By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
September 25, 2016
Okay, so the first couple weeks of my new job are a decided drag. While people keep telling me I need to find the silver lining in regards to this new step in my life, it has been something of a slow burn toward discontent. I’m already getting ticked off at the process, for I am being trained to handle some rather complex computing systems…and we fell behind due to technical problems. I mean, a customer service based company and they can’t even manage their own training programs! Okay, I’m gonna meditate for a second (i.e. do push-ups) and get my head back on straight so I can discuss this like an adult. Ok…here we go. I’m getting pretty ticked off with my new job, not because of the work but because of the training. Due to the fact we fell massively behind, we have been blowing through a lot of material at a breakneck speed these last few days, and it is not something I am too pleased with. I like to be properly trained on a subject, rather than hastily thrown down a slide in hope that I will grab some things while traveling at light speed down the water tube. I am a man of a more studious nature, and I would prefer to go about a subject at a speed that would allow me to utilize some tools and such. So yes, I am pretty uptight about this wackiness going on, mainly because I will be thrown to the wolves next week. All the while we are dealing with this setback, we are still having computer problems and there are moments where my system crashes right in the middle of a lesson. Nothing aggravates me more than the lack of efficiency, and I get especially pissed off when people make the announcement of “That’s just the way the system is and we have to deal with it.” Really! A job where I will be dealing with potentially volatile people 40-50 times a day, and we have this kind of attitude toward the glitchy training system?! Yeah, you can see why I am really holding my tongue on this one. Being a tried and true Apple user (the only one in the class seemingly), I really miss the dependability of my iMac at home, feeling like I have to settle down with a crappy Dell and the typically worthless Windows operating system. My “Challenger” at home may be an old piece of hardware, but it could rip circles around the “Yugos” I have to deal with at work. Hopefully things can settle down for me during the upcoming week, for my nervousness in regards to the job is making me lose some sleep. Failure is not an option in the customer service world, and being hastily trained is something I feel will set me back. It’s been pretty wacky this week and it will be be the next, so for the time, being I gave to hunker down and deal with the madness.
I will mention one good thing my new job has provided for me, other than the idea of a consistent paycheck…it has put me on track for some better eating habits. I have already mentioned how having to pack a lunch has allowed me to put more greens back into my diet. It is not really a change I need to do, but it is the most practical. Since I am sitting around most of the day, I have to eat a low calorie diet to not only maintain my hunger pangs but to also compensate for the sedentary work life. I mean, they don’t even like it when you need to take a restroom break unless it is during your actual break. So yeah, eating plants is much more beneficial to my health. I don’t want to be some of the people that work there, eating junk food all day and drinking four RockStar energy drinks in one day (yes, I see many people do this!!). The other funny thing is people certainly think I am weird, for the first thing a vegan always jokes about is the fact they are a vegan. My announcement was sort of random, when someone started passing around graham crackers and I was the only one that refused. Of course, I got the usual weird looks and “I cannot survive without meat” sort of comments. At least they don’t berate me, probably because I am the most physically imposing in my class. Anyway, this has also changed some of my eating habits at home, for I have really cut back on the starchy food the last week at home, eating very little rice and potatoes. I have mixed it up a bit, eating some lentils and plenty of beans in its place. So yes, my diet is diversifying once again, for I was able to spend 45 dollars on groceries and not feel bad about it, making a huge order of pasta and then having salad with the food along with some bananas. Seriously, I was able to get two bushels of bananas for less than two bucks, mainly because people separated too many of them and a bunch of singles were left behind. My gain!
Anyway, why am I getting happy about all of this? Well, this means I am rebalancing my body PH. Over the past few years, I have mentioned this idea of having a more alkaline blood level, and the best way to achieve this feat is through eating a more plant based regimen. For me, this has been a pretty nice addition to my life, for the effects of doing this is already kind of paying off. I could sense the changes once again in my body, thanks to just one week of minor alterations. Now, what happens to a body when the PH level is all messed up? Let’s use a good example, especially in our swimming pools. If the PH balance gets too high, the water can get murky and look unappealing, and then you have to counteract some of the problems of murkiness with more chlorine, which in turn can bother your eyes and cause other irritations. And in some instances, the water can get a bit “scaley,” causing deposits to build up in the various filters and pumps you need for the pool’s survival. A lot of things can happen when this goes down, and you might need to spend a lot of money and drop some weird chemicals to counteract all of this stuff. Sound familiar? This sort of thing not only applies to a pool, it also applies to the body.
Even to this day, there are plenty of people creating a whole lot of push back on either side of the model. You have people who say being acidic is not dangerous and being alkaline is unnecessary, along with websites that contend vegetables are not an alkalizing agent and that acidosis (the process of your body becoming too acidic) is mostly a metabolic issue and not a food issue. All of these confusing articles out there can cause some people to wonder what the right way of eating and health is really all about, and that is the downside of the internet where snake oilmen have exchanged their crummy looking wagons for slick websites. So let us start with the most obvious part of the lesson….what is PH? Well, it means potential for hydrogen, which of course is an essential element we need in our body (water anyone?). There is a scale of 1 to 14 for the PH scale, and so being somewhere in the middle creates an optimal environment. Optimal levels are usually 7.4 to 7.6, which yes, is a very small scale. Two facts you need to consider. 1) Having a high body PH can cause acidosis and other various health issues, like kidney disease, bone disease, labored breathing, and jaundice. It has also been studied that many people who have cancer also have high body PH balances. 2) There is the other side of the coin, that being Alkalosis. Obviously, this is when the body’s PH has slipped to a much lower level than normal, and causes issues like heart troubles and potential seizures. Now, just like anything you find on the internet, surfing through the nonsense to get a straight answer about the importance of body PH is always a trick. Just be weary of the people that use strong wording push their agenda onto the public (among other things).
The biggest argument of course, will always be the idea of cancer thriving n a high acidity body. Essentially, cancer is a mutation of cells and acid-like environments can help enable cells to continue mutating, allowing for growth in the blood stream and putting the body of the person at serious risk. Considering how prevalent cancer is within Western society, some doctors and researchers have concluded a more alkaline body PH is much more ideal in cancer prevention than an acidic body. Like any other argument on the internet, some people are going to have their piece and try to say otherwise. But when the American Cancer Society makes the suggestion to eat plenty of greens and stay at an alkaline level, maybe you should listen to the recommendation. I’m not going to go too deep into cancer today, mainly because I mentioned it every few months or so. In any case, how does an acidic body alter your fitness?
Right now, the main reason to stick to a more healthy and alkaline body PH is the scourge of metabolic acidosis. What this does to your body is make the kidneys work much harder to remove the accumulated acids in your body. While the kidneys can do this pretty well for a quite a long time, it is typically a cumulative problem for most people as they traditionally acquire this disease in their later years, many years into a relatively poor diet that was lacking in alkaline foods. This blood acidity can also make it much more difficult to get back on the horse after a big workout, especially if someone is suffering from respiratory acidosis. In fact, if left unchecked, acidosis can actually lead to the opposite of a fit lifestyle, a life where someone can run out of gas easily and have troubles catching their breath or even vomiting, among other things.
In my case, I can definitely sense a major improvement in my body. While my workouts have been tough and brutal, it seems I am much different right now. I don’t quite feel as yucky when I do my workouts, especially when I do my running. The addition of greens and low-acid salad food is helping me feel better and dare I say, giving me a much better outlook on life. I mean, two weeks ago, I was sad and miserable about my fate. Now, I seem to be feeling better despite some of the issues cropping up at my job right now. Being able to operate fully is a much better feeling than feeling like crap all the time. I mean, think about this past week for me. Just because of certain things falling into place, I was kind of forced to do two two-a-days this week. I should say forced, for I was just too sore on Wednesday to really do anything besides sit on my rump and do nothing. When you engage in a whole bunch of hang cleans and then run a good three miles later in the day, it ain’t gonna be pretty. My Thursday regimen was much better, considering I did a back to back in regards to my workout and then my running. I managed to do all of this even though Christa forgot my pumpkin PHOD bars. But oh well, I forgive her…just means I will have more come Tuesday, and they will all be mine.
Regardless of how you feel about the science of blood acidity, just remember there is going to be a lot of quacks out there that will try to make you buy their stuff. One hot new trend right now is Alkaline Diets, for they are making some rounds in the celebrity worlds, especially amongst women. Just don’t fall for the hype, for even though we need to have a more alkaline body, getting too low on the spectrum can be equally damaging. For me, I haven’t eaten much for potatoes this week, which might also be helping in my acidity and my health. But that will be for another blog.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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