Instant Exercise Motivation #10 – ESPN's Body Issue – 2011 – Part 3

ESPN released their “Body Issue” for 2011 earlier this month.

Here is the final installment of the incredibly fit and sexy athletes that they featured.

Julie Chu - Olympic Hockey Medalist
Jose Reyes - MLB All-Star Shortstop
Stephanie Gilmore - World Surfing Champion
Steven Jackson - NFL Pro Bowl Running Back
Hope Solo - Gold Medal Winning Soccer Goalkeeper
Ryan Hall - Olympic Marathoner
Kelly Kulick - U.S. Bowling Champ
Jeremy Campbell - 2x Olympic Gold Medallist
Helio Castroneves - 3x Indy 500 Winner


In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2.

Instant Exercise Motivation – Part Two

Patrick Willis - LB, S.F. 49ers - ESPN - The Body Issue

During the last installment of Instant Exercise Motivation, we used a little reverse psychology.

Today, it’s all about positivity.

This month’s issue of ESPN magazine is their annual Body Issue.

So, go ahead and feast your eyes on some of the world’s fittest/sexiest athletes….and then get your butt to the gym.

ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Diana Taurasi - G/F - Phoenix Mercury
ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Tim Howard - Goalkeeper - USA Soccer
ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Rachel Yurkovich - Javelin - USA Track & Field

and, just in case you still aren’t motivated enough to haul your lazy butt into the gym, there’s always this.

"Healthy" Food Makes You Hungrier

According to a pair of new studies, when “normal” people eat “healthy” food…. they get hungrier.

And what do they get hungry for?

More “healthy” food?


They don’t want healthy… they want something tasty…something sweet, something greasy and crunchy and salty and…… damn, now I’m getting hungry.

But wait, this study doesn’t apply to me.

It only applies to “normal” people.

In the second study, people who identify themselves as being concerned about their health & bodyweight (like me) didn’t experience those same “post-health food” hunger pangs.

They were satisfied with the “healthy” food.


So, what’s the difference?

The difference is that people who identify themselves as “healthy” receive mental/emotional satisfaction from taking “healthy” actions – eating healthy foods, exercising, etc.

Conversely, “normal” people who don’t identify themselves as someone who eats for their health just don’t get that emotional/mental satisfaction.

And that lack of emotional/mental satisfaction manifests itself as a hunger for junk food.

And, to make things worse, when they eat the junk food, they actually strengthen that internal picture of themselves as someone who eats “junk” food instead of “healthy” food.


It’s a real chicken/egg dilemma.



There is no point in eating rice cakes and tofu if you hate eating tofu and rice cakes.

At some point, your dissatisfied brain will drive you towards that pint of Ben & Jerrys.


You have to get your mind onside before you will be able to  any sort of lasting change.


But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it.



Dieting or Healthy Eating?

In one corner, we have the current undefeated Champeen of the World….The multi-billion dollar Diet Industry.

In the other corner, we have this guy. Mr. Healthy Lifestyle


  • With billions and billions of book sales, video downloads and online subscription, the Diet Industry is like a cross between Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather…with a big bucket of steroids and amphetamines thrown in for good measure.
  • The Healthy Lifestyle industry is like the little old lady who tells you to eat your vegetables.

As a result, the diet industry is the  1,000,000 to 1 odds-on favorite to win the battle for our “I want to get lean, healthy and fit” dollars.

  • But maybe, just maybe, we may be looking at a comeback for Healthy Eating.
  • There is more and more research being done that proves that a health focused lifestyle is the better way to a trim waistline.

The Science

A New Zealand based study looked at the negative effect that stress had upon the health of obese women. They found that obese women can improve their health and prevent further weight gain by ditching their diets and learning to deal with stress.

  • The study encouraged women to break free of chronic dieting and make lifestyle changes, including listening to their feelings of hunger and fullness rather than focusing on weight loss.
  • Following a group of 225 women, the research showed that the women who lost weight by dieting often regained the weight they lost, and more, within five years.
  • The researchers found that “the most successful intervention involved providing intensive training in relaxation techniques while equipping the women to recognize and avoid stress-related triggers for eating.’’
  • “Many overweight women had a fearful and guilt-ridden relationship with food, and their eating was often emotionally triggered”.

Additionally, the research showed that this lifestyle approach resulted in “significant improvement in reducing psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and medical symptoms including headaches, fatigue and lowered blood pressure”

Hmmmmmmmmm…it sounds like the diet industry might have something to worry about.


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Heart Disease and Stroke Caused By Diet

I’m sure this isn’t going to surprise many of you, but I was just reading a new study that claims that hypertension, heart disease and stroke is caused by diet.

By analyzing chemicals found in urine, researchers have been able to definitely link fluctuations in blood pressure to your metabolic fingerprint.

What the heck is metabolic fingerprint?

Metabolic fingerprint is a catchy way of describing the unique metabolites that are left behind by specific cellular processes. In this case, the scientists were looking at the metabolites (small molecules) found in urine, which reveal the way food is broken down in the body.

What does this mean to you?

According to the research, Western diets (rich in meat, high in alcohol and low in fibre) are bad.

Heart Disease and Stroke Caused By Diet

People who eat a diet high in animal protein (indicated by the metabolite alanine being present in urine) have…

  • higher blood pressure,
  • eat more calories,
  • have higher cholesterol,
  • and body mass indexes.

People who eat diets higher in starches such as rice (indicated by the metabolite formate) have…

  • lower blood pressure
  • and ingest fewer calories.

NOTE – People who have healthy levels of gut flora (reduced by antibiotic use, increased by prebiotics and probiotics and indicated by the presence of hippurate in the urine) also have lower blood pressure. Hippurate is also present in the urine of individuals with low levels of alcohol intake and higher levels of dietary fibre.

More Science…

  • While comparing the metabolic fingerprints of study participants in the U.K., United States, China and Japan, the scientists concluded that test subjects from the U.K. and the U.S.A. have similar genetic and metabolic profiles.
  • In contrast, while the Chinese and Japanese participants had similar genetic profiles, they had different metabolic fingerprints.

What was most interesting for me was the comparison of the native Japanese participants with those Japanese individuals living in the U.S.A.

  • Japanese-Americans displayed a typical American metabolic fingerprint;
  • Japanese-Japanese had the healthier non-Western metabolic fingerprint…indicating that lifestyle has a stronger effect on blood pressure & heart disease than genetics.


  1. Heart disease is caused by diet
  2. Stroke is caused by diet
  3. You should stop eating processed junk food
  4. You should start eating the kind of food your great-great-grandparents ate