Mike's Blog

22. Are you using 'diet' right?

Uncategorized May 15, 2020

The word 'diet' is a noun of Greek origin. 

According to Merriam-Webster it can be used as a noun to mean four primary things. 


1. Food and drink regularly provided or consumed.

2. Habitual nourishment.

3. The kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a specific reason.

4. A regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight.

The first two are what I think of when I hear the word 'diet.'

But many of you reading this and those I work with...

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21. Mastery over performance

Uncategorized May 14, 2020

Performance goals are a lot like outcome goals but they are usually associated with external validation. This is especially true today with social media and comparison culture conveniently tucked into our pockets. You may be shooting for a specific performance like a personal best lift or faster time to complete a workout/run. 

Mastery goals are about learning, developing skills, and the value we derive from becoming good at something or understanding it deeply. 

Performance goals...

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20. Your weight tells you how many calories you eat

Uncategorized May 04, 2020

When we eat more calories than we burn we gain fat.

The scale goes up. 

The same is true of the opposite; when we eat less calories than we burn we lose fat.

The scale goes down. 

Knowing how closely related calories are to scale weight is important because we can use the scale to indirectly measure calorie intake. 

AKA no food logging. 

Doing so is easy. 

Find a weight range you are comfortable with. Remember the weight classes wrestlers were dividing into in high school?...

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19. Would you teach it to your kids?

Uncategorized May 02, 2020

When I was growing I was taught to filter my speech with the suggestion: "Would you say it to your grandma?"

Now I ask clients about their eating and exercise with: "Would you teach it to your kids?"

Like a teenager losing half their vocabulary with the first filter the second one eliminates a whole bunch of diet and workout BS. 

Would ya teach your kids not to eat carbohydrates ala keto?

How about having them consume half their daily nutrition from powders  and all of their vitamins...

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18. Good + bad foods = binge eating?

Uncategorized May 01, 2020

Believing there are good and bad foods, or cheat and non cheat, or any other black and white break down is a distorted way to think of food. Such labeling of food often leads to binge eating. 

There is no such thing as good food or bad food. Or a right food or wrong food. There is no such thing as a fattening food or fat burning food.

If you want to lose fat the only way to do it is to be in a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter where the calories come from in a purely a fat loss...

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17. Don't wait until things calm down

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2020

I will eat right when things calm down. 

When she was younger Kelly was able to maintain a healthy weight because of all the sports she played. As she got older and settled into her career as an accountant she started steadily gaining weight. Her desk job was sedentary and she missed all the activity her younger years provided. Over the course of a decade she gained close to fifty pounds of fat. She reached a point where she had to do something about it and started working to lose...

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16. Your first priority should be you

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2020

Your first priority should be you. If you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t be much use to anyone else. 


One way to get stuck is to get your priorities wrong. Getting them right is harder than it sounds. When I started personal training I worked with a bunch of people who were older than me. I was 20 ish and spent my days walking clients through exercise sessions. It doesn’t take many counted out loud sets for the conversation to shift to the person...

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15. Modern is more stressful

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2020

How is modern more stressful? 


Many modern stressors simply mimic danger whereas the responses we developed were to actual danger. That traffic jam is not as threatening as the pack of hungry predators. Your boss’s bad mood pales in comparison to the dangers of an unsheltered snow storm. Our modern situations seem stressful psychologically but they don’t present the same physical threat we have grown accustomed to. Today our stressors are small but constant. In the...

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14. Freedom through discipline

Uncategorized Apr 12, 2020

It seems like having to calculate your eating and moving will turn everything into a tiresome book keeping chore. Where does it leave spontaneity and its joyful abandon to the whim of the moment? Learning to watch our food and movement doesn't mean we need to turn into accountants who constantly weigh our decisions against an endless balance sheet. Actually, the opposite typically happens. It is true logging everything you eat may be hard and annoying. But once you get good at it there are...

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13. It's hard to feel content right now

Uncategorized Apr 10, 2020

It is hard to be content right now. When the mind is not occupied by a specific task, like a job or conversation, thoughts begin to wander in random circles. In this case “random” does not mean that there is an equal chance of having happy and sad thoughts. What happens instead is that the majority of thoughts that come to mind when we are not concentrating are likely to be depressing. There are two reasons for this.

First, the number of negative things to think about always...

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