Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 30

I am a big fan of James Clear. He went on a short vacation from blogging and now I'm happy to have him back. “Falling in love with boredom” might be the quote of the year in fitness, life and everything.

"There's a surprisingly narrow gap that separates the good performance from the great performance. And that narrow gap is separated by small habits and daily rituals.
"It's so easy to dismiss the value of making slightly better decisions on a daily basis. Sticking with the fundamentals isn't impressive. Falling in love with boredom is not sexy. Getting one percent better isn’t going to make headlines."
Paul Lyngso got me into learning more about leptin a while ago. This is the Holy Grail of fat loss for some people, and Paul summed what he does with his clients like this:

1. Reduce overall carbs
2. Eat protein at breakfast and don’t eat after dinner
3. Three meals a day, no snacking AND don’t eat big meals
This article teaches the science behind leptin. Here's what you need to know:

  •     Leptin is a hormone that decreases the appetite, increases the metabolism, and leads to leanness.
  •     The human body only responds to leptin if leptin receptors are working properly and telling the brain that leptin is high.
  •     30 seconds of intense exercise, like bike sprints, will increase leptin signaling. But it only works in the absence of the hormone insulin, which is produced after meals.
  •     Fasted sprinting has shown to increase leptin signaling.

The fitness industry has come under the microscope recently. From that horrid showBiggest Loser to the proliferation of TV infomercials that prey on our need to make changes overnight, our field looks rather shady. Here we learn a bit of insight that will reach most people where they live.
"People need to motivate themselves from kindness rather than fear and shame," says psychologist Louise Adams. "The literature shows that lasting health behaviours come from self-care, from being your own best friend. That's what is missing in the exercise industry."
You want clarity? Marc Halpern delivers that on nutrition. The article's about nutrition and food, but this is the key:

“I’m not knocking any one goal over another. What I am saying is that this client now has clarity of what he wants out of life. That’s the secret to every health and aesthetic goal there is. Most people say what others want to hear or try to achieve what they think they should want. The secret is to get clear on what you want.”
Integrity is a concept that has been core in my career. My mother defined it as being the same person in every situation. Mom would applaud this one.

"Instead of fixating on whether you have a job that’s more unique than that of your peers, focus on whether you’re adding value to the world in whatever work you’re doing.
"Instead of seeking after building a big house, concentrate on the structure of your integrity.
"Becoming a man of your word in this day and age? Now that would be a significant difference."
This article just sang to me. I loved reading it and I appreciate the lessons: 

"Our educational system is purpose-based. It teaches mimicry and not passion.
"The whys of life are far more important than the whats of life, and that's a message that is rarely communicated as we're growing up.
"You can be the best advertiser in the world, but if you're advertising fake penis pills, your talent is not an asset to society but a liability. You can be the best investor in the world, but if you're investing in foreign companies and countries that make their profits through corruption and human trafficking, your talent is not an asset to society but rather a liability. You can be the best communicator in the world, but if you're teaching religious fanaticism and racism, your talent is not an asset but rather a liability."
Urgency is a gift and a curse. This article gives clear insights from one Ike. Enjoy. Download the PDF at the end and spend a little time clearing up some mental space.

“In our present shock world, the ability to filter the signal from the noise, or distinguish between what’s urgent and what’s truly important, is an essential skill to have.
"My challenge to you this week is to apply the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to as many aspects of your life as you can. When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, 'Am I doing this because it’s important or am I doing it because it’s merely urgent?'"
So, as I look at what I'm recommending this week, the theme is clarity—not a lot of strength training, but a lot about the foundations of learning and dealing with challenges.
I’m off to discus camp this week. Since 1993, I've circled one or two weeks out of my June calendar when I hop on a flight to Ohio to coach. The lessons are always amazing and I hope to share some with you.


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