Hiring a fitness and nutrition coach, whether it’s a group setting or 1:1, is often viewed as expensive, and sometimes labeled a luxury item.
With the current U.S. overweight/obesity rate at 67%, I’d say it’s becoming more and more of a necessity. People may know what to do, but they’re not doing it. I’m not negating cost as a factor, so let’s break this down a little.
Before I dive into this, please know I realize we’re not all the same, nor are we all afforded the same lot in life. However, at some point we all become adults, and we MUST take personal responsibility for ourselves. Life may have given you a shit sandwich, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep eating it!
Ok, moving on…
When looking at WHY we’re overweight, we have to pinpoint overconsumption. Yes there are factors that affect the way we individually react to food, but too many calories on a consistent basis causes weight gain.
MANY people visit Starbucks (or something similar) every single day. On average, doing a little math with reported earnings, the average amount spent is $8.00 of unnecessary and excess calories. That equates to $240 a month!! Even on the low end of $3-4 per day, we’re still looking at roughly $100-120 per month.
Now let’s take a look at food. The average American dines out 18 times a month, at about $12.25 per meal (I’d like to know where these people are eating cuz that’d be cheap compared to my area!). Doing the math, that’s $220 per month. I honestly think that’s a low number, but it’ll work for this.
I still hear people say how expensive eating healthy can be. I mean, if you’re buying everything at Whole Foods, then yes, your grilled chicken and veggies will be $800. For everyone who actually pays attention, though, it’s FAR cheaper to cook your own food, even the healthy stuff. I’ve calculated this many times, and it’s rare for me to spend any more than $4 per meal when cooking at home. My current breakfast of 2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites, and 1/2 a bagel, literally costs $1. Yes, that’s ONE DOLLAR. You can’t even get a crappy fast food breakfast sandwich for that, and at Starbucks it’ll cost you 4X as much.
So, subtracting the cost of cooking at home from dining out, you could easily save $150 per month.
By eliminating the Starbucks habit, which most likely is unnecessary, and controlling your intake more by preparing your own food (which will definitely help you reach your health and fitness goals faster), one could easily save $250-400 per month. That alone would allow you to hire a good coach/join a good program/get the professional help you need.
One more cost to take note of, which I have seen play out numerous times over the years for my clients: medications. A large portion of medications taken on a daily basis by Americans are due to preventable issues (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol). By taking better care of your body, I often find people lessening or completely eliminating these costly medications. This could quite possibly be the biggest savings of all, and more than pay for the cost of getting the help you need.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not fun to quit dining out and give up your Starbucks habit. But it’s also not fun being deconditioned, losing functionality, being limited in life because of your lack of health, giving money to doctors and medications for something YOU can prevent.
Your quantity of life will probably be long, but what will your QUALITY of life look like? People invest in homes and cars and stocks of start up companies and all kinds of other “things,” while often neglecting the most important invest of all, THEMSELVES.
If you feel money is holding you back from getting the professional help you need, I encourage you to take inventory of your spending habits, and figure out which ones are holding you back. Like most things in life, we afford the things that are priorities for us.
Make YOU the biggest priority of all!
I see it happen often. Someone will walk in the gym, and someone who hasn’t seen them in a while will say something like “WOW, you look great!” Then the receiver of the compliment will say “Huh? No, I still have a long way to go” or “Me? But my (insert negative body image issue here) is still too big.”
I know many of you are nodding your head right now because you do it all the time. Not just at the gym, either. When you’re out with friends. When you see family. When some random person compliments you on your hair.
Let me give you some perspective…or at least MY perspective…on why your reactions are flawed and what the appropriate response should entail.
We live in a VERY self centered society. People are constantly looking down at their phones. People avoid eye contact at all costs. So many individuals shy away from unnecessary human interaction. We post more “selfies” than “themies” (I just made that word up, so now it’s a thing!).
Because of all that, I believe when someone gives a compliment, it’s genuine. Sure you get the occasional flirt, but more often than not it’s someone simply seeing some good and commenting on it. And since they’ve taken a moment to not only recognize, but speak up as well, I believe compliments are more sincere than ever.
With that being said, the appropriate response is simply this: THANK YOU!
(You don’t have to yell it, but you can if you want or if you’re in a noisy environment)
When someone compliments you, just thank them. Don’t deflect. Don’t shy away from it. Don’t feel obligated to compliment them back. Just say thanks!
Here’s the real issue when deflecting compliments. In a backwards sort of way, you’re basically telling that person they don’t have good judgement and they don’t know what they’re talking about. Try saying THAT to someone the next time they compliment you, and see how it turns out.
In a world full of spiteful people and nasty comments online, it should be refreshing to have someone take the time to offer up a compliment. Don’t negate the joy they are spreading due to your own insecurities. We all know we’re our own worst critic, but maybe if we listened a little more to the kind words being spoken to us, we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves.
So the next time someone compliments you, respond with a heartfelt THANK YOU, and go about your day with a smile on your face!
I didn’t want to spill the beans too soon, but this finally got approved and I have been cleared to share. I have teamed up with the League of Masticators Against Obesity to bring you this revolutionary new diet. RESULTS GUARANTEED!!* I would love to help you navigate this highly effective program, so let me know when you’d like to get started!!
Let’s get this party rollin’!
Day 1-You will drink water only, 200oz of it. Has to be water attained from a garden hose, but filtered through a coffee filter. The vitamins and minerals in the garden hose tap water will help to flush out the toxins in your body better than regular water, and the coffee filter will insure you don’t have any chunks. Easy peasy.
Day 2-Start your day with 8oz of bacon (nitrite and nitrate free, of course), and a dark chocolate bar, at least 70% cacao. Much like the popular bulletproof coffee, the fat in the bacon should help keep you full until the afternoon, and the antioxidants in the chocolate will finish the cleansing process the garden hose water started. In the late afternoon, you will begin to eat an entire rotisserie chicken, bones and all. This should be done slowly and consumed over a 5 hour period, making sure you chew each bite EXACTLY 40 times, no more, no less, because science and stuff. Finish the day with 24oz of room temperature water attained from a bathroom sink faucet only.
Day 3-You should be feeling spry and fresh by this point. Within 3 minutes of waking, consume 3 large grapefruits, rind and all (don’t want those nutrients going to waste!!). Wash it down with 12oz of 2% chocolate milk. The milk should be in the cartons like we used to drink in the school cafeteria. Lunch will be one ounce of salmon, and 1 loaf of gluten free/dairy free/sugar free/paleo & keto friendly/vegetarian bread product. Before consuming the loaf, spread salted butter across the top, and sprinkle cayenne to get that metabolism fired up. Dinner will consist of an entire bag of Caesar salad, and one Twix bar. Make sure you only eat one, because science again.
Day 4-Juice time!! In a blender, combine the following for your high powered, detoxifying, nutrient filled, tasteplosion:
If this does not fit in your blender, sterilize your bathtub and use an emulsifier to blend.
Drink this throughout the day. Makes enough to keep you sustained and full of energy!!
Day 5-Follow closely, as this is where it all comes together. You will need to sleep until 10:37am central standard time. Due to the potency of the nutrients you will have consumed over the past 4 days, combined with circadian rhythms and more science, this sleep is crucial to seeing the desired benefits. Then, upon waking, take a cold shower for 12 minutes, while simultaneously eating the other Twix you didn’t eat on Day 3. The rest of the day you will consume copious amounts of social media, while incessantly posting about this diet and urging all your friends to join in the fun. For dinner you will dine upon spicy tofu burgers, 3 kale leaves, and Chickfila lemonade.
There you have it folks, your 5 day plan to lose weight and body fat, and transform yourself faster than you can say Make America Fit Again!! Happy Dieting:-)
OR, you know, you could invest in yourself the right way, educate yourself on how to eat nutritiously without depriving yourself of the things you love, and quit looking for a short term fix for a long term problem. I know it sounds crazy, but oddly enough, it works really well. And if you’d like help doing that, I’d love to serve you.
In case you didn’t figure out, this is satire. PLEASE don’t friggin’ attempt this. Doing so is at your own risk (although if you do, please have video documentation because that would be awesome:-) )
What I’m going to tell you today is not groundbreaking news.
It’s not a new concept.
It’s not my idea.
However, when implemented properly it will absolutely change your life.
What I want to implore you to start doing, it you’re not already, is express gratitude.
Like all the other things good for you, it’s easy to say, but often much more difficult to implement on a regular basis. Please allow me to give you some parameters and action steps to make gratitude a daily occurrence.
Step one in this process is to get a physical journal, notebook, etc to record your daily gratitude. I recommend doing this first thing in the morning or making it the last thing you do before going to sleep (or both if you’re feeling spicy!).
Next, write down 5 things you are grateful for. Don’t hold back here. You can be as selfish or unselfish as you want. If your iPhone brings you joy, write it down. If you’re thankful for the health of your family, write that down, too. This exercise becomes a great reminder of all the big and little blessings you have every day.
Expressing gratitude can be a very personal thing. However, I do believe it is something that should be shared with someone close to you. A spouse or significant other, your bestie, a parent...someone you know and trust, who will listen and share the experience with you. Oftentimes over dinner, my girlfriend and I ask each other “What are 3 good things that happened today?” It’s a great way for us to not only connect, but to remind ourselves of the good from the day, even if we feel the day didn’t go as planned. We all have problems, but sharing your gratitude can serve as a reminder things aren’t that bad.
Gratitude should also be expressed outwardly. I highly recommend seeking opportunities each day to express your gratitude towards others. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference you can make by simply engaging with others who cross your path.
If you’re purchasing something from a store, put your phone away and give a compliment to the cashier. Send a text to a friend and tell them how much you appreciate them. Mail...yes, like physically mail...a thank you note to someone deserving.
Not to sound super hokey, but living a life of gratitude can absolutely change your outlook on life, and help you experience life at a level greater than most.
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!
In addition to coaching people to better fitness and nutrition, Marc enjoys writing and helping expand people's minds to live their best life.
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