Read an Excerpt
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
THE BALANCE OF ENERGY EQUATION
Let me introduce you to the Balance of Energy Equation:
Body Weight +/-
Calories In (Food and Liquids) +/-
Calories Out (Activity, Exercise, and Metabolism) +/-
Successfully manipulating this equation is the key to optimal energy.
Notice that it's one equation and all the variables work together. When most people think about cultivating energy, they may just work on eating, just start to exercise, just improve sleep habits, or just try to reduce stress. Sure, doing something is better than nothing, but the key is to simultaneously chip away at all the elements that affect energy.
I bet the majority of you are doing a lot of smart things to enhance your energy, and then doing one or two things that are not so smart (the classic trifecta is sleep deprivation, dehydration, and raging stress), and that negates any positive energy initiatives. Do not let that happen.
Are all the variables equally important? I have to say yes. The key to this energy surge is balance. Think about building a house of cards. Does each and every card have to be in the right place to support the entire structure? Yes. Are they equally important? Yes. What happens when just one card gets out of balance? Generally, the structure collapses.
Now take the 7-Day Energy Surge Quiz to determine your overall energy level and the components you need to focus on most.
7-Day Energy Surge Quiz
1. I wake up every morning feeling:
2--that I need another hour of sleep, at least
3--pretty much the same, not rested but not wiped out
4--ready to start the day with a cup of coffee
2. My body weight is:
1--terrible, because I have gained a lot of weight and have kept it on
2--pretty bad, because I struggle and can't stop losing and gaining the same weight
3--what it has been for a long time, higher than I want but not horrible
4--I recently started a weight loss plan and have taken off ______ £ds
5--pretty close to my ideal weight
3. My eating habits are:
1--terrible, because I just can't stop overeating all the time
2--good during the day but not so good on the evenings and weekends
3--about the same as they have been for a long time, up and down--I just can't get in a healthy and consistent routine for more than a day or two
4--better than they have been in a long time, because I am making more careful choices and have eliminated a lot of the junk
5--I'm making very good choices and can feel the difference in my weight and my energy levels
4. My drinking habits are:
1--terrible, because I am not drinking water and drink too much coffee, juice, soda, sports drinks, and alcohol
2--not so, so bad, but I don't drink more than two glasses of water and am still at about five+cups of coffee a day
3--somewhat routine, because I do fill my 32-ounce water bottle once a day (and finish it) and have cut back on drinking wine, with the exception of the weekends
4--much better, because I limit myself to two cups of coffee a day, more tea, less alcohol, and at least 50 ounces of water a day
5--really good, because I only have one cup of coffee first thing in the morning, and drink more tea and at least 75 to 80 ounces of water a day. I've also cut my alcohol down to four total glasses of wine a week
5. My exercise habits are:
1--terrible, because I haven't exercised consistently in years
2--I try to walk most places, but don't usually do it except on the weekends
3--I walk to and from my bus stop/train station/office from my garage every day and do a work out in my home or gym about once a week
4--I get in two 45-minute workouts a week and meet a friend to walk for an hour every Saturday
5--I consistently get in three or four 30-minute workouts a week and do a combination of strength training and aerobics
6. My breathing habits are:
1--I'm barely breathing, because my chest and diaphragm hardly move and I never think about it
2 -I breathe shallowly but every now and then I sigh or yawn
3--my chest and shoulders slightly go up with each breath and every now and then I try to take a few deeper breaths
4--with each breath, my chest expands and occasionally my belly fills-- every hour or so I check in with my breath
5--with each breath, my belly fills up with air and flows into my lungs and I am mindful and present
7. My sleeping habits are:
1--terrible, because I only sleep 4 or 5 hours a night and get up and go to bed at all different times
2--pretty bad, because I only sleep 5 or 6 hours a night and frequently awaken in the middle of the night
3--okay, because I sleep between 6 and 7 hours a night, but I almost always wish I had another hour in the morning to sleep and have to use an alarm clock and hit the snooze button repeatedly. I also frequently try to catch up on sleep on the weekend.
4--better, because I sleep between 7 and 8 hours five nights a week and around 6 or 7 the other two--I only have to use an alarm about 50 percent of the time
5--great, because I sleep between 7 and 8 hours every night, always go to bed and get up within the same 30-minute time period, and rarely if ever have to use an alarm
8. My overall mind-set is:
1--negative, because I dwell far too much on the past
2--generally down, but I do try to minimize past failures
3--okay; I have good and bad days, and they balance out in the long run
4--upbeat, because I can usually talk myself out of a death spiral and try to live and look at the glass as half full rather than half empty
5--very up and people comment that my positive attitude makes me fun to be around
9. My stress levels are:
1--out of control, because I live in a state of overwhelming stress
2--pretty high during the week but somewhat better on the weekends
3--up and down, depending on the day and the situation
4--generally good, with an occasional dip due to family, work, relationship, kids, or illness, either my own or affecting someone I care a great deal about
5--under complete control, because I know the warning signs when I am getting overly stressed out and have the coping skills to alleviate it
10. I listen to music:
2--sometimes when I am in my car
3--on the weekends when I am working around the house and remember to put something on
4--most nights when I get home from work/my day with the kids and need to relax
5--all the time, in the morning, when I work out, at my office or computer, and at night, when it's time to wind down
11. I have sex with a partner:
2--maybe once every other month
3--maybe once a month
4--once a week
5--more than once a week
12. I have sex, um, with myself:
2--once every 2 weeks
3--once every week
4--two or three times a week
5--more than four times a week (go for it!)
Now, tally up your score, which will place you in one of the following three categories:
* Low Energy = 0 to 20
* Moderate Energy = 21 to 39
* High Energy = 40 to 60
* If you fall into the Low Energy category, then you clearly have a lot of work to do. Don't let that discourage you, and be happy that you have the book in your hands and are ready to accept the challenge. Plus, let's face it, your score can only go up if you follow the guidelines set forth, so go for it.
* If you fall into the Moderate Energy category, then you are already on the road to the surge. You probably have been consciously making smarter energy choices, but now you need the structure of this book to make those choices more effective.
* If you are in the High Energy category, you are doing really, really well and will only require micro adjustments. It's time for fine-tuning and thinking about the difference between a good presentation and a great one. That's your mission.
Note: You will be asked to take this quiz again at the end of the 7-Day Energy Surge, so please keep a record of your starting score. If you follow the plan wholeheartedly, I promise you will see an improvement in your scores! All of our testers improved their energy scores by an average of 8 points; one woman experienced a jump of 11.
You may notice that your scores are lopsided, with a lot of 4s and 5s, but some 1s and 2s that knocked your total energy score down. Pay special attention to the components that correspond to the low scores. Although I want you to read the book in order, I urge you to reread those sections that correspond to the components that require the most attention and perform each of the exercises outlined.
And please don't skip sections! Even if you scored 5s in a few areas and feel as if you've mastered those variables, you can always fine-tune how you deal with them, or learn something you can share with others--and helping others percolates your energy. So, even though I know you're anxious to dive right in, I urge you to read the whole book first, in order, from cover to cover, to see how certain themes prevail throughout the book and how all the components work together. I promise that it will be a quick read and worth your time! I conceptualized the book so that you first deal with your body, then your mind, and then add music and a satisfying sex life.
Note: You might have a high overall energy score, but frequently feel burned out or drained by the end of a long day. If that's the case, this plan can help you, too! The 7-Day Energy Surge doesn't just rev up your energy; it also keeps you on an even keel so that you don't crash.
Although all of the components affect each other, you will notice that the first three variables of the equation--Body Weight, Calories In, and Calories Out--work especially closely together. If, like the majority of Americans, you've ever been on a diet, you'll know that genetics and biology play a role in your weight and your metabolism. But that doesn't mean you should despair of reaching your ideal body weight! There are a lot of things you can control to affect each of these three variables, and in my plan I'll concentrate on those components--namely, what you eat and drink and how you exercise.
In the next 10 chapters, "baby steps" will be presented to fine-tune your personal balance of energy equation. Although it's unrealistic to think that you will be able to reach your ideal body weight, change all your bad habits, and magically have the life of your dreams in 7 days, research points to the fact that small changes lead to big changes over the long run. Take, for example, Component 10, Sex to Big Surge. Can you totally change your sex life in 7 days? Probably not, but can you make wise changes that lead you in the right direction? Absolutely, if you spend a little time and thought on your "sexual energy." It's very much akin to com£ding interest; a little bit here and a little bit there equals huge investment (energy) gains.
One final note: This plan starts on a Monday. I have found for most people (myself included) that Monday represents a fresh start and a clean slate. It also gives you the weekend to shop, plan, prepare, and schedule for this 7-day program. Plus, I know from talking to thousands of people that the weekend is the hardest time to stay on any plan. By building a solid foundation of energy momentum during the week, you will be infinitely better prepared for the challenges of the weekend. Think of Monday as D- Day, or should I say, Energy-Day.
But if you happen to have picked up this book midweek, that doesn't mean you can't get started right away. There are a few things you can do right now to prepare for your energy surge:
* Take a few deep breaths.
* Drink a glass of cold water.
* Remind yourself of a success you've accomplished in the past.
* Start a food diary, recording what you eat and when, and how you feel before and after your meal.
* Collect the equipment you'll need for the 7-Day Energy Surge (see box above). You'll also find more information about the equipment you'll need in the preparation chapter starting on page 184.
What You'll Need for the 7-Day Energy Surge
* SPRI Strength Cord braided tubing with door attachment
* mattress less than 10 years old that supports your back
* pillows less than 1 year old that support your neck
* sheets that are soft, cool, and comfortable
* sleep mask
* snore strips (if your mate snores)
* dim night-light
* pet bed (if you own a pet)
* harmonica or other wind instrument
* stereo, iPod, or other music player
And finally, of course, begin reading about the 10 components of energy!