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Be on your guard in the parking lot at night

Just because a parking lot might have lights and cameras just doesn’t mean you are safe from attackers! Be careful.

An attack can happen anywhere at anytime! Everyday situations like walking across a store parking lot at night is a prime example, just because they might have video cameras around doesn’t deter every attacker, remember, desperate people do desperate things! Be on you guard always!

Getting the groceries late at night after work had never been an issue for Susan Randall 48 of San Diego California until one night when things really took a turn for the worse.

“I always tried to park my car under a light even if it meant walking a little farther to the store, so I can say I was aware of possible danger but never expected it to happen to me at all.”

“Then one night as I was walking back to my car, I was approached by a young man who punched me in the stomach so hard I immediately doubled up and fell to the ground in agony! He ran away with my purse. I could sense he had bad intentions but as my hands were both tied up holding bags of groceries, I could do nothing to defend myself. So, I guess you could say I was ready for it but then again I wasn’t because I couldn’t get my hands free in time to stop the attack.”

The whole incident was captured on the store security cameras in the parking lot and a 23-year-old was charged with the attack by local police two days later. He was a well-known drug addict with a string of violent attacks to his name. He received a 6-month prison sentence.

Susan said, “I actually feel sorry for the young man resorting to such levels, I hope when he’s released from prison, he can sort himself out and make something of his life.”

Susan lost her purse and had a few credit cards charged up by the attacker and of course the cash in her purse was gone too. It might be very inconvenient having to replace those items but at least they can be replaced, your life however cannot!

Leaving the store late at night can be a potentially dangerous situation, like Susan did in this story always try to park under a light if possible, the lighter the better for your safety.

Try to have one hand free as this will give you a fighting chance should you be attacked, if not carry one bag with something you can swing at an attacker, imagine getting hit around the head by a bag containing a frozen chicken? There’s an instant weapon!

One thing to remember is to carry your car keys with the ignition key between your fingers as this is generally a larger key and can be used to great effect if attacked by jabbing at the attacker. If you don’t have a car key carry a pen with your thumb over the top, it`s light and can make a great weapon if needed again by jabbing at your attacker.

This story is a great example of needing to be situationally aware of both the surroundings and people around you. Be ready for an attack, chances are it won’t happen but if it does, you’ll have a much better chance of remaining safe.

Have you experienced an incident like this in a store parking lot at night? If so, were you able to defend yourself? Is this something you can honestly say you`d be prepared for if it did happen?

Listen to your body!

Your body will tell you when it`s time to take a break

In today’s blog we look at the world of over training. While it`s true many people don’t workout hard enough it`s also true many workout way too hard and too often, leaving them bewildered as to why there’s little or no progress.

No matter what your chosen activity may be, from bodybuilding to self-defense to kickboxing or whatever; it can reach the point of becoming an obsession at times leading to overtraining, learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when you reach that stage.

It`s a real issue, after all, we can over-eat, over-drink, over-sleep and over-anything really! As they say moderation is the key and any physical training is no different.

The symptoms are like those of jet lag, long term illness, poor nutrition, etc. just basically feeling run down and no longer motivated to complete your workouts like before when you felt on top of the world with endless energy.

I personally found this out when I got hooked on lifting weights, it was my whole life! I had to work out twice a day seven days a week without fail! The very thought of not doing that was unthinkable! Even though I was so sore it was a chore to get out of bed without screaming!

I couldn’t understand why my gains were so slow in coming, I mean, I’m working out so much so why am I still wearing a medium sized shirt? surely the more I work out the more muscle I should have, right? Wrong! Doesn’t work that way at all.

One day I get lucky and meet a guy in the gym who informs me I’m over training and need to cut back to three or four sessions a week if I really want to develop muscle and strength, and also pay attention to my diet. I never considered I was doing too much and being a `gym addict` now I’m worrying about what I will do on my many days off from my second home, the gym!

But he looked like he knew what he was talking about, so I took his word for it and did as he said, and like magic I start developing muscles without the previous pain, now I’m experiencing a nice soreness that isn’t as severe as before. Actually, not pain at all.

I was then getting to train with lots of experienced people all offering great advice, and soon I was in the best shape since I started and soon realized the mistakes I made in the beginning, mainly overtraining!

For all those who feel addicted to the gym etc. just relax and take a day off once in a while, it will help you come back refreshed and ready to go again.

Apart from the symptoms we went over earlier in this blog, overtraining can lead to injury such as muscle damage due to insufficient rest between sessions. I`ve known many people who tore muscles through this mistake lifting weights and many who pulled muscles kickboxing through this mistake.

Look at it this way, if you tare or pull a muscle chances are you won’t be training at all for quite a while. The `No pain no gain` attitude can get you injured pretty quickly.

Bottom line is this, listen to your body, your body knows the signs before you do. But, are you going to listen? That`s the question only you can answer.

Have you ever over trained to the point of losing interest? Or have you ignored the signs and carried on and got injured as a result? Not everyone will admit to this, I did though, can you?

The dangers of meeting strangers when working

In todays blog we take another look at how someone can be at risk while doing their regular job duties and also how self-defense can help prevent such dangers.

When Joanne Camden 35 of Portland Oregon had an appointment to show a client around a new house, she had no reason to think it would be different from the many other occasions she had done this service. Today however, was going to really be her nightmare come true!

Joanne explains “I had arranged to meet a couple of newlyweds at a brand-new house that had only just been built the previous week and this was the first house to be completed so was quite a lonely area.”

“I got there early and went through the rooms making sure I had my presentation how I wanted it, nothing looks worse than you are acting like you’ve never seen the house before, so I always like to do this first, it`s more professional and gives the client more confidence in my ability.”

“All was well until the guy showed up without his wife claiming she didn’t feel too good, at the time the alarm bells weren’t ringing but probably should have really as it’s kind of strange that only one would come to see a new house, kind of an important thing to do together being newlyweds you would think, I mean, usually they’d cancel and reschedule so both can see it. Come to think of it I had never spoke to his wife, only him, she was never available.”

“As I was showing the guy around, he seemed perfectly normal until we got to the back of the house where the bedroom would be, as we entered the room, he closed the door behind us locking it. Before I could say anything, he was immediately on me like lightning! Pushed me to the ground hitting me then raped me. I was no match for his strength and couldn’t stop him, I tried but just couldn’t.”

Joanne was sexually assaulted; the attacker ran off but was quickly caught by local police once she called them. The security cameras showed him running out of the house.

It turned out the guy wasn’t even married, just a scammer with a history of violent attacks. He is currently awaiting trial.

Joanne suffered cuts and bruises and needed counseling after her horrific ordeal.

This story really shows how dangerous certain jobs can be. Most of the time it’s not like that of course, but the unthinkable can and does happen.

A little self-defense knowledge really could have helped here and could have prevented the terrible ending. It was interesting when Joanne said her attacker was too strong for her to stop the attack, the beauty of self-defense of course is the fact you don’t have to be strong to use it effectively as it’s all about technique not strength.

This story had red flags all over it! Meeting a client in such a remote area was never a good idea, possibly a co-worker or friend could have gone for back up. The fact the guy came without his wife and she was never available was a big red flag.

Easy to say afterwards of course but better preparation could have saved the day here. Like the saying goes; prevention is better than the cure.

Are you doing a job where you might unintentionally be putting yourself at risk by meeting strangers? If so, consider taking up self-defense, it could prevent you from attack. it might be all you have and all you need!

How a clown launched my kickboxing career!

A blog with a difference today!

You might well be wondering why this story is included in this blog site as it’s not exactly based around any experience in the gym.

However, I didn’t know this at the time, but this was actually the start to my kickboxing career, and apart from that, it’s funny and short! That’s three reasons it’s included, and the perfect story to start my kickboxing career off with, read on…

One of my earliest school memories-apart from the tedious day to day life of everyday boring education, that was strictly governed by teachers who thrived on intimidation and bullying tactics, most of whom I`m sure  probably wouldn’t even qualify for the position nowadays-was going to some kind of crappy circus pantomime show. I was around 7 or 8 years old at the time.

So, all the school kids are packed onto several buses and it was chaos as everyone is excited about being away from school for one day. The teachers have their work cut out today controlling this lot! We`re off for the day and heading over to a neighboring city to see some kind of circus show or whatever it was, no one really knows, and no one really cares! It’s a day off from school that’s all we know, and that’s good enough for us.

When we get there the show starts soon after, nothing too special really, a variety of singing (out of tune) and acting (don’t give up your day jobs, please)! Also, jugglers (who can’t catch), magicians (who are anything but magic), and clowns (who look pure evil)! Etc. etc. basically crappy second-rate performers who are very amateurish and haven’t a chance at ever becoming anything close to professional, amazing how I can judge someone’s potential at my early age don’t you think? As if I know anything! But I know it’s not very impressive, but hey! It’s better than being at school that’s for sure!

As the show is in full swing now, to my horror, not to mention worry, a clown seems to be looking at me like he’s picking me out for something, and as I’m sat on the front row I’m expecting him to involve me in this ridiculous show at some stage. Please God! Don’t let him pick me for this show, I’m thinking to myself. This is the first time I realize I have a dislike for clowns and very soon a love for kickboxing. Unknown to me at this time, my kickboxing career is about to be launched in a matter of seconds!

The clown is now walking around carrying two buckets of water constantly looking at me, he puts both buckets down and picks one of them back up and is now heading directly for me and laughing like crazy as he launches the entire contents of the bucket all over me!

Expecting to get soaked in water I’m sat there all curled up on my seat like a little wimp, resembling some kind of frightened little mouse as little pieces of paper float all around me! Unknown to me the clown had switched the bucket of water for another one filled with harmless paper similar to confetti that you find at weddings, and now the spotlight is on me and I’m the laughing stock of the whole theater, not to mention the whole school! This idiot clown has made me look stupid and it’s time for payback!

Now, around this time Bruce Lee movies were all the rage, and all the kids thought they were Kung-Fu experts (me included). So, without thinking I quickly jumped out of my seat and launched a beautiful front kick straight into his clown groin! Bull’s-eye! He goes down like he’s been shot. For a few seconds there’s total silence-no one can believe what I just did, least of all me-quickly to be replaced by even more hysterical laughter from the crowd than before! I’m now the star of the show and looking down on my defeated crippled clown enemy shouting “Let’s hear you laugh now mister clown, not so funny is it!” no response from the clown though as he rolled around the stage clutching his privates.

As he was out for the count, I was stood over him like a referee in a boxing match shouting out 1-2-3 and so on, the loudest cheer was when I counted to 8 and I had won, with my arms held high I felt like Rocky! I was thinking of kicking him again when I felt a hand suddenly grip my ear, which was soon twisted to the point of feeling like it was being ripped off my head (yes, they could do this back then and get away with it, imagine that happening nowadays? I don’t think so). Anyway, I was soon ejected from the theater by a less than impressed teacher and given a standing ovation by the whole theater! Well, all the kids anyway! Then escorted back on the bus and made to write out 500 lines, can’t remember exactly what now, but some crap such as `I must not assault innocent people in the future` I also added “That doesn’t include stupid guilty clowns.” which got me in even more trouble.

After the show the teachers wanted me to personally apologize to the idiot clown, but he backed out of it claiming he was too shaken and refused to see me ever again. Oh well, another victory to me! For a few days afterwards, back at school I was the main talking point, and some kind of hero with the kids which didn’t last too long, as it soon became old news.

The clown deserved it for making me look stupid! Ever since I’ve hated clowns and loved kickboxing, an interesting and very early start to my kickboxing career to say the least!

Do you have an unusual or amusing story that lead you to take up whatever you do today? If so, I`d love to hear it.

Possible dangers of online shopping

In todays blog we turn our attention to another example of how a little self-defense knowledge could have prevented an attack during an everyday situation. Remember, self-defense doesn’t make you invincible, but can give you a fighting chance and sometimes that’s the only chance you need to survive.

Lisa Davies 46 of Denver Colorado had always enjoyed looking for deals online as opposed to fighting the crowds in the stores on big sale days such as Black Friday etc. and buying and selling online had become an enjoyable hobby for her. She never expected this hobby to turn into a dangerous activity.

“I had always enjoyed looking for deals online and making a few bucks here and there on sites like eBay and Craigslist, a profitable hobby you could say. I get to meet many nice people too as part of the fun is getting out and about going to houses to check items out and pick them up.”

“It never entered my head that doing this could be dangerous in the slightest! But after this experience it has totally changed my outlook on my hobby and indeed people in general.”

“I had called a guy about an antique lamp he had online and arranged a time to go and check it out, it was a great deal and I was really excited about heading over there. Part of the thrill of this hobby is coming across a great deal knowing you can sell it on for twice as much as you’re paying for it.”

“When I arrived at the address the guy was very charming and polite, he explained he had just had back-surgery, and would I mind helping him get the lamp out of the garage. Not a problem I thought.”

“This was the moment things suddenly turned very ugly, as I followed him into the garage, he suddenly closed the garage door and before I knew it, he grabbed a hold of me and with some force he knocked me to the ground and was immediately on top of me, so much for his back-surgery story!”

“Thankfully the only thing that saved me from being sexually assaulted was the fact he couldn’t perform, frustrated by his inability he chose to beat me instead. Now call me naïve but this totally shocked me that this could ever happen to me.”

“I managed to escape and call the police who came and arrested the guy. I had a narrow escape and learned my lesson; I had a few bruises and was badly shaken by this nasty incident but otherwise I guess unharmed.

Since then I only visit houses with friends, never alone like this ever again. Can’t be too careful these days it would seem.”

A little self-defense knowledge could certainly have helped stop the attack when it started but this is a case of where being situationally aware could have prevented Lisa from being put at risk by her own actions.

Not only was it dangerous to go to a stranger’s house alone but to follow the guy into his garage really increased the risk of attack very highly which of course was exactly what happened.

Never go to a stranger’s house alone, if you must go at all for whatever reason then always have a friend with you and tell someone else the address you’re going to, that way someone will know where you are. Be careful of your surroundings and the people around you. This is being situationally aware, you first line of self-defense.

Thankfully she learned her lesson without being sexually assaulted, she was still attacked and received a few bruises and was shaken by her ordeal, but this could have been so much worse.

After reading this, has this happened to you or someone you know? If so, were you able to escape unharmed? Have you put yourself at risk without first thinking of the possible dangers?

Staying safe without fighting, be Situationally Aware!

An example of a potentially dangerous area; a dark alley might be a short cut but could also lead to unnecessary danger!

Being aware of your surroundings and the people around you can prevent unnecessary danger. Do not put yourself in danger!

The whole idea behind self-defense is not to see your attacker as an enemy that must be destroyed, but rather the goal is to ensure your own safety and get away from any potentially dangerous situation. That may well mean fighting to achieve this, but there are other ways that can work just as well.

There is nothing cowardly about avoiding a fight if possible, actually it makes sense to avoid unnecessary conflict. After all, you cannot get hurt or injured from a fight that never happened, but many times peoples egos will get in the way of this and they’ll see avoiding a fight as a sign of weakness and because of this they’ll fight when they don’t have to and possibly get injured.

I’m sure you’ll remember your dear old mom telling you as a young kid about not talking to strangers, getting in cars with strangers and walking down dark alleys alone, yet so many people forget this kind of advice years later and put themselves in unnecessary danger.

Many victims of assaults say afterwards that they saw it coming, so the problem is not being able to spot the danger they have put themselves in, but rather, unable to act on it once they see it coming. The thinking of `that kind of thing happens to other people, not me` is a very dangerous attitude to have.

The lack of common sense in avoiding these potentially dangerous situations is very evident by the choices people make. For example, Friday or Saturday after the bars close can be a huge area of concern, fast food joints are where you’ll see many fights, the drunks are out in force and many looking for trouble!

Poorly lit or lonely areas are very hazardous at night, some are well known and some even have a bad reputation, but yet people will blindly ignore these red flags if it means getting home a few minutes early by walking down a dark lane as a short cut, many times fueled by alcohol their brains are telling them “It’ll be ok, no problem just this once” and it might be ok just this once, but you can definitely reduce your risk of danger by avoiding these areas. Just a little thought can save you a lot of trouble.

Quite often, you might encounter a gang of teenagers hanging out on the street corner at night who are doing just that and don’t intend anyone any harm, but if you feel uneasy about walking past them then don’t, seek another route to take.

It is very easy to tell if someone could be trouble by their demeanor and attitude, if your instincts are warning you it’s for a good reason, don’t hang around if you feel threatened, if it’s at all possible to leave before any confrontation can happen, then it’s best to do exactly that. Always be scanning your horizon for possible dangers. Think ahead, be one step ahead of any possible danger.

If someone is approaching you looking for trouble for whatever purpose, you cannot always predict what the potential attacker is looking for, but one thing you can be sure of is this-it’s not a fight they’re looking for, they are not expecting you to fight back because they are simply looking for a victim who they believe would be easy prey. If you happen to be of small build, then you could have a problem.

Even the aggressors who just want to hit someone for no good reason are looking to get their joy at minimal cost to themselves, if you appear confident they will most likely see you as a bigger threat to them than they are to you and move on to the next person hoping they will provide an easier target. Similar actions to that of a bully who we know are nothing more than cowards.

Now, one of the interesting things of knowing self-defense is simply no one can tell what you’re capable of doing just by simply looking at your size, an aggressor is highly unlikely to try and assault a bodybuilder because of the sheer size of the person and the aggressor would naturally assume him to be stronger than he is even though a bodybuilder might not know how to fight, he’s a huge visual deterrent. As we already said he’s nothing more than a bully so wouldn’t think of attacking someone bigger and stronger than himself, but a martial arts expert can come in any shape imaginable which can be to your advantage or not depending on the potential attacker’s perspective of you.

One of my favorite stories regarding this matter was when my old sensei was walking back to his car with groceries one night, the guy was in his late 50`s, little over 5 feet tall with a beer belly!

Sounds like an easy target, right? That’s what three thugs thought as they jumped him, what they didn’t know was… he was a 9th degree black belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu! Three thugs went to hospital very quickly! My old sensei said he had a bit of fun with them which involved various punches, kicks, choke holds and throws then called an ambulance for them and took off leaving them feeling very sorry for themselves groaning on the ground.

Lesson learned the hard way! Just because someone is smaller and outnumbered doesn’t mean they will play the part of the victim. Now, this was an extreme case in that not too many people would possess the expertise, courage and confidence to take on three people bigger than themselves and defeat them with ease.

The one thing you must never allow to happen under any circumstances is for an aggressor to take you elsewhere. Do not allow yourself to be driven away anywhere! Your chances of survival just took a massive blow if you are now in the aggressor’s choice of location and you can be sure whatever he has in store for you is seriously bad.

Have you ever made a bad choice and put yourself in danger such as taking a short cut down a dark alley just to save a few minutes getting home? If so, did you manage to avoid trouble? In general, can you honestly say you’re situationally aware?

Different types of confrontations

A person’s body language can often give warning and prepare you for a possible confrontation but always be prepared for the sudden unprovoked attack!

Confrontations even between friends can suddenly erupt over petty things, basically a different opinion over something can easily trigger this and if alcohol is involved things could get out of hand pretty quickly.  

The key is to not allow yourself to get drawn into this type of situation by remaining calm and by never putting yourself directly in front of someone who is clearly acting in an aggressive manner and looking for a confrontation. Keep your distance and hopefully the situation will be defused quickly.

The usual pattern of behavior for this situation to start is by an exchange of words which can become insulting and threatening, nearly always accompanied by arm waving and gesturing and even throwing objects that might be within reach before coming to physical blows.

Here’s the three main types of confrontations you may have seen or experienced yourself at some time, all are pretty common.

1)    An individual who is gesturing for you to “have a go” from a distance is usually a sign his bark is worse than his bite, in other words he’s more of an exhibitionist rather than a fighter. Unless you say something that really hits a nerve making him suddenly attack you he’ll probably just be satisfied with a barrage of insults then head off to tell his friends how he won a fight that never even happened! A frustrating situation, but a far better outcome however than an actual fight. Words can hurt for sure, but so can getting beaten senseless.

2)   Occasionally a confrontation can really escalate, when someone not only talks bad but actually gets closer to you and starts pushing and grabbing then this is a very serious threat indeed. Once this has reached that point it will keep escalating till you either do something to make him back off or an outside intervention ends the situation, but at this point simply hoping for the best is not going to help you at all, the talking stage is well and truly over and it’s now time for action!

3)   You might find yourself in a confrontation with someone who skips all the above and goes straight into violence against you. At this point anything goes as you have no idea how far your attacker may take things, he may be satisfied with hitting you a couple of times, but equally he may be satisfied with knocking you down and kicking you in the head while you are helpless on the ground. Passersby may decide to join in and help you, then again they may completely ignore the situation, it can and does happen. The point is once this has reached the physical level you have no way to know just how bad it might get, your life may be in danger at this point.

So, to recap here are briefly the three main types of confrontations we just talked about…

1)    Someone who is all talk and has little intention of actually fighting, you are unlikely to be at too much risk from this type of individual apart from being called a few bad names.

2)    Someone who takes the confrontation to the next level by pushing and grabbing. You are at possible risk from this type of individual unless you protect yourself from the possible attack that is very close to happening.

3)    Someone who goes straight into the violence without any kind of warning, you are at most risk from this type of individual. You have no time to be on your guard here as you are at severe risk from an unprovoked attack, the surprise of which can result in serious injury.

Most of the people that like to start fights really have no idea how to fight in the first place! Many are nothing more than bullies picking a fight with someone who doesn’t stand much chance of beating them relying on aggression and intimidation which can work in their favor simply because untrained people don’t know how to handle those two things and are basically beaten before a punch is thrown.

Although anything can happen in a fight there’s a definite trend to what actually does happen, the buildup, such as the posturing and threats is very common as is the grabbing and pushing. Once the fighting actually starts, you’ll nearly always see the big overhead swinging punch with the stronger hand from the person throwing it proving they know nothing about fighting at all! Also wrestling on the ground is another favorite it seems. Real fights are certainly nowhere near as exciting or interesting as the ones you see in the Kung-Fu movies, but of course they are not real.

Don’t react like a victim. How you react to a potential confrontation is very important. There is nothing wrong with being polite and considerate as long as you make it very clear that you are choosing to be civil rather than being coerced by the aggressor. It is possible to head off many potentially serious problems by taking a stand early on and making it clear that you have no intentions of accepting the situation that could develop. 

Deterrence. This stand can take one of two forms, which are best described as deterrence and de-escalation. Deterrence is quite a bold response, even though it doesn’t have to be aggressive or rude, basically you’re making a bold statement saying enough is enough! The only problem with this being if you’re not a match physically for the potential attacker it could be like waving a red flag to a bull leading to an escalation of the situation.

De-Escalation. This is just the opposite approach, you are trying to appeal to his good nature, assuming he has one that is. Instead of making a bold response you try to calm things down or make an excuse for why you are backing off, this might mean you are apologizing for something you haven’t even done in the first place! But if it ends the possible threat then take that to be a victory. De-Escalation can be a good strategy as it allows the potential attacker to go on his way believing he made you stand down in fear of him. However, many confrontations are fueled by nothing more than over inflated egos so this strategy could backfire on you by pushing him down onto a position in which his ego forces him to attack you. Think wisely before using either of these two strategies.

During a confrontation always make sure you know where your potential attacker’s hands are at all times, while you can see them the biggest threat is receiving a punch but when their hands disappear under clothes there’s a good chance they will produce a weapon such as a knife. If this happens don’t wait to see what they surprise you with! The moment their hand goes under clothing act fast! Lunge forward jamming their arm against their body while delivering a barrage of strikes with your other hand. A knife threat will be much easier to deal with while it’s still concealed under clothing, but once drawn and out in the open the danger level has been significantly increased.

If you are facing an attacker who has you at gun point, you are in a whole new level of danger! No matter how good you are at martial arts you aren’t going to dodge a bullet! It’s not like in the movies where the hero avoids the bullets with his lightning fast reflexes, try this in the real world and you will be seriously injured or killed in seconds! 

If you are facing someone at gunpoint, then you are most likely about to be robbed. Whatever possessions the attacker wants give them up immediately! Remember, your attacker doesn’t have to be close to you for you to be hurt with a gun. This isn’t the time to play the hero dodging bullets like on some movies, doesn’t work that way at all.

Bottom line is this, your life is seriously on the line! No matter how valuable items may be for the most part they can be replaced. Your life however, cannot!

Have you been the victim of a robbery at gunpoint? Have you experienced any of the confrontations we covered in this story? If so, were you able to defuse the situation with passive gestures or did it escalate to a fight?

Security guard attacked!

Self-defense doesn’t make you invincible, but can give you a fighting chance.

For todays blog we turn our attention to a profession that may involve danger at some stage; the world of the security guard. The following is a true story that shows how self-defense could possibly have helped prevent serious injury.

When security guard John Dolby 45 of Riverhead New York had completed his last patrol of the evening he settled down in his security cabin with a book not expecting to be disturbed for the remaining few hours of his shift. This evening however, it didn’t quite work that way.

“After I had received the last delivery truck each night I was instructed under no circumstances to allow anyone else to enter through the gates, this was a firing offense to do so, so naturally I never did, a few tried it but I never let them in no matter how angry they became, after all this is my job and I don’t make the rules. Actually, that’s what I would tell them. Some would accept it and leave, others would argue and call me all the names under the sun.”

“Anyway, this particular night I heard some noise outside, the worrying thing was it wasn’t outside the gates but inside. I knew there was only me there as the short night shift crew had already left, well, I thought there was only me there!”

“I grabbed my flashlight and radio and went to check it out, immediately I was surrounded by three guys, one grabbed my radio before I could even shine the flashlight at them. All I remember was being ferociously beaten to the ground under a barrage of punches! The last thing I could feel was them taking the keys off my belt before they kicked me unconscious.”

John was found by the day shift workers who arrived a couple of hours later who knew something wasn’t right when they couldn’t get in the gate, and with no security guard visible they got suspicious.

When a manager arrived and unlocked the gates, they immediately called an ambulance and the cops once they discovered John unconscious on the ground.

He had sustained a broken arm, broken nose, broken cheek bone, severely bruised and swollen eyes and several broken ribs after this vicious attack which was caught on a security camera but the attackers wore black coats with hoods over their faces and got away with thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen goods and were never caught as it was impossible to identify any of them. John quit his job after the attack.

In this story self-defense might not have saved John from the vicious attack but it would have given him a fighting chance. Possibly his injuries would have been no way near as severe with just a little self-defense training allowing him to fight back.

Anytime you’re surrounded by up to three attackers the odds are seriously not in your favor at all no matter what you can do, self-defense doesn’t make you invincible, but it does give you a fighting chance, and sometimes that’s all you need to survive.

Hardly surprising John quit his job after this brutal attack. I mean, who could honestly say they’d feel safe after what happened and carry on? Not too many I’m sure.

I’ve talked to several security guards and surprisingly enough, security guards are given very little or no self-defense training at all. I think that’s something companies should consider providing as just a little self-defense knowledge could be a life-saver.

Any security guards read this? If so I`d be interested to hear your opinion on this story, is this typical? Have you been attacked while on the job, if so, were you able to defend yourself and escape serious injury?

Surviving the big 3!

For many people this time of the year is where things seriously get out of control

For many of us the last 3 months of the year can be pretty tough with these 3 events or holidays leading to eating and drinking in excess. Plus it`s not the greatest time of year weather wise either, not the most motivating time for sure with early dark nights, rain, cold and even snow. Unless of course you like those things, but I certainly don’t.

October comes around and you’re feeling out of shape so decide to do something about it, but your mind is asking you what`s the point of starting now? May as well wait until the New Year now, but why? By then you’ll be even more out of shape than you already are! 

Doesn’t make sense, but I`m sure you have known many people who have waited till the New Year to start working out and dieting under the charade named New Year`s resolution, it usually lasts 2-3 weeks when they suddenly discover it’s not what they really wanted because it`s a whole lifestyle change that`s required, most aren’t prepared to give up the bad one for a better healthier one.

There’s three main events to survive up till to the New Year that can seriously set someone back to the point of no return leaving them in way worse shape than they need to be, that’s even before the New Year even arrives!

Halloween

This is the start of the downfall for many people. How many times have you bought a big bag of Halloween candy weeks before the event? How many times have you snacked on that big bag of Halloween candy demolishing it before the event? Then you find yourself buying yet another bag because now you are feeling guilty that you have nothing to hand out to the little kids that will be coming around. You ate all their candy!

The chances are second time around you have purchased a bigger bag or even two bags of Halloween candy because now you are craving the sugar like crazy and it’s all downhill from this moment on, after the last kids have been around you are left with a bowl full of candy that you will steadily snack on leading up to the next event.

Thanksgiving

Three weeks after Halloween and Thanksgiving rolls around which means lots more food! Usually turkey is most people’s favorite choice of meat, one slight problem with that is of course turkey contains tryptophan which seems to make you sleepy, I have read several reports that turkey doesn’t contain any more tryptophan than other meats but how many times have you ate your Thanksgiving meal and just fell asleep afterwards? You have no desire or energy to walk off that big meal and of course you have lots of turkey to snack on leading up to the next event.

Christmas

By the time Christmas has arrived you’ve tricked yourself into thinking everything will be fine, a little more turkey and excessive eating then it’s the New Year and it’s time for you to start working out and dieting…or is it? A few obstacles to get around before then.

You have several parties to attend with lots of drinking and eating to be done, after all, it’s Christmas, and this is what we do right?  The works party, a friend`s party and another friend’s party etc. everyone wants to party at Christmas it seems.

After surviving all three of these events you have most likely gained a few extra pounds plus your mind is much less likely to respond positively when you do start exercising. You are much more out of shape now than you were three months ago when you bought that first bag of Halloween candy.

Both body and mind are not at their best when the New Year finally comes around and you start working out and dieting, you have spent the last three months on a food train with no brakes and it’s been going downhill seriously out of control! But, it doesn’t have to be quite this bad.

Helpful advice

Here’s a few options that might make the build up to the New Year a little easier for you.

  1. Halloween…Limit yourself to one bag of candy to hand out to the kids and don’t buy it weeks in advance, make sure it’s all gone on the night, with nothing left over you won’t be tempted to be snacking on that junk.
  2. Thanksgiving…Try Ham instead of the usual Turkey, you’ll probably feel less tired afterwards, make yourself walk around the block after your meal.  Don’t buy such a big Turkey or Ham, just one big enough for the day itself will be sufficient.
  3. Christmas…Hopefully if you followed the above advice you won’t be quite so out of control by this stage. Limit yourself to a few parties, you don’t need to be drinking and eating every night in excess. Put the brakes on a little here, you can still enjoy yourself but don’t push it to the point of ruining your New Year’s resolution. Remember? You’re soon going to be exercising and dieting. Don’t fall into that trap of being so out of shape that your mind talks you out of it immediately.

Bottom line is, the whole thing is a mind battle! Your mind can be both your best friend and your worst enemy when it comes to diet and exercise!

So, after reading this can you relate to this story? If not I bet you know many people this could be about. Have you personally fallen into this trap or did you successfully get to the New Year without suffering the big 3?

Healthy food or junk food? That’s the question.


Never an easy choice, but diet can make or break your fitness goals!

Now far be it from me to be telling people what they should be spending their money on, but when it comes to eating habits there seems to be so many excuses as to why people don’t eat healthy, again it can be a mind game, you are happy to fool yourself on a daily basis by making any excuse to continually eat junk and our old friends Mr. Positive and Mr. Negative are around to help out, or not as the case may be.

As you prepare to get ready for work, you have already happily talked yourself out of eating a healthy breakfast-Good news for Mr. Negative as he hasn’t even had to talk you into it yet, you’re making his job so easy!-but now it’s time to make a healthy lunch to take with you, after all you made the effort to buy healthy food at the grocery store at the weekend…didn’t you?

As you are about to open the fridge door you are suddenly stopped dead in your tracks, our old friend Mr. Negative appears in your mind saying “Why go to the trouble of making something healthy? It’s easier to pick something up on the way to work” that’s true you think, yes I’ll do that instead. Mr. positive responds immediately “Yes and if you do that you’ll be buying junk that will make you feel tired all day, make something healthy instead and be energized all day”

Still stood there with your hand on the fridge door you are now thinking better and about to make something healthy, or are you? “Remember, you need something for breakfast and lunch, you don’t have time to make anything healthy now, it’s too late, just grab some junk at the drive-thru this morning, you don’t even have to get out of the car!” says Mr. Negative. You like the sounds of that option as Mr. Positive snaps you out of it yet again “Really? That’s just lazy, if you stand there much longer listening to his nonsense it will be too late, now make something healthy while you still do have time!”

Mr. Negative reminds you “Don’t listen to him. Remember, you made something healthy for work last week, eat some junk today instead, eating healthy every day is boring!” Just as you are agreeing Mr. Positive also reminds you “Yes, that’s true, you did make something healthy for work last week and it’s still in the fridge at work from last week probably ruined by now! And just how would you know eating healthy is boring every day? You never do it!”

As you finally step away from the fridge Mr. Negative assures you that you’re doing the right thing by listening to him this morning “That’s right! Just think how much money you’re saving by not eating healthy, it’s just too expensive compared to the few dollars you spend every day on junk food” Yes that’s true, must save money you’re thinking. “Really? You can’t afford to eat healthy? But you can afford to eat junk every day! Are you sure? Think about that for a moment” replies Mr. Positive.

Sadly, when it comes to food choices Mr. Negative wins the battle again this morning as you finally step away from the fridge and drive off to work without anything healthy to eat again. This is becoming a daily mind battle you are losing badly! Mr. Positive will try to talk sense to you again tomorrow, but for today he knows you’re a lost cause. You won’t listen to sense so why should he hang around any longer today? He`s moved on to try to help someone else today. Mr. Negative has total control over you for the rest of the day now and it’s all downhill from here, you just don’t realize that yet or just don’t want to.

On the way to eat your junk food breakfast you stop at a gas station to pick up one of those awful energy drinks, that’s around $3 and with no thought behind what you’re doing this also has become another daily habit that you can’t live without these days, you drink it down fast to get the buzz from the caffeine and sugar that it`s loaded with. Basically its liquid sugar! What a great way to start your day…or so you think.

Next stop is your all too familiar diner where you eat a large fried breakfast, with coffee of course, several cups. You just spent $12 but that’s ok, you leave feeling very full, content and high as a kite with all the sugar and caffeine now overloading your body, never mind your arteries are now blocked a little more than they were yesterday, and the fact you are that much closer to having a heart attack or stroke doesn’t enter your mind, why should it? You feel so good to even waste your time thinking about such things, those kind of things happen to other people, not you…right?

By the time you have got to work and started whatever job you’re doing that good feeling has quickly been replaced by a not so good feeling. You have already crashed leaving yourself feeling tired, lazy and all around lethargic. Time for more caffeine! Like a real genuine friend that never fails you, eventually, it brings you to life one more time after a slow start to your day. Sound familiar? You were like this yesterday and the day before and the day before that and so on. Your mind doesn’t need to question any of this as sadly this has become your average day.

It`s now lunch time, you’re feeling very hungry now, the healthy lunch you made last week is still in the fridge as you walk straight past it and no doubt is well and truly ruined by now, the maggots will eventually enjoy it though and be thankful you left it for them. You don’t throw it away just yet because just knowing it’s there gives your mind a false feeling of comfort actually knowing you did make the effort even though you know you will never eat it. Once again, you are letting your mind control and fool yourself.

But for now your mind is focused on the $15 pizza you ordered an hour ago and as ever has been delivered with perfect timing for your lunch break, they know you well so are never late delivering as you’ve become such a good customer. You ordered an extra-large pizza knowing what you don’t eat now you can take home with you and eat for dinner, how smart! You’ve already got dinner covered.

You eat half the extra-large pizza for lunch and save the rest for dinner tonight. The rest of your working day is spent trying to stay awake as all you want to do is sleep! More coffee sees you through till it’s time to head home. Your mind is in such a fog with the carbs, calories, caffeine and sugar there’s no concern about the damage you are doing to yourself or indeed your wallet, you’re only halfway through the day and you’ve already spent $30! That’s not even including the several sodas you’ll buy at $1 each throughout the day!

You eat the other half of pizza for dinner, then settle down for the night watching TV. You know a walk around the block would be a good idea but your mind has already talked you out of that, you can do that tomorrow right? Well, you know you won’t but it’s a nice thought anyway. You are leading such a sedentary lifestyle these days that the thought of any exercise makes you think you actually did it! 

You are oblivious to the fact your waist line is expanding at an alarming rate as you have bought bigger pants three times already this year! Why bother spending months exercising when you can buy bigger pants to instantly mask the problem. Your mind is on overdrive fooling yourself into thinking everything will be fine. 

Never mind the fact you see the doctor more regularly these days and are spending more and more money on medication, the doctor has become your number one enemy as all he wants to talk about is exercise and diet after telling you how much more weight you have gained since you last saw him. Not those two terrible words again you think. Your mind has you thinking the doctor is old fashioned and living in an outdated world from the past, after all, he’s twice your age, the fact he’s twice as healthy as yourself is something your mind can’t even begin to comprehend. All his health warnings go in one ear and out of the other. Your job provides good health insurance so your mind has you already fooled that you don’t really spend that much at all. 

He keeps telling you that you must go on a diet and lose 50lb, but doesn’t he realize you’ve tried every diet under the sun and none of them work, right? Or so your mind has you convinced, but you know deep down in your heart you haven’t tried any of them long enough to feel or see any difference, but once again your mind has overruled everything. Bottom line is there isn’t a diet that allows you to carry on eating like you have been doing and lose 50lb in weight, not possible. It requires discipline, motivation and desire, but thanks to your negative state of mind that’s three things you simply don’t possess. Without you even realizing, your mind has now become your worst enemy.

So, what’s next? A possible heart attack or stroke, or maybe you’ll get one of those weight loss surgeries before those two things actually become a possibility. Either way, unless you change your lifestyle the future is not looking very bright at all! You already have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and have had them for years now but the alarm bells never started ringing about these things. After all, you’re in your mid-forties, it’s what happens at this age, part of getting older, right? …Wrong!

Helpful advice

The chances are many people will identify with this last story, so if you feel that you just read about yourself let’s see what we can do in the way of helping, after all, this book isn’t just about pointing out how the mind can work against you, it’s also intended to offer some solutions and helpful advice to hopefully get you back on the right track and be enjoying a much healthier lifestyle. The following is a list of subjects we will cover in more detail…

  1. Eating healthy is not too expensive!
  2. Prepare your healthy meals in advance
  3. Don’t keep junk in the house
  4. When it comes to weight loss small steps first
  5. Avoid jumping on the scales every day
  6. Loose clothes are a good sign of success
  7. Weight loss surgery isn’t the answer!
  8. Thyroid Issues

1) First let’s expose this myth about eating healthy being too expensive, can you honestly say that’s true? Or is it just another excuse your mind has come up with because you don’t want to give up your beloved junk food? So, let’s take our friend in the story as an example, he eats junk every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner totaling $30 per day, in reality it’s probably way more than that, but we`ll stick with that example to give you an idea of the kind of money you’re probably spending here. 

Let’s just use workdays as our example, but if you’re eating junk all week there’s certainly very little chance you’ll be eating healthy at weekends, after all, there is a pattern to your eating habits here, and here is the pattern spread out over a week and then a month.

5 workdays per week comes to $150 per week! 

20 workdays per month comes to $600 per month!

Are you shocked? Is your mind even letting you comprehend this? Apart from consuming way too many calories this is how fast your daily habit of junk is mounting up costing you a small fortune!  The bottom line…eating healthy is not too expensive but eating junk every day most certainly is!

2) It doesn’t have to be this way, for a fraction of the $150 you are spending on junk every week try buying healthy food such as chicken, fish, fresh fruit and veg. Prepare your meals for the week ahead on Sunday and make this a special event that you set aside some time for, divide them up into individual containers labelled for each day of the week, basically, having your food pre-made will help keep your mind from constantly thinking of junk food. If you have the food available in the fridge, it’s already there so that’s one less thing to be thinking about as you’re rushing around getting ready for work in a morning.

3) Take notice of what kind of snacks you have readily available around the house, if you have things like cookies and chips get rid of them! Replace them with healthy snacks like fruit, I know this doesn’t sound good in the slightest at the moment but this has to be a lifestyle change, if you don’t have these bad things in the house in the first place then that’s one less temptation for your mind. Think about it, how many times do you just sit in front of the TV at night snacking on junk food? It’s not that you’re really hungry, it’s just simply that it’s there and you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. So get rid of those bad junk food items around the house.

4) When it comes to losing weight through diet, let’s use our mind in a positive way. The guy in the story needs to lose 50lb. You already know this isn’t going to happen overnight, in fact it takes quite a few months to achieve this, or even a year or more and that’s why many people fail before they’ve really started because their minds simply can’t comprehend losing that much weight.  So, try this little mind trick, instead of focusing on the whole

50lb split it up into smaller obtainable goals such as 5lb at a time. Like the old saying goes `don’t run before you can walk` in other words small steps at a time, that way each time you actually lose 5lb it will give you a sense of achievement and help keep you focused and motivated and all the time you are getting closer and closer to your overall target. So you can see from this example you really can switch your mind set from negative to positive by using this little mind trick and helping yourself reach your overall weight loss goal.

5) When it comes to losing weight one of your worst enemies can be the weighing scales, that is, if you use them too often. So try to avoid jumping on them every day because your weight can vary from day to day, that’s normal, but a little too much sodium one day can reflect in a negative manner on the scales, also take into consideration the amount of water you have drank throughout the day as that too can make for a not so favorable reading. 

That is why you should only weigh yourself first thing in the morning when you first get up for the truest reading. If you fall into that trap of weighing yourself every day or at night you’ll soon get discouraged and lose motivation to carry on with your diet as there’s nothing worse for your mind than to see no loss or even an increase in your weight when you know you are following a structured diet seriously. Try weighing once a week, you might find your readings to be much more pleasing that way and consistently showing a loss keeping you focused and motivated. 

6) Don’t forget the fact that if you’re working out with weights you will possibly encounter one of the most common problems, that being your pant/dress size is going down but not your weight.  So many people get frustrated with this and think their efforts are for nothing. You are simply replacing body fat with muscle mass, you will hear so many people say muscle weighs heavier than fat, not true! That is a huge misconception, look at it this way, which weighs more 5lb of feathers or 5lb of iron? 

Think about it before you instantly say iron, 5lb of any two items is the same weight but it’s the volume that’s different, so 5lb of muscle mass is much smaller in size than 5lb of body fat, so hopefully that example helps you understand why you might be losing inches but not weight. It’s a perfectly normal transformation process and nothing to let your mind get negative about, but as we know when you allow your mind to become obsessed with losing weight you quite often don’t even see the progress you are really making. 

The fact you are dropping pant/dress sizes is a huge achievement you can be proud of, so let your clothes tell you how good you are doing rather than the scales. Once again, it’s all about trying to keep your mind positive, when you master that then you’ll be motivated and focused and well on the way to success.

7) Weight loss surgery isn’t the answer to your problems, this really is the very last resort when all else has failed and it’s a matter of life and death, not taken as a short cut or easy way out of exercising and dieting. The problem with this is simply that it won’t change how your mind thinks about food and basically your mind has got you in this situation to start with by showing no control over what you’re eating so why should that mind set change because you have weight loss surgery? It won’t! To expand my knowledge on this worrying subject I arranged a visit with a local Doctor who specializes in obesity. Doctor Roberts gives me a very interesting and rewarding interview. 

He tells me that most people who come to him are looking for the easy option rather than actually even trying a healthy diet or exercising. He also tells me he only believes in this kind of surgery when all else has failed and it’s a matter of life and death to the person concerned. 

Before Doctor Roberts will even agree to consider any weight loss surgery he advises and recommends certain steps to try to avoid this. Doctor Roberts believes weight loss surgery isn’t the answer for the average person who is looking for a quick fix, simply because he doesn’t believe it changes the way people think about food. He says people must train themselves to realize they don’t need to be eating all day long.

“I really try to make them understand the importance of diet and exercise, and that they really need to consult with a nutritionist and personal trainer who can both help them without resorting to surgery. I believe as a country the United States is literally eating itself to death with no signs of this ending anytime soon. We must stop people from seeing food as their comfort cushion, like the old saying goes “Eat to live, but not live to eat” says a very concerned Doctor Roberts.

First he gives the patient a three month time frame in which to show they are serious about trying to lose weight by recommending a structured diet in which time hopefully they can change their way of thinking, sadly he went on to explain only around 30% follow this, he says everyone seems to have some kind of comfort food or drink that they aren’t willing to cut out, such as chocolate, fried food, beer and wine etc. so basically they have defeated themselves before they even got started.

Basically, you have to sacrifice certain things if you truly want to see a change for the better, just remember though, weight loss surgery should be the very last option when all else has failed.

8) Thyroid issues, if you can honestly say that you’ve tried exercising and dieting and really gone about it correctly and not just half-heartedly and yet you still have had no results this could be one more thing that’s stopping you from achieving any results where weight loss is concerned. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid, better still, have it checked before you start any exercise and diet program, it could save a lot of wasted time and effort.

Have you personally struggled with preferring junk food over healthy food and can honestly say it slowed down your fitness progress? If so, how did you conquer this, or are you still struggling with this problem?