Keep asking why…

images 2I’m always interested to know why people want to workout. The actual reason rarely surfaces within the first response.

At first, she offered me a superficial answer: “I want to look better.”

I could have easily stopped asking, put her through a tough workout and convinced her this is the way to sustainably look better. But I care too much.

Why do you want to look better?

Then, she said something a little more meaningful: “I actually want to feel better.”

While they sound similar, looking better is a much different goal than feeling better. We may want our body to look better but we want our spirit to feel better. Subtle, yet important.

Why do you want to feel better?

Then, the truth started to surface: “My dad died of diabetes and my mom has high cholesterol. I’m scared of dying young and leaving my children or being a burden.”

Fear is a completely different driver than wanting to look or feel better. For success, the entire experience must reflect the driver. My initial approach would be more mental and strategic than physical and tactical.

When I ask courageously one more, why haven’t you been able to do this on your own?

She said, because I don’t like myself most days, in fact, I’m depressed and I’m unsure if I’ll ever reach my goals.

This is why many of us struggle to get and stay fit…we try addressing matters of the mind and spirit with a workout.

Fear of the Unknown?

the-unknown-1Are your desires greater than your fear of the unknown? No need to answer, the response is in your current status – where you are today with regards to your quality of life.

Do you want a fitter, more flexible body? A new deck or addition on your house? A more flexible schedule and better control of your time? A fulfilled spirit and deeper, meaningful relationships?

How long have your desires been known? The space between the awareness of your desire and today is a gap. In that gap is many things but also fear of the unknown. It can be incredibly difficult to bring our desires into our reality. Sometimes it comes down to logistics, resources or timing, while at other times, we’re straight up crippled by the fear of becoming someone new.

What happens when we get there? Can we maintain it? How will we be perceived? Will it change the nature of any of our relationships? The answer to all of these questions are unknown, which provokes fear and in turn inaction towards our desires.

Overcoming your fear requires stepping into your personal gap, which contains everything the limits you from reaching your full potential. Interestingly, you can achieve your desires as a byproduct of working through that things that hold you back. Whether it be procrastination, tardiness, self-respect or knowledge, everything you need to reach preferred status is within you. Address the big rocks and watch your desires start to surface.

The trail of evidence…

Getting-ahead-leaving-a-trailWhether it’s a workout, an investment or sunbathing, we work with the understanding our efforts will lead to some form of evidence. The toned body, a healthy retirement or a sun-kissed body is proof that we’ve put in our time.

Notice the sequence, effort, then evidence. With such a simple equation, how is it we get tripped up when it comes to working out and self care? The problem is we expect to tone as quickly as we tan and fail to make a continued investment in ourselves.

Given most of us were never actually taught that efforts are required to reaching our goals and setbacks are learning opportunities to fail forward, we lack the mental fortitude to stick it out. If we did, my sense is we would have never created fat burners, the lottery or spray on tanning. In the latter scenario, we want evidence minus the effort…signs of a challenged mindset.

At the end of the day, continuous efforts require perceived self-worth and given nearly two out of every three Americans are depressed, it makes sense why we look for quick fixes. Whether it’s our upbringing or some other experience, when you don’t perceive your efforts are worthwhile, linear solutions will always seem more attractive than putting yourself out there.

Solution: Begin with the end in mind. Know why you are doing what you are doing. Know that your initial plan will likely not pan out exactly as you intend, which doesn’t mean it will not work either. Stay focused on your efforts and not the outcome. Stay flexible in your approach and open minded as to how things will unravel. Last, know that every ounce of effort you put forth will actually improve your self worth. Behave yourself into becoming what you desire and deserve to be.

When your progress is evident, look back with pride at your trailing efforts. Be well.

Why do we perform high intensity workouts?

hiit-high-intensity-interval-training-work-out-coverOver the last couple years, I’ve become a lot less surprised by what people do and fascinated with why they do it. Given I’m in the health and wellness industry, I started wondering why people perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? This is where you perform an intense amount of physical activity for a short duration. I figured it truly had little to do with the physiological benefits: increased release of HGH, preservation of lean muscle tissue, cardio-respiratory efficiency, mental toughness, etc. Then it dawned on me, most people are so inundated by the demands of our culture, they make very little time for improving and sustaining their health and well-being, so a high intensity workout is a quick fix. But there’s always ramifications when opting for linear solutions.

Lets be honest, many people lead sedentary lifestyles and are truly deconditioned and because you have little time for yourself, it doesn’t justify performing high-intensity work. Engaging a workout you’re not ready for would be like skipping from 3rd to 6th grade. Sure, you can do it but it’ll cost you and you certainly won’t thrive. I understand why this is done…we believe that by working harder, we’ll get to our goals quicker. Untrue, when you work beyond your threshold, you get injured quicker. I know because many of these people have become my clients.

So, what’s the solution? It’s more an issue around mindset (harder=better). People don’t want to work any harder than they have to. My suggestion is to exchange intensity for consistency. Show up and give it your best, day after day and like pocket change, it’ll all add up to who you want to be and most importantly, it’ll be sustainable. For the record, I am a personal fan of HIIT workouts, however; I’ve been training and conditioning my body consistently for 15 years so I can tolerate the demands up until a point, then I stop. The more I mature, I find myself leaning towards working smart (to my capacity) over working hard (beyond my threshold).

If this struck a chord, try out our online Revolution. We take a Mind-First Approach to transforming the body. One of our objectives is to help our members lead a Movement-Based Lifestyle, which begins with fundamental movements like walking, squatting and reaching. Over time, we progress the intensity of everyday movements into skillful activities. Our members have learned to love moving their body’s. There’s an amazing difference between wanting to be physical versus feeling like you have to. www.conditionforlife.com/revolution Peace!

Effort: An Expression of Life and Love

Effort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effort.

A beautiful expression of life and love towards oneself.

An excellent reminder we are worthy of our own efforts.

A literal step in the direction of whom we want to be.

An authentic boost of our character and our work ethic.

An attractive trait that inspires those around us.

The only way to address the matters that truly matter.

Our personal ticket to lasting transformation.

A personal practice that aligns our intentions with the desired outcome.

Show up and give it your best effort. What other option do you really have?

Redirecting Thoughts

redirecting thoughtsYou have probably heard the phrase self-talk as a motivational technique. The thinking is to control limiting thoughts so they don’t manifest into protective behaviors. While the intent is good, the whole concept around “controlling” our thoughts doesn’t resonate.

What we’re thinking about is part of much larger picture known as our thought life. The fact is, our thoughts are overwhelmingly the byproduct of our life experiences and, thereby, what we believe about ourselves. So rather than “controlling” a thought and attempting to reprogram it, our time may be better spent identifying why the thought is present and focus on the truth behind it.

Once understood, you can work to address the thought at its root (core belief) and gently redirect it into something consistent with who, where and what you want to be.

Given that your thoughts are driven by your experiences, which are in your past and cannot be changed or controlled, shift your focus to what can change; your perceptions and your beliefs.

Intrigued by this message? Take a look at our Revolution.

But it’s your profession

But its your professionNot all trainers are fit, not all doctors are healthy, not all lawyers are liars, not all dentists have great teeth, not all judges are fair, not all pastors are honest and not all entertainers are fun off stage but what connects all of us are our imperfections. Even though were all human, societal expectations confuse our profession with perfection.

It can be easy to fall prey to “well you’re a _____” so that’s easy for you. This means ideas are easy for marketers, songs are easy to compose for musicians and running is easy for marathoners. Why do you think “writers block” is so debilitating—there’s an expectation of perfection based on profession. That’s a lot of pressure.

I’ve been serving the health and fitness industry for 15 years and I’ve had dry spells at the gym, I’ve eaten what I shouldn’t have, I’ve skipped stretching and I’ve lacked motivation, discipline and focus. Based on my profession, it was difficult to share my faults. I was scared I’d let my clients down but little did I know, I was actually distancing myself from them. By playing the role of perfection, they truly couldn’t relate to me…and while I could relate to them, I couldn’t let them know.

There was a gap that existed between my profession and my imperfections, which impacted my ability to be whole, to live honest and with transparency. Once I came to terms that my livelihood didn’t make me any less human, I decided to start sharing a little more. At first, I was really nervous but was only looking at it glass half empty. I didn’t realize that sharing my setbacks gave me an opportunity to also share the learning and growth opportunities that came from them. I never realized I could speak with a deep conviction about embracing our imperfection. Who would have known my clients would have more respect for me as an imperfect human being than a perfect professional.

Everyone needs to come to this realization in their own way but I can tell you it wasn’t easy but it’s surely worth it. Thank to Brene Brown, I realize my imperfections have allowed me to live my life wholeheartedly and I can’t see myself living my life any other way.

***We have an entire online community centered on being human and ditching perfection so we can be healthy and fit. If you’re interested in our free trial, check it out: www.conditionforlife.com/revolution

Life happens but…

Life happens butYour car broke down, you misplaced your keys, you just spent more money than you had, your pet is sick, your child just failed math class, you stepped in dog poo, life happens…BUT! Regardless of the scenario, does the importance of your health and well-being change? No. Although, it does justify an out if you’re looking for one.

When life happens and you still choose yourself, you solidify your connection to your health and wellness goals and your self-worth deepens. The inner strength you’ll develop from making yourself a priority is far greater and longer lasting than the strength that comes from lifting physical weights.

When life happens, you can always choose to say: “but I’m more important than this circumstance.”

When’s the last time you woke up?

Woke upYou wake up every day and do your life thing. Your routine with your patterns of habit, thought, convenience, etc. You do what you do and that’s fine if you’re fine with it.

I want to know when’s the last time you woke up? Not just opened your eyes and went on with your day…I mean when you woke up and realized your current quality of life is not where you want it to be. Maybe your dissatisfied with your health and well being, maybe you operate from a state of worry, maybe you have financial and/or relational stressors, maybe you’re lacking a spiritual connection or a purpose for your life.

Coming to this realization can be a rude awakening. When it hits you, when you “wake up”, you probably experience a mix of emotions from fear to frustration to disappointment to anger. Good, because if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t feel that way. So what are you going to do about it? Don’t jump right into tactics. Meaning, don’t go join a gym, a financial program or a church before understanding why and how you got where you are.

Think strategy before tactics. First, consider how you got where you are today. What decisions have been made that lead to this very day. More importantly, which drivers drove you here? Were you driven by pain, fear, guilt, validation, control, shame or a lack of self worth? It’s crucial you know what drives you so you can better manage it. Notice we haven’t taken action YET, we’re still thinking about the best way to proceed. This is called taking a Mind-First Approach®!

Once you know where you are, focus on the big rock that will make a dramatic impact on your quality of life. Even though you maybe want to lose weight or improve your health, it may be more important to first restore a broken relationship, find a way to gain closure on or let go of your past, or modify a behavior that’s not serving you. I can’t tell you what to do but I have a sense you know the best course of action.

It requires an immense amount of courage and bravery to jump into your personal resistance and move some things around. Don’t do it alone, let the emotions you discovered when you “woke up” fuel your efforts. Work with intent to resolve and enhance your current quality of life. Once you make your personal breakthrough, no one can ever take the feelings of pride, joy and contentment you will have rightfully earned.

This approach has been adopted by the Condition for Life Revolution. The Revolution is an online, health and wellness platform that aims to treat its members as more than a physical body with a goal but as individuals who are lead by a mind, driven by a spirit and desire to be made whole. Check out the free trial: www.conditionforlife.com/revolution