You Blew What?
by Phil Kaplan

Three words ring out days or weeks after January 1st - "I blew it."

Blew what?

The resolution. The diet. The promise. The exercise plan. The quest for health. The pursuit of fitness.

The words aren't limited to the onset of a new year. They arrive after commitments to betterment run into an acceptance of a failed attempt. They arrive after a promise to change is followed by abandonment of the promised journey.

Here's my take on blowing it. You've only blown it if you stop, and fail to start with a new attempt or a modifcation in the approach. You've only blown it if you stop learning and acting. I'm not going to give you the "Thomas Edison failed umpteen thousand times before he invented the lightbulb" story, or the "Sylvester Stallone was rejected for Rocky again and again and again" saga. Instead I'll put it on you with a simple question.

Do you really want it?

If "it" is better health, better fitness, better confidence, better well-being, better muscularity, better sexuality, better performance, or better all around sense of power, you know you really want it.

Most people blow it. You don't want to be most people. You may, however, find comfort among the masses. You're certainly not alone if you resign yourself to "I tried."

Oh, there are lots of excuses, and many of them are "good ones." You might have been diagnosed with a "condition." Perhaps you blame your thyroid, your parents, your hormones, or your spouse. Perhaps your family doesn't enjoy "healthy foods" or your job requires that you eat donuts.

Excuses support the non-phenomenon of "blowing it." They are thoughts that may, in the moment, make you OK with what would have otherwise been a blatant sense of failure. If you want to wallow in those excuses, if you want to coddle those thoughts and allow them to recirculate, and if you want to rationalize by deciding there are others worse off than you so what's the big deal if you find comfort in Edy's Grand . . . every night . . . far be it from me to challenge you. All I ask is that you accept that you're making a choice.

I'll make a promise. You can be better. I'll make another promise. If you want to be better, it's in your court. I know you can, only because I understnad the human machine. I understand metabolism. I understand the process of positive physical change. If you want to gain some new momentum, if you want to kick the excuses to another universe, then a few forward steps can ensure that you never blow it again.


There are three massive mistakes that are so common almost everyone I consult with has made them:

1. They fail to eat enough

2. They exercise more than they have to and typically fail to adequately recuperate

3. They have absurd expectations, accept absurd beliefs that something's supposed to change in the blink of an eye, and if they do, in fact, find a valid and supportive program, they fail to recognize the milestones and decide it didn't work way before visible results could manifest.

Any of those ring true for you? Let's try a few things.

Imagine a Hammock . . .

Consider that, thanks to his brain, his heart, and his internal organs, a healthy, metabolically efficient 150 pound man lying in a hammock would burn about 1500 calories in a 24 hour period. Keep in mind, that's if he's completely tranquil. Throw in thoughts of his girlfriend, stress over money, or a bit of anxiety and his need increases. If this buck-and-a-half fellow is going to sustain his metabolic requirements, on days that he incorporates thought, interaction, and activity, he has to consume well over the 1500 calories he'll burn lying still to keep himself functioning on all cylinders.

Now, let's suppose this 150 pounder dcides he's going to, diet, to cut back, to consume 800 calories a day. Will he die? Not likely. He'll survive. His body, absent the food it wants for, will opt to create fuel from amino acids, and after a short while, it will consume muscle tissue as energy. That's a win if his only goal is survival, especially because the reduction in muscle reduces his caloric need. In addition, his endocrine system will work to avoid starvation by adjusting production of thyroid hormones and slowing metabolism. Eventually, he'll have reset his metabolic thermostat so in a modified body, with a slower metabolism, he survives on 800 calories. I said that's good . . . if survival is the goal . . . but if the 150 pound man doesn't want to get fat . . . the muscle loss and endocrine shift is anything but good. Eventually, he'll go back to eating more, and the 1500 calories that once sustained him in a state of extended rest, will now lead to the accumulation of fat (he has a slower metabolism). With repetitive bouts of dieting, he'll gradually turn himself into a fat guy who says, "I'm going to start my diet on New Years Day," and by mid-February winds up "blowing it."

But Phil, I'm not a 150 pound man!

The illustration using the 150 pound man becomes even more disheartening when we apply it to someone who begins the process in an overweight condition. The reduction in calories slows an already compromised metabolism and as muscle diminishes, the body programs itself to become quite efficient at adding fat.

What does all of this mean? It simply means a calorie restrictive diet is NOT going to be a solution if long term healthful fat loss is a goal . . . thus . . . failing to eat enough without an understanding of the inetbitable is an element leading to perceived failure. Soup diets, lemon juice diets, low-calorie shake diets, and appetite suppresants all work against the human body's innate ability to "burn through" food efficiently. Calorie reduction will almost always lead to short term weight loss followed by not only a rebound but a decline in metabolic efficiency.

Ideally, someone seeking fat loss will consume frequent meals made up of delicious (yes, I said delicious) combinations of lean proteins, natural slow-release carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Frequent meals throughout the day help to supply fuel and materail for building new healthy cells.

EAT! Pro!
Metabolism Enhancer

Most people who come to understand the "synergy" that combines supportive eating with the right type of exercise are initially shocked by the volume of food they consume as they lose fat. The most valuable supplement for most people trying to make the shift to Supportive Nurition is a meal replacement formula, a powder that can provide the nutrients you'd hope to get in a supportive meal (see EAT! Pro! link at right).

Maybe you've been with me for some time. Maybe you attended one of my seminars. Maybe you've heard this before.

Good. If it didn't sink in yet, and you "blew it," unblow it! Apply it now, and know that supportive eating is only one of three pieces of the synergy.

That leads to further exploration of mistake #2, too much exercise, too little recuperative downtime.

But lots of exercise can't be bad . . . can it?

This will shock you.

While any exercise is better than sitting on the couch, "too much" is absolutely a mistake, and anyone who's spent any time in health clubs understands the apparent paradox of the "fat-skinny" person. Too much aerobic exercise is not unlike calorie deprivation in the effect it has on body composition (muscle loss). A reliance on high volume aerobic exercise without adequate intake of calories is a sure-fire way to become one of those people who says, "I weigh the right thing, I look great in clothes . . . but the beach?!?! No way!"

Now the shocking part. I am having the best success in boosting endurance and in burning fat by taking my clients through 12-minute aerobic sessions.

Yes, 12 minutes.

I know it flies in the face of convention. I know it goes against everything you've heard about "burning glucose first and not releasing fat until you've spend 15-20 minutes in your target zone." Despite the fact that your treadmill screen says something about "fat burning zone," Here's what I say. If your present program failed you, and the 12-minute thing is working, consider that there may be more to the picture than simply exercising at a continuous extended pace at a percentage of max heart rate. The 160 clients who have gone through my pilot program all agree . . . it's working! Sure it goe sagainst convention, but it is backed by science . . . and . . . look at our population before you assume convention is working.

The 12 minute sessions including metabolic "pumps," short duration all-out efforts where the clients kick the energy output to their perceived max for 12-15 second bursts (think sprint). This seems to activate the "fight or flight" systems and amplify the production of catecholamines. It sparks a release of "fuel" and allows for enhanced fat burning. It also, over an 8-week period, has been consistent in increasing VO2 Max, a measure of aerobic endurance.

The short sessions allow for individuals with active lives and fair amounts of stress to recuperate adequately. Long duration frequent intense workout may require a full 8 hours of sleep and a sufficient management of stress to allow for an optimal internal environment for fat release and health.

I said there are three pieces to the Synergistic process that "works," the first piece being supportive eating, the second piece being moderate aerobic exercise, and the third part I've always called . . .

A Concern for Muscle.

Here too, most of those who try and fail do far too much. The resistance portion of the ALIVE protocol, the protocol I'm using to help people find movement toward their physical best, typically incorporates 6 - 8 movmeents and workouts that rarely exceed 20 minutes.

Conventional? No.

Effective? You bet.

That leaves us with one more mistake to explore . . .

False Expectations and Failure to Follow Through

The explosion of diets over the past decade and the emergence of fitness magazines, websites, infomercials, and supplement ads have contributed to the blaring repetition of an all-too-familiar theme. "It's quick." Stimulants, appetite suppressants, drugs, and extremes have reinforced the illusion, and the tricks that lead to rapid loss of pounds are the same hazards that lead to a sense that the program "stopped working." Quick weight loss is always going to be water loss, and continued quick weight loss is going to almost always include loss of muscle. Quick muscle gain using prohormones or anabolic drugs are almost always going to be short-lived or, reliance upon hormone and drugs may cause lasting compromise of the endocrine system. Because people "see" quick results, they believe they too should achieve dramatic changein unreasonably shor ttime periods.

21 days is enough time to note improvement if you have a fair gauge for progress. 8 weeks is enough to show dramatic change. 17 weeks is enough for most people to recognize that they are not only better, but far better than they anticipated. Of course, the time period only leads to thrilling results if the approach is sound, if the synergy of positive physical change is respected and employed.

If you made it this far, I know you're in touch with your sense of want, and now you have a bit of new information. If you've been plagued by one of more of the mistakes, you need only to make some shifts to move toward the betterment you want for.

I'm here to help. The Synergy you'll rely upon is outlined completely in all of my programs. Whether you opt for ALIVE, the ANSWER, Transform, the remote 21 Day Journey, or one of my live programs, I'll make you one more promise. Betterment begins when you accept new possibility and take a step forward with a true technology of physical change. I've been sharing that technology now for over 25 years. Put excuses to bed, allow the past to be the road that led you here, and get started on a program that can take you to true excellence.


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