Life Lessons from a 90 Year Old

No, I am not talking about me!

Another 5:00am Get Fit NH Bootcamp member sending me some great stuff – thanks Tammy!

It reminded me that living a healthy lifestyle, losing weight and increasing energy isn’t just about training and good nutrition.

In fact it’s less about those and more about our mind than anything else.

It all starts up in that most important organ of all – your Brain!

We’ve said it before, if you think you can do it, you’re right, and if you don’t think you can do it, you are also right!

You must focus on your “can do’s” if you want to be successful, and that goes for all of life.

So on to what Tammy shared with us.

You may not agree with all of these, but that’s ok…

Take the lesson. Be a positive person. Show someone in your life that you care about them. Respect yourself. Make It Happen!


Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God.. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Its estimated 93% won’t forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title ‘7%’.

I’m in the 7%.

Remember that I will always share my spoon with you!

Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Water You Waiting For?

Julie of 5:00 am bootcamp fame sent me the following “fun facts to know and tell about water”, and it is absolutely worth sharing.

We’ve talked about the importance of drinking enough water and how it affects muscle soreness and fat loss.

Here’s some more good reasons to keep that water bottle handy…Water Bottles

  1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population)
  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
  3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as 3%.
  4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

Make It Happen!


What Do You Expect?

Nancy and I have had conversations with a few clients over the past few weeks about how fast they are losing bodyfat, and a couple have expressed frustration that the weight isn’t coming off “fast enough”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it should be your goal to strip unhealthy bodyfat as fast as possible.

It shouldn’t take 6 months to take off 10 pounds of bodyfat…

But it isn’t going to happen in 6 days either!

When you step on that scale and you have lost 2 0r 3 pounds and 1/2″ off your waist in the last two weeks are you happy, or frustrated that it wasn’t more?

Let’s think about it…

If you lost an average of 1 1/2 lbs a week over the span of 3 months, would you be happy? Do you know how much weight that is?

18 lbs!

Would you be happy to lose 18 pounds? I certainly would!

In fact I went back and looked at my records from when I started my weight loss journey,

From the 1st week in August to the 3rd week in October, a span of 12 weeks, I lost a grand total of….

16.5 lbs…LESS THAN 1 1/2 pounds a week.

Thinking back I guess I should have been pretty ticked off at myself that I wasn’t losing weight fast enough…

I should have gotten really aggravated, decided it wasn’t worth it, pounded a couple dozen donuts and a chocolate cake or two…Stop Sign

and been DONE WITH IT!

Because this weight loss stuff doesn’t work…

It’s taking too long…

It’s too hard…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME – Stop The Whining Already!?

I had been a fat boy for years!

It wasn’t going to “go away” in a few weeks, no matter how much I wanted it to.

It ended up taking me over 9 months to get below 200 lbs, an average of less than 2 pounds a week.

Could I have done it faster? Maybe, maybe not – I only know what I did.

So what’s my point?

Here it is in a nutshell…

When you are headed in the right direction – When your weight is dropping steadily, when your waist is getting smaller, when your pants fit better, when you can celebrate your victories, now matter how small….

Be Happy With Yourself!

Don’t live your life trying to be perfect, because you’re not!

There is a philosophy that permeates the Japanese culture – “Kaizen”.

It means “Constant and Never Ending Improvement”.

It doesn’t mean perfection…

But it doesn’t mean satisfied with mediocrity either.

To me it means never letting your highs get too high or your lows too low.

To evaluate what you are doing right and to keep doing it.Success

To discover what needs improvement and getting better at it.

To live each day with purpose and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

I challenge you to live “Kaizen”…

I challenge you to focus on the positives…

I Challenge You To Be Happy Today!

Can you do it?

Make It Happen,


Memorial Day 2009

First Things First – Thank-you to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States who serve this country with distinction and preserve our freedom throughout the world.

I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative, democrat, republican, libertarian or in between – Go out of your way to thank one of these brave men and women and honor the memory of those who have gone before. America is not perfect, but it is still the greatest country in the world. I am pretty easy to get along with, but don’t mess with me on this one!

Waving Flag

Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer, otherwise known as “Judgment Day”. The weather here in the northeast is scorching, the shirts come off, the bathing suits on.

Not always pretty!

My colleague Alwyn Cosgrove recently reminded me of the importance of DEADLINES when you set a goal.

So if you aren’t quite “beach ready” yet, the next deadline to get there is July 4th – five weeks away.

What can you get done in 5 weeks?

A lot!

Here’s some recent stats from Get Fit NH Bootcamp:

Jen lost 8 pounds in less than two weeks…

Tim lost 2″ from his waist in his first two weeks of bootcamp…

and Tammy told me she had just crossed the 30 pounds lost barrier since her back surgery!

It can be done, and YOU can be the one doing it!

Here’s what you need to start dropping that unwanted body fat:

  1. Create a calorie deficit – Gotta do it.  Burn more calories than you consume.
  2. Optimal nutrition AND exercise is the most efficient and effective way to accomplish the deficit.
  3. Green veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats form the foundation of a fat-burning plan. Starches, sugars and alcohol will kill your energy and the ability to burn fat.
  4. Resistance training and interval training. Get off the treadmill and get to work. You want to get lean, you have to earn it.

Getting lean is simple, but it’s not easy. Take the steps every day to make it happen.

If you haven’t heard, Get Fit NH Bootcamp is coming to Concord, starting June 8th.

Sign Up Today, and by the July 4th deadline, we just might be bragging on you!

Make It Happen!

Have a safe holiday,

Dean and Nancy

Spitting In My Corn Flakes

So I got these cool new referral cards for my bootcamp classes, and they have this picture on the front of them:

Man and Woman Abs

We just rolled them out at the 6:00pm class, and I told them “We used our pictures on the cards – That’s Nancy on the left and me on the right.”

And that’s when my beloved members spit in my corn flakes…

They all said “We believe that’s Nancy on the left, but we KNOW that’s not you!”


Now we were all kidding around, but it really got me to thinking…

“You know what Dean…they are right!”

Now I am in good shape, but I am not in THAT shape.

And it sort of ticked me off.

It made me want to take it to the next level – to get those “beach ready” abs.

Just to prove I can…

What about you?

What’s it gonna take to get you to the next level?

To drop that next 10 pounds?

Get into that dress?

Crank out those 12 pullups?

When is enough enough?

Don’t wait for someone to “spit in your corn flakes”

Make It Happen Today!

Corn Flakes


Announcing Get Fit NH Bootcamp Concord!

JUST ADDED June 2, 2009 – 6:30am – 7:30am Co-ed Class – Starts Monday June 8, 2009!!

Let us start out by expressing how grateful we are for all of our members who have made a commitment to their health and fitness by choosing to train with us over the past year. Thank-you so much for being part of the Get Fit NH family!

First things first – no program changes in our Epsom facility. The class schedule and instructors (yeah, I know, you want Nancy to teach ALL the classes) remain intact for now.  We look forward to serving the Suncook Valley for many years to come at our “home base” location.

The reason for the added location is simple – You asked for it!

Register For Our Concord Class Here

In fact, you asked for it awhile ago, and we are thankful for your patience in the meantime. I looked it up and Anne of 9:00am fame first contacted us May 20, 2008 asking for a Concord loactionConcord Dance Academy

So this is the plan. We are starting an 8:30am Ladies Only class June 8, 2009 at the Concord Dance Academy, located at 29 Commercial St. We can train indoor and/or outdoors, there is great parking and easy access right off Interstate 93.

Once we get that class up an running we are planning on adding an additional morning class, with the time to be determined by member feedback. Be assured we are listening to your input, and also be assured that we truly appreciate those of you who travel the (very short 🙂 distance from Concord and beyond to train in our other class times.

Stay tuned for a special announcement regarding our referral program. You are our ambassadors, and you have been a big part of our growth over the past year – we want to continue to show our appreciation in a tangible way when you refer us to your friends and family. Remember that when you as a member invite someone to bootcamp, they receive a free two-week trial, and when they join bootcamp we write you a $25 check!

Note that the website now reflects class and registration info for both locations.

So please spread the word about our new “Ladies Only” class in Concord, and thank-you in advance!

Register For Our Concord Class Here

For more information about the Concord Dance Academy, click here…

So let’s hear some feedback…

What time in the A.M. would you like to see another class in Concord? Comment below or fill out the form on the bottom of our Schedule Page…

Make It Happen!

Dean and Nancy

Fast Food Balderdash

By now, I am sure you have heard all about this new Kentucky Grilled Chicken.

And while I have no doubt that this is a better option than the fried chicken alternative, it’s still nowhere near an ideal food choice.

Fried Chicken

Congratulations! You are eating “grilled” chicken with a bunch of garbage on the side. Heaven knows that mac and cheese and biscuits aren’t going help you look and feel any better!

KFC says the grilled chicken has significantly fewer calories and fat, plus much less sodium, than its Original Recipe fried chicken that launched the brand more than a half-century ago.

After all, just as, if not more, damaging to our waistlines are the high calorie side dishes accompanying the chicken which are filled with refined starches and sugars and unnecessary amounts of saturated fat.

To me it’s like covering garbage with a newspaper- it still stinks!Garbage Heap

For too long now the fast food industry has made a killing on misinforming consumers about what is and isn’t healthy.

KFC claimed that it recently did switch cooking oils to eliminate all trans fats from their products- a noble effort indeed, and one we support.

But upon further review, this does not look to be the case…

Here are the ingredients directly from their website:

KFC ® Grilled Chicken

Fresh Chicken Marinated with: Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate Seasoned with: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat lour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast, Beef Powder, Rendered Beef Fat, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and mot more than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added as Anticaking Agents.

Contains Wheat and Soy

I don’t know about you, but this certainly doesn’t sound like a nutritional powerhouse. First of all, “Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil” is not good for you and is a form of transfat.

Trans fats are synthetic fats that are essentially foreign agents in our bodies. There is truly no room for them in a healthy diet.

Plus, a great rule of thumb is that the fewer ingredients in a food item the better it is for you, ideally less than 5 ingredients being a good marker. Well, if you count the ingredients in this “health” food, there are well over 20!

Fast food and convenience store marketing campaigns make it very hard for us trainers to do our jobs.

When a company says:

“Our _____ (name of product) is good for you because it’s low in fat or fat-free”


“Our _____ (name of product) is good for you because it’s got no sugar”


“Our _____ (name of product) is the perfect snack because it’s only 100 calories.”

In general, here are some great user-friendly guidelines to cut through all of the junk:

Beware of “Fat-Free or Low Fat” Foods:

These food choices are often high in sugar or contain added sugar to make up for taste lost which wreak havoc on your energy levels and prevent fat loss.

Look Out for “Sugar-Free” Products:

These food choices are typically made with artificial ingredients and sweeteners and/or are sometimes higher in fat to make up for taste lost and/or often contains sugar-alcohols that tear up your digestive system.

Mini MuffinsStay Away From “100 Calorie” Items:

These low calorie bags contain ZERO nutritional value with little to no protein and are low in fiber and natural, healthy fats. Plus, these weight-gainers by another name do not fill you up between meals.

Probably the most infamous “healthy” marketing campaign is 100-CALORIE SNACK PACKS.

Which is better for you body: 100 calories of broccoli or 100 calories of mini-muffins?

I know personally I could easily eat 10 of these packs without getting stuffed- I guess that would be a 1,000-CALORIE SNACK PACK 🙂

Unfortunately, we live in a calorie-conscious society, and marketers truly take piggyback on this.

But you don’t need to be a dope like the rest of them.

Educate yourself.

Educate your friends.

Educate your family.

Remember, the market determines the direction companies will go. If we choose not to put this garbage in our bellies anymore, they will make less of it!

Make It Happen!


PS- I just know you have got something to say about this hot button issue. Please make a comment to this blog post about what yout think about this KFC Grilled Chicken, or any other of these tactics and marketing “techniques”…

Overfed, Overweight, and Undernourished

As many of you know, here at Get Fit NH Bootcamp we are big fans of Dr. John Berardi, whose nutrition strategies we have both successfully used for many years and who influence permeates our nutritional guidance to our clients.

Today’s guest post from Dr. B explains why most North Americans are overfed yet undernourished. Read and re-read this article – then implement just one strategy today that will help you feel better, look better, and perform better.

Make It Happen!

From North American to Nutritious
by Dr John M Berardi, CSCS

Good nutrition, nutrition for optimal body composition (fat loss, muscle gain), optimal health, and optimal performance (sports or everyday) usually requires a move away from the typical North American dietary habits and a move toward more nutritious, physiology-friendly habits.Junk Food

To shed a little bit of light on what I mean by the typical North American Diet, let’s consider for a moment how the average North American lives each nutritional day.

1. Our typical North American wakes up too close to when they’ve gotta go, leaving little time to prepare, eat, and digest a good meal before work (whether “work” is an office job or it’s training for sport). Also, our typical North American complains that they’re “not hungry” in the morning.

2. Our typical North American opts for scarfing down a quick, fast digesting breakfast that’s low in calories, missing a significant protein portion, low in micronutrients and phytochemicals, low in good fats, and rich in processed, high glycemic index carbohydrates.

3. Our typical North American heads to work relatively poorly fed.

4. Our typical North American is fairly inconsistent with his/her mid-morning snacks. Also, “snack” usually means more processed carbs and sugar without much in the way of fruits and veggies, quality protein, or good fats.

5. Our typical North American, during his/her lunch break, opts for a small amount of protein (a couple of slices of lunch meat and cheese) between a few slices of processed bread. So again, we’re stuck with low protein, low fruit and veggie intake, and very little good fats.

6. Our typical North American is fairly inconsistent with his/her mid-afternoon snacks. Also, “snack” usually means more processed carbs and sugar without much in the way of fruits and veggies, quality protein, or good fats.

7. Assuming dinner is eaten at home, after work, our typical North American has a decent, nutritionally balanced dinner with a good protein source, good carbohydrates, their first larger fruit and veggie portion of the day, and perhaps even some good fats if they’ve included olive oil or other sources of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

8. After their evening activities, our typical North American is inconsistent with their pre-bed snacks. These snacks, if they do eat them, usually are the worst of the day, consisting of larger servings of sweets or processed foods.

So, what’s wrong with this type of intake?

1. Breakfast has been shown to be a critical daily meal. After a catabolic overnight fast, a balanced breakfast helps to regulate blood sugar, helps to regulate energy balance, and helps to control late-day cravings that lead to overfeeding on processed, high fat, and high sugar foods. In both cases above, breakfast is either a very small feeding or is completely non-existent. This needs to change.

2. The bulk of total dietary energy is distributed later in the day. What this means is that hourly energy balance is hugely negative in the morning, and positive in the evening.

Studies at Georgia State University demonstrate that hourly energy balance is at least as important as total daily energy balance and should remain as close to neutral as possible throughout each of the 24 hours. This means a better distribution of calories throughout the entire day – not just loading up on a big dinner.

3. In the case of our example above, by lunch our individual is likely underfed in total and often underfed in protein. As discussed above, energy intake needs to be better distributed through the day.

4. Fruit and veggie intake, as well as protein intake, is very low until dinnertime. Just as total calorie distribution should be spread evenly throughout the day, so should macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) and micronutrient intake.

Healthy Snack5. With blood amino acid concentrations low from the overnight fast and continually low throughout the early day (especially if the morning has two training sessions), catabolic conditions will predominate in the body, making recovery from and adaptation to exercise difficult without a higher morning and early afternoon protein intake.

6. Throughout the morning and afternoon, vitamin and mineral intake as well as dietary antioxidant intake is quite low, creating a deficit that’ll be hard to make up later in the day.

A fair number of athletes and recreational exercisers have been shown to be deficient in a host of vitamins and minerals, leading to impairments in nervous system function, metabolic processing, and oxygen delivery/consumption. It’s hard to get the requisite amount of vitamins and minerals in only one or two meals. Now, this doesn’t mean that folks should start popping multi-vitamins. It means they need to get more fruits and vegetables as well as other micronutrient dense foods with every feeding, not just with one or two feedings per day.

7. Many individuals who don’t actively pay attention to their protein intake tend to get too little protein for optimal recovery, preservation of lean body mass, and for the metabolic advantages associated with higher protein intake. Even many of the athletes I regularly work with would benefit from a higher protein intake.

Now, this doesn’t mean at the expense of good carbs and good fats. It’s in addition to those things. Most folks are getting a good, high protein dinner, but it’s difficult to take in enough total protein in only one or two protein rich meals. (Nor is it advisable.)

8. For both the physically active and even the sedentary individuals discussed above, dietary fat intake is usually out of balance in favor of saturated fat. Without actively choosing foods and supplements that contain mono and polyunsaturated fatty acid, fat balance is unfavorable. In our example above, our typical North American isn’t getting enough good fats.

9. With most of the meals above being rich in simple, processed carbs, the hormone insulin isn’t well-controlled. This means that individuals predisposed to fat gain will have a more difficult time controlling and/or losing body fat, even with higher training volumes.

10. With most of the meals above being rich in simple, low-fiber carbs, not enough dietary fiber is being ingested. This may mean constipation, poor blood sugar regulation, and poor GI health.

11. Our individual above isn’t actively taking advantage of the post-exercise improvement in insulin sensitivity and boost in post-exercise protein synthesis by eating carb and amino acid-rich foods right after exercise (assuming they have exercised).

With all of these dietary limitations, it should be clear that although these individuals aren’t dying of malnutrition, they’re certainly not laying the groundwork for great body composition, health and performance. So let’s talk about how to transition from the average diet to a nutritious one.

Step 1: Improve Workout and Post-Workout Nutrition
Step 2: Improving and Scheduling Breakfast Meals
Step 3: Adding good fats
Step 4: Improving lunch meals
Step 5: Improving dinner meals
Step 6: Increasing veggie (and fruit) intake
Step 7: Improve snacks.

Hopefully the message of this article has become clear. Whether you’re a high level competitive athlete or just a recreational exerciser, eating like the typical North American is bad, bad news. And despite your exercise habits, eating this way might have you ending up looking more like the typical North American than you want.

To avoid making the same mistakes other North Americans make, it’s important that you view each meal or snack as an opportunity to get a good balance of nutrition. This means making sure each meal has a good protein source, a good fat source, and a good amount of fruits and veggies.

For more great training and nutrition wisdom, check out our complete system, Precision Nutrition. Containing system manuals, gourmet cookbook, digital audio/video library, online membership, and more, Precision Nutrition will teach you everything you need to know to get the body you want — guaranteed.

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May 6th


5 AM 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder with water at training

7:30 1 whole egg, 2 eggs whites, onion, mushroom, 1 oz cheese, oatmeal

10:30 carrot, hummus

1:30 venison meatballs with homemade tomatoe sauce and shirataki noodles

5PM 4 oz pork roast, spinach salad, carrots

Don’t be fooled like I was. I went to the health food store and picked up shirataki noodles.  I read only the front label. I bought the wrong kind. These were made of tofu and some flour combination. The real shirataki noodles are made up of a veggie fiber and not tofu. Don’t buy them at the store they have to be ordered online. 

May 5th


7:30 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, onion, gr pepper, mushroom, ½ oz cheese, steel cut oats, strawberries

10:30 3 peanut butter balls

1PM 1 serving of turkey pot pie

3PM super shake

6 PM meatball sub