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Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


Tom Platz, Dave Draper

Never knock over a can of worms if you're not prepared to pick them up and send them on their merry way. Does anyone remember the topic of last week's newsletter? I'll give you a hint. Fat. I didn't expect to win a popularity contest with my spin on the subject but fat needs a frontal attack and reactions interest me. A few people signed off the irononline subscription list and a few people e-mailed to say way-to-go. A draw. I deferred from putting copies on the front counter at the gym, which is my usual practice. Did I mention that live, in your face reactions do not interest me…not in the slightest?

While the jiggley business had not yet cooled my friend Super Jeff, editor from Muscle and Fitness, contact me requesting "a thousand words or so on the psychology of fat loss for an upcoming mind and body column." How could I resist? I offered him an altered-to-fit version of the Straight Talk To The Overweight newsletter and crossed my fingers. The man gave me a big thumbs-up and we'll see it in February 2001.

The curious thing is the commentary presented no tangible solutions, only the unpopular and unwisely evaded problem. The solutions are, well, the same as they've always been: diet and exercise and will power. Who wants to hear that, I ask you?

Let's assume for a moment that we're all reasonably healthy-no medical weirdness we know of. Losing weight is no easy trick but it is not impossible and it's not complicated. The task requires a few minor adjustments in one's lifestyle, replacing some non-constructive habits for some constructive habits, responsibly exercising with appreciation and rolling along with time. It's going by with you or without you. Let's call this patience, discipline, assertion and self-control. What an impressive collection of attributes you display. How handy. You just go about your days and keep your focus on the target. You aim, you fire, the bullet travels slowly but surely to the bull's eye. Pow. Maybe not Mr. Bayonne or Ms. Auto Plaza but, hey, you pared off the pounds and saved the muscles, bones and cardio-respiratory system; you rid yourself of unneeded stress and a sorry self-image. You look younger, you feel younger and your jeans fit. Simple.

Why then is losing weight America's number one pain in the pants? You know what I think the real problem is? Maybe? Everyone concerned likes the idea of being trimmer but they don't carry it one more step to "desire." Desire dwells within all of us: I want this or that. But "desire" or "heart" resides deep inside us and needs to be ignited. Desire does not come and go like hot water in an old tenement building. You want hot water you need to put fire under the kettle. You want hot water tomorrow you need to keep the fire going. The desire we speak of here doesn't come from thinking about losing weight and how hard it was last time you tried. It doesn't come from complaining or struggling or procrastinating. Desire comes from wanting very passionately something meaningful and realistic and imagining it as yours in due time. You set an intelligent plan in motion and stick to it. That's all. I think they call it commitment. You say that's too easy? Try it. You say it's too hard? You'll never have desire, you'll never have heart. Try it anyway and prove me wrong.

What's an intelligent plan, you ask? Boy, for someone without heart you ask a lot of questions. I think there's hope for you.

Quickie answer: Start a lower carb, high protein meal plan, with enough Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), arranged in five meals throughout the day, sunrise to evening. Drink two quarts of water a day. At 12 to 15 calories per pound of bodyweight to maintain your weight, start to drop your sugar calories by 100 per day for five days and stay at that point to adjust to your new regimen. Do not miss meals. Use your handy, el cheapo calorie counter from any supermarket checkout stand. Sweep your refridge, tabletop and cupboards of the junk. Replace the junk with vegetables, fruit and whole foods that'll nourish you and work for you. Every time you whine I can't do this or that, you lose, partner, and it's not fat. Take your first class vitamin/mineral. Ignore all other diets. You must have confidence in your plan from start to finish or you'll find yourself vacillating, doubting and applying yourself half-heartedly. Be strong. Sing Praises.

Stay busy. People with lots of heart stay busy. Do productive things around and about. Wash my truck. Get into the ole exercise program with purpose. You're going to lose some fat and keep the muscles where they belong and add a few on top. We're getting stronger and more energized and fit (got carried away, I'm including myself in this madness). Three 30- to 60-minute superset weight workouts a week plus three 20-minute aerobic bouts (walk or walk and run combos for starters) will set you in motion. Fuel yourself before your workout and feed yourself after your workout. Don't forget. Train as hard as you can with all your heart. Get involved, be attentive, focus on the metal and the muscle and the motion (practice, practice), recognizing the power working out has on your daily living and the precious days on down the road.

This is too tough, you say? Remember your purpose, what you want, the end result, the wonderful desire that eludes the weaklings. This is a triumph, a precious character-building, back-fortifying, stress-eliminating joy. This is a proper mission to breath life into your Life. Strength in place of weakness is exhilarating. Results and rewards are guaranteed

Make the above logical schemes a habit. You can do this. Exchange some dead TV time and inferior food for a more exciting, enduring and creative person. More fun than a puppy.

Oh, U.S. friends, have a terrific Thanksgiving. Stuff yourselves, Bombers. Yum.


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