This is a report about observations. They represent topics worthy of comment and experiences of enlightenment. The observations have been made by our JACKED group collectively during meetings, by individual participants as they made “mid-term” assessments, and by myself as the progenitor of this Project.
We’ve been cruising along now, in an oh-so-JACKED manner, for 2-½ months. That has been a sufficient amount of time for almost all participants to become proficient in the JACKED system (even though it varies slightly each month), and to experience some outstanding results. Our group has had several monthly conferences, 10 weekly e-meetings, and I’ve conducted numerous individualized coaching sessions with most of our team.
While I’ve made many observations, the one that stands out most for me at this time is how our participants are succeeding at behavior change. Teaching and learning theories abound, and we have used many of these principles in our JACKED endeavors. I’ll comment on a few of the things I’ve noticed, with the hope that perhaps some of these observations can be useful to anyone attempting to make some positive changes in health habits. This is not meant to be comprehensive – just a reflection of what’s working for our squad.
- Wellness School: We treat every JACKED interaction in a lighthearted but educational sense. It’s fun to learn, discover, and master new information and techniques. By approaching our sessions as schoolgirls and schoolboys, we emphasize that learning leads to knowledge, which in turn leads to power in taking control of one’s health. It’s not just knowing what to do, or even how to do it, but being helped and guided along the way.
- Community: Pick any term you prefer, such as tribe, team, club, or family, and you get what JACKED is all about. Everyone is working together, with a great sense of belonging, in a supportive manner toward a common goal…better health, longevity, and quality of life.
- Feedback: We place a heavy emphasis on feedback in the form of knowledge of results (KR), timeliness, specificity, and positivity. These have all been shown to improve intrinsic motivation, consistency, and results. Everyone has joined me in working hard to facilitate information-sharing.
- Elimination of Barriers: It’s all about access. We remove complexity and challenge and find ways to adapt all program parameters to fit the individual, and keep progress moving toward an optimal healthspan.
- Elimination of Judgement: As part of our group ethos, we emphasize successes, not failures. JACKED is “can-do” country. Without being exceedingly quixotic, we always seek and find the win.
OK…now on to some group observations. There have been many but for this entry I’ll look at “myths we have busted.” I won’t list out every single one, but I will share a few of the more powerful areas in health and fitness that we’ve studied, reviewed and discussed the most recent literature, and formed conclusions which are leading to magnificent success for our members.
- All bodyfat is the same. On the contrary, we have reviewed the differences between brown (thermogenic, BAT) fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat.
- You just can’t have too much of a good thing. Whether we are talking about a Vitamin D level, high-intensity exercise, flexibility, or blood pressure, almost all things biologic exist in a range, with neither too high nor too low being optimal. We’ve been studying and experimenting with the “sweet spot” (without eating sugar!) for many health measures and practices.
- Bodyfat is the result of gluttony and sloth. No, it’s actually a by-product of metabolic dysregulation brought about by hormonal imbalances, which are powerfully affected by lifestyle (read: JACKED eating, training, and living). This myth needs to be put to bed forever. Obesity has no need for character defamation. That’s fat-shaming and we’ll have none of it. We do fat-shredding.
- You can be fat (per bodyfat norms) and healthy. No, you can’t. You can be fat and “fit”, but that’s slightly different because health and fitness are not the same thing. Excess bodyfat has a myriad of risk factors that create a slippery slope for health maintenance. We’re not advocating for states of being underweight but simply recognizing that health is optimal when bodyfat is in ideal ranges, and these do not have to be extremely low (nor should they).
- We should blindly trust the advice of major organizations regarding health. While we should never be disrespectful (no place for it in a JACKED world), we need to combine open-mindedness, skepticism, avoidance of bias, and objectivity with any recommendation we may receive from many institutions once viewed as “sacred disseminators of doctrine.” Unfortunately, this includes advisements we have received from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the USDA, the FDA, and many others. Please don’t view this as a bashing of these entities but many of the policies and recommendations that have come from these groups have been proven to be based on flawed science, influenced by industry funding and agendas, and representing unwillingness to accept new data. It looks like things are changing for the better, albeit slowly, but accuracy in health practices depends on the fortitude and mental acuity of the consumers (us) of health-related information. Propaganda won’t be tolerated.
And here are a few observations from the JACKED ones.
This has been interesting. I have 5 “ah-haa’s” I have found that most are related to diet:
- Once I hit a certain weight my body knows and maintains [its setpoint] – amazing!
- I had “slipped” and had homemade donuts one of our really good customers brought in for treats. Felt like s**t after. Diet matters and the body knows.
- My body is now much more efficient in long endurance workouts. I did 27 miles of classic skiing on little training with no food…just water. No bonk – great efficiency in body fuel conservation.
- No weird cravings for breads or sugary stuff when on this diet but when I ate the crap donuts (although f***ing awesome at the time) my body wanted the sugar again even though it made me feel like s**t. Junk food is a quick fix and and even faster path to a bonk!
- I feel much more even with respect to energy and moods over the entire day.
I am amazed about how easy it was to give up refined sugar and grains. I had to establish an “all or nothing” approach, just tell myself that “I don’t eat that.”
I didn’t pay much attention to the “mental” side of the program, and I wasn’t really feeling great…yeah yeah, positive mental attitude. It was only when I started thinking about my mental state (I do feel good, I have made progress) that I realized that I felt good and have become JACKED!
Here are a few impressions so far. I was and continue to be amazed how this program educates on just what I have been eating. Early on I found that I was not eating anywhere near the amount of veggies I should have been eating to even come close to a balanced diet.There was and continues to be amazement on just how carb-intensive my standard American traveler diet had become. Awareness of what I eat may be one of the best things to come from the JACKED program. I am enjoying the commitment of a focused program. I also appreciate that this program starts out slow enough to not wreck an already well-used body. By the 4-6 week point I had lost about 10 lbs, and although not a specific goal I’ll take it, and I feel I have gained strength as well. More importantly I don’t hurt as much which I take as a sign of lower inflammation.
Here is my mid-term status report. I did not have an “ah-haa” moment. The change in eating habits was not as hard as I anticipated and I have more energy consistently through the day – every day. It is hard to believe.
I feel the JACKED program is an awesome concept, and in only 2 months has proven to show results. I’ve lost 20 pounds, and my pants are fitting noticeably looser. I’m off sugar, grains, and all those nasty oils and I’m not going back. I want to be a positive example for my young son.
Halfway into JACKED and I’m down 20 pounds and roughly halfway to my goal weight. My energy is great, and the diet and exercise programs have been quite easy to follow. I generally eat my fill, and most of the cravings I had for food during the day are gone.
I went out skiing for the 1st time all season with my boys, and I felt great! My energy was good, my legs were strong, and I could almost keep up with the 17 and 21 year old. I felt better skiing than I have in several years.
I know you asked for ONE thing, however, several things have come to mind:
- I was amazed to find that when I anticipated a splurge, a sweet local fruit, the sweet did not taste good to me. So, my reference of what tastes good is no longer sweet! Great discovery. Makes everyday eating so much more enjoyable when I’m not craving sugar.
- I was concerned that a couple body parts would not keep up with the workout. In fact they feel better than they have for years! I feel strong, empowered, and energized!
- I also have to make a point about my coach, John the JACKEDMaster. He has been insightful, positive and nonjudgmental, encompassing some unusual and refreshing common sense!! I appreciate all of that more than I can say!
- I do mean those comments from the heart. Especially the “COMMON SENSE” approach you take, it’s awesome and DIFFERENT than any other plan I’ve done. I like it that you “suggest” this, and if it doesn’t work, or you don’t feel right, then by all means, do what works or makes you feel right! Like if we are limiting the meals to a 6 or 8 hour eating window, but today you don’t feel great, but really hungry, you say “eat.” Most other plans are too rigid and not a lot of the old “be practical” applies. Like…rest, if you are really sore, etc, etc.
Month 1 was great. I really focused on the nutrition and did the majority of workouts. In Month 2, I slipped a bit with personal issues (no fault of the program). I kept up the nutrition program, however I only did 2 of the workouts. In Month 3, I feel like I’m starting over again on workouts, however I’m doing well with the nutrition program. With the amount of participation above, I still lost 10 lbs due to keeping on the nutrition plan. I loved how the combination of weight exercises in month 1 changed my posture and made me feel stronger. I can’t say enough about the “Eureka!” moment after 1 month of following the nutrition recommendations in the JACKED program. I learned how to have greater confidence in my training for athletic events.
I feel GREAT all the time!
Sometimes I go all day and I forget to eat. I had to get two new holes punched in my belt!
I couldn’t say it any better. Thanks for reading and catch ya later!