Tag Archives: Fitness

Sticking It To Your Diet

We hear the word diet and we think, “Great… now I’ve got to eat tasteless, expensive crap…

That’s because a lot of times when we’re getting diet recommendations from people they’re pushing one of two things.

One, they tell you that you have to eat kale and chick peas or that you have to be low carb… you have to do paleo or you have to do Mediterranean…

OR two, the things they are pushing for you to eat in your diet are expensive AF. “Sign up to get meals delivered to your door for only $130 dollars a week.” Which can be just fine if you’re single and living alone… but if you’ve ever lived with a teenager… if you have more than 1 person in your household… this just isn’t even close to being possible.

photo cred: Thought Catalog

The other thing I find incredibly difficult with sticking to any diet is the amount of time it takes to prepare the meals. They say, “just spend your entire Sunday meal prepping and dirtying every dish in your house so you can save 20 minutes Monday thru Friday.”

I just haven’t found this to be something that I could stick to every Sunday. If I had a family event or if I needed to do yard work or a school project with my kids, I couldn’t find the time to do the meal prep. Which meant my whole week of dieting was shot.

Now not all of this is terrible advice, there’s a little bit of truth in all of it but the problem that all of these programs and systems miss is that they expect you to completely change your life in one day. They expect you to just go out, drop $150 bucks on foods you’ve never had before, blow away a Sunday afternoon preparing it and cleaning up, and then for you to change your weekly habit everyday of the week. That transition is not realistic at all.

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So what can we actually do to make this change in our lives? How can we go from candy bars, chips, sodas, and fast food to vegetables, fruits, water, and healthy eating? Easy – Little Victories.

You see most of these diet programs exist to help you lose weight second and make money first. They are there to make money. They want you to subscribe to a program, buy a book, buy their food… give them money… and then if you are very strict, bam you’ll lose the weight (and have a lighter wallet).

When I realized how often these plans were not working for me I decided to take a completely different approach. Instead of trying to be a brand new person, with a brand new diet. I decided to start small. I picked one meal out of the day and focused on just that piece.

I typically didn’t eat breakfast. I’d skip the meal, wait until lunch time, eat something greasy or quick and then I’d hit 2 PM and I would be in snooze town… every day like clock work. I’d have dinner that night and then binge eat junk food until I passed out. I did this every day… for years…

But I started to make little changes. I started with the idea of where I wanted to ultimately go in my diet but I only tried to actually do the breakfast part. I knew I wanted to eat healthier in other parts of the day but I knew breakfast was the first chance I actually had to make a change.

At first, my body was like… “ugh… tf is this….” I could only eat like a bite of oatmeal or toast. That was literally all I could stomach in the mornings. But I just kept trying to eat a little more each day. I kept trying to get my daily Little Victory.

photo cred: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Pretty soon, after about 2 or 3 weeks. I was eating the whole bowl of oatmeal every day. A couple more weeks after that I was ready to up the challenge. So I added a morning snack. Just a piece of toast. Nothing fancy.

It started just like breakfast did too. At first I could only eat a couple of bites. After a while though, it was just a part of my diet.

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And that’s really the key. Making these little changes and focusing on them 110% instead of trying to wake up and be a brand new person. Instead of spending all of this time and money trying to do something I’d never been able to accomplish before I just started with a very small part of it. It started with tiny little baby steps and it was so much easier to get myself to Be a Closer on eating oatmeal than it was to try and close out on some life-altering diet.

If you’re wanting to make changes in your lifestyle and diet but you’re still struggling, reach out to me! I’m not writing all of this so I can come back here and read it for myself. I’m doing it to help others learn what I’ve learned. Reach out to me, contact me, and let’s figure out a way!

How to Get More Out of Everything

How many people have woken up on a Monday before work and thought, “Ugh… here we go…” How many people have looked in the mirror and thought, “Ugh… why can’t I just look like them…” How many people have looked at their partner and thought, “Ugh… why can’t you be a better husband/wife…” How many people have taken their kids somewhere and thought, “Ugh… why can’t you kids just be good…

It happens all the time, in all facets of life. We’re dealt a shitty hand and no matter what we do, things just don’t seem to ever get better. We’re stuck in a job we’re unhappy with. We can’t see how some people are so blessed to be skinny and in shape while the rest of us are cursed with extra weight. We’re stuck in a relationship with a partner that doesn’t deserve us or we’re unlucky enough to have kids that just won’t listen.

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And no matter what we try, these situations never seem to improve. Our job throws us another curveball each week just piling it on. Then we’re so burnt out and exhausted from the day we’ve only got enough time to get dinner and take a few minutes to rest at night. Our partner can’t seem to understand how rough our day is and our kids can’t keep quiet long enough so we can just get a minute to clear our minds.

It feels as if everything is constantly acting against us.

photo cred: Nik Shuliahin

The truth is…

You’re getting out of life, exactly what you’re putting in.

And for some people, that’s a tough pill to swallow. For some, they’ll read that and instantly say, “Bullshit! I bust my ass everyday” or “I try all the time with my husband/wife/kids” but I’m here to tell you, it’s not enough.

It really does not matter what you think about the job you’re doing and how well you think you’re performing. It really does not matter what you think about how good of a job you’re doing.

What matters is the results. So ask yourself, has what you’ve done worked? Hmm? Has, “busting your ass” worked for you?” Has, “trying all the time” worked with your husband/wife/kids? Have you achieved results?

The reason you haven’t achieved results is because you haven’t put in enough. It’s that straight forward. If you want to stop waking up on Monday and feeling like, “Ugh…” then you need to put more into your job. You need to go up in there, sit down, and be the most bad ass employee in that place. Get shit done, go the extra mile, help other people out, and flat out be a boss. Try it. Do it for one day and tell me how you feel.

photo cred: Jordan Whitfield

Can’t seem to lose your weight or get in shape? Put more into your diet and exercise. MAKE TIME to do it. Start meal prepping, start walking, start exercising, put more into it. Do it for one day and tell me how you feel.

Stuck feeling like your partner in your relationship isn’t acting right? Maybe you feel like they’re not trying hard enough or at all? Maybe you feel like your relationship has gone stale. PUT MORE INTO IT. MAKE TIME for them. Love them. Even if they don’t return that love. Love them anyways. Are you with them only because they love you? Or are you with them because you love them? Do it for one day and tell me how you feel.

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Do you feel like you’re struggling to get your kids to listen? To get them to do their homework, brush their teeth, to behave? MAKE TIME for them. Take them to the park. Sit down with them and do their homework with them. Instead of yelling at them or sighing and saying it’s just the way they are. Spend time talking to them about their behavior. Put more into it. Do it for one day and tell me how you feel.

If you’re not happy with a situation in your life it comes right down to what you’re putting into it. You get out what you put in.

If you’re not happy with what you’re getting out, then you need to be putting more in.

You Get Out What You Put In.

Rockets Need Rocket Fuel

It’s really that simple. Rockets don’t go no where without rocket fuel.

If you put some cheap little corner gas station fuel into a rocket, that rocket ain’t reaching the moon…

This is exactly how your body and mind work. If you want to perform, compete, and accomplish at a higher level, you HAVE to put in top notch fuel. It’s really that simple.

Four weeks ago I was maybe eating breakfast… usually powering through my mornings on coffee alone. I maybe had lunch if I had some time for it and if I did it was just whatever. I usually just skipped out on lunch tbh, because I would hit that 2 PM downer and feel like I needed a nap if I did eat.

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Dinner time would come around and I would eat with the family and then binge on junk food until I passed out. Cookies, chips, candy, a frozen pizza, maybe some pizza rolls…

And I’d kill that time with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, or Steam….

Then I’d sit around and try to figure out why I couldn’t get up early in the mornings. Why I never felt motivated to workout consistently. Why I never felt like I had any energy to do anything productive. Why I couldn’t accomplish anything I wanted to.

photo cred: Zhang Kenny

Fast-forward…

  • I eat 3 eggs, a bowl of oatmeal, have a coffee, and take vitamins in the morning.
  • Then I get in a 16oz glass of water and creatine with my workout.
  • I follow that up with a protein shake and a 12 grain slice of toast loaded with peanut butter.
  • Lunch is a steak or some type of fish with brown rice and cottage cheese.
  • I have an afternoon snack of a banana and mixed nuts
  • Then I do whatever the family does for dinner

Now don’t think I’ve reached some perfect diet of eating nasty brown rice and blah, blah, blah… that’s not it. I still have candy (Swedish Fish are the shit) and we eat out for dinner plenty (Sam’s Too chicken alfredo pizza…) but I am way more fueled than I ever was before.

And to get from there to here wasn’t as hard as it looks. It was actually quite simple because it was all about committing to small changes. Little Victories and changes in my diet, one week at a time got me from there to here.

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My first week I decided that if I wanted to get in better shape. If I wanted to accomplish more, then I was going to HAVE To eat 3 eggs every morning. I committed to it like there was no other option. I didn’t say that I should do it or that it would be a good idea. No. I flat out said to myself, “Look you lazy piece of shit… get your lazy ass together and go make 3 fucking eggs! It’s really not that hard so stop bitching about it and just do it. You HAVE TO DO IT.”

And I did it… I just didn’t give myself any other option. And I got that Little Victory. So the next day I did it again. And I got that Little Victory. And I just did it again and again and again. Then the next week came and I said, “Okay, if I want to start building more muscle, I’ve got to get more protein in my diet.” So I added in peanut butter toast at mid-morning. I took the same approach with the eggs. I gave myself no other option, I HAD To get it done.

But what about second breakfast? - hobbits second breakfast | Meme Generator
photo cred: The Internet

And this whole process was self-empowering. The more I ate better, the more energy I had, the more I could get done, and the more I could push farther on my diet, my exercise, my work, my relationships, my family. It’s the god damn circle of life!

So… if you want to get more out of your day, your year, your life. Put top-notch fuel into your rocket. Fuel up, charge up, and give yourself the best advantage you can over everyone else. Don’t try to be perfect, don’t try to do it all together at once, but buckle down and get shit done.

Start today, right now, tell yourself you HAVE TO eat a salad for lunch today. Fucking do it! It’s a salad, it’s not that hard! Do it and get your first victory. Then go do it again tomorrow. Understand that you HAVE To do this if you want to do more and it all starts with Little Victories and telling yourself that you HAVE TO DO IT.

How to Make Working Out, Work Out

Today I want to shift gears a little bit and offer some tips and suggestions to help get you started on the right path to working out. If you’ve struggled to get started, if you’ve struggled to get consistent, if you’ve watched those infomercials and thought, “There’s no way in hell….” then I’m with you. And I promise you, anyone, I mean anyone, can follow this plan and get results. No matter the age, limitation, or disability, we can all get better!

I’ve been lifting weights and doing various exercise programs since I was 15 years old, playing high school football. I’ve done P90X and a variety of other lesser known programs over the last 15 years. Yoga, Plyo, Strength Training, Conditioning, Mixed Martial Arts, Track, Football and just all around fitness based activities. Along the way I’ve picked up a few tricks that I want to share.

photo cred: Victor Freitas

My first tip is to start small. So small actually that it really is impossible to say ‘No.’ Whenever I’d fall off of my routine and I needed to get back into the groove of things it was always so difficult to convince myself to go run or go to the gym or go load up my weights and try to complete a 45 minute workout. It was damn near impossible to really convince myself to do those things. But, when I started small, and I mean really small. I could build success day after day.

A good example of this is starting with 1 pushup, 1 sit up, and 1 squat. It takes a total of 30 seconds to do it and if you do it. You’ve suddenly become 1% better. In those 30 seconds it took you to complete that routine, you’ve become 1% better. Better than you were yesterday. I use this trick anytime I fall out of my routine. No matter if I know I can do more, I start small. It all comes down to Little Victories.

My second tip is to do it every day. Consistency is key. We’ve all heard that exercise is important and we should try to get ‘x’ amount of time in for ‘y’ amount of days every week. That’s fine and all but I’ve found the theory of having ‘off’ days from your workout routine tends to make it more difficult for those ‘on’ days.

If I take a day off, it feels so much harder to get back on track the next day. I find that I tend to say, “One more day” or “I’ll skip this day and then I’ll do it the next.” Now, understand that your body needs rest and fuel but you should be rotating your exercise routines every day. So maybe you do 1 pushup, 1 sit up, and 1 squat on Monday, and then on Tuesday you walk to the corner of your block and back. Then on Wednesday you decide to do 1 jumping jack. On Thursday you decide to stretch. Friday is back to 1 pushup, 1 sit up, and 1 squat.

Remember, consistency is key. Your routine should not be the same every day and you should find a nice rotation in your routine. But get your exercise in everyday. Don’t fall into The Lie that you can workout for a day, a week, a month, and then stop and still stay in shape. If you’re going to get in shape or lose weight it has GOT to be consistent and a part of who you are for the rest of your life.

photo cred: Kike Vega

My third tip is to aim to get 1% better every workout. If last week you did 1 pushup, this week do 2. If last week you did 2 pushups, this week do 3. If last week you walked to the corner of your block, this week walk to the corner plus one more step. Every workout you should try to push more. If you don’t push more, if you don’t get your 1% better, then all that work leading up to that point was worthless. What’s the point of doing 1 pushup everyday? Don’t go into your workout with the mindset that you’re going to waste your own time. Get 1% better.

My final tip is to start today. Start right now. Read this article, put down your phone, get up and

Do 1 push up.

Do 1 sit up.

Do 1 squat.

And then you can sit back down. Tomorrow, do 1% more.

Be a Closer

It’s December 31st, you’re counting down as the ball drops on the New Year and you’re telling yourself, “Tomorrow, I’m going to get up and go to the Gym. It’s a New Year and a new me!”

Tomorrow comes, you’re pumped up, you’re excited. You pack up, head to the gym and get a great workout in. It powers you through the day and into the next!

The next day you wake up and you’re starting to feel a little sore… But that’s okay, you get up and you head to the gym again. Another great workout in the books!

The third day comes around and DAMN are you feeling sore today. Those last two work outs kicked your ass and you know what? You did so good you say, “I earned a day of rest” and you take the day off.

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The fourth day rolls around and you’re still sore. You say, “shit.. I’m still not fully recovered. I’m going to take one more day of rest.” And then the fifth day comes around… and the sixth day… the seventh…

And in one week. That new you is gone. Back to sleeping in. Back to skipping the gym.

This happens every single year, for thousands of people. And we see memes and jokes about these people, right? We see, “Brace Yourself!” memes because we all know that first week of the gym is going to be packed and we all know a few days from then it’ll be all cleared up and only the few will remain.

It’s amazing how many people can get fired up, inspired, and motivated to a level that they are willing to change their entire daily routine but they can’t close the deal. It’s amazing how many people can have a great new App idea, the next Best Seller idea, write a few pages or code a few lines and then quit.

It’s amazing how we can be so motivated to QUIT.

So I’ve been on this mission to figure out why. Why are we like this? What is it about our human nature that puts us right on this path with everything that we do? And how is it that some people don’t suffer from this sickness? How are some people living great lives, getting in great shape, making six figures, making a difference in the world?

And when I really dug in and I started looking at what some of the differences are between these people, it’s simple. It’s so simple that we just over-look why we’re not accomplishing our goals. Why we give up….

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The reality of the situation is that your motivators are shit. You’re reasons for wanting to get in shape, or for wanting to be more successful, or wanting to work harder are a joke. It’s why you’re able to start up a great new goal and then give up the first time it gets hard.

You see quitting is a habit. And when we start quitting, when we grow up and our parents let us quit because its hard or because it’s not what we thought it was, we carry this with us into adulthood. And then when our job doesn’t workout like we want, we quit. When our workout gets hard, we quit. When our marriage gets tough, we quit. And millions of us are quitters.

And there’s only one real way to change this. You have to learn to be a CLOSER.

A Closer is someone whose specialty isn’t starting new projects but closing them out. A Closer comes in and finishes strong. A closer doesn’t give up, a closer doesn’t quit, a closer closes the deal. They get it done. They push and push and push until it’s done. When you become a Closer, your life changes. When you tell yourself it’s not about starting that new workout, it’s about closing on that work out, your whole perspective changes.

photo cred: Jose Morales

And if you need help becoming that Closer. If you’re not sure how to be that person that crosses the finish line, take a look at your Why’s.

And if you say, “I know my Why’s but they still don’t seem to help me Close Out” then maybe You’re Not Getting the Point.

Compete

For a long time I’ve personally struggled with motivation and reaching the goals I really wanted in life. I never had a hard time picking something up and getting started though. I could design the best strategy, come up with the best plan, and get a huge start on achieving my goal… for a day or two…

And then I would fail… I would fall off, make an excuse, or life would throw a challenge my way and it would be enough for me to allow myself to sit back down and take a break. Any real progress I was making in life was a result of these short bursts, these small sprints of effort. And while these sprints were getting me places, they weren’t getting me anywhere for long.

Sure I could give up soda for a day or two, but then I’d cave on a weekend. I could get my workout in once or twice a week, but I couldn’t do it every day. I could work on my side project, until I hit a difficult bug that I couldn’t figure out. I could accomplish things, it was just taking me a lifetime to make it happen.

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So I’ve been on this journey to figure out why I can’t reach my goals faster. I’ve been trying to figure out why I can get started, get all fired up, and then let my flame burnout. So I looked a lot of places, read a lot of books, and did a tonne of research, but I still couldn’t find the right answer. Until I started looking in the right places.

You see, the question I was asking was, “How do you achieve your goals?” and I was asking this question openly to the world (aka I was Googling shit). What I was finding was the next new productivity fad, the next “Top 10 Things Successful People Do” list and “3 Traits of High Achievers.” These quick fix articles and bullet list posts, that are quick to read and make it seem so easy if I just do these 10 things, weren’t getting the job done.

I realized that I needed to change the question I was asking, or better yet, who I was asking. I shifted my target so instead of asking others how to achieve my goals, I started looking for others who had already achieved great things and I started asking, “What did they do?

This profoundly changed my approach to my daily life. When I started looking into what highly successful people were really doing I found one dominant trait that was leading them to success. That one trait was Competitiveness.

The top achievers of the world are all living their lives as if the next person is coming along to take their next meal out from under them. And for some, this reality is actually true. Professional Athletes, CEO’s, and Community Leaders are all living this way because it is their reality. But it’s also what is giving them an incredible boost to their drive and motivation. When you wake up, knowing you have to Outwork your Competition if your going to keep living the life you have, you see things differently.

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So how can we take this level of competition and apply it to our own lives? Is there really someone out there trying to take our spot? Are we really sitting at 1st string and the 2nd stringer is coming up right behind us? Are we really in a race but hearing the footsteps of our competition right behind us? Fuck yes we are!

This is the reason we aren’t achieving at our highest potential. It’s the reason we’re so often unsatisfied and bored, with life. It’s the reason we’re living for the weekend and dreading the week. We’ve become satisfied and lazy and just because we don’t have someone right in our face challenging us, reminding us that they are coming for us, doesn’t mean we can’t work that way.

What we need to do is really see who our competition is. Whose out there that’s already better than us at something we want to accomplish? If you want to lose weight, who do you already know or see that’s getting it done? Is it a friend? Is it someone you see on Social Media? Is it Tony on P90X showing you what’s up? Who out there is kicking your ass right now?

Find this person, and compete with them! Let them be the one that’s showing you how to get it done and then go after them! Don’t think about if you can do it or how you’ll do it. Don’t make excuses that they had a head start or that they had a better starting position in the race. The point isn’t to finish the race, it’s to Compete in the race.

If you think, that once you reach your goal, once you lose the weight and get in shape that you’re going to be done. That you can then stop working out and not end right back up where you started. That the race is over and you’ve crossed the finish line, you’re wrong. If you’re only focused on the finish line and once you reach it you stop, your fat ass is going to relapse. It’s not about the finish line, it’s not about winning, it’s about Competing.

Go out and get you some!

Outwork your Competition.

Welcome to The Hardest Work

I’ve recently become motivated to share my journey through life, my experiences, my failures, and my successes in hopes to inspire others as I’ve been inspired.

Since this is my first post I’m still working out the details of setting up this blog. I’m hoping to cover a wide variety of content and topics including:

  • Productivity
  • Motivation
  • Parenting
  • Programming
  • Fitness
  • and More!

I don’t have a set plan yet but I hope to share as much as I’ve learned about various topics and that readers of this blog can share their experiences back with me.

If you have suggestions for content or topics you’d like to hear about please let me know!