of the people involved, who you believe have a superior knowledge of what needs to be done and are therefore your window into a world you are not quite clear about. You get all the work done and it looks great. When you put your faith and money into a massive project, wouldn’t you want people that have the knowledge to carefully fix the holes in your house, mount an AC unit that won’t fall through your roof and have people install electrical runs that are safe and properly grounded? Would you hire a baker to do all this work for you or would you hire the proper contractors? It is a pretty funny scenario when you think about. I can only imagine a guy that just made a delicious almond-chocolate ganache tart try his hand using the massive crane needed to put a massive AC unit on top of a two-story house, or for that matter, a guy used to breaking drywall and applying sheet rock trying to make a multi-layer tiramisu cake using only ingredients found in rustic Italian kitchens from the region of Lucca. The point I am making is we rely so heavily on the word of other people, and it is up to us and our own intuition to try and make heads or tales of someone’s ability in the field. Nowadays, we have massive review sites and such to help out in the process, but the issue these days are the countless trolls that can never be satisfied or the companies that pay good money to create fake positive reviews and destroy those that speak out against the product. It’s most likely the reason why misinformation is becoming so easy to move, for the Information SuperHighway moves at breakneck speeds.
That’s why I always have to accept everything with a grain of salt, merely to the tune that one has to fact check just about everything, especially if it is the typical spew coming from the ever so untrustworthy blogosphere. Diet pills that promise muscle and vitality are often times fake and really contain no nutritional value. I could have told you that. Diets don’t work over a long term basis. What else is new? “Birdman” is the best movie of 2014. Well, I got to convince some people of that sentiment, SO GO WATCH THE MOVIE! We have so many claims being made in our society that we have to constantly be aware of the messenger. Scrutiny must be prevalent. I’ll take one example that happened quite recently, and something I actually wrote about in another blog about my skepticism of health supplements. http://blog.parsonstrainingtucson.com/2014/06/surviving-supplement-game.html
One of the biggest bombshells of that time was the fining of a group of supplement companies by the Federal Trade Commission, including one (Sensa) that made some 364 million dollars due to the false claims it made that “sprinkling” their product on your food will help you lose weight and burn fat. I’m sure you have seen the commercials, for it looks like you are spreading parmesan on top of your food or maybe adding some salt. Either way, the promises made were deemed false, and while Sensa conned its way to a third of a billion in earnings, it only had to pay a 26 million dollar fine. One of the people that was caught in the cross fire was Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was actually brought before the FTC to be scolded for hawking various fat burning supplements like Acai berries or Coffee bean extract pills, thus helping fuel an industry that is the equivalent to modern snake oilsmen. Of course, he made the claim that he never actually said these things work, but due to the fact he made quite a bundle of cash promoting this stuff on his show, it seemed like a pretty disingenuous excuse. But Oz pretty much made himself a bigger target for some much bigger guns….the general public. If the truth is liberating, then Oz must be feeling pretty darn free right now due to recent reports that the information he gave on many of his shows may be faulty. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/19/half-of-dr-ozs-medical-advice-is-baseless-or-wrong-study-says/ According to researchers at the University of Alberta, only 46% of the advice he gave over 40 randomly selected episodes was correct, with 15% of that info contradictory to actual research and the remaining 39% of the info was either unfounded or unstudied (i.e. his love for fat burning cures and why it may be so easy for him to hawk them). It’s kind of sad, considering he is regarded as one of the best heart surgeons in the world, who got an MBA in Business while attending medical school just in case being a transplant surgeon didn’t pan out. And he still does heart surgeries on the side!
And this is where life starts getting tricky in terms of your health. Who do you believe? This problem is difficult to deal with, because as a vegan, I have to listen to the rhetoric just about every day. Where do you get your proteins? How about the essential Omega-3s that you need? What about B12? Of course, these are the nicer questions I see, for most of the accusations that seem to be thrown at my brethren are “you’re just a stupid femi-nazi that wants the government to subsidize your whore lifestyle” or in regards to the guys, “you are just some limp-wristed, emasculated male that let’s women walk all over you.” Now there has been plenty of evidence to suggest that a whole food vegan diet is healthy if done correctly, resulting in better circulation, better heart health and weight loss. But clearly there is a problem, for recent research indicated that some 84% of people that turned vegan or vegetarian went back to their former eating habits. http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/12/84-percent-of-vegetarians-go-back-to-eating-meat.html This is no real surprise to me, for the level of discipline needed to maintain a vegan diet is something most people don’t have the fortitude for. I looked at the available abstract the study posted online, and amongst the 11,000 or so people that were in the study, many of them transitioned back due to the loss of identity or the fact they didn’t like the idea of sticking out from a crowd. It’s quite understandable, considering the average age for someone to take the leap was 34, a time in a person’s life where they most likely start losing friends due to changing status or due to added responsibilities in life that strain a close relationship. Being vegan might add to that strain, I guess. But of course, many anti-vegans have been using this study as a weapon, claiming it is due to the lack of healthiness rather than the fact that social factors seemed to play a larger role in people giving up on a plant based diet (living with a non-plant based eater or being identified as an advocate of the lifestyle were also big reasons why many left). Either way, by the time this information is passed around and ultimately dissected amongst the general public, vegans will basically be reduced to walking zombies.
If anything, I have cited and quoted dozens of health studies this year alone, and many of them have either been ignored or they are simply not sexy enough to promote. Think about the revelation of the various studies that indicated milk and dairy really aren’t that good for your bones? http://www.forbes.com/sites/fayeflam/2014/10/30/holy-cow-study-suggests-milk-is-bad-for-bones-heart-has-the-medical-establishment-lied-to-us/ Instead of flying off the handle and reporting it, the news stations merely accepted the new commercials various milk companies made promoting milk as a good source of protein. Problem fixed! Never mind the new link found to that milk doesn't make your bones stronger and increases heart disease risk!
In this respect, I will always sound like a broken record. Diet and exercise are what is needed, and that is the darn truth. No matter what some magic pill states or what some fad diet promises, you need to have well rounded nutrition. Unfortunately, in this world of ours, information can be difficult to believe considering some studies say something is bad while others say it is good (like the trolling I might get in regards to soy and kale….yes, they can be bad for you, but only if you eat nothing but that stuff and a ton of it everyday! Much like if you eat tons of meat and dairy every day!). It’s tough figuring out what to eat and how much to exercise, merely for the fact there are so many people pulling at your shirt tails trying to get you to follow them. I look at the recent explosion of my running mileage and wonder, Is it really worth it? Well, when I put on my favorite pair of jeans this weekend, they fit like a glove. In months past, they were a tiny bit tight around the thighs and glutes, making it uncomfortable to sit for a long period of time. No more! And another pair of jeans I had bought that also had the same issue fit better than ever as well, which means they are getting closer and closer to a full rotation spot in my wardrobe. It is worth it when you are trying to change your life, and taking the tougher road (more so with mine) can provide the results. It’s just a matter of getting the right information and listening to what the messenger is saying or originally said. Because let’s face it, we were all taught that Paul Revere was the man when it came to spreading the word about the British, but he was barely a blip in that equation due to the many men that actually participated in the campaign, albeit Revere’s back story was much more interesting. The truth is hard to seek, and it may often times reveal things one may not want to hear.
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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.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
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