Archive for June, 2014
Over the past 10 weeks we have had several challenges that were meant to decrease negativity and increase positivity in your life. The most valuable part for me is that it has made me stop and think about the things I do.
The last challenge will probably be the toughest challenge. Let's start the challenge this way.
I want you to think about someone who has hurt you. Either recently or in the past, doesn't matter which one.
Now take stock of how you feel. Research has shown that just thinking about someone you hold a grudge against can: raise blood pressure, make you sweat more, and makes your muscles tense up.
Any of those happen to you just now? Makes my jaw clench when I think about people I'm mad at.
That is why your challenge this week is to forgive someone who has hurt you. Here are a few benefits of forgiveness from the Mayo clinic:
-Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
-Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
-Lower blood pressure
-Fewer symptoms of depression
-Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
You can literally improve your health by forgiving someone else. I would argue that there is an even more important component to forgiveness.
By forgiving someone you take the power away from the person who hurt you. When you hold onto a grudge they can continue to haunt your life and make you miserable. When you forgive, you take charge of your happiness.
I understand that some things seem unforgivable and some relationships seem like they can never be mended. Those things can take time and many times professional help to get through.
Get that help if you fall into that category. No need for shame and you deserve healing.
I've lost friends in the past over what I thought was the worst thing in the world. Then I look back and realize how stupid the whole argument really was.
Life is too short for petty grudges! That will never happen to me again. I hope the same for you.
Your final challenge is to forgive someone. Not because they deserve it, but because you do.
Do you find yourself constantly skipping your workouts? You had good intentions of making it to your workout but you just can't seem to make it happen.
Life gets in the way some times, but if this seems to be happening over and over it needs to be addressed.
First you need to decide if the workouts you are doing are right for you. Are you skipping them because they make you miserable?
If you dread your workouts, something is wrong. Your body is meant to move! There will be soreness and your workouts should not be easy, but at some point you should start finding yourself looking forward to the experience.
If you enjoy the workouts, but can't seem to make it happen I have something weird for you to try. Weird, but awesome. Much like myself.
I want you to try doing a workout walk through.
If you think about it, almost every profession has a walk through to make sure things go like they are supposed to go.
When I played football, we would get out the day before the game and walk through the plays to make sure everybody knew what they were doing. This not only made sure we knew what we were doing, but helped to prepare us mentally for the game.
Bring that concept to your workouts. Picture yourself putting your workout clothes on, tying your spiffy workout shoes, and getting all the gear you need together.
Picture the drive there. Imagine yourself pulling up, well rested, excited about the workout, and ready to turn that mutha out.
Now imagine that I did not just use an MC Hammer reference.
Picture yourself going through the workout, giving it your all, and feeling satisfied at the end. You know that feeling you get after an awesome workout? That is the most important thing to remember.
I tell my clients all the time, just get to the workout and the rest will take care of itself.
Sounds crazy and probably a little silly to you, but I guarantee this can help you. Takes 5 minutes and you do not have to think about MC Hammer unless you want to.
If you keep up with my life, you know that I am trying to sell my house. With that comes the joy of keeping the house clean.
I'm not what you would call neat. Like most super geniuses, I keep my office a wreck. But I know where everything is.
What do you need? Look under the third pile from the left.
So I did a really good job of cleaning up my office. It looked great! But I just noticed something.
It's messy again! How did that happen? Did a bomb full of papers and note cards explode in my office? That had to have been it.
What actually happened is I fell back into old habits. I went back on auto pilot, quit relying on the systems I had set up to keep my office clean, and started doing what I had always done.
This ever happened to you?
Started exercising and eating healthy on a regular basis, lose weight, felt great, but then fell back into old habits. Quit the exercise program, quit eating healthy, and the weight came back on.
It happens to the majority of people. The sneaky part is that it does not happen overnight.
You gain a pound here, 2 pounds there, and next thing you know the 25 you lost is now the 30 you put back on.
How do you avoid that?
1. Rely on systems, not will power
If you have brownies and ice cream in the house, guess what you are going to eat? If all you have is vegetables and chicken then that is what you will eat.
Find a workout that you enjoy, that you will show up to consistently, and that works for you. Doesn't matter how effective a workout is if you don't like it, don't show up for it, and is not your style.
Will power goes away, but having systems will always lead to success.
2. Don't trade short term success for long term health
Ever been on all salad and water diet? You probably lost 10 pounds pretty quick, but then you put it all back on and then some. You need something that is sustainable.
Working out 7 days a week for 2 hours will knock weight off of you too. But can you keep that pace up?
Find a way of eating healthy and exercise that you can do for a life time. Think big picture and you will get there.
3. Celebrate the victories
Give yourself some credit! If you reached a goal it is ok to pat yourself on the back. Enjoying the victories is what will help motivate you to keep going and get to the next level.
Take the time, it's worth it.
4. Don't let that slip become a fall
So you messed up, no big deal. The sun will come up tomorrow and you can get right back on the path to success.
What you don't need to do is pitch a fit because you ate like crap and didn't workout for a week, then quit. Don't take the easy way out, keep going.
5. Write down meaningful goals and look at them every day
I want to lose ____ pounds is not a meaningful goal.
"I want to lose 40 pounds so I can be a healthy role model for my kids" means a whole lot more.
What is going to keep you going when you don't want to get out of bed to workout?
What is going to keep you from eating fast food every day?
What is going to keep you motivated when you hit a plateau and the results have stalled or stopped?
Find a goal that moves you, write it down, look at it every day, and you will accomplish it. Don't be afraid to dream big, that's how dreams work.
Your challenge for the negativity detox challenge last week was to give two genuine compliments before 10am each day. This was a way to get your "feel good hormone" levels up for the day. A way to make you feel great, as well as someone else.
How did it go? Making someone's day better always makes my day better.
Your challenge this week is to remember when. Remember back to a time when you didn't have so much negativity in your life. Remember a time when you were at your happiest.
Why was that?
What were you doing?
Who were you surrounded by?
Where did you work?
What was your average day like?
The goal is to get back to a time when you didn't have so many negative influences in your life. Next, you need to try and recreate as much of that life as possible.
Is there an old friend you need to re-connect with?
Do you need to streamline your day so it is not jam packed with activities?
Take a good look at your current life and decide what needs to change.
Obviously we can't all go back to the kid free, no job college years. Back when stress meant Ramen noodles had just gone up from 10 to 15 cents. But we can all make changes to simplify and improve our lives.
Are you a night owl? Do you feel like you function best when you can stay up late and sleep late?
Do you exercise on a regular basis?
Research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine tells me that the chances of you being a night owl and a regular exerciser are not good.
People who consider themselves night owls tend to sit more and have more perceived barriers to exercise. Do you know what the real term for a perceived lack of exercise is? It is an excuse.
So what do you do if you are a night owl and can't get into the exercise groove?
Why do you stay up so late every night? Is it so you can watch TV, read, etc...?
If you are staying up to do those things, start giving yourself a time limit. Hey I know that when Forrest Gump is on it is tough to turn off, but it must be done. Set a time that you will stop and stick with it.
As an added bonus, research has shown this cuts down on 78% of late night infomercial purchases.
Start getting up a little earlier each day. When you have the going to bed at a decent hour part down, this makes this part much easier.
Now getting up earlier is not that great at first. I'm not gonna lie to you. I used to work in a gym and I was on a shift where I closed the gym every night.
I got a rude awakening (pun intended) when I switched to opening the gym. When you are used to going to bed at midnight, then you turn around and start getting up at 330am your body hates you. And you hate everything in return.
Start by getting up just 15 minutes earlier each day. You will find yourself being more productive and having more time in the day.
You might even find yourself becoming one of those annoying morning people. It happened to me.
Most of important of all, STOP USING EXCUSES.
This is the most important thing you can ever do for yourself. Excuses are crutches. You start to believe your own excuses and feel helpless.
What is really holding you back from exercising and taking care of your health?
People busier than you are exercising every day. You have time in your schedule if you make exercise a priority.
There are some days I only have 5 minutes to workout. So that's what I do. A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing.
People sicker, older, and with more health problems than you are working to get healthy every day. Why can't you?
You absolutely can, you just have to give yourself permission. Give yourself permission, by ridding yourself of the excuses and replacing them with reasons to be healthier.
Need help or maybe just a little encouragement? That's what I'm here for, reach out and I will help however I can.
I was driving my son home from school one day and I asked him what he wanted to do when we got home. He pipes up with, "Daddy let's take our shoes off and go run." As a fitness professional/father this brought a tear to my eye. Just one, but still it was there. This is one of the biggest reasons I stay in shape! If my son wants to run around in the yard, walk on the Nature Trail, wrestle, play Army, shoot hoops, etc... My answer will never be "I'm too tired." It got me to thinking of how adults view exercise vs kids. Adults look at exercise as a chore that has to be done. Kids just want to kick their shoes off and run, just to run. No set distance or time or intensity. Just run. Now granted, his knees don't sound like Velcro when he moves like I do so of course he likes to run. But where did we go wrong? Do you dread your workouts? When was the last time you had a fun workout? It doesn't have to be miserable! I go to the gym occasionally and people look so unhappy to be there! Grim, bored faces pounding away on machines. I call it the "Time to make the donuts" workout. Do you remember that commercial?
That robotic, going through the motions kind of workout. Put the fun back in your workouts! Switch it up, get outside, learn how to use your body again, and quit relying on machines. One of the things people love the most about boot camp is the fun factor. I pride myself on making exercise fun again. Don't get it wrong I didn't say easy, I said fun. I have some of the hardest working ladies ever for clients. But they also know how to enjoy themselves. When you combine sweat, fresh air, sunlight, and laughter; it is a magical and addicting combination. Just try it. Go out and run around in your yard or the park bare footed. Your neighbors may stare, but they get used to it. My neighbors have seen some sights over the past few years. Every now and then try to keep your workouts fresh with some unstructured, fun movement. Just. Go. Move. Remember how awesome being a kid was? Time to bring those times to adulthood.
Last week was an easy challenge for me. The challenge was to surround yourself with awesome. I'm very lucky to have an awesome family, boot campers, business associates, church family, and friends. Being around people that constantly lift you up is a priceless thing to have.
Have you ever heard of serotonin? It is commonly called the "feel good hormone" Helps you feel more positive about life and that your life is in balance.
Could you use a little of that?
It is estimated that serotonin levels are at their highest at 10am. Anybody wake up that late? By 10am I've been up for 6 hours!
Most normal people don't get up that early, but they are up by 6 or 7am. Why wait around until 10am to feel your best?
You can increase your serotonin through exercise and getting sunlight. or you can try this idea I got from Zig Ziglar. You can "jump start" your serotonin levels by doing something nice for somebody else.
How cool is that?
So the challenge this week is to give 2 genuine compliments to somebody before 10am. They have to be genuine and meaningful. "Hey your shoes sure do look tied today", is probably not going to cut it unless you are talking to a small child.
The challenge this week is to make someone else feel good, which will in turn make you feel good.
Our house is on the market right now. Along with the joy of keeping it clean, you have to evacuate the property when someone wants to look at it.
No big deal for most people, but we have to take out dog with us. It was 5 o'clock on a Friday night and some friends recommended a dog friendly restaurant downtown. As we were walking, my dog is trying to pull me like crazy.
He's overwhelmed with new sights, new people, and ducks all over the place. And he is wearing me out. He's so low to the ground he's tough to handle.
My arm is exhausted so I just kind of turned that part of my brain off. But then a few minutes later, I get this weird feeling.
Something is different.
Then I realized, he is not pulling any more. He's gotten used to his surroundings and he's happily trotting next to me. My arm is saved.
Have you ever had a time like that in your life? A time where you have just gotten used to the fact that you are going to feel bad. You assume that is just the way it's going to be.
You will always feel tired, out of breath, stiff, stressed, mad at the world. The hurt is too much so you have become numb and hope has left the building.
Are you there now?
If you read the post about flying kites, you know that it only takes a small step to set you on the path to success. Don't fall asleep on your health!
Life is too short to be miserable every day. Complaining about what is going on in your life, but doing nothing about it is not helping.
Take charge, it is your life and you deserve to be happy.
Can I get an Amen from the congregation?
What do you do in your spare time? I sit around and read about suspension bridges being built.
Engineers were building a suspension bridge near Niagara Falls that would connect Canada to the US. This was 1848, so there were no helicopters to fly the steel cables over. How were they supposed to build this thing?
They were stumped until one of the engineers saw a kid flying a kite. They brought the kid and his kite over and the building began.
It all started by flying one tiny string from a kite over to land on the other side. Then they got a slightly thicker string and flew that over.
They repeated this process until they could fly over the first steel cable. Amazing.
Not only was the idea genius, but the persistence it must have taken to complete the mission. This must have been before ADD too because I can't imagine the patience it took to do that.
Do you feel like that with your weight or how out of shape you are? Do you feel like there is no way you can ever get to where you want to be?
It all starts with one kite string.
It all starts with doing one workout, eating one healthy meal, drinking a glass of water, getting a good night's sleep, drinking one less beer.
Whatever it is, add that one thing to your daily routine. After that is a habit, add something else in. Continue that process until your steel cable is ready.
You can accomplish amazing things. You can do things you thought were never possible. I see people do it all the time, so I know it can be done.
Start small, never give up, don't get discouraged, and you will get there.