If they can do it, so can I

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The weather was awesome yesterday! So weird to have the city shut down one day from snow/ice and then three days later have it be sunshine and in the 60s. I'll take it.

I had the opportunity to go for a hike yesterday and it reminded me of one my favorite books about backpacking. It is a book called "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed and it is about a woman who decided to hike along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) by herself. Her route would take her over a thousand miles and she had never backpacked in her life. What could go wrong?

As you can imagine, lots of stuff does go wrong. I won't tell you everything that happened, you will have to read the book. Or you could watch the movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

Thought I would share a couple of lessons that you can apply to your life that I got out of the book.

1. "Who's tougher than you?"

Along the trail, Cheryl developed a personal mantra to keep herself motivated and putting one foot in front of the other. She would say out loud, "Who's tougher than you? and then answer herself "No one!"

I thought that was a really awesome way to keep yourself motivated. She said even though she knew it was not true it still made her feel better and helped her push on.

What is a personal mantra you can develop to keep yourself going?

2. "You're doing great"

She meets a fellow hiker along the way who really buoys her spirits. He lets her know how amazing she is doing so far and to keep up the good work.

This one works both ways. First, you need people like that in your life. Someone who will lift you up and encourage you when you want to give up and give in. Second, you can be that person for someone else! If you notice someone who is giving it their all, struggling, and just trying to get by give them a word of encouragement. You never know how much it will mean to them.

3. "A mosquito, my libido"

At one point she is extremely bored, hurting, and needing something to take her mind off of things so she begins to sign Nirvana lyrics to herself over and over. She recites poetry. She does everything to take her mind somewhere else.

Your mind is an amazing thing. If you focus on the pain and tedium of a workout, it only seems to grow. But if you can take yourself elsewhere through music, laughter, literature, etc... you will be amazed at how much further you can go.

4. "If they can do it, so can I"

She would see other hikers along the way and tell herself if they could do it, so can they. This is one I have used in my life several times. I've missed teaching my boot camp 4 times in 9 years. That is teaching classes every day Monday-Friday for that time period. And one time was because I was in Nashville when it flooded and could not get home.

Broken bones, torn ligaments, the flu, no sleep, and even a few bouts of the man cold! Haven't missed class. Part of that steak is because I look at my clients who have fought through cancer, the death of spouses and children, lost jobs, and so many other tough situations. IF they can go through all that and still make it to class, then I can stand up there for an hour and do what I need to do.

If they can do it, so can I.

And so can you. Tap into the power of these four things. If you can develop the right mindset, you will make it much further in life. The tough times will always be there, you just have to learn how to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Why am I so fat?

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Do you ever ask yourself that dreaded question, “Why am I so fat?”

Or maybe you ask yourself some other similar, negative question. “Why am I so stupid?” “Why can’t I do anything right?” “Why can’t I eat healthy?”

Ask yourself this question. Are these helping you get closer to your goal or further away. My guess is they do not help you one bit.

Andy Andrews calls these defeated questions. When you start asking these types of questions you have already given up and given in.

In his book Mastering the Seven Decisions, Andrews has an excellent exercise that I would like for you to do as homework. First thing you do is ask yourself, “What questions do I habitually ask that are hindering my growth?”

I gave a few examples earlier, but make these personal to you. This may take awhile and you may have to catch yourself in the act of saying them. But chances are you will have a few defeated questions here and there. We all do.

Start to list these questions in a journal or notebook. Then cross out each question and reword it. Turn it into a question that helps you get closer to your goal. A question that empowers and give you direction, rather than a question that reinforces negative thoughts about yourself.

The example Andrews uses in the book for the “Why am I so fat?”question is:

How can I enjoy sculpting my ideal body and reclaiming my energy?

Now I don’t actually know people that use the term “sculpting my ideal body”, but I think you get the gist of it. But reword it in your terms, not his. But enjoying the exercise you choose and regaining your energy are two great ways to stay on motivated to exercise.

Take some time over the next week to do this. I have been talking about the power of words a lot lately because I keep hearing people use words to defeat themselves.

You are in charge of the words you speak. Take control, direct them positively towards your goal, and you will be more successful. There are already a lot of stumbling blocks out there to make you fail. Don’t throw any extra ones in your way.

Snowed in temptation, Navy SEALs, and calluses

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Just over here planning out my son’s day since he is missing school again. I am so jealous! Seems like I hardly ever had school cancelled back in the day.

And also planning out a game plan for staying healthy while being snowed in. This half-inch of snow is shutting down the city!

Something about being cooped up in the house makes you do two things:

1. Eat delicious carbs

2. Repeat the first option

It is times like this that remind me that I need to develop a callus in my mind against temptation. I was watching a video about a man who became a Navy SEAL, despite dealing with several, serious injuries. He talked about building up walls in his mind, that refused to let quit enter his mind. He called it callusing your mind.

Just like when you do work with your hands and you begin to develop calluses. It hurts in the beginning and it is uncomfortable, but eventually it gets better. You don’t even think about. But it does take time and effort to develop them.

Start developing your own mental calluses by doing hard things. Saying no to grabbing fast food on the way home from work. Do that workout that is the last thing in the world you feel like doing. Prep food for the week on Sunday, when all you want to do is watch Netflix. Chill optional.

Do one thing every day that you know you need to do, but absolutely don’t feel like doing. Start making hard things a habit and a part of what you do.

It won’t be easy, it will be uncomfortable, and you will not like doing it. That’s why you’re not doing it now! But if you are consistent, you will begin to see that it gets easier and you become better.

PS- writing this was my thing I did not feel like doing.  I’m off to a good start. What are you choosing to do?

What MLK’s right hand man has to do with you

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We've all heard of Martin Luther King Jr. and all that he did to advance the civil rights movement. How much do you know about Ralph Abernathy?

Dr. King was the fire, passion, motivation, and the face of the movement but it would not have worked without Ralph Abernathy. When Dr. King would get people fired up and ready to act, Mr. Abernathy was the one that had the plan for what the people needed to do next.

One would not have worked without the other. If Dr. King was the Why, Mr. Abernathy was the How.

Have you ever watched a video, heard a speech, saw a movie, etc... and it got you all excited about getting in shape and losing weight? What happened next?

Probably similar to when I watched the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance and decided I was going to become a golfer. I went out to the driving range full of pep and excitement. After hitting my way through a large bucket of hooks, slices, and disappointment my mind was changed. I knew I was terrible and did not have a plan to get better. I have not golfed since.

For a lot of people it is flurry of activity and then a fizzling out. Many gyms are already starting to see less and less of the crowd that rolls in for a new year. They did not have enough of the How to go with the Why and that is a very frustrating place to be.

Don’t get me wrong, the Why is absolutely crucial and can carry you through a lot of hard days. Just like the civil rights movement, you need both for it to work.

Do you have a Why? Do you have the How?

My job as your coach is to help you develop your Why and How. Whether you are a current client, past client, or have never met me in your life I want to help you be successful. I’ve been through the frustration, the aggravation, and the hopelessness of wanting to lose weight and get in shape but not knowing where to start.

If you need help, just reach out. I’m here.

Until then, take some time to develop your Why and then decide on your How. It’s a powerful combo when you have both.

The Power of the Mighty Checklist

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"Discipline is hard - harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. We can't even keep from snacking in between meals. We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at."

-Atul Gawande

Flawed and inconstant creatures. Doesn't that get you fired up to be successful! Maybe not, but he makes some excellent points about human nature.

This quote is from surgeon and writer Atul Gawande's book The Checklist Manifesto. The book talks about how crucial checklists are for saving lives and money in medicine, aviation, finance, and construction.

 

It got me thinking about how fitness and nutrition need checklists as well. If you are like me, you picture checklists as boring, mundane, and not very helpful. Maybe because I am thinking of checklists from washing dishes and mopping floors at pizza buffets.  Shout out to Mr. Gatti's, no one died on my watch!

 

He offers some great suggestions on building checklists. Here are his tips:

  •   Make them precise.

  •   They should be efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations.

  •   Do not try to spell out everything.

  •   Provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps - the ones that even highly skilled professionals using them could miss.

  •   Above all, make sure they are practical.

With this information, could you come up with a checklist that could help you eat better? Exercise more effectively? Train a little smarter?

I bet you could if you took a little time to think about it. Think about the pitfalls and sticking points that have held you back in the past and develop a checklist to stay on track. Use those guidelines from above as your framework.

The 6 Week Transformation Challenge has the nutrition checklist already done for you. If you need guidance, but honestly don't feel like developing your own come join the challenge! You have today and tomorrow to sign up because the challenge starts on Wednesday January 10th.

Sign up today! It is only $39 and your results are guaranteed.

Reserve your spot here --->undefined

“I can’t” versus “I don’t. Which one is worse?

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I was listening to the Art of Manliness podcast because I train women all day and need to do things to boost my testosterone. And the guest that day was Jeff Haden, author of the book The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up To Win.

There were several good tidbits in there, but I want to share with you one that really impressed me. Haden brought up a study that tested using the phrase “I can’t” vs “I don’t”.

There were three groups of people who all faced a simple temptation and then were given a coping mechanism. The first groups used “I can’t” as their coping mechanism. The second group used “I don’t”, and the third group was given nothing (control group).

The study showed that 60% of the people who used “I can’t” gave in to temptation, while the group that said “I don’t” only gave in 36% of the time.

My favorite part of the study was the next part. All groups were to set a personal health goal, like getting in shape.

The group that said “I don’t miss workouts”, 8 out of 10 people reached their goal.

The control group that had no coping mechanism, 3 out of 10 people made their goal.

The group that said “I can’t”, only 1 out of 10 made their goal.

That is pretty crazy isn’t it? The reason so many people failed is because “I can’t” implies there is a choice. So if there is a choice, you can always choose no.

The “I don’t” group was so successful because that involves your identity.  I’m not the type of person who would miss a workout, that is just not who I am.

For an example, Haden used parenting. You can’t just decide to stop parenting when you are a parent. It is what you do!

For anyone who starts a running program. At some point you woke up and took on the identity of a runner. That is who you are, so running is what you do!

Put this into practice starting today. Get rid of I can’t and replace it with I don’t next time you are struggling. It will help you start to become the person you are trying to be this year.

Walk the Dog (Read this one)

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This cold weather is not very motivating is it? Other than my motivation to stay indoors and drink hot beverages.

I’ve got a bunch of different projects I am working on right now, so I have been sitting at a computer a lot more than normal. Getting everything ready for the 6 week transformation challenge, setting up everything for an awesome year of Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp, programming for our middle school boys mentoring program, end of year tax stuff, and a lot of the little stuff that adds up. All while trying to keep a 12 year old entertained with something other than video games for 8 hours.

Then you add in the doorknob epidemic that swept through our house. We somehow managed to rip two doorknobs off of doors in the same week. And by we, I mean me of course. It is crazy!

And I am not handy at all, so this is panic level disaster for me. Add in that I need to replace my son’s basketball rim and things are not looking good. But I figure if I can keep putting these things off, they will somehow magically we fixed.

Then my wife asked me if I wanted to take the dog for a walk. My first thought was absolutely not. First off all, we can’t get out of the house because we have no doorknobs. Second of all it is cold. And third, I can’t possibly tear myself away from all my important work for 20 minutes to walk a dog!!!

So we are walking the dog, my wife is very persuasive, and it is great! Get up, get moving, get some fresh air I feel like a new man.  And then things start happening.

I fix one doorknob! Fix a SECOND doorknob! I fix the basketball goal! Well mostly fixed it that day anyway. My fingers froze and quit working.

The catalyst for this whole thing was a short walk. And that is the lesson I want you to take from all of this.

Losing 50 pounds does not start with you losing 10 pounds in a week. Many times it starts by you deciding to drink a 12-ounce soft drink instead of the 20-ounce version.

Training for a marathon does not start with you going out and running 10 miles. Many times it starts with walking for 30 minutes.

You don’t have to start with some huge, grandiose fitness gesture. All you have to do is start.

What can you do tomorrow to start? If it is starting boot camp with us, we would be lucky to have you. If it joining the 6 Week Transformation Challenge, that would be awesome too.

But maybe you are not there yet, and that is absolutely fine. You’re ready when, you’re ready. You need to decide what step works best for you. A walk, eating a vegetable, a yoga class, go dancing, a fitness DVD, going to bed earlier, drinking more water, eating slower.

Big or small, just start and keep building from there.  You don’t have to settle for not feeling your best. You deserve the best and you can still attain it.

Start.

Transform your body in 6 weeks

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Are you ready to TOTALLY transform your body in just 6 weeks?

 

Lose between 4-6% of your body fat in only 6 weeks? Then you are interested in the Low Carb Challenge I mentioned last week.

This life-changing program officially launches on 1/10/2018, but you can reserve your spot now! -- The prep work will start on 1/10/18 for the launch on 1/14/2018!

About the Program:

This is a 6-week Transformation Challenge.  The challenge is split into 3 phases.

  • Phase 1 is low carb.

  • Phase 2 adds back in carbs on hard workout days.

  • Phase 3 allows you to choose the protocol from Phase 1 or Phase 2.

The program is extremely effective!  Some of the people in the test group used this program to lose 6% in body fat, but conservatively if someone sticks to the program could see reductions in 4-5%. Along with a loss in pounds and inches as well.  Isn't that awesome?!?!

Other people charge $150 for a 6-week challenge, but because it is the New Year, and I want to help as many people as possible to feel healthier, I am offering this transformation challenge to you for only $39!

That is less than a dollar per day. Not bad for something that will give you the tools and knowledge to transform your life and body.

This challenge is for men and women. You do not have to be a current boot camp client or even live in the same city. All the information and resources will be sent right to your e-mail and/or phone.

What you will get with this 6-week challenge:

  • A FULL Nutrition Guide for the entire 6 weeks

  • Recipes to use during the 6 week challenge

  • FULL access to me to ask any questions you have

  • Private Facebook group for the entire 6 weeks

  • DAILY Emails/lessons coaching you through the 6 weeks

  • DAILY accountability to keep you on track

  • Money back guarantee that the program will work

If you need a proven program with the accountability to guide you through without depriving and starving you, then this is the program for you.

Reserve your spot here --->undefined

12 Days of Christmas Workout

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Merry Christmas! I wanted to offer a special thank you for supporting my business by reading these posts. I will be forever grateful to you that I don't have to have a real job 🙂

You know that 12 Days of Christmas song right? How it seems like it lasts forever? Now you can make your workout seem like it lasts forever! Because that is what you really want for Christmas.

This workout works just like the song. You do the first exercise (verse), then the first exercise and the second exercise, then you do the first, second, and third exercise. Pretty sure you get how it works.

It does help if you sing the song out loud. And I am available to come dressed as a giant elf and help you sing it, if that helps. Nothing creepy about that...

Here are the exercises:

1st day... 1 minute running (in place works too)

2nd day...2 seal jacks

3rd day... 3 Pike pushups

4th day... 4 bent over rows

5th day... 5 jumping jacks

6th day... 6 bench dips

7th day... 7 belly blasters

8th day... 8 shoulder presses

9th day... 9 jump squats

10th day... 10 (on each leg) walking lunges

11th day... 11 hip thrusts with weights

12th day... 12 burpees

See how fast you can get through the list.

Hope you and your family, have a safe and happy Christmas. Except for that whole burpees thing, that's just not gonna be good.

Guaranteed fat loss? It’s a Christmas miracle!

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It’s Friday. You know what I love to talk about on Fridays? Glycogen depletion. Glycogen is energy, in the form of carbohydrates, that is stored in our muscles and our liver.

Studies show that when our body is low on glycogen, meaning the energy storage silos (muscles and liver) are low, then our body will preferentially burn more fat. If we have lots of sugar floating around in our blood or the energy storage silos are full, our body will preferentially burn more carbohydrates because we have an abundance of them.

So, how do we go about depleting glycogen?

There are two good ways:

1.    Lower-Carb Diet (not no carb diet)

2.   High-Intensity Exercise (it can be done at any fitness level)

Let’s start with lower carb. Glycogen, like we said earlier, is stored carbohydrates (aka energy) in the muscles of our body. When we are on a lower carb diet, we deplete our carbohydrate stores in the muscle (glycogen).

We are keeping carb intake low so we don’t fully fill up our glycogen silos. They stay a little empty all day long.

This helps our body to preferentially burn fat while also getting better control over glucose and insulin levels.  That is so important!

The second way is through high-intensity exercise (short bursts of physical activity), like the stuff we do at Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp. High-intensity exercise forces our body to burn sugar and carbs to fuel itself during workouts.

Burning a ton of carbohydrates to fuel workouts does what do you think?

You got it, it depletes our glycogen silos. You're so smart! I had to look this stuff up.

This helps us to burn more fat in the 24-48 hours after the workout, called by some “the afterburn”.  Pretty cool right?

There is a lot more that goes into this, but that is a basic overview. But I have some good news for you.

I’ve put together a step-by-step plan for you that guarantees you will lose fat. You won’t have to deprive yourself or kill yourself working out every day. Just follow the guidelines that will be laid out for you.

You will also have daily support and guidance from myself and the other people who are taking part in the challenge.

And don’t worry, this won’t start right now during the holidays. The lessons will start on January 10th and the first real day of the challenge shortly after that.

Right now, all I need from you is to e-mail HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com and let me know you are interested.

Some basics you need to know:

-it will be 6-weeks long

-costs $39

-you don’t have to be in boot camp to take part

-if you take part in the program and it does not work, you get every cent back. No questions asked. I am that confident it will work.

So if you are ready to lose fat, feel energized, and ready to take on the world just hit send that e-mail and let me know you want to be a part of this.

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