What did early advertisers mean by “Skinny girls don’t have Oooomph!?

I would say, “Curves, baby.  Curves are what makes a woman attractive or desirable.” 

                You see, back in the late 50’s, early 60’s people were very active (walking, working, raising kids and labour-intensive living.)  There were fewer cars and fast foods and most people were not eating much, but also smoking and drinking like there was no tomorrow.  Processed food was prevalent. People ate plenty of hotdogs, white bread and pies. So skinny was the norm and not fashionable at all.  More pounds meant better chance of survival.  Women with big hips were considered very attractive.

                So, yeah.  A curvy gal was attractive.  Look at Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and Sophia Loren.  All hourglass shapes.  

                The Twiggy model was the start of a great lie for attractiveness, health and fertility. Somehow, our society was convinced that toothpick models were the ideal.  To be honest.  It is not.  Too often, I have met fit, attractive women who insist that they must lose an extra five, ten or twenty pounds.  Someone or some fashion ad has brainwashed them into thinking this. Too often, this is totally unnecessary.

                In a 1993 study, in the Researcher Dr. Devendra Singh proved that the first thing that attracts many 18 to 20-year-old college males is a normal weight, and curvy female drawing, not the fashion magazine stick figures. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1993, Vol. 65, No. 2, 293-307). 

Dr. Singh tested a group of 106 college males, from different ethnic backgrounds.  The test subjects were shown drawings of three different weights (light, normal and heavy) with four different figures.  The figures ranged from an hourglass shape (narrow waist, wider hips and bust) to tubular shape (almost the same size bust, waist and hips). The drawings were graded on attractiveness, healthy-looking and ability to have children.

                The normal weight, hourglass shape was found consistently more attractive than the other body shapes. 

(See the study:

                So, instinctively, the hourglass shape tends to be more attractive and healthy.                    

                Learn more in Flat Gut After 50.

What Causes You to Drink Quiz

What Causes You to Drink?

            Why does a few drinks put some people into a party mood, some aggressive and others ready to sleep?

Family and medical conditions aside, people often react to alcohol based on their unique biochemistries.  Dr. Joan Mathews Larson, author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety and founder of the Health Recovery Center, describes different Alcohol Bio Types[i]   Taking the following revised quiz can give you an idea of what your own unique biochemistry with regards to the popular fermented drink.

To complete the quiz, match up the capital letter with a number. Find the answers on page:  

(Disclaimer: Always consult a physician or medical professional before treating yourself for alcohol or drug dependency.)

  1. Physical response

1. A few drinks make me feel sedated.

2. Drinking alcohol makes me uncoordinated and light headed.

3. Alcohol always makes me sick.

4. When I drink, I perform better and have lots of energy.

5. Alcohol first gives me a boost and I tend to drink until I am drunk.

6. Alcohol used to give me a lift. Now, it steadies my nerves.

7. (Women only) I need and use alcohol during premenstrual periods.

  • First Alcohol Experience

1. I cannot remember my first drinking experience.

2. I liked the feeling when I first drank alcohol. I remember it well.

3. I reacted badly to my first drinking experience. It was not good.

4. Alcohol has no appeal to me.      

    C. Hangovers

1. I do not get hangovers from regular light drinking.

2. I usually feel miserable in the morning after heavy drinking.

3. I often feel depressed after a night of heavy drinking.

4. I rarely got hangovers when I started drinking, but I do now.

5. I feel uncomfortable even with a small amount of alcohol.

  • Patterns

1. I rarely want more than two or three drinks at a time.

2. I can drink over six drinks of (1.5 oz) hard liquor, (8 oz.) beer or (4 oz.) wine without getting hangovers.

3. It is difficult to control how much I drink at a time.

4. I avoid drinking because of the way alcohol affects me.

5. After a day of working around fumes (from gasoline, house paint, printer’s ink, hydrocarbons or formaldehyde), I often crave a drink.

6. I can regularly drink lots, have little sleep and still have a strong sex drive and a strong type A personality.

   E.  Heredity

1. None of my family has a history of heavy drinking.

2. I have a Scandinavian, Celtic, Welsh or Scottish ancestry and have drinking relatives who suffer from depression.

3. My family is from the southern Mediterranean.

4. My background is Asian. My relatives and I become nauseated, flushed and dizzy from small amounts of alcohol.

  • Personality Effects

1. I get mellow and sleepy after a few drinks.

2. I feel a quick sense of well-being from my first two drinks, but often feel spacey after further drinking.

3. My personality and behavior have changed drastically over the years since I have started drinking. Though I did not start out this way.

4. I feel exhilarated and can party all night when I drink and show no signs of intoxication.

5. I often get into fights when I am drinking.

6. I use alcohol to control my anxiety.

  • Tolerance

1. I have a very low alcohol tolerance.

2. I have a very high alcohol tolerance.

3. I have increased my alcohol tolerance over time with minimum hangovers.

4. After several years of a high alcohol tolerance, my tolerance has decreased.

5. I have difficulty predicting my ability to control my drinking.


      Record your chosen answers (letter-number combinations) and match them to one of the six different alcohol biological types below.  Most people have some traits from each category, but you should find most of your answers in one area.  Write this category down as this holds the key to your body’s reaction to alcohol.

  1. Normal Drinker or Nonalcoholic Chemistry

A1 A few drinks calm you and make you feel drowsy.

B1 You probably have no vivid memory of your first drinking experience.

C1 You keep your drinking light and your hangovers rare.

D1 Your drinking limit is two to four drinks at a time.

E1 Your family has no history of heavy drinking and your biological.

family is from the southern Mediterranean areas of Europe or Asia.

F1 You tend to get mellow and sleepy after a few drinks.

G1 You have no ability to handle lots of alcohol.

  • Alcohol-Intolerant or Nonalcoholic Chemistry

A2 Alcohol makes you ill.

B3, B4 Your first drinking experience made you ill.  You do not like the taste of alcohol.

     D5 You generally do not drink due to the taste and effects.

     F1, F10 Alcohol makes you drowsy, but has no effect on your personality.

            G1 You have no ability to handle lots of alcohol.

  • Hypoglycemic Nonalcoholic Chemistry (Often labeled as alcoholic)

A2 Even small amounts of alcohol make you feel spaced out and uncoordinated.

B1 You probably cannot recall your first drinking experience.

E1 None of your family has a history of heavy drinking.  Or…

F1  You may be the type of hypoglycemic who becomes light headed and sleepy when they drink.

G1 You have a low alcohol tolerance.

  • THIQ/ADH Alcoholic Chemistry

A4   Alcohol gives you tremendous energy and performance.  Or

A6   Alcohol used to give you a boost, but now it just steadies your nerves.

B2    You enjoyed your first alcohol experience.  It did not make you ill.

C3, C5 You rarely got hangovers in your early days of drinking, but liver damage has changed your tolerance.

E2   You have at least one close relative with a high alcohol tolerance.

F4   You are starting to show signs of brain and nerve damage from years of excessive handling of alcohol.

F5   You can party for long periods without showing intoxication.  Alcohol boosts your energy.

G2   As a teenager, you had a high tolerance for alcohol.  Or…

G3   You have been able to increase your tolerance for alcohol.  Or…

G4   Your alcohol tolerance has declined over the years.

  • Addicted/Allergic Alcoholic Chemistry

A5  Alcohol will give you a boost at first, but then you usually lose control or drink until you are drunk.

B3   You probably remember getting sick from your first drink of alcohol.  Your body naturally rejects alcohol.  Repeated use has forced your body to accommodate and adapt the alcohol.  You now have an allergy-addiction.

C2   Heavy drinking gives you bad hangovers due to the high allergic reaction to the toxicity of alcohol.

C4   You usually feel depressed after a night of heavy drinking.

D3   Alcohol alters your brain’s ability to make choices.  You cannot predict the amount that you drink.

D4    You can go long periods without drinking before you go on a binge.

D6    Being around chemical fumes like paint, gasoline, ink and formaldehyde can set off your cravings for alcohol.

E2   A close relative of yours drinks or drank heavily.  Or…

F3   There is a marked change in your behavior when you drink alcohol.

F6   You tend to get into fights and arguments when you drink alcohol.

G5   You find it difficult to control the amount that you drink.

  • Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid) Deficient Chemistry

A7  You can temporarily relieve depression by drinking.

B2   Your first drinking experience brought relief from your depression.

C4   Your depression returns when you stop drinking.

E2    You have alcoholics in your family.  Some may have been depressed and have committed suicide.

E3    Your ancestry is predominantly Scottish, Welsh, Irish or Scandinavian.

F8    You have used alcohol to relieve your depression since childhood.

G2    Your tolerance for alcohol has either increased over the years…Or

G4    Your tolerance has decreased over the years due to liver damage.

You should have consistent responses in one of the five or six categories.  There may be some confusion between allergic/addicted and ADH/THIQ answers.  Generally, if you are answering both bio-chemical types, but are over 40 years of age and have had several decades of heavy drinking, you are the ADH/THIQ bio-chemical type due to the extensive immune system damage.

According to this test, what Alcohol Bio-Chemical type are you?

Normal or Non-Alcoholic                 ___                    Alcoholic THIQ/ADH Chemistry___

Non-Alcoholic Alcohol Intolerant   ___                     Alcoholic Addictive/Allergic       ___

Non-Alcoholic Hypoglycemic         ___                     Alcoholic Linoleic Deficiency     ___

Remember this.  Write it down.             Each category will be covered in the next article.  Until then, I hope that this gives some food for

[i] i Mathews-Larson, Joan Phd. (1998) Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Random House Publishing, New York Pp. 51-61

Marilyn Monroe’s Diet and Workout

Marliyn Monroe Exercises

Marilyn Monroe’s Diet and Exercise

The late Hollywood icon, Marilyn Monroe was ahead of her time when it came to diet and exercise.  She did not exercise to exhaustion or diet to starvation. (At least not in the beginning of her career.)

According to an article “How I Stay in Shape,” in the September 1952 issue of Pageant Magazine,  Ms. Monroe ate a high protein diet and lifted weights.   Breakfast was usually a cup of hot milk with two raw eggs mixed in.  She also took a multi vitamin (but did not mention what brand or what dosage.)  Dinner was usually steak, liver or lamb chops, usually broiled in an electric oven.   Marilyn also enjoyed carrots sticks and sometimes stopping off at “Will Wright’s ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae” on her way home from evening drama classes.

The famous actress’ exercise routine was a minimum 10 minutes of light weights every morning, consisting mostly of “lifting five-pound weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head (like chest flys) …15 times slowly.”  She repeated the exercise overhead (eg. Lateral shoulder raises.)  Then, interestingly, she held the hand weights at 45-degree angles from the floor and moved the weights in circles until she was tired.  This last exercise was similar to one of the standing Pilates exercises with small weights.  Ms. Monroe also mentioned that she slept from five to ten hours per night.

Some early photos also suggest that Marilyn practised some yoga poses. Which was nearly unheard of in the 1950’s.

So, there you have it.  High protein diet and strength building exercises that helped develop a world-famous figure.

Learn more little-known old-timer methods for a strong, solid figure in Flat Gut After 50.

60 Year Old, Former Paratroopers’ Advice on Exercise, Injuries and Dating

Find out how three 60 year old, former paratroopers, stay strong, overcome injuries, date and even have children. Listen to the attached audio clip and/or read the summary:
AS = Andy Slusarenko
DB= Doug Burgis
DS= Doug Setter 

AS- Ate peanut butter sandwiches, hiked, swam and played soccer in the rural areas on Vancouver Island. Age 12, jumped and beaten by six guys. AS trained in judo and other martial arts. Was only “white guy” in judo classes. 

DB- Born in small town. Loved freedom of outdoors. Moved to Vancouver and experienced culture shock, such as never seeing a black or gay man before. Lied about his age to join army cadets and enjoyed camping and individual sports.

DS-Born on Airforce base. Enjoyed outdoors and individual sports. 


AS- Joined army. Was fittest guy in battalion. Joined CAR. (Canadian Airborne Regiment.)

DB- Joined army, infantry and CAR (Canadian Airborne Regiment). At CAR, you were judged by your physical abilities. You never wanted to fall behind.

DS- After too many beatings, joined army reserves, then regular army and trained in martial arts.


AS- Gift to self was workout challenge at local gym.

DB- Gave self “Birthday Workout.” Bench press was better than my 20’s. Reverse pullups: 6 sets of 8. 

DS- Run up Grouse Mountain, take girlfriend out dancing. 


AS- Pain is different as a kid. Had to work around a shoulder injury since I was 13 years old. Still went onto become a paratrooper and aikido black belt.

DB- Always work around the injury. Older means better patience with injuries. Have the wisdom to know I can “work around” the injury and get back in shape. Always keep training. If I cannot run, I skip, etc.

DS- If I injure my knee, I work on flexibility and upper body. The same with other body parts. Always keep moving. 


AS- It is what YOU want out of training. It is NOT what other people think. Take on challenges. You need a reason to get up in the morning. If you get hurt, just suck it up and get it done. During my Airborne reunion, so many guys were unfit and overweight. Take fitness challenges.

DB- You need to do something that boosts adrenaline and testosterone. Life will give you what you need. Look for challenges. Leave some mystery in it. I am going motorcycling in the Baja, Mexico and don’t have my logistics together yet. I’d like to see more guys fitter. Usually, when I train, there are only about four of us over 50 during kettle bell seminars. It should not be that way. There should be more over 50 year olds exercising. During my PPCLI infantry reunion many ex-soldiers looked bad. They should still be fit enough to play soccer. 

DS- You have to have some kind of excitement, some kind of risk to give you that boost. 


AS- Get a boat and see friends all over the world. Wind is not taxed and water is free. 

DB- Finish home renovations. I will do my adventure while retired, while my younger partner keeps working.

DS- Keep working. Learn more Strength Endurance Secrets


He seemed to have all of the advantages for the 1.5 mile fitness test.

             I mean, the guy was running often on the army base and I had just been posted from an out station in the Queen Charlotte Islands (with a clear view of Alaska).  So, I had been in a desk job for a year and maybe ran a grand total of two or three miles, at a time a few times a month.  The runner, whom I will just call Andre had been in the field unit for over a year and was both fit and climatized to the humid climate of Kingston, Ontario in Canada (600 km north of New York).  Some might say that he was better looking than me, but I won’t go into that.

Andre ran three miles (five kilometers) every day and would eventually get an award when he reached some distance like 1,000 miles.  To beat him, I thought that I would have to run harder and more every day.

But, after a little research about how professional runners trained, I figured out a system of:

Mondays:        Lift weights.

  1. Squats: 1 set of 30
  2. Pullovers: 2 sets of 15
  3. Roman chair sit ups: 2 sets of 25-50
  4. Hyper-extensions: 1 set of  30

Tuesdays:        Light run, plus sprints.

Wednesday:    Easy day

Thursday:        Lift weights

Friday:             1 x longer run (3 to 9 miles)

So, when I did the math, I figured that Mr. 3 miler was training about 45 minutes a day.  3/4 of an hour x 7 days = 5.25 hours (5 hours and 15 minutes) per week.

Not to mention, warm ups (10 min.), cool downs (10 min.).  Which 20 min. X 7 days makes another 140 min. Or 2 hours and 20 min.  Totaling 7 hours and 35 minutes.  Plus the extra showers and laundry.

My routine worked out to:

  • 3 x 20 minute workouts,
  • Warm ups and cool downs of 20 minutes each workout. (3 x 20 min.)
  • Plus .5 to 2 hours for the long run each week

3 x 20 min. + 3 x 20 min. + 2 hours = 5 hours/week.

I could also carve that down to 4.0 to 4.5 hours if I really pushed for speed.

The final results?  After less than two months of training, I totally destroyed the 3-mile-a-day guy during a 1.5 mile (approx. 2 km) fitness test.  It was absolutely no competition.  What’s more, I was physically stronger and more muscular than my competitor.  (Maybe even better looking, though he did have the moustache and the French accent that some women liked.)

Meanwhile, the jogging had left Andre with a bit of a roll around his waist.  He had not gained the overall body strength or the ability to “change gears” and run at different speeds that my training had given me.

This is why Strength-Endurance Secrets: Build an Unstoppable 2nd Wind will help you get in kick-butt shape in record time.  Order your copy today.

Good quality, fun exercise, will beat out torturous, mind-numbing exercise almost every time.




The Five Stages of Adrenal Exhaustion

Fatigue, nervousness, sleep problems, mood swings, muscle twitches, digestive disorders, lack of concentration and proneness to illness does not just happen over night.

Often, the above symptoms are the result of adrenal exhaustion. Many of use have been there and have not realized it until it was too late. Just like many other mental, physical and even financial ailments, there is usually a process leading up to the problem.

Let’s look at the body’s nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system gives us adrenaline and cortisol and the parasympathetic nervous system calms us down with sedating hormones such as calcitonin. Both nervous systems work to keep our bodies in balance and harmony.

When we get into a stressful situation, like a threatening stranger on a dark street or what looks like a bear stumbing through the bush. The sympathetic nervous kicks into high gear and dumps adrenaline, cortisol and sugar into your blood stream. Your blood pressure gets cranked up and you become very alert, aware and ready to fight, flee or freeze like a statue.

In 1956, researcher Hans Selye, wrote The Stress of Life and identified three stages of stress. In 1990, Dr. David Watts, author of Trace Elements and Other Essential Elements added two more stages. These five stages of stress are:

  1. Alarm
  2. Resistance
  3. Recovery
  4. Adaptation
  5. Exhaustion

During the alarm stage, you are totally focused on fighting or getting away. Your heart rate and blood pressure and sugar levels are “through the roof.” Your body’s resources are all focused on your immediate, short-term survival.

As you run or fight, you enter the resistance stage. Your adrenaline is still high, but you are more aware of your surroundings and starting to think more clearly. As a kick-boxer, I usually got to this high-adrenaline “thinking stage” by round two.

At the recovery stage, the danger has passed, you have found a safe place and are calming down.

The adaptation stage is where people do not reach the recovery stage. They spend too much time in the resistance stage and are constantly looking over their shoulder for more danger. When I was on a peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia (the Balkans), I was constantly wired for an emergency. I had trouble sleeping and was constantly urinating. Later, back in Canada, I lived in a low-end neighbourhood where I was overly cautious of being robbed or assaulted. I confess, at the time, I kind of thrived on the adrenaline high. It was like being overseas again.

This where you either learn to take the stress or start taking precautions so that the stress does not ruin your health.

The exhaustion stage comes after your body is drained of essential nutrients and breaks down from fatigue. This exhaustion can also lead to disorders such as: arthritis, eating disorders, back pain, teeth grinding, insomina, irritability, increased use of stimulants (alcohol and drugs) and proness to accidents.

Modern living makes it difficult to resist this exhaustion stage. Modern living cuts us with a two-edged sword. On one edge, the high stress of work, home and education can make huge stress demands. On the other edge of the exhaustion sword, people seldom allow themselves to recover. They eat poorly and run on coffee, cigarettes and processed foods to keep themselves going through the day.

If you want to build a resilient mind and body, learn more about re-programming yourself to being stronger, fitter and faster, in my book:

Strength-Endurance Secrets: Build an Unstoppable 2nd Wind

In Health,

Coach Doug

Bully Busting 110: High Risk Times at High School

So, you return to high school into grade 9 or 10.  You are almost into adulthood and close to being finished with this school prison.  It is also where a majority of physical bullying takes place, especially to low-income teens from single parent families.

After your summer break, you, as a bully’s target, might find out that most of the bullies have undergone growth spurts.  While, you, my friend have not.

If you had been following the previous advice in the other lessons, you will have, at least, improved your health, strength and stamina.  This applies to the gals, as well as the guys.  Your status with the general teen population will almost always increase with your physical abilities.   The smart, strong, attractive girl or smart, strong guy is usually in a better position to deal with bullies than their weaker counterparts.

Regardless how much stronger you have gotten, everyone wants to re-establish the school “pecking order” for the rest of the school year.  That is, certain people want to “put you in your place” and keep you there.

This is why the first couple of weeks is essential for not getting bullied.  I know when I was training all summer and came back to school at with about four extra pounds of muscle, I made a point of not falling back into that being pushed around routine.  It was hard to break old habits and I had to back down when outnumbered and out muscled.

This is where the confrontational skills come in.

  1.  If a punk makes an insult, you can do an eye roll their way or make a funny remark.
  2. If a group makes an insult or tries to bully you just look at them blankly, then corner one of them later.  And casually ask what was up?  Watch the reaction.  It will usually be a bit of a tough guy act or a fast “hey just joking” remark.
  3. Look at people without staring them down.  This can be done with by throwing your eyes out of focus or looking at their foreheads.  This is like avoiding a dog.  You watch it without starring at it.
  4. If you think that you can handle a bully (male or female) and they are insulting you, invade their space.  This takes the fight right out of some people.  Especially if it is done suddenly.   (Eg. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I quite heard you right.)
  5. Lastly, of course, is the actual defending oneself.  It is better to get sent to the office or take a bit of a beating than to be harassed and picked on for the rest of the year.

Acting a little more aggressive will probably draw more attention to yourself, at first.  But, then, at least some of the bullies will back off or think twice before bothering you.  They will probably step it up when they feel safer in greater numbers.  In which case, stay alert.

Stand Up Without Using Your Hands

One of the most direct ways of testing core strength, flexibility, balance and body control is simply landing up from the prone position…without using your hands.

Start with the Pilates Roll-Like-a-Ball exercise by lying on a mat on the ground and curling into a ball.  Hold your shins (beginners grab the backs of your thighs), then roll forward and, using momentum, stand up.

Watch how, after four months of training 50-something, Steve, rolls up onto his feet.  Way to go Steve!