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Fit For Life: Know What You Put in Your Body

Sunday, March 25, 2018


At last week’s conference, I listened to an amazing presentation from a guy named Drew Manning.

He received a lot of attention for an unconventional experiment he conducted on himself, and that was the topic and title of his presentation.

Fit to fat to fit was the title and that’s exactly what happened. He chronicled his transformation from a healthy and fit lifestyle to a lifestyle most call “normal”.

His brief history was that he was always a great athlete, liked working out, and that led to a career as a personal trainer.

He confessed that he showed little empathy towards clients that struggled with their weight. “Just eat properly, exercise and develop healthy habits and you will be fine. Stop the excuses” he used to tell people.

Until his experiment.

After hearing “But you don’t understand what it’s like, you never had a weight problem” over and over, he decided to walk in his clients’ shoes or the shoes of most Americans for 6 months.

He stopped exercising and started eating the “Standard American Diet” or S.A.D. as we call it.

After 6 months, his transformation was mind-blowing. He gained over 65 lbs. and looked and felt like a different person.

During his presentation, he kept showing his before and after pictures, and I was shocked every time they appeared in his keynote.

When someone asked if he gorged himself at buffets every day, he said no.

He gave a breakdown of all the commercial foods he used to substitute his healthy nutrition plan.

A breakfast of cinnamon toast crunch cereal, a glass of orange juice, 2 slices of white toast with butter and jelly in the morning and then he continued to eat processed crap through the day.

Not only were the pictures disturbing to see but hearing the health issues brought on by eating the way people think is acceptable was astonishing. He was on the Dr. Oz show and Dr. Oz was showing him the effects it was having on his liver and kidneys. Inflammation, fatty deposits, and poorly functioning kidneys were the result of this experiment.

He described how he felt during this transformation, and it scared him. It turned him into a different person both physically and psychologically. He was embarrassed to walk around without his shirt and didn’t have enough energy to play with his kids.

When he went back to his usual routine, he went through withdrawals and had to fight off the food addiction that he developed for highly processed and sugary foods. He then understood the struggle that the average American goes through.

Now understand that his transformation was drastic and most people that end up in an unfavorable situation like his, took years of poor lifestyle choices to develop.

But the point is that people are being fooled and misled into thinking that eating like this is ok and that they are not going to encounter health issues. Big food companies are poisoning us slowly, and most aren’t even aware of what is happening.

How many times have you heard “part of this complete breakfast” during cereal commercials, and seeing exactly what he was eating on the screen?

I was watching a tv commercial the other day and a woman was eating a plate full of seeds and berries while her husband was eating a cheeseburger. She looked down at her sparsely filled plate, then got up and pulled some diet frozen dinner out of the freezer to impress upon the audience that you can eat lasagna and still be healthy as long as the name “lean” is on the box.

The point I am trying to make is that if you don’t pay attention to the lifestyle choices you are making, and continue to eat man made processed food, it’s inevitable that you will end up in an unfavorable position with your health.

Yes, I know it’s not easy to make changes, but it’s not impossible.

Personally, I go through periods where I fall off the wagon and get a little loose with my nutrition, and it’s easy to go into a tailspin and let things get out of hand. Luckily, I know and realize how good I feel when I am in my routine, and how bad it feels when I am not. I also realize that it has an effect on everything I do throughout the day. I am lazier, groggier, and less productive.

That’s why at Providence Fit Body Boot Camp we coach you to success by implementing mindset techniques, along with our nutrition and exercise regimens.

No, I have never been overweight, but if I didn’t adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle in my early 20’s I could have been, or I could have developed some sort of food related disease. I loved and still like sugar, but when I cheat, it isn’t something wrapped in plastic on a supermarket shelve. It comes from a bakery or its homemade. Still not ideal but a better quality, less addictive form of junk.

We understand how hard it is and how addicting bad food is, and that’s precisely the reason that we try to make slow changes and educate our clients about the hidden dangers that commercial food contains.

It’s hard to change bad habits to achieve optimal health, and even harder when you are misinformed and have no idea what you are doing wrong.

I wrote this article, so you can get some insight and be aware of what you put into your body.

The good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around. If you truly want better health and to feel better on every level, seek some basic understanding about what healthy food really is and pay attention to what you consume.

Start exercising, and when you start feeling better you will get addicted to a healthier lifestyle. It usually takes about a week of fighting sugar cravings, and 21 days to develop good habits, then it gets easier from there.

It won’t happen overnight but with some will power, discipline, and a good coach by your side, impossible is nothing.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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