When it was time for me to get back in for a physical to renew my medical certification last summer, the doctor told me to lose 20 lbs. I’m sure there was the possibility that he felt that he was wasting his breath considering that people in general don’t always head the doctor’s advice.

But I did. I got back into the gym and started walking at our nearby nature trail. I decided to get pro-active about my diet. By doing so I realized that I had decided to get into integrity with myself—to be the best I could be—body, mind and spirit. I decided it was time to put my best foot forward on all fronts.

Within two months I lost 30 lbs. I felt physically rejuvenated. My energy had returned to what it was when I was a kid. An unexpected side effect to all of this physical work was that I realized I also felt spiritually balanced, grounded, and centered. I knew who and what I was. I knew my sense of being and purpose. Most of all I knew where I was going and I liked that direction I was headed.

How is that possible? How did this transformation come to be?

Simple. Let me tell you how I did it. On pretty days I take the hour-long nature hike around the nature trail. There’s always something interesting to see there as I walk; be it the flora or fauna. I am always amazed at what I encounter. Things I had previously missed suddenly caught my attention and eye. The hour that it takes to get around there just zips on by. Sometimes I even take second pass of the trek. Just in case I missed something first go-around.

When the weather doesn’t permit me to go to the trail, I’ll jump on the stair-climber machine at the gym. It’s not quite as fun as walking the nature trail, but there are TVs to watch and plenty of nice, pretty ladies there with the same goal of self-improvement, health maintenance and fitness.

After I get my cardio (ideally you’ll want to elevate your heartrate for a period of about at least 30 minutes in order to be effective) I head over to the weights section and do a little lifting for my upper body. Keep in mind that you need to do cardio in order to see the results of your weight training, because you might have the best six-pack abs in the world but if you can’t burn the calories and fat, they’ll be hidden under the extra weight.

How to gauge whether your cardio workout is working:

Perform this simple test. After your workout sing “Row row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” If you can get through that song without having to stop and catch your breath at all you might need to work harder. If you can’t make it through the song because you are gasping then you’re going too hard. (Always consult a doctor before engaging in rigorous physical activity.)

Still, exercise is the step one of the process. You can spend all the time in the world on exercise but still not see results until you get control of your diet. An easy and convenient way I changed my diet was to start buying those self-contained, individual serving trays of veggies and fresh seasonal fruits that you can even find at Wal-Mart. It’s true that veggies alone won’t fill you up so you can, for example, eat some beef jerky with your veggies to hold you over till your next meal. Eat a good breakfast, a better lunch and a small dinner meal.

My dinner meal usually consists of the small bottle of chocolate milk, a big spoonful of peanut butter and a banana. But it’s very important to cut out the salty, greasy and fatty snacks and junk food.

I lost 30 lbs in two months. I was looking great, feeling great and it came out in my personality.

Diet and exercise are a big part in not only practicing a healthy lifestyle but achieving a professional image and attitude at home, work and in life. Diet and exercise also balances your spiritual center. When you exercise you don’t just tone your abdominal core, you tone your spiritual core too.

That’s the added bonus. Because when you exercise, and care for your body and physical health, you are also tending your emotional and spiritual health. Body, mind and spirit. It is all tied together. And when the three are at peak performance and operating at your best, then life and how you approach life and who you are takes on a whole new perspective. Not only do you notice this, so do others–and that includes the pretty ladies at the gym.


A true Renaissance Man, Johnno Zee is a filmmaker, author, documentarian, cultural conservationist and musician. He picked up the guitar at 15 and toured as a professional roadie for the likes of Alice Cooper, The Smashing Pumpkins, Janet Jackson, The Beastie Boys and The Eagles before fronting a band of his own. In 2011, his film “Redneck Carnage” won Best FX and Best Feature Film at the Hollywood Asylum 13 Film Festival in New York City.

 After being advised by his doctor to change his health routine, Johnno embraced it full-steam ahead, resulting in both a physical and spiritual rebirth. He can be reached at http://countzeecom.ipage.com/; http://countzeecom.ipage.com/zmg.html; http://countzeecom.ipage.com/RevZ.html



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