(Only read if you want to get fit/lose weight/not go mad) – You might want to put the kettle on…
**officially the longest page on All Things Photography**
This is something very close to my heart and it should be for everyone. Your health is everything and something many people take for granted until it is too late. You don’t have to “look” overweight to be fat and on a danger list but more on that later.
This section is based on years of studying and putting these techniques into practice a couple of times…and they have worked!
I may start to preach a little here…
…but that is only because I get so angry at the whole Western food culture and the amount of money pumped into producing crap food…much of which gets dumped or binned due to overindulgence or simply because it is a few hours past its “best before” date. Plus, a lot of it is directed at our kids!
The next time you walk into a supermarket in the UK, US or certain parts of Europe, have a good look as you walk down each aisle and try to gauge the percentage of food that is generally unhealthy.
There are rows and rows dedicated to fizzy pop, crisps, chocolate, pies, processed meats, ready meals, sugary cereals, pot this and boil in the bag that….amazing. How can you put “a natural source of calcium” on a bar of chocolate and get away with marketing it as though it is something you need?!?!?
It is so easy to just grab these foods as you pass and that is the general idea created by clever marketing folk, and I for one in the past have been a nightmare when it comes to these foods. My weight has yoyo’d for years as I love crap food…don’t we all?
(But what if there was a way to still enjoy those foods and still lose weight)?
The effects of an unhealthy diet isn’t as immediately noticeable as say smoking for instance. With smoking, you start to cough and get easily out of breath after a short while…with poor eating habits, it is a slow ticking time bomb.
So why have I included it in the business of photography section?
Well, that should be fairly obvious. Being a photographer isn’t about sitting behind a desk in an office all day every day (if you are doing it right). It is about being out and about much of the time, running after kids, brides, animals, sports people and so on.
Although saying that, there comes the endless hours where you are stuck behind a desk doing all that processing, album creation and website optimisation (you do optimise your website don’t you…you do have a website don’t you?…more on those later) and that is when you need to be careful.
So basically, you need to be fit to run around for 10-12 hours on a long wedding day and you need to eat healthy so that when you are sitting down day in day out processing images, you don’t pile on the pounds. A poor diet can also affect your mind, your brain and its ability to function well.
I noticed this phenomenon in Spain one year. For the best part of 2005, I sat behind my desk building All Things Photography, snacking all day and doing very little exercise…then came Christmas and by the time New Year came around, I was a lot bigger than before, and I felt it!
However, that summer I was shooting wedding after wedding in Spain, Italy and the UK and my feet never touched the ground. All that weight just vanished as for one I was getting plenty of exercise and two, I never had time to eat much!
Then came the move from Spain
I was back behind my desk making the Wedding Photography Blueprint and completely revamping All Things Photography. By the end of 2008, I was weighing in at over 16 stone…102kg or 0.1016 metric tons (lol)!
It wasn’t just the fact that I looked overweight, my health was appalling. I tried to play cricket earlier that year and failed miserably, I couldn’t run, I was out of breath and the next day I could barely walk plus I had pulled a muscle in my thigh which hurt badly.
I also had a problem with my ankle from about a year before where I was running and damaged the tendon at the back. It got to the point where I had to hold the banister and wall as I came downstairs in the mornings as my ankles ached so badly.
I had no energy, I had no real motivation or drive, I never felt like playing outside with the kids, I was on the verge of becoming depressed about it as my legs ached simply by walking around town.
I remember saying to the cricket captain, “Ah! You see, this is what happens when you reach my age (41 at the time) and it will happen to you”! He just laughed and later that day I felt like an idiot for even thinking that way (he is older than me)…enough was enough!
I had been a member of a health site for over a year and never read their emails…I put them in a file to read later with the promise of buying their eBook (what a mistake, if only I had read it when I first saw it).
This guy was the real deal
I had read a lot of things and tried all sorts of fad diets in my time and none worked as they should but this book was amazing. I am by no means a body builder and I don’t want to be. The book is 80% nutrition, motivation and gentle exercise with a full on body building section at the end (which I never read).
These horrible pics are myself on the first day I started to change myself…after a little exercise, and the reason I am showing you is that for one, I am proud of what I have achieved, and secondly, if you want to change and lose weight or get fit, you need to make yourself accountable.
I took photos of myself and told everyone how much I was going to lose…I even wrote it in big letters and had it hanging above my PC…3 stone or 20KG.
In those pics, I had just been cycling and had to stop 3 times whilst going up the relatively NOT steep hill near our house, followed by some really simple weight or resistance training. I was knackered!
If you are overweight…
…I am going to share some facts with you and dispel some myths that will blow you away and make you think so differently about what you do. If I knew it was this simple (not easy, simple), I would have done it years ago.
Now, before we go into this, I will tell you how much I weigh now, how much effort I put in and even show you what I look like now…I am embarrassed to do that as I am topless (no screaming now ladies) but as I say, accountability counts for a lot.
I spent less than an hour a day, 3 or 4 times a week doing fairly easy exercise (that’s around 3-4 hours per week). The majority of how I lost the weight and fat was through eating habits which, believe it or not, included curries, Chinese food and other treats throughout the week but more on that later.
I lost exactly 3 stone or 20kg in about 5-6 months and not once did I feel overly hungry, tired, worn out or fed up with what I was eating. When you read on you will realise what most people are doing wrong and why they will never lose the weight by doing what they are doing.
This was me after 6 months…
No laughing at the pose please, it was for a book review.
All I can say is, this works!
I can’t even begin to explain how good I feel, the energy I have is amazing. I am never tired, never hungry, my moods are generally high spirited and work seems so much more enjoyable. I even managed to do 10 press ups with a 12 stone woman sitting on my back after a bottle and a half of wine and 20 press ups with both my kids sitting on my back…(don’t ask)!
So, what have I learned from all this that I can share quickly and easily? Let’s start with that evil word…diet!
You should immediately remove this word from your vocabulary, or at least in the way most people perceive it. “I am on a diet” or “I am dieting”…Arrrgh!
We are ALL on a diet…a diet is simply what we eat. We should be saying “I am on an eating programme that is designed to help me lose weight” but most of those not only don’t work long term, they can also be dangerous.
Let’s talk about one “diet” in particular that many youngsters, particularly girls, put themselves on…the starvation diet. This is dangerous because it can, and I have seen it happen first hand with an ex-girlfriend, turn to bulimia and anorexia.
Starving yourself by missing breakfast or other meals throughout the day is so ridiculous and unnecessary it actually has the reverse effect of what people are trying to achieve.
Let’s go back to the Savannah tens of thousands of years ago.
Man was used to eating mainly veggies and pulses and would often go for days without eating. Then, one day an animal would be caught and a feast would ensue. During the starvation times where little was available, the body’s natural survival mechanism is to store fat and when the feast ensued, the body knew it could be followed by more starvation so it would store even more fat.
We are no different today!
If you starve yourself thin, you are making a BIG mistake. You will lose weight but in a dangerous way.
What happens is, as you starve yourself day in day out by eating less often and smaller amounts, your body goes into “starvation mode” or “survival mode” and begins to slow down your metabolism. It will also produce and store more body fat from the food you do eat.
In order to preserve that fat, it will then start to take energy required (to move and survive) from other areas including muscle tissue from your arms, legs and torso…and starve yourself for long enough and the body will then take energy from your vital organs. A seriously dangerous position to be in.
Not only that, but you will start to build up fatty deposits around those organs…not good at all.
This is where the term “skinny fat person” comes from
Even though they may look thin, people who starve themselves are simply losing vital muscle tissue and storing fat around their organs for survival (which ironically sometimes leads to death).
This all leads to serious energy loss and can and will even affect your moods, motivation and overall health and can quickly spiral out of control.
I tried a “diet” like this for 2 weeks where I would eat three pathetically small meals a day and I was ALWAYS hungry. I lost weight in the beginning but then it levelled out and nothing more. If only I had realised that what was happening to me was that I was going into starvation mode. I was losing weight from my muscles but gaining fat elsewhere therefore staying pretty much the same weight and becoming less healthy.
As soon as I came off that “diet”, I ate normally again but my body was already in starvation mode so whatever I did eat, went straight on as fat…even low fat foods! It’s all about energy (calories) in food, not so much the fat content.
Note: Quick myth buster about fat. The 1980’s saw the rise of the low fat food revolution and guess what? Since then, the world’s obesity rate has soared! We NEED fat in our diets more than you realise. It works a little like this.
In a nutshell, people think that to cure water retention, you drink less water. Wrong. In many cases, you need to drink MORE water and lower your salt intake. Your body retains water because you are not drinking enough…hence you become bloated and think you are fat, therefore you starve yourself…what a vicious cycle. (Also, your organs, kidneys and liver in particular, need water to help them burn fat)!
It’s the same with fat. Stop eating it and your body will store it. Eat the right amount of fat that the body needs, exercise regularly and your body has no reason to store fat…simple!
This is why people that yoyo diet just get fatter and fatter…they are constantly bouncing from starvation mode to regular eating which makes your body stay in starvation mode…constantly adding fat.
One big and fantastic thing I learned that made me very happy, was that you need to eat 5 or 6 times a day with a gap no longer than 4 hours (I never go hungry any more).
This actually keeps the “fire” stoked and helps you to lose weight! As you eat, (as long as it is the right food), your body needs energy to process that food which in turn speeds up the metabolism. The longer the gap, the slower the metabolism “spins” but on the other hand, if you eat every 3 or 4 hours, the metabolism is kept spinning fast and continuously burning fat.
I remember in the beginning feeling very hot and even sweating in bed at night as my metabolism was spinning like crazy.
This is all based on thermogenics
This is the term given to the amount of energy required to digest foods. For example, your body uses more energy digesting a stick of celery, some cress or lettuce than those foods actually have in them, so you lose weight by eating!?!!??
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can just eat those foods and stay healthy. Your body will soon go back into “starvation mode” as it takes it energy needed from elsewhere.
The idea is to have a happy balance. So how do you work out that balance?
The BIGGEST mistake when following ANY “diet” that you see in magazines, or on TV or that some crazy celebrity is on, is that there is no “one size fits all” eating plan.
People are all made up differently and a diet that works for one person can actually be dangerous for another. There are basically three types of body:
Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesamorph…that’s a lot of morphs…
We have all met them.
These are the super skinny people we know that can literally eat whatever they like and never gain weight. The reason for this is that they are simply different to us. They have naturally fast metabolisms and in general, are born with less fat cells in their body. If you have less fat cells, you have less chance of becoming overweight. However, even an Ectomorph can become ill through eating the wrong foods.
These make up the majority of the general population. An endomorph has more fat cells in their body and if the wrong food, or the wrong amounts of food are eaten, weight is easily gained.
No one likes a Mesamorph!
Just kidding, but these are the folks that can not only eat what they like and not gain weight, but they are also born with more natural, lean muscle than the rest of us. They don’t need to train much to look toned, fit and healthy. In fact, some Mesamorphs I have known, NEVER train but still eat and drink a lot whilst staying slim.
So before you work out what you can and cannot eat in whatever quantities, you need to work out your body type and there are ways to do this in the book I recommend (don’t worry, it is only about $57 but will change your life).
I worked out to be about 75% endomorph and 25% Mesamorph. I have always been fairly muscular but would put on weight easily. Once I knew this, I could then work out my eating pattern and once you do this…life is sweeeet!
For me the eating pattern was this:
5 – 6 meals a day (depending on how much exercise I did), no more than 4 hours apart and each meal was approximately 500 calories.
I eat mostly carbs in the morning and mostly protein at night and always make sure I eat something before bed (excessive carbs at night is a no-no and the quickest way to gain weight). My daily intake ratio is 50% carbs, 35% protein and 15% fat.
An Ectomorph (skinny person) may need 60% carbs, 20% protein and 20% fat…they are different and need different foods.
To lose weight, I simply play around with those figures and decrease the carbs for a day or two.
If I had done a lot of exercise, I might throw in an extra meal. This sounds like a lot or trouble but if you think so, write down your eating habits for a week and see the trouble you may go to now:
- Snacking from the fridge
- Popping into a cafe for a quick coffee and piece of cake
- Nipping out for a sandwich
- Going to the newsagents for a paper and bar of chocolate or packet of crisps
- and so on.
It is more about changing your eating habits not making new ones and once you kick the habit of eating cr*p foods, it is easy to stay away from them.
The great thing is that as your body gets used to these habits, you need to throw it out of sync so it doesn’t start storing fat. To do this I have a “cheat day” once a week…maybe twice on occasion. This means I eat more carbs that day in the form of a curry, Chinese, pizza, pasta…all the lovely stuff you are not supposed to eat.
This tricks your body into thinking you are out of your cycle and keeps the fat burning!
My wife handed me this article in the Daily Mail as I write this and it pretty much backs up everything I say…or at least what the book I read says!
A quick sample of what I would eat in a typical day: (bear in mind I had the right quantities of each based on my size and exercise planned)
Breakfast 1 at 7.00am: Bowl of Shredded Wheat, half a grapefruit and a cup of tea.
Breakfast 2 at 10am: 2 scrambled eggs followed by a bowl of porridge with chopped banana
Lunch at 2pm: Chicken, small jacket potato and broccoli OR large Tuna, sweet corn, spring onion, and tomato sandwich OR brown pasta with chicken, sweet corn, broccoli and pesto sauce.
Dinner at 6pm: Salmon with mushrooms and peppers OR 2 slices of toast with natural peanut butter OR more chicken/tuna/steak, broccoli and peas (garden)
Snack before bed at 9-10pm: Half a large pot of natural yoghurt mixed with vanilla flavoured whey protein (nice) OR 2 slices of toast with peanut butter OR Salmon etc (depending how I mixed the day up)
Cheat Day: Normal day except for evening where I would have a curry:
- Mushroom rice (full tray)
- Curry (various – full tray)
- Onion Bhajis x 2
- Poppadoms x 3
This would be spread over two meals with a 2.5 – 3 hour gap
OR a Chinese meal OR Peking Duck OR a Pizza etc…
Sometimes I would have a snack of nuts in between two meals…on occasion.
You can add all sorts of flavourings and enjoy other meals such as stir fry, Indonesian chicken, chocolate-banana protein bars, spicy beef chilli, chocolate brownies, tuna and cheese melts and so on…the eating is better than you think! These are a few of the recipes included in the bonuses when you buy the book…nice!
So your diet, or what you eat every day is really important not only for your weight but can also affect your mood. If you are hungry all the time, you won’t be able to concentrate on anything but if you are never hungry and start to look and feel great, the energy, both mental and physical, is amazing and you can put it to good use!
Having a cheat day…
…to look forward to and enjoy keeps you mentally healthy too from the perspective of you are not “missing out” on anything. If you cheat every day, there is nothing to look forward to and eating crap becomes the norm…a vicious cycle once again!
Read the book to work out your own diet and even though it may sound a bit of a hassle, it isn’t. One year on I don’t even think about it anymore. Now I know how my body works and what I can eat and can’t (or shouldn’t), it is easy to stay on the straight and narrow (or slim).
Of course, there are days when we eat out, go to a friend’s house for dinner or blitz the lot at Christmas but I take these days as my cheat days and then know exactly how to adjust my food for the rest of the week to compensate or quickly shift those extra pounds that I may put on. It all comes naturally after a while.
The danger comes however, when monitoring your weight. Weigh yourself once a week, no more. If you weigh yourself daily it will not work…
As we discussed before, the simplest way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.
Once you understand all of the above, you can wave goodbye to those ridiculous “diets”, enjoy your food and start to feel great. As long as you stick to the correct calorie intake coupled with the correct ratio of carbs, protein and fat, you should be good and you won’t even think about it anymore.
Important note about losing weight
Losing weight isn’t what you should be looking to do. As we discussed above, starving yourself will eventually decrease muscle tissue which WILL reduce your weight but not in a good way.
You need to lose and burn fat!
Don’t listen to any diets that say you can lose 10lbs or a “dress size or two” in 2 weeks. It is all pretty much rubbish. This is why:
1lb of fat contains about 3,500 calories. The average man needs to eat about 2,500 calories a day (2,000 for a woman) or 17,500 calories a week. To lose 10lbs of weight (fat) you would need to burn 35,000 calories…exactly what a man will eat in 2 weeks.
Note: Before you ask, No! Not eating for a day will not shed 2,500 calories of fat.
So to lose 10lbs in two weeks, the man has to eat nothing or run a couple of Marathons a day!!!
Realistically, you should look to lose 2lbs of fat each week which is the safe and long lasting way. That is the goal I set myself after reading the books advice and that is exactly what I did.
2lbs fat = 7,000 calories so rather than eating 2,500 calories a day or 17,500 in a week, I ate 2,000 calories a day or 14,000 a week. That deficit of 500 calories per day = 3,500 calories in one week…or 1lb of fat.
This was helped by, and the extra 1lb of fat was lost through exercise.
Losing fat, or weight, will happen slowly if you don’t exercise (for most people) but it will take a lonnnng time and may not even work at all. Eating well coupled with regular exercise will speed up the process so quickly it is amazing.
This is why.
Cardio vascular exercise is great for increasing the heart rate and burning fat but only after exercising for 15-20 minutes. Before that, the body is using up energy from blood sugar but once you pass that 20 minute mark, you are burning fat. The best time for exercise is first thing in the morning or about 3-4 hours after a meal…that way, blood sugar is low and you will burn more fat.
Resistance training is best overall. It builds muscle tissue and muscle tissue burns fat during rest! Yep! Do a small amount of resistance training (weights) and you will burn fat whilst watching TV and even whilst you sleep! Woohoo!
But not everyone likes training!
I am, or was, ultimately lazy. The motivation required to get me to exercise was getting more and more difficult as I got older/bigger.
However, start I did. I began with a simple 3 mile bike ride which included a long hill, I had to stop 3 times up that hill in the beginning (now I fly up it). Then I would do a few simple weights.
Eventually I fell into a routine where I would, for 4 days a week, cycle 6 miles for 25 minutes, including hills, and then do about 20 minutes easy weights using dumbbells and a few sit ups and push ups.
That’s 45 minutes a day for 4 days or 3 hours a week in total…easy!
That was enough to shed 2lbs a week of fat each week right up to the point where I had lost 21kg or 3 stone or 42lbs. 42lbs divided by 2lbs per week = 21 weeks or 5 months and not once was I hungry or missing out on my favourite foods!
(Take a look at an average day in your life and see if you can “find” 45 minutes? 30 minutes on that mind-crushing TV soap? Get up 15 minutes earlier? An hour surfing the web not really getting anywhere? There is no reason why you can do simple exercises while watching TV…it all helps)!
I am not going to go into great detail about what sort of exercise you should do because everyone is different and has different ailments, doctors orders etc and I don’t want to be liable! Just know this though, it doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to sweat away for hours in the gym…I never used one!
The eBook will tell you all you need to know.
Another guy I have been studying for a long time is John Benson. A great fitness coach and all round good guy. Here is a short course written by John on useless exercises so you can stop wasting your time:
4 Common But Useless Fat Burning Exercises
You may be wasting your time in the gym or at home if you are trying to shape your body or get rid of body fat.
Most people are. That is when it comes to exercise for getting rid of belly fat and getting into better shape.
I was in the gym today (nothing new… ; ) and I saw all 4 of these exercises being performed by various gym members (again… nothing new.)
And they are useless for 99% of the people on the planet. Here they are…
USELESS EXERCISE 1: Walking Dumbbell Lunges
Okay ladies, this one is for you… although I see guys do this exercise as well.
This is where you take a pair of dumbbells and kneel with one leg, then the other, and so-on, walking around the gym as you go.
The idea behind this exercise is to work the butt, and to some extent the thighs… but it’s a joke. It’s something invented by trainers who should know better.
If you want to build and tone your butt, exercise one leg at a time. Lunges are a great exercise for this, but save your energy. Do them on a Smith Machine or with a barbell. Work one leg at a time, too. Do not alternate legs. This just wears you out aerobically before it has a chance to get to your glutes.
Here’s how I perform lunges: On a Smith Machine, with pretty heavy weights… one leg at a time. I will do 2-3 sets, or do them in my 7 Minute Body-style workout fashion. I will finish one leg (and one butt cheek) before moving to the other leg.
Why? Again, to focus on the muscle more intensely and to avoid turning a leg/butt workout into a cardio session.
Jon Benson covers exactly how lose weight whilst eating your favourite foods in his book found right here (watch the video and learn something cool):
USELESS EXERCISE 2: The Sit-up
I’m shocked that people still think sit-ups done the old-fashioned way actually work the abs. Even worse, most people have been fooled into believing this actually helps get rid of belly fat.
Nonsense. Belly fat is burned off when you have a good nutrition plan and through general exercise, not using exercises for the abs. Ab exercises are fine, but guess what?
I never train my abs more than 3-5 minutes. Today my ab workout took 3 minutes and 12 seconds to complete. And my abs are sore!
But without the nutrition plan, forget it… I’d never SEE my abs at all. I’d just have a nice wall of muscle with a bunch of flab covering it up.
The best nutrition plan for abs is The Every Other Day Diet plan, found here:
The best exercises to do for the actual ab muscles are hanging leg raises, done slowly, crunches (if you do them right)… and that’s really all you need.
USELESS EXERCISE 3: The Bench Press
I’m going to get a lot of flak from the guys out there who love to bench, but I’m here to tell you that this exercise for body shaping is all but worthless.
Why? Because most people are not built right body-wise to bench press on a flat bench with a barbell. I am not, that’s for sure.
Bench presses work if you have short arms, a relatively short torso, and your shoulders are genetically strong.
Protect your shoulders and really work your chest by doing incline dumbbell presses with your palms facing OUT, not in toward your head. This protects the rotator cuff, a part of the shoulder that is often injured using barbell bench presses.
Combine this with a good cable fly or press movement and you’re set. Again, you only need about 7-14 minutes of chest work tops to get the job done.
USELESS EXERCISE 4: Most Cardio Exercises
Yep… saved the best for last.
Here’s a fact: Most cardio (bike, treadmill, glider, whatever) is a waste to time… UNLESS you do it at the right time with the right nutrition plan.
The calories you burn from cardio will be easily negated simply by eating a bagel! Hardly effective for getting rid of body fat. Weight training and/or resistance training at home or with your body weight, as covered in 7 Minute Muscle, is your best bet for exercise that burns-off mega-calories and keeps on burning long after the exercise session is over.
Here’s how to use traditional cardio wisely:
1. Do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach;
- Keep your heart rate down to 75% of your max (220 minus your age x .75 will give you this number, at least approximately);
- “Burst” for 2-3 minutes in your session up to 85-90% of your max heart rate.
- OR, do cardio right after weight or resistance training when your heart rate is already elevated and your blood sugar is lower. Your body burns blood sugar first during exercise.Cardio for most people only needs to be performed 3-4 times a week for 20 minutes. The only time I break this rule is when I want to get my body fat below 10%. Then I will do more, but only using the rules above.Hope this saves you a ton of time with your workouts.
Well Being – Your Mind and Mood
Well being isn’t just about eating healthily and raising fitness levels…metal health can be one of your biggest hurdles and it needn’t be something as obvious as a nervous breakdown.
We are all under a certain amount of pressure in most things that we do every day:
- Are we spending enough time with the kids?
- Are we eating well?
- Are we earning enough?
- Is my job going well?
- Should I propose?
- Will I get that promotion?
- Will our mortgage go through?
- Will the car pass its MOT?
- Will I pass my exams?
- Do I need that new iPhone?
- Heating bills, Gas bills, tax bills, petrol prices, aches and pains, debt, recession, relationships, family, weather, holidays, traffic, bad news in the media…
It all plays on our mind and subconscious 24 hours a day, it is a wonder we don’t ALL have nervous breakdowns. Modern life is fast and furious and mixed with a complexity of ever changing emotions, happy, sad, jealous, up, down, depressed, bitter, stressed, nervous, excited, scared or just plain moody!
The key is to control it.
Stress also plays a part in just about everyone’s life but we actually NEED a certain amount of stress to keep ourselves motivated and enthusiastic according to the British Heart Foundation.
I am by no means an expert but I do know one thing
My attitude towards a lot of things and the way I cope with stress changed a lot once I got fit…big time! My mind seems healthier and better equipped to deal with problems. I feel more alive. I jump out of bed at 6.30am (most days) feeling wide awake because I sleep better. I am more tolerant of the kids…(most of the time).
Sayings like “you are what you eat” are so true and starting by improving your diet will go a long way to a healthier mind. A healthier and more active mind will go a long way towards running a successful business.
Read this very interesting article on diet and moods at Yahoo Health.
See the bit about 5-6 smaller meals a day? Eat healthy. Eat little and often. Do more exercise.
The way I see healthy eating is also simple
All humans are generally the same and we are all built around the same digestive system and needs. There are no two ways about it, we all KNOW what we need to eat and we all KNOW that we should exercise and we all KNOW what we shouldn’t eat but modern life, marketing and peer pressure can so easily play foul to our will power.
It’s as simple as 2+2. We all know it equals 4 and once you know that, you are well within your rights to claim “expert status” and teach others that fact as there is only one true answer. For me it is the same with food, nutrition and exercise.
There is only one diet or bunch of food groups that we SHOULD eat and that is pretty much what mother nature and evolution gave us. Fruit, meat, vegetables, pulses etc. Plus, our bodies are now so well developed (or should be) after millions of years of hopping over the rest of the evolutionary food chain to reach the top.
With our opposable thumbs and huge brains, we should all be built like athletes and super successful but modern life has a habit of getting in the way of that:
- Food advertising everywhere you look
- Dinner parties
- Pub lunches
- Christmas dinners
- Coffee bars
In fact, everywhere look in Western society there is some form of food staring us in the face. You need to be able to control the urge to give in to it.
That is why I liked this book so much. I eat regularly, I am never very hungry and I get to eat my favourite foods now and again…there is no going without which leads to a stress-free food life!
Moods and the Subconscious Mind
Once again, the subconscious mind has a lot to do with your moods and how you cope with things.
For example, if you are constantly saying or thinking “I cannot do this, it is too hard” or “This will never work” or “My business will never get off the ground”, your subconscious mind is listening deep within you.
They are emotional responses and the more emotional you get, the deeper these thoughts are seeded into your subconscious, and you are almost programming yourself to fail because the more you think these things, the more likely they will come true.
Now think of the opposite.
If you are constantly thinking “I will get this to work if it kills me” or “I CAN do this” or “I will have a successful business”, the chances are that eventually they will come true too! Don’t just think these thoughts, get excited about them, think about what you will do once successful…give up your day job? Buy a house or car? Get married?
Get emotional about your goals!
All of this was considered very “American” by us Brits in the past but as with everything, what starts in the US eventually comes to the UK and Europe and I for one believe in the subconscious mind and its workings 100%.
The mind is a powerful tool and if you program it right with positive thoughts and energy, it will work well on your behalf as opposed to working against you. Keep your mind and brain happy…
Exercise your Brain
Exercise shouldn’t just be for your body, you need to exercise your brain too. It has been proven that those people who continue to keep their brains active into old age, last longer than those who are simply “waiting to exhale”. There are many ways to keep your brain active…
“Through the medium of the ether, in a fashion employed by the radio broadcasting principle, every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains” – Napoleon Hill
The brain is way more powerful than we think and when I read the preceding sentence last year I laughed. Not because I thought it was funny but because I have always thought this and even posted something on a blog about it many moons ago.
Years ago, I used to attend medium sessions with my ex-girlfriend who was trying to contact her brother who died suddenly at just 18 years old. After watching these “shows” for a long time, I started to think about what was really happening, I couldn’t tell my girlfriend my thoughts as I didn’t want to destroy her hope.
I thought about the fact that if man could build a radio or TV capable of delivering our words and images through thin air, surely the brain can do the same?
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense
You just have to watch a flock of birds or a shoal of fish to know that they must be communicating “en-masse” somehow otherwise how can they all turn so quickly in perfect unison? My bird-watching cousins said it was more likely to be the birds simply reacting incredibly quickly to its neighbour and therefore causing a chain reaction but maybe…
I think we have simply lost or forgotten that ability to communicate more and more as we create more and more tools that do everything for us…we don’t “think” anymore but it is still there inside us!
I came to my own conclusion that the afore-mentioned medium could simply be picking up on the transmitting “radio” waves sent out by highly emotionally charged people looking for answers. They would “receive” names, hobbies and anything else that the audience were throwing at them either consciously or subconsciously.
The medium even turned to me once and said I had a black cat and an Alsatian dog sitting next to me. Our two pets had died the year before, a black cat and a big, soppy old Alsatian. Maybe as I was in those particular surroundings, my subconscious was bringing the “most recently departed” to the fore of my mind?
Have you ever had someone spring into your mind and the next thing the phone rings and it is them? Have you ever had the “gut feeling” about someone and then whatever you were feeling comes true, maybe they were standing behind you? I think we are all interconnected in more ways than we imagine and this can be important in how you run your business.
Once again, it is thought that these “abilities” within us are stronger when we are “charged up” or highly emotional.
There have been cases where a group of people suddenly looked around moments before a car crash…it is thought that the screaming thoughts inside the drivers head were transmitted strongly enough all around for people to pick up as a distress signal.
Why is it that many animals fled to the hills long before the recent Tsunami of 2004 hit land? Do they have the senses at hand that we have “lost” over time?
I also wrote and talked about “Inherited Memory” in around 1995 after these trips to the medium. I sometimes wonder that the strands of DNA in us that were “unmapped” at the time could be blocks of data or memory handed down to us by our forefathers.
Déjà Vu for instance doesn’t mean you have been somewhere before, but your ancestors might, and that data may be stored deep within your inherited memory banks. In the same way, people who go through regression during therapy, are not seeing themselves as a soldier in the 14th Century for example but they could be being taken back through the strands of memory to that of a distant ancestor…makes sense to me!
Can you see from all this how I exercise my brain? I think a lot! Right or wrong…I think.
So why am I including all of this in a course about business?
Well, business is life and for a business to run effectively, you need people and whether you believe it or not, your brain comes into play more than you think.
These senses are real and if you learn to recognise them, you can use these feelings to your advantage. Again, positive thoughts when meeting a potential client “could” transmit to them in more ways than one. Body language is a huge factor so you need to be 100% genuine because the client will have “gut feelings” about you too!
What if they ARE capable of picking up, albeit faintly, your thoughts and subconscious twitterings? Wouldn’t you rather be thinking positive, energetic thoughts, after all, this is how the Masters such as Derren Brown can place subconscious and subliminal thoughts into your mind for their own gain.
Long before you meet a client you should be imagining the meeting going well, I used to do this before an interview or a game of golf. Run yourself through all the aspects of the meeting, what you are offering, your attitude, your demeanour, and even how you want them to act.
When you get to the meeting, it feels like you have already done it and you are just there to see it through. If you throw in mild, subliminal messages when speaking, it all helps. Phrases such as:
- So “when” you book me… (if they look at you funny or mention it, you say “sorry, IF you book me”…and smile, it doesn’t matter, the thought has still been planted).
- …so “when” I shoot your wedding next year…
- ……”when I make up your album, I will ask for your own input if that is ok?”
…no “if’s” or “buts”…just positivity!
Sleep is important. I rarely sleep well before a wedding. I can’t work out if it is because I am nervous, excited or simply running through the day over and over again. Whatever it is, the fact that I do run through the day the night before, means I always cover it well and to the best of my abilities but what about the rest of the time.
Sleep is important…always. Sleep deprivation has been used as torture so I am sure you understand why sleep is important!
Once again, a healthy diet will help you sleep well and eating something before you go to bed helps too. I think I read once that Liz Taylor never eats after 6pm, is that right or wrong! Eating about 2-3 hours before bed time keeps your metabolism working and can actually aid fat loss and it shouldn’t affect your ability to sleep. You should feel “slightly” hungry when you go to bed.
Eating moments before going to bed can have a big effect on both the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Here is a test taken by the Centre for sleep Research at the University of South Australia.
I had never been in the position to do this before but now I am, and I have tried it, it works!
If you are going to be working from home as a photographer, you may find yourself in front of the computer for long periods of time and this can make you drowsy. A lack of natural light coupled with long periods on inactivity can play havoc with your health.
Make sure you take time every 20-30 minutes or so, or every hour at the very least, to get up and have a break/walk around. Sometimes when I am overcome with tiredness, I lay down on the sofa, close my eyes and shut my mind off for 20 minutes. I don’t sleep but kind of nap…still alert, but after 20 minutes or so, I feel completely refreshed. Try it if you can.
So, hopefully we have established that your health is not only important in your business or working life but your entire life. Make sure you try to adhere to at least some of these ideas if you are struggling with weight or fitness and I really do hope this section helps.
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