The human body is remarkable at conserving energy. It will
quickly adapt to changes in the external environment to create an
internal state that it can maintain. You can increase the amount of
daily calories you consume and your body will respond by increasing its
metabolic rate to burn off the increase. Talk to any body builder and
they will tell you that adding 3 pounds of muscle per month requires
that you increase your caloric consumption by more than 350 per day;
many lifters find that they need to eat an extra 1000-1500 calories per
day to add any weight. If the body did not have the ability to adapt and
boost metabolic functioning in response to caloric increases they would
need just the 350 per day to add 3 pounds per month.
One of the more effective survival mechanism of the body is the fat
storage system because it allows humans to store energy during times of
food surplus and utilize that stored energy during food shortages. This
system is, for the most part, an all or nothing thing – you will either
be storing fat or you will be using fat.
Maintaining stored fat requires energy because body fat needs oxygen
and, therefore, a blood supply. The cost is small, but over a long
period of time, or if there is a lot of body fat, the cost will be
dramatically increased. High blood pressure is one consequence to
obesity because of the increased need for blood vessels to service the
large amount of fat – the heart has to push blood around miles of extra
tubing so it has to work harder.
However, the body does rely on what I can transient fat storage /
utilization (TFS/U) to help it get through the periods of time when
blood sugar level drops to a critical level and food is not eaten. TFS/U
deals with periods of less than 12 hours, the usual maximum time that
anyone will go without food as a result of sleep. Even people who eat a
calorie balanced diet (equal in the amount of energy that they eat vs.
what they burn off) will rely on the TFS/U throughout the day because
they are eating three meals a day; this feeding schedule is insufficient
at delivering the constant energy needs to fuel their daily activity.
As a consequence, the body remains motivated to keep storing fat because
it is being utilized fairly consistently.
The notion I am putting forward is that, in a caloric equilibrium state, the body will rid itself of excess body fat if we eliminate the need for transient fat storage. The rational is that the body will do what it can to conserve energy. Since body fat requires energy to maintain, energy can be conserved by getting rid of it. However, the only way to eliminate the need for TFS/U is to maintain a constant blood sugar level through frequent feeding and eating food that cause slow and steady increases in blood sugar.
Do you have one of those friends who always seems to have bad
things happen to them? No matter what is going on in your life, there is
something worse going on in theirs. Any joy you try to share with them
is beaten back with another story of their victimization. It’s constant
drama about stuff you didn’t even know existed let alone mattered. It
isn’t just boring, it’s depressing and it’s a tax on your happiness.
If you said yes there is a good chance that you have a few of them.
If you have a few of them, maybe it’s time to start looking at your own
behavior to see why these people are flocking to you. It may be tough,
but you need to consider the fact that people do what they feel
comfortable with and what they can get away with doing. In the case of
your drama-prone friends, you are enabling them at best, and at worse,
you are one of these people. If you are one of them, you are giving
others the permission to do the same thing. It’s an ugly thought that
you might be manufacturing the victim role just so you can perpetuate a
sense of suffering but you need to consider it because if you are doing
it, you are really hurting the self-development of you and those around
What are the benefits of viewing oneself as a victim?
- It frees them of responsibility for their place in life. It’s a life
preserving fiction that ensures the ego remains intact because they
never actually try anything. One never fails because they never try.
Never failing is a good thing because only failures fail.
- It frees them of the need to expend effort – since they are a
victim, failure is going to be the outcome regardless of their actions.
This learned helplessness ensures that they conserve energy because
they’re smart enough to know how things are going to go.
- It frees them of having to think up something useful to talk about.
Nauseating as it may be, people who view themselves as victims always
have something that they can talk passionately about.
- They never get caught up in self improvement project or pursuits.
Guess why? Because they know they don’t work. Something is going to come
along and ruin their efforts.
- They will never be alone because misery prefers miserable company
and perceived victims are execeptional at passing along this
characteristic to the people they engage, including their children.
- It is very easy to sustain the victim role because, if you are
already playing it, it is a part of who you are. Playing it is
effortless, changing it requires effort; first in identifying and accept
the fake role you are playing and then in the actions you take to make
Wait a minute you say, these aren’t really benefits at all. Good
sign, you may not be a victim so you can use this list to help you
identify the drama people in your life. Have you heard any of this
defeatist talk coming from any of your friends?
What do you do with drama friends?
You have a couple of options and your course of action will be
determined by the quality of friend that they are. For really good
friends and family members you have two options:
- Blank face conversations – just start to withdraw from the
conversations about their victimization by blank facing them. Give them
nothing in terms of body language or words that they can take as
incentive to continue sharing their misery. People will stop talking
very quickly when they get no validation from you in a conversation.
- Try and help them see how they are behaving – this one is a lot
tougher because you are not just trying to stop a behavior, you are
trying to change one. It’s a lot of work to get someone to see that
things are not the way they think they are and they need to be open to
change. But, like most interventions, hearing it from a loved one is
likely going to have a bigger impact than hearing it from someone else.
For other people, you have three choices, blank face them, try to help them or get rid of them.
- This blank face can have contempt in it because you probably care
less about their feelings and more about getting them to stop being a
big downer. You’re not looking for their happiness, you are looking for
- You are welcome to try and help them, but be warned, it’s a poor
investment of time. The chances of success are very small in relation to
your almost certain vilification. If you do try be sincere about it, at
least you’ll know you tried to do the right thing when they lash out at
- You can remove them from your life completely so you don’t have to
deal with their drama anymore. This can be as simple as just not
communicating with them. If you’re lucky it just ends, it can be that
simple some of the time. But most of the time, it’s like pulling off a
band aid. You are, in essence, breaking up with someone. It’s an
interpersonal conflict. It isn’t likely to get ugly but it can be
uncomfortable. But just pull fast and get it over with. It’s better for
everyone, mainly you, because your life will immediately get better.
Again, try to be decent about it because something has happened to make
them this way. Just because you don’t care enough about them to try and
help shouldn’t mean you deliberately try to hurt them. You have no idea
where life will take you so be genuine and fair.
If you are not a drama person, you really have no business hanging
out with drama people because they will ruin your happiness, they will
chew up your free time and they will add very little to your life. By
continuing the friendship you are killing your chances at happiness as
well as making sure they don’t get any better. Do the inventory and set
free anyone who keeps you bogged down with their drama.
In this first post from new T-Nation author Jen Heath 10 Keys to the Lean & Sexy Look, Part I we get keys 1 to 5. The article is geared towards women.
What most people call “toning” is actually a muscle
getting a little big bigger (yes, that does mean it increases in “bulk”)
and the fat cells covering a muscle getting smaller. You put those two
things together and you get “tone.”
Most women I talk to would like more muscle in their arms yet don’t
necessarily want behemoth guns. Whenever a woman tells me she just wants
to “tone” her body with light weights, I usually end up having a
conversation similar to this:
Jen: “Okay, so if I understand you right, your arms now measure 9
inches, but you wouldn’t mind getting them up to a firm and solid 12
inches. At the same time, you don’t want to get 16 inch monster arms,
Client: “Yes, that’s exactly right!”
Jen: “Well, let me ask you this: Would you rather take a month or two
to build that 12-inch arm or would you rather it take you forever?”
Client: “I want it now!”
Jen: “The reason I ask is because the same thing that builds the 16
inch arm the fastest will also build the 12 inch arm the fastest —
lifting intensely with progressively heavier weights. Once you achieve
the amount of muscle you desire you can always reduce the volume to
Client: “Ah, I see!”
I think most trainers have a similar conversation with 90% of their new female clients. Jen’s approach just nails it.
Great article, check out the original and part two.