healthy is happy

Fitspiration Friday

On a person’s journey from fat to fit, there is going to come a time when personal motivation wanes and the possibility of missing workouts and cheating on the healthy-eating plan becomes all too real.

That’s when we all need a little external motivation.

That motivation can come in two very different forms : the carrot & the stick.

fitspiration
An example of “stick” motivation
  • As a personal trainer, I use a lot of stick motivation with my clients (a little bit of carrot…but mostly stick)
  • One of the most effective forms of carrot motivation is fitspiration…motivational images designed to light a fire under a temporarily lazy ass…
  • Pictures of ultra-fit people…
  • Motivational sayings…
  • Before : after transformation pics…

…serve to help a lot of people (myself included) stay focused on their goals and give them the external motivation that they need periodically to recharge their own internal motivation.

If that sounds like something that might work for you, check out these fitspiration images that I created and/or “borrowed” from around the internet.

And if you feel that these images present unrealistic expectations and do nothing to motivate you, stop reading this post, find something else that can light a fire under your ass and/or find a personal trainer to do it for you. Or leave a snarky comment…your choice.

discipline (2)
Every January, health clubs around the world are swarmed by millions of people who have resolved that this will be the year that they get lean, fit & healthy.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of them, once the initial enthusiasm has worn off and the realization that getting fit is hard work becomes painfully real…they quit…leaving the gym to those of us with the discipline to do what needs to be done…even when we don’t want to.

How to get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less, not more.

How many times have we all started a diet or an exercise program, only to call ourselves “lazy” in the end?

  • When we start an exercise program but feel way too tired to get off the couch and “just do it”, we feel we lack self-discipline. We should try harder.
  • When we start a diet but accidentally slip…we feel terrible. It was our responsibility to take care of what we eat, and we are now letting ourselves down by not eating the right foods. We have to try more.

But what if I told you, that you could enjoy more success if you tried…less?

What if I told you that you can easily stick to exercise and avoid the “couch temptation” even when you’re tired…without having to use self-control, or self-discipline?

Or, what if you could easily eat the right thing, even when you go to a restaurant and all your friends around you are having a culinary feast?

That’s exactly what I am thoroughly describing in my healthy habits book “Surprisingly…Unstuck”, and what I’m including in my 10-week 5-min exercise video service Exercise Bliss to make exercise ridiculously easy to stick to.

You see, there are “little things” that have a major impact in what you do or don’t do. However, even though they have a major influence on you, you have no idea you’re under their spell!

Using these “little things” in your favor can you help you get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less, not harder.

Yes, you read that right. LESS.

The “little things” to get in the best shape of your life by actually trying less.

Do you want to know why watching TV instead of exercising, or eating more when you’re out with friends, are both so irresistible?

It’s because our habits take over. And when habits take over, we find ourselves doing things without even realizing them!

You see, our habits are unconscious. They make us do stuff almost automatically without even thinking about them. That’s how fast they can be. Just like when you accidentally ate meat during your “going vegetarian” experiment. Ooops! You realized it only when you had already swallowed.

eating too much food - restaurant

If you master what habits get activated vs. what habits don’t get activated, then you can easily find yourself doing the right thing…no matter how tired you are and without using any self-discipline.

Habits get initiated by cues in your environment, aka triggers. A trigger can be any kind of sensory cue (something you see, hear, smell, feel, or taste), something you remembered, or even one of your existing routines. They are little things that are all around you, yet powerfully affect what you do.

For instance, when you get in the car, you wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is the habit, but your brain gets the message to do it when you first experience the car setting environment: The movement of getting in the car, feeling the seat beneath you, leaving your bag at the back of the car, etc.

Your day is inundated with habits: brushing teeth, having breakfast, even how to put on hot water in your shower is an established habit. Even eating is a habit.

Just like triggers can initiate bad habits – without you being consciously aware of that, they can also initiate good habits. Learning how to identify the right triggers and manipulate them in your favor can make the difference between you EASILY getting in the best shape of your life, or you trying really HARD but still failing.

Next Page….How to stick to exercise…even when you’re tired

 

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10 Fantastic Fitness Gifs

If you like fitness…and you like gifs…you’ve come to the right place. Today’s post is a collection of fantastic fitness gifs that I whipped together last night when I couldn’t sleep 😦 Enjoy… kettlebell-swing Kettlebell (or dumbbell) Swings are one of my favorite exercises.

  • They are a great way to dynamically warm up your entire body prior to your regular resistance training workout
  • They are a great way to build core strength
  • They are a great way to strengthen your glutes / booty / butt / rear end / badonkadonk
  • They are a great way to mobilize your hips and prevent muscle imbalances & their associated aches and pains

Next PageStir the Pots

The Difference Between Can’t and Won’t

  • I can’t eat healthy all the time…
  • I can’t make it to the gym tonight…
  • I can’t go for a walk after dinner…
  • I can’t get my kids to stop eating junk food…
  • I can’t quit smoking…
  • I can’t do HIIT sprints…
  • I can’t stop eating grains…
  • I can’t resist the lure of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiatio…
  • I can’t…I can’t…I can’t….

WRONG.

The next time you think that you can’t do something…..watch this .

  • You can eat healthy…you just won’t do it
  • You can make it to the gym tonight…you just won’t do it
  • You can go for a walk after dinner…you just won’t do it
  • You can get your kids to stop eating junk food…you just won’t do it
  • You can quit smoking…you just won’t do it
  • You can do HIIT sprints…you just won’t do it
  • You can stop eating grains…you just won’t do it
  • You can resist the lure of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiatio…you just won’t do it
  • You won’t…you won’t…you won’t…

Unless YOU decide that you will.

 

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How to Become a Better Person

Today’s post is a little different than the ones I normally write.

No science…no workouts…no cutting edge nutrition research. Just a short story about one of my friends/clients and how the changes she made in her life has made her a better person…her words, not mine.

How to become a better person in 500 words or less

Suzanne (not her real name) was referred to me by one of her friends. When we met, she was forty-something years old, with three growing kids, a good marriage, a good life, with lots of friends and a job that helped pay the bills for a home in a very nice neighbourhood in mid-town Toronto.

Like a lot of forty-somethings, she was essentially healthy but was carrying excess body-fat and just didn’t feel like her old self.

Based on her friend’s recommendation, she came to me with expectations of:

  1. Dropping the weight,
  2. Fitting into her pre-baby clothes and,
  3. Feeling more energetic.

And while all of those goals came true in the 14 months we worked together, they weren’t the reasons why she took the time to write me the most touching letter of thanks this past week.

gallery_vitruviawoman1

In her letter, Suzanne talked about how her new health habits have made her a better version of herself…stronger, calmer, happier, more creative, more loving…not to mention looking better than ever in a pair of skinny jeans.

  • She wrote about how her cravings for cookies and cupcakes have disappeared
  • She wrote about how she no longer “freaks out” on her kids and husband
  • She wrote about how her lower back & neck doesn’t ache anymore
  • She wrote about how she doesn’t feel sad & anxious like she used to
  • She wrote about how she doesn’t “need” coffee like she used to
  • She wrote about how her energy levels have gone through the roof
  • She wrote about how her relationships have grown
  • She wrote about how her improved work performance has led to a promotion
  • She wrote about how her kids and husband were positively affected by her changes
  • She wrote how her husband has been able to cut back on hypertension meds, lose weight and get rid of his sleep apnea machine
  • She wrote about how one of her kids is no longer on ADHD meds
  • She wrote about how all of her kids are better behaved and are much more physically fit

She also wrote about how she didn’t have to abandon the good stuff from her “old life” to make all these changes. She just got rid of the “stuff” that was getting in the way of being the best Suzanne that she could be.

  • She didn’t stop going out for dinner. She just made better choices
  • She didn’t stop watching tv. She just made better choices
  • She didn’t stop eating cupcakes. She just made better choices.

And that is how you become a better person. You start making better choices.

Motivation: How to Get It and Fuel It

Today’s article is a guest post from one of my favorite fitness gurus – Adam Ali.

The reason I asked Adam to write an article for Health Habits is that unlike most fitness ‘experts’, Adam not only cares passionately about bringing fitness to “normal” people, he actually does something about it. Working in one of Toronto’s at-risk neighborhoods, Adam has recently created the Goodfit Battles as a way to get Toronto’s urban youth to participate in active living through fitness training. While politicians and health experts talk about reversing childhood obesity and eliminating the chronic lifestyle diseases bankrupting our healthcare system, Adam actually does something about it.

Alright, that’s enough of  pumping Adam’s tires, on with the article….

motivation-adam-ali

Being known as the motivational-athlete-guy, I receive tons of e-mails from people asking me how do I get and stay motivated. My answer is always the same…I tell them that it’s a simple as just get STARTED and be on the look-out for any & all positive indicators. Seeing small wins lets me know that I am going towards the right direction and that’s what usually motivates me. However, to get those small wins, you got to START. There is no secret to that. Chase things you are passionate about and you are likely to stay on course. Besides finding small wins to motivate me here are some other approaches I use to get MOTIVATED.

  1. Find someone to keep you accountable
    Now not only am I responsible for achieving my goal I have someone also breathing down my neck when I am going off course. A mentor or a friend who genuinely keeps you accountable can dramatically support you to get motivated.
  2. Think about what will happen if you DON’T do it
    It scares me when I think about the consequence of not doing one my goals. I do not want to be regretful and spend any time later in life wondering what if. Out weight the loss of not taking action and that should be enough to motivate you.
  3. Set up anchors
    Display a collage on your wall, set alarms, emails alerts to yourself, to do list, etc to continuously remind you of your goals. This can support fuelling you on your way to your goal.
  4.  Find motivation
    Seek motivation. Go online and search for a video and article. Pick up the phone and call someone and start a conversation – I’m sure you will get encouraged. There are thousands of books on self-development and motivation. If you seek you will find it and remember that the best motivation comes within.
  5. Greatest Invention.
    The greatest invention in my humble opinion has to be the paper and pen. There is something magical when you put your goals on paper. Utilize the magic of paper and pen and get writing everyday. Write a to do list that supports your goals. If you have a worthy thought about your goals or an idea – write it down.

Here is a link to my personal daily to do list. Utilize it daily and I promise that it will motivate you to your goals.

 .

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
—Thomas Jefferson

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About the Author

This article was written by super-trainer Adam Ali, founder of iWontLose.com and creator of the Goodfit Battles. If you want to connect with Adam, you can reach him at Twitter – @ADAMwontLOSE or Facebook or on his YouTube page.

Be the Best You that You Can Be

Every day, I speak with people who want to transform their body from fat to fit. And for the most part, I tell them that the human body is an amazingly adaptable machine that WILL respond to exercise, nutrition, etc.

Unfortunately, sometimes I have to splash a little cold water on their hopes & dreams. Just like Mssrs Ecto, Meso & Endo, we all face unique limitations and restrictions.

  • Mr. Meso’s waist is great for bodybuiding…but not so good for becoming the World’s Strongest Man
  • And while Mr. Endo is built for pulling transport trucks out of ditches, he is never, ever going to be as lean as Mr. Ecto without a boatload of illegal and life-threatening drugs.

We all have limitations…

  • Physical – wide hips, narrow hips, small boobs, big boobs, muscle fiber type, metabolic rate, etc…
  • Mental – self-confidence and belief in their ability to improve
  • Financial – gym memberships, trainers, healthy food & supplements cost money
  • Social – support of friends & family isn’t guaranteed
  • Knowledge – Some people still believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight
  • Time – we are all stuck with this one 😦

And while most of us will never be hired to be the next Calvin Klein model…

calvin-klein-models

…we sure as heck can be better than we are today.

Be the Best You that You Can Be

 

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ANGRY Workout Music Playlist

Most of the time, my brain is able to tune out the incredibly lame music they play at most gyms/health clubs.

However…when it comes time to dive into a heavy lifting, kick your own butt kind of workout, having to hear the latest Ke$ha song in the background is a HUGE distraction.

That’s when I slap on the headphones and start cranking the official Health Habits ANGRY Workout Music Playlist.

angry-henry-rollins

[box type=”note”]This is not the music you want to listen to while doing cardio or pilates or zumba or driving the car or making dinner or just about anything other than unleashing all your aggression on a pile of heavy weights at the gym. This stuff is going to unleash your inner barbarian[/box]

BAND SONG
Motörhead Ace Of Spades
Nirvana Aneurysm
Silverchair Anthem For The Year 2000
Skinny Puppy Assimilate
AC DC Back In Black
Kid Rock Bawitdaba
Nine Inch Nails Bite The Hand That Feeds
Public Enemy Black Steel In The Hour O…
LINKIN PARK Bleed It Out
Rage Against The Machine Bombtrack
Linkin Park Breaking The Habit
Nirvana Breed
Public Enemy Bring The Noise
DMX Bring Your Whole Crew
Rage Against The Machine Bullet In The Head
Rage Against The Machine Bulls On Parade
Five Finger Death Punch Burn It Down
Ministry Burning Inside
Rage Against The Machine Calm Like A Bomb
Skrillex Cat Rats
Skinny Puppy Chainsaw
Saliva Click Click Boom
Audioslave Cochise
Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train
Rage Against The Machine Darkness (lp Version)
Foo Fighters Darling Nikki
Skinny Puppy Dig It (short Edit)
Disturbed Down With The Sickness
Rob Zombie Dragula
Nirvana Drain You
White Zombie Electric Head, Pt. 1
White Zombie Electric Head, Pt. 2
Foo Fighters Everlong
Ministry Everyday Is Halloween
Public Enemy Fight The Power
The Prodigy Firestarter
SKRILLEX First Of The Year
Rage Against The Machine Fistful Of Steel
Rage Against The Machine Freedom
NWA Fuck The Police
Skrillex Fucking Die 01
Rollins Band Going Out Strange
Rage Against The Machine Guerilla Radio
Nine Inch Nails Head Like A Hole
Matthew Good Band Hello Time Bomb
Filter Hey Man Nice Shot
Nirvana In Bloom
Linkin Park In The End
House Of Pain Jump Around
Skrillex Kill Everybody
Rage Against The Machine Killing In The Name Of
Eminem Lose Yourself
Bush Machinehead
Rage Against The Machine Maggie’s Farm
Skrillex & Damian Marley Make It Bun Dem
LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out
Rage Against The Machine Maria
Rage Against The Machine Mic Check
Marilyn Manson Mobscene
White Zombie More Human Than Human
KMFDM Mortal Kombat Theme
Foo Fighters My Hero
Rage Against The Machine New Millennium Homes
Rage Against The Machine No Shelter
Limp Bizkit Nookie
Soundgarden Outshined
Linkin Park Papercut
Rage Against The Machine People Of The Sun
Ministry Psalm 69
Skrillex Reptile
Various Artists Resident Evil Main Title …
DMX Ruff Ryders’ Anthem
Beastie Boys Sabotage
Skrillex Scary Monsters And Nice S…
The Offspring Self-Esteem
Rage Against The Machine Settle For Nothing
Rage Against The Machine Sleep Now In The Fire
Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit
Beastie Boys So Whatcha Want
Foo Fighters Stacked Actors
Nine Inch Nails Starfuckers, Inc.
Ministry Stigmata
Nirvana Territorial Pissings
Common Testify
Rage Against The Machine Testify
Marilyn Manson The Beautiful People
Five Finger Death Punch The Bleeding
Motörhead / Lemmy The Game
Nine Inch Nails The Perfect Drug
Foo Fighters The Pretender
Rob Zombie Thunderkiss
ACDC Thunderstruck
Eminem ’till I Collapse
ACDC Tnt
Rage Against The Machine Township Rebellion
Rage Against The Machine Vietnow
Rage Against The Machine Voice Of The Voiceless
Rage Against The Machine Wake Up
Guns N’ Roses Welcome To the Jungle
Rage Against The Machine Year Of Tha Boomerang
Death From Above 1979 You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine

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The Cure for Obesity

Earlier today, I discovered the cure for obesity… and it isn’t a diet or a fitness program or a supplement or a drug or a surgery, medical device, hypnotism or magic pill.

It’s a single paragraph from little self-help/positivity book that I have never read and is wrongly attributed to Charlie Chaplin.

And it goes like this…

“As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF“.

And IMHO, love of oneself means…

  • Eating food that nourishes your body…not junk-food programmed to activate the pleasure centers in your brain
  • Being physically active every day…not sitting on your butt watch crap tv shows
  • Spending time with ‘real-world’ friends…not just your Facebook ‘friends’
  • Getting enough sleep to recharge for the next day
  • Drinking more water and less soda
  • Resisting negative peer pressure
  • Developing positive willpower
  • Ignoring what you want…for what you need
  • Etc, etc, etc….

just say no mcdonalds

Reference

When I Loved Myself Enough

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY“.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody. As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me.
Today I call it “RESPECT“.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to
grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY“.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE“.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it “SIMPLICITY“.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF“.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY“.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where  everything is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT“.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART“.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know “THAT IS LIFE“!

What Motivates Me

For a period of four years back in the 80’s, there lived a total freak of nature who:

  • Won the Heisman Trophy in U.S. college football
  • Ran a 4.12 second 40-yard dash time at the NFL testing combine
  • Was drafted first overall in the National Football League entry draft
  • Was drafted first overall in the Major League Baseball entry draft
  • Was named the MVP of the MLB’s All-Star game
  • Played football like this…
  • While playing baseball like this

There was nobody like Bo.

Just thinking of the stuff he could do on the field provided the motivation that teenage me needed to workout harder and longer than everyone else.

Thanks Bo.

The Science Behind Willpower

  • We all have cravings.
  • We all have willpower.
  • Unfortunately for our living room furniture…our collective willpower seems to be getting it’s ass kicked by our cravings for junk food.

So, imagine my delight when a group of scientists from Caltech U discovered which region of the brain is responsible for resisting cravings.

wt08-07fig4

 

Specifically, the researchers found that when people are presented with a temptation like chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, two regions of the brain go to war. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the  dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC).

After tempting a group of test subjects with an ooey-gooey chocolaty dessert, the researchers found that

  1. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) drives us to give in to the pleasure of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream
  2. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) drives us to resist that short term pleasure for long term health benefits.

They also found that both regions become active and compete against each other when we are presented with a temptation like ice cream, booze, extra-marital sex, etc.

They also found that unless you strengthen the dlPFC by resisting short term urges on a regular basis… it’s going to get it’s butt kicked by the vmPFC.

In essence – willpower is a muscle…just like Grandma said.

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Reference

Harness Your Emotions to Lose Weight

The experts who say that the key to weight loss is education are wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • Every obese person in the world knows that eating pizza at every meal will make them fat and sick.
  • They also know that eating a lot of fresh vegetables will make them lean & healthy.

Lack of education isn’t the problem…emotions are the problem.

  • Negative emotions that drive them to inhale an entire tub of ice cream
  • Positive emotions that motivate them to live a healthier lifestyle

So…how do we learn to harness these emotions and use them to our advantage?

Here are two tricks that have worked for my clients over the past 12+ years.

The Carrot
  1. Put together a collection of images that inspire you to live an uber-fit healthy life.
  2. Look at these images EVERY morning before you start your day
  3. Look at them periodically throughout the day – save images on your phone, make them your screen-saver, post them on the fridge, tape them to the inside of your gym locker, etc…

Here are a bunch of images to get you started.

NOTE: Some people have “issues” with motivational images making them look silly. My advice: unless you’re still in high school, stop worrying about being judged by other people. Most people spend too much time thinking about themselves to be concerned with your silly physique pics

The Stick

Nobody says mean things about a fat person…like that fat person says about themselves. Seriously, you would not believe how mean overweight people are to themselves. It’s like masochism & obesity go hand in hand. What makes it even worse is that all of those feelings of self-hatred often end up reinforcing the very behaviors which led to the obesity in the first place. What we need to do is turn those negative feelings around so they help motivate you to stick with your new healthy lifestyle.

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Write yourself a letter – about how you feel right now…about your body, about your health, about your emotional state, your relationships…and how your obesity & poor health negatively impacts your life
  2. Print out the letter
  3. Sign the letter
  4. Read that letter EVERY morning before you start your day
  5. Read that letter EVERY night before you go back to bed
  6. Take some very unflattering pictures of yourself and stuff them away in the back of your sock drawer
  7. Every 30 days, take new picks & stuff them back in the drawer
  8. After a year, pull out all the pics and review the changes

One More Thing

  • You are going to blow your “diet”, skip a workout, forget to read your letter, inhale an entire cheesecake.
  • It’s expected and it will happen
  • It happens to everybody
  • You’re not a loser
  • After cheating, read your letter again and again and again.
  • One cheat doesn’t negate all the hard work you have done since starting this transformation.
  • One cheat doesn’t negate all the improvements you have made to your health, fitness & physique.
  • Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, look at your motivation pics and go get some exercise

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What’s YOUR Excuse?

Just in case you needed some extra motivation to put down the chips and get your ass off the couch….

money-muscle-health-healthhabits-fitness-exercise

Treat Your Fitness Like You Treat Your Business

My busiest clients are almost always my most dedicated and most successful clients.

Despite working 18 hour days, they still find the time to workout and prepare healthy Paleo meals. And it’s all because they approach their fitness routine in the same way they approach their business.

  • They schedule workouts just like they do business meetings.
  • They realize that a good trainer or nutritionist is an cost of doing business…just like an accountant or some other business consultant.
  • They plan time to shop for and prepare healthy meals.
  • They understand that a fitness plan is just as necessary as a business plan

Something to think about…the next time someone tells you that they don’t have time to exercise.

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Instant Exercise Motivation #22

Ryder Hesjedal is a freak of nature.

  • The average healthy adult male has a lung capacity of 6 litres.
  • Cycling god Lance Armstrong has a lung capacity of 7 litres.
  • Ryder Hesjedal has a lung capacity of 8.3 litres.

And “while lung capacity isn’t everything, the ability to suck in vast amounts of air means you can pump more oxygen into your blood, and that translates into enhanced performance”.

But his freaky huge lungs aren’t why he’s a super-motivator.

He’s a super-motivator because of his ability to endure physical suffering and will his body to keep pedaling when every neuron in his brain is SCREAMING at him to STOP!!!

“I really think it’s more mental,” he said. “Cycling is just the ability to keep fighting and telling your body to keep moving. You decide when you think the suffering is too much. I just keep suffering and punishing myself.”

Think about that the next time your grumbly-tummy is telling you to pig out…or you “feel” like watching tv instead of getting some exercise.

Be like Ryder…and do what you should do…instead of what you want to do.

Reference

Instant Exercise Motivation #21

The London 2012 Summer Olympics are just around the corner.

Expect to see a whole mess of uber-motivational Olympic commercials & print ads. Here’s one from my home country.

Let me know if you’ve seen other cool Olympic ads.

Instant Exercise Motivation #20

Maybe it’s because I blew out both my knees before I was ready to quit playing football…but this video gives me chills every time I see it.

Are you willing to fight for every inch?

The Best Workout in the World…

… is the one that you actually enjoy.

  • If you like swimming…..swim
  • If you enjoy dancing…..dance
  • If you enjoy lifting ridiculously heavy weights….then lift those damn weights

The fitness industry is constantly coming up with new & improved fitness classes & gizmos to keep you spending money.

The most important factor in a successful fitness program is consistency. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing…you WILL eventually quit…. or go home and kill yourself 🙂

ray lewis pissed off for greatness motivation

Instant Exercise Motivation #18

Ray Lewis surprised the Stanford Cardinal basketball team prior to their 2012 NIT semi-final game with this unbelievably awesome motivational speech.

ray lewis pissed off for greatness motivation

Enjoy…and get ready to take on the world.

Instant Exercise Motivation #15

Giving in to temptation is giving up on this summer’s six-pack.

Instant Exercise Motivation #12

image: http://www.theworldsstrongestman.com

This is what happens when 715 pounds meets a freak of nature named Zydrunas Savickas.

Now get your butt to the gym and do something sweaty.

p.s. Even if you have no interest in lifting freakishly heavy weights, you still have to love that giant Fred Flintstone barbell.

Advice for everyone who screwed up their diet yesterday

Today is a brand new day.

Yesterday’s screw-ups are in the past. Obsessing over it isn’t going to reverse time – but it might lower your level of “feel good” hormones and make you more likely to pig out again today.

Today is a brand new day….so be good to yourself by feeding your body the food that it NEEDS.

Give it the physical activity that it NEEDS

And give yourself a break.

Catastrophizing your diet slip-up isn’t going to help.

Ask yourself why you ate that entire pizza, learn from it and move on.

Today is a brand new day….and you get a do-over my friend.

 

Instant Exercise Motivation #11

Life is all about choices.

It’s as simple as that.

A Health Habits Plan to Eliminate Obesity – Part 2

A few days ago, I published Part 1 of my Health Habits Plan to Eliminate Obesity

In that post, I identified the two main causes for obesity:

  1. Medical causes which require medical intervention – ie pharmaceuticals or surgery
  2. Lifestyle causes – ie lack of exercise, overeating, junk food, etc

I also highlighted the three main targets for modifying the lifestyle causes of obesity:

  1. Lack of Knowledge
  2. Lack of Resources
  3. Lack of Motivation

And finally, I hypothesized that when it comes to lifestyle modification, there will never be a magic bullet solution for obesity

What’s required is a comprehensive approach that can satisfy the causes I listed above.

  • Lack of Knowledge
  • Lack of Resources
  • Lack of Motivation

Today, I am going to put my ego on the line and start laying out a plan that I think could:

  • Make use of already available expert knowledge
  • Allow small businesses to flourish
  • Improve the image of the corporate business sector
  • Reduce health care costs across the board – gov’t, business, insurance & end user
  • Improve municipal infrastructure
  • Cost the public sector next to nothing
  • Spark our motivation to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Encourage us all to take ownership of our own health
  • Reduce levels of chronic disease,
  • Improve levels of physical fitness, and
  • Drastically reduce levels of obesity

The Plan

As it stands right now, if you want access to the information, resources and motivation required to lose 50 lbs and get into great shape, it helps to have money…lots of money.

For personal trainers, nutritionists, uber-healthy food, supplements, lifestyle coaching, etc…

  • What if we could offer those services in every neighborhood around the country for next to nothing?

Wouldn’t that help with our lack of knowledge and lack of resources?

  • And what if every time you turned on your tv set or surfed the net, you were bombarded with healthy lifestyle advertising created by the world’s best marketing companies featuring the world’s biggest celebrities.

We live in a world where we are convinced to buy stuff that we don’t need but are told that we should want. What would happen if those same companies tried to sell us on a healthy lifestyle?

We’re not talking “say No to Drugs” PSAs…we’re talking big multimedia advertising campaigns boring their message directly into our influential little brains.

Wouldn’t that help with our lack of motivation?

What if I told you that there were already programs like this popping up around the country…but they suffer from a lack of scale, a lack of proper management, a lack of influence, a lack of awareness and a lack of money.

But not for much longer.

Everyday there is a bunch of stories in the news about obesity….from which country is the fattest, to an 8 year old boy being taken from his mother because he’s too fat…obesity has become a major topic of discussion around the world.

A Health Habits Plan to Eliminate Obesity

When “obesity experts” get together to discuss the skyrocketing rates of obesity, the same topics get raised over and over and over. Regarding the causes of obesity, the experts focus on:

  1. Medical causes which require medical intervention – ie pharmaceuticals or surgery
  2. Lifestyle causes – ie lack of exercise, overeating, junk food, etc
  1. Lack of Knowledge
  2. Lack of Resources
  3. Lack of Motivation

Lack of Knowledge Some anti-obesity experts believe that a general lack of knowledge regarding nutrition and physical activity is the cause of our obesity problem. Personally, I think that’s a load of B.S. I have yet to meet an adult human being who thinks that pizza is healthier than broccoli…or that watching tv for 8 hours a day is better for them than going for a walk around block. But….I am willing to concede that food companies employ deceptive practices when it comes to the relative healthfulness of their products, and that it’s easy to be taken in by their marketing efforts. Lord knows they spend a lot of money trying to get us to buy more and more and more. Lack of Resources Other experts believe that our increase in obesity rates is due to a lack of resources.

  • Urban areas that are devoid of fresh food & vegetables
  • The elimination of phys ed & home ec classes
  • Unsafe or unavailable play/sport fields and playgrounds
  • Neighborhoods designed for vehicular…not pedestrian traffic
  • Cheap processed food
  • Expensive fresh food
  • Etc….

The list could go on and on. Unfortunately, fixing all of these problems will cost a lot of money. And in 2011, governments around the world aren’t exactly flush with cash. Lack of Motivation We all know people who…

  • know that they should be exercising and eating healthy food
  • know how to exercise
  • know which foods are healthy
  • know how to cook healthy meals, and
  • have all the resources necessary to exercise and buy healthy food

…but they still don’t do it. For whatever reason, their motivation to be healthy and lean can’t overcome the thoughts/emotions/cultural programming that keep them obese and un-healthy.

The Trifecta of Obesity

In my humble opinion, our biggest hurdle to solving our obesity epidemic are the obesity experts themselves. Because there is a lot of money to be made trying to help people lose weight, a massive weight loss industry has grown out of our burgeoning waistlines. And if you’re a business trying to make money in the weight-loss industry, one of the first things you must do is create a niche. You can’t peddle the same diet or exercise advice as the other guys in the market. You have to have a unique selling proposition that will set you apart. This means that you have to focus on a single “miracle” cure. And then market the heck out of it. Unfortunately, because people are usually obese for more than one reason, these miracle cures are doomed to failure. What we need is a comprehensive approach that can satisfy all (or at least most) of the causes I have listed above

  • Lack of Knowledge
  • Lack of Resources
  • Lack of Motivation

In Part 2 of this post, I will outline a plan that will:

  • Make use of already available expert knowledge
  • Allow small businesses to flourish
  • Improve the image of the corporate business sector
  • Reduce health care costs across the board – gov’t, business, insurance & end user
  • Improve municipal infrastructure
  • Cost the public sector next to nothing
  • Spark our motivation to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Encourage us all to take ownership of our own health
  • Reduce levels of chronic disease
  • Reduce levels of obesity, and
  • Make us all look damn sexy in a pair of jeans

That’s it for today…stay tuned for Part 2. .

Instant Exercise Motivation #9 – ESPN's Body Issue – 2011 – Part 2

ESPN released their “Body Issue” for 2011 earlier this month.

Here are some more of the incredible fit and sexy athletes they featured.

Blake Griffin – Basketball Wunderkind
Natasha Hastings - Olympic Gold Medal Sprint Champion
Sergio Martinez - WBC Middleweight Boxing Champ
Belen Mozo - LPGA pro and 4-time All-American
Louie Vito - Snowboard Champ
Vera Zvonareva - Tennis Superstar

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If you missed it, Part 1 is here.

 

Instant Exercise Motivation #8 – ESPN's Body Issue – 2011

ESPN just released their “Body Issue” for 2011.

And what’s better than a collection of incredibly fit, incredibly talented, incredibly sexy human bodies to motivate our collective ass up off our collective couch.

Get your ass to the gym people.

Sylvia Fowles - WNBA All-Star
Jon "Bones" Jones - UFC MMA Champeen
Apolo Anton Ohno - Speed Skating Legend
Suzy Hotrod – Roller Derby Bad-Ass 
Alicia Sacramone - World Champion Gymnast
Gretchen Bleiler - Snowboard Champion
Ryan Kesler - NHL All-Star

Instant Exercise Motivation #5

Don’t feel like exercising today?

Watch This!!!

Under Armour Women’s “Lindsey Vonn” from Shilo on Vimeo.

Now…stop surfing the net and go get sweaty.

Consistency is Key to Fitness Success

 

I design fantastic training / nutrition programs.

Taking into account all of your physical/mental/emotional quirks, my programs are pretty much guaranteed to get you the body you want in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of work.

There’s only one problem.

If you skip workouts and cheat on the meal plan…it ain’t gonna work.

And that’s why consistency is key to fitness success.

  • If you HATE vegetables, you’re not going to stick to a vegetarian/Paleo/Mediterranean diet
  • If the nearest health club is 30 minutes away from home or work, you’re going to skip workouts
  • If your wife wants you to join her Zumba class but you hate to dance, what do you think is going to happen?

You’re going to quit. And since quitting is pretty much the opposite of consistency, your fitness goals will go straight down the drain.

zumba

The Moral of this Story

But, do it consistently – day in and day out.

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Instant Exercise Motivation #4

Bad ass French Canadian Georges St.Pierre will get you all psyched up for your next workout

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Motivation #4a

Exercise today or Georges will come to your house and Superman punch you in the noggin.

Did he NEED to Eat that Cookie?

Last week, one of my clients told me that he had “pretty much” stuck to his “diet” except for that one day at the office when one of his employees brought in a tray of homemade cookies…and he had been having a really stressful day…and he didn’t want to insult her….and he was starving….and he needed to eat that cookie.

NEEDED to EAT that COOKIE

  • Didn’t want to eat that cookie
  • Didn’t choose to eat that cookie
  • Didn’t make the conscious decision to eat that cookie

He needed to eat that cookie.

I had to call bullshit on that.

  • He wanted to eat that cookie. So, he ate it.
  • And then he lied to himself about why he ate the damn cookie.
  • And then he lied to me about why he ate the damn cookie.

This is a 50-something year old, very, very successful businessman. If I told you his name, most of you would recognize it. Not exactly the kind of person who had to eat a cookie. And he knows that.

He knows that he didn’t need to eat a bunch of cookies.

  • He needs to breathe oxygen
  • He needs to drink water
  • He needs to eat food
  • He needs to move his body

But he doesn’t need to eat cookies. He wants to eat cookies.

And that’s okay. He’s a grown man who is busting his ass to regain his health & fitness. Even during his transformation from fat to fit, an occasional cookie isn’t the end of the world.

Perfection isn’t required.

Eat the damn cookie. But eat it because you want to eat it.

Instant Exercise Motivation – Part Two

Patrick Willis - LB, S.F. 49ers - ESPN - The Body Issue

During the last installment of Instant Exercise Motivation, we used a little reverse psychology.

Today, it’s all about positivity.

This month’s issue of ESPN magazine is their annual Body Issue.

So, go ahead and feast your eyes on some of the world’s fittest/sexiest athletes….and then get your butt to the gym.

ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Diana Taurasi - G/F - Phoenix Mercury
ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Tim Howard - Goalkeeper - USA Soccer
ESPN - Body Issue 2010 - Rachel Yurkovich - Javelin - USA Track & Field

and, just in case you still aren’t motivated enough to haul your lazy butt into the gym, there’s always this.

exercise-motivation-health-healthhabits-fitness

Write Your Future

  • Low on motivation?
  • Don’t feel like exercising
  • Sick of eating “healthy”

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Watch this.

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Obesity, Motivation & Self Control

You’ve been trying to “get in shape” for years.

  • You have tried all the diets.
  • You’ve had a gym membership(s) for years & years
  • You buy all the books
  • You’ve hired a trainer
  • You’ve popped pills and applied creams

Problem is…

  • You diet for a week, cheat for 3 days, diet for 2, cheat for 6, diet for 1….
  • You stopped going to the gym in February
  • You read the books and never apply your newfound knowledge
  • And you skip training sessions

Your Motivation sucks and you have no Self Control

And without motivation & self control, the best weight loss program in the world is useless.

Sucks doesn’t it?

And it sucks even worse when you run into one of those people who never seem tempted by America’s fast food industry.

Why is it that they can say no to a delicious Big Mac with 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese….while you’re getting hungry just looking at the picture.

According to this study, one of the major differences between normal weight people and overweight people is impulsivity.

What the heck is impulsivity?

According to the researchers, impulsivity is an important construct that covers a wide range of behavioral, motivational and emotional phenomena.

In this context, impulsivity is made up of four separate components, which are the basis for the creation of a scale called the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale:

  1. Urgency, defined as ‘‘the tendency to experience strong impulses, frequently under conditions of negative affect’’;
  2. Lack of Perseverance, defined as ‘‘the difficulty to remain focused on a task that may be boring or difficult’’;
  3. Lack of Premeditation, defined as ‘‘the difficulty to think and reflect on the consequences of an act before engaging in the act’’;
  4. Sensation Seeking, defined as ‘‘a tendency to enjoy and pursue activities that are exciting, and openness for new experiences.’’

Previous studies had shown that urgency may contribute to an obese person’s problem controlling eating in situations of strong emotion. See emotional eating.

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Lack of Perseverance has only been measured in obese persons by means of self-report questionnaires. Previous research has shown a link between obesity and self discipline (which is related to lack of Perseverance). Obese persons who overeat have a strong tendency to suppress thoughts which may make the suppressed thoughts (e.g., thoughts of food) become hyperaccessible, which in turn causes distress and increased food consumption. This may explain why obese people overeat, despite their intentions to control their food intake.

In the same vein, it has been shown that avoidance of body/shape concerns actually increases such preoccupations. Thought control difficulties may discourage patients and interfere with their treatment.

.The Lack of Premeditation aspect of impulsivity has shown in previous studies that obese persons choose immediate rewards even when future long-term negative consequences are associated with them. This reflects an inability to assess future impact, which may potentially contribute to disadvantageous decision-making (e.g., not considering the possible long-term negative consequences of overeating).

.When it comes to the Sensation Seeking dimension  of impulsivity, research has shown that overweight persons with binge eating disorders have enhanced sensitivity to rewards. The tendency to seek rewards (e.g.,food) is associated with food intake, overeating and subsequent weight gain, as well as difficulty maintaining or losing weight. This tendency affects food intake, especially when varied food (food that varies in color, form, taste and texture) is offered. It may be related to a heightened selective attention to food stimuli and may make it difficult to regulate eating, particularly in obese individuals who have impaired sensitivity to the hunger and satiety signals that normally regulate eating.

The researchers hypothesized that hypersensitivity to food stimuli associated with poor self-control would lead to difficulties regulating eating behavior and related thoughts.

The Study

The aim of this study was to examine for the first time how obesity and eating disorder symptoms are related to the four facets of impulsivity in a clinical sample of overweight and obese women.

The results suggested that overweight and obese persons have higher levels of:

  • Urgency,
  • lack of Perseverance,
  • Sensitivity to Reward, and
  • Sensitivity to Punishment.

In regards to Urgency, the results suggest that obese and overweight persons may have difficulties controlling their eating behavior, and especially when they are experiencing intense emotions.

This inability to prevent oneself from overeating may have detrimental immediate (e.g., self-depreciation, depressed mood, abdominal pain) and long-term consequences (e.g., weight gain). This tendency to overeat can, in turn, lead to the development of maladaptive strategies to control weight (e.g., dieting, skipping meals). As such, it may help explain why certain overweight and obese individuals develop an eating disorder.

The high levels of lack of Perseverance may result in obese and overweight individuals having difficulty controlling their thoughts of food or thoughts concerning their shape and weight.

This phenomenon may lead to overeating because thoughts of food increase the desire to eat.

Sadly,  eating may be used to escape from negative thoughts (e.g., general negative thoughts or self depreciating thoughts following out-of-control eating). This phenomenon is probably reinforced by the temporary alleviation of the negative thoughts and emotions and it may well increase the likelihood of excessive food intake.

The researchers also found that obese and overweight persons have high levels of Sensitivity to Reward. This tendency to exaggerate the impact of rewards (food, in this case) may lead to weight gain or impede weight loss.

Conclusion

Based upon their results, the researchers concluded that:

  • Obese and overweight persons find it difficult to inhibit automatic or dominant behaviors and intrusive thoughts.
  • They also have a tendency to exaggerate the impact of rewards and punishments.
  • The study also confirmed the relationship between impulsivity and dysfunctional eating.

Based on these conclusions, the researchers believe that psychological interventions into obesity should target the self-control problems that characterize impulsive behaviors.

Two types of interventions should be offered:

  1. Obese and overweight patients may benefit from treatment that focuses directly on remediation of inhibition, attention and mental flexibility and improves processing resources.
  2. They may also benefit from interventions that circumvent limited cognitive resources and work on automatic processes.

To the extent that obese persons have deficits affecting inhibition and mental flexibility, they may benefit from mindfulness techniques that target inhibition (of dominant or automatic behaviors and of intrusive thoughts) and mental flexibility processes. Mindfulness encourages a more adaptive relationship with the thoughts and negative emotions that previously triggered problematic eating; it also encourages patients to observe their feelings of hunger and satiety.

Since intrusive thoughts and visual images of food (visualizing a specific food item) and olfactory images of food (smelling a specific food item) play a key role in triggering overeating, obese persons may benefit from imagery techniques that aim to strengthen their thought-control abilities. The imagery technique uses visual and olfactory imagery tasks in which persons are trained to form images that interfere with images of food. To this end, they are asked to read visual and olfactory cues silently. These cues are unrelated to food and are printed on a sheet of paper, for example ‘‘Imagine the appearance of a rainbow’’ or ‘‘Imagine the smell of freshly mown grass.’’

Then, the patients are instructed to maintain the imagined scene or smell by focusing exclusively on the picture or on the smell that each one brought to mind. Researchers have  found that this procedure reduced food desire. They suggest that this is because the visual and olfactory images interfere with food-related images.

Given that binge eating often occurs when cognitive resources are depleted (e.g.,when the person is tired or under stress), obese persons may benefit from implementation intention techniques that rely on automatic components of self-regulation.
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The idea is that planning in advance when, where and how a person will complete a self-assigned goal (‘‘If situation x is encountered, I will perform behavior y!’’) leads to effective and automatic goal initiation and pursuit.

This technique has been found to facilitate the attainment of goals to eat healthier foods (less fat and more fruits) and to engage in physical exercise.
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Whew…that’s a lot of science to absorb on a Tuesday afternoon.
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And it’s exactly why I say that losing weight isn’t as simple as “eat less & move more“.

Workout Tunes #9

Do you smell like…

NirvanaSmells Like Teen Spirit

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  • Workout Tunes #1
  • Workout Tunes #2
  • Workout Tunes #3
  • Workout Tunes #4
  • Workout Tunes #5
  • Workout Tunes #6
  • Workout Tunes #7
  • Workout Tunes #8

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Workout Tunes #6

White boy rappin.

EminemLose Yourself

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Workout Tunes #1

Music can be a powerful workout tool.

Especially on days when I just don’t feel like working out.

These are the days when I throw on the headphones and listen to a little Rage Against The Machine.

Nothing gets the blood pumping like Rage.

Successful Fitness Motivation or “how I finally whipped my lazy butt into shape”

Let’s be honest.

We all know what it takes to be in good shape

  • Exercise daily
  • Eat healthy, nutritious food
  • Stay hydrated
  • Reduce your stress
  • Get 8 hours of sleep
  • Quit smoking, Quit McDonalds, Quit drinking gallons of Coke, etc….

And for some lucky people, working out and living a healthy lifestyle come naturally. They Just Do It™

muscle_baby

However, for the rest of us, the effort required to “get into shape” takes too much…..effort.

  • It costs too much
  • It’s too hard
  • I don’t know what to do
  • Fitness people are jerks
  • People will look at me
  • People won’t look at me
  • I’m too fat
  • I don’t want to get all sweaty
  • I don’t have enough time
  • and it’s still too hard

So, we give up, give in and get out of shape. If that sounds like you or someone you care about, read on and find out:

  1. Why we do what we do,
  2. Why we don’t do what we should,
  3. And how you can re-program yourself to actually enjoy exercise.

The Best Fitness Tip you are ever going to get

Your biggest impediment to getting in shape isn’t a lack of money or knowledge or natural ability.

  • It’s your emotions.
  • It’s the beliefs you hold that exercise is too hard and diets don’t work and you have fat DNA.

And I am here to tell you that until you change these beliefs and the emotions that come with them, you will never, ever get in shape.

In fact, every single day, I work with people who are desperate to get in shape…but they don’t believe they can.

But, lucky for them, I do believe. I believe because I have seen it happen over and over again. So, I lend them my confidence and my emotions.

True, I work them hard and I yell at them for breaking their diet. But, I always make them understand that they can get in shape and that I am going to make it happen. And like magic, when they start to believe, they start to improve.

For some people, it’s right away. For others, it takes a few weeks.

But eventually, my beliefs and emotions become their beliefs and emotions. And it’s those emotions and belief in themselves that drives the improvement in fitness.

And if you don’t think that emotion influences performance, ask this guy…

The meanest personal trainer in the world
The meanest personal trainer in the world

But, let’s say you don’t have access to a charging bull or don’t want to pay for the airline ticket to fly me to your home town.

What do you do?

You need to make 3 Decisions

  1. What are you going to focus on?
  2. What does getting in shape mean to you?
  3. What actions are you going to take?

FOCUS

  • Are you going to focus on your past failures? – NO
  • Or, are you going to focus on your fantastically fit future self? – YES

What you focus on creates emotions. We want/need positive emotions

MEANING

  • What does living a healthy life mean to you?
  • Does it MEAN fatigue/pain/sweat/expense/pain/lack of confidence/pain??? – NO
  • Or, does it mean feeling great, looking great and actually being great? – YES
  • Is it a punishment or is it a reward?

Meaning creates emotions. We want/need positive emotions.

ACTION

  • Your emotions WILL control your actions…positive emotions = positive actions
  • And, when you are ready to take positive action, you will find that there are more than enough resources available to transform your body from fat to fit.
  • But, of course, you should start by looking through the Health Habits archives.

And, if you need more help with creating these positive emotions, you can start by watching this TED talk by Tony Robbins.

See, I told you there were lots of resources available.

And, before anyone starts thinking that they don’t need that Tony Robbins motivational crap, keep in mind that there are a whole bunch of big brains hanging on Robbins’ every word…including Al Gore. So, don’t go getting all cynical on me now.

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Loneliness worse for your health than smoking and obesity

Picasso - the old guitarist
Picasso - the old guitarist

According to the research of Dr. John Cacioppo, loneliness has a major impact on your overall health – both mental and physical.

In his research, Dr. Cacioppo employed brain scans, monitoring of autonomic and neuroendocrine processes, and assays of immune function to test the influence that social connection has upon our health. His research showed how our perceptions, behavior and physiology are strongly affected by a loss of that connection.

In fact, Dr. Cacoppo’s research has shown that loneliness can cause:

  • an increase in your blood pressure

  • an increase in your level of stress and cortisol production

  • a negative impact on your immune system

  • an inability to get a good nights sleep

  • an increased level of depression and anxiety

  • an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease

  • a reduction in your will to exercise

  • an increase in your cravings for comforting foods high in processed carbohydrates

  • an increase in caloric consumption

  • an increase in alcohol consumption

  • an increase in the consumption of a variety of drugs…both legal and illegal, and…
  • a feeling of sadness that feeds upon itself, causing even more isolation and an even greater sense of loneliness.

These finding were presented by Dr. Cacioppo at the most recent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to Dr. Cacioppo, “healthwise, the difference between a lonely person and a popular person was akin to “a smoker and a non-smoker”.

“That stunned all of us, myself and all my colleagues in terms of the effects it had,” he said. “It shows just how powerful it is.

“Loneliness lowers the ability to control yourself. It is really easy after a bad day to have a second scotch and a third to get some comfort.”

Dr. Cacioppo’s research has led him to believe that our need for connection can be traced back through our evolutionary roots.

In order to survive in the past, humans needed to bond to rear their children. In order to flourish, they needed to [increase their levels of altruism and cooperation].

Just as physical pain is a prompt to change behavior, such as moving a finger away from the fire, loneliness evolved as a prompt to action, signaling an ancestral need to repair the social bonds.

The problem of social isolation is likely to grow as conventional family structures die out, said Dr. Cacioppo.

People are living longer, having fewer children later in life and becoming increasingly mobile around the world.

Surveys also show that people report significantly fewer close friends and confidants than those a generation ago.

All of this adds up to more loneliness and more health problems because of that loneliness.

According to the good doctor, we need to realize that “human beings are simply far more intertwined and interdependent—physiologically as well as psychologically—than our cultural prejudices have allowed us to acknowledge”.

And if we don’t address our very real need for connection, we are risking our own psychological and physiological health.

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“If you want to go fast,” says an African proverb, “go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

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My Own Little Fitness-Blog Carnival

No, not that kind of carnival.

I am talking about fitness-blogs that I thought were interesting, informative, funny or just really, really wrong.

You decide.

The Corn Lobby Strikes Back

The Modern Forager enlightens us on the advertising campaign that the Corn Lobby is using to fight back against the bad press that High Fructose Corn Syrup has been receiving in the media.

The Strength Training Rep Dissected and Explained

Rusty from The Fitness Black Book breaks down the basic building block of strength training: The individual repetition

Ninja Warrior Training

John at Total Transformation outlines the training program that will transform him from an ordinary human being into a Ninja Warrior.

Where the Mind Leads, The Body Follows

Angie at Women’s Diet and Fitness asks her readers: What Do You REALLY Want? Do you really know what you want out of your fitness routine? If you don’t know where you want to go, how are you going to go anywhere?

Diet Book Insanity

Mike at the IF Life asks the question: When Did Eating Become This Complicated?

Mike says that if information really equalled results, we should be the fittest and healthiest generation in the course of known human history! Unfortunately I think we all know that is far from the truth.

Anthony Bourdain and Ted Nugent Chew The Fat

McBloggenstein at Stop Being So Fat! gives us his unique take on Nugent’s appearance on Bourdain’s “No Reservations” program.  Needless to say, all three of these fellas are not favorites of the Fat Acceptance movement.

Some Teens So Heavy, They Need Liver Transplants

The Fat Fighter fills us in on the latest research that shows that some overweight teenagers have caused so much damage to their livers, they have actually required liver transplants. Seriously.

Prepare to Drool All Over Your Keyboard

Almost Fit had me drooling with the picture and recipe for his Lamb Masala. I am not going to post a picture of it here; you are going to have to surf on over to his site to check it out.

And he actually eats this way. Jealous?

Well, that’s it for today.

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