Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

“You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

Mark Watney (Fictional Character from The Martian)

Astronaut, NASA

LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.

READ THE BLOGPOST

Nobody knows how to solve multiple life-threatening problems like NASA does. Let’s see how we can apply their wealth of experience to our health and wellness journey.

A LifehackrDiet reader/listener sent in what they struggle with;
“Been overweight most of my life, I don’t practice portion control, I eat unhealthy foods, drink lots of soda, work hard at my job and I’m too tired at the end of the day for exercise”

HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
In your youth, you might have picked up a bad habit here or a poor lifestyle choice there. When you’re young and strong few things seem to have consequences. Those little things add up over time, like coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup.

At some point, consequences begin to affect everyday life by making things a little uncomfortable. Then come the aches and pains, the minor medical issues that are a nuisance. Your lifestyle starts to degrade, moderate to severe medical conditions start to define you.

THE MARTIAN movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

THE MARTIAN movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

UNTANGLING THE MESS
Have you read the book by Andy Weir entitled “The Martian?” It’s a great read, refreshing, fun and smart. The movie based on the book is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damond. Both the book and the movie are a great ride and worth your consideration.

What does The Martian have to do with “Crushing Multiple Heath and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant?”

Once you learn about Mark Watney’s struggle (the main character), you realize the act of solving problems is the engine that fuels human survival – on Mars and in your life on Earth.

Mark Watney is presumed dead in an accident during a violent sandstorm on Mars. His crew members blast off from the planet at the last minute to save their own lives. We find out that Watney survived, but now he’s abandoned on the red planet for at least 4 years, until the next mission arrives.

Mark takes an inventory of what he has available for his survival. Not enough food and a temporary habitat that is designed to last for 30 days.

Those are only the start of his problems. Every day something happens to stack the odds against him! It would be too much for most of us and we would just give up. I’m not going to tell you his fate, you need to read the book and then watch the movie to find out.

Watney is determined to survive, “You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

This is true for Watney in the extreme predicament of being the only human on Mars, but does it apply to you and me?

The answer is YES. Every health deficit you untangle and solve will let you live a little longer and improve the quality and quantity of the rest of your life.

Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Entertainment Weekly

Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Entertainment Weekly

PROBLEM SOLVING
Let’s learn from Mark Watney, NASA and people who solve multiple life-threatening problems every day;

  1. You need to define your problem first.
  2. Figure out what your goal is.
  3. Write down a variety of solutions to your problem.
  4. Figure out the possible outcomes of each solution.
  5. Figure out the most effective things you can do to help you reach your goal.
  6. Plan how you are going to carry out the solutions you have decided on.
  7. Be totally committed to executing your plans.
  8. Adapt your plans as you need to based on incoming data.

 

DEFINE YOUR PROBLEM FIRST
This statement is true in all situations. You can’t solve something you haven’t identified. The anonymous LHD reader was clear about their problems;

  • Overweight No portion control Eating unhealthy foods
  • Drinking lots of soda
  • Working hard
  • Too tired for exercise

Being honest about your current state of health and lifestyle, will give you a clear list of items to work on. This will increase your chances of success.

In our circumstances, the solutions are to make small and permanent changes to our lifestyles.

Action Item: Start writing down your “My Problems” list today!

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR GOAL IS
Take a look at each problem and figure out what your ideal goal is. Do you want to weigh what you did at 20 years old? Are preparing to run a marathon?

Each goal requires a different set of solutions. The LifehackrDiet (LHD) reader didn’t share a goal, so I will pick one that I think most of us can relate to; weight-loss.

Let’s take a quick look at what the NASA influenced procedures would look like, for this goal…

Action Item: Write down your goals for each problem.

WRITE DOWN A VARIETY OF SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PROBLEM
My pain is your gain! The LifehackrDiet content is exactly what you need! The solutions I discovered losing weight and reinventing my lifestyle.

It’s important to take each problem individually and through the procedure, discover solutions. Let’s take a look at the LHD reader’s list.

Problem: 
No Portion Control (See Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite)
Solution: Create a process for implementing portion control;

Physical – Don’t buy foods that are contributing to your problem. Can’t eat what you don’t have. (Refer to this podcast.)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (some tips here.)
Procedural – Place food into individually sized containers to limit portion size (How to Hack Your Hunger.)

Problem: Eating Unhealthy Foods.
Solution: Create a process of substituting healthy foods for current unhealthy foods.

Physical – Don’t buy foods that are contributing to your problem. You can’t eat what you don’t have. (Refer to this podcast)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (some Tips Here.).
Procedural – Gradually replace current unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives. (Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight.)

Problem: Drinking lots of Soda.
Solution: Create a process that is physical, mental and procedural to substitute healthier ways of hydration.

Physical – Drink less and less sugar or diet soda. (Refer to How to Stop Drinking Soda: Awesome Steps for Success.)
Mental – Put yourself in a mental state of accepting change and see it as a positive (Refer to How to Stop Drinking Soda: Awesome Steps for Success.)
Procedural – Wean Yourself off of sugar and diet sodas

Problem: Working Hard
Solution: Use variety of tools to analyze your work days (I use Timecamp and Rescuetime. There are plenty of other tools, just search “work productivity tools”.)

Analyze each task you do; duration, quality of work time, frequency and result.
Based on analysis make changes to be more efficient.
Based on analysis, empower others do some tasks.
Based on analysis, stop activities that aren’t helping the bottom line.
Based on analysis, extract yourself from workflows where you are blocking forward momentum.

Problem: Too tired at the end of the day for exercise.
Solutions: Find times/ways of getting to the gym or workout while you work.

Try exercising before work.
Try exercising while getting to work, while I work, getting home and all my daily chores (this is the LHD way that I have discussed in most of my content but also specifically 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier! and this Blog Post. )
Exercise at lunch

FIGURE OUT THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF EACH SOLUTION
Portion control.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Eat the right number of calories to lose weight and regain wellness.

Eating unhealthy foods.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Eat healthy foods and enjoy them. Lose weight and regain wellness.

Quit Soda.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Quit drinking soda. Save money, lose weight and regain wellness.

Figure out how NOT to work too much.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Less stressed at work, more time for yourself, employees are happy feeling empowered. Lose weight and regain wellness.

Figure out how to Get Exercise throughout the day.

Failure: Nothing changes.
Success: Get exercise every day, healthier, more energy, mentally sharper, feel good, look good, lose weight and regain wellness.

I want to point out that most people do nothing! Every day each of us makes decisions to ensure we aren’t hurt, injured or killed. With that deep-rooted need for survival as our guide, we should see that doing NOTHING is the most dangerous choice of all.





FIGURE OUT THE MOST EFFECTIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOAL.

These are the items listed in “Write down a variety of solutions to your problem” and analyzed in “Figure out possible outcomes of each solution.”

  • Enact Portion Control.
  • Shift to Eating Healthy Foods.
  • Quit Drinking Soda.
  • Become more efficient and productive at work based on lessons learned from data analysis.
  • Learn how to get exercise from everything you do in your day or make time to exercise (Even better, do both).

PLAN HOW YOU ARE GOING TO CARRYOUT THE SOLUTIONS YOU HAVE DECIDED ON

BE TOTALLY COMMITTED TO EXECUTING YOUR PLANS
NASA says, “Failure is not an Option!”
In the case of our example, failure means: Your health, wellness, quality of life and longevity would be severely negatively impacted. Commit to success instead!

ADAPT YOUR PLANS AS YOU NEED TO BASED ON INCOMING DATA
Everybody has individual likes and dislikes. Abilities and things they are uncoordinated at. Everybody’s metabolisms act differently; some things work for one person but don’t for another. This whole process is designed to find what works for you personally.

  • If something works well for you then do more of it. If something doesn’t jive, then find another way to get the same result.
  • By remaining open-minded, inquisitive and committed to the end result, you will find things that work for you.

Remember Mark Watney, stuck on Mars with hundreds of problems that could kill him at any instant? He says; “You solve one problem — do the math, do the legwork — and you move on to the next. And when you’ve solved enough of them, you get to live a little bit longer.”

This is as true for you too, as you Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant.

 

CONTENT NOTES

Crush Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant

Listen to the PODCAST or read the BLOGPOST.

Nobody knows how to solve multiple life-threatening problems like NASA does. Let’s see how we can apply their problem-solving workflow to our health and wellness journey.

 

 

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN
  • An anonymous reader/listener wrote in with a series of problems to solve;
    • Overweight
    • No portion control
    • Eats unhealthy foods
    • Drinks lots of soda (100oz/day)
    • Works hard at their job
    • Too tired at the end of the day to exercise.
  • Paul explores how we find ourselves in these health and wellness craters. Lots of little bad habits and lifestyle choices add up over the decades until they become life altering health problems.
  • The answer is to “stop compounding our existing problems!” Start unraveling and solving each issue one by one.
  • The theme of the book and movie The Martian has everything to do with Crushing Multiple Health and Lifestyle Problems to be Triumphant. Listen to how Paul ties this all together.
  • Let’s use NASA’s methodology for taking apart our reader/listener’s list of intertwined health and lifestyle issues.
  • Below is a worksheet based on NASA’s methodology for untangling multiple health and lifestyle problems and solving them one by one.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
  • The Martian (Weir Novel) WikiPedia
  • The Martian (book) Amazon.com link
  • The Martian (Movie) on IMDB
  • Ridley Scott (Director) on IMDB
  • Matt Damon (Main Actor) on IMDB
  • Paul uses the online tool Trello for organizing complex solutions. It’s actually a really fun and infinitely useful piece of software! Check it out for free!
  • RescueTime is the heavy hitter when it comes to managing and analyzing your work time. Paul has been using it for about 2 to 3 years and it keeps getting better!
  • TimeCamp is also a great tool for figuring out where my time goes and it allows me to have integration with Trello so that I can start and stop TimeCamp timers right from Trello cards. I love how easy this product is to use.
  • LifehackrDiet.com Content Referenced:
    • 3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier! | PodcastBlogPost
    • Hacking Your Hunger. Tips for How to Suppress your Appetite | PodcastBlogPost
    • 10 Guaranteed Easy To Follow Survival Tips For Enjoying Eating Out On A Diet. | PodcastBlogPost
    • Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight | PodcastBlogPost
    • Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal | Podcast
    • Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight | PodcastBlogPost
    • How to Stop Drinking Soda. Awesome Steps for Success (Online Mini-Course)
    • Learn how to Workout at work to reach 10k steps every day (coming soon)
TAKE AWAY

Let’s work smart, not just hard at improving our health and wellness by learning from the smart people at NASA. Learn how to use NASA’s simple techniques to solving multiple life-threatening problems.

 

LETS US KNOW

What have you done, or will you do after listening to these WordPress professionals tell their stories of work and exercise co-existing? Let us know in the comment section. We can all learn from one another!

 

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

 

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

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3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!

3 Strategies: Quit the Gym and Be Healthier!

“The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise.”

Paul Michaels

LifehackrDiet.com

LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.

READ THE BLOGPOST

I am a work-from-home Dad with three teenage kids and I never seem able to follow through on my goals of working out. So I quit the gym and in the past year I’ve lost 30lbs and walked 2,117 miles. How did I do it?


The Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight blog post outlines how you can hack your food. This blog post touches on how you can quit the gym and be healthier for it.

I am a work-from-home Dad with three teenage kids and I never seem able to follow through on my goals of working out. So I quit the gym and in the past year I’ve lost 30lbs and walked 2,117 miles. How did I do it? I am sharing my experiences at LifehackrDiet blog or you can listen to the LifehackrDiet Podcast or watch the LifehackrDiet YouTube videos, ALL FREE! In a nut shell, the LifehackrDiet utilizes technique and technology to make small changes that improve your health and overall quality of life.

Why I Quit the Gym!

When I went to the gym, I enjoyed myself, no problem. But what I found was between my work and home duties, the scheduled 90 minutes/three times a week would often and in fact, almost always get bumped off my schedule. I would say, “Ah, I don’t have time to do it today, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And then, tomorrow would come, another fire would need to be put out – you know the score. The result was my health kept taking a backseat to my other priorities.

After one year on the LifehackrDiet this is what I had walked. I had not been to the gym!

After one year on the LifehackrDiet this is what I had walked. I had not been to the gym!

The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise. I just felt awful, I was gaining weight, I was always uncomfortable and I had back issues. I needed to figure out something that worked for me and my lifestyle. That was the spark that lead to the LifehackrDiet origin story.

The LifehackrDiet (LHD) is a series principles and techniques (utilizing common consumer technology) that you can customize for your unique lifestyle.

LHD Principle One – Syncronicity

Police Album Cover
No, it’s not based on the 1983 Police song of the same name, but you can add that song to your playlist! It’s looking at life and your daily activities synchronously. So instead of grocery shopping or exercise you have to think of it as grocery shopping AND exercise.  Commuting or exercise becomes commuting AND exercise and work or exercise transforms into work AND exercise. You just have to shift your thinking and look at everything that presents itself in your day as an opportunity to burn some calories, build some muscle and get closer to your goals.

 

What works for me

Here are some concrete examples of what has worked for me and might work for you. Adapt these tips for making changes to transform your life.

Grocery shopping AND exercise.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while shopping.

Acting synchronously on the LifehackrDiet plan; burning calories while shopping.

This is a screen shot of the Fitbit Dashboard captured from my account. The Fitbit One is a digital pedometer that records my steps throughout the day. It syncs wirelessly over bluetooth to my iPhone and updates my progress on the Fitbit iOS app and on the website. I love this system because it simply captures my every step and gives me credit towards my daily calorie burn. A blog posting about bluetooth digital pedometers and how to use them, is coming to this blog soon.

Instead of looking at grocery shopping as a chore, look at as an opportunity to triple multi-task; shop, walk/lift and listen to music/radio/audio books or the LHD Podcast. You need one extra ingredient which is good for you and the environment; a team of strong reusable bags that will be your weights for this LifehackrDiet tip. When you go to the grocery store, instead of wasting time looking for the closest parking spot, quickly park at the furthest spot from the store entrance, I guarantee it’s available. You are welcome to be organized with a shopping list but don’t fret about forgetting something and having to walk across the store to retrieve it – it’s good for you! When you have the reusable bags packed, make them heavy so that you are getting a workout loading and unloading them. Make extra trips from your mode of transportation to your residence, lift the bags up and down as you go, bend up and down or do squats as you lift and unpack. Make the once wasted chore into a weekly workout. You will probably burn anywhere from 200-500Cal depending on your circumstances.

Walking-while-shopping_Infographic-01-opt

Commuting AND exercising.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while commuting.

Acting synchronously on the LifehackrDiet plan; burning calories while commuting.

Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,264 or 8.83 miles or 2,969Cal.

We all have our unique commutes to work so there is no boiler plate plan for getting the most out of it. Commuting usually involves some walking and lots of sitting or standing in a moving tin can. If you look closely enough you will find lots to hack. If you take the subway or a bus to work, consider walking a stop (or a few) on either end of your route.

If you drive or car-pool get out or park somewhere further away from your final destination, walk the difference. Hack parking by driving to the top floor of the parking lot (regardless of whether or not there are free spots along the way) and either take the stairs or (with caution) walk down/up the actual parking level ramps from and to your vehicle. Clearly riding a bike is an obvious way of burning calories while commuting but cycling the whole way to work/home might not be practical for everyone. If that is the case is there a compromise where you can cycle part of the way and then take public transportation to finish the commute? Think creatively about your daily journey and find ways in which you can hack it so that you are healthier beacuse of it. Taking even the simplest of these suggestions could add a 1,700Cal burn to your workweek which will make a huge dent in your weight loss.
Walking-while-Commuting_Infographic-01-opt

Working (at a computer) AND exercising.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while working.

Acting synchronously on the lifehackr diet plan; burning calories while working.

Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,728 steps or 9.05 miles or 2,828 Kcal.

I purchased a very simple walking treadmill for less than $250 and scoured my local craigslist offerings for a specific Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk. I combined the two and for less than $350 I have a wonderful work space that allows me to walk while I work. I do all kinds of things on the computer from photo retouching, video editing, emailing, writing (I am walking as I write this) with absolutely no difficulty. It takes about 3 mins to get used to the feeling and in under a day you won’t even realize you are walking while working. I walk at about 1.0 – 2.0 mph and I take regular breaks where I am standing and working. My working days are shorter than the average (due to team Michaels’ duties) but I can get 5 miles in without difficulty. That’s just under 200Cal an hour which doesn’t sound like much but when you walk 5 miles that’s about 500Cal a day or 2,500Cal a week for free! To lose a pound of fat you need to burn 3,500Cal, using the treadmill desk you are 70% of the way there.
Blast through those calories with a walking desk using the Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk. Learn more at http://lifehackrdiet.com

Blast through those calories with a walking desk DIY with Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk.

Walking-while-working_Infographic-01-opt

Now Do You Believe Me?

After six months on the LifehackrDiet I had lost 30lbs doing and eating what I normally did with a few small changes.

After six months on the LifehackrDiet I had lost 30lbs doing and eating what I normally did with a few small changes.

When I say “Quit the Gym and Be Healthier” you can now see why. Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.

Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.

Thanks for Reading!

The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.

Does your gym workout consistently get cut from your schedule? Paul Michaels your host is a 50-year-old work-from-home-father of three teenagers, who finally gave up on the idea of going to the gym and in its place figured out how to live synchronously…

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How your host, Paul Michaels lost 30lbs and walked 1000 miles in 6 months.
  • What doesn’t work, not having a plan “B”
  • LifehackrDiet Principle One; Syncronicity.
  • How to transform grocery shopping into a workout.
  • We all have commutes to work, here’s how you hack it.
  • Working at your computer can be a workout too!
  • Utilizing every waking moment for exercise…

PLUS MORE on how you can make small meaningful changes to your activities….

 

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

TAKE AWAY
Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise. Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.

 

Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

 

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

© 2016, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

COMMENTS SECTION BELOW