Slow and Steady

slow and steady

“Success is steady progress towards one’s personal goals” -Jim Rohn

“Pause and remember- slow and steady will get you where you want to go.  If you put too much pressure on yourself for results, you will give up quickly” -Jennifer Young

“When you try to do something bigger and grandiose,a lot of times it’s more apt to fall apart.  It’s a lot easier to lay down a bunch of singles than get a home run” – Jim Lee

Remember the story of the Tortoise and Hare? I’m sure you do.  I guarantee every child has heard the story growing up.  In the story, the Hare challenges the Tortoise to a race.  The Tortoise joyfully accepts.  Being naturally faster, the Hare thought this race would be a joke.  He already had the win in the bag.  At the start, the Hare sped ahead of the Tortoise at breakneck speed.  The Tortoise moved slowly and deliberately.  After awhile, the Hare ran out of steam.  Te character got so tired that he could not finish the race.  With slow determination, the Tortoise passed the finish line and won!

As adults, we lose sight of the core moral of this story.  It is important to work toward your goals at a slow, determined, and deliberate pace.  When we want to make a change, we want the results NOW!  We want to lose 10 pounds in a week  We want to be beach ready in 2 months.  We want to double our bench press in 2 weeks.  Quick and instantaneous always seems more attractive than slow and steady.

Consider this, what if, everything we desired happened all quick and instantaneous? For example, does true love ever come out of a one night stand? Or, does it come from a consistent relationship with another over time?  OR, consider building a home with quality tools, qualified workers, and time tested techniques.  Would a house built in 2 weeks be sturdier than the same house built in 2 months?  Probably not.  Finally, look at the game football.  What if every single play was a hail Mary to the end zone? Wouldn’t the games get old quickly?  Football games are more exciting when there are long, steady drives that have ups and downs along the way.

When we aim for quick results, we lose quality.  Corners get cut.  Details get missed. More specifically, the weight that is lost is not sustainable.  Most of the time, people get burned out when trying to lose too much weight too fast.  A steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy and realistic way to go  I know that it is not sexy or an appealing number.  However, with consistent, deliberate efforts, pounds lost do add up over time!  The same goes for workout progress.  You cannot expect to run a marathon right after you get off the couch.  You cannot add 25 pounds to your bench press maximum the next day.  Slow progress is still progress.  Know that all your effort does mean something. Staying positive during the long journey ahead creates a stronger mental attitude and increases your confidence.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!



Make a Name for Yourself


“Be the Hero of your own movie.  If your life was a movie, and it started now:  forget whatever financial disasters you’ve had, personal failures, and relationship failures.  What would the hero of your life’s movie do right now?  Do that!  Do those things”.  -Joe Rogan

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.  Watch your words; they become actions.  Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character.  Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw

“YOU are the most important shaper of your life. We have many influences that can shape us, but WE must take responsibility for shaping ourselves so we can shape the world we want” -Keith Craft

“Everybody is a genius.  But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole live believing it is stupid” -Albert Einstein

Believe it or not, we become a product of our thinking. Most people never question the way they think.  Thoughts come and go through their mind and they take that as truth.  There is a part of the brain called the subconscious.  I do not want to get too technical here, but this part of the brain is very susceptible to outside influences and does not have a filter. It takes everything you hear and see as true.  Your subconscious develops as we become aware of other people’s  beliefs and perceptions when we grow up. These beliefs and perceptions become ingrained in us as we grow up, for better or worse.

The most important belief you will ever create is how you see yourself. Words and thoughts have power. Whatever names you call yourself will have power over you. We have many names to call each other: loser, winner, lover, fighter, warrior, superstar coach, failure, success. I can go on forever.  Most people take on the names other people give them as they grow up. Those who get bullied feel like a loser and take on that persona. Those who are talented athletes take on a superstar persona. Finally, those who receive love, encouragement, and praise become winners as they grow up.

However, These “labels” are rarely ever rooted in the truth. Any negative name given to someone should never be their reality. I have felt almost all different personas- nerd, loser, failure, winner, warrior. I’ve had my own ups and downs. I was bullied in school and was thought of as a nobody.  I’ve been rejected and felt like no one wants anything to do with me.  However, I have had glimpses of success: sports and business related.  Once I realized that how I see myself affects how other people perceive me to be, I focused on changing my own belief of the person I want to become.  And that is a winner and a warrior.  I want to see myself as these because life is a tough and long journey.  I want to be able to fight AND win any challenge that comes my way.  I may falter, fail, or lose. But, that will never change the way I see myself.  In the end, I want to say that I fought and won life’s toughest battles.  Ultimately, it’s your choice.  What kind of person do you want to be?  As always, eat, move, and improve!


Count Serving Sizes Because Serving Sizes Count

servng sizes

 “For many years, my formula has been to love yourself, move your body and to watch portion size. But the No. 1 thing is to love and value yourself, no matter what you’ve been through.” -Richard Simmons

“I lost about 60 pounds. I don’t really have a moment specifically that made me do it. I remember little things, like, when I was in Japan, I remember looking around at the portion sizes of a fast food restaurant and being like, ‘Well, this has something to do with it.’ Americans definitely eat too much.”- Patrick Stumph

“You Are What You Eat.  So, don’t be cheap, fast, easy, or fake” -Unknown

In the last few years, portion sizes have exploded at home and when eating out.  What used to be a large is now a medium.  What used to be a extra large is now a large.  Larger portion sizes have become the norm. And, no one is complaining.  We get more food and enjoy the tastes and comforts to our heart’s content.  Sometimes, prices do not change much year over year.  However, our waist lines tell a different story.  More people are overweight or obese than ever before.  The growth of serving sizes are part of the blame.

I remember when a medium drink at a fast food place was 20 ounces.  That was reasonable.  A medium was just enough refreshment without over doing it.  However, I have been surprised when a “medium” drink comes out looking like a big gulp!  Even so, drinks are not the only culprits.  In the food world, big is always better right?  Why order a single burger when you can order a double bacon cheeseburger instead?  Why order a value small fry when you can choose a large?  The temptation is there.  But, you’re smarter than that.  The best way to begin losing weight is to choose to focus on smaller portion sizes.

Instead of using the mantra “go big or go home”, focus on “eat small, be small.”  Food will always be available to us.  There is no need to think this is the last meal we will eat.  Choose small portions of tasty and nutritious foods.  Over time, the weight will begin to drop off like you envisioned.  Typically, here are some great serving size recommendations:

-Grains & Starchy vegetables= 3/4-1 cup of whole grain breads, oatmeal, brown rice, whole barley, potatoes, corn, squash, beans, etc.
-Fruit= 1 whole fruit or 1/2 cup: Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, melons, pears, etc.
-Dairy= 1 cup: Low fat milk, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, soy milk
-Non starchy vegetables= 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw: Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, greens, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
-Protein= 3-4 ounces: lean beef, chicken, fish, pork, seafood, eggs, peanut butter, etc.

 Or, if you are more of a visual person than a numbers person, consider these: 

 -1 serving cheese= 4 dice
-1 serving of meat= a deck of cards or the palm of your hand
-1 serving of peanut butter= the tip of your thumb
-1 serving of uncooked greens= 1 baseball
-1 serving of whole grains/ starch= 1/2 baseball
-1 serving of whole grain bread= 1 CD disc
-1 serving of nuts= 1 handful

In order to accelerate and maintain weight loss, focus on smaller portions.  Even cutting down to half of normal will bring positive results over time.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Find Your Drive


“You’ve gotta ask: what drives it? What guides it? What moves it? What’s the spirit behind it? What’s the reason behind it? What’s the purpose behind it? That’s just as critical, as the action itself.” -Eric Thomas

“Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” -Zig Ziglar

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”  -Vince Lombardi Jr.

Ever wonder how certain people reach far higher and succeed more than others?  For example, how are professional athletes so energetic and skillful at their sport?  How are entrepreneurs and business people so good at making massive amount of money?  How do some people rise above challenges while others lay in the gutter?  The answer is a strong sense of drive and motivation.

I never understood motivation or drive until going to college. I was a good kid.  I did what I was told and followed direction.  I took little initiative in my own life.  I was a follower and listened to my teachers, friends, and family to a T.  Being the fourth child in a large family, I was not given much responsibility growing up.  My older siblings were able to take care of a lot of the chores and help around the house.  On trips and family events, I would just go with the flow and not involve myself in the planning or set up of the events.  Now, I know how essential it is to reach my goals.

There are 2 types of motivation: external and internal.  The definitions are pretty self explanatory.  External motivation comes from outside forces- rewards, consequences, prizes.  This works well for children: “pick up your toys and you can play your video game for  hour”.  External motivation can be effective when the tasks are easy and even to the promised reward.  Internal motivation is a little more tricky.  This kind of motivation comes from within.  It comes form something inside that drives you past anything in your way.  For this motivation to work, it has to be stronger than your obstacles.  Many famous people have reasons that drive them through tough times:

-Buster Douglas defeated Mike Tyson after his mother passed away

-Dr. Martin Luther King defeated segregation for his love of all people

– Tony Robbins is motivated to improve as many lives as possible through his efforts

-Steve Jobs was motivated to innovate the home computer industry

—Henry Ford was motivated to revolutionize the car industry and make a car for the common man

Do you see?  Having a driving force pushing you forward is critical in your success.  Your drive dictates if/ when you reach your personal goals. For example, I am motivated to get knowledge and tools to people that help them change their health.  Surely, you will meet obstacles and tough situations.  When you meet these challenges, your degree of drive will determine if you sink or swim. Therefore, consider what is most important to you.  Think about some of the most important things in your life.  List the reasons of why you do what you do.  Decide to let those reasons to keep you moving forward past your obstacles and past your goals! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!


Believe in the Process

believe in the process



“Real lions love to hunt.  They love the process as much as they love their prize.  But all you want to do is score.  You don’t like the process.  You’re not in love with the process.  A real man, in the dark, when no one else is watching is putting in the work  You can be phenomenal like that too!”  -Eric Thomas

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen ” -Hebrews Chapter 11 Verse 1

“Trust in the process.  Your times is coming.  Just do the work and the results will handle themselves.”  -Tony Gaskins

“Faith is the AUDACITY to believe in the not yet seen.  Faith is taking th leap and knowing the net will appear.”  Jen Sincero, You are a Badass

I’m positive that you have seen those infomercials on TV.  “Try this new miracle pill only the rich and famous know!  Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks without diet OR exercise.  For only $19.99, you can experience this new medical breakthrough never available to the public before now!  This is a limited time offer, so order now!” So many products are sold on TV like that.What’s not to like?  It’s so welcoming.  It’s so inspiring, simple, and cost effective. Many people are thinking “  just need to use this product for only a short period of time AND lose all this weight I’ve been battling for years? Where do I sign up?” They throw money at these products hoping for the quick fix.  Unfortunately, these products DO NOT bring the lasting results so many people desire.  Most of the time, they are a scam to make as much money as they can in a short time.  They stay popular until people begin to catch on and then they disappear from existence.  Here are some ways to identify if these offers  are not authentic:
-it is a “medical breakthrough”.  Most medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and other therapies take years to develop and there is news and updates following it for a while.
-Results are produced without diet or exercise.  All long term results are accomplished with this combination.  Without them, the results will only be temporary.
-One doctor highly recommends it.  Most of the time, preferred therapies and new treatments are recommended by a group, professional organization, or committee.
-Promises to make surprising results in a short period of time.  Our bodies are not designed to change their body weight very quickly. When body weight changes rapidly, something is usually very wrong medically and not moving in a positive direction.
-“These products not regulated by the FDA”.  Supplements and other products can be sold on the market without FDA approval.  While that may be ok, they are not required to accurately include the ingredients of the products.  Many weight loss supplements sold commercially are made with ingredients that harm the human body and can be dangerous. Many people do not know what they are putting in their bodies.  
What is more important is learning to love the process as much as the results.  It is imperative to learn the correct practices and have faith that the results will follow you once you follow the correct process.  Think about it.  A farmer does not have miracle beans to make his crops.  He can’s just plant and water his crops one day and expect a full harvest the next one.  The farmer has to cultivate his land, use the right soil, plant the crops, water, tend to, wait, and finally harvest the crops once they are grown.  Then, he has to sell his crops to make a profit!  Another example would be bakers.  Unfortunately, bread cannot be made by just adding water to dough and letting it rise.  A baker has to meticulously measure all the wet and dry ingredients, mix them accordingly, prepare, the dough, and bake it in the oven.  Not a one step process at all!  
Making a lasting change to your life is not a one step process either.  If it was, we would all be fit and healthy!!  Instead of focusing on instant results, focus on the process.  Focus your energy into choosing a plan, preparing all the required materials, and choosing to commit to the plan through thick and thin.  THAT is the difficult part.  Anything worthwhile takes hard work and commitment.  Belief and faith are essential to the process.  It is important to create an attitude of faith.  You have to believe that the results WILL COME to you as long as you stick to the plan OVER TIME.  Most of all, have fun!  No one said that lifestyle changes have to be difficult or boring.  Choose exercises you like to do.  Prepare healthy and delicious meals you like to eat.  AND, make them fun as you go! Listen to your favorite music.  Involve someone you love.  Check dates off on a calendar every time you stick to your plan.  Be creative!  The possibilities are endless.  As Always, Eat, Move, And Improve!

Eat from the Earth

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
“When I say get on a diet- Get Healthy foods in your body- many, many vegetables.  A lot of good, good quality protein.  A lot of water.  Stop the sodas, stop the bullshit.  Start working out your body and get a better sense of how this machine feels when it’s moving.  That’s step 1.  -Joe Rogan
“An apple a  day keeps the doctor away”
-English Proverb
In my opinion, there are WAY too many food choices out there! Convenience foods, fast foods, natural foods, cooked foods, raw foods, TV dinners.  I can go on and on.  No wonder people are getting larger and larger every year.  There is so much food available at our finger tips.  We feel that we have to try it all or we will miss out.  OR, consumers are confused on what to buy.  They walk up and down the grocery aisles trying to decide on which foods are actually good for them.  Claims are thrown onto every package in an attempt to sway the buyer to buy their cookies, chips, soda, granola bars, or any other food product you can think of.  
Food manufacturers, health advocates, and scientists have made nutrition more complex than it needs to be.  Thy throw around the claims such as “all natural”, “non GMO”, “gluten free”, “paleo friendly”and many others.  While some of these are rooted in truth, some may not matter!  For example, “all natural” has been thrown around so much without any standard definition.  An all natural product may not help you achieve the results you want.  Think about it: sugar is “all natural.”  However, it does not aid in weight loss!  Also, the “gluten free” movement has gained momentum in the last few years.  Many people perceive that gluten is a bad nutrient and causes weight gain.  In reality, gluten is a protein that helps bind carbohydrates together to form starch. Gluten does not contribute to the total calorie count of a food! The only people who need to worry about gluten are those with celiac disease.
More importantly, focus on foods that come from or were made with ingredients from nature.  Everything we need to eat was created on this earth for our use.  Animals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, water, all are renewable food resources that come together onto our tables to form a healthy diet.  They are fresh and can be cooked in unlimited ways to create amazing dishes.  If you know it came from nature, you can feel confident that  it could fit into a healthy diet.  Now, please don’t take this as an end all, be all list.  There are still natural food products that do not promote a healthy diet: sugar, bacon, fatty meats, whole milk, butter, etc.  Use your common sense.  However, if you stick to foods that come from nature, there will be less questions and doubts on if they are a good choice.  There would be no need to check if they are “all natural”, “paleo friendly”, or “made with artificial ingredients. Keeping it simple: If your food choices came from the earth, you can be confident they can round out your plate!  As Always, Eat, move, and Improve!

Change is the Only Constant

change constant

“The beauty of iron lies in its ability to adapt, its openness to quick change.  A good man is like iron”  -The Man with the Iron Fists 2
“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn
          I HATE it when people say they cannot change. Especially, when they are talking about others.  Who has the right to say how much potential someone else has to change something in their life?  This belief is so limiting!  Don’t get me wrong, I have many limiting beliefs on my own that I need to work on.  But seriously, “I cannot change?”  This is an excuse many people use to not even try.  They decide to lose before really putting in an honest effort.  “I cannot change. Therefore, I will not even give myself a chance.”
    Look around.  Everything in life is always changing!  The seasons change without fail.  The weather changes constantly.  The sun rises and sets each and every day!  People change all the time, too.  Babies grow.  Professionals change jobs.  Young people change their hair for God’s sake!  Many people see the concept of change as negative.  Changing from your present situation usually ends up with a negative outcome.  Staying the same is more safe.  You do not leave your comfort zone and no one gets hurt.
    It may seem like change is totally out of our control. Everything else changes besides us.  Our Facebook feed changes.  The stock market changes.  Construction occurs and buildings/neighborhoods change.  The products in the store change.    Other people change.  You get the picture.  However, our own individual change never happens.  Do you realize how silly that sounds?
   In fact, YOU CAN CHANGE!  The human spirit is powerful and capable of small and LARGE changes!  The most important thing to realize is that change can happen anytime and anywhere. Ever have an event occur and you decide to take on a new project, hobby, or go in a total direction altogether?  THAT’S change! There are many things you can change:
-your appearance
-your attitude
-your willingness to try to new things 
-your diet
-your exercise routine
-your doctor
         Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I;m sure you can think of many other possibilities of change in your life.  The first step is becoming aware that a change is required.  Then, choose one or a few strategies on how to go about making that change.   Finally, COMMIT to making the change.  Decide to stick with it through thick and thin. Remember, change can take time.  If radical change seems too much for you, start slow! Once you begin to get used to making changes in your life, you can take on more.   In time, your change will become a natural habit!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!