Archive for December, 2015
I feel so cool participating in Throw Back Thursday (TBT for the cool kids). Yesterday I talked about focusing on habits, rather than resolutions.
It made me think of an article I wrote for my friends at Our Valley Events. It was called "10 Ways To Make Yourself Awesome in 2013".
The article goes through 10 things to help you look and feel better in every aspect of your life. They are:
1. Strengthen your core
2. Do resistance training
3. Have a positive attitude
4. Get out of your comfort zone and stay there
5. Make sleep a priority
6. Do your cardio
7. Fine tune your body
8. Stop smoking
9. Relieve stress the right way
10. Keep showing up
I get into more specifics with each one in the article, but I wanted to list these out for you to help get some ideas forming for what you might need.
The article also has some pretty sweet pictures in there along with extra info, so I would encourage you to check it out. If there are some you have already made a habit, that is great! Now pick out one you need to work on from the list and add it to your routine.
PS-be safe if you are headed out on the town tonight, 2016 is going to be action packed and the world needs you there to be a part of it.
Have you ever heard that quote before? It's from American poet Mike Tyson.
This quote applies to this time of year because it is New Year's Resolution time! I have a painful question for you.
How did your resolutions end up last year?
If you're like most of us, your answer is, "Awesome! For the first 2 weeks..."
Most of us are really good about setting the resolutions and getting all fired up about them. The problem is, we plan these resolutions in a vacuum.
We don't take into account the stresses of life. Losing jobs, sick kids, car breaking down, floods, swine flus, and other nasty life events.
This year come up with your If This, Then That plan to go along with your resolutions. I like to call it having a back-up plan to back up, your back-up plan.
A couple examples might be:
I will work out 3 times every week- have workouts you can do at home (sick kids, car won't start) or on the road (unplanned work trip or family emergency).
I will cook dinner at home 4 days this week- have pre-made, healthy Crock Pot meals in the freezer or spend time on the weekends cooking/prepping meals for the week.
I would also encourage you to focus on habits (like I did above), rather than the usual "Lose weight" and "Start working out" goals. Habits are what get you the results you want. Plus you can adjust them up or down based on your success at achieving them.
What habits are you looking to set this year? Respond to this e-mail, let me know what you are wanting to do, and how I can help.
2016 is going to be awesome!
PS- I will send you out TBT post tomorrow that has some different ways to make the New Year your best year.
3 years ago I was sitting in a fitness conference in Louisville, KY when I heard my name being called. I had just won a giant roll of turf for my facility!
One problem. I didn't have a facility.
No plan to get a gym yet either, just an idea in my head what it would look like. In my mind's eye I could picture myself training people there. I could feel the vibe and atmosphere I wanted in there. I could even smell a touch of BO. Wait, scratch that one.
So I hung out with this giant roll of turf for 3 years. It lived in my son's playroom, it moved twice this summer when I moved twice this summer. It has been sitting all bundled up for 3 years.
Until this weekend, when it finally go put to use.
I never thought I would be excited about flooring. I finally understand how some people can get really fired up about new carpet or an area rug that really ties the room together.
My whole point for this story is this. No matter how far off, how ridiculous, how utterly unreachable your goals may seem never give up on them!
The details for what I wanted in a gym changed over the years, but I kept the core goal in mind. I wanted a place to train my 830am boot camp, Adventures in Fitness Kid's Camp (starting Jan 5th, shameless plug), my personal workouts I do with a small group, and small groups of athletes. And I wanted it at my house. What that space looked like changed, but the end goal never did.
If you don't have a BHAG, get one today. Your BHAG is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. What is something borderline ridiculous that you want to accomplish?
A BHAG will stretch you, frustrate you, challenge you, and make you achieve more even if you don't get to the ultimate goal. Write down your BHAG today, look at it daily, picture what it will feel like when you accomplish it, and then start taking the steps you need to do to get there.
PS- Did your heart rate increase just thinking about your BHAG? You are on the right track.
Some days you just don't feel like working out. There have been times in my life when that day was every day.
Maybe you are sore, or tired, or stiff, or short on time. That is where The Feel Good Workout comes in.
The workout consists of 4 different parts: 1. Cardio 2. Mobility 3. Foam rolling 4. Core
For this particular workout I chose jumping rope, third world squat, foam rolling my thighs, and a plank hold. Each exercise was for 30 seconds, with no rest in between.
The beauty of this workout is that there are infinite combinations you can use. You can go hard to make it more of a workout. Slow it down a little if you are looking to just loosen up your body and get some physical activity in that day. You can also change up the exercises every round. I used this as a warmup for my workout yesterday.
Choose whatever combination works best for you, give this workout a try, and let me know what you think!
You have probably heard of the famous book by Dale Carnegie called "How To Win Friends and Influence People". It is filled with his 30 principles on how to accomplish the title of the book.
I think his first principle is one of the most important.
This list of Cs to avoid is especially important when you are talking about your body. How many times have you criticized, condemned, or complained about something regarding your body?
And the magical follow up question to that: How did that work for you?
Below are a few common comments people say to themselves. See if you can figure out what they have in common.
1. Criticize- Ugh, I am so fat!
2. Condemn- I will never lose this weight!
3. Complain- If I was younger, richer, healthier, not so busy, not so tired, and (insert any other excuse) I would lose this weight.
The thing all 3 of those statements have in common is that they are doing absolutely zero to fix the situation. On the contrary they are making things worse!
Instead of concentrating on how you think you are so fat, why not focus on the things your body is actually good at?
It can be overwhelming when you have a lot of weight to lose. You didn't gain all that weight in one month and it won't all come off in one month. One pound at a time. Rinse. Repeat.
Let's say you have a co-worker that complains all day about is constantly complaining about his job, his wife, his kids, his finances, the government, etc... All he ever does is complain, but never does anything to remedy the situation. What are your thoughts about that guy?
You probably get really frustrated and make it a point to avoid him. Complaining without taking action is a sure fire way to be miserable.
What's ONE thing you can do to improve your situation? When you AAA it helps you want to live for another day.
Never give away control of your life by giving in to negative self talk. It leads to a self defeating attitude that will get you nowhere.
Avoid the 3Cs, begin to AAA, and 2016 will be amazing.
I have a confession for you. These blogs are extremely painful to write sometimes.
I'm not the greatest writer in the world and sometimes I am flat out of ideas to write about.
Yesterday was one of those days.
So instead I decided to take a hike and skip writing my post for a day. And not just any hike, I decided to take on a mountain that defeated me a few years ago.
That was an experience I wrote about 2 weeks ago.
It was a pretty tough workout, but totally worth the view at the top.
Anyway, thought I would share a few lessons I took from this whole deal.
1. Don't let past experiences effect future actions
The last time I tried this, it was a complete disaster and I refused to even try it again. Has that ever happened to you?
Maybe you tried a class, attempted to start running, started lifting weights, tried a new diet, etc... and it was a terrible experience. Then you decided to never try anything like that again.
Don't give up! It's so much sweeter when you do something you thought you couldn't.
2. Be around encouragers
Lots of my friends read the story about my failure and told me not to give up, that the trail was cleared off more, and that I could do it. Call me gullible, but I believed them and they were right.
3. When you reach the top you are only half way
Sounds pretty silly to have to say it, but it's true! I thought that once I got to the top the hard work was over. I could just coast down.
Not so fast. It was almost tougher on the way down because it was so slippery. That combined with tired legs made for an interesting descent. I fell flat on my back 3 times. Not slipped a little, I was laid out. Good times.
Once you get in shape, it's not over! You need to continue the fight. Don't just coast and stay there. Find new and exciting ways to challenge yourself. Your body is capable of more than you give it credit for, go find out what that is.
There are a few other things I could share with you, but I don't want to bore you any more with my misadventures. Hope you enjoyed this story, it's much better than the one I wasn't going to write...
Here is my suggestion for this list. Take a look at what you are doing now and add in one thing from this list at a time. Start with the one that would be easiest for you to make a habit, then go from there.
1. Just Eat Real Food
If you did nothing else on this list, you could cure a lot of problems if you just followed this one thing. Cutting processed and fast food out of your diet and eating things that come from the Earth is exactly what your body needs.
Crazy stat from Dr. Mark Hyman- There 600,000 processed food items in our environment. 80% of them contain added sugar.
More on sugar later.
2. Don't fear fat
Fat has a bad reputation because it is high in calories, but it is also very beneficial too. Food like fish, nuts, avocado, and coconut oil are all excellent examples of beneficial fats to have in your food plan.
Trans fats (man made fats) should be avoided at all opportunities. Shortening, fried foods, canned biscuits, margarine are all chock full of trans fats that will lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol.
3. Shake the sugar habit
Sugar is absolutely killing America, especially our children. It is extremely addictive and has a vicious cycle that is very destructive to our bodies.
The end result? Your hormones get out of wack, you gain weight (among other side effects), and then you crave even more sugar!
Because of this threat, I even wrote a book about how to kick the the sugar habit. There was even research and stuff involved, it was like being back in school. I was proud of the end result though.
Fun fact- Having 1 soda per day increases a child's chances of becoming obese by 60%. And 90% of kids have at least 1 soda per day. That is a big reason experts are predicting that be 2050 obesity rates will sky rocket from 36% where we are now, to 50%.
4. Read the articles
If you read nothing else today, start reading your food labels. The package on the outside, is 100% marketing. The true story is told in the food label.
If nothing else, look at the first 3 ingredients (they are listed from the largest amount to the smallest). And if it has a bunch of stuff you don't recognize or can't pronounce, don't eat it.
5. Upgrade your carbs
Carbs have been demonized over the past few years. Carbs are not the devil. The simple starches (chips, fries, aka junk food) are the real problem and should be avoided for sure.
Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent sources of carbohydrates. It all gets back to the first step we discussed. Eat carbs that are not processed.
6. Move more, sit less
Energy is a weird thing. You have to have the energy to at least get out and move a little bit, but then that little bit of moving can give you back more energy than you had before. You just need to start.
More and more studies are showing that sitting is worse than smoking and can actually undo all of the exercise you have been doing. Get up at the very least, once and hour and walk around a little bit.
7. Do you even lift bro?
Strength training is the fountain of youth. It can be weights, bands, bodyweight, milk jugs, or whatever you have that provides resistance but you need to get strong and stay strong.
You will build muscle, which will help you get rid of fat, which will make you more mobile, which will make you have better quality of life. Everything gets better when you get stronger.
8. Never settle
You have to continue to challenge yourself. The workout you did 6 months ago does not get you the results it did then. You need to always try to get more reps, more distance, more weight, etc... in everything that you do if you want to keep getting results.
9. H2O you didn't!
Just picture me saying this one really sassy like and you will get the full impact of what I named this step. I have talked about the importance of water a lot lately because it is that important.
Try getting up and drinking a tall glass Magical 3F Water every morning for a week and see if you notice any changes.
10. Eliminate the negative self talk
I have an experiment for you. Start talking about or thinking about someone you have not seen in awhile. An old roommate, a friend you haven't see in awhile something like that. More times than not, you will hear from that person within the next week.
It's crazy! But it works. It's called the Law of Attraction. Some people call it a self fulfilling prophesy.
Whatever you call it, you want to avoid negative thoughts about yourself. Constantly calling yourself fat, old, tired, and other insults does you absolutely no good. On the other hand, it actually cements those thoughts in your head and bleeds over into your behaviors.
Instead, do the opposite. Work on constantly encouraging and inspiring yourself. Words have power, let them work to your advantage.
Where do you need to start? Pick one you can start making a habit today.
Chicken wings are delicious. I like to start things off by dropping some hard hitting news like that on you.
Nothing like getting that sauce all over your hands, forgetting it's on there, and rubbing your eyes. Good times.
Since fried chicken wings are not that great for you, I came up with a healthier alternative. Really easy to make and tastes great too.
Here are the ingredients you need:
-Bag of frozen chicken breasts
-Bag or container of mixed greens or Romaine lettuce
-Hard boiled eggs
-Extra virgin olive oil
Put the chicken breasts into the Crock Pot (you can put them in frozen). Cover each chicken breast in wing sauce. Cook the chicken on low for 8-10 hours.
Then all you do for a quick meal is throw some of the chicken, 1 egg, a few walnuts, and raisins onto a bed of greens inside a Tupperware container. Then sprinkle in some extra virgin olive oil and shake the container to stir it all up. Boom, quick and healthy meal.
Wing sauce is not the greatest thing in the world for you. But it is better than going out for wings and fries. Also, you can adapt this recipe to fit your individual taste.
Don't like wings sauce? There are hundreds of other ways to cook chicken in a Crock Pot. Don't like eggs, walnuts, or raisins? Don't use them! Gather the things you enjoy in your salads.
Bonus tip for boiling eggs
Are you a part of society that has trouble boiling eggs? It's ok to admit! We should start our own Facebook page.
There is a new way. I walked around for years secretly ashamed I could not handle boiling eggs. No more my friend! This I can handle every time. Works perfectly, you can cook a ton of them at once, and they actually peel easier this way.
Pre-heat your oven to 325, place your eggs into a muffin tin so they don't move around, and bake them for 25-30 minutes.
Hope it helps you plan out some quick, healthy meals this week. Have a great day!
I used to be obsessed with jiu-jitsu. I loved the competition, the strategy, the subtle moves you could do that would results in tremendous results.
I almost quit soon after I got started though. Things were going really well in the beginning. Great instructors, really enjoyed my teammates, and I seemed to have a knack for the sport.
A few months into it my instructor talked me into signing up for a tournament. He thought I would do really well because your opponent was based on your current belt.
I couldn't wait! I was so excited that I splurged and spent $60 to enter the tournament. That was big money to me back then. My wife was in nursing school and I wasn't exactly making big bucks. But I knew this was going to be worth it.
Saturday morning rolls around and we drive over to beautiful Hartselle, AL for this tournament that I figure is about to be won by handsome ginger.
Things were great until I signed in and was told that because they didn't have enough newbies like me sign up the tournament was now an open tournament. Meaning you could be facing someone who just started jiu-jitsu or you could face dudes that had been doing this for 15 years.
Guess who I drew for my first opponent?
The guy was not only a black belt, but also ran his own jiu-jitsu school. I gave it my all and promptly got tapped out in two minutes.
Since it was double elimination, I had the opportunity to face off against a guy who was a purple belt. He didn't tap me out, but scored so many points it was not even close.
I was pretty mad about the whole experience. Paid my hard earned money, felt like I had been misled, I was never doing a tournament again, and on top of everything else I decided I was terrible at jiu-jitsu and should just quit.
Something similar to this happens every year in the fitness world. Chances are it is happened to you. You signed up for a gym membership, personal training, or group fitness class and you could not wait to get started!
Then two things happened: your expectations were not met and you felt like a failure because everyone else in such better shape. You were compared yourself to people that had been doing this for years, it's no wonder they are ahead of where you are!
I did the exact same thing, but I made one crucial decision. I decided from then on I was only competing with myself. It didn't matter what anyone else did I was going to measure progress by whether or not I was progressing.
That puts the power in your hands! You get to decide what success looks like and will keep you from getting discouraged when others seem to have it so easy or appear to be so much more advanced.
Been passed by a 70 year old man during a 5k? I have. Instead of being mad at myself, I gave him his props and kept doing my race.
In a class and you think you are the oldest, heaviest, or most uncoordinated person there? Stick with it and I guarantee you will find your comfort zone.
When you look around the gym, do you say to yourself "Why am I here? I don't belong?" You are wrong! You have every right to be there. Unless you have serious BO and you don't put your weights up when you're done.
Your fitness is your business and your business only. Your weight, age, and fitness level do not hold you back when you're the one who decides what progress looks like.
Be proud of every step you take, every rep you push out, every healthy meal you eat, and everything else that you do on this journey. You are already awesome, you just don't know it yet.