Consistency and Persistency: "Personal" Fitness

Sun. March 1, 2009 12:00 AM
by Jim Gregory

As a gay man, like many of us, I began my quest in the gym for self-discovery. I remember looking in the mirror and telling myself I was entirely uncomfortable with what I saw to the point that I didn't like who I was at that time and wanted to change my image.

The technical term for this is called body dysmorphia and it is quite common in the community. Wanting to have an Adonis body is not the healthiest psychology to have when wanting to achieve a healthy body. It can lead to wanting to cut corners to achieve the perfect body by using both legal and illegal substances that will often do more damage in the long term as you withdraw from them and most importantly they aren't necessary. As a professional personal trainer I don't cut corners and I am committed to living a lifestyle of health.

What is health? By definition it is being free from illness or injury. I approach health holistically; good health incorporates a strong mind, a strong body and a strong heart. There are many ways to get a gym bunny physique; just make healthy decisions all along the way. The easiest way to get a sixteen pack and a nice "beautocks" isn't always the healthiest. Keeping the end goal of Health is the key and Balance is the Mercedes you drive on the road to an amazing body.

As any professional personal trainer will know and tell you, your body is in a constant state of balance called homeostasis. This balance is much like the thermostat for your furnace or air conditioning system at home. If the temperature rises above or below a set point determined by the system, the furnace or air conditioner kicks on and changes the room temperature in order to maintain a stable state.

A simple example of this is the body's constant temperature of approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Let's say you see that perfect guy walk into the bar. He gives you the look and approaches you. Your heart begins to pump, your adrenaline rushes and you begin to sweat. This is your body's reaction rising temperature of pounding heart and all that chemistry occurring inside you because of all that chemistry happening outside of you! Your body must maintain homeostasis, in this case a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees. You collect yourself and cool down. Then later that night have "homo"stasis all night long and into the morning light…and cool down again later. A constant balance is occurring all the time.

Why do I not condone using supplements? I have used supplements in the past and my experience with most of them is that many are just marketing hype. I have learned to break down my supplement choice to the basics: whey protein and a multi-vitamins.

If you don't have whey protein in your diet, get it! If you don't then may mommy dearest strike you down. It is the only supplement on the market that is clinically proven to help build muscle, improve physical performance, sharpen your mind, help ward off disease, enhance circulatory system function, and have anti-aging effects. It is a by-product of cheese production and it pumped full of protein (amino acids) and anti-oxidants (It boosts levels of glutathione, the most powerful amino acid found in the body). The trick is buying the best whey protein. Don't cut budgeting corners; you buy designer jeans to show off what you've got in the best way, so buy the best whey protein packs the best results. If you don't like the taste of whey protein, buy isolated whey protein. Isolated whey protein hardly has a taste and is almost entirely absorbed by the body.

Taking a multi-vitamin supplement is very important. In the busy Chicago lifestyles we all have, we most often scarf down our food without a thought, but that puts an immense amount of strain on our digestion systems that most often results in poorly digested food that we don't get the entire nutritional value from. Combine that with our stressed out busy lives with overcooked processed foods, crop nutrient losses from intensive farming, aging, alcohol from the weekend and even antibiotics (they kill essential B-complex producing bacteria in your digestive system) it's easy to see why the multivitamin is an easy swallow in the 21st century.

Whether you just want to loose a few pounds or have abs you could wash your clothes on, make sure you have health as the end goal in mind. Both are achievable without cutting corners. The decisions you make on what you put into your body will always have an effect on the balancing act happening inside you. You've only got one body, so treat it well so that special someone can enjoy you, your health and uhh... well all of the rest of you for the longest time to come!