Hard Work — A Lesson Learned From Jimmy Cefalo via Coach Barberi


Originally posted July 2011

 

vaca 2014 zuma panorama

 

 

I wasn’t an athletic youth, but I always participated in sports related activities.  As kids we didn’t have video games, Facebook, computers or five hundred cable channels to occupy our time.  We played outside; in the parks, in the streets or in vacant, or not so vacant, lots — anywhere we could find a spot, we played sports.  Football, baseball and basketball where the big three.  But we also made up games that involved physical activity, we even had our own neighborhood Olympic Games.  Being overweight, I wasn’t the best,  I was often picked last, but still — I participated.

Over the summer between eighth and ninth grade I decided I was going to go out for football.  No matter how ridiculous it sounds in retrospect, I was going to play for the Pittston Area Patriots, Penn State Nitnany Lions and finally I would play in the National Football League.cefalo jersey

Summer program was the first step along my path.  My mom dropped me off at the front entrance to the high school.  Instead of turning right and going into the gym, I went straight. Beyond a second set of glass doors my gaze was fixed on the trophy case.  Little statuettes of championship seasons stared back at me, but it was the center item that had my full attention — the number 44 jersey worn by Jimmy Cefalo.

I daydreamed about playing on the gridiron wearing the Pittston red, white a blue.  I didn’t see nor hear anything else. Suddenly my day slumber was broken by a large hand that had fallen over my shoulder, it was that of legendary head football coach Bob Barbieri.  “You are going to be part of this son.”

I just nodded my head.  It was as if the hand of God himself had touched me.  He continued, “Jimmy was the best, a natural talent, but do you know what made him great?”

I couldn’t speak.  I simply stared at the jersey and then the coach.  “He worked and practiced harder than anyone else.”  He paused for a moment,  “In his time here he set track records as well as football, but no matter what he did, he didn’t rely solely on his natural abilities.”  Still awestruck I said nothing. Coach Barbieri led me down to the gym.

Icefalo athletic center only was on the team for two seasons.  I never started, heck I barely played, but I worked hard and enjoyed the game.  However, I took from those two years valuable lessons about hard work, maximizing potential and that winners were more than born — that even the best still had to practice.

If you live or lived in Northeast Pennsylvania and are around my age then you are acquainted with the names Jimmy Cefalo and Bob Barbieri.  I never knew Jimmy Cefalo beyond a handful of meetings,  but in addition to being Coach, Bob Barbieri was an teacher at the school.  His lessons extended beyond the football field and beyond the classroom, they extended into life.  They are lessons I used getting through boot camp, college, business and in overcoming obesity.  His words about Jimmy Cefalo echoed in my head when I began my journey  from Fat Then to Fit Now and I was determined to achieve my goals and work harder than anyone else.

 

 

 

6 months!

 

*****************************************************

 


Life is lived in color, but sometimes the answers remain black and white. 
 

 

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

 

Joe

 

full color cover

 

Sometimes The Bastard Returns is available on Amazon.com

 

Paperback: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-20/detail/1492763365

 

Kindle: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-20/detail/B00HGVPCXG

 

Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com51tXIOPTNwL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

 

http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333

 

For over three and half years I maintained a 130 pound weight loss, then last year I lost my way and found a relapse in obesity. I am discussing my battle with recidivism.

 

**************The information, advice and opinions contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.***********

 

Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com

 

http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333

 

http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition-ebook/dp/B008R8KA1Q

 

and on Create Space https://www.createspace.com/3903024

)

Boston Strong: Bravado, Defiance, Swag…Bostonians Demonstrate It Is NOT An Act


I wrote what follows, with a few minor changes today, last year, after the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon.  It was inspired by Steve Corbett’s insulting the memories of those who died, and the struggles of those who survived:

Bravado, defiance, swag,  call it whatever you would like, but positive, strong attitudes can help get us through the worst of times.

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Small market radio talk show entertainer, Steve Corbett, intimated  with smug disdain, that those in Boston were putting forward a false front of toughness — trying to show they weren’t hurt by what happened at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  He used the analogy of the boxer who takes a hard hit, but smiles and claims he or she isn’t injured –  and how he, Steve Corbett, didn’t like it.

Steve Corbett is small market, radio entertainer and his whole shtick is based upon pseudo-machismo. From yelling at callers, to demeaning nicknames for candidates and politicians, to banning Facebook posters, to not allowing comments on his blog postings,  to his snarling picture with his fists up in a boxing stance, all the way to his scowling catch phrase “you better listen” — Steve Corbett is the embodiment of an insecure man putting on an over-the-top tough guy act, all the while hoping no one will call him out on it.

The difference between his act,  and those in Boston, is that Bostonians are not acting —  they are tough and more importantly, they are strong.  Boston is a metropolitan area made up of a folks from a working class background, and while they may be smiling and shaking their heads, none are claiming they are not hurt.  They, better than those who have been observing, know they have been both physically and emotionally damaged.  What they are demonstrating to the world is that they are wobbled, but not knocked down —  that they took a potentially debilitating hit, but they aren’t going to let it collapse them — that they will not allow an act of terrorism to cause them tremble.

Boston Strong

Boston Strong (Photo credit: Dillsnufus)

It amazes me that in the face of tragedy, when one, or in this case a region, stands firm, there will be someone who wants to turn their strength into weakness.  That there will be a person, or people, who desire to derail their positive energy with negative commentary.  That there are those who actually yearn for them to stay beaten down, stay afraid, to cower and beg for help because the Steve Corbetts of the world can’t understand true strength, factual fortitude and genuine resolve.

I pray for those affected by this tragedy, and I also admire those who continue to move forward, who won’t go down, who won’t allow terrorism to make them cower in fear, and who would laugh at the hyperbole of people who do nothing  more than talk, but never take action.

After watching the specials leading up to the 2014 Boston Marathon, I understand now, more than I did when I originally wrote this, that those who are genuinely victimized, yet chose not to be victims, both earn and deserve our respect.

I respect those who are Boston Strong!

Should Exercise Be Fun?


vaca 2014 zuma panorama

6 months!

 

“…. to go into a cold gym takes a lot of discipline, boy, I’ll tell ya. … I never liked to exercise, but I like results.”   Jack LaLanne

CAM00364I was reading on one of the many Facebook pages I belong to and someone was asking about not feeling up to a workout.  Some of the responses suggested that workouts must be fun.  As I read them I had to ask myself two questions:

Are my workouts fun? Do they need to be?

My exercise routine is spit into two portions:

Strength training, in which I use weight lifting.

Endurance training, in which I use a combination of jogging, sprints, rope skipping and or the stationary bike.

Yes, I will admit that there is something exhilarating about pitting myself against cold, unyielding iron.  And, yes I do look forward to my mornings in the gym.  If I am pressed for time, I always get in some sort of weight training. While I do relish weightlifting, I’m not sure if the word fun would be an apt descriptor.

When it comes to jogging; I like the the time alone, free from distractions, outside enjoying the weather, but do I have fun? Not really. I am not even sure I even slightly enjoy the activity.  I am not really built for running, either physically or mentally, but because of the results I attain,  I get out there and I do it.

I do NOT believe that fun needs to be part of the criteria for going out and exercising, or even in  the choice of a particular exercise.  I pick and chose my routine for the results I am looking to achieve.  When I am bulking up and adding strength, my weight training is slower and the weights I use are much heavier.  I still jog, but I cover less distance and I do it at a much slower pace.  When I am leaning out, I decrease the poundage and I move at a much quicker pace.  I cover more distance when I jog, I do it at a faster pace and I include rope skipping and sprints.

No matter what my particular goal is, I always include both progressive resistance and endurance training.  They both contribute to the overall result I am striving to achieve.

Is fun important?  I guess it could be, but it isn’t a requirement.  Exercise is done to improve the overall quality of life.  While I don’t really consider my exercise routine fun, it makes much of the other activities that I engage in much more fun.

When I was pursuing my Chiropractic education, I spent hours upon hours studying for classes, quizzes, exams and boards.  Did I have fun during all that study time? I would have to say no, but it was necessary to achieve my goal.  I look at exercise much the same way.  My goal in regards to exercise is not to have fun during my exercise time; it is to achieve an improved level of fitness.

The fun is in the results —

-because I am fit, I am able to hike longer and more difficult trails.vaca 2014 lovin the beach

-because I am fit, I am able to participate more actively in beach and ocean activities

-because I am fit, I am able to live every aspect of my life much fuller and with much greater joy.

So, is fun a requirement when it comes to choosing an exercise routine? Perhaps to some, but it wasn’t to Jack LaLanne and it isn’t to me.  I am much more concerned with results. 

Taking into account travel to the track, then to the gym, showering and dressing — only about ninety minutes of my day is focused on exercise. While fun is nice; I prefer effectiveness, which in turn  improves the quality of  the remaining twenty-two and a half  hours (and, yes, I sleep better because of exercise) of my day.

*********************************************************************************

Life is lived in color, but sometimes the answers remain black and white.  

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

Joe

full color cover

Sometimes The Bastard Returns is available on Amazon.com Paperback: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-

20/detail/1492763365

 

Kindle: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-20/detail/B00HGVPCXG Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com51tXIOPTNwL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 For over three and half years I maintained a 130 pound weight loss, then last year I lost my way and found a relapse in obesity. I am discussing my battle with recidivism. **************The information, advice and opinions contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.*********** Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition-ebook/dp/B008R8KA1Q and on Create Space https://www.createspace.com/3903024************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

Must Exercise Be Fun?


“…. to go into a cold gym takes a lot of discipline, boy, I’ll tell ya. … I never liked to exercise, but I like results.”   Jack LaLanne

I was reading on one of the many Facebook pages I belong to and someone was asking about not feeling up to a workout.  Some of the responses suggested that workouts must be fun.  As I read them I had to ask myself two questions:

Are my workouts fun? Do they need to be?

My exercise routine is spit into two portions:

Strength training, in which I use weight lifting.

Endurance training, in which I use a combination of jogging, sprints and rope skipping.

Yes, I will admit that there is something exhilarating about pitting myself against cold, unyielding iron.  I look forward to my mornings in the gym.  If I am pressed for time, I always get in some sort of weight training. While I do relish weightlifting, I’m not sure if the word fun would be an apt descriptor.

When it comes to jogging; I like the the time alone {except for the bats circling overhead}, free from distractions, outside enjoying the weather, but do I have fun? Not really. I am not even sure I even enjoy the activity itself.  I am not really built for running, either physically or mentally, but because of the results I attain,  I get out there and I do it.

I am not sure if fun should be part of the criteria for going out and exercising or even in  the choice of a particular exercise.  I pick and chose my routine for the results I desire to achieve.  When I am bulking up and adding strength, my weight training is slower and the weights I use are much heavier.  I still jog, but I cover less distance and I do it at a much slower pace.  When I a leaning out, I decrease the poundages and I move much quicker.  I cover more distance when I jog, I do it at a faster pace and I include rope skipping and sprints.

No matter what my particular goal is, I always include both progressive resistance and endurance training.  They both contribute to the overall result I desire to achieve.

Is fun important?  I guess it could be, but it isn’t a requirement.  Exercise should be done to improve the overall quality of life.  While I don’t really consider my exercise routine fun, it makes much of the other activities that I engage in much more fun.  When I was in Chiropractic school I spent hours upon hours studying for classes, quizzes, exams and boards.  Did I have fun during all that study time? I would have to say no, but it was necessary to achieve my goal.  I look at exercise much the same way.  My goal in regards to exercise is not to have fun during my exercise time; it is to achieve an improved level of fitness. The fun is in the results —

European Jet Ski Championship, Crikvenica, Croatia

Image via Wikipedia

-because I am fit, I am able to hike longer and more difficult trails.

-because I am fit, I am able to participate more actively in beach and ocean activities

-because I am fit, I am able to live every aspect of my life much fuller and with much greater joy.

So, is fun a requirement when it comes to choosing an exercise routine? Perhaps to some, but it wasn’t to Jack LaLanne and it really isn’t to me.

I am much more concerned with the results of the exercises I pick.  Taking into account travel to the track, then to the gym, showering and dressing — only about ninety minutes of my day is focused on exercise.  While fun is nice; I prefer effectiveness, which in turn  improves the quality of  the remaining twenty-two and a half  hours (and, yes, I sleep better because of exercise) of my day.

———————————————————————————————————————

cali

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

Joe

************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

100% Agreement Is Not Necessary


imagejpeg_2_3 (298x466)

Often when I write about self-responsibility in regards to weight loss I get a few emails telling me how wrong I am.  However, on my journey back from recidivism, I wrote An Important Week, and Honest Self-Assessment; I was bombarded with comments, Facebook comments/messages and emails — most were supportive, others not so much.  What I find most interesting with those who disagree with me is their almost dogmatic, if not zealousness support for a specific paradigm or weight loss expert/author.  Followed by how evil and cold hearted I am for being honest about myself — I am scolded with admonishments of how this author stated something different and I need  to read what they have written.

I read each comment/email/message, but I don’t reply to each. As I state at the top of this blog;

“Thank you for visiting and reading. Please feel free to comment, I don’t answer very often because I have had my say, and the comments are for you to have yours. Just remember, even if we disagree, I don’t require you to be wrong, for me to be correct in my thinking!”

What I find most interesting, is that while I respect the opinion and viewpoints of others, most people don’t feel that way — especially with

Edgar L. McCoubrey and Jack LaLanne

the whole self-responsibility point of view.  Much of my attitude about fitness has been shaped historically by Bernarr Macfadden and Jack LaLanne.  Yet, no matter how influential the  work of both men has been on me, I don’t 100% agree with everything they have ever written or said.  Both espoused not eating red meat — although at different points in their lives both did.   Because I eat red meat, I am not a vegetarian, should I discount all of the other valuable information they provided?

In modern times I have deep respect for Robert Lusting and Gary Taubes.  Does that mean I have to religiously accept everything they write or state?

Gary Taubes at Microsoft 002 - Copy

I have written about how both men inspire me to do what I have done, but at the same time I have also written about my disagreements with aspects of both.

English: Alec Baldwin at a PETA event honoring...

I applaud Dr. Lusting for all the patients he has helped and how his viral video and ensuing popularity have raised awareness of the obesity epidemic in our country.  At the same time, I think his solutions of government control are not the best way to deal with the problem and  I wasn’t too impressed that he can’t seem to take control of his own wellness by making excuses for his poor eating when he appeared on Alec Baldwin’s radio show.  One of the reasons I considered dropping out of the weight loss and fitness discussion is I don’t feel that is appropriate to extol a lifestyle that I was no longer living.  Do my disagreements mean that I should not respect Dr. Lustig? Should I ignore all of the good based on a few disagreements?  I don’t think so.

Robert Atkins (nutritionist)

I have read most everything Gary Taubes has written — additionally I went and read many of the sources he cites.  If there

Good Calories Bad Calories Summary

is one person since Dr. Atkins death who has done more to bring mainstream attention to the benefits of low carbohydrate eating than Gary Taubes — I can’t name them.  But I believe much of what Gary writes is misinterpreted by those who read him.  Also, I think he gives an out for people not to focus on fitness in what I interpret as anti-exercise themes in much of what he writes.  I have been told my those who know Mr. Taubes that I am incorrect in this statement, but I went back and re-read his attitudes about exercising, and while I agree he doesn’t say one should not — he provides a great excuse for those who do want to exercise.  Taubes is one of the greatest collectors and disseminators of information concerning the science of low carbohydrate benefits — should I discount everything Gary Taubes writes about and his importance in raising awareness simply because I disagree on a few issues?  I don’t think so.

I only named the people I overall agree with — I still read the writings of those I for the most part disagree with; because disagreement doesn’t mean they don’t have valid points and relevant information that I can still apply to my own fitness and weight loss goals.  As I wrote in Art, Science & Philosophy, “Many get so bogged down in who is right and who is wrong, that the benefits of each gets lost.  And worse yet, many get so lost in the minutia, focusing so intently on a drop of water — they miss the majesty of the ocean”

Aloha, Ciao, & Stay Healthy

Joe

—————————————————————————-

************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

An Important Week — The Trilogy


Below are the three posting I wrote about beginning the battle back from recidivism.

***********************************************************************

An Important Week

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups.

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

This is the most important week of my life.

As most of you know, I have been having a

Deer meat, at Charles & Silva's

very difficult time getting back to eating a healthful diet and following a fitness encouraging exercise program.

My mental energy has been at an all-time low — I didn’t recover from what happened last year.  Amazingly, it was something I never thought could happen to me.  It seems so miniscule, but it had an impact on me; and I still haven’t been able to will myself past it.

Therefore, I have made an important decision.

If I don’t succeed on getting back on track this week — I am done.

No more interviews.

No more fitness and weight loss postings or videos.

And, most importantly, no more claim to being a physical culturist.

If I don’t succeed on getting back on track this week — I am done.

BookCoverPreview.do

I will accept the permanency of my failure; embrace the sloth and gluttony that has once again overtaken me, and I will fade away from the low carb, paleo, primal and fitness worlds.  I will delete my websites, blogs, YouTube pages, remove my book from circulation and simply go gentle into that good night.

***********************************************************

An Important Week —- Random Thoughts

imag0301.jpgAfter my self imposed black out from the online world, I finally went over and read comments, FB posts and emails, on my last blog post. Here are some of my random thoughts on what was commented and written.

First I do appreciate everyone taking the time to comment, and for the support and concern that was expressed. I am touched and humbled.

I went back to square one and reread the book I wrote. I put myself back in the mindset when I decided that I could not go on living an unfit, unhealthy lifestyle.

Yes, I am hard on myself… going easy on myself is how I lost my wellness, fitness and health.  Excuses do nothing more than lead one down the path of recidivism.

One of my favorites; diet is more important than exercise — or what I like to call the mantra of the lazy.  For overall good health and fitness —

Explaining health during his TV show

Explaining health during his TV show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

diet and exercise along with mental energy are all EQUALLY important. I’m not the only person who follows this line of thought, Dr. Jack LaLanne expressed very similiar sentiments.

The posting was not a cry for help; it was a long overdue,  honest assessment of where I was at the time, and decisions concerning the future. I wish I had done it sooner; it is amazing of what we can convince ourselves of.

Do I put undue pressure on myself? Nah.  Pressure is when I was in the military, pressure is our men and women serving in war zones.  The pressure I have here should not have gotten in my way. Stress and pressure are part of life; we can not avoid it; however we do choose how we respond — I chose poorly.

In my posting I did not make the focus my weight;  for those who haven’t read my book or postings, I use the scale only as a tool, an important tool, but a tool none the less. I am much more upset about the deterioration of my overall fitness, which can have deleterious effects on my health.  Okay, and I do miss wearing my suits. :)

IF I failed to get on track I was removing myself from public advocacy — I don’t like hypocrisy; If I can’t get back on track and overcome recidivism then I am in no place to promote a lifestyle if I am not living that lifestyle.

As far as all or nothing, you are either an example of the lifestyle you advocate or you are not. I have given over 40 interviews and written several columns and a book, I need to live the life I proclaim.

Why are so people so afraid of the word FAILURE?  Many great people have failed at one time or another.  It is okay to admit failure; those who never want to admit failure never achieve goals. The point is to learn from failure and move forward.

High carbohydrate and sugary foods are addictive,  Yes, that is true  — I must be stronger than my addiction to those foods.

failed my fit lifestyle and diet. Someone suggested I try something new, perhaps what worked in the past wasn’t working. The thing is,  I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been doing what I did in the past — well not the diet and exercise that worked; I was doing the garbage diet and lack of exercise that led to Joe.340; so I guess that did work.

Again, I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement, even the criticisms.

One final thought — I said I was going to be done IF I didn’t get back on track by the end of the week.  I went silent to give as much of my attention to getting on track as I could — I will try and answer everyone who sent me an email or message. If I missed your Facebook posting, please accept my apology, there were quite a bit.

I am back on track.

Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.

Practice = Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a better outcome.

Results = Consistently doing the same thing over and over, expecting a better outcome.

***************************************************************

An Important Week — Honest Self-Assessment

mqdefault“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8.32

The most prominent theme in the comments I have received since I wrote An Important Week, have to do with me being too hard on myself.  I must admit; this has me befuddled.

The words I chose, and continue choose, are to relay an honest assessment of where I was, where I had been and where I want to go.  When we give ourselves open ended time frames, it is very easy to put off doing something until the next day, week, month or longer.  I gave myself one week to get back on track — if I failed to do so, I was going to discontinue my public advocacy of living a healthier, more fit lifestyle.  Really, if I continued championing fitness while weighing almost 300 pounds, and being out of shape, and doing nothing to remedy the situation —- Who the hell would take me seriously?  Perhaps more importantly — How could I take myself seriously?

I take the usage of language, either the spoken or written word, as an earnest expression of my inner thoughts. The words I use, whether they are positive and cheery, or not — are used to convey those ideas, not only to those who read what I wrote, but to myself as well.

I am often baffled at how we as a people proclaim how much we desire and respect honesty, yet, we don’t like the use of words which are authentic.  I failed myself for the last year — that is a plain, simple fact! I gained 84 pounds, and the endurance, strength and fitness I earned through hard work were all gone; what am I supposed to do  — Pat myself on the back?  Should I tell myself — Good job on gaining that weight back?

I remember growing up, it was admirable to display inner strength and mental toughness — Today, does everyone want their hand held?  I

English: NEW YORK (Nov. 10, 2009) Cmdr. F. Cur...

don’t!  I erred.  And, here comes the other word people don’t like to use — I was mentally WEAK!  I ate, and ate, and ate, and ate.  I consumed all of the foods I told others not to shove down their gullets.  Instead of rising each day and tackling my waking hours with exercise, positive energy and gusto —I slept in.  I sat around and drank coffee watching Mike and Mike In The Morning or Lead Off with Allie LaForce and Doug Gottlieb.  Should I congratulate myself for watching reports of others being active and achieving?

This isn’t about compassion, or lack thereof; it isn’t about being nice, or not; it isn’t about being sensitive or not?

Is it compassionate to lie to ourselves as  our health deteriorates?

Is it nice to shower platitudes upon ourselves to the point that physical and mental fitness suffers.

Is it sensitive to stand by and simply watch and behaviors that are self-destructive?

I think not!  At certain times it is important to not merely be candid — but to be brutally forthright.  I was writing largely for myself.  I am humbled that I inspire others; but I don’t want that inspiration to be phony and hypocritical.  If I can’t face my weakness, if I can’t accept that I failed, and most importantly, that I have the inner strength to overcome — How can I ever hope move others to do the same?

I could have easily hidden away, gotten back in shape, and most would not have been any the wiser.  But then, I couldn’t look myself in the

mirror, I would not have been able to sleep at night and really the only person who would have been fooled by such a ruse would have been me.  I had to face the realities that I had let myself down; that I allowed my health to crumble.  If I couldn’t be authentic with myself; I could never be genuine with other people.

The opening quote may be considered cliché by some; but that doesn’t make it untrue.  Since I had the courage, grit and fortitude to be honest with myself — I am back on track and ready to not solely, and perhaps it is a blessing, once again undo obesity, but come out triumphant over recidivism.

———————————————————————————————————————
************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

An Important Week — Random Thoughts


imag0301.jpgAfter my self imposed black out from the online world, I finally went over and read comments, FB posts and emails, on my last blog post. Here are some of my random thoughts on what was commented and written.

First I do appreciate everyone taking the time to comment, and for the support and concern that was expressed. I am touched and humbled.

I went back to square one and reread the book I wrote. I put myself back in the mindset when I decided that I could not go on living an unfit, unhealthy lifestyle.

Yes, I am hard on myself… going easy on myself is how I lost my wellness, fitness and health.  Excuses do nothing more than lead one down the path of recidivism.

One of my favorites; diet is more important than exercise — or what I like to call the mantra of the lazy.  For overall good health and fitness —

Explaining health during his TV show

Explaining health during his TV show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

diet and exercise along with mental energy are all EQUALLY important. I’m not the only person who follows this line of thought, Dr. Jack LaLanne expressed very similiar sentiments.

The posting was not a cry for help; it was a long overdue,  honest assessment of where I was at the time, and decisions concerning the future. I wish I had done it sooner; it is amazing of what we can convince ourselves of.

Do I put undue pressure on myself? Nah.  Pressure is when I was in the military, pressure is our men and women serving in war zones.  The pressure I have here should not have gotten in my way. Stress and pressure are part of life; we can not avoid it; however we do choose how we respond — I chose poorly.

In my posting I did not make the focus my weight;  for those who haven’t read my book or postings, I use the scale only as a tool, an important tool, but a tool none the less. I am much more upset about the deterioration of my overall fitness, which can have deleterious effects on my health.  Okay, and I do miss wearing my suits. :)

IF I failed to get on track I was removing myself from public advocacy — I don’t like hypocrisy; If I can’t get back on track and overcome recidivism then I am in no place to promote a lifestyle if I am not living that lifestyle.

As far as all or nothing, you are either an example of the lifestyle you advocate or you are not. I have given over 40 interviews and written several columns and a book, I need to live the life I proclaim.

Why are so people so afraid of the word FAILURE?  Many great people have failed at one time or another.  It is okay to admit failure; those who never want to admit failure never achieve goals. The point is to learn from failure and move forward.

High carbohydrate and sugary foods are addictive,  Yes, that is true  — I must be stronger than my addiction to those foods.

I failed my fit lifestyle and diet. Someone suggested I try something new, perhaps what worked in the past wasn’t working. The thing is,  I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been doing what I did in the past — well not the diet and exercise that worked; I was doing the garbage diet and lack of exercise that led to Joe.340; so I guess that did work.

Again, I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement, even the criticisms.

One final thought — I said I was going to be done IF I didn’t get back on track by the end of the week.  I went silent to give as much of my attention to getting on track as I could — I will try and answer everyone who sent me an email or message. If I missed your Facebook posting, please accept my apology, there were quite a bit.

I am back on track.

Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.

Practice = Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a better outcome.

Results = Consistently doing the same thing over and over, expecting a better outcome.

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************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

Bravado, Defiance, Swag…. Bostonians Demonstrate It Is Not An Act


Bravado, defiance, swag,  call it whatever you would like, but positive, strong attitudes can help get us through the worst of times.

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Small market radio talk show entertainer, Steve Corbett, intimated  with smug disdain that those in Boston were putting forward a false front of toughness, trying to show they weren’t hurt by whathappened at the Boston Marathon on April 15th.  He used the analogy of the boxer who takes a hard hit, but smiles and claims he or she isn’t injured –  and how he Steve Corbett didn’t like it.

Steve Corbett is an entertainer and his whole radio shtick is based upon pseudo-machismo; from yelling at callers, to demeaning nicknames for candidates and politicians, to banning Facebook posters, to not allowing comments on his blog postings,  to his snarling picture with his fists up in a boxing stance, all the way to his scowling catch phrase “you better listen” — Steve Corbett is the embodiment of an insecure man putting on an over-the-top tough guy act.

The difference between his act,  and those in Boston, is that Bostonians are not simply acting —  they are tough and more importantly they are strong.  Boston is a metropolitan area made up of a working class background and while they may be smiling and shaking their heads, none are claiming they are not hurt.  They, better than those who have been observing, know they have been both physically and emotionally damaged.  What they are demonstrating to the world is that they are wobbled, but not knocked down —  that they took a potentially debilitating hit, but they aren’t going to let it collapse them — that they will not allow an act of terrorism to cause them tremble.

Boston Strong

Boston Strong (Photo credit: Dillsnufus)

It amazes me that in the face of tragedy when one, or in this case a region, stands firm, there will be someone who wants to turn their strength into weakness.  That there will be a person or people who desire to derail their positive energy with negative commentary.  That there are those who actually yearn they should stay beaten down, stay afraid, to cower and beg for help because the Steve Corbetts of the world can’t understand true strength, factual fortitude and genuine resolve.

I pray for those affected by this tragedy, and I also admire those who continue to move forward, who won’t go down, who won’t allow terrorism to make them cower in fear, and who would laugh at the hyperbole of people who do nothing  more than talk, but never take action.

I respect those who are Boston Strong!

Negative Energy In Equals Negative Results


I wrote the below posting a while back.  I was reminded of the detriment of negative energy joking around on facebook about local talk entertainment personality,  WILK’s Steve Corbett.  It reminded me of a time, about a year ago now, when I began listening to his show again. There was a big news story and since WILK is the only local news/talk station in NEPA, my options for afternoon listening were limited to one.  Unfortunately, at the time I fell back into the habit of regular listening.

Well, it didn’t take long for my friends to notice a definite change in my end of day mood.  I wake up at 4 a.m. and I am in the gym by 5.  After my workout I teach and then I am in my office until 7 p.m. most nights.  I just assumed that the long days were getting to me, but then I remembered what I had been doing differently — I was listening to the Steve Corbett talk show.

Since I am between my office and patients during office hours,  I usually hear a good portion of the talk radio programing.  Four hours of listening to how awful the world is, how bad people are and how sorry our lot in life is can drain even the most positive people.  Then again, most positive people probably would not or do not listen to hate mongers like Steve Corbett.

As many times as I have told people or done it myself, it never ceases to amaze me the power of cutting negative influences from your life.  It really should be a no brainer. Negativity begets negativity thus producing overall negative results.  Listening to Steve Corbett, a person who is obviously so angry at his life and wants his listeners to be just as miserable as he,  will eventually have a negative effect.

I have advised people to get negative people out of their lives.  However, that is not always easily accomplished in personal relationships — but it is easy when it comes to negative people whom you invite into your lives via the airwaves  —- change the station or switch off the radio.  It has been a long time since I have heard more than a commercial from Steve Corbett, and when I made the joke on Facebook I could only chuckle at how I could have been silly enough to ever listen to his show.

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Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Obesity Undone.

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On my web site Fat Then Fit Now and in my writings I frequently mention the Three D’sDesireDetermination and Discipline as the keys to remodeling one’s body and recapturing one’s health. I have also written about the Three E’sEatingExercise and Energy. The Energy component being mental energy. Together these two triads are the keys to success in becoming a fit and healthy individual.

The D’s and E’s must be given equal effort to achieve our goal. While none of the Three D’s or E’s are more essential than the other, a lack of energy can cause you to falter and interfere with the triangles of support.

Energy is about our mindset. Our mental energy allows every other aspect to fall into place. If  mental energy is off kilter, it can adversely impact the other legs of the triangle, causing a complete, catastrophic collapse.

There really are only two types of energy; positive and negative. Each usually gives rise to one of two outcomes — positive energy produces positive results and negative energy equals negative results.

The rigors of  daily life can get in our way and before we know it our mental energy is being thrown out of balance. We may be doing everything else correctly, but our results aren’t what we expect.

What is going on?

What are we doing wrong?

It is then we must recall that all three must be equal to achieve the desired outcomes.

Recently, my mind and body were both tired and drained — I just didn’t know it. Although my eating and exercise were in line, my energy was off and I was not being as productive as I should  have been.

Key West (Southernmost Point) at sunset, 2007 

I was reminded of the battle between positive versus negative energy last year on a long weekend to Key West.

Five days of no news, no talk radio (I am a huge talk radio junkie), no business worries and in general no negative influences really recharged my mental batteries. Just being in Florida compared to Northeast Pennsylvania there is a palpable difference in attitude. The sunshine, warm temperatures and proximity to the ocean allow a variety of outdoor activities. It was my experience and conclusion that people there, even in tough economic times, have a much more positive outlook on life. That positive vibe rubs off on everyone who is there.

When I returned to Pennsylvania this renewed energy translated into some of the best workouts I have had in months. I attacked the weights with vim and vigor, relishing the feel of cold iron in the palms of my hands.

The exercises were the same, but the poundage was a little heavier and the pace a little quicker — I was having fun.

This simple, yet noticeable, difference in my workouts has made me re-aware of the influence of energy. I have taken steps to ensure that my energy remains positive.

I make sure to start my day with a smile.

I have resolved to no longer to complain.

I shrug off the mundane, minor, miniscule annoyances that tend to degrade my disposition.

I have also stopped listening to so much talk radio, especially the afternoon drive talk  Steve Corbett show on local station WILK newsradio, and reading too in-depth into the news. I scan the paper and if I feel something is important, I will delve deeper into the subject.  I am no longer obsessed with each bit of minutia that is being reported. I discovered on my long weekend, that by not reading the paper, not watching the news, nor listening to talk radio — nothing changed. My being aware had absolutely zero influence.

I now strive to make each day full of positive energy.  When someone complains, I smile and make an excuse to remove myself from the conversation. If negative thoughts enter my head, I think about all I have that is good. If I start to feel sorry for myself, I remember my trips to places like the Philippines and force myself to realize how good my life is.

Energy must be positive. I am not saying we are never going to get down. I am not saying we should never get upset. There are real life issues that will influence our mood. However, we can change so much just by changing our attitude and outlook. It takes just as much effort to smile and say hello as it does to look away and grunt, but the result of a smile is much more positive, not only for one’s self, but on the person on the receiving end.

We must ask ourselves; Will worrying about something change it? Will losing sleep change it? Will not working out change it? Will overeating change it? In all likelihood all of the above will only be more deleterious to the situation and our health.

When possible, cut out negative influences, don’t become obsessed and worried about what you have little control over. Remember when it comes to controlling elements around us, we really can’t.

We can’t control the weather, world affairs or other people, however, we can control how we react. We can choose the manner in which we respond.

I tell all of  my clients that the only thing they can control is what they put into their bodies and the amount of exercise they put out. I also tell them the only person they can control is the one that stares back at them from the mirror.

We can be positive or we can be negative — the choice is ours —  the results are obvious.

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https://www.createspace.com/3903024

Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
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************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.************

Keep The Negative Naysayers At Bay


 

Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book,A Life Beyond Weight Loss.  He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. He has appeared on Guest: Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, BlogTalk Radio. Topic, Dump The Fads, Focus On Fitness. TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.

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************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder.  The posting that I  write do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition.  I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.*************