Attitude Over Everything

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”  -Winston Churchill

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scott Hamilton

“Having a positive attitude in a negative situation is not naive… it’s leadership” -Ralph Marston

I have learned so much about attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives in the last year or so.  For starters, they are at the root of how we think and see the world before us.  We make assumptions, snap judgments, and decisions based on these foundational perspectives.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives develop as we grow and experience events in our lives.  They are essentially at our subconscious level always feeding us thoughts and viewpoints of our outside world.  Eventually, they go on autopilot and work behind the scenes as we navigate throughout our day.

At the same time, our instilled beliefs and attitudes about the outside world come from an internal source.  They come from inside our hearts and minds.  In fact, our beliefs and attitudes make us feel in certain ways.  A negative attitude makes people closed off, stressed, and even afraid to make decisions.  A positive attitude creates an open mind, joy, and peace.  Even so, our attitudes make our physical state different. I’m sure you have seen someone who is sad- head down, clenched muscles, frowning.  Now, think of someone who is happy- bright eyes, smiling, head up, full of energy.  Therefore, certain attitudes not only change the way we view the world, but our outward appearance and demeanor reflects our inner world.

The good news- your attitude is a choice!  Just like how you choose your clothes, friends, or meals, you can choose your attitude!  It does take some work.  But, in the end the results are worth it.  If there is a negative belief you would like to change (I will NEVER be able to lose weight), focus on replacing it with a new positive, empowering one (I haven’t found how I can lose weight YET).  Use these methods:

  • Speaking your new attitude repeatedly out loud with emotion
  • Write out your current, negative attitude.  Cross it out & write in your new one
  • Post positive pictures and saying in places you spend a lot of time
  • Speak with positive people and ask for encouragement
  • Listen to positive music

 

Do you have other methods to change your attitudes?  Comment them below.  As Always, eat, move, and improve!

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Kitchen= A Cooking Lab

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“The kitchen’s a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It’s biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there’s history. Yes, there’s artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.” Food critic-Alton Brown

No-one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Chef Julia Child

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavors when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” – Chef Rocco DiSpirito

Every now and again, I get inspired in the kitchen.  I look at things a different way and want to experiment.  I come up with concoctions that some people would consider weird or odd.  But, to my surprise they come out quite tasty!  For example, I make a  cookies and cream protein shake in a shaker bottle with milk and ice after my workouts.  One day, I decided to blend my same shake with a scoop of hazelnut chocolate spread. It came out AMAZING!  I was wowed by the taste and texture change!  Another time, I needed to make a quick meal.  We had cooked noodles already, but I wasn’t feeling red sauce.  Instead, I mixed 1 tablespoon with a few shakes of garlic powder, minced onion, and parmesan cheese.  Viola, homemade garlic parmesan pasta sauce!

I’m sure most people would say these recipes are too simple or easy to make.  But, I just want to make a point here.  You can view your kitchen as a science lab.  You see, cooking is a form of science.  Different cooking methods use heat, cooling, mixing, blending, and others to create chemical and physical changes to the ingredients.  When these ingredients react and/ or interact with each other, the possible combinations are endless!

Long story short, cooking is a skill.  Anyone can learn the skill.  It comes with trial and error.  It’s ok to move out of your comfort zone in the kitchen.  Trying something new can be an exciting experience.  That’s how you can get better.  The resulting dishes you make may surprise you!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

*Readers: Have you ever cooked up anything in the kitchen that was new to you?  How did it go?  Comment below and let us know your experiences!*

Rise Up

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The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. -Miguel C Cervantes

The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall” -Nelson Mandella

We never lose our demons, [Mordo]. We only learn to live above them. -The Ancient One, Dr. Strange

You will, at some point in your life, be confronted with some kind of adversity.  It’s more often than not a universal given.  Some people would disagree with that statement.  But, life was not meant to be easy.  Obstacles and difficult decisions present themselves when we set goals and go after them.  The bitter truth is that we all fall.  What matters most is that we pick ourselves up again.

This concept can be applied to health goals.  Say you are looking to lose weight.  Along your journey, you find yourself in this situation.   Dessert was way too tempting at the restaurant. You decided to treat yourself since you are out with your friends.  The next day rolls around.  Because you had dessert yesterday, today wouldn’t hurt right?  A snowball effect occurs. The discipline and food choices haven’t been easy. Now, the discipline has fallen away and bad habit takes over. You have fallen off the proverbial “wagon”. So, you revert to your old habits.  In this case, you have two choices: keep falling behind, OR rise above your obstacles.

Consider sticking to a workout routine.  You begin with high expectations.  You have energy and motivation to get started. You are loving your workouts.  They are fun and exhilarating.  But, at some point, you plateau.  The workouts aren’t as fun anymore.  Your energy isn’t there.  You’re not seeing progress as fast.  Your’e discouraged.  What do you do?  Stop going or rise above?  I’ll give you a clue: it’s the latter.  Decide to rise above the negative feelings and doubts in your mind.  Once you do, you will enter the next level of progress.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Live Like Hawking

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“It matters if you just don’t give up.” – Stephen Hawking

“I understand you need more help.   And if there is – someone – who is prepared to offer it – I won’t object, as long – as long as you continue to love me.  -Stephen to Jane Hawking, A Theory of Everything

“There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” -Stephen Hawking

While growing up, I had heard the name “Stephen Hawking” thrown around in the media and conversation several times.  I didn’t know who Stephen Hawking was or why he was famous.  Recently, I did see Stephen Hawking in several TV commercials.  I also viewed the movie based on his adult life called “The Theory of Everything”

In summary, Stephen Hawking is one of the most influential and famous scientists of the 20th century.  Hawking began his journey as a Theoretical Physics student at the University of Cambridge in the 1960s.  He wanted to find out the meaning of life and how  it came to be.  Through his college experience, he began working on his PhD thesis.  Hawking barely studied since he was so brilliant.  During his tenure at Cambridge, he caught the attention of Jane Wilde and they fell in love. Everything seemed to be going well.  However, Hawking’s story takes a wild turn from here.  At age 21 and admisdt his fisrt breakthrough, Hawking gets diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gherig’s Disease).  Ultimately, Stephen loses the ability to manually move his muscles and quickly becomes paralyzed and dependent on Jane and others.

The inspiring part is that Hawking’s story only begins there.  Stephen continues his work and studies at Cambridge gaining his doctorate in Theoretical Physics.  He writes many books and makes several breakthroughs in the field.  Hawking becomes world famous.  He marries Jane Wilde and they stay married for 30 years and even raise 3 children.  At this time, Hawking is in his 70s when Drs. told him he wouldn’t survive 2 years at 21.  How did he overcome these massive odds and become one of the most recognizable scientists in the world?  I have a few ideas you can use yourself:

Stay Positive:  Throughout the movie, we see Hawking go through many physical and emotional struggles/ stages in his life.  When Stephen gets his diagnosis, he shuts himself away from others and becomes depressed.  He quickly realizes that choosing a negative attitude wasn’t helping his situation.  He gets hospitalized several times and even goes into a coma for a short period.  Despite these challenges, Hawking stays positive.  He jokes and has fun with his children quite often.  He travels the world and enjoys the many wonders it offers.  A positive attitude can change an unbearable and desperate situation into something hopeful!

Ask For Help.  One scene in “The Theory of Everything” portrays Hawking in bed about to go to sleep with Jane.  He says quietly “I would understand you need more help.   And if there is – someone – who is prepared to offer it – I won’t object, as long – as long as you continue to love me.”  Jane responds with “Of course.  For infinity.”  At this time, Hawking was becoming one of the most known scientists of his time.  He has written several publicized works and gained some sense of fame.  It would have been easy for him to have an inflated ego. It would have been easy for him to have confidence in his abilitie and figure everything in his life was working.  However, he was still realistic and humble in his nature.  he understood that he could not do it all alone.  He knew that everyone, especially him, needed others to survive and to move forward in life. He decided to be vulnerable and honest to his wife Jane.  She happily accepts the offer and they recruit help.

Do What you Can.  Life is unfair.  It can be cruel to many people.  It can take away much more than give back.  But, we are strong as individuals and as people.  For those who lose much, they focus on what they can do over what life has stolen from them.  Hawking may have lost his movement and muscles, but not his mind and ability to love what he did.  Stephen continued to explore his theory and cosmetology as a whole.  He studied and wrote.  He spent time with his family and the people he was closest with.  He focused on what made him special and didn’t allow his debilitating and progressive disease to stop him.

All in all, I encourage you to live like Stephen Hawking.  When life throws you curveballs, stay positive, ask for help, and do what you can.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Find Your Peanut Gang

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“Few people are successful unless other people want them to be.” -Charlie Brown

“There is never a heavier burden than great potential” -Linus

Charlie:  I can’t stop thinking about it, Linus. After all the humiliating disasters she witnessed this year, why would she choose me? Was she feeling sorry for me? I don’t want her to choose me just because she was feeling sorry for me. I have slightly more dignity than that.

Linus: Charlie Brown, it might be time to consider the wild possibility that you’re a good person and that people like you. But you know, you’ll never really know the answer, unless… [you ask her]   -The Peanuts Movie

I’m a product of the 90’s.  In my opinion one of the most unique decades in recent history.  This time period gave us brightly colored neon clothes, boy bands, and some of the most unique and popular toy brands ever.  Anyone who knew me growing up can tell you that I ate up many of those memorable TV shows, movies, and music.  I enjoyed watching Pokemon, Power Rangers, Transformers, and many others and played with my toys for hours.  One of the most popular cartoons and comic strips was “The Peanuts.”  Although this comic strip debuted in the 1940s, it continued to stay popular into 2000 until the author, Charles Shulz, decided to retire.

“Peanuts” centered around a lovable, kind, and compassionate boy, Charlie Brown.  Charlie desired to be the most popular and most talented student in school.  He wanted the spotlight and wanted to be the best he could be.  The comics followed him as he made attempts to try new activities and survive school with his friends Linus, Peppermint Patty. Lucy, Sally, and even his beagle Snoopy among many others.  Despite his efforts and desire to be better, Charlie Brown continues to fail and embarrass himself in front of his friends.  To add insult to injury, most of his friends had specific talents.  Lucy was a natural born leader.  Peppermint Patty was a great athlete.  Linus gave great advice and had wisdom well beyond his years.  Even Snoopy had a fantastic and wild imagination.  He uses it to write about his character, Flying Ace, and his battles against the Red Baron.

I recently watched the newest addition to the Peanuts franchise, “The Peanuts Movie.”  As expected, the film followed Charlie Brown as he works to impress his friends and a new girl at school.  Throughout the film, Charlie continues to fail and embarrass himself. When it seems that Charlie Brown is a hopeless case, he makes a huge realization.  Charlie Brown always thought he had to be talented, confident, and smart to be popular.  Through several interactions, he realizes that those factors don’t matter.  Charlie is still liked and accepted by his friends.  They like him for who he is instead of who he is not.  Charlie Brown is a good person.  He cares for others, works hard, and has unwavering honesty.  Once Charlie makes that realization, he achieves the confidence to talk to his crush, the Little Red Headed Girl.  During their conversation, the girl reinforces that Charlie is a kind, honest, and compassionate person.

Ok, so I know that was a strung out explanation.  But, I feel it was necessary.  I wanted to set the stage for my message: “find those who see the best in you.” You will interact with MANY people along your journey.  Some will like you, some will not.  That’s a hard truth to swallow.  Some people will try to bring you down and focus on what you are not.  The sad reality is that some people feel they have to impress these people.  I even had that belief in high school: “If I get the attention of the ‘cool crowd’, I will gain their acceptance and ultimately build up my confidence.  Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into a group of people or an individual, some people just won’t care.  Instead, find people who like you for you.  Find those people who support you and cheer you up.  Find those people who give you their time, honest opinion, and effort in return.  Invest your time, opinions, and efforts in return.  Relationships will flourish and you will become your best self.  You may be surprised of the result.  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

Add Through Subtraction

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 A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools” -Spanish Proverb

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” -Winston S. Churchill

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” — Bill Gates

“The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.” ~ Confucius

When working with patients and customers, I have heard it countless times: “I’m to busy” or “I just do not have the time”.  I talk about the changes they can make or go about things differently.  However, they revert back to those reasons.  From one perspective, these reasons make sense.  We all have stuff to do.  We all wish we had more time.  We all feel overwhelmed and overworked at times.

However, at the root of it, WE ARE NEVER TOO BUSY.  I hate to be a cliché here.  But, we all have 86400 seconds in a day.  Every single person on earth has the same amount of time to take advantage of.  However, we have a choice to decide on how to use that time!   I have been reflecting on this a lot lately.  How did we become so busy?  How did we become so overwhelmed?  Why is it that most people cannot manage their time well or be the most productive they can be?

From experience and observation, I have learned that we are a DISTRACTED society.  Over the last few years, we have gained access to an unlimited amount of activities to take our time away from us.  We have countless choices of TV shows, books, websites, restaurants, video games, and cell phone apps just to name a few.  We sabotage ourselves out of doing the work and important activities required to make changes and settle for distractions.  It’s so much easier to turn to social media or watch a movie instead of working out or making a diet plan.

I am not a saint when it comes to this.  I had a difficult time writing this post today. I found myself scrolling through my social media and watching videos online instead of writing my thoughts down.  I took a nap this afternoon. I wasted time and can’t get it back.  However, I recognized that I slipped up.  I am committing myself to limiting time and money wasters, as should you!

I recommend that you “Add Through Subtraction.”  We all have the same amount of time given to us daily.  We cannot pay attention to every single thing and think we will accomplish it all.  Make sure you’re using your time wisely.  How you ask?  First, recognize where you have extra time in your day.  Do you tend to mindlessly browse social media for hours on end?  Do you watch TV once you get home from work until bed time?  Do you tend to oversleep when you not have anything planned for your day?  Chances are that you do.  Next, reflect on what you are willing to take out of your life.  Consider cutting social media down to fifteen minutes a day.  Or, choose to watch only one TV show at a time.  Or, limit your sleep time only to the recommended eight hours.

On a side note, you can apply “Add Through Subtraction” to other aspects of your life.  Feel tight on your money?  Take a look at your expenses and cut anything that you don’t use or isn’t necessary.  Viola!  More cash in the bank. Feel as though you have friends who waste your time or are not reliable?  Or, are you pulled in a million directions by having a large group of friends?  Cut the ones who do not support you or make time for you.  Then, you can put more time into the friendships that actually mean something to you.  Sound harsh?  Maybe.  But, in reality, you are making yourself a priority and making your friendship a privilege, not a right.  Only you can decide how to use your time and resources.  Make sure you’re using them wisely.  Above all, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

Want to Succeed? Find A Role Model

This past week, I have been thinking alot about the term role model.  A role model can be defined as “a person whose behavior, example, or success, can be emulated by others, especially by younger people” (dictionary.com).  Having a role model is essential in reaching your goals and dreams.  

Why is having a role model important? These people that you emulate can be used as examples and inspirations in your own choices and path in life.  They show you the way and give you advice on how to reach those goals.  They prove to you that your goals are real and achievable.  

Who can you claim as a role model?  It can be anyone, anywhere.  It can be a celebrity, or a friend.  It would be anyone you admire and aspire to be like.  

I have several role models.  My dad for one.  He’s my best friend and the man I would like to be one day.  I also admire life coach and CSCS, Chris Powell.  He’s a professional in health, fitness, and nutrition.  And, he inspires and changes his clients every single day.  Although he travels the country and is gone from home for long periods of time, he still finds time to raise and spend time with his family.  I also want to make a shout out to Brian Lebo.  He is a father and a CSCS as well.  He trains student athletes with his own small business.  He has shown me to never give up, even if the situations seem to be against you.    Finally, I would like to mention Susie Akers.  she is an RD?LD at the Metrohealth Hospital System.  She works as a clinical pediatric dietitian and manages a wellness center.  She has taught me that you can create opportunities and connections with just an idea and following through with it.  

So, who are your role models?  Do they inspire you each day to be better?  Do they impact you in a positive or negative way?  Are you a role model to others?  If not now, you will be one day.  make sure you leave a good impression on them!