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.
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.
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?
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.
"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."
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.
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.
accountability Art of Manliness better food choices exercise motivation fat loss getting in shape giving into temptation goal setting healthy eating huntsville adventure boot camp Huntsville Alabama HuntsvilleBootCamp.com Jeff Haden joe martin fitness motivation sticking to exercise The Motivation Myth weight loss
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.
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.
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.