Food Overload and Obsession

We are literally being crushed by information overload and by our past experiences with diets. Diets have been so destructive that just the word “diet” makes us all cringe. Thanks to hundreds of diets, there is so much contradictory information about food that it is no surprise that we are more confused than ever about what we should and should not eat. Not to mention, the massive amount of misinformation being dumped on us is not only wrong, but it is preventing any chance that we can find the truth.

But, let’s start with this truth. Diets may produce short-term weight loss but most diets are not healthy or sustainable.

Do you know of anyone who has stayed on the same diet for the rest of their lives? Have you ever stayed on the same diet for longer than a year? If you are that rare person who has stuck with your diet, then how much time and energy went into thinking, planning, counting and measuring what you ate, when you ate and how much you ate. Question, Was it fun? Was it liberating or did it feel like a food prison? Did it set you free to enjoy food and the nourishment it provides?

I know that we can’t avoid food talk because we can’t avoid food. All of us need food to live but for most of us, food has become a bit of an obsession. We are taught that food is the key to achieving our weight loss goals and according to the nonstop food advertisements, food can make all our mouth dreams come true. Food is no longer food but a means to an end. We use food to change our moods, to reward, to comfort, to self-flagellate and to justify ourselves. We use food for many many things and in so doing, we have developed a very weird relationship with food. It’s pretty obvious that something has gone in a very wrong direction when you look at the amount of time, energy and money we have spent thinking and talking about food.

VIVE Alchemy invites you into a new conversation about food. We need to rediscover how we are designed and how food nourishes that design. We need to remember that food is food and food is not your best friend or your worst enemy. Food was never meant to be a weight-loss tool. You are not designed to be in a relationship with food or to use food as a means to change your body. Eating should be easy and enjoyable. It should be a gift that nourishes the best gift of all, you.

In VIVE, we encourage you to eat the way you are designed and not deprive yourself of nutrients that regulate weight, fight disease, slow aging and keep you looking, feeling and moving your best. VIVE Alchemy can help you change the way you think and feel about food. Instead of food being a variable in a weight loss formula, fuel, information, medicine or your best friend, we will help you remember the truth that food is a gift and you are free to eat and live.

Are you in a bad relationship with food?

When we look at how we spend most of our time, money, energy and thoughts, it becomes clear that we are in a bad relationship with food and exercise.

The truth is, any relationship with food and exercise is bad. We are not designed to be in a relationship with food or exercise. Real relationships take place between people who care about each other. A piece of cake or a quinoa salad will never say a single word to us at the dinner table. Food can’t give you a hug and exercise can’t give you a shoulder to cry on. You cannot be in a relationship with an inanimate object.

You don’t believe you are in a relationship with food and exercise right?

Let’s dig a little deeper and see if you are:
If either food or exercise exposes feelings of guilt, shame, fear, despair, excitement, anxiety, pride, competition or judgment, then their place in your life is outside their design. If food or exercise are exposing awareness of your weaknesses, strengths and feelings, then they are exposing your vulnerable heart and this too is not normal or natural. Food and exercise should not have this type of power. Feelings of love, approval, comfort, value, acceptance, disappointment, sadness and anger should only happen where we have relationships.

Perhaps you aren’t looking for food and exercise to change your feelings, then are you using them to tell you who you are? Who are you? I am a ________________. Did you fill in the blank with the way you eat or exercise or the way you look? Diets and workout programs are not supposed to give us an identity. They may be things we do, but they are not who we are. If something you do has the power to tell you who you are, then what’s the answer to the question when you are not doing that workout or eating that food? Who are you when there are no organic vegetables available or you blow out your back doing an overhead press? Giving anything the power to tell you who you are, will also gives it the power to tell you what to do and that brings us right back to that bad relationship that I’m talking about. You are in a bad relationship with food or exercise if they tell you who you are or what to do.

Food and exercise are gifts designed to nourish our whole person and nourish a real connection with others. Food and exercise cannot be the connection that we need to establish real relationships. In today’s world, food and exercise are anything but gifts to nourish a real connection. Instead, we force it to be our connection. Our conversations revolve around food and exercise. We use it as a distraction to avoid our real selves and others. It helps us deny our loneliness, lack of connection, insecurities, vulnerabilities, weaknesses and fears. No matter how much or how little food we eat and how much or how little exercise we do, it is never going to make us feel okay about ourselves or establish a real relationship with others.

Food and exercise embody a false message when they fuel the belief that our bodies will bring us peace, hope, love, kindness, patience, goodness and self-control. Our bodies are not designed to get us those things, but to reflect that we have those things.

So, how do we break up with food and exercise and put them back in their designed place? Well, we can’t. The moment we take control and try to put them in their proper place, we are guaranteed to mess it up. Our bodies, lives and our relationships are designed to exist in balance and to flow in their own natural rhythm and order. When we develop the right relationship with ourselves and others, then food and exercise will take their proper places as gifts that we can enjoy physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.

As a result, we will give up using food and exercise to do something for us (lose weight, gain muscle, be our friend, to bring us comfort, or tell us who you are) and we will just enjoy food and exercise as gifts. Instead of stuffing a real conversation down with food or avoiding it with exercise, we can have that conversation with ourselves first and then maybe with a real live person. Instead of spending so much time and energy focusing on things that can never love us and tell us that we are enough, we will find people who can encourage and empower us.

VIVE Alchemy invites you to start a conversation that tells your truth and fosters real relationships with real people and connection in real community that is not based on food or exercise but you.

YOU CANNOT OUT-EXERCISE A BAD DIET

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Period. You cannot out-run, out-lift, out-yoga, out-dance, out-bike, or out-swim a bad diet. You are going to hear us say this a lot in our conversations and you can learn the science that backs this up in VIVE.

Ninety-five percent of what you eat determines your weight. The average American adult consumes 3,770 calories a day. In general, women are advised to consume 2,000 calories a day while men are advised to consume 2,400 calories. That means the average American is at a 1,400-1,800 calorie surplus every single day.

To burn off this surplus of calories, someone running a 10-minute mile, which is about average, would burn 600 calories in an hour according to http://www.competitor.com. That means you would have to run three hours a day to burn up the daily calorie surplus. Do any of us have the time or energy to run three hours a day every day? To just burn one can of soda, which is about 100 calories, you would have to do 10 minutes of jumping rope or 20 minutes of walking at a three-mile-per-hour pace.

Exercise has benefits for everything from our cardiovascular to our emotional health, but it was never meant to be the means to lose weight.

VIVE Alchemy is a different approach to food and exercise. Exercise should be enjoyable and  build you up, not break you down. Discover how you are designed to fill up with nutrients and let your body naturally rid itself of toxins, waste and excess weight.

VIVE Heart Manifesto

We have forgotten that our body is a reflection of our heart, mind and spirit and we have bought into the theory that lasting body transformation and change can happen apart from your whole person.

Welcome to VIVE Alchemy. We invite you to come in, take your shoes off, sit down and take a deep breath. You are welcome here. This is a safe place for you to discover how you were designed to feel, think, nourish, move and connect. We are not interested in your performance, your results, or what you can produce. Rather, we are interested in you and how you are doing.

At VIVE Alchemy, we are done with programs that focus on “no pain/no gain” or rewards and punishment. We are no longer motivated by shame, guilt, fear or pride mantras that are formulated to make us perform, earn and buy. We have discovered that we are not designed to plug ourselves into the latest and greatest formulas, and that successful living cannot be measured, scored, calculated or determined by results. We have chosen to stop listening to all the voices that tell us how we should feel, think, move and eat and we are listening to ourselves. We are discovering how we are designed to to nourish our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships.

At VIVE, we call this true design living. We have chosen a different way to live that nourishes and connects ourselves and each other. We trust that a well-nourished self will create a flow and balance that naturally produces a spirit, heart, mind, body and community that are alive and flourishing. We believe that health happens when we practice the basics of human design.

10,000-Rep Workout in 30 Minutes

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Burpees, Crossfit, P90X, Insanity and boot camps cannot compete with good old-fashioned walking.

When we stop approaching exercise as a means to lose weight and, instead, as a way to nourish our whole person, we can bring some common sense back to exercise and start making better decisions about how we spend our time and money, and how we treat our bodies.

If you want the best, easiest, quickest and cheapest whole body workout that you can do all day long, look no further than walking. In just 30 minutes, you can get around 4,000 steps, which means your calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings and feet will contract and flex at least 4,000 times.

Walking is a complete lower body workout, and with correct posture and breathing, walking strengthens your abs and lower back muscles with each step. Planks cannot touch the ab workout that walking can provide. Throw in an arm swing and you are naturally and easily working your entire muscular system thousands of times and you don’t have to spend a dime, walk into a gym or pass out in a puddle of sweat.

Walking is all you need to improve your cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, neurological and skeletal systems while also nourishing your internal mental, emotional and spiritual connection. Who knew it was this easy and free?

At VIVE Alchemy, we want to show you how your body is designed to work to stretch and strengthen itself easily and naturally one step at a time.

Why So Serious?

When did we become so serious about food and exercise?

Perhaps it was when we forgot who we are at our core and things like food and exercise became ways we judge ourselves, our friends and our communities. Food is no longer meant to just feed our bodies. It is the way we determine how serious we are about our health, becomes our emotional comfort, the ways we lose weight loss and gain muscle. We also use food and exercise to judge others. The mantra, “You are what you eat,” is no longer just a buzz-phrase. It has been internalized to become an identity and a worldview. Someone’s worldview is nothing to mess with. Who knew “wild blueberries” or “kale” were such fighting words?

Can we put our diet and exercise religion aside and remember that food is just food and exercise is just exercise and neither should be very complicated? Food and exercise should not be the main topics of our conversations or the foundation on which we build our identities, relationships, hopes and dreams.

VIVE Alchemy invites you into a conversation focused more on you and less on food and exercise, and where we learn to focus on nourishing ourselves and our connection to others with love no truth.

Burpees are Stupid

How did an exercise that tests whether soldiers are ready for the battlefield become a staple in everyday fitness routines? How has a test move that burns just two calories a rep (at best), become marketed as a crazy calorie-burning exercise?

Does it make sense that a battlefield readiness test that burns very few calories, most people cannot even do correctly, increases risk of injury of the back, shoulders and knees and would never be done at any point in your everyday life become part of a fitness program? No, it doesn’t.

Let’s just say, hypothetically, you could do 10 burpees correctly for a minute. You just burned 20 calories. Could you do burpees for 30 minutes? The world record for pushup burpees in 1 minute is 36, which translates into maybe 72 calories burned. (Just remember a 16 ounce gatorade is 80 calories.)

Do you know what you can do that’s a million times easier and better than burpees? You can walk! You can walk all day long and get thousands of easy and natural nourishing steps. That’s thousands of reps that strengthen and stretch your entire body and positively impact your entire system; and you can get up and do it again tomorrow and the next day.

Unless you are “training” for a burpee competition, burpees are not an exercise that should be part of your everyday life or fitness routine. Bring some common sense back and start moving the way your body was meant to nourish itself easily and naturally.

Huge Ass Problem

We have a huge ass problem. It’s not that huge asses are a generally a problem. The problem is most people have weak asses.

Why is a weak ass a problem? Weak glute muscles ultimately lead to complete body breakdown, all the way down to the feet.

The way a person walks is a direct result of having weakness in their butt muscles, which leads to chronic pain and injuries from lower back pain, sciatica, IT band syndrome, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, patella tendonitis, and groin and hamstring injuries.

Physical strength and alignment start in the butt. The butt becomes weak when we don’t walk enough, sit for too long and do not move the way we were designed. Most people have weak butts that have caused major body breakdown. In order for the entire body to move the way it was designed, the butt muscles, the largest in the body, must be strengthened and restored to proper alignment.

At VIVE Alchemy, we want to solve your huge ass problem.

“I Workout So I Can Eat Whatever I Want”

Good luck with that. EVERYONE in the fitness world knows that this is one of the biggest myths out there. Unless you are a professional athlete who exercises all day long or you are someone who was born with an unnatural metabolism, you cannot eat whatever you want.

Anyone marketing a weight-loss exercise program to you without talking about what you are eating is not being honest. The reason you don’t hear from exercise marketers about the reality that you cannot eat whatever you want, is because you might actually pause and ask, “if exercising doesn’t allow me to eat whatever I want, then why am I exercising?” and you might not buy their latest and greatest exercise program.

In fact, exercising strenuously sets you up to think that your gym workout earned you more food. But, when most Americans consume 300-400 above their recommended calorie intake, it’s going to take at least an hour of daily strenous exercise just to maintain your weight and even more exercise to lose some.

Walk away from this dysfunctional and fragmented way of thinking about food and exercise. VIVE Alchemy invites you to a new conversation and a return to the enjoyment of exercise without strain, stress and the pressure of weight-loss. When we give our bodies the nutrients they are designed for, they will burn fat, shed toxins, fight disease and be nourished by every day movement without the stress and strain of hard workouts   .

“I Don’t Live to Eat; I Eat to Live”

Maybe you have heard someone say or have even said yourself, “I don’t live to eat, I eat to live.”

While it sounds like this is a good perspective on eating, the more I hear it, the less sense it makes. What I hear is “There are people who live to eat and I am not like those people, so I don’t do that.” Instead, “I eat to live.”

Last time I checked, all of us are alive, so we must eat and we must eat because we are alive. If we are making a distinction between “us” and “them” based on eating, then we are using food to make us feel better about ourselves, which is essentially what we would be accusing someone of if we said “they live to eat.”

Why are we using food to distinguish ourselves from others and as a way to identify ourselves? Food was designed to strengthen our connection with others as we share our hearts, minds and lives at the table. Food wasn’t designed as a means to judge others with.

VIVE Alchemy invites you to a different conversation about food that puts food in its proper place as a gift to share with others while you share your time, talents and truth.