The Optimal Balance Plan

My new ebook is out! It is available for download via the internet or hardcopy purchase from lulu.com. I suggest you check it out if you need any assistance with your lifestyle, fitness or nutritional needs. I have spent most of this year writing it, a lot of time, thought, emotion and experience has gone into it. You can checkout a preview of the first chapter or so on lulu as well.

 

An Excerpt From:

The Optimal Balance Plan

A Book By: Jamison Hill CPT

 

“Can I climb Mount Everest?” Not many people likely ask this question unless they are seriously considering taking on the task. It’s a question that would bring doubt to even the most experienced climber. The uncertainty of a feat like reaching the summit of Mount Everest is universal, even to those who have accomplished it. There is no guarantee it will be done.

“Can I take the garbage out to the trash can?” This question is as simple to answer as the action itself. Excluding any injury or illness, there should be no question whether someone is physically able to take the trash out. The distinction between the aforementioned questions is made by someone’s confidence to answer them. The goal of this book is for you to exude enough confidence that the gravity of either task feels the same.

Motivation or lack-there-of often ends the quest for fitness before it even begins. My primary fear is that a client will go for their first workout and let one of the many potential obstacles get in their way. Hurdles like sore muscles or easy exhaustion commonly give exercisers a bad outlook on fitness. However, these are simply indications that a workout was successful and it’s time to rest up for the next one. Sore muscles and exhaustion are not bad; they are the body’s way of sending a message. Instead of sulking and eventually throwing in the towel out of unnecessary frustration, keep moving forward.

Getting discouraged with exercise is often a gateway to quitting. Everyone gets discouraged sooner or later. Those that are successful push through it. Non-existent results, poor performance or a loosing comparison to someone else in the gym will get anybody thinking twice. However, a shift of focus is best for coping. Instead of focusing on the unsatisfactory, focus on your progress made. Focus on everything positive about yourself. Think about how far you’ve come on your journey—this is the time to be selfish. I tell clients, “just do you, cause it’s the only thing you can control.” Using this reminder will allow the uncontrollable factors to fade away. This way your focus will be on the positive internal factors like how good you feel working out.

Focusing on how far you’ve come will make it so much easier to stay optimistic. You may be thinking, “I haven’t gone anywhere yet.” Not true! You have always come from somewhere to get to the point you are currently at. Even picking up this book and thinking about exercise is a step that otherwise would have been neglected. Just think about all the people that haven’t thought about exercising and are perfectly content eating burgers, pizza and cheesecake without any inhibitions. Those careless cravers are already in your rearview and the distance is only increasing.

 

Say you just bought a new pair of shoes. The first day you wear them they get a scuff, do you ever wear them again? Of course, you do. Maybe you polish or clean them before wearing them again, but they still have a lot of life left. One day, those shoes will be perfectly broken in and comfortable. An unconditioned body is the same way; it needs activity and maintenance before it is properly broken in.

When first starting out, stalling, sputtering or even stopping can happen. If it does, have piece of mind that you can always start over—just like a mulligan in golf or a do-over. Facing hurdles is very difficult, they are always bigger at the beginning, but they do get smaller. If necessary take some time—a day or so, regroup and start fresh once you’re confident again. Time may be continuous, but fitness can always restart and it will, likely many times. The more persistence is shown, especially in the beginning, the less failure becomes a possibility.

Stopping an exercise routine prematurely is a common occurrence for novice exercisers. Up to 65% of new exercisers give up within three to six months of starting a routine (Annesi & Unruh, 2007). The majority of which don’t make it past the first few weeks. The last thing anybody wants is to be apart of a statistic like that. To prevent a premature fitness evacuation, try this on: think of a track runner at the beginning of a race. She never sprints off the line, stops after 500 feet, walks away and is content. She always wants to finish a race, even if it’s in last place and if she drops out, the next race will be met with even more motivation and intensity. Try this mentality with exercise. Don’t just go hardcore in the first week, then stop content with what you have accomplished. FINISH THE RACE! Don’t worry about what place you finish compared to others. Just finish. Then, in retrospect you can say, “I’m so glad I didn’t stop way back there!”

http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-optimal-balance-plan/17972906?productTrackingContext=author_spotlight_56621780_

Over/Under

I will be the first person to advocate for physical activity. Being active is such a wonderful and beautiful part of life–in some ways I believe movement is the human body’s true calling. I mean, when we were created the purpose was not for us to sit behind a desk pushing papers 60 hours a week. In that regard, being a workaholic is self-destructive.

Have you ever seen those pictures of captured animals trying to get out of their cage on TV?

That’s what the body is trying to do when sitting at a desk all-day. Those aches? Back pain? and Tiredness? Yeah, that’s your body’s way of saying: “THIS SUCKS! I WANT TO MOVE!” 

Many people don’t seem to realize the detriment that inactivity can have on the body. It’s similar to the effect that overactivity has. Unfortunately, people just don’t realize it until it’s too late. Diabetes, heart disease and stress related health issues can all occur due to sitting in front of a TV or behind a desk too much.

       

Overactivity or overtraining has consequences as well. Similar to inactivity, the signs and further consequences seem to be oblivious to people. Not that I blame people for lacking to see either end of the spectrum. Naturally, we have a tendency to think we are doing things just right–achieving the perfect amount of daily activity. But of course, hardly any of us achieve that equilibrium. We are either over or under.

Interestingly enough, people put themselves through crazy bouts of intense exercise and for what? Well, for the accomplishment, duh! Why do we people run marathons? Not for the health aspect, in fact, putting the body through that extreme is destructive to many of the body’s properties–joints, muscles, ligaments. The body is not made to consistently run 26.2 miles. It’s like taking your car on a cross country road trip every week–it’s gonna break down sooner or later. So, why do people do it? For no other reason than to say: “I ran a marathon.”

Don’t get me wrong here, I completely support running marathons and equally, working to earn a living. However, I think as a society we need to stop overdoing it! Moderation is a fully wonderful thing and while it’s a daily battle, we should take it head on. Moderation is so unexciting and goes against the whole “all or nothing” principle, but trust me, it’s soooo much better than facing the consequences of either end of the spectrum!

Looking Good, Feeling Good?

What is your biggest pet peeve? I wouldn’t say this is my biggest, but it definitely bugs me a whole lot–when people say, “I’m feeling good cause I’m looking good.” I am very skeptical of this. I’m sure for the people making this statement they honestly believe that if you look good, then you will also feel good. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, there is a local commercial that runs on TV for a hair replacement doctor. The star of the commercial is local Bay Area basketball legend Rick Berry. In the commercial he says, “I honestly believe that if you look your best, you’ll feel your best,” or something along those lines. Well, if an NBA hall of gamer said it, it’s pretty hard not to be convinced. In many ways looking your best and feeling your best are two completely different things. While, it is a truly wonderful phenomena when look and feel are on the same page, it just doesn’t always work out like that. And whomever says that the two always coincide has obviously never been sick or injured for any extended period of time.

Walking around with a chronic illness or injury is extremely difficult.  For those that do so, I really don’t need to say much more.  When someone feels crummy for so long that it becomes the new “normal” feeling, that is when looking good and feeling good don’t coexist. It can be frustrating to get a compliment on your good looks when you internally feel horrible. Not because you don’t like compliments, but because you feel like a human facade. Imagine walking around with broken ribs or chronic migraines. Someone comes up and says “Wow you look really great today!” Just smile and hope for better days, that’s the only appropriate response. This relates to the difference between being fit and being healthy–many people often group the two, but it is perfectly possible to be unhealthily fit.

Flickr: CroixRougedeParis

Being fit is basically looking good, being healthy is feeling good. Now, both can venture into the other realm, it is possible to be fit and healthy, but in all honesty, it’s a rarity these days. being fit and healthy, is a lifestyle that some just don’t find appealing. For those who succeed with calorie counting–I’m not saying going on a diet or even lowering body fat is unhealthy. It’s the method of doing so that comes into question. For someone to eat processed foods lacking in so many essentials and boasting in so many harmful ingredients, as a means of looking good is not going to result in feeling good. And by chance if it does, it won’t last forever. Some of the fittest people in popular culture have now been caught by their past poor decisions. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was undoubtedly one of the fittest looking individuals in mainstream media and for a long time he was able to pull it off. But now he is nothing but loose skin, flab and list of health conditions including heart problems. He resorted to drug use and nutritional shortcuts to climb his way to the top of bodybuilding and movies. Maybe he should have trained his ego.

Flickr: muscle[spell]bound

The Point is…

A healthy person may not be showcasing an awesome six-pack or have grapefruit size biceps or they may be. On the opposite end, someone who has unhealthily gained a good looking physique has no chance of sharing in good health so long as they live that lifestyle. Cutting corners may grant you a rocking’ body, but with it will be increased susceptibility to illness and risk of injury–two things that will not leave you feeling good.