My Solution to: End Obesity and Live More Sustainably

Consider the following, in 2010, 33.8% of US adults were obese and 17% of US children and adolescents aged 2—19 years were obese. In 2008, the medical spending attributable to obesity was estimated at $147 billion. Obesity expenditures for Medicare and Medicaid make up 8.5% and 11.8% of spending, respectively. So how can we end this problem?

If every American household (which has a yard) planted an orchard in their yard, it would have a significant impact on our country’s future.  Unlike a garden, an orchard’s can grow for 50 or 60 years with very little maintenance. The average apple orchard grows 324 trees per acre and yields 14.3 tons of apples per acre, an average of about 88 pounds of apples per tree per year – while large apple trees can yield 800 pounds of apples per year. Imagine what it would be like to have hundreds of pounds of free food in your yard each year!

Therefore, I have decided to produce a  feature-length documentary film to encourage American families to plant small orchards in their years. The film will focus on one neighborhood uniting to plant trees. The goal is for each household to plant 5 fruit or nut trees in their yard. As the trees mature I believe they will: provide healthy food to mitigate obesity and clean our environment. Ultimately, I hope the film spark’s a national movement to inspire millions of people to do the same.  Orchards are a long-term, economical, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.

Please join me in supporting this exciting orchard film venture. I will post more details in the weeks ahead.

 

Excellent Health

Good health and fitness are a prerequisite to living a great life. I divide health into three categories: physical, mental and spiritual. Physical health is attained through a nutritious diet and frequent exercise. Mental health is attained by feeding your mind positive information and continuous education (formal or informal). Spiritual health is attained through practicing your religion or values in life. All three forms of health are closely intertwined. Weakness in one will affect the others.

I’ve heard people blame their poor health on a lack of time and money. I don’t buy it. It’s all about your priorities in life. I firmly believe good health is the single most important objective of life! Without it, your potential is limited. For a moment, reflect on a time in life when you had the flu, a broken bone, or a hangover – not the most exciting times. When you have great health it’s easy to take it for granted. It is only when we are sick that we reminded of just how much we miss it. Make your excellent health a priority in life so you can attain your full potential.

You can eat healthily and exercise inexpensively. Bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, lentils, carrots, rice are all cheap and nutritious food. There are countless others as well. If you are looking for cheap fruits and vegetables, I recommend visiting a local famer’s market. I have found prices there can be as much as 75% lower than traditional supermarkets.

If you’re not already following a healthy diet, then try this technique. Phase in healthy food gradually between your current unhealthy food. Rather than eating a bag of potatoes chips in one sitting, eat a potato chip and then take a bite of a carrot. If you don’t like carrots, find a raw vegetable that compliments the flavor of potato chips. Each day make it a point to have more and more healthy food in between your unhealthy food. Start with a bite of a carrot, and get then get into the habit of eating an entire carrot between each potato chip. As time passes phase out potato chips all together. Make your new snack food bananas, grapefruit, or apples. Likewise, get into the habit of having a glass of water before having a glass of soda. Then phase out soda all together. When you’re looking for desert, get in the habit of eating sweet fruits like strawberries or raspberries instead of eating ice-cream.

Your approach to eating healthy can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. I have chosen a simple approach. I eat mostly fruits and vegetables, while avoid all processed food. Review the ingredients in your food. Do they sound more like chemicals or plants and animals found in the wild? Does “monosodium glutamate” sound more natural than “whole oats”?

In addition to healthy eating, physical fitness is key. Physical fitness doesn’t cost a dime, so there is no excuse! There are plenty calisthenics workouts you can do for free. Push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks are great examples. If you need a place to work out, get creative. Find a tree with a strong branch that you can use for pull-ups. Use the foot of your bed to hold your feet as you do sit-ups. Walk, jog, run or bike around your neighborhood. Or if you can afford it, consider joining a local sports team –which is a fun and social way to work out. Exercising with friends can be a great way to push your abilities to the limit.

How do you define good health? Write down your specific goals. I defined my personal goal of fitness as: running 15 miles per week, walking 15 miles per week , and 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, and 200 sit-ups every other day. What is your definition of fitness? Whatever it might be, define it. Put it in writing and track it. By putting it in writing you can measure progress and hold yourself accountable.

Do not allow weather to deter your exercise routine. If your exercise routine is based on running outside, develop a system that allows you to run despite inclement weather. Join a gym or purchase a stationary bike. Or if you have the funds, invest in Gore-Tex rain gear.

Walking might not be the most exciting form of exercise, but it is better than nothing. If you have not been working out, at the very least get into the habit of walking 30 minutes per day. It gets the heart rate up, burns calories and is low impact on the body. With your heart rate up, it’s easy for your mind to generate inspirational ideas. Many of my best ideas hit me when I’m walking or jogging. Go with a friend, or go solo, take note of the world. Reflect on where you are, and where you want to go. Use the time to enjoy the here and now in the world.

If you’ve given up hope on exercising, watch an episode of NBC’s The Biggest Looser. Years ago my ex-girl demanded I watch it. I was skeptical, but after watching it I admit I was inspired. The contestants frequently weigh nearly 400 pounds. By the end of the season they lose almost half their body weight! They enroll in a rigorous fitness regiment and healthy diet. If you’re obese, find an episode. Read up on it dieting and fitness. Confirm your plan with your doctor. Then make it happen.

Excellent health and fitness are prerequisites to extraordinary life and living your dreams. It’s not about trying to impress people while you’re in a bathing suit. It’s about having no physical stamina to pursue large goals.

The Motivational Book: Live Your Dreams

Live Your Dreams: Powerful Strategies For Attaining Your Greatest Goals

How do you refuel your mind? Are you motivated by movies, music or books?

I have always found inspiration in all of those media, especially in great books. They’ve given me the energy to bust through barriers and charge great goals relentlessly.

Over the years I’ve kept notes of: the most important life lessons I’ve learned, the most powerful quotes I’ve read, and the most effective strategies for attaining goals. These are the tips that motivate me, and I share them with my clients. Now, I’ve put these tips into writing in my new book Live Your Dreams, Powerful Strategies For Attaining Your Greatest Goals.  The book is packed with exciting parables, clear strategies, and creative ideas.

It’s scheduled for release later this month. If you’re looking for some motivation, grab a copy on Amazon.com or Kindle.  I hope you enjoy it!

 

How To Quickly Get In Great Shape

With summer finally here, many people are looking to get in shape before heading to the beaches. A healthy diet and fitness routine are obviously a good start to attaining this goal, but what else can you do?

I have found one of the best strategies is to track your performance with a Success Tracker worksheet. Start by defining you fitness abilities on day one. This can be done easily by using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Google Docs spreadsheet, or graph paper. For example, you can write down the number of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups can you do. Or how long you can jump rope and how quickly you can run a mile.  Record your ability and track it after each workout for the next 100 days. When you exercise, aim for just a small improvement of just 1 or 2 percent per workout.

Tracking your fitness level with a Success Tracker worksheet, may help you improve your abilities. I found that by using this technique I doubled the amount of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups I could do in just 100 days.

Why does this system work so well?I think it does two key things. First, it helps you focus on small improvement that’s within reach. Doubling your ability overnight is likely a push and may even harm the body. But focusing on small improvement, is viable and safer. Second, the Success Tracker holds you accountable. It’ll help you maintain the discipline to workout several times per week. Skipping your workout for a couple of days will not be an options. The Success Tracker operates like a good friend, reminding you to stay focused on your goal.

As a general goal setting philosophy, that which gets measured can be improved. If you don’t track progress towards a goal, it’s hard to tell if it’s being made. A Success Tracker worksheet will help you track that progress.