Choose the Lesser Evil | Derek Kuryliw

Choose the Lesser Evil

From the Blog

Choose the Lesser Evil

Life, just like fitness requires balance.

Fitness is never ending. There is no final destination of optimal fitness.

We do know what the side effects of a lack of fitness are though. Sickness, disease, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and ultimately death.

So what are the side effects of fitness? Health, happiness, confidence, strength, endurance, vitality, good looks and ultimately death.

….Whoa, whoa, whoa….did I say death is a side effect of fitness? How morbid!

If you haven’t grasped this concept yet, accept it, embrace it and use it as your motivation. Realistically, death is the final destination of fitness AND lack of fitness. What’s important though is the quality of life in between today and our final days…or The Journey!

As I sit and write this, here are my personal fitness stats:

5’10” 190 pound, 30 year old male.

I have a resting heart rate in the low 50’s, bloodpressure of 116/64, fasting blood sugar of 86

Bodyfat percentage of 8.18% which amounts to a mere 15.542 pounds of fat on my entire body

My cardiovascular conditioning is at an all time high from teaching 3 hours of bootcamp daily in the scorching Florida sun

I’m currently 10-1/2 weeks out from the start of my 2013 competitive bodybuilding season. My diet consists of lean proteins, raw and steamed vegetables, raw almonds, lightly salted rice cakes, white rice and the occasional treat of natural peanut butter (MY FAVORITE TREAT!)

I workout a minimum of 4 days per week, again, outside in the scorching Florida heat.

My biggest vices are ice cream and carrot cake, and I haven’t had either in weeks. I’m a hungry, dieting bodybuilder!

So last night, to withhold from the many other craving that arise while dieting, I made root bear floats for my wife and I. Instead of using the “real” ingredients which would contain over 125 grams of diabetic and disease hungry sugar, lord knows how much artery entrenching fat and over 850 calories of which I would’ve burned off ZERO because I was about to go to bed… I used “diet” ingredients instead.

I used diet A&W root bear and regular frozen cool whip as my ingredients and it was DELICIOUS!! Just what I needed to hold off any cravings, not reach for the peanut butter (which isn’t bad either, just extra calories) and not reach for the last bit of ice cream in the freezer.

I was so excited that I decided to post it on Facebook.

Within seconds I had links and citations to Harvard studies about how the aspartame in my “diet” products were going to give me diabetes and that the partially hydrogenated oil in my cool whip should have been replaced with “gasoline” instead!

My point to this story is that we all face daily decisions that effect our health, fitness and future. The choices come in so many forms, some of which you would never think of.

Do you consume soy products? When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, I WAS BLOWN AWAY that the #1 recommendation was to eliminate all soy products from her diet. The reason it stated? Soy is a fertilizer in all other countries. It increases your estrogen and risk of cancer and the spread of cancer. Whoa!

Do you change the air filters in your house regularly?

Is your toothbrush within the 7 foot “splash zone” of your toilet? (gross I know, but I may have just saved you from literally ‘eating it’) 🙂

Do you buy organic vegetables or the regular stuff?

Do you eat gluten and wheat products? (HUGE changes when you eliminate from your diet)

Do you drink milk or any dairy products? (humans are one of the only species that consumes dairy past infancy)

Do you use splenda, aspartame, stevia, acesulfame potassium or other artificial sweeteners?

This list could go on and on.

We all have personal choices we have to make each day. For ultimate health, fitness and happiness there has to be balance. That balance also includes picking the lesser of evils on a daily basis. The more “good” choices you make in a day than “bad” choices…THE HEALTHIER YOU’LL BE!!

Having a goal of a weight, waist size, strength, bodybuilding show or family reunion is important from time to time. It challenges you to push and little harder and build more confidence.

But remember, fitness does not have an end. You are either doing something and getting better, or not doing anything and getting worse. There is no in between.

You have to make the best choices on a daily basis and most importantly… Enjoy the journey!

Committed to your fitness success,

Derek Kuryliw, CEO & Founder

Have a question for me? I’d love to hear from you. Please fill out the form below and I’ll reply back as quickly as possible!


  1. Bob - June 12, 2013 3:11 am

    Hey coach….if I had read this I would have commented. But, right about the time you were having a hunger attack and had your rootbeer and coolwhip, I was craving food, too…and thanks to you and your text…I chose he lesser evil: I had PB on my fake bread!! Satisfied me and I didn’t have that chocolate cake that some other person in my household (non mentioning Lee’s name here) had !!
    You are a positive influence on me, Mr. Derek…so you just keep on keeping on doing what you are doing. You, Rich and Shawn are what I want to be when I grow up.

  2. Angela Hoerne - June 12, 2013 12:28 pm

    Derek, for me, the lesser of the evils would have been to choose a smaller portion of nutritionally valuable food, rather than any portion of chemicals which have no nutritional value at all. To each his/her own and if it makes you happy then I guess it’s alright. I just choose to nourish my body, rather than just feed it.

  3. Derek Kuryliw - June 12, 2013 4:18 pm

    Thanks Bob, that’s why we are here!

  4. Derek Kuryliw - June 12, 2013 4:29 pm

    Angela, I’m very proud of the changes you’ve made since we’ve seen each other last. Just as the blog says, if we all try to fight every battle though, the frustrations of not being able to be perfect forces most people to quit. I’m very passionate, if not more, about some of the other lifestyle choices I listed above. To me personally, I’ll avoid sugar, soy and lactose time and again before I worry about sucralose or aspartame. But again, it’s what keeps me sane! Each one of us is responsible for our own choices in life and their consequences. After consulting almost 1,200 people in the past 10 years of all different health, fitness and ability levels, I will spend the rest of my life avoiding sugar any chance I get. Sugar (like cockroaches) gains strength in a warm, moist and dark environment…that’s sounds like what my body is! Just about 100% of all diseases in the body, including cancer, survive exclusively on sugar. Almost all studies show that while aspartame and sucralose can remain in the liver and bowels for up to 7 days, once consumption is ceased, so do all side effects. I’ll gladly trade my artificial sweetener gas for cancer or diabetes all day long!!

  5. Kevin Kuryliw - June 12, 2013 9:09 pm

    Well said brother D. Being healthy and having a good nutrition base requires balance. Extremes can often cause an imbalance somewhere in your overall nutrition, or even health. For me, when I’m so focused on eating perfectly clean, I find my mental health suffers with an overload of added stress to maintain perfection. Find what works for you, everyone is different. Find an acceptable cheat (mine is ice cream) and enjoy it once a week. Create a goal for yourself and stick to it. Find a friend, or friends, to lean on and support you on achieving your goals. And most of all, reward yourself for hitting certain milestones. Re-read this now and notice what is missing: the word “diet.” Eating a healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a temporary fix. Enjoy the journey.


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