Dig Deep

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“Trust yourself…dig deep down and ask yourself who you want to be? Not what, but who?” -Arnold Schwarzzeneggar

“Dig deep and believe in yourself and have the self-confidence you need to forge ahead.”                  -Katie Ciouric

“The rewards of the wild and the rewards of the survivor go to those who can dig deep, and, ultimately, to the guy who can stay alive.” -Bear Grylls


We live in a society that puts such emphasis on superficial things and external motivations. We like items and people for how they look. We only do things for a promised external reward. Days seem like a rat race to get more and more.


This approach can work in the short term. We focus on the outside motivators and get rewarded through our work and in relationships. We find the most attractive partner and the beginning is bliss. However, these outside rewards have an expiration date. They do not have lasting effects and aren’t sustainable in the long term. Beauty fades and toys break. That’s how it works.


I encourage you to look inside. Look for your internal motivators. Search oyur heart, mind, and soul for those factors that push oyu when you have nothing. When you don’t feel like gong, when you don;t have energy, when you hit an obstacle. Find what motivates you to make your way towards your goals without any outside force pushing you. Once you find that, you will win! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

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Spice Things Up

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“Spices: the friend of doctors and the pride of cooks” -Charlemagne
“All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. They’re also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time.” -Suzanne Somers
“I believe in the magic of preparation.  You can make just about any food taste wonderful by adding herbs and spices.  Experiment with garlic, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs vegetables to make them taste great!” -Jorge Cruise

One of the biggest issues in this country is high blood pressure and heart disease.  The “Silent Killer” threatens more people than most know.  High blood pressure is scary for anyone who develops the condition.  High BP is caused by too much salt in the diet.  I used to work with high blood pressure patents regularly.  I would tell them to cut down on the salt.  I would get countless weird looks from every one of them!  How will they get by without salt?  How will they add flavor to their foods?

There is a common misconception that salt is the only flavoring agent out there.  While salt has a strong and distinct taste, it does increase blood pressure and can be addicting.  Instead, focus on herbs and spices.  These natural flavoring pack a large punch in small quantities.  They bring benefits like healthy skin, healthy eyes, health hair, and most importantly a healthy heart.  Consider some of these herbs and spices in your food prep:
-garlic
-basil
-oregano
-rosemary
-thyme
-mint
-black pepper
There are countless herbs and spices.  Try some out and you will find a new favorite!  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

Embrace the Suck

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“Embrace the Suck” -Military saying
“There is no way around it, the hard work.  Embrace it.” -Roger Federer
“Storms make trees take deeper roots” -Dolly Parton


Today, I had to do my laundry.  I HATE doing laundry.  It’s tedious and no fun. It takes forever and I never get a sense of accomplishment from this chore.  To make it worse, our dryer short circuited today.  I didn’t even have a convenient way to clean my clothes!

Instead, I had to lug all my dirty clothes to the local laundromat.  On top of it costing an arm and a leg to wash clothes, this place is sweltering hot, has no internet, and has no place to sit. I literally have to stand in a 90 degree room while my clothes get cleaned. I could very well have hemmed and hawed the whole time going through this.  Any reasonable person would.  I had to sacrifice my entire night going to a strange and uncomfortable place to do a chore I hate.

But, I decided to embrace the suck instead.  I took on the chore without any kind of anger or resentment. I went right onto work in sorting my clothes and filling up the machines.  I spend the extra time finishing a book and writing a bit.  So, after this ordeal, I say to you:  embrace the suck.  Whatever uncomfortable situation you find yourself in, decide to go about it joyfully and with a new perspective.  The situation will appear better than you thought!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Inspiration out of Desperation

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“In life you either need inspiration or desperation” -Tony Robbins
“In 1995 I had $7 bucks in my pocket and knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.” – Dwayne Johnson

“I don’t think human beings learn anything without desperation. Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.” – Jim Carrey


You and I have been there before.  In fact, we all find ourselves in “hopeless” situations.  You know what I am talking about. We have a goal. We take steps and work toward that goal.  Something, or even several things, happen that move us away from our goal.  We begin to think we will not make it to ur destination.  We get frustrated, angry, or maybe downright depressed the we are putting in the work and not getting what we hope for.

In this time where anything is accessible through a click, it’s easy to begin believing everything is easy.  We will not meet obstacles while working toward our goals.  Why would they?  Most of our lives are easy to us.  However, many goals and things we really want tend to be challenging or difficult to gain.  When we become sensitized to easy situations, we expect things to come easy without a fight.  When our expectations are not met, we grow frustrated, angry, or even hopeless at ourselves or the goal itself.  These feelings make it easy to give up and stop working to what we wanted at first.

However, it is crucial to step back and take another look at where you are.  Assess the situation.  Are there other factors that are hindering your progress?  Are there steps you may have missed?  Or, is there an obstacle separating you from your destination?  For whatever reason, choose to HARNESS your feelings, beliefs, or attitudes around your obstacle(s).  Instead of letting them defeat you, allow them to fuel you to change your approach or KEEP GOING!  You got this! As Always, Eat Move, and Improve!

Embrace the Dark Side

 

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“There’s a dark side to each and every human soul. We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there’s a little Darth Vader in all of us. Thing is, this ain’t no either or proposition. We’re talking about dialectics, the good and the bad merging into us. You can run but you can’t hide. My experience? Face the darkness, stare it down. Own it. As brother Nietzsche said, being human is a complicated gig. Give that old dark night of the soul a hug! Howl the eternal yes!” -Stuart Stevens

“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.”- Deepak Chopra

“Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.” -Travis Barker


We all have bad days.  Sometimes, we just can’t win. They seem to come out of nowhere and linger for awhile.  And for no obvious reason at all. I have had a few days recently where they started rough and didn’t really improve.  For some reason, I slept restlessy through several nightmares.  I woke up tired and anxious.  I felt unmotivated and was not very productive on those days.  I felt guilty for doing only the minimum on those days.  It’s probably the worst I have ever felt.


I am sharing this because it’s important to know- emotions have power.  They can either control you or you control them.  Our inward reality creates how we view the outside world.  Many people allow negative events and experience shape their emotions.  They allow the world to make them angry and uninspired.  They have a negative view of the world because it’s not fair in their eyes.  Oppositely, people who create a positive viewpoint of the world around them tend to be more happy, healthy, and productive.  They see all of the wonders and miracles this world has to offer and choose to focus on those.


It is imperative to learn how to control your emotions.  The first step would be to identify how you feel and react to certain events in your life.  Do you react in a negative or positive way?  What thoughts do you think?  How do you feel physically during those periods?  Next, acknowledge that all emotions are temporary.  The are fleeting reactions to present moments or events.  Once we acknowledge these triggers and reactions, it is important to identify the ones you would like to change.  Once you become aware of negative emotions, decide to do all you can to transfer that energy into something productive.  Use those raw emotions as constructive instead of destructive  Here are some tactics to let go of negative emotions and harness positive ones:


-Allow yourself to fully feel the emotion in a safe setting.  Cry your eyes out, yell your voice hoarse, punch until your knuckles bleed

-Share your emotions and feelings with a trusted loved one

-Practice yoga

-Go work out

–Take up meditation or deep breathing

-Sing in private or public

-Punching an object- a pillow, punching bag, or mattress

-Yell to your hearts content!


It is critical to identify how we react emotionally to life events and change our negative reactions.  Anger, jealousy, anxiety, hate, and others are toxic to the body and soul.  These emotions can be changed to happiness, joy, peace, or gratitude.  It just takes the right mindset.  Above all, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

K(no)w Pain, K(no)w Gain

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“So, keep working, Keep striving. Never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship, Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work.” -Denzel Washington
“Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else take its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.” ― Eric Thomas
 
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” -Tony Robbins
Today, pain has a negative connotation to its name. People see pain as something to avoid. May actually make a large effort to never feel pain. They want their life to be painless and low stress. However, most people do not realize that pain is an essential part of life and growth. In fact, most successful people have a history of painful experiences:
-Tony Robbins grew up in poverty
-Eric Thomas found himself homeless at 17
-Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team
-Batman lost his parents as a child
-Spiderman lost his uncle in his arms
-Anne Frank hid in a secret annex from Nazis for two years
People experience pain when they move outside their comfort zones. Your body can detect discomfort. We all experience discomfort and stress in different ways- sweat, headaches, upset stomachs, blushing, rashes, soreness, embarrassment, physical pain all for example. There are two kinds of pain: growing and injury pains. Growing pains consist of challenges, stressors, and failures. Growing pains allow your to improve yourself and your abilities. They stretch you to your limits and allow you to pass them. Any time you feel discomfort it is important to identify how you are improving yourself.
Now, injury pains are quite different. These occur when the body goes far past its physical limits. You know the terminology: broken bones, torn muscles, cuts, bruises, or getting sick. It’s important to differentiate these two kinds of pain. Growing pain is dull and bearable and due to a new experience. Injury pain is sharp and quick. Pay attention to your body and comfort level when you spend your day.
To improve your health, it’s key to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Going out of your comfort zone will make you even more comfortable in your skin and improve your ability to take on stressors and challenges. When looking to make health changes, Moving past discomfort will improve your body, mind, and mood. So, next time you notice an opportunity that will make you feel discomfort, embrace it! You will be surprised how far you can go. As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Push Public Pressure

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something different is the greatest accomplishment” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our Society puts pressure on us to have it all figured out- and that’s unfortunate.  It’s ok to be on a journey and to be figuring it out every day” -Chad Butler (Switchfoot)

“it’s too bad that you judge us by the way we look and not by who we are, just because you want us to be more like them when the truth is we’re not like them, and I am damn proud of that fact! I mean, Harmon College and their – their 100 years of tradition. But tradition of what? Of hazing kids and humiliating anyone who’s a bit different? Of putting so much pressure on kids they turn into these – these stress freaks and caffeine addicts.” -Jusitn Long in Accepted

I see it all the time now.  Society and the media tells us what’s best for us and what we want.  The media, advertisements, celebrities, even systems in mainstream culture tell us how to be and what to do.  Buy this, eat that.  If you don’t have this toy, you will be uncool.  Wear these kinds of clothes.  They are trendy this year.  Look this way and stay skinny.  You shouldn’t love yourself if you are fat.

While I don’t despise mass marketing and consumer messaging, but it has gotten so out of hand all the same.  This digital and consumer generation has created a “get it now” mindset.  People feel pressured to act, behave, or look a certain way to “fit in”.  This even can be found in health and wellness industries.  Exercise and food trends change all the time.  Avid fans latch onto them and get hooked.  companies manufacture a false need to follow the trend or get left behind.

It’s so important to gain perspective on what is happening.  Peer pressure, popular culture, and societal norms are sometimes not the best option for your life journey or situation.  Many of these marketers or celebrities say/ do things just to make money and don’t care if you lose out.  I encourage you to take a step back, relax, and think before you act.  Ask if these messages make sense, are genuine, and really something you want/ need.  When you become more in tune with yourself, you begin to understand your own wants and needs and make better decisions.  I assure that you will progress faster and be happier because of it.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!