealthy. It’s a trigger food for me that I won’t stop eating until the plate’s empty. But not only is it unhealthy, I decided I don’t even really enjoy French fries much! Enjoying food does not equal mindless eating. Slowing down and tasting the food with mindfulness enhances flavor. Evaluating when satiety is reached is also part of that deal. So, yes, there are some things I won’t eat anymore, ever. Anything that requires me to have a nap to digest it is off the menu for me.

5. Physical, emotional and psychological health turn on each other. Don’t be a dick and don’t tolerate dickish behaviour. For instance, I’m deleting trolls, energy vampires and jerks from my life. I’m finding I have more time and energy to devote to the important people and my critical tasks now.

6. Healthy = become happily engaged in a life that’s truly kind to yourself and others.

For a few more specifics on the Why and How of the changes I’m making, check out this post:

My Top Ten: Becoming a Healthier Writer

For more on Massage Therapy and bodywork,

here’s my blog at MassageTherapyScience.com.

 

Reboot: The 30-day challenge

October 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow I see my doctor for a check up. I’ll need BP meds, probably. The stress has been high, but things should improve in short order.

A month from now, I’ll be practising therapeutic bodywork again. I’ve been writing books and being sedentary for two years, so with blood pressure issues and feeling unfit, I must prepare the new business and prepare my body for my new work and lifestyle. 

The new lifestyle has to (re)start now. I’ve been absent here, focussing exclusively on my serial, This Plague of Days. (It became a bestseller recently and just last night I released Season 2. For more, check out ThisPlagueOfDays.com.)

What does a new lifestyle mean?

No gluten (pasta, bread etc.,…)

Vegetables and fruit smoothies (mostly green vegetables.)

Egg whites and lean protein.

Water.

The gym, hitting the weight circuit interspersed with cardio.

Getting to sleep early and up early.

More water.

To care for others, we have to take care of ourselves first. I’ve been focussed on creating books to the exclusion of everything else, including my health. I admit it. Now, back to the program.

To make it work, each day starts with the gym, first thing, and tracking with Slimkicker.com.

Of course, this goes well beyond a 30-day challenge, but my intervention must be more intense for the next month.

 

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