Feeling successful

We all tend to waffle on about what “success” means.

The truth is, it’s always going to mean different things to different people.  But there is some common ground out there.  And that is, how success feels.  As feelings-based creatures, success is surely about feelings, i.e. good feelings.

What’s coming up is a perfect example of what good feelings sound like, at least in words.  It’s a post by reader Bianca Petroff on the OMG Facebook page.  It’s honest, intelligent and fun.  And it inspired me.  I hope it can inspire you too:

“After 6 weeks, countless of “Why are you reading that?!” looks from strangers sitting opposite me in the bus, mocking from neighbouring work colleagues (who feed off of crisps and pies), 44 cold baths, way too many espressos and 215 pieces of sugar free gum, I have made it.

Some days were easy, some were tough.  Especially the evenings, “No thanks” to nights out invitations, “I have to be in bed by 10, sorry”.

“Loser!”

You’re damn right I am, 13 pounds to be exact.

I’ve made it.  Made it back into my favourite impeccably tailored navy trousers.  Look, I have a waist!  Hello!!!  But it’s not just the fact that for the first time in my entire life I weigh less than 60kg (132 lbs), it’s the fact that the changes I have made in my life to achieve this will carry on, forever.

I couldn’t believe it, going for a run first thing on an empty stomach?  No way!  As it turns out, it’s THE way. I have never felt healthier, prettier, lighter, it’s happy redefined. I wake up at 6am for a run in the park and I look forward to it, I pick the heavier dumbbells every fortnight, I work hard, I achieve.

I swear I hear even my heart rate monitor congratulating me every day on such amazing fitness improvements.  Thanks.  Thanks also to all the women who posted their successful experiences on the blog, Facebook and Twitter; they were a massive boost and I hope I can do the same for the next girl reading this page.

And thank you Venice Fulton, for teaching me about leptin, insulin, the fast and the furious, protein, hunting and waiting, mimicking metabolism, fibre, sleeping, essential fats, fat free products, balloons, and for helping me find a healthier me.

You deserve a lifetime of success, thank you a million times over!  Oh captain, my captain xoxo”

I couldn’t resist including the last bit, as it made me feel good!  Seriously, well done Bianca.  And well done to whoever has the guts to seek out good feelings like she did.

V.A.F

The burning desire to lose weight….

It’s a funny phrase, a burning desire.  As a kid, I assumed the phrase must come from some kind of physical burning.  I asked adults, but they told me that it was just a ‘metaphor’.  Now I’m all grown up, I realise that it’s much more than that, especially  when it comes to body fat.

Now, some types of body fat just sit there, making us feel heavy and look puffy.  Technically, this subcutaneous fat (a fancy word for under the skin) ‘only’ gives us heart problems, blood pressure problems, and saggy skin problems (the fat holds onto your skin, and the skin is holding on to nothing – so it stretches and droops).

Now another type of fat, visceral fat (another fancy word, which ‘just’ means it’s around your internal organs) doesn’t only sit there.

It makes you burn.

It does this by releasing chemicals normally released in response to an infection.  You know the deal here: a little bit is okay, but a lot, is not.

If you have lots of visceral fat, you might be leaking out high levels of these burning chemicals way too often.

And the result?  You could have a sore body or joints, you could be depressed, and you could be heading for heart attacks, diabetes, arthritis, or even losing your mind through Alzheimer’s.  These burning chemicals cause other chemicals to rise in our body.  One of them is called C-Reactive Protein, or CRP for short.  It’s a decent marker of how much your body is under attack.  Now the really important bit of this post is, what can be done about this?  The answer: lots!

One piece of research showed that for every 2 pounds of weight dropped, CRP drops by about 0.13 milligrams per litre of blood.

What do these confusing sounding measurements mean?  Well, first look at this.  It’s what your doctor might look at after getting your blood tested for CRP:

Less than 1mg per litre of blood = low risk for problems, i.e. why are you here?

Between 1mg – 3mg per litre of blood = moderate risk for problems, i.e. want a pill?

More than 3mg per litre of blood = high risk for problems, i.e. you’re still walking?

It’s easy to see that if you’re in the moderate risk category, and lose those spare 10 pounds, you will massively reduce your internal burning risk.

Research isn’t exactly sure if the benefits come from the reduction of fat cells, or the exercise (Venice says ‘movement’) itself.  I wouldn’t wait around for the geeks to agree.

MOVE NOW!  GET SKINNY NOW!  DON’T DIE NOW!

Seriously, we’re starting to notice so many western diseases caused by inflammation (burning).  So, it’s important to become the ultimate fire fighter and send the fire trucks to your belly as soon as possible.

Make fat loss your burning desire, today.

V.A.F

A truly massive success

When is a diet, not a diet?  When it’s Six Weeks To OMG.

Diets don’t work.  That’s a cliche that I agree with.  Diets are about eating less food, or changing what you eat, drastically.  No fun loving human wants to do that stuff.

To get skinny, to get healthy, and to get happy, we need to become experts in many different areas.  That’s exactly what the book does: makes everyone an expert.

Don’t get me wrong, restricting food alone for 6 weeks also works, if you define success by the numbers on your weighing scales.  The thing is, scales never reveal the whole story, and I’m not talking about whether you lose fat or water either.

True success is having a sense of freedom.  Freedom from boring, hard to make recipes at the back of diet books.  Freedom to show off your legs like everyone else.  Freedom from needing to hold your handbag over your stomach.  Freedom to stop saying ‘Oh it’s SO confusing’.

Success might simply be looking and feeling how you want.

Here are a few of the OMG success stories I love to get:

“OMG!!  I watched your interview with Lorraine on Daybreak and I can honestly say that it made me feel uncomfortable as I don’t think you were given a proper chance to tell everyone about 6 weeks to OMG. I’ve been doing it for about a week & feel great!!

The key thing for me is sticking to 3 meals a day as I’ve tried the six meals a day thing & it doesnt work for me it made a lot of sense in the book when you explain about how insulin works, cold baths are great certainly wake you up & I feel energised.  I love how you explain everything in the book some of your comments are quite funny – it kept me entertained, I read the book in one day.  I have lost 4lbs & my clothes are looser.

I dare everyone to try it, I’ve tried every diet going & this for me is the best & I am adapting this way of eating for life.”

Lynne Morris

 

“First let me say, this book has changed my life.

For me looking at myself has been draining, and I wanted changed, but it hasn’t been about the habit change more so than the mental change. I LOVE ME NOW and no one can change that.  Your book talk about not listening to family, friends and those who choose to keep you down, I just LOVE it!  This was me, I just started 5 days ago, and everyday I wake saying THIS IS FOR ME!  I can be skinny, I can look my best.  SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

Falyn Marzette

 

I am a big book lover, and occasionally my husband will surprise me with a book, which I love because so far he’s never made a bad choice. Recently, he came home with your book, ‘Six Weeks to OMG’.

I clearly remember thinking , “Oh great, one of those books.”.  I will honestly say that I was one of the people who judged your book before actually reading it.  Mostly because I’ve tried to read diet books and I hated them. One, they were extremely boring. Two, they somehow manage to weave in an expensive product that’s a ‘must have’ or some crazy diet that’s way too complicated.

But, my husband insisted that I read it so I did (I still am.) and I’m really glad my husband bought it for me.“I am a big book lover, and occasionally my husband will surprise me with a book, which I love because so far he’s never made a bad choice. Recently, he came home with your book, Six Weeks To OMG.

Your plan is easy for me to remember and is completely reasonable and logical! I don’t feel like its consuming me (like my previous diet). I decided to go with Quake. Even though today is the first time I’ve attempted your suggestions I am extremely happy with the way everything is. I didn’t mind skipping breakfast or waiting an extra three hours after my Pom 1, drinking plain coffee, and taking a cold bath (Tomorrow I plan to try the shower). They actually felt really normal.

We have a vacation coming up in December, and it would be my very first, and I really want it to be ‘OMG’. I love your book, and I hope more people read it to. Thank you for being honest and giving me a way out of my ‘fadultness’.”

Amanda Philpott

 

“I JUST bought the iBook version of Six Weeks To OMG. After a day I’m already more than half-way through it and I really love all your tips and tricks! Even though I haven’t finished it all the way yet, I started your regimen today and I’m very optimistic! This book is definitely so much more different than any other diet book I’ve ever read.

Thank you for your wonderful advice! Much love from California!”

Emilie Avila

 

“I just want to say… You have saved my life. It seems like I have tried every diet out there – nothing worked.

Six Weeks To OMG is something I can live with as it is not so much a diet as it is a healthy way of life. Besides that it works! I was amazed, because after just one day I was feeling fantastic. Not everyone will feel the benefits at the same time, but they will feel them. I feel it is the exercise/wait/eat half protein half carbs(keeping them at the lower number for carbs) that is the key here. The baths are not all that bad either.

I bought the Kindle version for my pc as I wanted to start right away after seeing this on The Today Show and after checking it out on Amazon and reading an excerpt. Believe me I was scared (you know the cold bath thing) but it wasn’t bad at all and you could leave that part out if you wanted. You could leave any of it out really, but then you wouldn’t be getting the full benefit would you?

I couldn’t really see any difference on the out side after one day (didn’t expect to), but by the second day I thought my tummy had shrunk, by the third day I knew it had.  Thank you thank you thank you.”

R. M.

 

It’s time to forget diets.  It’s time to get smart.  It’s time to get anything you want.

And the time to get it, is today.

V.A.F

 

TOWIE (The Only Way Is Envy)

First off, if you’re not in the UK, it’s quite likely you’ll have no idea what TOWIE is.  And actually, if you are in the UK, you still might not know!

The letters stand for The Only Way Is Essex, and it’s an award winning TV reality show. Whether you like it or not, it’s young, fun, and very successful. Here’s some of the stars:

We have feelings too!

In the past few weeks, Six Weeks To OMG has reportedly been associated with TOWIE. According to press reports, I was inspired to write it because of the show. Whatever!

Now in theory, I could be annoyed, because of this inaccuracy.  I am annoyed, but for completely different reasons.

It seems the poor girls and guys of TOWIE are being used as scapegoats for looking good, and therefore encouraging people to do the same.

Newspaper reports, and the forum comments that follow them, have begun to wag the finger at those who are clearly succeeding in their efforts to look great.

I won’t name names, but I can assure you, some of the greatest bodies around don’t get that way because of secret potions, secret trainers, or secretly amazing genes.

It’s almost always down to a few things: knowing what to do, and, doing it regularly. Despite this obvious truth, many celebs are becoming the victim of plain old envy.*

No one who works hard, deserves envy.

What we do, good or bad, is our choice.  Celebs simply face the reality of how important health and confidence is, much earlier than most.  It’s really, as simple, as that.

V.A.F

* Known in TOWIE as “weljel”

Six Weeks To Answer Blog Posts…

Hello!

I’m so sorry for not answering the many, many smart questions you’ve been asking.  I haven’t deleted any of your thoughts (even the scary ones), and I will answer them all as soon as possible.

V.A.F

 

2 Weeks To OMG?

I now understand that all paper copies of Six Weeks To OMG have sold out.  I know this is so frustrating for those of you who prefer to hold a “real” book.

A new publisher will be printing more books, hopefully very shortly.

Until then, you can read it on Kindle, and you don’t have to buy a Kindle (don’t tell Amazon I told you!).

Have you got any of these?

  • A computer (a desktop, laptop, PC, Mac)
  • An iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch
  • A smart phone

Then you can download the free Kindle app, and read the eBook tree-free:

In the UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd?docId=1000425503

In the US

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

I know the paper feels good, but the most important thing is knowledge.

(And if you still want the paper OMG, hold on!)

V.A.F

Ask your Doctor, or teach them?

A great article about Six Weeks To OMG appeared in the Metro newspaper today.  It was well balanced, and responsibly included the views of a doctor.

But is a doctor qualified to comment in the first place?

For the record, I don’t know the particular doctor in question, and it’s possible they have qualifications and experience beyond a standard medical degree.

If they don’t, then my answer to the question above is this:

No.

A doctor spends a lot of time studying, usually between 5 and 6 years.  Some of the time is dedicated to the basics, anatomy and physiology.  There’s even a bit of psychology. The massive majority of the syllabus concentrates on pharmacology, i.e. learning about drugs, how they work, what and when to prescribe them.  To be fair, this makes sense, as a doctor doesn’t know what’s going to pass through their surgery doors.

Unfortunately, this means that very little time is spent on diet, or indeed exercise, and the relationship between the two.  In simple terms, doctors are the mechanics who patch things up when they go wrong.  I’m extremely grateful for the job they do, and have fond memories of doctors visiting me as a child, and making me better again.  But in terms of preventative advice, they can’t be trusted.  In terms of cutting-edge advice, they’re even more behind the times.

Let’s take an example from the particular article I mentioned.  The good doc suggested that caffeine raises cortisol (a stress hormone), and that made people fat.  Caffeine can raise cortisol, and cortisol can make people fat (I even covered this in the book), but to conclude that caffeine makes people fat, isn’t correct.  PubMed, the US government’s health database has hundreds of studies that report on caffeine’s effectiveness in terms of fat burning.  These are the very same world class science journals that get read by professors who teach our doctors.

What happens, is the journals get glanced at, and then put down on the coffee table, and ignored.  And that is crazy.  Being ‘chubby’ almost sounds cute, but the cold reality of seeing someone keeled over from a heart attack is no joke.  I’ve broken down a locked door and witnessed it myself.

Anything that helps us get healthier, must not be dismissed by voicing out dated thinking.  We must use everything we can to improve physical and mental health.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of Western medicine, thought this way, and yet somehow his message has become diluted.  I urge everyone to take an interest in their health, and become an expert at the one thing we all have (a body and a mind).  If that means confronting the medical establishment, or even teaching your own doctor a thing or two, then so be it.

V.A.F

The ugly truth

The German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, once stated that all truths go through 3 stages.  First, they’re ridiculed.  Second, they’re violently opposed.  And third, they become accepted as the new way.  Some feedback from readers and skimmers of the book have made Arthur’s observations seem very accurate.

On the face of it, skipping breakfast, jumping in a cold bath, and not being completely seduced by eating as much fruit as you want, all seem like crazy ideas.  After all, there are few, if any, diet books that recommend anything similar.  And because these ideas appear controversial, both to ‘experts’ and those who believe in them, they’re easy targets.

One particular review was outraged by the thought of a cold bath.  Had they reached the end of that chapter, they might have realised that it wasn’t an order.  And if they’d Googled around, or found someone who understood physics and biochemistry, they would at least have the beginnings of a belief that perhaps, the skinny dipping idea was onto something.

Skipping breakfast, in particular, is so engrained into our minds, pardon the cereal pun. To be frank, skipping breakfast isn’t easy, especially to start with.  Years of habit, combined with social pressure (‘why aren’t you eating breakfast, that’s ridiculous…’), make it unusual.  And most of us have a hard-wired fear of all things unusual.  It takes a few brave humans to stand up and try something new.  Eventually, the truth spreads from these explorers, and makes all our lives better.

And speaking of explorers, let’s not forget that entire continents might not have been discovered if it wasn’t for gutsy guys and girls, who bucked the trend and acted bravely. They kept sailing when the reviewers of sailing suggested that they’d fall off the planet. Famous star-gazers lost their lives for suggesting that the reports of the sun moving around us were wrong.

When the truth rears its head, it sometimes appears ugly.  I urge you to fight the temptation of hating what first appears ugly.  Given a chance, many ugly ducklings grow up to be beautiful.

V.A.F

Easy like Sunday morning

When Lionel Richie first sung those lyrics, he was talking about love (actually, he was talking about not loving someone from Monday onwards).  But when it comes to how to treat your body, is it wise to keep treating Sunday as the cool kid in the family of a week?

No.

For many regular people, Sunday is their only true day of rest.  Monday to Friday is spent working, Saturday is spent catching up on “stuff”, and Sunday, well Sunday is an ahhhh moment in their thoughts.  And that’s great.

But it’s worth remembering that our body doesn’t think in weeks.  It thinks in days (light and dark), and it thinks in seasons too (still connected to light and dark).  But weeks?  It’s never heard of them.  And because of this, it logically doesn’t make much sense to treat your body differently by suddenly changing your habits on one day.

I won’t pretend that acting differently on Sunday shocks your body’s physiology or anything equally dramatic.  There’s just no evidence for that.  And certainly, you won’t get fat in 24 hours.  But, small changes in how you behave quickly filter back into you mind, and they stick.  Monday can be a stressful day, and if you’re especially relaxed with your habits on Sunday, it will seem even tougher in comparison.

What about diet books that recommend a ‘cheat meal’ – and often suggest it at the weekend?  The concept of letting off steam makes sense on paper, but in reality, it’s flawed.

First of all, it utterly fixates your mind on that one moment where you ‘give’ yourself a treat.  Drooling desperation isn’t a great attitude to walk around with (or bump into) for an entire week!

Secondly, it subconsciously suggests that you’re rewarding yourself for sticking to good habits throughout the week.  Habits, even good ones, get broken eventually. Long term success, i.e. real happiness, only happens when you shift your beliefs – not your habits.  It’s about realising what’s right – and not simply avoiding what’s wrong.  In a nutshell:

Do what you want on a Sunday – but do it because you want to, not because you’re allowed to.

This might seem like a confusing and contradictory post.  All you need to realise is that cheat meals, and days of the week, are silly concepts.  Sometimes, we all fall off the wagon.  If you do that, but know how stuff works, you’ll get back on track easily, and won’t need to spend day after day dreaming of being free to do what you want.

V.A.F

Forget to eat, forget to fight

According to folklore, it’s best to “starve a fever, and feed a cold”.  Is there any truth in that?  It’s especially important to know right now, as the beginning of the year is traditionally a time when many people get ill.

Of course, it’s also a time when lots of people change what they eat, or simply start to eat less.  For many, that’s a positive change, both in a psychological and physical sense.  But if you change too much, too fast, you might be risking your body’s health (and your mental health from just being sick).

Scientists have discovered that if you’re ill, and follow the ancient advice of starving a fever, you might find it harder to fight it then or in the future.  Why?  Well it seems that by taking in less nutrients, you don’t form enough B memory cells.  These little friends take notes when you get sick, making details about who your immune system is up against.  That makes it much easier to draft in the right soldiers to finish the job, or prevent another similar attack the moment it looks like happening again.

It’s likely that protein is one of the most essential ingredients in making these b memory cells, so if you are starting a diet, remember to make protein your first friend.  By getting enough, you’ll be making sure that your personal army of note-takers are fully formed, and ready to fight any invaders coming your way.

And if you’re already sick or coming down with something, resist the temptation to do nothing and moan, even if your appetite has shrunk to post-Christmas dinner proportions.  Make an effort to get some protein into you.  If solids are a turn-0ff, remember a liquid is fine.  Milk, a protein shake, or a yogurt work well.  If you can’t handle that, grab anything that contains a decent proportion of protein.  Fighting invaders is a tough process, so help your body out.

Feed a cold, and feed a fever.  You’ll get back to your old self in no time.

V.A.F