Rule #2: Words to Live By

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It’s Story Time!

Everybody has a story in them, a string of events that together forms a narrative and influences their choices and behavior.  Think about it, when you tell people that you are a good cook what does this mean?  You may reference several meals that you have prepared over the years and the praise you received from friends and family for your creations.  At a deeper level you might even remember the time you spent in the kitchen with your parents learning the nuances of putting together a meal.

You can wear a culinary badge of competence based on a history of success and you enjoy the confidence that goes along with it.  The thing is, story telling works in both directions and if you are still mastering the art of boiling water you have a pretty different story.  The stories we tell ourselves can both carry us forward or hinder our progress; you get to choose which one you want to listen to.

Creating a lifestyle where you achieve a healthy weight and confidence means learning a story that aligns with what you are trying to accomplish.  The thing is, if you have had a difficult time with weight loss in the past your story may need revisions.  In fact, you may need to do a bit more research and find co-author if you really need to make some significant changes.

Before you know where to go you need to write out where you have been.  Take the rest of the week and think about your healthy living story.  Who are the main characters, who are the villains, what plot twist caught you off guard and what successes did you experience.  Once you have this down you can start to write the rest of the story.

Note, you don’t have to write this story alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Check me out here: http://www.true-2-life.com

Like a Boss!!

I’m a personal trainer and a counselor, I workout because it is fun and I really enjoy pushing myself.  When it’s not -25 here in Chicago I like getting in a morning run but in the winter I opt for some early morning Yoga to get things going.  Later in the day I block off a couple of hours for a gym workout.

Often, when I talk to my friends about my lifestyle they point out that they would workout like this if it was their job too.  Well, it is your job.  In fact you are the CEO of your healthy lifestyle.

I spend 30 minutes in the AM and a couple of hours in the afternoon that includes my commute to the gym and a stop a Whole Foods after.  If you break down my actual gym time I work out for just a little over an hour.  The thing is, I make the time, I get up early, I schedule my clients around this break in the day.  I prioritize my health.

It is Monday, you have the whole week ahead of you, schedule the time you are going to dedicate to yourself today.  You are the boss of this life.

Alive but Still Learning to Live.

I have so been neglecting this blog but I do have a good reason.  I lost my job right before Thanksgiving, not exactly and ideal situation to be in right before the holidays and my motivation was totally in the dumps.  I did the whole feeling bad for myself bit for several weeks, drank a little more then I should, cut off friends and family.  After going through the motions for most of November and a lot of December I realized I expected better of myself.

This wasn’t living, this wasn’t the way that I do things and when one ride ends you just get in line for another.

So, I started a business, I got my first client last week and have a meeting with a second this week.  The thing is, being self-employeed has always been the dream and working for others doesn’t honor my vision.  If there is anything that life has taught me it is that it will correct itself, often in very painful ways, if you aren’t living the way you were intended to.

As we start this year I encourage you to take inventory and consider if you are being true to the life you want to live and the person you want to be.  What needs to happen in order for you to stop going around in circles and start moving things forward?  While it is great to be alive it is better when you start living.

Check out this post from The Art of Manliness: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Here is the website for my new business I have another blog on the site and we recorded our first podcast this weekend.  We also have a 30 Day Challenge going on Facebook: True 2 Life

I wish you the best in 2014 and please contact me if you are interested in fitness and lifestyle coaching.

I Find it Best to Start at the Beginning, Part 1

Could you imagine beginning with parallel parking when you first started driving or playing a song for friends at your first attempt at the piano?  Yet, so many people start their weight loss journey in the middle without establishing a foundation to work from.  It is no wonder failure rates are so high, most people are starting at the wrong point in their program.

So, where to begin?  Start with a review of what you have done in the past, what has and has not worked for you?  You have to take a look at the road you have traveled through critical eyes; if you lost a lot of weight over a coupe of months on a low calorie diet only to gain it back did it really work?  If you don’t have many references for what has worked for you look at what has worked for other individuals.  The National Weight Loss Registry is a great resource to find individuals that have lost weight and kept if off.

Next, take inventory of  what resources you have available to you and what barriers you need to address.  Will you be using a gym or equipment at home?  Will pizza Friday be an issue for you and what is an alternative?  Who in your life will support your efforts and who will razz you for not having one more beer when out and about?  Your journey doesn’t take place in a bubble and you should account for as many variables as possible.

Your attitude will play a significant role in your success and you have to be open to trying new things and staying aware.  Developing your awareness will be the key to really establishing a solid ground to develop from.  Keep a notebook for the next couple of weeks of your eating habits and exercise routine.  Check out Penzu.com for a free on-line notebook.

To find out more about me and what I do: www.true-2-life.com

 

Exercising vs. Athletic Training

Two views of local Extension leaders drilling ...

Come on girls, 1 and a 2 and a 3…

Some of the best advice I have ever been given about working out: “you don’t have to enjoy the work out but you can enjoy what it does for you.” Believe me, I can see it on the faces of those people hamster wheeling those elliptical machines, they don’t want to be there and if they can just go 20 more minutes life will be good.  However, there is a big difference between optimizing your workout and just going through the motions.

In a recent article by Michael J. Joyner in Outside magazine entitled Why You Need to Be Doing BurpeesJoyner highlights a study that shows an increase in mortality versus an individual’s ability to get off the floor.  Think about it, if you have fallen and you can’t get up what does this say about your physical ability?  Gravity is a bitch, it is constantly working to push you down and keep you there.

Working out isn’t just about going through the motions in the gym, it is about optimizing our ability to move against gravity.  Now, you can go to the gym and exercise, get in a little cardio go over to the weights and do some bench, curl some dumbbells, get that pump on.  However, think about how this would help you if you suddenly slipped on the ice and needed to catch yourself or had your arm trapped under a boulder, needed to cut your arm off, then crawl to safety.  OK, maybe that is a little extreme but how do those traditional exercises serve to improve physicality?

Here is a list of traditional compared to there more athletic exercises

  • Bench Press vs. Burpees or Clapping Pushups
  • Cable Pulldown vs. Pullups
  • Elliptical vs. Stair Climbers or Running
  • Squat vs. Front Squat or Kettlebell Swings
  • Missionary Position vs. Amazon Kneeling Reverse (look it up will make you chuckle.)

To find out more about me and what I do: http://www.ibehaviorcoach.com

Tweeting Toward Healthy Living

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Everything is better with friends, including getting in shape and losing weight.  Technology has given us the opportunity to create and foster relationships with others from the comfort of our sofas.  Now, if the extent of your interaction with others on-line has been trolling pictures of your high school crush on Facebook then, it’s time to get more out of your internet time.

Twitter is a great place to get support and inspiration in 140 charters or less.  You don’t need to understand how to use hashtags and at signs (@) to get something out of social networking for weight loss.  Because of the limit on what you can write you can post and read quick notes that get to the point.  Bonus, twitter is also a free service and takes no time to set up, connect to friends and family and get started.

I suggest that you set up a twitter account with friends that support your weight-loss efforts or people that are also trying to get in shape.  Commit to posting daily updates, workouts, and barriers you bump up against.  I also recommend following people and organizations that will give you information that aligns with goal and motivates you.

Suggested Tweets to follow: iBehaviorCoach, Retrofitme, Men’s Health, Sparkpeople,

To find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

Why Do You Do?

Here’s a scenario, you have the goal in mind to lose several pounds before the holidays because you have a trip planned to Brazil.  You get a gym membership, sign up for  a couple of group fitness classes and buy a juicer.  Your morning routine, choke down homemade beet/celery/quinoa concoction, pack bag with gym clothes, and grab a protein bar.  The first two weeks start off pretty well, you are hitting the gym three-times a week and you can set a timer to your bowl movements (thanks quinoa).

However, you will have to change some things around next week, project due by Friday and there are two after work functions planned.  No problem, you will get back on track next week. When next week roles around you only end up getting to the gym once because of some family commitments and more work functions.  Four-weeks out you are totally off track, tired of cleaning the juicer blades, and annoyed by the extra weight you have to haul around each day just so you can get to the gy

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...

Thank you Quinoa!!

m.  Thinking back to those first couple of weeks you ask, “how did I make that happen?”

One of the more significant factors that separate those that are successful at weight-loss and those that aren’t is the ability to prioritize defined healthy behaviors.  Think about it, there are several non-negotiable throughout your day that support your personal, professional, and social lives.  For example, how long could you keep your job and friends if you didn’t attend to your personal hygiene?  Regular showers are a non-negotiable for most people that want to keep their jobs and interact with other individuals.

When you prioritize self-care you make it a non-negotiable to a certain extent.  This will require a better understanding of your world so you can make an AM workout happen if you have extra work to do in the evening.  This also requires not allowing yourself to make excuses and understanding this is a part of who you are.  When you really own healthy living as a part of your persona it permeates all areas of your life and losing weight becomes less about doing it will just begin to happen.

To find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

Let The Count Down Begin

99 Problems

99 Problems (Photo credit: Lulu Hoeller)

There are 99 days left in 2013 and this gives us the perfect opportunity to set goals.  I do enjoy goal setting and I am even part of a group of Facebook where we post up a 30 day challenge at the beginning of every month.  Through these challenges I have learned that it not just about reaching a goal but what you discover about yourself along the way.  For instance, I wanted to cut down on eating out so I threw out the challenge of limiting restaurant visits to celebrations only.  Before you ask, yes, Sunday night football counts as a celebration.

I came to realize that I wasn’t just going out for convenience  but I was feeding my need to be around other people.  I am extremely extraverted and am energized by places crowded with other individuals even if I’m not interacting with them.  Because I work out of my apartment I was going out and grabbing a bite not because I didn’t feel like taking all that time to defrost that Trader Joe’s chicken burrito but to have some company.

My recommendation for an end of the year challenge, go big, put something out there that you really want to accomplish and set monthly goals that align with what you are trying to accomplish.  So, if you want to lose 15 lbs. set your 30 day goal at getting in 10,000 steps each day or making sure you get your daily serving of vegetables.  Focus on the small stuff and set up a daily check-list of healthy living task.  Also, it would help if you came up with some system to keep you accountable. Things like purchasing some classes, signing up with a coach, or getting your friends to withhold your favorite pillow until you accomplish your goal kick in that little extra motivation when you start to flag.

As always, more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com