| Article Summary:
Mind & Body Transformation (Part 1):
An Excerpt From "Transformation: Unlock Your True Potential"
The following is the beginning of a series of articles that will allow all of you to reach your health, fitness and appearance goals. The author is someone like most of you who log in daily to any fitness website. An individual who has a regular job, average genetics, and goals just like you.
At 28 years old he suffered a stroke secondary to a heart condition and essentially had to start all over. He made a decision to move on with his life and get back the body and life he once knew. That is all YOU have to do as well.
Decide right now to open your mind to what is truly possible. He knows he can get you to where you want to be, because he was once there as well. The only thing you have to bring to the table is the desire to be better. With the right attitude and drive you can take "average" genetics and create extraordinary results.
Over the last two years he has put together a book that walks you through every aspect of physical fitness and reaching your goals. The book is called Transformation: Unlock Your True Potential. Stay tuned as each article will mirror that book and add a piece to the puzzle that is your body. Once assembled, the end result will be the fulfillment of your physique dreams and goals. Here we go...
D-E-S-I-R-E. Don't quit reading. This isn't a spelling lesson. It's the first lesson of many in achieving a better body. What does desire have to do with it? Read the following quote and I think you'll understand why one word can be the catalyst to reaching your goals.
"Desire is the greatest ingredient to being the best there is or ever will be."
Dreams will never be achieved without desire, as desire and dreams go hand in hand. I believe we all must be dreamers in some sense to achieve our goals.
Goal Setting Articles:
Dreams are what keep us all alive, the fuel that keeps us going. Unfortunately, dreams can also be a weight, keeping us from taking action and pursuing what we truly want to accomplish. Why? What separates those of us who simply want to be better from those who achieve? Action and knowledge. That is what I want to talk about with you today.
First let me introduce myself. My name is Eyad Yehyawi and I am an optometrist from East Central Iowa. Like many of you, I have a regular job and my family is and always will be my number one priority. I have no supplement deals nor do I represent any company. Basically, I simply love fitness and bodybuilding. It is one of my greatest passions.
I wasn't a "gifted" individual in the sense that I had to work painfully hard to get where I wanted to be. As a youth I was overweight, was ridiculed for it by my classmates, and we all know children are painfully honest.
I kept trying though and eventually worked my way into all-state baseball player and signed a collegiate athletic scholarship. Along the way I also earned biology and chemistry degrees and eventually a doctorate. In 1999 I became certified as a personal trainer and enjoyed every minute of it.
These activities allow me to indulge in another passion of mine which is helping people. I have always loved to work with people and am blessed with that privilege every day. Whether it be to see better or devise a more solid nutrition plan, both endeavors allow me to do what I love.
However, in June 2005, one week before completing my residency, I lost feeling in my lower right side while finishing an exam on a patient. Hours later I still had no feeling and was eventually rushed to the hospital.
After four mentally grueling days in which I was simply allowed to go to the restroom, the diagnosis of a stroke was confirmed secondary to a congenital heart defect. Words will never describe how I felt. Weak, done, useless, but mostly afraid. Afraid of never being who I once was, afraid of not being able to train the only way I new how, afraid of dying should it happen again.
Blood thinners, supportive family and a second chance got me back into the game. I am ashamed to say though that in the six months following my stroke, I simply gave up, and my body did what it was programmed to do; adapt to the stimulus and foods I placed on and in it.
I gained weight, lost muscle, became depressed and tried to rest on prior accomplishments. I would tell myself, "Hey, I had a great ride in sports and fitness, time to take it easy." Six months later I realized that just wasn't going to work. So, on December 12th, 2005, I entered the gym for the first time since my stroke and started to get my life back.
Like most of you I have a regular job and average genetics. However, there are characteristics within each one of us, that when unleashed, can lead to extraordinary results. These include desire, drive, and a passion to excel. All these can allow anyone to break through old plateaus and achieve new goals.
Dig deep down inside and honestly ask yourself what you want. Not what your friends or coaches, peers or co-workers want, what do you want?
You must find what drives you, what makes you want to have a better body or physique. Is it so that you don't have to start medications because you are a borderline diabetic?
Is it so that you can play soccer with your kids, or maybe show up at your next reunion in the best shape of your life? Possibly to win the next state bodybuilding championship? All are reasonable answers and it must be specific for you and you alone. To accomplish all of this we must first and foremost have to want to, then we must know how to. One cannot survive without the other.
I have spent the last decade trying every workout and nutrition plan out there, worked with some of the finest trainers, and failed as much as I have succeeded.
Along that road I have learned what works and what doesn't. There are no tricks or gimmicks here; I am a natural athlete, no steroids, GH, or other substances. My results are from hard work, natural supplementation, and the constant desire to be better. In saying that, hopefully together we can accomplish what each of you as individuals set out to do.
A Basic Understanding
So let's get started! We need to start by understanding a few things related to the physiology of our bodies that have a major impact on how we look.
It doesn't matter if our goal is to get leaner and toned, or more muscular and bigger. The fact is the body loves stability. It will do anything and everything to stay where it is and place itself into a safer environment. Fat is protective, and muscle is expensive.
Fat provides a source to obtain energy from in times when food is scarce. You see the body doesn't know it's 2008, it has no clue that there is a fast food joint on every corner.
So, what does the body think when you eat at 8 AM and then not again until 5 PM? That food is scarce and it better prepare for the worse. This, by the way, includes holding onto as much body fat as it possibly can. The body doesn't know if you finally found something to eat after hunting for hours or if you are just too busy to eat. It only knows how many times you have eaten, and thus eases its mind, or prepares for the worst.
Think of it this way, if you got paid every three hours, would it bother you to spend some cash every day? Now, what if you only got paid every so often, you would be much less inclined to spend money repeatedly and foolishly. The body views fat and food the same way.
If you eat every few hours, the body will realize it needs to quickly and efficiently metabolize the food you have eaten as more is coming soon. It also knows it can use this "extra fuel" for tasks that in a state of starvation, may not seem so important, such as building muscle.
When we feed our bodies consistently, there is less need to store fat, as a fresh supply of energy will be on its way soon. Essentially our metabolism increases.
The opposite of course is true. When you starve the body, it will do everything it can to hold onto as much body fat as possible, as well as store more nutrients as fat! It assumes it won't eat again for many hours and needs a safety reserve. Therefore our metabolism decreases.
The bottom line, and one of the first things we must come to terms with is this: we must eat small meals regularly to increase our metabolism.
Now, in relation to strength training and muscle building, the body is even tougher to trick. We see muscle as something we need in order to look and feel better. The body sees it as a privilege.
Muscle is extremely demanding, it requires a great deal of energy to keep it running, and that is why the body sees it as "extra credit". At the same time, adding muscle dramatically increases metabolism and burns fat, even at rest!
So if our goal is to lose body fat and gain muscle, we must realize there is only one way to do this. We must force the body to change through our training programs. To accomplish this, the training must be intense enough to make the body realize it must adapt, by growing stronger and more efficient.
The body must perceive any stimulus as such before it will make significant changes in its structure. If you don't give the body a reason to get bigger, faster, stronger, or lose weight, it just won't! Therefore we must come to terms with another important point: we must train regularly and intensely to force our bodies to change.
Ok, so how do we do this? How do we get the body to actually gain muscle and lose fat? In my book and the segments to come and I discuss all that in great detail.
The key at this time is to realize two important points: that it is vital to eat small meals frequently throughout the day, and that you must have an intense training protocol to force the body to change. Once we understand that, all we need to do is focus on the training techniques we perform, and the types of nutrients we consume. Consistency in our training and nutrition must follow, and in so doing, your goals will be attained.
Gaining muscle is not that easy. In fact, it's d@mn hard. I see many individuals who refuse to lift weights because they "fear" getting too muscular. Well, if you're worried about gaining "tons" of muscle, and can figure out how to do that quickly, as a natural athlete, you can quit your job and make millions. It's just not that easy.
I have been training hard for years and have had to work for every inch of progress. It hasn't been easy but once the changes start, they keep coming! Transforming your body is a journey and not a quick fix. Once you do get there though, it will be hard to go back as your body will then have a new set point.
To dispel the myth again, muscle gains will do nothing but tone us up and help us lose fat. I promise. Muscle takes energy to keep it running, so the more you have, the less fat you'll accumulate. Even if you put on two pounds of muscle, you will look amazingly better and have a dramatically faster metabolism.
Dr. David Ryan
Replace the fat with muscle and the scale might be the same but the mirror sure won't! Trust me, even the harshest advocates of not wanting to gain muscle still want to look better. Those who don't train with weights and simply "starve" themselves are destined to not only put the weight on again one day, but will simply be a smaller version of their previous selves.
So the bottom line is, male or female, if we want to tone up and lose fat, we must lift weights and gain muscle to get there.
Compete With Yourself
One of the most frustrating parts of some magazines today is the promotion of physiques that were attained with the use of illegal drugs. These include steroids, insulin, human growth hormone (HGH), and testosterone. Not only are these physiques un-natural and un-appealing to many individuals, but also the effects these substances have on the body can be devastating.
We must all realize we can attain impressive physiques without these exogenous substances. Although they aid many athletes, we can produce what we need naturally while not putting our health in jeopardy.
So many young bodybuilders, athletes, and the youth of America see these physiques and feel worthless when they can't achieve the same results. That to me is sad. We should all focus on us, what we as individuals want, and are capable of.
Lift and eat right, and you will do nothing but improve your health and create a lean, toned physique. I hope you'll tune in to the next article in which we will start discussing an area that has dramatic effects on how we look, train and progress. Hormones.
This was an excerpt from Dr. Yehyawi's new book Transformation: Unlock Your True Potential.