Oftentimes in life when we want something we don’t currently possess, we must do things we don’t currently do to achieve our goal. Unfortunately, far too many times we just keep doing the same thing expecting for something to magically change.
Unless your name is Alladin and you just rubbed a genie out of a lamp, you may want to reconsider your approach.
Better health, more money, more fulfilling relationships, a greater level of happiness…all require CHANGE on your behalf. There is no one and no thing to do it for you. It has to come from YOU.
That being said, I know many people get paralyzed by not knowing what the next step should be, and end up doing nothing at all. Since my field of expertise is health and fitness, and the overwhelming majority of our population desires weight loss and an increased fitness level, below are some “simple” first steps to facilitating positive change to get the needle moving in the right direction.
Easily the greatest topic of contention and frustration in the health and fitness industry, nutrition is the gate keeper to weight loss. You can work out all you want, but if you’re not willing to do things differently with your diet, your weight and body fat goals will never come to fruition.
Going for the proverbial “low hanging fruit” is typically the best place to start. Instead of approaching things from a restrictive standpoint, I would like to suggest ADDING a few healthy habits instead.
These 3 simple habits can have an enormous impact on your waist line, your overall energy level, and most importantly, your health.
Now let’s use this same “low hanging fruit” approach to help increase your fitness level.
Your actions and behaviors simply can’t remain the same when it’s change you desire. You MUST do things differently, and not get trapped into inaction. Utilize the simple tactics above to begin making small, but measurable steps in the right direction.
If there is anything I can do to help you along your health and fitness journey, please let me know. I’d love to coach you to a happier, healthier existence!
It’s that super dee duper time of year again: Tax Season.
If you’re like many people, you feel increased stress around April 15. Tensions can run high from the pressure of getting the forms filed on time, or coming up with the funds to pay your (hopefully not too big) tax bill.
You owe it to yourself to keep your stress under control as much as possible. When your body is subjected to ongoing stress, unhealthy changes occur at the chemical level, and these changes can lead to food cravings and weight gain.
How does your body react to stress?When you experience stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. In small amounts, cortisol does not present a problem. But when the stress is chronic, such as during the weeks surrounding tax season, the concentration of cortisol in your body stays elevated with undesirable results.
For example, you will crave foods that will give you quick energy, such as candy bars and potato chips. Arguably tasty, but the presence of cortisol will cause many of these extra calories to be stored as abdominal fat.
You may also find it hard to eat in moderation while stressed because cortisol can interfere with the chemicals in your body controlling appetite.
Now for the good news…While you can never get away from all stress (nor would you want to), there are several strategies you can implement to keep it under control, thus tempering the effects on your body. Consider the following tips to outsmart stress in your life during tax season.
Use these stress-busting tips to get you through the 2019 tax season unscathed!
Looking aheadWe’ve all heard the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing expecting a different result. If you find yourself stressed about taxes EVERY SINGLE YEAR, here are a few things you can do to stop the madness.
Begin forming a plan to reduce the stress of next year’s tax time. Decide where you will keep the necessary paper work throughout the year, gather phone numbers and addresses you will need, check with your tax preparer to see if your withholdings are optimal, and start a list of notations you will need when tax day rolls around again. Make sure this is the last year that Tax Day causes you anxiety!
What do you do to relieve stress in your life? I’m always interested in new stress-busting tips! Leave a comment below.
It’s easy to get stuck from time to time. It may be the daily grind at work, commuter traffic as you come home, or the same old, same old for dinner you always have on hand. We all get ‘stuck’ in our lifestyle from time to time. However, we remain stuck because we don’t want to fail, lose out, or run the risk of rejection. That’s why you need today—Take a Chance Day—to give yourself permission to say goodbye to what you know and walk straight towards the unknown.
Are you ready to shake some things up?
Do you want to boost your confidence and look amazing in the skin you’re in? Then prepare yourself…because when you learn to give yourself a chance by stepping out of your comfort zone (and truly take a chance on something new and different) you’ll find a new ‘you’ ready to take on those curveballs that come flying!
Read All About It…
When you feel stuck, view it as feelings of boredom and complacency, or the ‘nudge’ you need to move, to think differently, and to change up what’s no longer working in your life. For example, if you’ve struggled to lose weight, poor eating habits may be to blame. Succeed by stepping up and loading up the veggies on your plate while passing on dessert (instead of pitying your slow metabolism or genetics). Not feeling so great about the skin you’re in and desperate to look at yourself in the mirror and confidently say “I look sexy!”? Take a chance on yourself…and FOR yourself…by stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking action.
If you want toned arms, look into lifting weights (I know a guy who could help;-)). If you want to be self-employed, start planning a different career path that will allow you to build a business of your own (something I took a HUGE chance on a years ago). The world is your weight room… exercise the parts of your life you want to change.
All It Takes is One New Choice (in Order to Make Everything Change in Your Life)!
Spend today doing one thing that scares you, intimidates you, or makes you feel downright self-conscious. Pay for a legit workout session, eat a plate of healthy food you wouldn’t normally choose, or just start following a blog that will teach you healthy living habits to nourish you instead of bring you down.
Are you lacking energy?
To perform at your best (and live life at an optimal level), you need to treat your body right. It’s the cardinal rule. It’s the yellow brick road. It’s your golden ticket (insert your own cliché here if you’d like!) to a life you deserve to have—because if you’re not changing things up and stepping outside of your comfort zone from time to time, how can you expect anything else to change in your life?
When you want things to change in your life…stop arriving to work late, biting your nails, eating processed foods, picking the ‘wrong’ romantic partner to be in a relationship with, sacrificing your daily exercise for TV watching…you have to take a chance. Otherwise, you’ll continue to produce the same results as you always have. It’s madness. In fact, it’s the definition of insanity—which is continuing to do the same thing while expecting different results.
Go ahead. Take a chance.
Make TODAY the day you give yourself a chance and take a chance. Take just one step towards a healthier, happier life, and odds are everything else you want will begin to move towards you as well. Obstacles will plow out of your way. Opportunities will come into focus. When you step out of your comfort zone just a tiny bit, the body you want, the good health you seek, and even the ‘sexy you’ you want to bring back will all unfurl and come into fruition.
Take a chance on yourself today, then keep that momentum moving forward.
Get the Health You’ve Always Wanted
You didn’t hit your prime when you were 20-something with your whole life ahead of you. It’s happening right here and right now. What’s to come is up to you. Your mind calls the shots, and your body is a representation of how you think, feel, and act. Spend today (and every day) choosing to take a chance on yourself.
What you will find will surprise you, because once you step out of your comfort zone and take a chance on something new and unfamiliar, you may wonder what took you so long to get here!
In honor of Take a Chance Day, begin by asking yourself:
No matter how long it may take or how impossible it may seem to achieve, you deserve to give yourself the chance to find out what lies beyond. Take just one first step that’s different from your ‘usual’, and then keep going. This is your day—Take a Chance Day—so give it all you got. You’ll be amazed at what unfolds!
Spring is finally here, traditionally a time associated with the blossoming of flowers, a time to get outdoors more, and more sunshine to fill the days. I don’t know about you, but I’m D.O.N.E. with cold and winter weather!
Spring also brings about a few not-so-savory things. Here in the North Texas area, springtime means ALLERGIES! The unforgiving winds of our area seem to kick up every known allergen to mankind, making me realize I should invest in Kleenex stock. Then there is the addition of yard maintenance to consider. And finally, the realization for many that nothing has been accomplished towards the health and fitness goals you said you wanted to achieve this year.
We’re almost 3 months into this year. Have you made the progress you intended to make since January 1st? I suspect many have not, as the trend remains the same year after year. We start of with great motivation and determination to make this THE year, only to fall back into the same routines and habits which have kept us stagnant in the first place.
The GREAT news is all is not lost. Each and every day is an opportunity to make a better choice, to move the needle just a little towards being healthier, to address our bad habits and take responsibility for our personal health and wellness.
For those of you still struggling, for those of you who haven’t taken a step forward to better health, and for those of you who may be even further away than 3 months ago, there is hope!
But that hope has to turn into action. So here are a few strategies you can employ RIGHT NOW to get back on track, or simply get on the track in the first place.
Give Yourself Grace
No one will ever be harder on you than you are on yourself. Most of us (I hope) would never speak to others the way we speak to ourselves. Too often we belittle ourselves, tell ourselves we’re not good enough, we failed, we shoulda coulda woulda blah blah blah! Get that crap out of your head, and know if you’re alive and breathing and reading this you can still make a positive impact with the very next choice you make. No one is perfect. Everyone will have setbacks, times when things don’t go right, times we make a less than desirable choice. It’s simply part of being human. However, our past choices only define us if we let them. Give yourself the grace you would give a good friend if they came to you with the same issues you’re facing. You wouldn’t tell them they suck, so don’t tell yourself that either!
Change One Thing
Pick one thing, ANY thing, and put your focus towards behavior change in that area. Don’t tackle anything else other than that one thing. For example, if you’ve been saying you need to get more exercise in, start with that. Don’t worry about your food choices or sleep schedule or gas prices or getting off medication…none of that. For the time being, focus your energy and attention towards exercise. Furthermore, don’t overcomplicate the process. Sure you can enlist the help of your favorite friendly neighborhood Fitness Ninja (that’s ME!!), but you can also start walking 20 minutes a day. You can take the stairs, park further away, start your morning with some squats, pushups, and stretching…whatever you need to do to incorporate exercise in, find the time, be intentional, and make it happen. Once that habit becomes a part of your daily routine, THEN you move on to the next thing you’d like to change.
Make a Plan
Plans are not perfect, but having one is FAR better than not having one. Most achievements in life don’t just fall into our lap, we have to work for them. If you keep saying you need to get in shape and eat better, but all you do is SAY it without actually figuring out how to DO it, then the positive results you seek will continue to allude you. Change takes work, period. The work itself doesn’t have to be complicated, but a consistent effort still has to be present. Back to our example of exercising more. Just saying you’re going to do it usually doesn’t will it into existence. PLANNING the when/where/how of it will serve you much better.
If you just want to start by walking/running each day, define it.
See, when we formulate a plan, we have guidelines to work with. It won’t be perfect, but by setting the parameters of you intentions, you have a much great likelihood of success!
It is never, I repeat NEVER too late to work on improving your health and fitness. No matter what you have or have not done this year, last year, this decade, TODAY can be the start of positive change. And if there’s anything I can do to help coach you thru that change and expedite your health and fitness journey, please let me know. I’d love to help!
My philosophy is this: the things you do inside the gym, or with purposeful intention of activity (running, cycling, etc), are meant to make your every day life easier.
As we age, if we’re not intentional about incorporating regular weight-bearing activity, we lose muscle. When we lose muscle, we lose strength. And when we lose strength, we lose functionality.
Have you ever seen an older person simply struggling to walk? Or struggling to get up out of a chair? Perhaps a relative or friend you know already exhibits this type of behavior. I’m not sure if the stat still holds true, but I remember taking a class in college discussing the benefits of strength training in an older population. It was stated that over 50% of people who live in an assisted living environment could become independent again with six months of solid weight-bearing activity. You see, it’s not that they can’t function doing the big things, it’s all the little things throughout the day that exhaust them: carrying groceries, cooking food, vacuuming, getting up and down off the couch. All the things most of us seem to take for granted become exponentially difficult when we don’t take care of our bodies.
Yes, I realize we’re all going to die, but to me the point of our existence is to LIVE, not just exist. What type of life will you have if you have to rely on any and every body to do all the things for you all the time?
I have a retired couple that I train both 66 years old. They’ve been working on their retirement home for the past couple of years. Recently they decided to lay some stones down around the property and buy “some” I mean several TONS. I think it’s safe to say that most people their age would probably just hire someone to come do the work and be done with it. However, they’ve chosen to do the work themselves and take pride in the fact they are physically capable of tackling this task themselves. When it comes down to it, that level of independence is invaluable, and this story is a shining example of what I believe fitness is all about. This couple can go out, they can do the things they want to do, feel GREAT, and not have to rely on other people to get the job done.
I’ve said it before, most of us are probably going to live a very long time. The question is, what quality of life what we have when we’re 100 years old? Will we make the choice to be the Jack Lalannes of the world, still cranking out push-ups and motivating others to stay active? Or will we allow ourselves to succumb to the aging process, withering away until our final days?
The choice is most certainly yours, and no matter what stage of life you’re in right now, you can start making positive changes today to make a difference for your tomorrow.
I’m The Fitness Ninja, and I’m Making America Fit Again!