Don’t Wait for Perfect

Almost on a daily basis I’ll cross paths with an acquaintance that knows what I do for a living. And without any prompting on my end I begin hearing about their plans to take care of their health & fitness.

Lessons from US Swimmer Ryan Lochte

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks you’ve probably heard the name Ryan Lochte. And if you’re not familiar with the name than you may have heard something about a US swimmer at the Olympics fabricating a story about being robbed in Brazil at the Olympics.

Falsified Research Caused Many to Avoid Vaccination

Are you someone that gets a vaccination?

When flu season comes around do you get one or not?

If you don’t what is your reasoning? Is it because there is a cost associated with it? Is it because you believe it is only really necessary for health care workers, young children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems? Or is there some other reason?

Because for the past few years there has been a growing movement against getting vaccinated. And some of this influence came as a result of the ‘work’ of Andrew Wakefield from the UK.

You should notice that I haven’t referred to him as a doctor and I wouldn’t consider his findings as research. This is because Dr. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license in May 2010 and the British Medical Journal called his research ‘elaborate fraud’ with financial self interest and falsified data.

Does this ring a bell?

A few years ago there was an email circulating warning us of the dangers of immunizations and vaccines. It was worded in official scientific language and style and referenced medical and health authority. The gist of the email was that the various vaccines going around were causing a number of diseases and conditions such as autism.

So began the great debate. Should you get vaccinated or not?

And then there were the associated conspiracy theories. I never knew that that getting vaccinated when I was a boy for measles had nothing to do with preventing this disease but everything to do with:

* Installing a tracking device inside me so the government can monitor my daily activities via satellite.

* Using me to test out chemical war-fare agents.

* Instigating a disease within me that leads to the purchase of over-priced prescription medication.

Other than the first one I naively believe that vaccines are actually to prevent disease. The first one is true because I lead such a rock star life I don’t blame the government for wanting to see what I put in my oatmeal at 430 am. Makes sense, right?

The information age is an amazing thing. It allows us to connect with others that previously would have been beyond our reach.

It allows us to access information that only a few years ago that could only be found by visiting a university campus and doing a search of their archives.

But it also can be a dangerous thing and cause many to make wrong and sometimes dangerous decisions.

In the case of vaccines or any type of medical information, use the following guide to determine where the truth is.

#1 Where is most of the evidence?

If 99 research papers come to one conclusion and 1 paper finds an alternate outcome there is fairly strong evidence as to what the truth is. This doesn’t mean the one paper is wrong. There may be valid reasoning as to why a different outcome was observed. But for the most part go with what most experts have been able to reproduce in the lab.

#2 Is there financial motive?

If there is a link between proving one’s argument and financial gain then the motives become questionable. A truth should be independent of financial gain.

#3 Can the evidence be reproduced?

In Wakefield’s case none of his findings could be reproduced in the lab by others.

The unfortunate end of this story is the number of children who have been diagnosed with disease as they were not vaccinated. Vaccinations in parts of London dropped as low as 50%.

Consider this.

In 1998, the year the Wakefield paper was being submitted for publication there were 56 cases of measles.

By 2006 this number had grown to 449. In the first 5 months of the year!

There were almost 5000 cases of mumps in the first few months of 2005.

Other countries noticed similar increases in these diseases.

And what about autism rates in the UK?

A UK database study found that children who did not receive the MMR vaccine were at increased risk of developing measles AND autism!

So what’s the take home message?

Speak to your family doctor when you have questions. Put more faith in medical journals than internet blogs. Just because something is printed, on paper or online, doesn’t make it fact. And always weigh the risks versus the benefits.

So what do you think? In the comments section below let me know whether you agree or disagree.

Yours in health,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                   okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

How Strong is Your Conviction to Achieve Your Goal?

Hi there: Hope you’ve had a great week. Mine flew by partly due to being busy. But I did manage to fit in a date night with my wife. And we went out for dinner and then to see the movie Conviction. She’s not a huge Hilary Swank fan but we both did agree the show was pretty good. And it wasn’t until after the show was over that it occured to me that the title was a play on words.

You see the movie is about a couple of foster kids from small town Massasschusets. The brother is wrongly convicted of murder and the sister takes it upon herself to right this wrong and get her brother freed from jail. The only problem is that the sister is not a lawyer. Nor does she have degree to apply to law school. Nor a GED for that matter.

But that doesn’t stop her from doing whatever is necessary to achieve the end goal of freeing her brother from jail.

Initially I looked at the title and thought it had to do with the brother and his conviction. But in retrospect it had to do with the sister and her conviction to overturn his sentence.

So what does this have to with health, fitness, performance or anything?

Well there are two messages you can take from this movie. The first is the most successful people aren’t always the most gifted. Or the smartest. Or having the most of anything that is a pre-requisite for success in that field. Take Wayne Gretzky for example.

He didn’t have the hardest shot. He wasn’t the fastest skater. He was in no way a physical presence on the ice. (some reports have him scoring the lowest on the Oilers’ fitness testing). But he was the greatest player to ever play the game.

There are countless examples of people in business, sports and the arts that aren’t necessarily the most talented yet are the best in their field.

So what about you and I?

What’s our excuse? What is holding us back from achieving excellence?

Often times we are quick to find fault. We have a number of excuses at the ready for when things don’t go our way. We can ensure that  whatever the outcome is for us we have a defense in place to justify our mediocrity.

But are we really ok with this?

Probably not. I think we’re all capable of more. We can achieve excellence. We  have the potential to surpass our current levels.

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people with much less ability, education and opportunity than what we have that have achieved much more. If we are really serious about our goal and of wanting the best then we need to take immediate and decisive action towards that goal. This is the second part of success.

Now here are four things you can do towards achieving your goal.

1. Define your goal – Be as specific as posssible. Write it down. Post it on your fridge. Include numbers, dates and other details. For example it might be to lose 11 lbs before Dec 20 and reduce waist size by 2 inches.

2. Determine how you will achieve your goal – By going to the gym a minimum of four days a week. By eliminating sugar intake as much as possible. By getting 8 hours of sleep a night. By drinking a glass of water before every meal.

3. Have contingencies in place – I once heard success defined as ‘getting up once more than you fall’. Nobody is perfect. Things don’t always go your way. But being prepared ahead of time allows you to deal with the setbacks that occur.

4. Plan a punishment or reward – If you achieve your goal maybe you buy yourself that pair of designer jeans that is 2″ smaller than your current size. Or if you don’t achieve your goal you buy two tickets to the game your husband has been begging to go to.

The reality is that we hear the expression ‘he or she over-achieved’ quite often. I don’t know if I believe that as much anymore. Instead I believe more that we can all do great things. And because I can’t say it any better I’ll let Henry Ford say it for me:

‘Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.’

Have a great weekend,

Chris.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

What does a healthy 600 calorie snack look like? (video)

Hi there: Hope you’re having a great week and are accomplishing all of your health, fitness and performance goals. One of my favourite ways to relax and unwind is to go the movies. Last night my wife and I check out ‘Due Date’.  Think of it as an updated version of ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’. Anyways, it was good for a laugh. Never underestimate the value of relaxing and having a good time as it relates to your body’s ability to regenerate and recover.

But enough about relaxing and movies because it’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for a nutritional tip. Over the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with how many calories my body is burning. Knowing this informating allows me to be not only more specific with my training but also more specific with my meals.

I now know how many calories I should have at each meal. And how often I should eat in order to put on 10 lbs of muscle. So with that being said check out the following video where I show you a sample healthy snack and a great online nutritional resource for looking up your favourite foods.

Here’s the link for the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UomdVRRzzzs

Let me know what your favourite snack is. And have you used this online resource before?

Your coach,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                    okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

Lose 7 lbs by Thanksgiving? Try 22!

Hi there: Before I get to today’s email I want to let you know we’ve made a few changes on our website. In addition to a bit of a re-design the major change is that we’ve switched it over to a wordpress blog. What does this mean for you? Well, now you get to have your say. You can go to the site every time I post an article and leave some feedback. You can ask a question. Or you can present an alternate argument to a question. Maybe you’re an expert in a particular field and have info that really would benefit the people reading these emails. Case in point when I wrote about celiac disease you replied to me with some excellent resources and info that I had to pass on to others.

And so I really encourage you to go over to the site and post a comment, a question or whatever’s on your mind. From time to time I’ll reward those who post with meal plans, training programs and other freebies.

So go take a look, let me know what you think and make okanaganpeakperformance.com your home for health, fitness and performance.

Now on to the article.

A while back I put a challenge out to you. I challenged you to lose 7 lbs by Thanksgiving. And we gave you the tools of how to make this a reality.

And you responded. Big time.

But one of you didn’t stop at 7 lbs. Or at 10 lbs, 15 lbs or even 20 lbs. Annette Welke has managed to drop 22 lbs and is on track for more!

Read on to see what Annette did to achieve this incredible result.

Hi Chris!

Since I have started working with you (almost 4 years!) I have seen my weight go up and down, with nobody to blame but myself. I have always been steady with my gains on a fitness level (thanks to you), which made me very happy, but always fell off the wagon with my eating habits.

Since heart disease runs in my family, I figured that now was the time for me to really take things into my own hands….I cut out ALL carbs, dairy, sugar and processed foods. Toughest thing I have ever done! After 2 months, I am down 22 lbs! I am just now starting to add some things back into my diet.

I certainly feel better! And according to my hubby I have even stopped snoring…yahoo!

So to sum it up….

Pounds lost : 22
Down: 2 pant sizes and 2 shirt sizes
Fitness level: ready to get back at it BIG time!
Long term goal: to get to my goal weight of 145 lbs.

Thanks for your continued support Chris (& Alexandra too!)..attached are a before and after photo.

Warm Regards,

Annette

Way to go Annette! We’re all very proud of you and look forward to seeing how far you can go.

All the best.

Chris