By: Clayton South
In the first installment of this series, I outlined a program that I created to facilitate fat loss, and that I would follow for a period of twelve weeks. After documenting the methodology of the program, I followed my usual practice of extending to you, the reader, an invitation to follow me on my journey to a leaner physique and greater health.
As a writer, I do not wish to simply chronicle my journey while you watch, sitting on the sidelines, deriving little value from the venture. All of human life is a journey, and if it is to be one of meaning, it has to be one of people helping people. My desire is that all of you should benefit from what I write and what I do. Without this invitation, you would lose such an opportunity.
Since the publication of that first segment, many of you have responded enthusiastically, indicating that you too are taking concrete steps in following me, and that you are on the road to improving your life in general and your health in particular. I applaud you for your decision and courage.
I am aware, however, that many will find the timing of this series somewhat suspect. Given that the first of this series was published in January 2004, many would be lead to the reasonable conclusion that this is nothing more than a "new years resolution" made manifest. It is in this brief space that I wish to write against this idea.
In past publications I have written against the idea of new years resolutions. While I am aware that they can, for some, represent an opportunity for change, I am also aware that for the majority of others they represent the cycle of failure, and the propagation of inevitable disappointment. It is not only against this aspect of a new years resolution that I write, but rather the entire concept.
When a person pledges a new years resolution, the resolution, typically, functions as a unit of denial. The purpose of a new years resolution will, naturally, be determined by the context in which it was made.
For example, many persons, when eating foods that they know are less than ideal, will make off-hand remarks about how, at some later date, they will change their habits. In this context, the resolution serves to maintain emotional balance, and to fend off feelings of guilt. In short, it is a mechanism of denial that enables the person to remain willfully blind to the reality before them.
The concept of a new years resolution is, in itself, a form of denial. It deceives a person into believing that at some future date change is possible. What new years resolutions deny is the idea that the only working moment of your life is NOW. Change in any other moment but now is impossible. The past is gone forever, and the future is not yet here. Whenever the future does arrive, it always does so in the form of the present. Basically, then, when one pledges to change at some future date, they are saying "This situation is not sufficient or compelling enough for me to demand change NOW."
So, with new years resolutions, we see the postponement of action in the present to some future date. Because these so-called resolutions are often created to fend off emotions of negativity (brought about by maladaptive behavioral patterns), when the emotions fade and the guilt-inducing actions are forgotten, often the "resolutions" are forgotten also.
The main reason why resolutions are nothing more than denial in disguise, and the reason why people who make them inevitably fail the majority of the time, is because they never really take action to begin with.
Resolutions have everything to do with intention. To decide is to act upon intention. When one truly acts upon intention, all outcomes that are contrary to the stated goal become unacceptable. When one puts off action until a further date, they are not really acting: they are procrastinating and cowering in the face of reality.
A true decision is always accompanied by concrete and verifiable action. Action can only ever happen in the working moment of your life - NOW. Therefore, any so-called resolution that puts off change and decisive action to some future date is not really a choice at all - it is simply people playing games and going through the motions. THIS is why people fail. With resolutions, they deceive only themselves, and they end up victims by design, over and over again.
For those of you who have mustered the courage to face the reality, and gravity, of your situations, I applaud you. Your decisive action will pay off, as mine will also. As we continue on the journey to better health together, know that our task is a noble one.
Making the choice to change your life will allow you to not only have more energy, a better outlook on your existence and purpose, and greater self-esteem, but you will also be working hard to have more time for the important things - those moments that make your life the special gift that it is. Improved health will allow you to more fully enjoy your humanity, and it will allow you to spend quality time with those that you love. No task could ever be more noble, or human, than that.
For those of you who have not yet taken up the task of changing your life and improving your health, but are considering it, I extend the invitation to you, and I urge you to take decisive action. It is in the moments of decision that destiny is made. Your life is the sum total of all of the choices you have, or will, ever make.
The quality of your life depends on the quality of what you think. Decide today that health is something you can not live without. Improve your awareness, and make NOW the time of change and success for you. The rest of your life is waiting.
January 4, 2004
I awoke at 7:30 this morning and took my serving of
HOT-ROX. Since this is the first time I have used the product, I followed label recommendations and took only one capsule at 8:00am on an empty stomach.
Upon taking the pill, I consumed 8oz of water. Approximately thirty minutes after dosing, I began to sweat mildly. So far, so good, it appears.
I also noticed the need to urinate several times, as well as the need to defecate shortly after dosing. It is obvious that the product is thermogenic.
At 8:50am I consumed my first meal. I hate dieting. In fact, I dislike even the concept. I also know that it is necessary and that each of us is the co-creator of our destinies.
Whatever we put our mental energies upon we can create. Einstein said that "nothing happens until something moves." I have created the intention to become lean, and will accordingly put my creative mental energies upon that instead. Manifesting is about using the energies of the mind to create reality by the power of concentration.
At 11:50 I took my first pro-pak multivitamin (Item discontinued. Similar item here).
From the HOT-ROX I have been very thirsty. By mid-day I exceeded my 1 gallon requirement for water.
January 5, 2004
Today I awoke at 5:15am. I immediately had some water to begin my hydration. Yesterdays consumption of 1.5 gallons was considerable, but already I can see a dramatic loss of water weight. Upon weighing myself first thing after rising, I have lost 4lbs of water since yesterday. Increased water intake in conjunction with hot-rox appears to be working!
This morning I also meditated. Meditation serves a number or purposes. First, it induces relaxation, thereby reducing cortisol levels. Reduced cortisol levels will allow protein synthesis to occur as well as a release of adipose tissue from adiposities for oxidization. Secondly, meditation allows for a powerful destiny creating act - massive and continual disciplined concentration.
Combined with visualization, concentration is the creating force of reality. And, when you are dieting, no other resultant then what you want is acceptable. So over all, meditation is very useful.
As I sit here and write this, I'm sitting near a vending machine. It is full of candy and potato chips. The temptation is somewhat overwhelming. In the machine is the flavor of potato chips that are my favorite: salt and vinegar.
This opportunity of craving brings us to an important element of dieting. Now, when the body is deficient in calories (which is relative, as are all states of deprivation) it yearns for more. This is natural and quite easy to understand.
However, dealing with cravings requires discipline of a special type. I shall explain.
There exist two types of discipline: surface, or superficial, discipline, and existential discipline. Each performs differing functions and is thus appropriate under different circumstances. Each has to do with how the mind processes or computes ideas.
Surface or superficial discipline involves the ego mind only. This type of discipline is the task of mentally holding an idea under the control of the ego mind. In the same way that seeing is not the same as looking (seeing being the comprehension of an objects totality, and looking is viewing only the objects surface features), conscious control of an idea by the ego is not the same as seeing the idea and dealing with it for what it is (as opposed to what it looks like).
Existential discipline is the act of experiencing an ideas nature, and overcoming it through passive contemplation and discipline. In yesterdays log I made clear that all mental phenomenon are energy based. This is as true for the initial firing of the neuron (and the subsequent energy-chemical signal propagation) as it is for the end product which is the thought itself.
Brain waves are energy, as are all things in the universe at the fundamental level. This much has been shown by Einstein and relativity. Realizing this, therefore, is of paramount importance.
Existential discipline involves experiencing the craving, but then, when the temptation comes, viewing the thought as energy only. I like to picture a ball of energy, floating in the space of my mind. It is only active if I engage it. Therefore, DO NOT think or compute the craving in the mind.
Simply, and objectively as possible, observe it, almost as if you are a third person, looking at a scene in a movie. The key to success here lies in disengaging the ego and defeating the idea that to succeed you must control, overcome or conquer. See, watch, experience and contemplate. Over time, this kind of mental discipline will become second nature.
Eventually, as you develop this practice, cravings will emerge and then dissolve before your "eyes"! Most people make the mistake of concentrating on how much they are "starving" or how badly they want the object of their attention. In doing this, they are giving mental energy to the thing they are trying to "Resist." Therefore, their cravings grow (as do all things that are given energy), to the point where they are overcome and give in to the craving.
If the above example does not appeal to you, an example from physics may be more helpful. Think of the thermic action of molecules. The Kelvin scale is a direct measure of kinetic energy, as produced by random particle movement.
Now, all matter is energy and atoms are no exception to this rule. Atoms are simply energy in the physical form. Coincidentally, all atoms vibrate at a certain frequency. Like the ball of thought mentioned above, there is a vibration to it.
Einstein said that "nothing happens until something moves." When energy is provided to an atom, it begins to move in space. The same thing is true of the thoughts of your mind. When you provide them the energy of the ego mind, they move, and when movement occurs, as Einstein pointed out, things happen - namely, in this case, you begin to experience the effects of those thoughts.
The key, then, is to deprive such things of energy. According to the Kelvin scale, absolute zero is the absence of thermic action, or particle movement. By depriving a molecule of energy, its effects are nullified. The same thing is true of thoughts.
An object in the universe can not initiate its own movement. An object at rest will move only if acted upon by another object which itself is moving. Object movement is created when one or more objects collide and transfer their energy to the objects upon which they are acting.
I am sure that everyone has seen the series of balls arranged in sequence where, if the first ball is moved and falls in a pendulum like manner, the ball on the opposite side will move once the first has collided with the balls in the middle. This is an illustration of what I am talking about.
Isaac Newton cradle.
With respect to thoughts, your ego mind is the supplier of energy. The act of thinking is necessary to "move" thoughts and animate them. Through a transference of this mental energy, the thoughts of your mind are animated and can move through your mind. If they get out of control, they can collide with other thoughts, initiating movement in them as well, and mental chaos can result.
In a very real sense, then, because brainwaves are energy and energy is comprised of atomic particles, brainwaves are physical "things." Thus, our example above regarding the Kelvin scale is applicable. Deprive such things of energy and they can no longer have effects on other objects in your mental environment.
Anyways, it is necessary to understand the nature of a problem, so as to not become its victim.
January 6, 2004
Today was a difficult day, as it was snowing rather wildly and making it to my morning
cardio session was difficult.
My usual waking time is between 5:15am and 5:45am every day. So, in the middle of a snowstorm, I rode my bicycle for ten minutes to school. The whole way, I was riding against the storm, with the snow blasting in my face.
While trying to not pay much attention to the snow around me, I found myself thinking "It is almost as if the weather doesn't want me to do my cardio today." That thought alone was enough to drive me to continue until I was at the gym. I asked myself, in the face of this blinding storm "How badly do I want it? How much is it worth to me to drop bodyfat? Am I for real, or is this all just a game?" I kept peddling.
When I arrived at the gym I stretched for 5 minutes and hopped onto the exercise bike for 30 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach. Cardio on an empty stomach is ideal because the body, being low on glucose from overnight, will oxidize fat as the primary energy source. This is how the body "burns" fat - through oxidization, which, obviously, occurs only in the presence of oxygen.
January 7, 2004
Today is my first day on the full dose of HOT-ROX. I still find myself somewhat hungry, and wanting to eat a horse. After my body realizes that its full, however, I find the hunger diminishing.
The HOT-ROX is making me sweat, almost continually all day. This is, in some senses, a good thing. I live my life free of the good opinions of others, which in this case is good, because the sight of a perma-sweat does not look too good, I imagine!
Nevertheless, this stuff is definitely thermogenic. No doubt about that.
To combat the extra hunger associated with caloric restriction, I increased my water intake.
January 8, 2004
I awoke today, after sleeping in, at 6:30am. I, as usual, rolled out of bed into my shoes and left my house before the break of dawn.
On the full dose of HOT-ROX I can see a major difference in my appearance. I also notice its thermic effect in cardio and in my general body temperature.
The desire to cheat overcame me today. So, I decided to eat a 5-grain roast-beef sandwich, prepared fresh. It was quite good and satisfied, for a while.
Before bed, like always, I had Â½ container of low-fat cottage cheese. It is important to consume anti-catabolic proteins prior to long periods of non-eating. Doing so will help to ensure nitrogen retention and muscle sparing.
January 11, 2004
Today I arose at 5:30am. Within the first 2 hours of being awake, I consumed 1 US gallon of water, my daily requirement. Still, I filled my container again, so that I would have more water to drink throughout the day.
So far the diet is going well. When I first began the program I weighed in at 228lbs. As of the one week mark, I now weigh 223lbs. Of course, the majority, if not all, of the lost weight was due to water.
So far, however, I am happy with how things are progressing. Although the diet is sufficient, I still do not like it. Dieting is not the easiest thing in the world. But then, this is why so many people have butts the size of Chicago! It dieting and looking good were easy, then everyone would look good. Discipline is the key.
Today's cardio was very difficult, despite the fact that I was rested. Once again, the HOT-ROX has been making me sweat profusely. Today, however, was a new level altogether. It did not seem to matter what I did, I was drenched in sweat.
During this mornings cardio session, as well as during lecture, and during this afternoons leg workout, I was sweating excessively.
January 14, 2004
Today I arose at 5:30am. I immediately took my first serving of HOT-ROX. Then I went to take a shower.
I made adjustments to my dietary regimen. Previously I had calculated my goal to be 212lbs @ 7% BF. As of the 13th I weighed in at 221. This told me that I was losing weight too fast. Given that this is only week 2, I do not want to reach my goal weight too soon. If I were to reach 212 so quickly, the loss would be primarily from muscle. But, man, is HOT-ROX effective!
Previously, my caloric intake was calculated for 12 calories per pound of body mass. Upon reflection, that was unwise as, at the end of the program, I would not have any variables left to manipulate, should I find my body refusing to lose the fat required. Thus I have recalculated the values to reflect my high activity level, and have, most notably, increased my protein content. Given that the increase in carbohydrates is minor, I do not believe that this will slow progress.
To Date Summary
As outlined in the previous installment of this series, daily logs would be included for those days where anything new, interesting or relevant surfaced. This program is, after all, a teaching tool. The purpose of this program as outlined is for you, the reader, to gain insight into the mind of an expert during the course of a body fat reduction program.
It would be inconsistent with the purpose of this enterprise to include random comments, some of which are common knowledge, even to the most uninitiated member of the bodybuilding and fitness communities. Thus, I have chosen to omit those logs, and include only those that are most pertinent and helpful.
For the past two weeks, I have been sidelined from the program. Almost spontaneously, and after going to a social gathering with twenty of my closest friends, I contracted influenza. From this, a sinus infection and an ear infection developed. What is more, it is suspected that I contracted a slight case of pneumonia. Understandably, these conditions left me with little energy, and with little motivation to do anything but sleep the majority of the day. I was also on heavy doses of antibiotics.
Nevertheless, these things, for you the reader, are a great opportunity, and in retrospect I am thankful that these sicknesses arose. Given that the true nature of a thing is defined by the ends the object manifests, it is obvious, then, that becoming ill in this case was a good thing. These illnesses allow me to make a critical point about goal setting.
The reason I say the above, is because when most people become sick, they usually abandon any plans that they had made prior to the illness. In other words, they give up and quit. They choose to lose.
In this case, one might abandon the program, because of an unexpected illness. If another unexpected event were manifest, then this reason would be used as justification for quitting, and the reasoning would be something along the lines of "everything was going great, but X happened, and, well, its just not my fault I did not succeed."
While this kind of thinking may sound reasonable, it is nothing more than an excuse - a person taking the easy way out. Often, the person may not be aware of the process that is going on in a situation like the above. Thinking of that kind may seem perfectly normal.
While the person is clearly using the situation as an out - as an excuse - they will not lable it with the word "excuse." They will soften the situation and instead call their excuses reasons. In doing this, many think, quitting and settling for less than what you deserve, becomes acceptable.
Let me tell you something: Everyone has reasons. And, if you look hard enough, you can find enough reasons to avoid doing even the most basic and necessary human activities. Literally, you can reason your life away, if you are willing to settle for an animals quality of life.
The power of a decision, however, is such that when you TRULY decide, every other situation that is in opposition to your stated goal, is unacceptable. When you have an intention, have made a true decision, and have taken action to achieve your goal to the point where nothing else is acceptable regardless of what life throws at you, then all other possibilities are equalized: they all become worthless.
So, this program will proceed the power of decision is the power of destiny. Destiny demands nothing more than our best, and will accept nothing less than our best.
As a result of my two week sickness, the program deadline will be extended by two weeks. Should this situation arise again, the same procedure will be followed.
The attached photos are not the best, as they are taken after being ill and sedentary for a three week period.
In the previous installment, some have already pointed out that my physique requires work in specific areas. Because this is a self-evident statement that applies to all bodybuilders at all levels, I won't devote any time in this series to giving it anymore acknowledgement than I have in this sentence. Having said that, however, it is worth noting that during the course of my four weeks of dieting pre-sickness, my waist shrunk by an incredible 4 inches!
So, even though the photos are taken at a less-than-ideal time, they are an update and as such are included here.
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here.
Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians.
Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers.
Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience.
The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.
Copyright © Clayton South, 2003 All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.