Motivation or Dedication? Is One Better than the Other?

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Motivation and dedication.

 

Are they synonyms for the same thing, polar opposites or maybe distantly related like twice-removed cousins.

 

Here is my two cents:

 

I think both are necessary.

 

Motivation is defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

 

Dedication is “the quality of being committed to a task or purpose.”

 

The difference I think lies in longevity. What I mean by that is, oftentimes, the term ‘motivation’ is used in a very brief context,  as in “I feel motivated after the church sermon today.”

 

First of all…, great! I am glad that church got you feeling good. That is part of the reason as to why it is there.

 

Motivational feelings can oftentimes inspire us to action, particularly if we have been slacking or procrastinating on said action for a while.

 

This is  a good thing.

 

However, it does have a shortcoming, in that it is fleeting.

 

There is a reason why this quote below exists:

 

“motivation is like bathing; once daily is recommended.”

-(I don’t know who said this, but I like it)

 

Motivation does not last.

 

If we could somehow harness those positive and inspiring feelings and channel them on a continual basis, mankind might be inhabiting other planets at this point and there would likely be a world filled with so much more ‘good.’

 

But alas, it is not so.

 

Dedication, on the other hand, is the stuff that separates the men from the boys.

 

Dedication is commitment to a purpose.

 

Dedication carries you through the mountains (motivation) and the valleys (depression or anxiety) because it is tied to a much more significant factor than feelings.

 

Think about it in these terms…

 

Motivation is an emotional high. Dedication is a concentration and a fixation on a purpose.

 

Motivation is how you feel after you hear Les Brown or Eric Thomas speak (both phenomenal speakers by the way. Check out some of my favorite speeches). There is no way you can listen to these guys and not feel pumped up.

 

Dedication is the love that a mother has for a child. There are certainly such joyous and inspiring times that you will have with you kids, but they also come with sleepless nights, diapers to change, and lots of crying.

 

Personally, I don’t find it very emotionally rewarding or inspiring if an infant spits up into your mouth… just saying…

 

So when it comes to goals, both motivation and dedication have a role to play. In fact, I would argue that motivation is what prompted you to write those goals.

 

But it will be dedication to the repeated tasks, day in and day out, that allow you to hit your goals.

 

Undoubtedly, if you are trying to get in the best physical shape of your life, it will not always be fun.

 

In this scenario, motivation is what propels you to walk into the gym and seek those that can help you.

 

Dedication is what is needed when you hit a weight loss plateau and you notice that Sally is losing weight faster than you.

 

Dedication is what is needed to recover when you find yourself eating things you know won’t help you accomplish your goals while binge watching your favorite TV show (again), instead of throwing in the towel because you ‘ruined’ your diet.

 

Dedication is the commitment to a purpose, no matter the circumstances, even when motivation fades for, what seems like weeks.

 

Dedication is the reason you continue getting back up so that you eventually look back at your accomplished goal, smile and think to yourself…

 

‘What next?’

 

 

The Reason Most People Wont Achieve Their Goals and What to do About It

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When I was in school, I dreaded going to physics class. It was soul-sucking for me.

 

Why? Because I was terrible at it. I was not comfortable spending time attempting to figure out what the sum-total of all the vectors are… It just was not in my wheel house.

 

But, I desired to become better at it, if only because my academic standing depended on it (I was pretty diligent in high school. College is another story).

 

Therefore, I spent countless hours and days studying the material and practicing what I had learned through application of various problems in the back of the text books.

 

Then, a weird thing happened… My test grades began to improve. I found myself paying closer attention in class.

 

I enjoyed going to physics class. Didn’t see that coming.

 

Now, contrast this with a classmate.

 

They started, like me, with an absolute abhorrence to the subject. It was the worst part of the day for them.

 

Also, like me, the grades were very much sub-par.

 

The difference with this student, however, was that they let their feelings override their potential for success. 

 

Read into that statement a little more.

 

Their feelings got in the way of their success.

 

They didn’t have any different opinions of the class than i did. In fact, I probably complained about it more.

 

But the major difference, was that I tabled my insecurities, fears and pesky feelings of dread and dislike in order to succeed.

 

According to scientific study, about 95% of our actions are made based upon feelings.

 

So what does this mean?

 

For most of us, that is terrible news.

 

In short, you are never going to feel like doing those actions that need to be done for improved results and positive change, therefore, science says that you won’t do it.

 

“I’ll do it later when Im more motivated.”

 

“Now is not the time.”

 

“That makes me nervous.”

 

“There is no WAY I would do that.”

 

Any of these sound familiar? You think anything is going to change if you hear yourself spout these phrases?

 

The reason most people give up on their goals is because of fear.

 

In my example above, it is the fear of spending/wasting time a subject that is of little to no interest combined with the fear of missing out on much more enjoyable activities. Activities like watching re-runs of “friends.”

 

The feeling of fear is a giant-killer.

 

So how do we accomplish anything and begin striving towards our goals?

 

In short, embrace the pain as soon as you feel that feeling of dread start to rise, and, without hesitation, jump immediately into that thing.

 

Yea… sorry, unfortunately there is no easy fix here. This is the reason so many people fail to achieve their goals. Reality can be harsh.

 

So, that being said, here is a pro-tip:

 

Count down from 5, and do the thing standing between you and accomplishment.

 

Take a page from Nike. Just do it.

 

Here is the deal. If you wait longer than 5 seconds, you will not do it.

 

Your brain is designed to essentially kill the thought that scares you if you do not act on it within 5 seconds. Some weird, caveman, safety mechanism that humans have had for, well… ever in order to help us survive.

 

So, instead of thinking about it, (swiftly) count down from 5 and take immediate action.

 

Make the phone call, walk into the gym, talk to that guy or girl.

 

It will hurt, but you will accomplish SOOOO much more than you ever thought.

 

Give it a try and watch your goals become reality.

 

The Most Effective Tip for Fat Loss that you Never Do

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Yes or no?

If healthy food is available, you will be more likely to eat it as opposed to the ‘not-so-good’ stuff?

For the most part, I will assume this to be true.

That is, unless you are a raging, viking food heathen, whereupon I’m not sure if I am the one that should help you…Counseling…?

Therefore, the answer to the timeless question of “How do I lose fat the fastest?” I will answer with the following, simple statement:

Change your environment to change your body

To frame this in a bit more of an applicable context, consider your friend circle. What do they normally eat? What do they normally drink? How often do you do these activities together? Do you go to McDonald’s together? Do you hold hands? Have they influenced you to order an item that they claimed was “the bees knees.”

Another example: Open your freezer. Is ice cream or some other frozen confection the most populous item in the there? Does it exist there at all?

Open your pantry… Are there copious amounts of pop-tart flavors lining the shelves? Is Mrs. Butterworth or her best friend Aunt Jemima waving at you?

Go to your fridge. How many different varieties of ranch dressing do you have? What flavor(s) of sugary yogurt do you posses? Is there any kind of fizzy drink in there (this includes adult beverages as well)?

Now stop and think about this for a second…

If you are overweight and want to lose weight, do you believe that you will suddenly stop eating all of those items without a shred of temptation?

Would it be reasonable to assume that you will eventually succumb to the siren’s call of the honey bun in your pantry?

Your immediate environment affects you much, much more than you want to believe.

If you truly desire quick and unquestionable change, this one tip is probably the most important and most difficult: Change your environment.

This means you need to stop meeting Jerry for lunch at his favorite restaurant, Chili’s, because you know that those honey chicken crispers are irresistible.

Also, follow this procedure:

Step 1: Procure large, black trash bag

Step 2: Open the pantry door and place the bag, with the mouth open, wide, at the base of the shelf

Step 3: In a sweeping motion, take your arm and drag it from the back of the shelf to the front of the shelf.

Step 4: Repeat for each shelf, along with the freezer and refrigerator until no tempting food is left.

Note: It is ok to leave the bagged vegetables that you never used before

Bottom line: If you want to win in the game of fat loss, change your surroundings so that you don’t have to battle your own head as to whether or not your are going to cram the entire hershey bar into your mouth and let it melt down.

Get rid of it, and the temptation is gone along with the item that will give you absolutely zero benefit.

 

Does One Size Fit All???

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If you have ever tried to improve your eating you may find yourself following the sequence below…

Step 1: I heard that Janice (acquaintance) is really losing a lot of weight on that 30-holes diet thing… Maybe I should text her to see if I should try it. The love handles are showing a little too much love these days.

Step 2: Let me google this…Oh…, it’s “Whole30.” Whoops. Wait… I can’t have a granule of sugar for 30 days unless nature made it?! Sugar cane is technically…nature… right? So…. I CAN have sugar??? Im confused.

Step 3: YOLO! I’ll give it a try.

Step 4: Forget this. Forget the dang girl scouts and their cookies! Im going to curl up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watch re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy.

Obviously this may be a tad exaggerated.

But there is no denying that there is an element of truth to it. Maybe you are the one this sounds like. Maybe you have tried over and over with different diets but it always ends up with you saying something along the lines of “abs aren’t worth the trouble” and you quitting on your health and fitness goals altogether.

So where did you go wrong? Did you even DO anything wrong? Maybe, maybe not. Here is my take.

For starters, I think that the desire to undertake a diet shows initiative. To me, I see that that someone, maybe you, desires to change bad enough to undertake a radical change in the way they eat.

This is good.

They desire a better health profile, want to feel better and let’s just be plain honest, they want to look good and fit in the clothes they wore when they were in their aesthetic prime.

But what is the best way to go about this? IS there a ‘best’ way to go about this?

Here’s the answer you want to hear:

Yes

Here’s the answer you don’t want to hear:

It depends

I often say that the term ‘it depends’ is the best answer in the health and fitness industry, and it’s because that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

It just doesn’t exist.

Parents will get this reference better than most. Others can infer.

Do you parent the same way you do with your first-born that you do with your 3rd child? Or 4th? Or 5th?

No.

But why??

Because they are different people, with different strengths and weaknesses, different habits and different approaches to the same task.

Whereas Jimmy might eat his breakfast with proper etiquette and manners, Harold is making a cave painting on the table with his scrambled eggs before shoveling them down the hatch with his bare hands.

Good luck treating them the same.

The same rule applies when coaching people toward better health and fitness.

In the beginning of this article, Janice did great on the whole30 diet. You did not. Janice is telling every one of her friends to do the whole30. You wouldn’t recommend it to your worst enemy. Janice eats ‘gluten free.’ You think gluten tastes fantastic. Hell, maybe you don’t even know what gluten is. OR CARE!

What works for one person does not necessarily mean that it will work for you.

The bit take-away here is, you can actually accommodate your eating preferences into a plan that works for you. You may have to make trade-offs here and there, but that is ok.

And just because it seems like everyone else is benefitting from the latest diet craze does not mean that you have to do it, or even that it will work for you.

You are a special snowflake of a human. Embrace it and do what works for you because it is your life.

That being said, if you need help figuring out what works for you, I am only an email away and I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at augustworden@gmail.com

I will answer all of your questions, even if they may not be fitness related. I will forgive you. 

ALSO… if you enjoyed this article, or if it spoke to you in any way, I would be tickled pink if you would kindly share it with your fellow humans. Thanks a lot!

 

 

3 Key Things to Fat Loss in the Work Place

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What’s up everyone!

So, I’ve noticed a common theme recently…. “Hey, Gus.. How do I make good, healthy decisions at work??”

Great question. Here’s the thing… The gym is my favorite place on this earth. My seem a bit exaggerated, but unless you personally know me, you probably can’t quite relate.

I spend all day in the gym. I get there at around 5 in the morning. I leave sometime around 7:30 or 8 at night. In between those hours, I train lots of people, visit with even more people, sell fitness stuff and, oh yea, workout.

It is my second home.

A little about my situation: For me, staying healthy is easy. Ever heard of the saying “you are a product of your environment?” Or maybe “You are the average of the 5 people you associate closest with?” For you business-y types “Your net worth is your network?”

Starting to catch the drift? I have made it my living to associate, eat, breathe and sleep (done it before) all things gym.

Why?

Because my passion is to help people get healthy. I have surrounded myself with all things ‘health and fitness.’

So this begs the question… How do people who don’t literally live at the gym, get healthy and into good shape?

How do those who work in places that are not-quite-so-health-oriented get ahead on their fat loss goals?

Below, I have answered with the following points:

 

1. Have a written plan

 

What do all successful people have in common with each other?

Here is a big clue… look at the heading. Talk to just about anyone that has become successful, be it in fitness or business or health, life, whatever. They have a written plan.

Why climb the ladder of success only to realize that your ladder was leaning against the wrong building.

Know what you goals are, write them down, and then write several action steps that will allow you to walk purposefully toward that goal.

For me, that plan is a written workout log along with my goal at the top of the page. Yes, I write my goal down every day to know what I am aiming at. Then I make sure that the workout below matches with that goal.

For those of you trying to lose weight, this is my suggestion. Write down a ‘not-to-eat’ list. Make a list of the foods that you know are ‘kryptonite’ to your weight loss journey and tape it up on your fridge. Make another list and keep it duct-taped and/or super glued to your work desk so that you see it as much as possible.

This is your written plan.

*side note: maybe ask your boss before you super glue a list down to their desk…

 

2. Find healthy friends

 

If you have hefty friends that go out every day at lunch to buffalo wild wings or mcdonald’s please find healthier friends.

This is not to say, never talk to them again, but please understand that you pick up the habits of those that are closest to you.

If you think “nah. I’ll be fine.” Then go ahead and ignore this one, however studies show that having a positive support group is one of the biggest factors (top 3) for people trying to elicit change in their life.

Trust me. You need someone to have your back when the co-worker brings doughnuts into the workplace.

Hell. I still need help around doughnuts and I’m the fitness professional.

 

3. Single task

 

Don’t try and conquer everything at once. By that I mean, don’t all of a sudden decide that you will go from 8 16 oz. sodas a day to ‘cold-turkey.’ Don’t make a promise to yourself that you will no longer succumb to the siren’s call of lays potato chips (you really can’t have just one). And don’t think that you will go from professional couch potato to 5k in 2 weeks.

That is too much, too quick.

You may be thinking ‘But, Gus! You said…”

Trust me. I know what I said. But heed my words right now… Willpower has been proven in multiple studies to fade. It runs out. Physically, it has been shown to cause fatigue in other areas that also require this resource.

So, therefore, the name of the game is single-tasking. Pick one thing that you wish to change and focus your efforts there for about 1-2 weeks until it becomes habit.

Habits don’t require willpower. They are automatic. So in your health journey, the goal is to create lasting change that you can fall back on and not even think about.

Pick one thing, and ONLY one thing, and focus on that for a period of 2 weeks.

 

Do these 3 things above and watch your body and mind change for the better.

If you need any assistance or need help deciding which habits to choose/work on, feel free to send me an email at augustworden@gmail.com

I’m here to help.

Salutations

 

Overcome Your Fat Loss Plateaus

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Time and time again I receive the following complaint:

“I think I’ve hit a plateau. I’m not losing anymore weight and I don’t know what to do.”

Well, here’s the thing… The body is an incredibly adaptable machine. Seriously.

And the body will change when you tell it to. The thing is, most people believe that it has to be some gigantic, huge, cumbersome change. They get bogged down, almost to the point of quitting (in fact many do) because they believe that they are truly stuck.

But let me give a quick analogy.

If you chain a baby elephant to a stake, it will struggle and struggle and struggle to get free up until the point it becomes exhausted and it will eventually tire out and give up. Eventually, each consecutive time the elephant will struggle less until it finally associates the stake and chain as an insurmountable obstacle. Or, in other words, it quits trying.elephant-3

But here is the interesting twist, the elephant will continue to grow. Duh. And it will become bigger and stronger until it finally reaches its full size and strength as the largest and strongest animal to walk on dry land.

Now, do you really believe that an elephant is going to be held down by a wooden stake tethered to a chain?

Are you joking? NO. The stake might as well be a toothpick and the chain a piece of floss compared to the mass and size of a fully grown elephant. It could simply lift its leg and either the stake would come right out of the ground or the chain would snap cleanly in two, freeing the elephant.

But tell that to the elephant.

You see, it grew up thinking that the chain and stake meant that it was stuck in that spot because when it was a baby, it didn’t have the strength to overcome the obstacle.

And for a time that was true. When it was a baby, the chain and stake were strong enough to hold the elephant there.

But the belief of captivity remained long after the elephant became plenty strong enough to rip it’s rope from the ground without much effort. The elephant, originally slave to the stake and chain, is now slave purely to its own belief system.

And that is what happens once we reach a plateau. We start out great, motivated that the weight is coming off and that we are getting noticeably stronger. Everything is going smoothly, our drive is strong and confidence is high and our energy levels are through the roof.

And then… the plateau open-hand slaps you in the face.

What you are doing is no longer working. The scale has been the same for 2 months. Inches are no longer melting off and we think something is wrong.

But really, all we have to do is simply break the chain.

And for us that merely amounts to changing something.

As I mentioned above the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and it will change if you ask it to.

The way that we ‘ask’ is to change our actions.

That is it.

And really, it does not have to be a big change.

You see the once we reach that plateau, the thing we don’t understand is that our body has adapted to the stimulus that we are giving it. It is no longer responsive to your actions because you have been doing them for too long.

If we want it to continue the trend of losing weight, we just need to tweak the input that we are giving the body just a bit.

This can be as simple as adding an extra workout during the week, adding a little extra protein to our meals, or sometimes even drinking a little extra water throughout the day.

Again, it really doesn’t have to be a big change. Just something substantive enough to shock the body back into a fat loss machine.

Where people get bogged down and overwhelmed is that they, like the elephant, are used to existing in a certain state of mind. In their thoughts, there is no way out, but really, all that has to be done is just a little change, and they are back on track.

Don’t be like the elephant.

Simply take a step back, breath and think about what you have been doing, and change one thing. JUST ONE.

Then, observe if that works over a couple of weeks and re-try if it does not.

If it does. Winning. Keep doing that.

If you like this article, please share it with someone who needs to hear this. If you have any questions or would like my help overcoming your ‘stake and chain,’ simply email me or find me on social media. I will respond promptly.

A Quick Interview with the Father of Paleo: Dr. Loren Cordain

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Unless you have been living underneath a rock, most people by now have heard of the Paleo movement.

The premise is simple:

Our genetic makeup is made to eat a certain way; that of our ancestors in the Paleolithic Era (hence the name), while the advent of civilization and the agricultural revolution gave us another.

The argument, is that if we return to the diet of our ancestors, we will also return our level of optimal health that was prevalent in the Paleolithic time period and erase the maladies that our present society is plagued with.

Dr. Loren Cordain is considered by many to be the father of this movement.cordainloren0736-2400x3000

Not only that but he has also appeared in many of the world’s top scientific journals to include the American Journal of clinical Nutrition, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition as well as several others.

He has published many books to include The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes.

He has even been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as made several appearances on major news networks.

Currently he maintains a position as Professor Emeritus with Colorado State University.

To say that he is knowledgeable and well-respected would be the understatement of the year.

Fortunately, he took the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions, which I have listed below…

Me:

Can you briefly describe your life work and philosophy to someone who may have never heard of the term ‘Paleo’ before?

Dr. Cordain:

The word “Paleo” in today’s nutritional and fitness community has generally been ascribed to a diet which emulates a contemporary nutritional program that maintains certain dietary characteristics of our Stone Age ancestors. 

Paleo is short for “Paleolithic” which means, The Old Stone Age, a period that first ended in some places in the world about 10,000 years ago.  Prior to the Paleolithic era, all humans made their living as hunter gatherers, consuming only those wild plant and animal foods which could be foraged from their natural environment. ron-swanson

Clearly, contemporary humans, even if they wanted to, could not exactly emulate the dietary characteristics of our hunter gatherer ancestors.

Consequently, present day “Paleo” diets, generally, mimic the food groups our ancestors ate, but not precisely the exact foods they would have consumed.

Contemporary Paleo diets are generally comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grass produced meats, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood.

Modern Paleo diets generally avoid all processed and packaged foods, refined sugars, refined grains, refined vegetable oils, salt, whole grains and legumes and all modern foods made with a mixture of these elements.

Me:

What was the ‘Ah-HA!’ or ‘Lightbulb moment’ when you decided that you wanted to make this your life’s work?

Dr. Cordain:

In 1987, I first read Boyd Eaton’s (M.D), now classic paper (1985) in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.  

This seminal paper acknowledged the evolutionary basis for contemporary human nutrition, and made more sense to me than anything I had previously read about optimal human nutrition. 

I read everything I could on the topic and eventually contacted Dr. Eaton.  We ended up giving talks together, co-publishing scientific articles, and worked collectively to help establish the seminal work that became the contemporary Paleo Diet movement.

Me:

There is plenty of knowledge out there about proper nutrition and the Paleo movement, especially since it has been gaining much traction in the fitness world over the past several years. However, people still have a hard time practicing proper eating and nutritional habits despite the almost unlimited access to knowledge and resources. Why do you believe that this is so and what is your advice to these people?

Dr. Cordain:

I believe we really don’t have sufficient data to know how many people are aware of contemporary Paleo Diets and how many people who actually practice them, or to what degree they maintain compliance.  This information would be important to answer your question, particularly compared to other diets promoted as being health giving, such as the USDM My Pyramid, the Mediterranean Diet and others.

Me:

If you could only give one piece of advice to someone about to undertake a life of self-improvement through proper exercise and nutrition practices, what would that be?

Dr. Cordain:

Avoid processed, packaged foods while replacing them with fresh, living whole foods and exercise whenever possible.

Personally, I have adopted the Paleo style of eating as the method that I keep falling back on.

Influences and knowledgeable experts such as Dr. Cordain and Robb Wolf have been the ones to provide the most insight into this dietary lifestyle, so if you have further questions, I would highly recommend you to pick up both of their books.

From my experience, it has had the greatest impact on my personal health.

In the past I have suffered from thyroid disorder; hyperthyroidism to be precise.

I was on medication to keep it under wraps and decided to fully commit to this method of eating to attempt to resolve the issue.

Miraculously, it did fix itself. Whether that is directly attributable to the Paleo lifestyle, I cannot definitively say.

However, I will say that thyroid disease is considered to be a medically dependent disease. In other words, medication is considered permanent and necessary in order to effectively manage it.

So, with that argument, I make my case for Dr. Cordain’s Paleo diet.

I rest my case.

Lewis Howes Answers Some of My Questions

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This past week I have had the opportunity to connect with a man by the name of Lewis Howes.

 

Some of you may recognize him, some of you may not. Nonetheless I will give him the proper accolades.

lewis_howes

Lewis is a former professional arena football player turned mega-successful entrepreneur and author in his quest to achieve greatness.

 

Currently he hosts the “School of Greatness Podcast,” which interviews the likes of Olympic gold medalists, CEO’s of billion dollar companies, revolutionary doctors and scientists as well as leading influencers across varying industries to learn what makes them tick.

 

To say that Lewis is a successful guy would be a vast understatement, which is why I am incredibly grateful that he took the time to respond to a few of my own questions.

 

Because Lewis is a busy guy I did not want to waste his time with a page full of questions (and because he probably would not have answered had I done so), so I narrowed the possible book of questions that I had for him down to just four that I hope will be beneficial to you.

 

My goal in this was to provide you with some insight into the health habits of the highly successful and Lewis is certainly one who takes this aspect of his life very seriously.

 

So, without boring you with further diatribes, here is the good stuff:

 

Gus:

So I am curious to know, how does your health affect your work and your relationships?

 

Lewis:

It is everything.

 

If I don’t work out regularly (my goal is daily) and eat right, my energy goes down pretty fast. I feel sluggish and tired and don’t have as much mental energy to make decisions for my business.

 

I don’t have as much patience and clarity in my relationships either. Health is number one!

 

Gus:

Is there a certain way that you manage your stress levels and if so, how?

 

Lewis:

I really try to meditate daily, either when I wake up or when I go to bed.

 

I’m really loving Headspace right now because they are simple, 10 minute guided meditations I can quickly access on my phone.

 

Working out is, again, a huge part of managing my stress. I also get out of my condo every day, even if just to take a walk, to make sure I’m seeing the sun and appreciating wherever I am.

 

Gus:

What is the one (best) piece of health advice that you would give to someone?

 

Lewis:

Treat your body like the temple that it is.

 

It’s your biggest ally but it can’t take care of itself. Taking care of your health lets you perform at your peak in every area of your life.

 

Gus:

Do you have six-pack abs (everyone wants to know)?

 

Lewis:

Hahahaha no not right now. I need to hang out with Steve Weatherford more often.

 

As you can see, even the massively successful make the time in their busy schedules to prioritize their health.

 

And, hopefully, from this brief email interview I hope that you will as well, because it truly is, as Lewis says, “number one.”

 

My own, personal take-away from this interview is that health is not something that you just happen to be able to fit into your schedule.

 

Lewis flies all over the country conducting interviews with incredibly successful people and also runs his own business teaching others how to follow in his footsteps.

 

This man is incredibly short on time, more so than us mere mortals.

 

If he can find the time to exercise daily, as he says and still manage to eat healthy and meditate, then so can we.

 

And even though the last question was meant to be a bit of a comedic twist, it also serves a purpose:

 

Lewis is a very healthy and athletic guy. In fact, he also is on the men’s national handball team along with being a former football player.

 

However, even he does not have abs.

 

Nobody is perfect. He is human too.

 

And I hope that you understand that the point of health is not perfection.

 

Instead, it is in the process of constantly and intentionally improving yourself in order that you live a more wholesome and enjoyable life with those you love, and from what I understand, Lewis certainly accomplishes this.

 

 

If you enjoyed reading this article, I would love it if you would hit the share buttons on the screen and email this to 1-2 people that need to hear this.

 

Also, for more information on Lewis Howes or The School of Greatness Podcast, simply click on the linked text located within the article or go and buy his book, ‘The School of Greatness.’

 

I again want to thank Lewis and his team for taking the time out of their busy schedule to further progress and spread the incredible benefits of health and fitness.

The Crazy Simple Guide for Long-Term, Permanent Fat Loss

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We generally  have too broad of a focus when it comes to fat loss.

 

A great analogy is the ‘shotgun’ approach. Point in the general direction, pull the trigger, and hope we hit (part of) the target.

 

This is usually vastly ineffective as we tend to focus on too many items at once and we lose the forest for the trees, ultimately spreading ourselves too thin and creating self-sabotage. In other words…

 

We fail, hard. 

 

Another way to put it is encapsulated perfectly in a wonderful metaphor I heard recently (although I admit I can’t quite recall where from, so I apologize if I am stealing this from someone):

 

“When you chase two rabbits, you will end up with none.”

bunny 

Narrow your focus to that of a laser and pick one unfortunate bunny to tackle instead of frantically chasing both.

 

In keeping with the theme of this article, the goal here is to give you the most straight-forward and practical guide to losing the unwanted fat, that you can find available to you on the interwebz (internet) by keeping the focus small and precise.

 

Therefore, I will not give explanations as to the ‘why’ of how this stuff works.

 

That will be for another article and another time.

 

For now, my only concern is to provide you with a practical resource that promotes fat loss and optimal health over the long term through habit change.

 

In other words, if you are looking for a quick fix or want to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, stop reading now. This is not for you and will only frustrate you as you question my credibility.

 

Save yourself the trouble and stop while you are ahead.

 

Quick fixes are not my priority here.

 

This is also not for the super data-oriented types that are obsessive about measuring everything. Again, that is another article for another time.

 

Instead, this is a guide that will focus on slowly and methodically incorporating habits that are present in healthy individuals in order to become one of those healthy peeps.

 

The best part?

 

It is extremely simple.

 

No fluff. No headaches.

 

Just straightforward steps to help you lose fat and get in shape.

 

So let’s get into the heart of it, shall we?

 

*NOTE: If you are like me and get distracted easily or just don’t really like to read, I have only the ‘Need-to-know’ in bullet format at the bottom of the page. For the rest of you that enjoy a more detailed explanation, read on.

 

  • First: An introduction into what really matters

 

When it comes to fat loss, there is one thing that will account for arguably 80-90% of your final results.

 

And that one thing is (drumroll please)…

 

Your nutrition.funny-cartoon

 

Now I know a lot of you have already turned up your lip in disgust as this is not the most sexy or glamorous way of getting swim-suit ready.

 

In fact, Im willing to bet that the thing that gets you pumped up and ready to shed the extra fat is the idea of becoming the gym warrior.

 

You are motivated to get up early, drive to the gym and pound out a fat-burning, sweat-session that will have you lookin’ good and feelin’ good in no time right?

 

However, your nutrition, or how you eat, is the most efficient and effective way to torch the fat, and therefore, it will be the focus.

 

In fact, Tom Venuto wrote a great piece called the hierarchy of fat loss that goes into better detail about the various pieces of nutrition and how they work to promote fat loss.

 

He actually doesn’t even touch exercise in this article. Check it out for yourself.

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, exercise is critical to overall health and I highly encourage it, but again, that is not the focus of this article.

 

This is purely meant to establish those nutritional habits that will get you on track to optimizing health and burning excess fat.

 

A nice side effect is that this will certainly compliment any good exercise routine once you decide to take that plunge.

 

But, again, one rabbit for now.

 

Ill address the exercise bunny soon enough.

 

 

 

  • Second, the process

 

So we have established that focusing on nutrition is our primary goal.

 

Cool.

 

Now, how do we go about approaching this?

 

By making it as simple as we possibly can.

 

Research has shown that willpower is a limited resource, and that it can be used up by the various stressors that we experience daily.

 

Kids, your boss, house chores, family issues, health issues, dog peed the bed, ran over a squirrel, or whatever. The list goes on infinitely.

 

So as you go about your business throughout the day, there are various sources that drain you of your willpower reserves, so that when you try to simultaneously incorporate multiple new routines and habits all at once, you are already so drained by your daily activities that you eventually give up on your new endeavors.

 

Sound familiar?

 

This, I believe, is the reason why so many people fail at implementing a new fitness routine.

 

Working out on a daily basis, adding new foods into your diet, eliminating others and, ultimately, overhauling a large part of your daily routine, takes a lot of willpower.

 

Like, A LOT…

 

And adding this on top of our, already stressful lives, sets us up perfectly for failure.The word Everything on a To-Do list on a dry erase board to remi

 

So how is one to succeed?

 

Easy. We save as much willpower as we possibly can in reserve by only changing/incorporating ONE new thing at a time.

 

And it has to be easy.

 

The easier it is, the less willpower necessary to implement the habit and the more likely it is that it will become a habit.

 

Once we internalize a habit as part of our daily routine, it will take almost zero willpower.

 

At that time, we add another habit.

 

And then another. And then another.

 

We continue doing this until, one day, we look in the mirror and wonder where all the pounds went.

 

Sound good?

 

I thought so. Let’s move on, shall we?

 

The Habits

 

Below are the habits that we will be incorporating.

 

Keep in mind you will only be working on one at a time, so pick the ONE that you believe will be almost too easy and crush it.

 

This will build up momentum and set you up for success from the get-go:

 

-Food Journaling

 

Write down what you eat each day in a journal.

 

You can either do this with pen and paper (old school), or you can use one of the various food tracking apps that are available nowadays.

 

Note: Keep in mind that if you use the apps, you will most likely be prompted to input the quantity of what you are eating. For some, this can be overwhelming, and for others it will be rewarding.

 

The trick here is to know yourself and pick the one that you will get the most benefit from and the least stress.

 

-Protein at every meal

 

Ladies – 1 serving = the width and area of the palm of your hand (not including the fingers

 

Gents – 1 serving = 2 palms (width + area)

 

Note: These are rough measurements. Many people, females especially, tend to over-estimate the amount of protein they are getting and, because of that, actually do not get enough.

 

If you do track your food on the app, aim for about 0.75 grams per pound of body weight a day (keep in mind this is very general, however most people will see success at this level).

 

*Other opinions may say otherwise, however this has worked for me and my clients consistently. Again, keep in mind that this is a very general recommendation. For my clients, my decision on how much protein they will need is going to vary based on a lot of factors. HOWEVER, my current recommended amount of 0.75g will work for these purposes.

 

If you have trouble getting enough protein throughout the day, or just want some ideas on how to get, check out this article by Mike Vacanti. He gets a little more detailed than I would like to go in this article but the content of what he presents is nothing short of great information.

 

He even gives the protein sources a grade based on factors such as cost, taste, convenience and a couple other markers. Great resource.

 

-Plan your meals for the week

 

Write it out and stick it to the fridge. Don’t get fancy; it should take no more than 15-20 minutes.

 

The reason I say this is, again, because I want this to be overly easy so as not to interrupt your daily routine.

 

If you find yourself stressing, you are probably making it too complicated.

 

Another indication that you are getting too fancy is if the recipe you are trying to make is more than 5-7 total ingredients.

Follow the KISS rule… Keep it simple, stupid.

 

Obviously it will take time shopping for and preparing your meals, which is why I suggest batching them together.

 

AKA…meal prepping.

 

Seriously, give it a try. It will save you so much time and stress throughout the week.

 

Just pick a day that you have relatively free (or maybe a night when the kids are down for you parents out there) schedule and have at it.

 

This one is a game-changer.

 

-Write down and visualize your goals daily

 

Yes. Write it down daily.

 

Who do you think hits their goal? The guy who writes his goal down once on New Year’s like everyone else, or the guy who writes down his goal every day when he gets out of bed?

 

Point received?

 

-Eliminate processed food from Breakfast

 

Noting with ingredients you can’t pronounce.

 

That means no pop-tarts, toaster strudels or any boxed cereal. I don’t care if it is ‘gluten free’ or ‘organic.’

 

DON’T DO IT.

 

-Eliminate processed food from lunch

 

(See above)

 

-Eliminate processed food from Dinner

 

(See above. Again)

 

1 serving of green/leafy veggies with breakfast

 

1 serving = area of hand stretched flat (fingers included)

 

-1 serving of green/leafy veggies with lunch

 

-1 serving of green/leafy veggies with dinner

 

-Pack a healthy snack for when you get hungry

 

A small serving of mixed nuts and/or a protein source will fit well here.

 

-Control starches

 

These include foods such as regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.

 

1 serving = 1 cupped hand. Limit to 1 serving per meal

 

*Preferably no more than 2 servings a day

 

-Control fats:

 

1 serving = approximately 1 thumb’s worth; from tip of the nail to the start of the palm.

 

These can add up quick in calories. That is not to say to avoid fats.

 

In fact, the whole ‘fats are bad’ mentality should have died in the 90’s. You need fats to survive and there are many studies that actually link high fat diets to leaner individuals.

 

The goal here is simply keep it under control.

 

-Take 8-10 grams of fish oil

 

There are so many benefits here. Just trust me.

 

It’s Good stuff.

 

-Carry a 16-24 oz H20 Bottle Daily

gota-agua

Continually sip from it and refill it throughout the day.

 

We are over 70% water. In order for our body to function optimally we need plenty of water.

 

Think of this as oil for a car. It lubricates all of the moving joints and pieces so that the car can function without a hitch.

 

Water works in a similar fashion for your body, ensuring that all of the normal processes, including your metabolism (which drives fat loss), run smoothly.

 

‘nuff said here.

 

And there you have it.

 

Pick one of these habits at a time and work on it until it is internalized.

 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

 

I usually like to spend 1-2 weeks on one habit. Any shorter than 1 week usually does not create a lasting habit, and any longer than 2 usually gets boring.

 

That being said, boring can be effective. I have had people that I have worked with spend an entire month on one habit.

 

Keep in mind that if you keep that pace up, by the end of the year that is still 12 new habits that will do nothing but awesome things for your waistline.

 

The key is consistency.

 

Just keep the big picture in mind and your hard work will reward you greatly.

 

I’ll leave you with these parting words:

 

Willpower is a finite resource. If you believe that you will just force yourself into change by doing too much at once, it will only be a matter of time before you burn out.

 

Harness your motivation and focus it on a singular task at a time. Build routines and habits that set you up for success, as it is our routines, not our willpower, that ultimately determine whether we succeed or fail.

 

Ensure your routines are setting you up for success by eliminating the willpower factor from the equation and instilling good, productive, fat burning habits into your lifestyle.

 

Good Luck and Live Optimally!

 

 

P.S. Accountability is a game changer. So what I would like for you to do now, is to comment below (or email me) telling what your first habit will be and share this with someone that would benefit from this program. For easy share-ability, there are some pretty sweet buttons on the left side of your screen. Go ahead and click away.

 

The Need to Know

 

-Understand that 80-90% of your results come from your nutrition habits, so put your focus into refining this area of your life.

 

-Narrow your focus to a singular goal or habit that is painfully easy to accomplish. For ones to pick from, choose from the list I have included (or email me for suggestions).

 

-Spend 1-2 weeks, maybe even a month, to internalize ONE habit at a time (see the above list). Attack it with fervor until you have mastered it. Once you have accomplished that, only then, move on to another.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

 

-Simplify, simplify, simplify. If the habit you are working on feels too easy you are on the right track. If it is too hard, maybe you might want to rethink your decision and start again with a different habit. Trial and error is part of the learning process. Take a page from Thomas Edison here and find the one that works instead of focusing on the 10,000 reasons why it did not. Remember, the goal is permanent habit change, one at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Off the Unwanted Weight While Tail-gating

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Preventing the LB’s during football season

 

So no lie… Football season might be my favorite time of the year. And it is not just because I truly enjoy watching football even though that is very true.

 

If we are being honest, I live in Texas. So when football season gets going, it usually signals the end of the hellish heat that Texas is so well known for. Although, our falls are still much warmer than most places, anything is a relief from low triple digits for months on end.

 

I also really enjoy the feeling of the crisp autumn air and a nice pumpkin spice latte…just kidding. Ill take my coffee black.

 

But this article is not about me describing my white girl-ish fascination with the fall season.

 

Instead, I am here to give practical advise on keeping off the weight during the inevitable football watching parties and various tailgates that abound.

 

So lets get right into it, shall we?

 

  1. Host the watch part/tailgate yourself?

 

What better way to avoid the foods you know tempt you than to not cook them at all? Hosting the event and providing the food and drinks allows you to not have to consider breaking your diet for those hot wings and blue cheese dressing…just me?

 

You get the point

 

  1. You should be holding a full glass of water the entire time

 

Why you ask? You will piss like a race horse you say?

 

Maybe, but consider this. Many times we think we are hungry, when in reality we are dehydrated. It is hard enough to stay hydrated without the presence of booze around much less when the hosts have a separate refrigerator just for beer.

 

Keep hunger and the thirst at bay by constantly sipping on a glass of water.

 

If you do happen to have a few drinks, it will be substantially less and you will avoid a hangover (most likely). You are welcome.

 

  1. Eat a protein rich meal before you arrive at the tailgate

 

Mindlessly snacking can add up quick. Keep this at bay by eating a good size meal loaded with protein to keep you full.

 

Couple this with the tip above and I am willing to bet that you don’t eat much at all at the party.

 

  1. Put self-imposed limits on your desires

 

I get it. You don’t want to be the weird one that doesn’t eat or drink anything at the party.

 

O.K. really I don’t but this isn’t about me.

 

If you know yourself, and you suck at resisting peer pressure (you should work on this) then at the very least set drink and food limits.

 

For example, a good one would be:

 

One drink at the start of the game, and one at half time to finish it all the way through.

 

Or…

 

I will only go to the snack table at before the game starts (once) and at half time (once).

 

I love football parties just as much as the next person. But you do not have to let it derail your fat loss journey.

 

Use these tips above and you will dramatically minimize your unwanted football season weight gain.

 

However if your team sucks and you stress eat out of depression, I am not the person to talk to.

 

Just kidding. Kind of.

 

For more tips be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter. Do it now!

 

If you want to talk football (college or pro) feel free to email me.

 

AND last, but not least, if you even have the smallest desire to work with me on a fat loss or strength gain program and become one of my valued clients, please reach out to me.

 

But act quick because the price will be increased shortly. Claim your spot at my lowest rates ever.