5 Aspects to Control to Get “in Shape”

 

 

 

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We live in a world full of wonderful technology.  I can pick up a phone not much bigger than my business card and be instantly connected with my pen-pal in china, and talk to him as if he were sitting across the table from me. Long gone are the days of  truly “waiting” for anything.  We live in a society where convenience seems to be the number one focus in our lives.  Everyone everywhere seem to be searching for the easiest, path of least resistance way, to do absolutely everything.  We all want it faster, better, cheaper, and above all else we want it to work.  I think that there is where the problem may first start to rear it’s ugly head.  What else in our wonderful natural world works like that?  We certainly don’t expect to plant a tree and have it fully grown in a day?   As a matter of fact nothing in the natural world works that way.   Everything takes it’s own turn as part of a natural process.  Bugs get it, animals get it, the oceans, clouds, moon and sun all get it…..we humans on the other hand…we are special.  We have been bred by society, religion, media, and even our government to believe that we are special and the rules of the natural world don’t apply to us. We tend to circumvent natural laws as often as possible.  But the fact is, although we may not want to live by them, they very much govern everything we do.  We are not above “natural law.”  For instance, in any population if you introduce an endless supply of food, the population will grow exponentially.  And we think this is a good thing…..look at our ever-expanding waistline  The good news is there is hope out there.  In this post I will outline a very basic approach to 5 aspects of your life that I believe you need to conquer if you hope to achieve fitness enlightenment. (or at the very least reach you fitness goals)

ASPECT # 1   ATTITUDE:   It’s hard to type briefly on this one (or any of the others for that matter) subject, but I will do my best. But first perhaps I’ll let some that have a bit more life experience under their bit do some talking for me:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
Dalai Lama

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.
William James

….so after reading such quotes you may naturally ask:  OK, what now?  Well you asked for it.  You have to become aware of your attitude toward you.  Sounds a bit redundant right?  But it’s not.  You, right now, are exactly where you are supposed to be.  You are a direct result of all the beliefs, choices, and events over the course of your life what you have done, and the decisions you have made have led you here. Stare at yourself in the mirror, that’s what you got!!  Well what if you aren’t happy with that?  Great News!!  You can change it!!!!. What you can do is choose to change the direction you are heading.  Look inside yourself.  Listen to the way you talk to yourself about how you look, how you feel, how you eat, how you dream, how you act.  You have to find and identify any negative self talk…any thoughts that allow you to …eat that cheeseburger, or skip that workout, or put off joining that gym this week.  Simply…your attitude toward exercising and eating has put you exactly where you are today.  If you want to be in better shape, the first thing you need to do is decide to be in better shape.

ASPECT #2  ENVIRONMENT:  This refers to everything around you.  Friends, Family, living conditions, work, television, the country, our media…..all of it….if you open your eyes right now and look,,,,,what you see is your environment…..and unfortunately……it may not be pretty.   If you are a fit person in the United States of America you are on the extreme end of the spectrum.   As a matter of fact, we are pushing to the %70 mark in the US.   Seventy Percent of us are either overweight or obese….and for our children the percentage has tripled in the past 15 years.   That means if you open your eyes and ears to what society is screaming at you……if you listen to what the majority of commercials tell you, or what your friends at work say…you will stay the exact same way that you are.  The only way you are going to change is if you turn your boat around and start pedaling against the flow.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Mark Twain

I may take Mr. Twain’s quote and go a bit further…in terms of fitness and nutrition…..instead of pausing and reflecting…I recommend you  run like hell in the other direction….The bottom line is you, as a human being, are going to act, think, and reflect, the values of the environment that you are in.  So…to change your life, change your environment.   More on that in the week, book, years to come.   Perhaps the biggest point to walk away with today, in regards to environment, is do not underestimate how important it is to be aware of how it can either enhance, or can crush your attempts to get/ stay in shape.

ASPECT # 3 TIME MANAGEMENT:   I’ll begin by saying this.  I am a father of three, a husband of one, run a business, and seem to fill my day with obligations.   Impossible to just accidentally accomplish everything that I have to accomplish everyday.  There is only one way I get to the things I “need” to get to.  I plan it.   The bottom line is that you have to plan for it though.  Trust me on this.  No one has ever accidentally got in shape.  “My goodness….I woke up the other day and out of nowhere, I had a six pack of abs and I could run a mile in under five minutes”   Trust me  this doesn’t happen.   What has to happen if you expect to get in shape is you have to make time for it in your schedule….and it has to take priority.  The said truth is most americans take better care of their cars than they do their bodies……here is a time management page stolen directly from a Sales Mentor of mine Chet Holmes:

Commit to these six steps

Six proactive steps to time management can transform your day. They take five minutes to do and can double the amount of results you get daily. The problem is not whether or not these steps will work, because they will absolutely work. The problem is whether or not you will fully commit to doing them, repeatedly.

The key to time management is commitment to the following six steps:

Step One: Touch it once

How often do you pick up something on your desk and say, “I have to take care of this, but I can’t deal with it right now”? If you do that a few times per day with a few different documents/projects/tasks, by the end of the year, you will have spent an entire month touching and rereading information without taking action. So, if you touch it, move it to the next step.

If you want to see how often you waste time, each time you pick up something, put a red dot on it. After you have three red dots on a piece of paper, you begin to feel pressure to do something and move on. If you touch it, take care of it.

Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things

When we conduct this time management seminar, we ask how many people in the audience make lists. Practically everyone does. People often have lists with 25 to as many as 40 items on them. They are proud that their lists are so long and that they are so busy.

Further investigation quickly shows them that long lists are the perfect way to be busy, but not productive. When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.

Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item

You’ve started your day by making a list of the six most important things. That took two or three minutes. Now take another minute to plan how long each item will take or how long you will dedicate to the items that are ongoing.

When we conduct this workshop, the people with long lists usually find that they can have an incredibly productive day with only six hours spent on their six key items. Most people who use these steps find they get more important work done in less time because their time is focused on the most productive tasks.

Step Four: Plan when

Now that you know how much time to dedicate to each task, you need to plan when you will do them. In addition, you must build in time for the reactive mode.

For example, if you are a sales manager interrupted by frequent “got a minute” meetings, plan a fixed time when you will accept those types of meetings. Otherwise, unless it is an emergency, do not allow people to come to your desk and ask if you’ve got a minute!

Think of any top executive you know. Can you simply call them up, or do you have to schedule time with them? Many top executives plan their day down to the minute. Everything is done according to a schedule, including time for “got a minute” meetings. Scheduling time is the key to time management.

Step Five: Ask the results

Few people are highly productive. People like to have items on a list, so they can cross off the items. But that’s not enough. The things that produce the best results are generally the most difficult. Thus, they get left off of the list or are scheduled at the end of the day, causing them to get bumped to the next day…and the next…and the next.

Schedule important tasks in the beginning of your day. Cold calling or trying to get appointments with key prospects or clients are the things that produce the best results. However, they often get pushed off by average salespeople. After you make your list, ask yourself if the items on it are the ones that will produce the most results.

Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away?

Of all filed information, 80% is never referred to again. After hearing this time management idea, I began to throw away four out of five of the items I used to keep. It’s been 10 years, and I cannot think of a single time where it has hurt me

Using those steps should help with not only work, but also may get us in the proper mindset of planning out our lives, not to mention our workouts.

ASPECT #4  NUTRITION:    I’m going to make this one simple.Eat none of the following:

 

  • Grains–including bread, pasta, noodles
  • Beans–including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, peas
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar

From here on…now you are wondering what you can eat right??????

  • Meat, chicken, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit–especially berries
  • Vegetables–especially root vegetables, but not potatoes
  • Nuts–almonds, macadamias, walnuts, brazil nuts. Do not eat peanuts.

There…if you are wondering why…the why is for another time…for now…there it is….simple and to the point…take it or leave it..

ASPECT #5  MOVEMENT:  It’s listed last, because in my experience, it is the least important.  If the other four are aligned correctly  then number five simply falls naturally into place.  If you have the right attitude, are surrounded by the right environment, have planned out and organized your life, and are eating the way you were designed to, you workouts not only will work, but they will be part of your life, which is the point.  We, as a species, are meant to move.  We are mobile beings.  We are not supposed to spend 8-10 hours of our day sitting on our asses…..I think that there is a very primal reason that no matter how hard you workout, afterwards there is a very good feeling.  So I care not, for now, what you do to workout.  Sure I would like you to do some sort of functional, crossfit like workout that would incorporate basic movements, and would ultimately lead you to feeling better, looking better, and moving better.  Truth be told though, let’s at first work on consistency.  Step 1, in Movement is to   MOVE!!!!!  Spend 30-45 minutes everyday doing something that makes you sweat,,,,from there we will talk again……

In summary I believe working to master those 5  concepts will move anyone on to the correct path of feeling better.  Thanks for your time.

Daily Reflections……working hard and finding happy..

Do more than is expected of you..

Believe in yourself rather than believing you can’t..

Let’s be honest, if you do not love and care for the person staring back at you in the mirror, how can you truly love and care for anyone???

Ok Rob…I give up….what in the hell do those statements have to do with fitness….or especially your Crossfit Box????  

In one word?   Everything.  I have been extremely fortunate to own and operate my Crossfit/ Movnat Box for over 6 months now and have had the amazing pleasure and opportunity to work with some some outstanding people from all different walks of life.  Everyone that comes through the gate at Crossfit Williamsville has to fill out a little visitor information form that helps give me insight into who they are and what sort of goals they might have.  It usually, in terms of their goals, reads something along the lines of ….lose  (insert arbitrary number here) lbs.  Tone up, get lean, get a six pack, etc…..you get the point..  Rarely does perhaps the most important and most telling goal pop up on that sheet…..  Feel Better.   Isn’t that really what it is all about.  If you find Crossfit Williamsville it is absolutely not on accident.  NO one has ever wandered in my door and said…..oh…I thought this was going to be like Curves… Quite the contrary,  while they may not know what Crossfit is, but for the most part they know what is isn’t….lol  it seems I have strayed off the path a bit, let’s come back around to why people seek out this wonderful place….it’s simple….they come to feel better, or perhaps to state it even more concisely..Happieness….they think I can make them happy…   They may not realize that, they may profess that it is all bout dropping 15lbs before the wedding….or getting that first pull-up, or being able to go up and down the stairs with out being winded.  But ultimately it all comes back to being happy.

I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

                                                                                – Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/compassion

I happen to agree with about 99.99% if what he says…so I thought I would drop that quote in there.  So…if I believe that most who come to the box are seeking happiness whether they know it or not….how do I help them attain it…..simple….good old fashioned hard work…coupled with accomplishment…..and with some serious  challenge sprinkled on top to boot….and I also allow them to become very comfortable with failure.  Failure…..I know what a dirty word.   The truth of the matter is failure is one of the best things that can happen to anyone…anyone…period.   Show me someone who is wickedly successful…and not only will they have failed dozens of time….but they will have very purposefully become comfortable with the thought of it….  As long as, after a failed attempt, we pick ourselves up and learn from it….no worries…..

At any rate there is an amazing amount of happiness and self fulfillment to be found in an environment that challenges you mentally and physically on a daily basis…and that is what I attempt to create every single time a program a WOD….

have a good evening buffalo and beyond

…go out and find your happy…..

perhaps a great blog Entry……. a catalyst

So,,,,I hop out of the car, in the middle of downtown, reach into the back of my trunk and pull an enormous box from it…a box which once held 48 four packs of Dove moisturizing unscented bars….I set it on the ground and stare at for a bit….ya think this will hold me?  I ask, sort of to myself, and sort of to anyone at all who is passing by…I don’t get any answers.  I look around, just a block away or so I see the “occupiers.”  Wow.  Is this what I have become.  Honestly, am I no better than these people? Staring at them I’m forced to admit to myself that other than the obvious amount of attention they garner, they do look to be very serious about what they are doing.  Perhaps as serious as a cat who hasn’t eaten in three days and will just not stop clawing your bedroom door.  But then you are forced to think, if I don’t feed the cat what is he really going to do about it?  I wonder if we have looked at them that way.  Honestly, what are they really going to do about it? The answer to if I’m better than them or not weighs in my mind a bit and I settle on..  Well at least I have a job, after all I’m doing this is on my off day  The thought makes me smile a bit, and I reassure myself that yes indeed, the box will hold me up,  well it should….

I stand up on the box and proceed to follow through with my plan….

Step one, take off my clothes…man I didn’t think it’d be so cold today.  Of course I knew it was going to be cold that day….sort of the point,,shock value you know…perfectly normal for the 24th of December to be cold.  Besides it’s much easier to attract attention to yourself in this kind of weather if you are standing around in just your knickers on top of a box, rather than fully clothed.

Step Two, start singing Man in the Mirror, crap, couldn’t I have picked a better song, maybe one that is a bit in my own key, that way I’m not getting looked at like one of those auditioners from American Idol that are just there to be on TV..  Although my intention there had absolutely nothing to do with changing myself, though the outcome might be a change for me as well, I thought the classic hit from old MJ would be a perfect tune to attract a crowd….and I was right

Step Three….just start talking….. I had never been more prepared in my whole life.  I’d mapped out my whole speech….I would spin a tale of such intrigue, of such shocking truth that the audience would be captivated, moved to tears even.  It would be full of suspense, heart break, betrayal, conspiracy,, and just when they thought the worst had happened the third act would push them to the point of giving up…and then the answer……and at last I’d offer them HOPE.   They would find such purpose in my talk, such inspiration that they would go through a change right then.  Right at that moment they would alter themselves and their own family trees for generations to come.  I would be amazing…..

It will be amazing…..

I was so ready.  Nearly sure that here right now at this very moment is what the better part of my life had been preparing me for.  I wasn’t cold, I wasn’t nervous, I was filled with the need to share..and give everything of myself to these 60 or 70 onlookers…..

and then I saw her……

Front Row, about my 10 oclock (just to my front left for those of you not acquainted with those directions)…she was bursting at the seams pregnant, it seemed she held just about all her impossibly petite frame could hold, Jeez her due date has to be…right now..  In fact it was an amazing sight to behold, and she would have been equally as beautiful as the fact that she was pregnant had she not been tugging on a Marlboro…..

What a shame…

Just to her right side my eyes locked with a man at least twice my age…his clothes were tired, his eyes worn…..he’d seen a lot, been through a lot, those tired hands clutched a paper bag that could only have held the cheapest bottle of liquor that the store around the corner sold….

Damn…

Just then a voice turned my head…..it was a school age child, her voice shrill and peircing….she was standing with her mother and brother, he was roughly the same age.  Mom was rather overweight..Huge..and it seemed she was doing the best to have her kids catch up and eventually surpass her.  Her children each clutched a burger of some sort in one hand and a meal full of happiness box in the other….it was the box that was creating the argument as it appeared that bro was trying to relieve sis of her toy…her toy or the french fries….wow…

The authenticity of what I was about to do finally sank in.

What could I possibly say to change this?  How could I possibly connect with these people…..how could I hold on to them long enough to pull them away from the commercials, the restaurants, the pizza, the wings, the beer, their cubicles?  What was I going to say today that would really do any good at all? Are they really going to listen to some half crazed, freezing, (albeit charming), half-naked man on a soap box standing in front of the biggest toy store in the world on Christmas eve????  Really, isn’t health and fitness the farthest thing from chimney mom’s mind…hell she’s probably lucky to make rent since Dad’s not around anymore to help….Weren’t most of them going to go home tonight, order out, plop in front of the television, and eat, drink, and be Merry….after all tis the season…..for heart disease, cancer, obesity…..it would seem.   How can I possibly change their minds????

I bowed my head in defeat, and took one foot down from the soap box…..I was finished….there was, in mind, no longer anything I had to offer them.  I had lost the game even before it started.

…then I saw him….

He was young, maybe 6, and nestled into his mother’s leg, but staring at me intently.  I perhaps imagined tears welling in his eyes, perhaps not, either way, he was the moment I needed.  In him I saw incredible things.  I saw a world were people cared for each other first, and found that in doing so it was really caring for themselves.  I saw a world where we didn’t settle for being lied to by the media, where we didn’t expect politicians to be half  true with us.  I saw a world where heart disease was as foreign to us as the bubonic plague…and damnit when you saw people at the mall, or Target, or in line for the bank…can you believe it they were happy, because they felt good, and lived healthy….amazing the things I saw in the young man’s eyes, once I made it past Spiderman and the Power Rangers…..and then there it was…..

HOPE………by god he wants me to talk…..

In that moment I wasn’t talking to a crowd of people any longer, I was speaking to him.  As far as I was concerned this little guy was going to be somebody important, and I was going to influence him right now…hell this little guy may even be president 40 years from now…how crazy of a thought is that…..

Rejuvenated I stood up on the soapbox, fully prepared to address my congregation……

Deep breath, here goes…  

” Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Robert Edwin Vest II, and wow do I have a story for you……”

Courage (retooled from my other blog)

I thought this one might be worth putting in front of your faces one more time…give it a reread.

 

Doing the right thing in the face of adversity.  Willingly putting yourself out there, even though your viewpoint may be vastly different than the majority.  Some people thrive under those conditions.  Some willingly subject themselves to criticism from the masses.  Some would not have it any other way.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or
pause and reflect).   -Twain

I fancy myself, at times, to be on the less occupied side of the fence more often than not, but I know most aren’t.  I know that most are content to be a quiet face in the crowd.  To move about completely unheard, and completely safe, and completely comfortable.  Most of us like the anonymity.  We like it.  But I think perhaps…..just maybe….somewhere hidden, deep down inside…..past those memories of getting stuffed in the locker in 4th grade, way inside…… I think that the vast majority of us somehow want to be in the spotlight.  I think somewhere in all of us we wish we could shout out the way we feel, the way we think, the truth of what our heart screams at us.  Yet….we don’t.   We continue on, living how we are “supposed” to, or how our fear allows us to.  I could be very wrong.  Perhaps everyone lives each day at the top of their game.  Rolling through their lives like an unstoppable force….chowing down on Big Mac’s and six packs and loving their life.  That’s probably closer to the truth.  Maybe society is content to eat what they want, and live on manufactured food and drugs until they die at 76 years old, happy simply to have existed for that long.  Well if that is you then you may want to stop reading a blog titled Fighting to Be Fit.  I’m going to, for the sake of my intended audience, lean to the side of hoping that most of you are wanting something better, looking for it…wondering why you haven’t found it inside your globo gym, or your curves, or your weight watchers or your Jenny Craig, wondering why Shawn T can’t give it to you or why your experience at P90X was more like p90F  (as in Fail).   This post is for you……I’m going to let you in on a secret…….A fitness secret that Jillian Michaels doesn’t want you do know and a nutrition secret that Subway hopes you never find out…….in truth….the only Gym equipment you will ever need you were born with…(your body)……and the only nutrition advice you need is to eat real food and stay away from sugar as much as you can……if you were to stick with that you’d do pretty well.   What exactly does that mean?????  It means that there are plenty of people “working out” in Gym’s across america, using every piece of equipment for hours at a time, that can’t run a mile, do a proper pushup, or a body squat, or even hold on to the pullup bar, not to mention do a pull up.  Likewise there are millions of people that pay nutritionists and or personal trainers to give them nutrition advice that they already know……  Sugar-Bad….Wheat-Bad……pasta-bad……Soda-bad…..candy-bad…..ice cream- bad….beer-bad…….Veggies-Good….nuts-good…..fruit-good……. and when I tell people things like this they always want to say…..but can’t I have ice cream every once in a while….all things in moderation right??? and to that I say….if that works for you roll with it……but the truth is that until you get out from underneath your very real addiction to carbohydrates…then nothing I tell you about food is going to matter….and until you get out of the mindset that I need to do chest and tris on monday, back and bis on wednesday, and legs and shoulders on friday…..no amount of my functional kettlebell workouts are going to work for you….especially if you are spending 45 minutes on an ellyptical reading a magazine and then convincing yourself that you are in the “fat burning zone”……..but again…I’m hoping that the majority of you out there are in search of a better way.  I’m not going to call it the right way because I’m not that naive,  but it’s definitely a better way.  Eating a plant-based whole foods diet is simply a better way…..incorporating full body, compound muscular movements and body weight exercises is simply better than spot targeting secondary movers….Drinking Water will always be better than drinking anything else….  So for all of you that aren’t happy, that aren’t content, that demand a different way….have the Courage to believe there is a better way, have the Courage to find it…..Good luck all

 

Best of Health Buffalo