Do you Eat like you Drive??

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Most people find that come Thursday or Friday, that their good ol willpower for the week has taken a few hits, dwindled, faded away, leaving urge after urge to give into temptations.

I had just this conversation with a gym member today who explained that she’d had (in her opinion) a bad breakfast. “It’ just took over” she said. She then went on to say, “I may as well just give up for the week and restart on Monday.”

Have you heard yourself say this too?

I used to for sure, as did my wife, my clients of past and probably heaps of people trying to improve their nutrition.

It’s an easy and simple solution. Just give up and try again next week.

But really, is this really going to help the long term goal of improving nutritional habits and fat loss?

We are human. We have faults. We make mistakes. Willpower is not an endless supply of strength. It does dwindle and is much more fickle than you’d believe.

 

What we discussed next has been a massive thought process shift for many clients. A skill like any other skill, the ability to just say, ‘I fluffed up, let’s accept the ‘bad’ meal and move on’, is quite powerful.

Rather than disrupting the process of building a new habit, simply brushing off the mistake as a one off mistake allows us to move on and get back to the game. No need to inflict guilt.

What made the idea stick though was this analogy I posed to her.

“What do you do when you clip the curb with your wheel when driving? Do you keep clipping the curbs until Monday morning or do you deal with it, brush it off as a mistake and get on with life?”

I shouldn’t need to answer that question for you. You can see clearly what it’s aimed at.

We all give in at some point. Often our other half or friends tempt us with chocolate or that big glass of wine. If you do give in, it’s fine. Deal with it by accepting it then move on and don’t wait to Monday to stop hitting curbs.

This might be a real skill to practice. You may start with this: ‘Whenever I drop off my nutrition goals, I will accept it as a one-off, forget it and move on as normal’. Hopefully you won’t have many drop offs and hopefully you’ll not clip many curbs too.

Need any help with your own nutrition goals and habits? Just shout.

Number 1 Key to Success

Now there’s an attention grabbing title!

However, I do have just that, one key thing to do in order to start the success process…

Number-1Whether you seek success in life, fitness, weight loss – in fact, anything you want to achieve, I would argue that the most important action is to “JUST SHOW UP.”

Many clients often ask something similar to, “How long does it take to…lose 5kg / knock 5 mins off my 5km run / eat better.” The answer is invariably always the same – start doing something.

I’m personally a terrible procrastinator. I’ll want to start a program but spend too much time pondering the details when all I’m doing is wasting time in starting the program. Another great example I’m sure my wife would agree with is finishing the new raised veggie patches. I want to do it but, I’m all, “yeah but, I’ve to go get the wood, level the ground, buy more stuff for drainage ….bla bla bla, I’ll do it tomorrow!”

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We all want something that’ll requires us to start doing something and it’s even easier to not do it. But, once we do actually start, we’re on the path to success.

Getting to the point. If you have something in your head, a goal, an outcome that you want to achieve, something you want to change, start to initiate that change with just one thing. The Just Show Up line can refer to actually making it to the gym or it could refer to writing out your dinner meal plans for the next day or two, heck, it could even be the simple act of writing your goal down on a note pad and leaving it next to your bed, computer, TV remote, whatever. Just start with something that points you in the direction you want to go.

Probably half my clients at FitStrong did procrastinate at some stage and left their health to play second fiddle to other things like work, partying, bringing up the family, or just procrastinated. At some stage something happened, usually unpleasant that made them decide to take action. Take pain, aches and a general feeling of being week, that’s a good motivator to change something. Their one thing was to look up a personal trainer on Google and I am very thankful that they got in touch with me.

So if you’ve been stuck in procrastination land for a while, contemplating change, I’d rather you acted now, grab your proverbial goals by the horns and just turn up for yourself.

If you’re ready to commit to change, maybe not sure what to do next, let me know below, let’s catch up over email and talk about how to get you started.

Change is too hard… alone!

SOMETIMES THE IDEA OF CHANGE CAN BE VERY CONFRONTING.

More times than enough we’re made to feel compelled by peers, media and so on, to do it NOW.

‘Doing it all’ now implies changing a lot of areas.

How you shop, planning meals, dealing with saboteurs, what you put on your plate, what actual healthy foods means, cooking and preparation, time… phew, the list can be a massive obstacle in itself.

However, now the good news.

A proven approach into change is a simple ‘one thing at a time’ method where you narrow down what you can work on now that’s on your to-do list.

If you know you could do with cleaning out the processed foods and also need to plan meals better, a best practice approach is to take whichever of the two you feel or think you can take on now.

By doing this you not only start a process of change with something you believe you can accomplish but you’ve also taken away other items that may obstruct your emotional and mental energy. We don’t want any of that now do we?

This of course can be a hit and miss process or a few stumbling blocks may arise along the way, but by only focusing on one item at a time, the work schedule is more reasonable.

The role of a coach in this process is to help direct you when you take on a new challenge, maybe help you identify which items could and should be worked on. A coach will also listen as well as ask. Ask what you may wonder?! Well, it’s no good taking on a task and having opportunities to jump the boat when no-one’s looking. So, as a coach, I would check in weekly or daily in some instances to see how ‘it’s all going’? What’s working and what’s not working.

Accountability is a cornerstone of achieving any goal.

Taking accountability one step further, I’d like to provide an opportunity in the near future to work collectively to take on the challenges of making changing habits easier.

Now, in the design stages, I’m opening up the gates for suggestions as to how to run this.

The key areas that are top of mind are:

  • Where and when? Live online at set times using a facebook private group just for this purpose OR face-to-face as a group at the gym?
  • Habits? Do we take a structured and predetermined list of general habits that nearly always need addressed and work them on a set basis OR a smaller range of habits closer to your personal needs?

Please use the form below to not only show your interest but, to share your thoughts regarding the above?

Once I get sufficient feedback, I will put together the plan… the best results follow plans!

Plan it or can it!

It’s Friday, almost the end of the week and maybe, your early week meal plans have slipped or run out of steam.

At this point if this is you, take stock of what happened good or bad and plan for next week.

If you’ve had a great week where meal preparation plans lasted, you’ve stuck to maintaining and building better habits, awesome.

If you’ve struggled towards the end of this week, what happened? Did you run out of time to prepare meals or did you get too tired to cook? 

If his is the case, plan not to end up here again next week. Make up and freeze or refrigerate meals to last up today.

It’s also the time to make up the following weeks shopping list full of everything you need to last next week. 

Consider the optimal portions you need of meats, vegetables, essential healthy carb sources, eggs, cheese (yes, of course cheese) and other healthy accompaniments. 

Plan it or can it!

Here’s the Precision Nutrition guide to portion sizes for men and women and yes, you both have different needs – deal with it 🙂 

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For a great explanation of this, please read more at Precision Nutrition

Vegi-troubles!

The top 10 healthiest vegetables you could possibly eat to make your life better…

 

… Yeah, you really think I’m going to list these vegetables, detail all the awesome micronutrients and specific health benefits of eating them – no.

Every day in every newspaper, magazine, websites, bill board poster and in the chain shops, health food stores etc etc you’ll be bombarded with endless advice on what best to eat, how to spend your well-earned money to make you slimmer and healthier, hell, you’ll be told to juice up 10kg of veg into a glass of life-giving elixir!

However, do you really, really, really believe all this information overload makes a difference? I don’t.

All this information brain clutter does is confuse the average consumer and probably puts them off buying and eating what they should be eating, just vegetables.

Seriously, IT DOES NOT MATTER.

Here’s it all simplified:

  • Vegetables are healthy.
  • Eating vegetables is healthy.
  • Not eating vegetables is unhealthy.
  • If it’s a green vegetable, or yellow, or red, or orange, or mushroom coloured, eat it.
  • EAT vegetables.

Who cares what nutrients are in them and what positive things they do to you, just eat them, ITS ALL GOOD, RELAX.

Chop them up, throw them into a pan with some butter and gently cook them, whatever, but the most important thing is this, eat the flipping vegetables.

Peace out, I’m away to eat this arrow down to left

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Strong is the new Happy

For those of us who exercise, workout or train, it would be general consensus that we do so for a reason.

Now, I’m not going to get into details or semantics about working out and training in this post (there is a difference you know!) but, we exercisers all do what we do with a general end goal in mind. Oh, and if you don’t have a goal, you really should set one or more to keep you moving steadily onwards and upwards.

However, only recently was it pointed out to me by the business guru genius, happy-grumpy Paddi Lund, that what most people actually want is ‘happiness’!

Think about that… Simple, hey?

One end goal masked behind a facade of, ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to get faster’, ‘I want to get stronger’, and oh so many other common goals is to feel satisfied and happy with the successful outcome of our efforts. These goals are of course intended to meet some kind of intrinsic need and want. Getting these results will, by our own assumption and or assertion, make us happy, happier or on a path to happiness.

Is you is, or is you ain’t very happy?

Goal setting is clearly about setting a clear and realistic path from A to B. Assuming you know where A is, planning the route to B is relatively simple. Coaches can help sweep up the path of debris to help you get there of course… hint hint.

But, what if you plan from B to A?  Now you have to know what B is, where it is and then you can see a bit more clearly how you may arrive at it. This is realistic goal setting at its simplest but often overlooked.

So many people want to get to somewhere not knowing if it is ‘their’ point B or in fact someone else’s point B, an expected point B or just something plucked out of Men’s Pumpin’ Weekly!

What I would like to suggest and play with in goal setting, planning and first of all, ‘understanding’, is this.

WHY? Then WHY, then WHY again. Yep, 3 whys!

Let’s keep this simple – You want to lose weight, why?

Perhaps to fit into clothes you used to wear, to look better at the beach or look better naked! Don’t laugh at that last one, i’m pretty sure most people who want to lose weight would agree with that last point.

So again, Why?

“Hmmm, I want to look better at the beach to feel more confident with myself.”

And once more, why?

“_________.” What do think the answer could be? Might it be that feeling more confident would help you feel more at ease, less stressed, more able to enjoy yourself without hiding flabby bits under layers of clothes, happier with yourself, happy in general.

A bit like the six degrees of separation, consider this the ‘3 Whys to happiness’. It wont take us there in an instant, but it might help identify what the key intrinsic motivating factors are to achieving the end goal, the ultimate goal, one goal.

These 3 whys could actually be drawn out into more, especially if the answer is based on someone else’s desires!

Clearly the next step to getting onto the happy train is working backwards through those discoveries. As with any objective, being strategic and specific will make life easier. You have to measure what it is you want to change and go about changing those numbers and understanding how that happens. In this case, to lose body fat it should be widely excepted and understood at this point that we must get more metabolic through the use of planned resistance training. We have to adjust our diet and look at our value systems attached to the foods that may be sabotaging our efforts. We should be aware of our downfalls and potential downfalls via stress and have a set plan for how to deal with them rather than resorting to do what we have always done.

First and foremost when making a plan to get to point B that we understand and accept is that we are actually ready to make the changes we’ve identified. It’s all great and dandy to have a plan, to understand where we are and where we want to go, the steps to get there, what we’re measuring, BUT, you have to want to change.

There are tons of books and resources online for goal setting and understanding how to plan. I just wanted to raise an issue I come up against frequently when questioning goals. START WITH WHY has lots of details on this kind of stuff.

Regarding making changes to diet or lifestyle, I like to focus on making ONE change at a time and a tangible change, mastering it and owning it before moving onto the next. Rather than focusing on not doing something to elicit the change, focus on the positive side of the change.

Rather than saying, “I’m going to be less lazy this week”, say, “I’m going to go for a walk in the morning”.

Instead of saying, “I’m not having any carbs today”, have a go at, “I’m going to save my carbs today until after I train”.

Regardless of what methods you adapt to help make change, try any, experiment with the sensible ones, just do something. To achieve the results what will make us feel happier we have to change, be STRONG with your decisions and commit.

Be STRONG in the Kitchen

Be STRONG in the gym

Be STRONG in your head

Over and out,

Jamie

 

 

Make Your Habits and They’ll Make You

One overarching principle I’m aiming at imparting (to anyone that listens) is this – changes must to reasonable!

Pretty much everyone attending fitness facilities are looking at changing something. Be it strength, size, skills, eating habits, exercise habits; change is on the agenda.
However, big drastic changes fail, every time. Being told exactly what to do fails. Being given a diet sheet with one weeks worth of eating, fails! Going full-hog at training then blowing a gasket, fails.

time to change

Making small, gradual changes to important issues that hold value does work, providing that you consider it a reasonable change. If you can see the value of stopping drinking a sugary drink like a coke for example for even 95% of the time, you will value its positive impact on weight control. Not having to compensate for the huge amount of empty, non-nutritional calories makes your efforts a lot easier.

If however this change seems unreasonable, then there is absolutely no purpose in perusing it – it will fail.

With consideration to eating habits (maybe a food diary will come in handy), identify one poor habit. There could be more than one, there probably are to be honest, but take just one that you consider changeable. This could be like the example above or even something small like sugar added to your coffee.

Take this one habit and consider how to change it for a healthier option.
This has to be a reasonable change, don’t forget this.

How you change it is up to you but strive to reduce the serving, choose an alternative with less sugar, a different food stuff or even stop it if it’s really an unnecessary snack.

The kind of poor eating habits that hinder weight control could include one or more of these:

  • late night sugary snacks
  • staying up late in the first place. Sleeping is a great weight control tool
  • added sugar to tea and coffee
  • cordials and fruit juices
  • crumbed fish or chicken
  • piling your plate up just because your partner has
  • processed foods
  • not eating after exercise
  • grocery shopping on an empty stomach or when hungry
  • buying unnecessary foods…. Just stop that right now and you’ll more than likely see change very quickly
  • heavily refined cooking oils

The list could go on, but can see how many of these are common sense issue.

To repeat, don’t go mad with lots of changes; totally ‘own’ changing one poor habit at a time into a healthy habit. Making a commitment for even one week might allow you to really appreciate the change. If not, at least you gave it a go and maybe on another occasion you’ll succeed. Take another issue, work on it but don’t stress and beat yourself up, you’re not alone, just stay reasonable with yourself.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi