Philosophy to Eating and Exercising

Steve Dow (54-year-old venture capitalist)

I was looking for a new approach to my health, something that would be easy to incorporate into my life: not too rigid and not too time consuming. Fortunately, my wife discovered Jerzy and Aniela through friends. It sounded quite interesting, and most importantly, different, so we decided to begin the program together. Actually, "program" is probably a misnomer as "program" denotes something that you start and finish. I love that The Happy Body is really a philosophy and an approach to eating and exercise that shouldn't end. It becomes part of your life. In any event, while I knew I needed to get back into shape, I was shocked when Jerzy told me my body composition. Between that shock, and my wife as a companion, I was quite motivated. The exercise came easy. Controlling my eating was not easy. Not because what Jerzy suggested I eat wasn't enjoyable or satisfying, but I love to eat and I love to drink wine. In spite of those urges and following (reasonably well) the eating guidelines, I quickly made good progress on losing fat and building muscle. I can't overstate the importance of the muscle, as other than your brain, the only thing that burns calories is muscle.

After about 9 months, I became interested in going beyond the exercise routine of The Happy Body. Having been an athlete in my past, I realized that what I enjoyed about Jerzy was that he was a coach, not a trainer. This is more than just a semantic difference. I'd never heard a trainer use "meditation," "parasympathetic nervous system," and "weight lifting" in the same sentence. A typical trainer tells you what to do or is there to be your exercise buddy. A coach explains why you do something, so that knowledge becomes a part of you. It struck me as funny to think that dogs have trainers; people have coaches. Jerzy started me on the long, patient process of developing the strength and skill to undertake Olympic style weight lifting. The body needs lots of time to adapt and change, a process that can't be rushed without injury. Given Jerzy's knowledge of how fast or slow to increase my weights, I have not had any injury issues at all. The conventional wisdom on weight lifting conjures images of large bulky lumbering men. It was quite an epiphany to learn how Olympic lifting is totally different. Olympic lifting is about flexibility, form and quickness. The Olympic Snatch (a move where you lift a barbell from the floor to over your head in one single movement) is a wonderful, complex movement. I love the efficiency of the exercise. It feels like a combination of plyometrics, yoga, and lifting. And you literally work every muscle in your body in one movement. Like The Happy Body routine, I can fit my lifting into 45 minutes. My primary goal is to Snatch my weight - approximately 100 kg -before my 55th birthday. My second goal is to enjoy as much time as I can with my parasympathetic nervous system.

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