A client asked me the other day why do I think it takes some people so long to get results while other people seem to have faster results. 


I think this is such an outstanding question.


It’s all about habits.  Some people will come in each week and do hours of cardio, but then leave the gym and pay little to no attention to what they eat. Likewise others will come in and do all sorts of rehab exercises and then go and sit in their office chair with their legs crossed for 3-4 hours a day and wonder why their knee or hip is still bothering them.


It’s all about HABITS.  To me the whole idea of working out, exercising and training, is so that it makes what we do in our day to day life easier and more enjoyable. If you spend 3-4 hours a week exercising, but spend 20-30 hours a week sitting improperly or not paying attention to what you eat, you’ve dismantled all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.


See, working out, training and exercising is like fluoride for the body.  It fortifies the body so it doesn’t break down while you’re going through your daily routine. Eating properly does much the same thing. It fortifies and encourages your body to burn fat, digest and eliminate properly and repair damaged tissues.

The curious thing is many people treat fitness like we do our car repair. We think if we just show up and do some exercise, that’s the end of the responsibility. Unfortunately you can’t just drop off your body and pick up a new one, without aches and pains, and with the perfect shape you want.  You have to be aware of your habits outside the gym as well.

Simply put, health, fitness and wellness is a lifestyle.  It is something that should be made part of your everyday living if you are going to get results and reach your goals.

Here are some HABITS to assist you in reaching your goals.


1.)   Focus on the task at hand.  If you’re training, train, don’t make it a social outlet. Get what you came to get done, done.

2.)   Plan your meals in advance. Make food choices that assist you in reaching your goals. You deserve to see the results of all your hard work, and it will help you stay motivated.

3.)   Get body work/massage done regularly. Whether it’s going to a massage therapist or using a roller or tube for self massage, take care of your body. It’s as important as changing the oil in your car.

4.)   Be aware of your posture. How you sit in your chair, how you walk, how you stand. You spend WAY more hours doing each of these things than you do training – Fortify!

5.)   Get your rest. At the pace most of us are working, none of us can afford to miss any sleep. It’s a necessary part of recuperation both mentally and physically.


Your habits, like it or not, decide your success in anything you do in life.  Don’t just go through the motions. You’re putting in the hard work, why not see the results? Whether it’s physical pain, a few extra pounds you want to get rid of, or a financial goal you have set for yourself, your habits will dictate your success.

 

At the risk of sounding a bit too cliche, changing your habits can seriously change your life.

 

Remember the 80/20 Rule -- 80% of your results are based on 20% of your actions!

 

As always, let me know what you think.  

Wow, here we are at the end of February.  It's almost time to turn the page again.

 

How are you doing on your goals? 

 

Are you finding it harder and harder to keep those original commitments that seemed so easy to do in January?

 

It's interesting because you're not the only one.  Every year right around the second week of January there is a HUGE increase in activity at the gym.  I mean a serious increase in new members committing to making a change -- whether it's the typical lose a few unwanted pounds, or those looking to get out of pain.

 

But guess what?

 

If you're like most people, right about now is when they begin to abandon their commitments and begin to lose traction.  Simply put, they start to give up or make excuses. And right now I am noticing a HUGE decrease in those new members that started out with such energy and commitment.

 

Let's be honest, it's WAY TOO EARLY to throw in the towel. 

 

You started with good intentions, you made some solid efforts. But for some reason are still not seeing the progress you would like, and quite honestly -- deserve.  Not seeing results has a lot to do with how you set up and go after your goals. 

 

To be blunt about it, it's the difference between success or giving up.

 

I figured if you were like some of my clients, you could use a little pick me up and perspective overhaul.

 

Well here is a little piece I came across that I thought was right on target.  It's written for big business, but when I read it through and listened to some of my clients, I realized it was right on target for all of us. 

 

Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

3 Ways To Blow Your Goals For The Year

 

You've got to think of this way.  If you were traveling to work or taking any journey and for some reason a certain freeway or street was blocked, you would just make an adjustment in your plan and continue forward. You wouldn't just quit. Your goals were worth making and they are worth following through!

 

 

I don't care how you slice it, if you don't make a plan, you cannot effectively achieve any goal!

Yes, it's that simple and the real. 

My commitment to you is to make certain that I share valuable, useable/practical, scientifically reliable information that will assist you in achieving your body transformation goals . . . . .  or any goal for that matter.

I can't express to you the importance of choosing a goal and making a plan to achieve that goal.  Yes, I know I sound like a broken record.  I'd ask you to excuse me, but the truth is, if you're not doing it, then you needed to hear it again.  Hopefully this time you will take it to heart.

I've spent a great deal of time reading and investigating all sorts of self-help books, motivational articles, CD's, DVDs, seminars, etc.

I've taken that information and shared it with my clients for over 2 decades. I've watched carefully at who achieves their goals and who tends to struggle.

You know what they all have in common?

You guessed it, yes, virtually all of the clients that achieve their goals make a plan, and some even utilized my suggestion to use visualization of themselves already achieving the goal. 

Why visualization?

Remember last week's post and the term reticular activation.  Well, visualization is another very important aspect of reticular activation. Athletes use it all time to improve their performance on the field.  Seeing yourself already achieving a goal is a powerful tool.

But it all starts with a plan.

Often times clients ask how to make an effective plan.  Here are two very helpful ways:

DAILY_PLANNING.doc

How_to_squeeze_the_most_out_of_your_time.doc


And just in case you need some good old fashioned video motivation -- here's one of my personal favorites:



Now Go Out and Get It Done!
We all have goals we would like to achieve.  It doesn't matter what that goal is quite honestly.  For my purpose I want to help you achieve the your best body. 

I want you to live without having pain. 

I want you to be the weight you desire. 

I want you to like what you see when you look in the mirror.

I want you to be able to do what you truly love doing, whether it's gardening, knitting, playing a specific sport, or working out.

I know you work unbelievably hard at your job each day, each week.  I believe you work just as hard at home, to the best partner, husband/father or wife/mother.  It's a grind sometimes, let's be honest; but you do the best you possibly can each and every week.

Yet amongst all those responsibilities we have to find some you time. 

I know, I know, it can be a daunting task at times.  But if we don't take good care of you, you won't be able to show up in the other areas of your life the way you want.

I don't know about you, but when I don't take good care of myself, feeling as though I'm running from one obligation to the next; I get cranky, have difficultly sleeping, and quite honestly, am not that pleasant to be around.

I respect the amount of time you spend at work and at home, so I spend each week carefully choosing subjects and information that will inspire, educate, and motivate you into action.  Action that will give you a renewed sense of "get it done".  Because you and I both know the better you take care of yourself, the better you're able to give to others.

But sometimes it's hard to find that time, or so I thought. 

What I've come to realize is, it's not about finding the more time to get everything I need and want, done.  No, actually it's about me managing the time I have.  Does that sound like you? 

The first thing I had to do is have the discipline and the courage to create a goal and the plans to make it happen.  These two items were a big help:

The_Indispensable_Quality.doc

The_Time_to_Act.doc

The older I get and the more I think about it, the more I realize success has more to do with managing what you have than it does with longing for something outside of yourself.  And the funny thing about managing what you have is that you often times find yourself getting more of what you want and need.

But the first thing that has to happen before you can start working on any of this, is a sense of urgency.  A sense that it's time to make a change.  Time to stop filling up that closet with regrets and missed opportunities.

Excuse_Me_Your_Life_is_Waiting.doc

It's your life.  You deserve to have the type of life you want.  There is nothing you can't accomplish.  It will take a plan and some effort, but it IS within your grasp. 

Just take the first step -- that's all I ask.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
I've been getting all sorts of emails and personal inquires about how to get in shape quickly now that the summer weather is approaching.  As well as the usual inquiries regarding  how to get out of shoulder, hip and back pain, which I will address next Monday.

Funny thing is the answer is the same to both of these questions.  "What results are you getting?"

Now, that question is not meant to be a smartypants comment at all.  It's meant to initiate thought.

You would be surprised how many people are not getting the results they want, and yet continue to do the same things that are already not working (not getting results).

When people ask me how to get rid of that last little layer of flub around the middle, they seem to expect an easy quick fix--one size fits all answer, that will magically dissolve the problem overnight.  Instead I usually ask them 2 specific questions:

  • What is their present nutrition schedule like?  Meaning how many times are they eating per day, as well as how each meal is made up -- regarding protein, carbs, and fat.

  • Next, I ask them what type of metabolic work are they doing?  Meaning what type of program are they using to stimulate an increase in their metabolism.

7 times out of 10 the person looks at me with a blank stare, or proceeds to tell me what they ate yesterday or today.  And if you'll remember my post on that response a few weeks ago, you'll know that is a dead give-away that the person has no real system to their eating/nutrition.  Yet they wonder why they are not getting the results they want.

I know you're tired of hearing it, but you have to have a plan if you're going to make successful changes to anything in your life.  If you don't write it down, it's not a serious goal.

Your results tell you if your program is working.  Don't just keep doing the same thing that's not working and get more and more frustrated. Find out why it's not working -- that's what I'm here for.
 
If you're not dropping the weight you want -- for goodness sake, please start keeping a food journal.  It's the only way to truly find out what's wrong.  Your car has a gas gauge to tell you when you're low on gas.  Your food journal (your human gas gauge) will tell you where to make changes in order to create the results you want. 

Equally important is to remember that steady state cardio does not work in getting rid of body fat quickly.  Want 2 ways to start seeing results from your cardio/metabolic training sessions?

Try these:

  • If you have no history of heart condition nor in your family, then try intervals.  Meaning a slow period of walking, jogging or running, followed by a fast period of walking, jogging or running.  The periods should start at about 30-45 seconds, for 10-20 minutes at a time.  After approximately two weeks move to 45 seconds to 1 minute interval periods.

  • Try using circuits in your weight training.  Meaning do 3-5 movements in a row, alternating upper and lower body movements, before taking a 1-1:30 minute break.  Do 3-4 cycles of this method and watch the results happen.

Ok.  What does that look like: 

All movements should be done with a weight you can do 12-20 times in proper form, but challenges you.

Push-up or Flyes
Squats (body weight or with dumbbells)
Rows (seated or 1 arm rows with dumbbell)
Lunges (backward stepping, dumbbells optional)
Wood Chops (using an elastic band or 1 dumbbell)

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
I have to be honest with you.  I was asked NOT TO share this information with you.  I was told that this should be something that only clients that come to see me should receive.  I was told that, "It's information that the average person isn't going to appreciate without the guidance of regular visits to you or their nutrition counselor".

Well, I do tend to be a bit hard headed so what the heck.

I don't know where the idea came from, and honestly don't really care. But plain and simple, if you skip meals you will gain weight. 

Why?

Well if you've been following my posts this month, you know that going longer than 2.5-3.5 hours between meals is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your metabolism.  Your body needs to feed on a regular basis if it's going to keep burning stored calories (think fat) and maintain you lean tissue (think muscle).

Why?

Because the human body was built to survive.  Your ancestors out survived the dinosaurs for many reasons, one of which is that your body will slow down your metabolism when it receives insufficient calories on a regular basis (think skipping meals).  In that way you burn less energy and thus the survival of the species is ensured.

Now granted, most of us are not on the verge of starvation nor is the population anywhere near being threatened for it's survival.  But your body doesn't know this.  It has survived for thousands of years using this type of survival mechanism and it's worked just fine.

Unless of course you're trying to lose weight.  Skipping meals in fact tells your body to not let go of any excess calories (think don't burn fat).  Whereas eating every 2.5-3.5 hours sends the message to your body that it does not need to store extra calories for survival because you will give it the nutrients it needs consistently.

Now some people have had a hard time believing me.  While others have had a hard time wrapping their brain around such a concept.  So I thought it would be a good idea to share this TOP SECRET information.

Check out the link below.  I think you'll be surprised at how well the diagram explains the process.  And by all means, the next time someone tells you they don't eat breakfast because they're not hungry, just smile and hand them this diagram or email them this link.


I think it's safe to say you've officially run out of excuses for missing meals.

Reasons or Results --
The year is almost over.  I promised to make sure that you were well prepared with a wide variety of recipes to make sure you start the new year off right.  Recipes to help start you on track, keep you on track, and not make you feel like you were going to have to give up taste.  I believed I've delivered as promised.

Only one more Monday left in the year.  So here are two more recipes to add to your ever growing file.  Next year is going to be so easy for you start off on the right track.  By spring you'll be unveiling a new you and not had to suffer, by living on tasteless boring food.  No one likes to feel deprived.  So I've made sure that your journey to a new you is as painless as possible when it comes to your nutrition.

Here you are:

Recipe #1:  Pizza Eggs (Pizza_Eggs.doc)

Recipe #2:  Romaine Tuna Wraps (Romaine_Tuna_Wraps.doc)

This weeks recipes are from A Recipe for Life by Susan Dopart, M.S., R.D. with Jeffrey M. Batchelor and Eat 2 Liv by Elizabeth Brown M.S., R.D., C.D.E

Be sure to come back next week for more recipes to add to your file.  Remember, the more options you have the easier it will be to stay on track.  No one likes boring food.  And cooking and preparing food that actually tastes good should not be a chore.  If you've been cutting and pasting you will ready to rock come January.
I thought about it for quite some time before I decided on this title.  I look at it this way, you have an owner's manual for everything from your toaster, to your blender, cell phone, automobile, computer, and stove, etc.  And let's be honest, how well you follow the owner's manual great decides how long that item will last.  Either you follow the manual and have significant success or you don't and . . . . 

Pretty much anything that has any value to you, you have an owner's manual for, right?  But for some reason when it comes to getting out of pain or improving the quality of your fitness, people just tend to "wing-it".  Then they wonder why they get the results they get.  It's not by accident.

But there is so much information out there, how do you know what is good information guiding you in the right direction and how much is just hype and trends? 

Check out today's video blog and know which is the right information that will help you quickly build your own manual.

Dec
10
2010
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This month I want to make sure to have those of you who enjoy winter sports activities like skiing, snowboarding and ice skating to be prepared to enjoy your season.  I can't tell you how many times I watch "regular" members come in on crutches after a weekend away of enjoying their sport.  If it's something you truly enjoy, then let's make sure you can do and not get injured. The whole idea of working out and keeping healthy is so you can participate and enjoy the activities that make the daily grind all worth it -- right?

Well, last week I shared with you the first part of an effective warm-up -- self-massage.  We all know you cannot effectively stretch a cold rubber band fresh out of the refrigerator (which would represent your muscles).  You have to first warm it up properly, before engaging in stretching.  That way you can avoid injuring yourself during stretching, and definitely decrease the chances of injury while engaged in your favorite activity.

This week I want to share with you the second part of an effective warm up -- stretching.  I want you to do this after you have completed the self-massage.

When considering winter sports we want to be sure we have your body ready to handle the pounding of the slopes.  Balance is a big factor considering the instability of ice and snow.  So ankle, knee, and hip flexibility and stability are very important. We want to prepare your entire body, for sure, but we will give extra attention to the lower body because you will be using it so much more.

Since we all know time is of the essence please find below the stretches I've found most important in preparing for a safe and fun winter season of activities on the slopes or ice.

Be sure to check back next week as I will share with you the important exercises that will get your body strong and help you avoid injury.

This is Stretch#1 (1/3).
This stretch is often called Child's Pose. From a kneeling position, toes pointed straight back, sit backwards so that you are sitting on the heels of your shoes. Reach forward with both arms, far enough to feel a stretch in the lower back and shoulders. 
Hold for 7-10 seconds


This is Stretch #1 (2/3)

Keeping your legs where they are at, engage your abs and move both arms to the right until a stretch is felt on the left side of the body. Think of making your body into a half circle. Be sure to remain seated on your heels.  Hold for 7-10 seconds.


 
This is Stretch #1 (3/3).
Now do the same process you did for the above picture for the left side. 
Hold for 7-10 seconds
 

This is Stretch #2
From a seated position place your hands behind you, approximately shoulder width, with your fingers pointing away from your body. Slowly slide your body forward, away from your hands, until a stretch is felt. Be sure to keep your chest up and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift your chest. Hold this position for 7-10 seconds.  Repeat 2-3 times.


 

This is Stretch#3.

(face down image) Position your body with your right leg bent at a 45 degree angle. Straighten your back leg with the toe facing the floor. Position your upper body so that your knee is in line with your sternum (chest bone). Hips should be parallel to the floor.  You should feel no pain in the knee. If you do stop immediately. This pose is also know as Pigeon.  Hold position for 7 breaths.



(face up image)

This is a slightly less aggressive form of pigeon from the lying position. Lay flat on your back.  Bring your right leg towards your chest. Grasping your knee and ankle gently, pulling the leg towards the left side of your chest (so you are moving the leg across the body) until you feel a stretch in your glutes. You will create a very gentle stretch in the hip. You should feel no pain in the knee. Repeat this process 3-7 times on both sides.



 

This is Stretch #4

Begin on your knees, with your knees out wide, resting on forearms. Then straighten one leg out to the side. Be sure that the toe of the straight leg is in line with the knee of the kneeling leg. If possible, reach out to touch toe of straight leg with same side hand.  Repeat movement 3 times on both sides.



This is Stretch #5.
I call this Windshield Wipers. Lay flat on your back, arms out wide, knees bent 45-90 degrees, feet flat on the ground. Take your left ankle and place it on your right knee. Drop both legs to the left side to feel a stretch in the right hip. The goal is for the stretch to come from the hip and NOT the lower back.
Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat on other side.


This is Stretch #6.
With your calves against the supporting surface take a medium to large step forward. Place one foot, shoe strings down, on the stable support surface behind you. Kneeling down bring the back leg knee to the floor. Now if you're just beginning you may need to place a pillow under your knee for cushion and to decrease the intensity of the stretch. Be sure that the front leg knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor.


Well there you go.  So self massage first, followed by the stretches above and you'll be ready to tackle the exercises I will show you next week.  Remember, each part of the warm-up is important.  Do not skip steps, you'll only pay for it in the long run. 

Let's be sure this season you can enjoy your chosen winter activity for all it's worth.  See you next week.



In this day and age when you say you're going to do something, you better darn well do it.  I'm sure we are all tired of the "Oh, let's do lunch".  And you don't hear from the person for weeks or months.

A handshake and your word is pretty much all you really have when it comes to establishing your integrity.  In this day of information (overload in some cases), it's pretty easy to have something witty or interesting to say.  But how many people actually back it up with action?  It has been my experience that those individuals are few and far between.  A mentor of mine once told me, "under promise and over deliver".  When it comes to establishing your credibility follow through on what you tell others you are going to do. In fact, over deliver on what you committed to doing.  It let's people know that they can count on you, that your word actually means something.

Well, in keeping with my promise to make sure you are ready for the coming year with lots of recipes to help keep you on track and not spend hours in the kitchen preparing food, here are two more to add to your file called "recipes". 

I sincerely want you to have a variety of meal choices that are tasty, good for you and are easy to prepare (take as little time as possible).  Goodness knows, we all have enough to do in our daily lives.  Spending hours in the kitchen to create a nutritious, tasty meal is not to motivating.  In fact it will just increase the chances of you getting off track and grabbing some highly processed alternative to a good meal.

So let's keep it simple.

Recipe #1:  Microwave Orange Roughy (Microwave_Orange_Roughy.doc)

Recipe #2:  Chicken a la King Kong (Chicken_a_la_King_Kong.doc)


Remember, plan your meals in advance.  It will make the day so much easier, and I'll bet, make you much more productive as well.