Posts tagged sticking to exercise
It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.
There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.
So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.
So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.
But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.
There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.
I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.
Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.
So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.
Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.
Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.
The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.
Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.
Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.
On Monday I challenged you to get in 90 workouts in the time remaining in 2017. But we all know there are times where you get in a pinch and can’t get the workout in you want.
I wanted to give you 2 workouts you could use for those emergencies. These will all be 20 minutes or less, require no fancy equipment, and can be done in smaller spaces.
If you want to become a vegetarian, I recommend you look into how sausage is made. You will probably become a vegetarian that day.
Nobody wants to think about the "behind the scenes" type of stuff that goes into making something. I went through a sausage making experience with my business this week.
I put out a video on Facebook this week called "Who we are and what we do" that explains kind of how boot camp works. This video was a little over one minute long. So that is how long it took me to put it up there right? Not even close.
That one minute video took me so many takes for so many different reasons. I stuttered, started talking nonsense (more than usual), I filmed half my face, and the list goes on and on. It took me 45 minutes to get one minute of content.
Then all you have to do is upload it right? Yep, that is if your internet is working. Anybody else have issues on Wednesday? Good times.
When I finally got my internet back and got the video uploaded, I worked on getting captions put on the video. Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound turned off? Now we both know and that is why I spent another 30 minutes figuring out how to put captions on the video.
What is the moral of this story? Other than hire someone who knows what they are doing.
The main point is this:
Even though it seems like it takes forever to see a tiny bit of progress, you are still moving forward! It is still working. You are doing something right, don't give up now.
Don't get discouraged because you "only" lost 4 pounds and it seemed like it took forever. 4 pounds of fat is about the size of a 2-Liter bottle. That is awesome progress!
Next time I do a video, I will be able to do it faster because I found out that a squat rack makes a great camera holder. And I will be more efficient at putting the captions on the video.
You keep at it too. I've seen it happen over and over for people. They are plugging away, plugging away, and then the weight and inches start coming off like crazy. That happens because they stayed the course, found out what exercises worked for them, what types of foods their body thrives on, and never gave up.
You can do it too, keep making sausage.
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Something we do in our boot camp classes are personal challenge workouts. In the first week, we will see how many repetitions we can do in one minute. Then in the last week, we will test again to see how much we have improved.
Last camp we did pushups, squats with weights, and shoulder presses. I was amazed at how far people came in just a few short weeks! Many people doubled what they could do in that first week.
I encourage you to do some sort of challenge workout. You can do this with the exercises I mentioned above, see how fast you can do a mile, how much weight you can lift, or any number of things that go along with whatever goals you are working on now.
There are three main reasons challenge workouts are an important part of any program.
1. You will see how far you have come
Sometimes we can get caught up in the workout grind and forget just how far we have come. You need that reminder, especially if you feel like you have not made any changes. It isn’t getting easier, you are just getting better.
2. Gives you a goal to work for
One of the best ways to stay motivated in your training is to have a performance goal in mind. Most of us have aesthetic goals (lose weight, drop dress size, etc...) but do you have a performance goal? If you don’t have one, get one!
3. Gets you out of your comfort zone
You don’t realize how much you are capable of. Part of getting results is moving the bar of what you think your threshold is. When you think your body can’t go any further is when you need to push a little bit longer. This helps your body redefine your stopping point. It is not comfortable, but it is worth it.
What will your challenge workout be?
I was reading about how the beauty standards have changed so dramatically over the years. I believe it is what most 39 year old fellas do in their spare time. So I made a little list of some of the highlights of the more popular trends that have been in:
-Pale skin is in! (I missed my era)
-Perfume over bathing
-Full figured always in (except past 100 years, starting mainly in the 1960s)
-Blondes were out at one time. Can you believe it?
-Max Factor makeup setting the beauty standard with his Beauty Micrometer. You needed to have a nose the same length as the height of forehead and your eyes should be separated by a space the width of one eye. But if not, it could be corrected with Max Factor Make Up!
Check out this picture of the Beauty Micrometer. Looks cozy.
-Plastic surgery, Airbrushing and Photoshopping
-Dark skin is in
Meanwhile, in modern day Africa being overweight is considered a positive thing. There are even businesses in Nigeria that help people put weight on. While in in the modern day fashion world, “plus sizes” are considered sizes 6-14. What the what?
My main point in this: you do you. Are you comfortable with your hair, looks, body, etc…? Good! You are on the right track.
If you are not happy with any of those things, why? Look at that list above. At one point in history all shapes, sizes, and looks have been considered beautiful. What changed?
Trying to fit the mold the media has made is simply impossible for many people. Thankfully I was born with an LA face and an Oakland booty, but not many are. Most people’s genetics will not let them be 5’10” and a size 2 with big boobs or have the Kardashian look.
My secondary point is that everybody is a hottie to somebody. Feel free to write that one down.
Trying to achieve those bodies can lead to eating disorders, negative body image, depression, and potentially passing those down to their children. I think it is awesome when people are doing their best to improve their bodies, when it is done the right way.
Looking better, feeling better, and having your body perform better are all things that improve your life overall. It seems silly, but if you have ever been overweight and/or out of shape you know it effects your life on a daily basis.
My advice is to focus on the process. What can you do today to eat a little healthier, lift a little heavier, run a little further, push a little harder? Don’t focus on that 50 pounds you need to lose, focus on exercising 3 days a week for 1 month or preparing at least one healthy meal a day at home. Take a holistic approach to getting better by taking into account your sleep, recovery, stress levels, mobility, and supplementation along with the exercise and nutrition you are improving.
Focus on these types of things and everything else starts to fall into place. Embrace your unique body, focus on the things you like about your body, and don’t let anyone tell you how you “should” look.
It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of your life. Going to work, errands, social commitments, TV, etc... all take up time, energy, and focus. This leaves you with very little left in the tank to do something very important.
It is absolutely crucial to think about your future.
Will your future self thank you in 20 years for what you are doing now? That steady diet of fast food will probably get a now, while putting all that money into a 401k would get a yes.
Thinking long term also helps you avoid getting caught up in short term fad diets and fad workouts. Are you really going to NEVER have a piece of bread again? Is that crazy workout where you keep hurting yourself going to be part of your routine in 20 years?
This hits home for me because I keep getting hurt doing jiujitsu. Some little stuff like broken toes, up to bigger stuff like tearing a ligament in my knee a month ago. Well someone tore it for me, but I was there when it happened 🙂
My choice now is to quit or change the way I train at jiujitsu. The way I have been doing it is very physical, never wanting to tap out, and win at all costs mentality. Don’t think 60 year old me will be able to do that. I am choosing to train smarter, not harder.
The same thing applies to the way I treat my body overall. Performing more mobility/stretching, getting more sleep, cutting down on caffeine. These are all things I am doing now that will pay off in later years.
A big goal for me is to be that spry old man that can run circles around the whippersnappers in the neighborhood. I want to be strong, fit, and pain free for as long as I possible can.
Look at the choices you are making as bank transactions. Are you making more deposits or withdrawals in your long term health account?
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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.
If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.
Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?
It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.
Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.
Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.
The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.
I have just started to listening to the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg on CD. Shout out to the public library. It’s full of free stuff!
One story in the book was talked about techniques that recruits use to get through boot camp to become Marines. When things get the absolute worst the recruits are taught to ask each other questions that start with Why.
This sounds a little strange, but there is a method to the madness. Duhigg explains, ”If you can link something hard to a choice you care about, it makes the task easier, Quintanilla’s drill instructors had told him. That’s why they asked each other questions starting with “why.” Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge.”
Quintanilla is a young man who is going through boot camp. During a grueling portion of boot camp called The Crucible his buddy asked him “Why are you doing this?” His reply was, “To become a Marine and build a better life for my family.”
You have to have a Why in your life too. I want to lose weight is not enough. Dig deeper!
-Why do you want to lose weight? To fit back into that dress I haven’t worn in years.
-Why? To feel better about myself.
-Why? So my husband will be attracted to me again. Ding, ding, ding! This is the real Why.
That is a real example that I have experienced. When you get to that deep of a Why, you are almost guaranteed to be successful.
Tie your Why to the mundane task of chopping vegetables, prepping food for the week, or planning meals. Remember your Why when it is cold, your bed is warm but your workout is waiting. Remember your Why when you are shopping for groceries or trying to get through that last set of pushups.
The actual workout part is physical but the mental side is what will keep you going. Put the work in, it is worth your time to discover your true Why.
Are you a planner? Do you have to have all your ducks in a row before you do anything?
I am married to one of those people. Thank goodness, because I am the exact opposite. Marriage is all about filling in each other’s gaps.
There is definitely a time to plan, get ready, and make sure you have all the bases covered. But it can also be a sticking point.
It becomes a sticking point if it keeps you from taking action. Do you know what science has determined to be the perfect time to start exercising? Now. Now is the best time.
I love this quote I heard from Tim Ferriss: “Don’t be afraid to attempt what you are not qualified to do.”
I also like this quote from Kamal Ravikant, investor and author, “If I only did things I was qualified for I’d be pushing a broom somewhere.”
-Do not be afraid to do your first 5K because you don’t think you are ready.
-Do not be afraid to start Adventure Boot Camp because you think it is too hard or you can’t keep up. Spoiler alert- it's not and you can.
-Do not hold yourself back from reaching your full potential because that lying voice in your head says you can’t.
Go all in this year, put yourself out there, and see what happens. It won’t be easy, it will hurt, but it will be worth it. Don’t go through another year with regrets.
This is the year and now is the time. Take that first step towards change and just keep stepping.
Happy 2017 to you!