Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Peanut Butter Cup Pie That is Delicious and Healthy

* One Cup of Peanut Butter
* 2 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Power
* 1/4 Cup of Chocolate Chips
*2 TBSP of Coconut Oil

*Combine Peanut Butter, Protein Powder and 1 TBSP of Chocolate Chips
Pack into a round cake shape and Set it in the Refrigerator
*In a Separate Bowl, Slowly Heat Remaining Chocolate Chips and Coconut Oil. Stir until it smooth and also set it in the Refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
(The Coconut Oil/Chocolate Mixture Will Solidify like a Chocolate Bar if left cold too long.
* Simply top the Peanut Butter Pie with the Chocolate and enjoy.
You can place the PB Pie  back in cold place to harden the chocolate coating.

*To add a PB Fudge Topping. Warm 1 TBSP of Peanut Butter with 1/2 TBSP of Coconut Oil just like the Chocolate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Don't Make Losing Weight your Resolution for 2017

With New Year’s quickly approaching I am reminded of my annual “lose weight” resolutions during my obese lifetime.

I want to persuade you to NOT make losing weight your resolution for 2017.

In those B.S. years, Before Spiking, I used to struggle with dieting and my weight to the brink of insanity but each New Year provided me a fresh shot of hope. I’d say, “this will be the year I lose weight and become the new me”.  

Well, you may say, “isn’t hope a good thing?”
Yeah no, well at least not when it comes to dieting. What you need is enduring faith.

Unfortunately, my new hope would only last a few months. Then predictably, I’d gain all the weight back and more. Even worse was the damage done to my self-image of yet another failed diet.
I’m not alone, each year, about half of us are coerced into making an Annual Resolution of Failure. ARF for short. I don’t want to be a “downer” or crush your hopes but this is for your own good. According to Forbes, only 8% succeed in their resolution and one out of three will make losing weight their ARF for 2017.

Please, do not be one of them!  

Diets don’t work! The POWER of a New Year’s Resolution can't change that fact.

To be clear, I’m not saying it’s bad to have personal goals nor am I saying that it’s impossible to lose weight. Heck, I’m not even saying, don’t have a resolution. I actually have one to share with you at the end of my rambling.
I am saying that, in order to succeed in those lifelong struggles like, obesity. We need to be inspired from within. That is the foundation for any life altering transformation. Goals influenced from the outside like a New Year’s Resolution will not have the firm foundation necessary to hold us steadfast when our old world and new world collide.  

The truth is, “all things are possible” including a life altering physical transformation. I am living proof of that. When I went from a lifelong struggle with obesity to not just losing over 100lbs and not just maintaining that weight loss but actually losing another 30lbs over the past 12 years.

By the year 1 B.S. I had resigned myself to a life of obesity. I was tired of fighting and decided to just accept my fate. The following year two events impacted my self-image like nothing ever had before. My first son was born and I also accepted Christ as my savior. I realized that both Jesus and my baby boy loved me no matter how much I weighed and I allowed myself to be loved. It sounds simple but before this, I don’t think I felt worthy of being loved. Joy, however, can only last so long. The shame and guilt started coming back with the realization that due to my genetics my son could very well struggle with his weight just like me. Also, I was well on my way to being 400lbs and I was already pre-diabetic with high blood pressure at 26 years-old. So how could I then be the father I wanted to be for him and how long would I be on this Earth for him?  At that moment I decreed to “lose weight or bust”. I actually wrote that on the cover of my food journal.
Well as they say, “old habits die hard” and “old diets suck hard”.

So, of course, I began dieting like I had many times before, it should be simple right? “Eat less and exercise more”, yeah not so much.  I eventually plateaued just like every diet I had ever been on. Even after a few long weeks of struggling with my nemesis, I refused to quit. However, I was beginning to lose hope along with my mind. Then God came to the rescue. After not finding help or answers from diet books and personal trainers I asked God to give me wisdom and guidance. Then while digging into my Bible,  a verse jumped out at me.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Maybe it was because I was losing my mind or because I was at the end of my rope, but I felt that verse stoke the fire of my inspiration. I believed it with every part of my soul.
All things are possible with God!
Then I heard God tell me to “Give in”. I knew immediately he was referring to my food cravings and the “junk food” I thought I surrendered forever. He gave me permission to splurge! Which to a dieter is kind of a big deal, because that's kind of like bingeing and the opposite of what I thought I needed to do.
I decided that the next day, which was a Saturday would be my Sabbath from dieting and exercise. I’d “give in” and eat anything and everything I wanted and had been craving. It was my first weekly Spike Day and it was legendary.

Dieting and not losing weight is what I call “Diet Hell” and the wisdom to "give in" freed me!

The point I want you to take away from this is not just that Spike Day’s are awesome but, no matter how you choose to lose weight it has to be a doable long-term lifestyle and not a diet.

My inspiration came from within, I wanted this more than anything. I refused to quit which meant I could NOT fail. You will have adversity but you won’t fail unless you quit.

A transformation has to happen on the inside before it does on the outside. So make your 2017 Resolution about loving and accepting who you are and knowing that you are and have always been worthy of unconditional love and respect.

Then, if losing weight is something you desire, you will have the patience and faith to build and unshakeable foundation.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

My Weight Loss Journey in Pictures

There are many ways to lose weight but to do it long-term there are some definite do's and don'ts.

The Do's:

  • Be patient, enjoy your journey and take one day at a time.
  • Do find a way to eat what you love, get in tune with your body.
  • Do educate yourself on nutrition and how your body metabolizes food.
  • Do listen to others, especially those who have succeeded and be open-minded.
  • Do customize your weight loss plan to you and make sure you can continue it as a long-term lifestyle.

The Don'ts:

  • Don't deprive yourself
  • Don't kill yourself at the gym by believing that "more is better" or "no pain no gain"
  • Don't focus on the scale or losing weight as quickly as possible
  • Do NOT allow guilt or shame into your journey.

One more very important don't,
Don't give up!
If you never give up you can't lose. Well, you can lose weight but you know what I mean.

I found some pictures that I thought like my weight, were lost forever. If you click on the picture it should take you to the full Facebook album.
It's cool to look back and remember the some of the key moments of my journey.

100lbs lost in 11 months and another 35lbs lost in the past 12 years.

Click on the Picture to view the full Facebook Photo Album

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Article published on Thought Catalog

Cool news! Thought Catalog published my article on their site today! I'm shocked because they get around 15 million visits a day and one of my favorite authors, Ryan Holliday who wrote "Ego is the Enemy" & "The Obstacle is the Way" is a regular contributor there. 
Please share the article and leave a comment, if you don't mind? :)
Thank you!

When You Can’t Escape The Feeling Of Being Judged

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"It's always going to be about the weight"

In the NBC show “This is Us” Kate, who has struggled with obesity her entire life, makes a very true and depressing statement to her friend who's attempting to get her to focus on something other than dieting and she says to him, ”It’s always going to be about the weight”.

Those who are obese know this feeling all too well.  For when you are obese you feel constantly judged by everyone, even those who love you. Obese man/woman then becomes how we define ourselves and that identity warps the world around us.
We perceive kindness as pity or a cruel joke. We hear laughter from the "cool" group and assume it's another fat joke. We are also afraid to eat anything except salad in public, and walking into a gym filled with "fitness people" is like wearing Clinton t-shirt at a Donald Trump rally.  No matter where we go we can’t escape the feeling of being judged.

It’s like walking around with a huge zit on your nose, you can’t hide it! We believe the only thing anyone will notice about us is our weight and no one will ever see the person we are on the inside through all of this fat.

But it's not true.
I know now that those perceptions are false and that most people are just kind and they can laugh for many reasons, and only having a salad at a steakhouse is far more embarrassing than just enjoying a real meal. Also "fitness people" can actually be okay sometimes.

But even knowing the truth it doesn’t change the fact that society, the media, and a few bullies helped us in creating this world of shame, embarrassment, and guilt.

To escape to a new more accepting world, you need to not make this all about the weight but instead, it needs to be about how you honestly see yourself.

My friends, the transformation on the inside precedes the transformation on the outside. You have to first love and accept who you are before the world will. After all, no one judges you harsher than you judge yourself, right?

The key is what you choose to focus on.

When your goal revolves around the scale you leave victory up to chance and your identity is still tied to your weight.  However, when you focus on changing your lifestyle because you love yourself and feel you deserve the best life possible, you can't lose!

It's a Jedi Mind Trick, to yourself you do!
No longer will you say, "I want to lose weight because I'm fat and disgusting and no one likes me" (words I've used many times in the past to describe myself) but "I'm going to lose weight because I love myself and I deserve to live the greatest life possible."

That's the main point and yes this is far too simple because we have years of baggage, both in our minds and on our bodies, but this is a start.
Shifting your mindset is the beginning of creating a better world for you.

Love Russ

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

7 Tips to help you deal with hunger

When I was over 300lbs I literally had several months of stored calories in my body fat and I was baffled as to why I always felt hungry. 
It's important to understand that the hunger you and I feel has little to do with the amount of food we eat and more to do with the time's we normally eat. The hormone Ghrelin causes us to feel hungry and it's released just before we'd normally eat. So whenever we change the routine you can expect to feel extra hungry.  The good news is Ghrelin will adjust to your new plan and if ignored it generally goes away. 
It's also important to note that hunger is not the same as cravings and that's a topic that deserves its own space.

Hunger goes with weight loss like muscle soreness and going to the gym. It's more difficult at first but gets better the longer you go. *Cravings do the reverse as they tend to increase with time.

Here are 7 tips I used to battle hunger in my weight-loss journey:

1. Large glass of ice cold water with fiber powder
2. Strong mint gum! Ever eat after brushing your teeth? It makes ice cream taste like cigarettes. I always carry mint gum with me in case of an emergency so I can quickly pop one in my mouth when tempted.
3. Like #1 I'd chew ice chips
4. Sugar-free popsicles (Coolness is a trend)
5. Lots of protein, it helps me feel full and boost to TEF
6. Adding coconut oil, protein powder and fiber powder to almost everything
7. Last but most important. Accept who you are.
You are a beautiful person who loves to eat. After you lose weight, you are still a beautiful person who loves to eat just a smaller version. You can't fix who you are and there's nothing wrong with it. Food is meant to be enjoyed, it's a gift. All food can have a purpose which is why I despise calling foods "good" or "bad". If you eat something "bad" you feel "bad" and there's no place for guilt and shame on the journey to success.

The truth is if you are skinny but have to eliminate your favorite foods to get there you will still be miserable. And if you eliminate those foods to lose weight and bring them back after, there's a strong probability you'll just gain the weight back. 

You want a fun and healthy lifestyle, not a diet.

A successful lifestyle will allow who you are on the inside to coexist with how you want to look on the outside. This is extremely important and It took me half my life and many failed diets to finally figure that out.

True, a lifestyle takes longer to lose weight than extreme dieting but it will guarantee long-term success. Because if you're not miserable while losing weight you can follow it forever.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Intuitive Eating and Spiking Part 1

My Spike Lifestyle is very much what I'd call "Intuitive Eating", in fact my very first Spike Day was born out of desperation and then intuition. 
Up until 2003, Cheating/Spiking absolutely went against my beliefs on weight-loss. My whole life I was taught some foods are good and some are bad,  that foods like ice cream, pizza and donuts are what will and did make me fat. So I avoided them like the plague.  
"I'm shocked at the beliefs I used to have about food and obesity but like many I was brain-washed by the mainstream and diet industry."
Then a miracle happened and my beliefs were turned upside down. In 2003 my weight was 330lbs and I was determined to finally lose weight once and for all. I was motivated like I had never been before. 
As usual everything was going as planned when I hit the plateau. Even worse I was being bombarded with food cravings. 

I was about to snap mentally when an intuitive voice, God, told me to "give-in". I knew this voice was giving me permission, or more like direction to eat what I'm craving without guilt. 
So I did, and not only did it fix my craving issue, I lost weight! MIND-BLOWN!