Fitness/Health

Review of Raw ’til 4

I have always been skeptical of radical diets that require specific foods to be eaten at certain times. I would say this diet falls into that category. Surprisingly enough, I did do this diet for the Fall and Winter of 2014 after being vegetarian for many years.

This diet is now advertised by the peppy Freelee the Banana Girl, otherwise known as FREEyourself on Youtube. She has a massive following and is the creator of the Raw til 4 diet.  So what is the Raw til 4 diet? An overview is that a person is a raw vegan from the time he or she wakes up, until four in the afternoon. Afterwards, you are allowed to have simply cooked vegan meals. The unbelievable part is that you can eat as much raw food as you want — while still losing weight. The creator of the diet also says it will cleanse your body, give you energy, and help you shed the weight. Freelee herself is rather skinny, attributing it to her vegan diet ( in addition to being an accomplished cycler). So overall it sounds pretty cool.

Raw til 4
This is Freelee.

The vegan diet has numerous of benefits, but this is not what the post is about. It is about a critical review of the diet. People have claimed to either absolutely love the diet to smithereens or to say the diet ruined their bodies. With such mixed reviews, it’s already kind of a tell-tale sign that something’s up with this diet.

Those who are in support of it claim losing a small to moderate amount of weight, having an abundance of energy, and a general sense of improved health. The diet requires that carbs be the main source of calories, which will come from fruit and vegetables. Carbs are an essential source of energy in the diet, more so than protein and fat. Produce can be high in carbs and in natural sugars, so that is probably where all the energy is coming from that the diet claims to create. In general, the weight loss and sense of wellbeing is due to cutting out all the crappy processed foods from the diet. A person just naturally feels better. I will agree that veganism is an easy way to improve your diet if you are willing to not eat any animal products.

However, veganism in general is pretty cool in my opinion. It has plenty of health benefits besides the ones this diet lists.

Here are what the #haters of this diet say.

They said they were brainwashed by Freelee into thinking Raw til 4 was the ultimate diet. They claimed they were persuaded into thinking they were able to eat as much food as they wanted because it was “only produce” and other stereotypically healthy food. When they would feel sick and bloated, they would try to go purely raw in the belief it would give them relief. Besides feeling ill, a lot of people backlashed at Freelee because the diet actually made them gain weight. And quite a bit of weight too.

Well, Freelee claims she eats over 3,000 calories a day while maintaining a very slim physique. Huh.

I do not believe that to be true. Any female who eats around 3,000 calories is expected to gain weight. Unless they are an extreme endurance athlete like Freelee is. I know for sure that if I eat more than my 2,200 calorie diet ( a bit extra for weightlifting) I will get fat. Because I have eaten too much before for a prolonged period of time and gained some pudge. When the average (sedentary) women only supposed to eat 1,800 a day, the 3,000 calorie amount is an outlier that few can manage. Calories in, calories out. So, this is the inaccurate part of the diet if you were to follow it exactly.

So this this is my opinion.

If you want to follow this diet, I give you the green light. I have had positive results with this diet. I did not gain weight because I continued tracking calories every day. The increased amount of energy was definitely true, I got leaner, and I felt pretty f*cking healthy. The downside is that as a college freshman, having easy access to a wide variety of raw food was difficult. A year after the diet, I got a chronic illness that required me to gain weight to help recovery, as I was underweight at that time. I was advised to eat dairy and meat to encourage weight gain. Along with the diet change came faster muscle gains from the gym. Eventually, I stopped being vegan.

 

Another issue that led me away from the vegan lifestyle was how restricting diets often led me to relapse into an ED. Having food off limits or eating at certain times led me to view food as either good or bad. It isn’t a mentally healthy way to view food. While food is fuel and helps with my bodybuilding, I like to try to enjoy food by having flexibility.

Nowadays I do kinda miss it, which is why I am going from a omnivorous diet to a flexi-vegan one.

So, this is the gist of the diet and a general review. I hope this will help people make a wise decision for themselves.

Fitness/Health

Harm of Fatspo

76% of the population is now either overweight or obese. Of those who are thin, 80% of them are sedentary. Poor eating choices and a lack of exercise is considered the norm, and is even looked down upon by certain groups. Apparently making healthy lifestyle choices is a sign of superficiality or a self-loathing. I blame the fatspo trend.

Fatspo is loosely defined as making being overweight a healthy status, and being happy with how you are. Those who say that are unhappy with their appearance or their health are told they just have to break through their layers of self-loathing that was created by the big, bad, evil patriarchy. They blame society for having to pay a few dollars extra for clothes, having too small of seats, and being uncomfortable with how they are in public settings.Through the veil of victimization they say that they must be happy with how they are. If people disagree with the fatspo indoctrinations, they are shunned and publicly humiliated on social media. I have seen this first hand.

The leaders of this movement are obese women with the desire to wear too little clothing no matter the situation. Often they are strongly tied to radical feminism, which part of that movement preaches for women not to be sexualized. I whole-heartedly agree with that. What I am annoyed with is how fatspo leaders also push people to love and admire their nudes. Isn’t it weird how they are saying that you must absolutely love how they look, as if discouraging free will, which is against what feminism says? Like, how looks aren’t important. I hope you readers understand the hypocrisy of the tie between fatspo and feminism.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in body positivity. People should be happy no matter their size. It makes me sad to think of how many women are unhappy with the way they look. Despite how I believe looks should never be a priority, fatspo and women generally make it a priority.

There is always controversy when a group tries to glorify something unhealthy. “Glorify” isn’t even an exaggeration. Fatspo says childish quotes like “It’s ok to be fat!” or “You are a goddess!” It seems they have to remind themselves an awful lot that they are healthy and happy. Since I am a rather isolated person I wonder if people rely on silly quotes to validate them, or if the majority of people are indifferent to what others think. I wouldn’t know.

Is fatspo a toxic movement? Only if they are glorifying unhealthiness. Is body positivity for everyone? Absolutely, as long as you don’t demand people to love you back.

I  feel this has been enough of a rant.

Fitness/Health

The Benefits and Harms of Thinspo

“Thinspo” or “thinspiration” is pretty much described in its name. Thinspo is a community online comprised of images of healthy weight to underweight individuals that inspire people to lose weight or be healthier. The idea in and of itself is not bad. I have seen some of the images and found no fault with them. It is based on the matter of perspective.

Idolizing an image of a healthy-weight woman can be motivating to an overweight person, giving them a visual of his or her goal. Certainly I agree that seeing people who are thin and fit makes me want to intensify my bodybuilding routine and put down the taco I was about to exuberantly shove into my mouth. It would give what I would assume most anyone extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to eat healthier and exercise. There is nothing wrong with a bit of motivation.

More importantly, it sends a message to people that health is attainable. In a society riddled with an obesity epidemic (cough 72% of Americans), I found that some people think that thinness is a special-snowflake-rare-unicorn status. Images that remind people it is possible to be healthier can only be positive.

However, there is a dark side of thinsperation that is part of the pro-anorexia community.

Certain thinspo images feature people who are dangerously underweight. With #ana #bones #wintergirl #beautiful. It is distorted and sad. People who struggle with anorexia, including myself, can fuel our behaviors with scrolling these tags for hours. Some thinspo tags give “advice” on how to endure two whole days of starving. Or it is a totalitarian view that if you are not underweight you don’t deserve to live. Quite toxic, don’t ya think?

However, not everyone will be bothered by the thinspo tag. Take me for example. On my good days, where there are no anorexia flair-ups, I can accidently stumble upon those tags and be ok. Another person can stumble upon those same tags and be influenced to f*cking starve themselves to death. What affects one person does not affect another.

Two sides of the same coin. The “fine” thinspo and the “toxic” thinspo should remain online because I don’t believe in censoring free speech. People should be aware that not all thinspo is representing starvation.

Fitness/Health, minimalism

Minimalism and Health

Being healthy doesn’t have to complicated. All health really hones in on are two things: diet and exercise. With all the vast amount of information on the big, bad interwebz, it’s easy to blow the process to being healthy out of proportion. And that makes it seem…well…impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

Getting healthy mainly requires just one goal from both diet and exercise: being consistent. You can’t expect to get results eating clean only 25% of the time, like eating a salad a day and feeling like the next fitness guru. Neither does exercising intensely six times a week for half a month, then not working out for a whole month won’t give you results. Rather, it’s doing a “‘minimalist'” routine.

This is my minimalist approach to diet. It’s basic knowledge to eat whole, unprocessed foods the majority of the time. I try to load my plate up with a variety of foods. A source of protein, some grains, and then a large serving of vegetables and fruit. For sanity, it makes sense to treat yourself to one thing every week. I decided to eliminate only one thing from my diet, and that is sugar. It would be too complicated to eliminate too many other foods if I don’t have a health condition. I do calculate calories for weightlifting, but I use apps to make tracking easier. That’s all there really is for eating clean and getting lean.

My workout routine is very simplistic too. Six times a week at four a.m I do yoga and Piyo. Four times a week I go to the gym at 5:50 am on the dot. I follow a weightlifting  program that I pay for every month that has been giving me great results. Since the weightlifting program only takes me around thirty-forty minutes, as everything is superset, I like to push myself with Crossfit for the remaining ten minutes. At Crossfit I pick the same basic exercises because with consistency, as then I will get very strong with them.

The balance part is a gentle activity for a greater frequency of training, and a hard activity for a lower frequency of training week. I highly recommend paying for a workout program that will last you for at least four months. If you can’t afford it, get ideas from Youtube or Pinterest. I like to print out the exercises from online resources so I have ideas if I can’t do my program for whatever reason. Like a back-up. Being prepared helps you stay consistent and saves you a lot of time and doubts of picking exercises tailored to your needs.

If you want to make additional changes to improve your health further, here are some recommendations.

  • Oil-pulling. This is swishing coconut oil in your mouth to help eliminate the bad bacteria in your mouth, plus whiten your smile.
  • Herbal Tea. Different types of tea have different effects on your mood and body. I really like green tea to boost my energy, and dandelion root tea to help with bloating.
  • Excellent Skin-Care. I consider skin-care to be part of general health, as the skin is your largest organ after all.
  • Volunteering. Doing volunteer work is an excellent way to stay on your feet. In the warmer seasons I walk the dogs at the local animal shelter, and in the past even did some gardening or split wood.

This isn’t so complicated overall. Or at least I don’t feel it is. A shortened idea of what a minimalistic routine would be the following.

!!!CONSISTENCY!!!

 

 

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat protein, grains, fruits, and veggies for most meals
  • Don’t eliminate or restrict too many things–it gets complicated after a while
  • Find a ready-made routine to take the guessing out for you
  • Set a specific time, and a certain amount of time, you exercise. Stick to it. Many years later it will become habit.
  • Pick a hard activity for a few times a week
  • Pick an easy activity for most of the week

This is the gist of how minimalism can be applied to healthy living.

Fitness/Health

Three Reasons Why Your Diet is Failing

Diets can be very hard to stick to, especially when it has to be done over a long period of time. It seems the longer the diet continues, the less willpower you have. But really, it is about attitude. Viewing the diet as deprivation will cause anyone to lose motivation. People naturally focus on the immediate gratification of food cravings instead of the ultimate goal of achieving their dream body. How is your attitude right now? Is it positive or negative?

Here are three reasons why diets may be failing.

 

  • The diet is a punishment. This is very important. If you feel you need to diet as a way to punish yourself for past poor food choices, then you have a long ways to go. Punishment does not help anyone or anything. Psychology has proven that positivity and rewards effectively helps people stick to behavior change much more than punishment ever will. Instead, try viewing the diet as a way to  reward your body. You are taking care of it by losing or gaining weight and eating healthy food. A diet is an excellent decision for your health.
  • You have unrealistic expectations. Expecting to lose over five pounds a week is unrealistic. Even three or four pounds a week can be unrealistic, but it does happen for people who have a lot of water weight or bloating that suddenly disappears. What most doctors recommend is two pounds a week. Why? If you are trying to lose weight rapidly, it is often done in unhealthy ways. It’s better for your mental health to just take time to lose the weight in a consistent fashion, and just exercise if you want to get better results.
  • Your changes might be too extreme. Read your diet plan aloud to yourself. Does it sound rather extreme? Well, it might be. Just going from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet is hard. No matter your plan, if it is extreme it would literally be giving up the majority of the foods you ate in favor for foods you aren’t too familiar with. I would focus first on reducing the amount of sugary drinks consumed per day, then dropping calorie intake by 100-200. As each week goes on add new changes while maintaining the previous ones. Of course, you might also be a person who would thrive off of a huge sudden change.

These are the three biggest changes that can cause a diet to fail.  When thinking about dietary changes you wish to make, keep in mind to avoid making these mistakes in particular. It will make the overall process much easier, and maybe enjoyable.

Fitness/Health

Common Workout Mistakes

Everyone has their own ideal physique. I don’t shame anyone from wanting to look a certain way. However, one argument I can make is that functionality and proportions do matter.

I certainly have my own body goals. My preference is lean and muscular. I do work on building a feminine physique, yet I want gains to be in proportion because I am a rather tall woman with a lithe frame. I know women who want to build a Kim Kardashian or Khloe Kardashian figure. Some want to just be very thin without being skinny-fat. And what I favor the most is doing whatever you want safely and consistently. As long as a person is happy, healthy, and safe, it’s all good.

However, there are some mistakes people frequently make.

Overtraining a few muscles while ignoring others can cause muscular imbalances that can later cause poor posture and injuries. Of course, it will also cause proportions to get out of whack (which can be ok to some degree/ the slim-thick figure).

Then some people don’t train consistently and get no results at all. It takes more than training 1-2x a week to get results no matter what form of exercise you are doing.

Here are what I frequently observe or hear complaints about:

————————————————————————————————————————————-  1) Not working the back. Not training the back causes both problems with function and and aesthetics. Working the upper body muscles surrounding the back (chest and shoulders) can ruin posture and even cause injury. Posture can be affected by the heavier anterior chain making you slump. Working the back would pull your shoulders towards the correct position. Another issue is when you try to lift something heavy your back will be weak, which causes you to use other muscles to compensate for the weakness, and then can result in a dislocation or musculoskeletal tearing. Proportions can be affected because the arms, shoulders, and legs can be ripped, but you still have a narrow frame due to a narrow back. Kind of like a dinosaur.

2) Bulking while fat. If you are bulking while fat, then you are not going in the right direction. I understand that you may want to just pack on more muscle before going on a diet, but you are just setting yourself up for more work. Eventually you will get even heavier, then have even more pounds to lose to show the muscles you did gain. Diet down to a healthy weight, and weight lift to maintain muscle mass. Besides, being at a normal weight is healthier for you, and having a low bodyfat percentage is what matters more in aesthetics (up to a point of course).

3) Tanning doesn’t hide it. Everyone says tanning makes you look leaner. I can admit this is kinda true from the correct angles. But if you are not having a fit physique, or are hiding insecurities, it doesn’t really matter. Others know. And you know it deep down. Choose health, and go eat healthy and work out to get the body you are actually after.

4) Training abs to lose stomach fat. Ok. Fat and muscle are completely different tissues. Doing ab exercises will make your ab muscles bigger, but the fat is still covering it. You have to ditch the fat if you want to see your abs. You can’t “spot reduce.” However, keep training abs regardless because a strong core is important for posture, protecting the spine, and core stability helps with heavy lifting.

5) Training abs only 1-2x per week. Abs need to be trained 3-5x a week for around twenty to thirty minutes. It should be a whole workout in itself, not merely added as an afterthought when you’re done with a different workout. Would you expect to get results with hardly any training? I would hope you know better. If you hate doing ab workouts, try to at least find some videos to follow along to or browse bodybuilding.com or pinterest for workouts that sound appealing.

6) Doing squats to try to build glutes. This is for both men and women. Squats work the quadriceps more than the posterior change. I’ve heard numerous complaints of people who squat, and squat, and squat, only to get huge quads that overpower muscularity in the posterior chain.  Here is a great article by “The Glute Guy” Bret Contreras.(https://bretcontreras.com/growing-glutes-without-growing-the-legs/) A TLDR for great exercises to grow glutes without the quads are Barbell Hip Thrusts, Weighted Back Extensions, and Barbell Glute Bridges. Those exercises take activation away from the quads and load it onto the glutes. Trust me on this. I’ve gotten results.

 

Fitness/Health

What’s In My Gym Bag

I go to the gym at a minimum of four times a week, and I always make sure to be prepared. It’s a bummer when you get to the gym all ready to go, only to realize you forgot your headphones or a fresh change of clothes. The majority of the time I do an intense weightlifting session, so some of the items may be more specific to that discipline. Additionally, I may do racquetball or yoga in between my college classes. Actually, now that I have a Fitbit I might be going to the gym in the evening to walk on the indoor track for an hour. Well, I’m there a lot. After going to the gym for four years I got a great list of essentials.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Gym Essentials

Gym Shoes: I use a pair of flat shoes from Nike for weightlifting. On days I’m doing racquetball or cardio I have running shoes. Having a flatter shoe for weightlifting gives me better form and keeps me balanced in comparison to puffed-up running shoes. My running shoes give me a bit of ankle support and cushion my feet from harsh contact with the ground. If I don’t have these, I probably won’t workout.

Workout Log + Pen: This is the second most important item. It is technically a Bullet Journal, but it is exclusively for exercise. On the first few pages I have my weight, measurements, and records. At the beginning of each month I record my goals for that month. Each day I write down my workout plan, then add in the weight I did with each set. I also keep track of other exercises I did, along with how long each workout took me. If I forget to bring this to the gym, then I try to do the workout from memory.

Water Bottle: I use a cute water bottle that was gifted to me. It says, “I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” It is only sixteen ounces, which I realized isn’t enough. I might have to invest in a liter water bottle.

Headphones:  I use bluetooth headphones on days I need extra motivation. Most of the time I don’t use these because I try to practice mindfulness during my workout.

Headband: I have short hair that can’t be tied back, so I use a headband to push my bangs back and also soak up the sweat.

Socks: Sometimes I need a better pair of socks than the ones I wore to the gym. It’s a good idea to have a spare pair just in case.

Makeup Bag: There is no need for me to bring all my makeup with me. I use this after my workout if I have to go somewhere afterwards. I just bring powder foundation, dry shampoo, q-tips and chapstick. If I am going someplace after my workout I throw in a mini bottle of lotion to help with my dry hands.Also I use a body spray if I sweat a lot.

Pre-Workout: I only take these occasionally. I use a cheap brand I found at Wal-Mart, but for the price they definitely work. I am able to pump out more sets and reps when I use these.

BCAA’s: I drink this every time I workout. This supplement mainly helps with muscle recovery.

Snack: I bring a one hundred calorie snack pack of almonds. If I am working out in between college classes, then this tides me over until I get home.

Elastic Bands: I use the bands at the end of my weightlifting workout to completely burn out my muscles. The program I’m on frequently uses bands for hip abduction exercises so I can never forget these.

Ankle Weights: These are only brought on days I need them. I use twenty pound ankle weights I found at Goodwill for only $10. These are great for leg and glute exercises on days you don’t feel like pushing heavy weights. Be careful that your gym bag can carry the heavy weights, because you don’t want it to rip.

 

These are everything I bring to the gym with me. I am a bit of a gym rat and can’t stay out of there, so I need to be prepared.

 

Fitness/Health

How to Get a Fit “Bikini Body”

I am ready to step up my training as summer is coming up, and there is a swimsuit I have been eyeing at Victoria’s Secret. This means tightening up my diet and increasing my workout intensity. But what are my specific goals? I want to be a bit more leaner, elongate my muscles, and add a lot of muscle. I suppose that is what a lot of girls as well, judging by what is popular online.

I consider myself having a good base of muscularity and leanness, but I still want to look my best for this summer. I’m considering this a type of makeover for the spring (along with everything else I’m doing). It is always important for a person to test their limits for a short period of time, as when it’s over your bar will be higher for yourself. And the sense of accomplishment from following through feels good too.

However, don’t think this is some garbage advice that you will follow until summer comes, then drop your fitness regime. Fitness is truly the cliche of being a lifestyle. If you are that desperate to be fit for summer, then you might as well try being fit year ‘round. There are no logical explanations for busting your butt for a couple months, only to lose all the progress you have made.

If you are desperate enough to read this “Bikini Body” guide, then make it a goal throughout your life. Besides, there are tons of benefits to being fit besides just having a self-esteem boost. Your mood and energy levels get better. You build discipline and self-efficacy. Then there are the health benefits that will help you throughout your lifetime.

Anyways. Regardless of how fit you are. here is a straightforward, easy guide for everyone to follow.

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————–Lower your body fat percentage. How thin do you want to be? What is your preference? As long as it’s healthy, you should go for it, Body fat percentage can be easily lowered by reducing calorie intake.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound. Figure out how much time you have before your goal deadline is, and then readjust how frequently you want to lose a pound. It helps to have a bit of strategy when reducing calories.

For example, if you  immediately cut out 500+ calories,  it will be harder to reduce the calories overtime as your body readjusts to needing fewer calories. There is no problem with taking it slow with dieting.

If you want to make the process faster without reducing calorie intake too much, then add cardio. HIIT is the best method for fast fat loss, and it takes less time than steady-state cardio. However, it if is your preference to do steady-state cardio keep doing it consistently.

Overall, there is no genius way to lose weight besides Calories In <Calories Out.

 

  • Add Resistance Training. Resistance training is what builds muscle, or “tones” ( I hate that word) your physique. Building muscles in the shoulders, upper back, thighs, and glutes creates an hourglass figure. I recommend using heavy weights to get the fastest results.

If you are just starting out, then a 3-4x a week full body workout will suffice. Hitting all the major muscles, like the quads, glutes, back, shoulders, and chest will give you the bang for your buck. The major muscles group also slightly hit the smaller muscle groups as well. Thus, focusing on compound lifts will work the best.

Depending what you want to focus on, you should add more sets and vary the reps for it. I like to start out with heavy weight and low reps, then gradually use lighter weight and higher reps with each following set. It is definitely a killer.

When it comes to building legs quickly I recommend squats, deadlifts, and barbell hip thrusts. Google Bret Contreras, aka “The Glute Guy” to check out his latest research. The upper body is easy to to train with  shoulder presses, bench presses, and bent-over rows. If you have time, try doing pull-ups to gain the pride of being the few able to do them (those take practice though).

When doing ab exercises, there are pointers to know. To create a sleek hourglass figure it is best to do bodyweight exercises. Adding weight to oblique exercises can widen and thicken the torso. Yet if a six-pack is what you are after, then use heavy weights to hit all the abdominal muscles.

  • Elongate muscles. In other words, this means to lengthen your posture to improve physical presentation. Did you ever notice how dancers and yogis seem to have a graceful, svelte figure? That they move with finesse? It is because they incorporate stretching and light bodyweight exercise. Yoga and stretching is highly recommended to everyone, no matter how much of an athlete or couch potato you are.

This is a straightforward guide to benefit anyone who wants a fit bikini body.

Fitness/Health

Why Vitamins Are Essential

Can you budget your precious calorie limit over consuming upwards of twenty-five vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients? Personally, I used to try to make it my personal mission to meet all the recommended amounts of my essential nutrients, only to find it impossible. I would not be eating a well balanced diet. More importantly, I realized I’d be eating double the amount to get close to everything I need.

Which is why I turned towards taking vitamins.Vitamins are used to supplement an already healthy diet. It should never replace one. It’s foolish to justify eating crap by thinking you are oh so healthy by popping a few vitamins and cups of green tea. If you are serious about being healthy, your diet would be balanced and the vitamins would just be an extra part of it.

American doctors are reporting that people are becoming malnourished, despite living in one of the richest countries. 72% of Americans are overweight or obese. Child obesity rates are skyrocketing. A large percentage of that statistic have a poor diet. This does not excuse people who are at a healthy weight, but eat unhealthily. People are eating plenty of calories, yet not getting adequate nutrition because of their food choices. I blame this partially on lack of knowledge, food deserts, poverty, and rising prices of healthy food. My optimistic attitude convinces me that there is always a way around those barriers.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/nutrition-hunger-food-children-vitamins-us

The amount of vitamins can be confusing. I find to just stick to the simple ones that I know I need. A women’s multivitamin covers most of the micronutrients that I need in a single dose. However, I live in Northern Wisconsin where daylight can be scarce in the winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder and vitamin D deficiency is common up here, thus a vitamin d supplement is crucial for five months out of the year. An additional vitamin I take is Biotin. Biotin is just a vitamin that supports skin, hair, and nail health. Overall, I feel these supplements cover what I need,

There are precautions to take if you take a multivitamin. If your multivitamin has a large dose of, say vitamin C, then you probably don’t need another vitamin C supplement. At the very least the additional dose will be excreted as waste, and at the worst you get overdose on it. That worse case option is rare, but should be kept in mind.
Vitamins aren’t necessarily good or bad. It’s a bit like whether or not you make it a crutch for a poor state of health. If you are weird enough to think a gummi capsule is going to make you the next health guru, then you are mistaken. Taking a multivitamin is a great start, just be mindful of why you’re using them.

Fitness/Health

Thoughts on the Obesity Epidemic

76% of the population is overweight or obese. It is truly an epidemic caused by a sedentary lifestyle combined with an excessive consumption food. I find that horrifying, as I am rather dedicated to preserving my health and fitness status. What really upsets me is that excuses people make for it. I don’t care to hear it whatsoever, and often fill people in on the harsh truth.

I understand on a general level why the obesity rate is skyrocketing. Humans are programmed to desire fatty, calorically dense food because a long time ago those were needed to help survive famine. Now in a society with an abundance of those same types of foods (yet more processed), people are naturally drawn to gorge on them. So I understand the biology behind it, yet I don’t tolerate any excuses.

People like to blame their weight on health conditions or on factors beyond their control. One excuse is hypothyroidism, which is bullshit. If they diagnose themselves the condition, then they should go to a doctor because if you have an untreated thyroid condition you can die. Additionally, hypothyroidism often causes only a five to ten pound weight gain. The rest of the weight gain is your own fault. Another excuse is medication causing weight gain, such as antidepressants and birth control. Well, I am on both and never gained weight from it due to eating right and exercising. I know others who managed this too. Finally, the most ridiculous excuse is that being at an obese weight is your “set point.”

No one is meant to be obese. People are meant to be fit and lean. My belief is that it should be a basic standard that is applied to everyone. If a person’s set point is in the overweight category, that often means their calorie maintenance for that weight is extremely high. Then, all that is necessary is simply eating less and exercising more. That is how humans are supposed to be.

I will share my personal views. I may be biased because I have always been proactive in everything I do, which is built upon my sickeningly happy attitude. The only changes that happened in my life is when I stopped complaining and making excuses, then faced the issue head-on. I used to be skinny-fat, to scrawny, and now to muscular. I realized that all it takes is a proper diet and exercise regime. Amazingly, it only takes me thirty minutes four to six times a week. With such little changes I achieved a good body. Occasionally I would eat unhealthy for a couple weeks, but I’d drag myself back on track. I wanted to maintain my pride in being healthy and fit.

Which leads me to my second point. As vain as this sounds, I am proud of how well I take care of myself. In a sedentary and unmotivated world I work hard to improve my fitness levels. Knowing that 76% of the population is overweight or obese fuels me to be healthy for a long time. I want to experiences life for all its worth without my weight every holding me back. I refuse to make excuses that will reverse all my progress because I know a great secret.

 

“Since you’re the one who made yourself this way, that means you have the wonderful ability to control and fix it.”

 

I hope society will realize their unhealthy lifestyle before the health conditions develop. More or less, I just want a healthier society. Maybe we can get to that someday.

 

Additional Information

http://stateofobesity.org/rates/
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx