All The Small Things

Writing 1+1=3 on a blackboard.

If you’re familiar with my teachings on ideal exercise for fat loss you may be surprised to know there was a time when I was proud to be known as a certified ‘cardio queen’. Yep. I’d do hours and hours of the stuff each day let alone each week. All in the eternal quest to burn off more energy than what I consumed. Which – considering my low-fat, lean protein, sensible carb diet – I was most definitely achieving. Of course the long and the short of it is that it never quite worked. It was a constant struggle to stay ‘almost’ in good shape, and if you’re currently a fan of endurance training and low-cal eating then I’m guessing you’re finding the same thing.

The Most Important Thing I Can Teach You About Weight Loss

You see, when it comes to being in great shape and brimming with health, math is not your friend. One plus one most certainly does not equal two, or – in this case – burning off more calories than you eat and creating a so-called deficit does not necessarily result in fat loss. If only it were that simple.

The truth is that your body answers to the laws of biochemistry, not math. There are a myriad of factors which dictate every aspect of your health, your energy, and your physical state. Nutrition and exercise are merely the starting point. Your hormones are powerful enough to override even the best of food and workout choices and can sometimes create imbalances that fight against you no matter what you do. Heck, even your mind has the ability to control how well you do or don’t shape up. It can be a little frustrating to feel that you’re doing everything ‘right’ but things still aren’t adding up as you thought they would, can’t it?

But Here’s The Good News

Your metabolism is like a bank. When you make regular contributions, not only do you feel pretty damn good about yourself in the short-term but you start to notice long-term results that far outweigh a simple 1+1=2. You notice that you can ‘get away’ with the occasional treat in a way you never used to be able to. You realize your body is recovering quicker from exercise despite the fact that you’re working harder. You notice you’re fitting more in each workout and yet leaving the gym sooner. That your clothes are gradually becoming ever looser. That you can take a week or two off for a holiday and bounce back into shape within a matter of days. You might even notice things like your ability to recover from a hangover is reverting to that of a 20-year old! (Not that I’m advocating heavy drinking unless it’s resveratrol filled red wine of course!)

The point is that looking and feeling your best is not as simple as plus or minus, but it is something you can slowly but surely control when you live your life according to certain principles –

  • Choose foods that intrinsically satisfy you and are as unprocessed as possible
  • Don’t be afraid of natural fats or indeed anything truly natural
  • Mimic ‘real life’ movements in your training rather than doing unnatural bouts of cardio
  • Include as much incidental exercise as possible in your day – not for the calories it burns but because your body was designed to transport itself not sit or be transported all day
  • Spend your thoughts on life and on living in the moment, on enjoying the day to day rather than fretting about the big picture
  • Believe that you’re becoming healthier each week and let your actions follow those thoughts
  • Avoid plastics, microwaved foods, excessive toxin exposure, drugs, vaccinations and antibiotics and indeed anything else that could play havoc with your hormonal system
  • Be open to traditional approaches to health such as herbs, superfoods and the like
  • When you’re getting frustrated or beating yourself up for having a ‘bad’ day just accept that it is what it is and that this too, will pass. There’s no benefit to dwelling on negativity when you could use that energy for good.

The little things really do make a difference. Being successful (whatever that means to you) at this game is something you’re going to get better and better at with time. So next time you feel like your contribution for that day is too small to make a difference remember that the results are in the long-term growth. And that every choice you make is either money in the bank or money down the drain. And of course,

21 responses to “All The Small Things”

  1. Fish Eyed Dave says:

    thanks Kat, great wisdom once again! I like what you wrote, and reckon everyone should print it out and place it on their fridges!

  2. lyndal says:

    I was right on board with this post until you advocated no vaccinations. That’s an incredibly dangerous and selfish position that has no credible scientific justification.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Lyndal
      Have you researched the supposed benefits of vaccinations versus their potential to cause serious illness and even death? I gave birth 9 weeks ago and I’ve researched it extensively. I made a point of finding, reading, and analysing a new study throughout every week of my pregnancy, and I’m still going. That’s how many there are – showing not just that the dangers of vaccination far outweigh the benefits, but that in many cases even the benefits are non-existent. Antibodies have a very short life-span and often don’t work anyway. Outbreaks occur amongst fully vaccinated school populations. And the incidence of morbidity and mortality was – in all cases – already well on it’s way down with serious diseases well before the vaccinations were introduced. If you look at the data you’ll see that the introduction of vaccinations often caused a new spike in illness!
      Please don’t comment so strongly on something that you clearly haven’t researched extensively. The scientific proof to back up the danger of vaccinations could keep you going for all of 2010 and beyond. Start with this site – – there are a lot of great articles, links and they’re all well and truly referenced. By doctors.
      Vaccinations are big business. DOn’t forget that.
      Thanks for the feedback on the rest of my post 🙂

  3. Hugh says:

    Good post, Kat. As someone who has obsessed with the “food math” before, I agree with you that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. In fact, my feeling is that all the agonizing about sticking to your food math creates extra cortisol in your body that affects you negatively.

    I especially like bullet point #4. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed that when I go on vacation/holiday, I tend to indulge more with food and alcohol, but I tend to maintain my weight, feel great, and even look as lean or leaner when I get back. I attribute this mostly to moving around on vacation, instead of sitting all day in my car (commute) or at my desk.

    I would like to learn more about point #7. Is microwaving food and/or storing it in plastic containers really that bad for you?


    • Kat says:

      Thanks Hugh – I definitely agree about the cortisol. The more we ‘stress’ about our health or our weight the more we actually shoot ourselves in the foot. I’ve known that (theoretically) for years, but have really had to think about it since having a baby and not shaping back up as fast as I’d like to! As for plastics and microwaving – definitely. Plastic leaches xenoestrogens into your body – a toxin which mimics estrogen in the body and causes increased fat storage around the butt and thighs, as well as lowered fertility and ‘man boobs’. Among other things. As for microwaves, they change the molecular structure of the proteins and fats. Definitely not good!

  4. Carla says:

    This is all really good advice.

    To answer your question, since I’ve always been active (walking, taking the stairs, etc) I had to beef it up a bit. I’ve worked out at home for the past few years, but that has its limitations. I joined a local gym a few months ago and it could not have been a better choice for me. Now for the New Year, I am working on actually logging my workouts which usually include 15 minutes of HIIT and 45 minutes of weights four days a week. That way, I can taper off if I feel like I need to.

  5. Carla says:

    Oops! I didnt post my correct email address on my last post!

  6. Hugh says:

    @Kat Thanks for scaring the hell out of me with the microwaving in plastics bit! haha I’m going home today and throwing away all my plastic containers promptly.

  7. Kat Eden says:

    Haha, excellent!

  8. Bianca says:

    Hi Kat,

    Just in relation to vaccinations – the site that you’ve listed above is in no way a well referenced, objective, or scientifically grounded site. I’m all for debate on these issues, but the arguments you’re using need to be well founded, eg. from peer-reviewed academic journals.

    Also, my understanding of immune responses (which is, I admit, somewhat limited – though I do have a biochem major and have learnt the basics of immune responses!) is that it is not so much the initial rise (and then fall)in antibody levels that is really important. Rather, ‘memory’ cells (a type of B-cell) are produced after a vaccination (or any other exposure to an antigen) that, upon subsequent re-exposure to that antigen, are able to recognise it and produce a specific immune response much more quickly in comparison to someone who with no prior exposure to the antigen. This doesn’t always mean that you won’t have any symptoms of an illness at all upon a second exposure, but they tend to be greatly reduced in severity and your body is generally able to recover much more quickly.

  9. Kat Eden says:

    HI Bianca
    I’m confused as to why you’d say that as there are many references on that particular website. is another great source for extremely well-referenced articles on this important topic. Perhaps if you could point out a particular statement you want a reference for? I’m sure the adjudicators of the site would be happy to respond.
    As for vaccines working by way of B-cells, this is something I haven’t heard of. Do you have references or links for that? I’d be interested to read about it.
    In regards to your final point, just an example – atypical measles only occur in the vaccinated (you will find this to be backed up in any medical dictionary) and atypical measles are far more serious than the regular kind, often resulting in pneumonia, encephalitis (brain swelling), and meningitis, all of which are harder to treat. So I wouldn’t say that symptoms of post-vaccine illness are reduced in severity.
    I’d love to hear more about the B-cell issue.
    Thanks –

  10. Kat Eden says:

    Whoops, that first sentence should have said ‘aren’t many’

  11. Bianca says:

    Um, look up any immunology text book. B-cells play a fairly significant role in immune responses. I’m not suggesting that the website you listed doesn’t contain any references at all – but many of the articles seemed to be poorly referenced, and the articles on the actual site appear to be written with the intention of ‘proving’ that vaccines are ‘bad’. They are not neutral or objective representations of research on vaccination, and seem to completely ignore any research demonstrating positive role vaccinations may play. That is not ‘good science’, so to speak, and it certainly isn’t academically sound. Like I said in my original post, I’m all for debate on these issues – and there certainly are well-founded examples of instances where vaccinations may do more harm than good (eg. in immune compromised people, people with certain types of allergy) – but you should be careful that the sources you’re using are credible and provide an accurate depiction and intepretation of the research being cited.

    As for the measles example – I’m not going to comment in any great detail as I don’t really know much about that specific example. It doesn’t necessarily disprove the generaly principle that I described in my previous post (eg. are atypical measles caused by a different strain than normal measles? Presumably people with this vaccination are still protected from normal measles?), although it is certainly very concerning that this is a potential side effect of vaccination. It would also be interesting to know at what rate people contract atypical measles – if it is quite rare than the benefits of vaccination may outweigh the risk of contracting the atypical type. Or perhaps there are certain populations at greater risk, for whom it may be wise to avoid the vaccination. etc etc. What would be the risk to the general population if we stopped giving measles vaccinations? It just seems to me that the answer is probably a lot more complex than just stopping all vaccinations.

  12. Kat Eden says:

    Hi Bianca

    I’m loving that this post has (how strange, since it wasn’t what I thought the main point!) resulted in a now detailed discussion of what I consider to be such an important issue so firstly, thanks for being part of that. It’s a great way for me to challenge and further my own knowledge.

    As far as what I ‘should’ be doing on this blog, I guess that’s really something I only have to answer to myself! My intentions are to share my opinions on issues I feel are related to a healthy and positive lifestyle, and that certainly encompasses things I don’t consider myself on expert on. What people choose to do with that information is up to them.

    Having said that, I’m still more than happy with my sources, and in answer to your previous comment –

    My question was not whether B-cells play a significant role in immune responses – that is common knowledge. Trying to be clearer, what I am asking you for is evidence of a positive effect of vaccines themselves being demonstrated in stimulating a B-cell response that is effective against the targeted antigen. I heard about a PhD immunologist who confessed observing that vaccine-induced antibodies do not go anywhere near the antigen, so she has no faith in vaccination. We all know how the theory goes but it is what is observed in practice that counts, doesn’t it? So have you read actual medical research in which the contrary has been observed in practice? If so, can you please provide the reference?

    From there, as you mention (although I’ve taken it out of context), the issue is very complex and is starting to be well outside my realm of expertise and so I’ve asked Bronwyn Handcock (who runs the site I referenced) to chime in. Here’s what she had to say –

    “In regards to the research being provided on the site, the references demonstrate that vaccines are ineffective and cause many adverse effects. They demonstrate that the effect of vaccines is sensitisation, meaning that they increase, instead of decrease, susceptibility to the disease. You are claiming that the site authors “ignore” research demonstrating vaccines playing a positive role, but such a statement from you has no meaning unless you can demonstrate that such research exists. If you want to make an allegation that there is anything inaccurate in the site in what it depicts or interprets, then provide a specific example where you know, from your superior knowledge or interpretation of research data, that to be the case, and then we can debate it. Obviously a proper debate cannot be entered into on the basis of generalisations.

    In respect to atypical measles, I thought that you would have used a medical dictionary when doing a biochem major, but perhaps not? Atypical measles is not caused by a different strain of measles. It is “a hypersensitivity response to natural measles infection in individuals who have previously (been vaccinated)” (“Atypical Measles Syndrome: A Continuing Problem”, AJPH Feb 1979.)

    It is difficult to obtain accurate information on the frequency of that particular manifestation of the sensitisation effect of vaccination. Fulginiti (1967) postulated that 2/3 of killed vaccine recipients were susceptible to it 5-6 years after immunization. Nossal (2000, Bull WHO) wrote that 1/5 measles cases after that vaccine were atypical. I have also been informed that research in Canada found that up to 50% of measles cases in the vaccinated are atypical, but I don’t have the reference for that at hand. Regardless, with statistics like these, no-one can tell you the real frequency because there is no real compulsion on doctors to report such a case even if the doctor is knowledgeable and intelligent enough to correctly diagnose it. (Many cases could be diagnosed as Kawasaki disease, for example, ref: “Kawasaki disease: a measles cover-up?” CMAJ, 136: June 1, 1987). It’s the same with all of the so-called “vaccine-preventable” diseases, which include in their diagnostic guidelines “no history of immunisation” resulting in differing diagnoses for such diseases in the vaccinated.

    What is important about atypical measles, however, is that it is an example of a well documented problem that shows up so well what the real effect is of vaccination – sensitisation, i.e. increased susceptibility to the virus. This is due to the invasive procedure of injection (just like the sensitising effect of deep puncture wounds in nature) and also to the immune-sensitising toxic ingredients. It is only the degree and manifestation of the sensitising effect that varies among vaccine batches, doses, recipients and times of administration.”

    I hope that helps –


  13. Kat Eden says:

    Whoops again, just realised I missed some of what Bronwyn had to say. Here’s the rest –

    “For the “benefits” of vaccination to outweigh the risk, there would have to be a benefit, and as doctors themselves have stated as their reason for refusing to be vaccinated, “Vaccination is of no proven benefit.” (BMJ 1990) The only documented effects of vaccines involve increasing susceptibility to the antigen.

    You do correctly judge that vaccines are likely to do more harm than good at least in immune compromised people. Interestingly though, it is such groups that get targeted most for vaccines. So if the primary concern is really public health, then the authorities have very poor common sense.

    Are there certain people at greater risk for whom it may be wise to avoid the vaccination? Yes, all who are susceptible to the sensitising effect, which means every living being. To establish the “risk” to the general population if we stopped giving measles vaccinations you need only observe isolated communities such as the Amish who do not believe in vaccination. Whilst measles epidemics continued in the vaccinated population outside (and they occur in 100% vaccinated populations), between 1970 and 1987 there was not a single case of measles reported in the Amish (Jrnl Inf Dis 1991). That is because the disease had already declined enormously without vaccination, so it appears that the vaccine is actually keeping the disease going. The real risk of stopping measles vaccinations is the disastrous loss of a significant income stream for drug companies, particularly since upon the public seeing the resultant tremendous benefit to public health, they would refuse the other vaccines too.”

  14. skinnythighs says:

    To say that the body answers to the laws of biochemistry, not math, is brilliant. How many times have we heard that weight loss is a simple mathematical equation?

    I’m right there with you on the vaccines, too. I was afraid that our pediatrician would kick us out of his office when I said (after a horrible screaming experience at the 2-month vax appointment) that we would not be further vaxing baby for quite some time to come. Surprisingly, he said it wouldn’t be a problem. Brain damage and spiking SIDS rates that correlate with the vax schedule is enough to convince me. That pertussis is a killer.

    Most people don’t realize that the deadly diseases we vax against were already on the decline prior to the use of vaccines because of cleaner water and living conditions. Not vaxing isn’t going to bring diphtheria back to the western world.

  15. Sandy says:

    Recovering “cadio queen: here too – 3 years sober and feeling better and looking better than ever before.