Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Crisis Is Right Around The Corner...

"Wow--Not the most positive way to start a blog, there, Vawny..." K, but listen--I'm concerned--truly concerned about you. I know, I know--of course I make money as a personal trainer and Beachbody Fitness Coach. Nevertheless, I do this because it's my passion. Let me fill you in on a just two of the biggest reasons that I do this for a living with such fervor. Two out of three of my brothers were born with severe heart defects, something called Tetralogy of Fallot. I won't go into the technicalities, but suffice it to say that I was somehow blessed enough to have missed out on that lovely little anomaly. From the time I can remember, I watched them suffer the undesirable consequences of HAVING NO CHOICE in the matter. And without going into great detail and boring you with my childhood memories, I have never forgotten the drastic differences between us, in terms of lifestyle options. I was an active kid--swimming all day, all summer long. Gymnastics was an absolute joy in my life. I didn't have to worry about heart surgeries, heart attacks, turning blue and passing out from walking to far or too fast. I didn't have to face my own mortality from early childhood on, but I had to face theirs, and it broke my heart.

A little while ago, I was informed that a much younger cousin just went through emergency heart surgery due to the severe blockage of a main artery to his heart. This cousin was born a robust healthy baby and stayed that way. His only issue now, the need for a healthier lifestyle. Thank God he's OK and has the opportunity to turn it around--he has a lovely wife and children--not everyone's so lucky.

Please, Please hear me! I'm not kidding about this stuff! Your health is EVERYTHING! You may not be cognizant of that at the moment--not until you have to be. Do you really wanna wait for that? Take it from one who's witnessed another's heart surgeries; YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THERE! I can help you and I will go to great lengths to do so--if you are only willing to try. It's not too late to get healthy and live happy the rest of your long life! You deserve that and so do your loved ones. Join me in my quest to change the world's health!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm feeling a need to address the topic of depression for a couple of reasons. First of all, depression is such an umbrella term these days that virtually everyone refers to themselves as depressed at one time or another, and I hear it often. Second, having worked in the mental health field, I do happen to have a bit of insight.

So let's start with the fact that on any given day, you may "feel" depressed. Without going into all kinds of detail about diagnostic criteria, the fact is you may be quite a bit more depressed than you're even aware of. (??) Oh yes, I did say that... When someone has a chronic low level depression, they can grow so accustomed to it that they aren't really aware of it as anything more than their "daily grind"--sad isn't it? (No pun intended.) Now, granted I'm not talking about severe lethargy on a daily basis, (unless we're talking about my 16 year old son's attempt to get out of bed once school starts) but I am talking about a general feeling of malaise, unhappiness, anxiety or--just plain FATIGUE! Yes my friends, fatigue can be a tell tale sign of depression--and who doesn't experience that from time to time?

When something rather devastating happens in our lives, it's absolutely abnormal not to feel depressed, among a myriad of other unpleasant feelings. This is referred to clinically as "Reactive Depression" and I'm not addressing that here. However, some of what I'm about to say certainly applies to the alleviation of reactive depression as well.

It's a documented fact that those suffering from severe forms of depression, almost without exception, have extremely poor eating habits. In groups that I dealt with, the depressed basically "lived" (if you can call it that) on candy bars, donuts and coffee! (If this is sounding a bit too familiar, better keep reading.) One of the most difficult things to get severely depressed people to do is change their diet--even a little! So the question begs asking: Are they depressed because of their diet, or is it the other way around (the old proverbial "chicken or the egg")? Of course in the end, it really doesn't matter which came first. What we do know is that without fail, depression is alleviated with proper nutrition. Severe cases may not be cured, (although that's certainly been known to happen) but there are always blatant improvements in the mood and energy level of ALL. Therefore, a standard treatment plan for the chronically depressed always includes a nutritional diet. That brings me to this:

If you think that eating sugar, white flour, candy, pastries, etc..., (or simply lacking a variety of fresh, healthy foods) isn't effecting your mood, your energy level, and your general brain function, you are severely mistaken. In those suffering from milder forms of chronic depression, improved diet shows drastic improvement in mood and energy level--sometimes within hours! Oh yes, I did say that it again, it's important.

So, before you run off to the doc for an antidepressant, take a look at your diet. If you're wondering why you just can't get it together in terms of an exercise program, or maybe much of anything in your life, and you seem to have a chronic lack of drive, or feel just plain old "a-motivational" make a note of what you're putting in your mouth today, and ask yourself honestly, "Is this a problem?" If you can't answer that with a resounding (and I mean gut level honest) "NO!" than you've got some work to do, hm?

For more information on overcoming this self-defeating problem, contact me at I promise you, I can help you change your mood and your life. What the heck are you waiting for?