I have however, over the past 9 months, been in personal contact with a person that fits each of the criteria above as I struggled to deal with a radical decline in my MOJO.
So why am I writing this? Simple; most of my clients are middle aged professional men (just like me) and every day I see evidence that they’re becoming affected by a shift in their chemical balance and they don’t even know it.
- Have you noticed that you seem to eat about the same as you used to but you’re putting on weight? (You might think of it as middle-age spread?)
- Does the weight seem to sit mostly around the front of your belly?
- Are you beginning (or already have) a rounded shape to your pectoral muscles? (Do you have Man-Boobs?)
- Are you finding your ability to remember facts, cope with high concentration levels and stress in general is more ‘sluggish’ than it used to be?
- Is your interest in sex and your ability to become aroused severely reduced?
- Are you finding you just don’t have the ‘oomph’ to exercise with intensity and if you do, you struggle to recover?
But wait a minute! I’m supposed to be a professional development coach to Accountants, Lawyers and Financial advisers; what the heck am I doing talking about health and fitness issues? (Especially when I’m a self-confessed beginner on the topic)
That’s also simple; if my clients aren’t able to function at an optimal level of health then it’s only a matter of time before fatigue reduces their effectiveness or, they run their endocrine system (and thereafter their immune system) into the ground and end up with a serious, debilitating health issue to deal with. (Hard to meet your chargeable hours from a hospital bed…)
What kind of professional development coach stands by and lets that happen?
If you’re willing to accept that your body is just a bag of chemicals then you’re on your way to understanding my current ramblings; years ago I was taught the concept of things being Stoichiometric (Chemically correct) as they relate to the internal combustion engine.
You see, the mixture of Air and Fuel in a carburettor must be ‘balanced’ in order to get the correct flame front in a conventional engine. Your body is the same; get the mixture wrong and you’ll start popping and wheezing like a leaky old lawnmower and if you don’t get serviced, you run the risk of blowing your phoo phoo valve. (These are technical, medical terms which I don’t have time to explain in this article)
Losing your MOJO is having the wrong chemical balance in your body. Low MOJO is akin to Low Testosterone levels and a Lack of Testosterone in men really stuffs us up. It certainly doesn’t help when it comes to the development of Prostate issues either. (All the symptoms of my enlarged prostate disappeared once I confronted the issue of my low T and high Oestradiol. My PSA levels were fine by the way so it may be different for you but worth checking out..?)
So, let’s get on with it. If you’re still reading this then you’re either feeling some of the issues above or you know and appreciate the value of good health and want a few simple tips that cut through the ‘Guru Speak’.
First up, we need to understand the critical importance of our endocrine system.
So often we get told messages that are based on isolated research or a myopic view of the body by virtue of an isolated body function, such as the way your pancreas produces Insulin to balance glucose levels for example. This is what can lead us down the wrong path as we chase the ‘well meaning’ expert opinion on what we should eat, or not, based on their chosen focus/research.
(It’s this kind of thinking that drives the High Protein, Low-Fat and Low-Carb messages…)
As I’ve learned, we need to revisit the fundamentals of how our body works in total, rather than in isolation. So, in layman’s terms, the endocrine system is the combination of the brain and digestive system and its role is to extract energy from food and convert it into the correct chemical balance for our body.
Right now, the Dr’s in this world will be getting all uppity about the simplicity of that overview but I figure you’re not really interested in understanding the role of the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland, nor do you want to hear about the importance of Follicle Stimulating Hormone or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in general.
In a nut-shell, Darwin was reported as saying that “humans should eat for Fertility”. What he meant by that was that if you eat enough of the foods that support your body’s ability to produce hormones supportive of reproduction, then you’re safe in the knowledge that your body’s needs are being met.
If you take a radical departure from the body’s need for Fats, Carbs or Protein then you’re on your way to ‘stuffing up the balance’; which is exactly what I did. Based on the latest health guru messages and a combination of age and stressful occupation, my body combined a lack of carbohydrates and fats into a severe reduction in the production of Testosterone and fellas, once that happens your body’s entire chemical balance starts to take a nose dive and you’ve got one hell of a journey to get it back…
Your body needs Fats, Carbs and Protein and in general terms, the ratio should be about 30% Fats, 40% Carbs and 30% Protein. The interesting point is that this doesn’t need to be balanced this way for every meal (although it can make things easier) so long as it roughly works out this way per week.
You’ve probably heard people using the term ‘bio-availability’ which is basically referring to the efficiency of the body to break foods down, extract the goodness and get it into the cells of the body that need it. A huge focus is now placed on understanding the role of polyphenols and carotenoids as ‘carriers or binders’ to the cells in our body but you can just take heart from knowing that if you eat food that used to swim, walk, fly or grew under the ground or off a tree or a vine then you’re probably ‘about right’.
The reason I raise the issue of ‘bio-availability’ is so you can understand that it is, in fact possible for you to suffer a nutrient deficiency, even though you are actually consuming the food that contains said nutrient. You see, sometimes what we eat ‘competes’ for its cellular absorption against other nutrients present in the body. Which is why, long standing advice on eating whole foods (un-processed) and in a balanced diet (meaning rotate things, don’t over-eat your favourites even though they’re good for you) is still the way to go. It’s so your body can absorb the good stuff, turn it into energy and hormones to keep the brain and body functioning properly.
As I’ve learned, anything grass fed is great to eat, steak included! Eggs are not the demons they were made out to be and Cholesterol levels shouldn’t keep you awake at night, Nuts are cool and cabbage and lettuce is your best friend. Get stuck into roast potatoes and avocados, be careful of grains, Coconut oil is useful but Norwegian Cod Liver Oil is awesome!
Now, this was never supposed to be a diet article; it was supposed to be a “hey Fellas, Pay attention to your diet to make sure you get enough of the good foods to allow your endocrine system to make Testosterone” article. “If you can focus on putting the good stuff in your mouth, you’ll have to worry less about getting fat and losing your marbles!!” that kind of thing…
So let’s get back to business.
You’re a busy professional who struggles to fit the work and family in and yes, you already know you should exercise more but there’s fat chance of that when you’ve got so much work on etc.
Here’s a couple of tips;
- You can’t out-exercise a crappy diet. Find out how many kilojoules your body needs per day and make a mental note of ‘calorie counting’ as you go so you don’t over eat. Round the figures up, doesn’t need to be precise but you should at least be in the ‘ballpark’. Same goes for how much water you need; drink too much and you can strip vital minerals so again, do the math.
- Make sure you get enough ‘good carbs’ and fats. If you don’t you simply won’t be able to think properly and your business performance will suffer. I raise this as many of you may be trying to strictly limit these foods groups, again – it’s not the carbs that are bad, it’s that ‘bad-carbs’ are bad. Green salads, potatoes, pumpkin, kumara, beetroot, carrot and onion are all excellent sources of carbohydrate. Remember, your brain consumes glucose to think and if you don’t get enough good-carbs then you’ll find yourself getting exhausted. (White rice and pasta are not groovy by the way and processed sugar is the worst…)
- Get organised. The reason you’re feeling tired is probably ‘cause your body is a toxic waste dump; get into the habit of making up a load of roasted vegies (the carb list above) and taking the left overs for lunch the next day.
- Stay away from Beer (if you can help it) beer drastically increases your Oestradiol levels (female hormone oestrogen) which is what leads to man-boobs and your inability to cope under pressure. (You also end up crying through sleepless in Seattle; but at least you end up winning arguments, even though they don’t make any sense!!)
- Wise-up. Get on line and spend 30mins to an hour learning the importance of Testosterone for healthy function. There’s some superb bloggers out there (I get emails from a guy in Finland called Ali Kuoppala – anabolicmen.com – he’s done so much research it’s not funny so save yourself the hassle and tune in to the guys that know…)
- Use Supplements Wisely. I was put on to an excellent site to buy quality supplements at lower than normal prices but I was also given this advice; “You’ll probably spend a fortune before you realise that your body is too far gone to be saved by a herbal remedy, but you’ve got to try them first…” The fundamentals that you can’t go wrong with is Vitamin D & B 12 in drop form, Cod Liver Oil, Coconut Oil (medium chain Triglycerides) and a Lypo-Spheric based Vit’ C. the website for the supplements (by the way) is vitacost.com
- Get Tested. If you think things are starting to slip, get on to it quickly by having some blood tests. Get your Testosterone, Free Testosterone, FSH, LH, and Oestradiol levels checked (at a minimum) Take it from me, you will get stuffed around by medi-lab; took me half an hour to explain and I already had help from my Dr in completing the blood request forms so hang in there, it’s important. (If your Dr tells you not to bother or you feel you’re getting the run around, google your local endocrinologist or male health professional)
- Lift Heavy Weights. ‘Nuff said. Use compound exercises and start small to learn correct technique but in the end, make sure you lift weights heavy enough to have you swearing at the seagulls. The treadmill is a great way to check out the hotties at the gym but ain’t gonna do squiddly for helping your testosterone levels. High weight, low reps, go home.
- Get to Bed! If you get in the habit of watching late night TV you’ll run the battery down. Most of the Neurotransmitters are ‘balanced & produced’ while you sleep with the most important tasks being done just before you wake (which is why you get the ‘early morning rise) Jumping out of bed at 5am to run off to the gym could be robbing you of Testosterone building time…
And there you have it. Not by any stretch an exhaustive review but hopefully enough to get you to stop for 7 mins and tune in to the fact that your body is just a bag of chemicals. Get the balance wrong and all your business objectives will go out the window…
Get them right however, and chances are that you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your ability to function in your professional role.