National IBD Awareness Week

What does the purple ribbon stand for?  That’s a pretty common question, right?  Everyone knows that the pink ribbon is a symbol of breast cancer awareness and prevention, so what about the purple ribbon?

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The purple ribbon stands for lots of things!  Some of which are Alzheimer’s disease, domestic violence, anti-gay bullying, and cystic fibrosis.  However, this week from December 1st until today it has stood for IBD awareness.

IBD stands for Irritable Bowel Disease!  Irritable Bowel Disease is somewhat of a blanket term Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease five years ago(if you didn’t know that, then HI!  Welcome to my blog!)

Today, I’d like to tell you that I’m a little upset.  I’m upset with myself!  I was focusing on work and lifting last week and I forgot all about it being Crohn’s Awareness week.  At least I can forgive myself since I am posting about it today and giving IBD a little bit of the recognition it deserves!  We need to recognize that these diseases exist and work together to rid the world of them.  I’m about to tell you why this should matter to you even if you don’t know anyone who has IBD(besides me LOL).

Crohn’s Disease is a debilitating illness.

When I was 15, I started having some stomach problems.  At a time when I should have been happy and healthy and careless like everyone else, I was going to the bathroom 10 or 11 times a day.  There was blood in my stools and I was malnourished.  I didn’t want to eat but I forced myself!  I knew that if I didn’t eat but kept going on like that, that I would die.  I was losing weight insanely fast.  I was turning into a skinny-fat, malnourished mess.

..I was turning into a skinny-fat, malnourished mess.

me when i was sick

This was 8 days after I turned 16.  ..The calm before the storm.

I remember being six foot tall(1.82 meters), and older than most of my friends but being insanely weaker.  If they wanted to bench press or play sports, I wouldn’t have the energy or the strength.  I went to the doctor for all of this and after an initial lower GI they concluded that I was suffering from hemorrhoids. 

They gave me suppositories and sent me on my way.  I wanted so badly to believe them that I went my whole freshman year without getting any better.  I just sucked it up and dealt with it.  I’d go to the bathroom a lot but I think most of my teachers understood that I wasn’t healthy.

Finally, just eight days after I turned 16 I had gotten my license and it was a big day for me…but getting my license was the only reason I wasn’t in the hospital.  I didn’t want to wait, and I had gone my whole freshman year without treatment, so what was eight days?

Long story short, I waited way too long to get real treatment and I could have died.  As you see me in the photo above, I was very skinny-fat and it was hard to smile with all the pain I had in my abdomen and back.  Somehow, when you have a bad crohn’s flareup you can also have other digestive problems such as pancreatitis and gastritis.  On July 21st, when I was admitted to hospital, it turned out I was suffering from all three.

But this story doesn’t end negatively!  I was treated and given corticosteroids when I was in the hospital that healed my colon and digestive tract.  I started feeling better and over the years they experimented with different drugs.  However, also over the years I have discovered that drugs are bullshit.

I am still on one autoimmune suppressor and it’s called Remicade.  I get Remicade treatments once every two months and honestly, I don’t want them anymore.  I know that this sounds bad, but I have spent months at a time without my Remicade or other drugs and remained healthy.

Is this partly due to the residual effects of the drugs?

Sure it is!

But I firmly believe it is more because of how I handle stress, my environment, and my daily habits.  I used to be inactive, I had a lot of family problems that a 15 year old shouldn’t have to worry about, and I ate awful food.  Over the years I’ve learned a lot and I find that I may someday be a testament to the possibility that all of these illnesses popping up have more to do with processed food and less to do with bad luck.

If we continue to talk about these illnesses and even cancers, then maybe we can have the right people do real research on the significance of our diets.  I hope we can all further the discussion and possibly donate to Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to further awareness and possibly help a young kid going through what I went through!

Remember that if the diet we eat is causing a rise in these types of IBD and cancers, that research and discussion could save lives and ultimately help us all live healthy lives.

To donate to CCFA, click here.

Edit:

I think I also need to leave a disclaimer!  I doubt anyone would read my post and think I’m saying they need to quit taking medicine, but just in case, don’t quit taking your medicine!  At least not without your doctor’s consent.  Try to do everything by the book.  If you do everything right and try your best, then you’re blameless among your physicians.  Keep that attitude and build a relationship with your doctors so that they can better help you.

 

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

You want to get lean?

That’s great!  You are a part of a great club of people who all want to better themselves, and making the decision to start trying is the biggest step to take in your fitness journey.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, then you know that I’ve been writing up a series on health, wellness, and nutrition this week.

In my first post, I talked about how I wanted to find a Subjective Diet Format (SDF), a diet tailored for me specifically.  I factored in my weight, my current eating habits, the amount of ambition I have along with my goals, and my Crohn’s Disease(to read that post, click here).

In my second post, I talked about finding the amount of calories you should be eating by using your Basal Metabolic Rate.  I left a link to a Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, but you could also find one with a quick Google search.  To read that post, click here.

In the last post, I talked about the obvious but oftentimes overlooked..

Eating clean!  The best first step you can make is not cutting your calories or upping the cardio, although those things are both important.  The best first step is cleaning up your eating choices so that you know, despite any extra pounds, that you have a healthier body.  To read that post, click here.

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image courtesy of SimpleReminders.com

..and today’s post naturally picks up where yesterday’s post left off.

I want to drive home a point!  Not all calories are created equal.  Let’s compare Carl to Jimmy:

Carl eats two pounds of macaroni and cheese, and a pound of boneless chicken chunks from Walmart’s deli.  This adds up to about 3,000 calories!  For an active male who works out, this is probably within his basal metabolic rate.  For the sake of this post, let’s say Carl DOES in fact work out.  Carl is possibly eating under his active Basal Metabolic Rate and will lose weight….but is he as healthy as Jimmy?

Jimmy eats five meals.  These five meals are each an eight ounce chicken breast with a serving of broccoli, a serving of green beans, a serving of carrots, and a serving of fruit.  Jimmy MAY indulge once in a while with a starchy white potato.  Overall, Jimmy may be consuming close to the same amount of calories as Carl but I would bet his left arm his diet is going to make him a LOT healthier.  Before you ask…NO, I would not bet my own left arm even if I’m guaranteed a win!  Screw that!

..but my point is this!  Carl’s meal had literally no vegetables and was full of fat and carbs.  He easily got his protein requirement but he didn’t get crap for heart health.

It is important to track protein, carbs, and fat!  However, there’s also factors that most people overlook like sodium and cholesterol.  According to the National Institute of Health, cholesterol plays a MAJOR role in heart disease.  In layman’s terms, lower your bad LDL cholestrol and increase your good HDL cholestrol.  You can do this by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat through walnuts and almonds.

In conclusion to this week’s discussion on diet, I say “BE LIKE JIMMY!  AND DON’T LISTEN TO CARL’S NUTRITIONAL ADVICE!”  I would yell that on every rooftop in town if I thought….you know…people wouldn’t think I’m crazy.

While we know that Carl and Jimmy will both lose weight by eating less calories, we should all agree that Jimmy has the better strategy.  So be like Jimmy, or vegan-paleo-pescatarian Jimmy, and eat healthy.  Not only will you look great, but your body will thank you!

Health and Wellness Through Hydration and Clean Eating

If you’ve been following Maxed Out Muscles for any period of time then you probably know that I have Crohn’s Disease and that it has been the contributing factor in a lot of hospital visits.  I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since I was 15 and over the past 6 years I have learned some ways to keep the symptoms in remission.

I also answered a question from one of my readers, yesterday, about a condition she had called water diabetes.  She was wondering how she could reduce tummy fat while having the condition.  I told her the basic advice of eating healthy, weight training, and cardio.

However, we have to dig a little more in depth when it comes to our health and wellness.  I think a lot of times our problems may come from malnutrition.  From my experience, this is the case.  I also believed that this is the case for the girl who asked me the question.  Here are two things that I think are most important when it comes to diet:

Water:

Drink enough water!  If you drink a lot of soda, beer, or orange juice it doesn’t count.  Be strict with yourself to ensure that you are drinking enough water and hydrating your body.  I know this seems odd, because

How can something as simple as drinking more water actually help put a disease in remission?”

It may not by itself!  But you would be surprised how much dehydration can damage your body when you are suffering from any kind of chronic inflammatory disease.  Even if you aren’t suffering from some form of illness, studies have shown that 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated.  That’s a huge percentage of Americans.  If you have a condition that makes it easier to become dehydrated, then that is pouring gasoline on the fire.

Think of it this way:  Just like a car needs gas to run, your body needs water.  Drink plenty of water, and stay hydrated.

Eat Clean:

Last year, around this time, I had recovered from a severe Crohn’s flareup and I decided that I would try the Paleo Diet.  In no time at all my Crohn’s Disease symptoms were gone, I was shedding body fat, and I felt happier than I ever had before.  I was on top of the world!  However, it wasn’t very sustainable.  I had a few nights where I went off track, and over time I fell back into my junk food addiction and started having symptoms again.

So now that I am a year wiser and I am starting to eat clean again I have some advice for you.  Don’t fall into the trapping that I did in proclaiming some miracle diet and focusing on it so much.  There were days where I was miserable because I couldn’t have something starchy.  Just eat cleanly and perhaps as strictly as a Paleo or Vegan diet starting out and then reintroduce foods to find what works best for you.  If you can eat certain things without getting sick, more power to you.

Those are what I believe to be the only aspects of dieting and the only ideas you should really have to keep in mind while finding what works for you nutrition wise.  You can do additional research if you want to find how many calories you should be eating or what macros, but as far as illnesses go I’d say I covered it.

Now I have covered nutrition based off of my experiences with Crohn’s.  I’d like to add some other honorable mentions such as weight lifting, cardio, and maintaining your stress levels.

With a lot of sicknesses, keeping a low stress level is about as important as having a healthy diet.  Thankfully, we can branch a low stress level together with weight lifting and cardio.  For me, the gym is what relieves my stress so when I couple that with a good diet I have virtually no symptoms at all.

If that doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest also looking into some meditation and yoga.

Work on maintaining a low stress level, lift weights, do cardio, focus on diet, and find what works best for you.  We are all different and it can be easy to compare ourselves to other people.  Simply breathe, relax, and think about what is the most beneficial for you.

Remember, you can live healthy and happy!

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A Big Thank You To My Readers and The Blogger Recognition Award

blogger recognition award

THE RULES

  1.  Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog (Click here to visit Robert T. George’s blog)
  2.  Write a post and give a brief story about how your blog started.
  3.  Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  4.  Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
  5.  Let the nominees know you have nominated them and give a link to the nomination details.

Why I started M.O.M. (Maxed Out Muscles)

I started this website because I’ve always wanted to have a purpose and be able to help other people.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and I am very young, but have been pushed to be successful by everyone who comes into my life.

I had a lot of hardships and struggles with Crohn’s disease all while I changed my career path and my goals multiple times.  I finally got so stressed and sick that I said “Enough is ENOUGH!”  You can click here to read more about how I decided to make a change in my life and impact others.

Advice for New Bloggers

Whatever you are blogging for, make sure you do it from a place of sincerity.  Sincerity is always the most important aspect of blogging.  You are yourself, and you want it to show in your work, because blogging is an expression of who you are as a person.  You are expressing yourself through the words you write and the posts that you update and share with others.

Whether you are sharing these posts with other people or simply writing for yourself, you always want to be yourself and be sincere.  If it’s simply for you, then write from a place of sincerity so that you will have your thoughts written out for “future you” when you go back to read them.  If it’s for others, then write from sincerity as others won’t even want to read your content if they can tell you’re phony.

On another note, when you are writing for an audience, make sure you are always using your own style and voice.  You don’t want people to feel that they’re reading a cheap knock-off of some other blog.  You also don’t want people to feel like you’re only doing it to make money.

Personally, when I write these posts I try to be as helpful and sincere as possible.  I want people to read my posts and feel like I somehow added some form of information, entertainment, or wisdom to their life.  If there is anything I can do to network with other people and help others as sort of a community, I will do it.  I feel that this is what has made my website grow so fast.  It is my belief that if you want those same results then you should take the same route with your own site.  Just think…

How can this post help other people…?

Who I nominate:

ExistingBeth

PixieAnnie

Wrider

Cherub

Athlete on Steroids

Hartpartyoftwo

ObsessionForProgression

Janelle

SpartanDaddy

My Final Comments:  Thank you

I want to say thank you to everyone who has contributed into making this site very popular in what seems to have been overnight.  Sure, I’ve been doing this for almost two months….but you made these two months fly.  If it weren’t for you reading my articles, commenting on some of my pages, and occasionally leaving a like…

I probably couldn’t have kept doing this…

But you kept coming back!  And it’s for that, that I want to thank you.

Because of you, who has read my posts and kept coming back for my new articles, I have began to develop my own voice when I write and I have actually felt like I’ve genuinely helped people.  I can only hope, that as I keep making new posts, I can be as helpful to you as you have been to me.

At least I can only hope!

The Key To Climbing to the Top and Why YOU Should Do It Today

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I always try to make posts that I hope can help my viewers and subscribers, and so I usually try to leave the point of focus off of myself. The problems or help guides that I post may be something I found useful for me, but I write it out to you.

The truth is, I write a lot of things out to you that I wish I had known a long time ago.  There’s always so many things I wish I had known two years ago or three years ago and the only thing I can do now is pass what I know down to people who are high school age, or any age really.  If I can be anything, I can try to be like a big brother. 

And so today I want to tell you what has been on my mind.  I want to tell you what I did today and what really has me thinking about life and success.  Again, I’m doing this because I want to motivate you.

Work

I went into work today and, as usual, I wasn’t really happy.  It’s not that my job is very hard and it is not like anyone treats me bad there either, but today has been extremely different.  While I’m thankful for the job, I realized that it’s a stepping stone for me.  I need the job at the moment because I have debt to pay.  My plan is to go back to school for nutrition and be well on my way to success(for those of you who don’t know, my name is Christian Boyles, and I have a lot to say to you about my battle with Crohn’s and how I want to help people with nutrition, click here or here).

As I said, I walked into work today and immediately I felt depressed.  In that moment, it is just draining to think that I want to help people with nutrition and training, but I’m at a Walmart stocking soda.  Again, I’m thankful for the job I have but I know I am meant to do much more.  

“…I am meant to do much more.”  

So I got off work, got home, and began to think.  Honestly, I was still depressed.  It was almost like I was in kind of a funk, but then I realized that there are things in life that you have control over and there are things in life that you don’t.  And I know one thing for sure!  I can’t help it that I grew up without a lot of money to help me with an easier transition through college.  I can’t help it that all of that happened and it led me to where I’m at today.  But there is something I can do.  

I can acknowledge that I am far better off than I was a year ago, and I am moving in a much more positive direction.

I have to credit my current success to three things:

  1. Incredible People in my Life – If it weren’t for my great-grandmother who raised me, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  If it wasn’t for my mom giving me tough times, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  It was the challenges that my mother presented in my youth and the love that my great-grandmother gave me that ultimately molded who I am today.  And it’s not like everything going on in my life is a direct result of two people.  It seems that there are always people who come and go, but they are like shooting stars.  You see them for a moment and it’s a beautiful site, like looking up at that night sky, because they can really do something positive in your life that can really impact who you will become.
  2. My Personality – This is 100% the most conceited thing I have to say.  However, if I wasn’t as nice to people then I know they wouldn’t have been so nice to me.  I have always tried to be good to people, and it has always worked out well for me.  I try to give my best to those around me and it always seems that I attract people that are kind and want nothing more than to see me succeed.
  3. I Found my Passion after Bad Things Happened – As I mentioned in some of the hyperlinks above, I have Crohn’s disease.  This disease has always been a challenge for me.  It has made me so sick that I’ve thought I was dying at times and I have definitely had my fair share of spiritual experiences.  I have asked questions like “Why me?” I have thought about my life and re-evaluated multiple times.  It wasn’t until the last time that I got sick that I said Enough is ENOUGH!”  I knew right away that this time would be different.  I knew that if there’s a God or some rule to our universe, that He or It was leading me to confront my problems and make something positive of it.  At least that is how I chose to view the situation.  I finally decided that I am passionate about health and wellness, and living the best life possible.  I decided that I would begin writing this blog and reaching out in an effort to reach as many people as I can.

And of course, this morning, I realized that today is the day.  I realized that today is always the day to do your absolute best.  There is never a better day than today.  You don’t have to wait until tomorrow, and you don’t have to take time to plan things.  If there is something you love, and if there is something positive that you have to give the world…….then go out and do it.

So that is why, today, I have written this long post.  I’ve written this in hopes to inspire, and also because this was needed.  I try to give you content everyday, but today was the day for something special.  And every day should be..

Paleo Diet! A Helpful Tool Against Crohn’s Disease

The Paleo Diet has become insanely popular since 2012! I believe that’s for good reason too. It basically should be. This diet is basically just eating clean. To be specific it’s how you eat if you’re trying to eat like our paleolithic ancestors did.

Does that include beer? Obviously not. Soda? Still, definitely not. How about bread? Not this either. Dairy? No.
As I said before, it’s to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors did. They were around before the agricultural revolution so nothing that had been farmed was really an option.

“SO HOW DID THEY LIVE!?!!?” is what you might be thinking. Well, they actually had access to berries, vegetables, and all the meat they could sport. After all, they were hunters and gatherers.

“So why should I eat like them?” The theory behind the paleo diet is that the agricultural revolution was only so many thousand years ago, therefor our bodies aren’t evolved to handle grain or dairy, and meat and vegetables should be our best friends.

I’m not saying that this is true or untrue, but I gave you the info on the paleo diet and now I can give you a personal testimony:

I’ve been sick with Crohn’s for 6 years now. It is an off and on sort of thing because I go through periods of remission. Crohn’s Disease is a disease of the autoimmune system where the body begins to think that digestive organ tissue is actually a foreign bacteria and begins to attack it, causing inflammation and ulcers along with very gruesome side affects.

Anyways, I had been sick with this disease for 5 years at the time and last winter I decided to try diet. My doctor always told me diet wouldn’t cure Crohn’s, as there is no cure. However, I gave it a shot and attempted the paleo diet.

This diet literally took me from a flare-up into remission and with an exercise program allowed me to have full control of my life for once. I was healthier than before and had no problems. Coupled with my exercise program I had no problems once I started the paleo diet.

I suppose when your body is used to junk like McDonalds and Burger King, and then you start feeding yourself lean meat and vegetables…it will have a difference on anyone. This should just be announced as fact.

So there’s the scoop on the paleo diet along with my own story. I’ll make more posts on this in the future. Subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter to get free updates of when I make new posts!