A great week by choice, not chance

4b96aac0b59fbb5d07e9663d59f7cc3fEach week on Sunday, I reflect on whether or not I’ve lived up to my expectations and gave life my very best. I realize my journey and the opportunity to leave a legacy are limited and I appreciate time as a precious resource and my most valuable asset. I take each week, each day and each moment seriously and aim to live out a vibrant and abundant life.

I’m finding in order to show up and give life my very best, I’ve got to be present, in the moment, here and now, mindful and aware that my intentions are aligning with my desired outcome. I’ve got to invest time in myself by reflecting on my thoughts and actions, letting go of the need to always feel busy and realize reflection is a productive use of my time. Last, I’ve got to continue to consistently exert efforts in the direction of my Preferred Status, my personal utopia, the destination outlined in my vision statement and the constant reminder of why I do what I do. Minus presence, time and efforts, my GAP, my personal resistance and source of inaction would swallow me whole.

Sometimes, my clients suggest I have it easy because I work in the wellness field but I don’t see it that way. Aren’t we all playing the game of life? Don’t we all have choices to make? Don’t we all experience the same emotions? I find they label me because it removes their accountability from the change process and justifies their protective behaviors. I always choose to love them through it though. I don’t judge their behavior, I try my best to understand their motivation. I realize sometimes people just don’t know how to say I’m scared, I feel alone and I’m not sure how to manage this journey…show me how. Thankfully, I’m plugged in enough to read between the lines and help them create this lifestyle they believe is exclusive to me.

I find a little transparency and vulnerability goes a long ways in provoking the transformation of another human being. I help them understand the trials I’ve been through, the feelings I’ve battled through my formative years and into my adult life including fear, rejection, abandonment, anger, frustration, sadness, worry, shame, guilt and pain. I share my perspective on how I’ve approached life, how my challenges were really change opportunities in disguise and how I’ve managed along the way.

What I’ve done is not right or wrong or even the best way. The bigger story to share is I chose and continue to choose to exert efforts towards making myself feel whole and worthy of love and belonging. So each Sunday, I set aside some time for myself to reflect on my life and connect the dots on where I can improve to make my next week a great one. I’d invite you to do the same. If you’re unsure how, you know how to reach me. Be well.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach has inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Life is a Matter of Perspective

mirroLife is full of demands, there’s no getting around that. And when the resources you have to accommodate those demands are limited or wanting, life can feel like this:

Life is hard when it surpasses your resilience.
Life is expensive when it surpasses your spending habits.
Life is draining when it surpasses your energy levels.
Life is problematic when it surpasses your available solutions.
Life is mind-numbing when it surpasses your acuity.
Life is unpredictable when it surpasses your need for control.
Life is a curve ball when it surpasses your support system.
Life is stressful when it surpasses your ability to manage it.
Life is busy when it surpasses your available time.

Life becomes a rewarding, joyful and incredible experience when your resources are greater than your demands. The first step towards doing so? Enhance your perspective around your available demands and resources.

Weight loss is a disservice

images-1If you’re working with someone to help them lose weight, it’s a massive disservice to keep the focus on weight loss—for you as the professional, as well as, your client. This is not to be confused with the fact you have the best of intentions. The simple fact that you care enough to help someone help themselves, displays your generous and empathetic spirit, well done! I’m offering another perspective on helping people reach their full potential…and while it’s not a linear approach, it offers a lasting solution.

Consider things from a purely biological point of view: The human body is designed to survive, it has no preference to be underweight, overweight or maintain a healthy weight. Genetics certainly play a role in our makeup but our Environment is definitely the runner up. We’re all byproducts of our Environment. If someone has a troubled marriage, a stressful job and lives under financial pressure, would you be surprised to see them overweight and out of shape? How do you even prioritize diet and exercise when there are much bigger considerations? If your client reports they don’t have time to “fit it in”, it’s usually because it’s not the most important item.

Our judgmental world wouldn’t hesitate associating being overweight with laziness, demotivation or someone who lives to eat. Although, I would never label this person and would choose to see them as a reflection of their Environment (lifestyle). I wouldn’t be so quick to judge their behavior either…I’d first seek to understand their motivation: What stresses them? How do they perceive their situation? Do they feel worthy of the efforts it would take to improve their situation? Is there even a desire to do so? It’s easier to assume than it is to ask questions as you may not know what to do with what you hear.

Think cause and effect: I’m stressed, I overeat to numb painful feelings, I put on weight. Focusing on weight only points out WHAT has happened and never attempts to right WHY it’s happened. Treat the person (cause), not their waistline (effect). Enhance their Environment and weight loss becomes a byproduct of their lifestyle.

You can argue and disagree and tell me I’m not qualified to play all those roles in the lives of my clients but I can tell you I’m willing to do whatever it to provoke deep, meaningful and lasting transformation. It’s never about the weight, it’s usually a matter of worthiness and if you listen closely and connect the dots, it’ll all start to make sense.

#weightlossasabyproduct
#lifestylemanagement
#changinglivestakingnames
#gamechangers2016

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach has inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

The vessel and the catalyst

Sailing-Vessel-SorlandetThe vessel and the catalyst. One is empty without the other. Think about it: The chip is the vessel for the dip. The assist is the vessel for the layup. The sail is the vessel for the wind.

I’m a Lifestyle & Performance Catalyst. My passion is helping people reach their full potential— helping them get from where they are to where they want to be. For me, my clients are the vessel to my passion but it’s their desire that’s the vessel for change to occur.

Desire – it’s a funny thing. We realize we want something within a fraction of a second but it takes much longer to actualize that desire. Think of how many people desire weight loss or improving their health and how few of them actualize those goals. What vessel are they choosing to achieve their desire?

The fact is, desire alone is not sufficient to reach the target outcome. You must pair your desire with the right vessel to create the change you seek.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach has inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

The Cost of Choice

Mathematical magnets

Every day you wake up and make choices. Some keep you where you’re at and some get you where you want to be. Either way, you’re expending energy — but not all choices cost the same.

All choices cost you physical energy. When those choices are inconsistent with who, where and what you want to be, they become very expensive.

The pain, fear and guilt you experience when you make decisions that dishonor and discourage you from reaching your full potential ultimately cost you triple what you’d pay otherwise. There’s an inconvenience charge that directly debits your physical, mental and spiritual accounts. When the sum total of your decisions exceeds the resources you have to cover them, you’re left feeling weak, disengaged and unfulfilled.

Conversely, making choices that honor, encourage and respect you always add to you – they never subtract from your available resources. These choices energize your body, engage your mind and empower your spirit. As a result, when your decisions serve you, you develop a surplus of resources, enough to accommodate the demands of everyday life.

While choice by definition means difference, you need to consider the ultimate costs of the choices you’re selecting. That’s the only way to ensure you end up on the plus side, flush with resources.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there,” from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach has inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

Running for the right reasons

Long_Distance_RunningI’ve seen a surge of runners now that the weather has been cooling down. Although, I’m not certain the vast majority of them are benefitting from it. When watching them, it appears as if their body brakes have been applied and they are fighting massive resistance. Pair that with the signs of physical discomfort and I start to wonder if running is the right activity for them…not only from a physical standpoint but more from a mental and emotional one.

My sense is if I asked these runners WHY they were running, I’d hear: it burns more calories than walking, it’s better cardio than walking, I don’t have a lot of time to work out, etc. None of these are necessarily the right reasons to run. However, it’s so important to seek the motivation behind the behavior because you can’t tell someone to rationally stop running when it’s an emotional decision.

– Running can burn more calories than walking but only up until the point you become injured, then your body will be conserving energy, leading to a net deficit.
– Running does place more of a cardio-respiratory demand than walking and develop a different energy system but if your goal is weight loss, it’s not necessarily better.
– If your tight on time and physical activity has earned only a small portion of your day, you may need to re-evaluate what takes precedence.

I’m passionate about this subject because I treat a lot of injured runners. Most aren’t running for the love of it, they use it as a means to an end: weight loss, anxiety / stress management, etc. This is important to know when managing an injury because all the stretching and strengthening in the world can’t and won’t fix WHY someone’s overeating or stressed out.

What they need isn’t physical but mental and emotional conditioning. They need someone to speak to WHY they are doing, WHAT they are doing. When doing so, running becomes less appealing because they see it for what it is, a band aid to a bigger issue. Many times, I turn their attention to something more sustainable and comparable to the endurance event of life: walking.

I’ve found when you help someone to satisfy their individual needs as a human being (self-belief, worth, esteem, peace), what they want (weight loss, cardio, stress / time management) becomes the byproduct of how they are living. A true win-win and if running happens to be part of the bigger picture strategy, so be it.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.

There’s a space within all of us…

open-mindedThere’s a space within all of us from which we make decisions. Ever wonder…

… what makes you hit the snooze button or get out of bed?

… what makes you react with anger or respond with compassion?

… what makes you prep food the night before or settle for eating on the run?

… what makes you stick to the plan or veer off track when the going gets tough?

… what makes you lead an active lifestyle or just sit this one out?

… what makes you tick and what drives your behaviors?

In this space, we find our deepest thoughts, emotions, values, beliefs and self.

If we are to become who and what we desire to be, we must spend time in this space.

We hesitate because pain, fear and guilt live here too.

Yet, when you learn to lean into the discomfort, you also find joy, love and worth and you become what you are capable of becoming.

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Michael Rizk has a passion for helping people get from “here to there”, from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. He believes everyone is a slight shift of their Mindset away from reaching their full potential and he treats everyone as they ought to be. Michael is the founder of Condition for Life, a Lifestyle Management company dedicated to helping people construct lifestyles in which their health, fitness and wellness goals are the byproduct of how they’re living. This sophisticated, refreshing and Revolutionary approach haw inserted joy, contentment and fulfillment back into the process of transforming oneself. The experience he provides is available in person, in studio, on Skype or online.