The first question to ask yourself is, does the body work as a bunch of individual systems working coincidentally at the same time? Or does it consist of a continuous bunch of interconnected systems that feed off each other? It is definitely the second option of the two. Why do I bring this up? This helps us understand how small changes can team up to create major ones.
My favorite example of this is Tom Brady, its just such a great example to use. I know I know, none of us are NFL players and Tom’s jawline rivals even mine! The way I am using this is the obsessive level that he takes care of his body. Could we all be like Tom if we had millions of dollars and our own team of cooks, shoppers, and nutritionists? Maybe I suppose, but those are just parts to the overall puzzle. When you break it down what has Tom really done to become the first quarterback to start in the league over the age of 40? Forget about the ability to read the defense and all that, I just mean on simply a health and fitness level. Here are the secrets…ready for this? He puts NOTHING in his body that has been show to cause inflammation, he hydrates, and he exercises…BOOM!
This is the part that’s important to consider, is it one specific part of his diet that leads to 100% of his health? No of course not, each little step builds on the others. For example, is the fact that he doesn’t eat nightshades alone going to lead to incredible performance? Not its not, but you combine that with no sugar, no dairy, perfect hydration, and what do you get? Amazing health. That’s why its important to look at health as a full picture made up of a lot of parts. If you take a multivitamin is it going to help you? Yes some, but will it help you to the same degree as if you take a multi, fish oil, and eat supportively? No it won’t. This is the reason why many of us have been told “take vitamin B for energy”, and then we take it and feel not different. While its true vitamin B helps with energy production, it isn’t effective if you aren’t eating the foods to support it. Remember the body works in unison, to give yourself the best chance at a fully healthy life find things that work together to get you there.
My brain never stops, I feel like you all realize that by now after reading some of these posts. Randomly stuck in traffic on my way to get coffee the other day I was annoyed at the traffic and the other drivers. On my way to get coffee that I wasn’t really all that stoked about. This is what started my thought process, why am I going to get coffee?
I know from experience that when I kick the coffee completely I actually end up with WAYYYYYY more energy on a consistent basis and I don’t miss the taste one bit. I have always had a pretty high tolerance to caffeine so I don’t see the big uptick in energy that most do anyways. However after not having it for a couple weeks I have a couple nights where I coach mornings, or a quick turn around (coach the night before then again the next morning), or just rack up a couple nights where I don’t sleep well and all the sudden I have 1 coffee and I’m right back on the train. Why though? I just said I don’t miss the taste, I know I have more energy without it, so why?
I realized that its not the actual coffee, just like when you drink its not because you love the taste of vodka shots. It’s about what that time represents, the social aspect even. Maybe your coffee is what gets you out of your chair and out of the building at work for 20 minutes. Maybe it’s something that you and some friends do every day, maybe you just like delaying your ride to work another 5 minutes each day. Maybe you just always have had a coffee while you sit and read the paper in the morning and it just feels weird and less cathartic without it. This doesn’t just apply to coffee, maybe its ice cream in the summer, maybe its cigarettes for any of you that smoke or have smoked before.
You all know, for the most part, what types of things you struggle with daily that are not supporting your goals. I encourage you to not look at the food, action, whatever it is itself, look at your behavior when you have it. What are you doing, how do you feel at the time, who are you with, what sensation is that time creating for you? When in doubt take a step back and look at the entire picture, the first step to breaking a pattern is finding it in the first place.
Not too long ago we did a new warm up in the gym. It was a series of getting up and down off of the floor. I think it is really important to remind you and dive deeper into the “why” behind those drills. It is a drill that we just cannot take for granted. This is a life skill that we CANNOT lose as we mature. Many of you know someone who took a digger and watched their life change dramatically.
You want to know a scary statistic? 28,000 deaths occur each year due to falls or fall related injury. 28,000! That is a huge number. You know what I bet is an even bigger number? How many people do you think ended up in a nursing home because of a fall related injury? I know of several. Training ourselves how to fall and how to get back up might be the most important skill of them all.
These drills may feel silly while you are doing them, but to tell you the truth, they can save your life. Maybe you are wondering what the point of having our left hand on our left knee was or our right hand on our right knee…let me explain that better…aside from a few laughs there is a genuine purpose there.
Picture this…You have a stroke, you are alone, the whole left side of your body is limp, but you still need to call for help. Can you pick yourself up off of the floor and get the help that you need? Maybe that is a morbid image, but it is a possible scenario.
Do not take for granted your ability to get up and down off of the floor and don’t let that skill get away from you. We have to practice it. If nothing else then maybe it will motivate you to be able to get up and down off of the floor to play with your grand-kids!
I don’t believe in too old, because I see people training in here, lifting heavy weights and totally beasting it in their 80’s. You’re not too old and neither are they! Keep training hard, because these are the skills that will help you age with grace and keep your independence!
Make it Happen,
You don't want to miss this article by Josh Hillis, one of my friends in the fitness industry. He is an really cool guy, and offers some really important insights.
I saw a lot of myself in his article from back in the day when I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, and a very unhealthy body to prove it.
The take home for me is this:
It's about picking your battles.
I talk and write about it often. Fitness and lasting weight loss is a LONG game. One day is not going to make or break your long term results. Yet I too have been guilty of being "that guy" - trying to make every Thanksgiving dish the absolute healthiest version it could be, and making everybody else suffer along with me.
Mistake number one is focusing on Thanksgiving DAY, while ignoring the rest of November and December. Josh describes the behaviors of people like me, who failed at weight loss for so many years as missed opportunities. We "miss the opportunities to mindfully and intentionally enjoy more food with friends and family. Instead (we) eat more mindlessly at times when it doesn't really add much enjoyment to (our) lives"
Boom - hit me right between the eyes.
But he is exactly right. As my relationship with food has improved, the thing that allows me to maintain a 100 pound plus weight loss is what I do daily, not one or two days a year. So while you don't have to intentionally overeat on Thanksgiving day, relax just a little.
Mistake number two is too often focusing on everything around me that is going wrong, instead of continually practicing gratitude. Full disclosure: I am writing this article a day after I caused myself to have a horrible day (which never affects just me) by doing this very thing - focusing on everyone that was going wrong, irritated me, and ultimately I could not control. Yes, I can be really dumb.
For most of us gratitude does not come very naturally. We must continually PRACTICE. Recent studies have shown that expressions of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods, and our social life.
Robert A Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis and Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to one of three tasks. Each week participants wrote a short passage in their journal. One group described five things they were grateful for the previous week, another group recorded five daily hassles that had aggravated them, and the last group was asked to list five circumstances that affected them, but were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative, Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25% happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and even exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.
Coach Nancy has written a very practical guide, "3 Simple Steps to Practicing Gratitude", which we have compiled into a short but beautiful e-book you can download and refer to.
Just like any other habit or skill, you gotta get in your reps.
I'd be grateful if you would download a copy here. 🙂
I want to take this opportunity to share gratitude.
To my wonderful wife Nancy, who keeps me around in spite of me.
To my kids still in the house; Andrew, KJ, and Amy, who didn't sign up to be kids of busy entrepreneurs, but who bring so much joy into my life.
To my "grown up kids" and their families; Tim, Deb and Lexi, and Jeff, Kimberley, Jack and Janie. I am proud of you and love and miss you.
To the incredible team at Get Fit NH; Meagan, Adam, Brian, Lars and Becky. Never mind can't do it without you - don't want to do it without you. You guys are the best.
To my coaches and friends in the industry, which are too numerous to name, but I'll give you a few; Nick, Kelly, Ryan, Dave, Tom, J-Mark, Anthony, Julie and Brad. To the gang in Watchtower. Thank-you for being there for me.
To my Get Fit NH family, what can I say? The incredible people who we get to coach every day, who we laugh and cry with, sweat with and struggle with. Thank-you. If you are reading this, you are part of that family too, so thank-you.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
When I say generalized statistics, Im talking about someone telling you that “50% of people will get ____________ in their lifetime”, everyone should eat 2000 calories a day, for everyone exercise is more important than diet. We are the most diverse species of animal on the planet; there is no other animal that has such huge differences from one member of the species to another. Yet we constantly hear generalizations based on groups of people. “A group of 1000 people over the age of 35 were surveyed and 50% have experienced a heart attack”. A study is put together and then those numbers are publicized or taken as gospel by people, medical profession or not, and what happens? Everyone over the age of 35 thinks they have a 50/50 shot of getting a heart attack.
Why do I bring this up? For this reason, it is important to remember that anything with science is almost never applicable perfectly from one person to another. 50% of the people in said study had a heart attack, does that mean that if you are over 35 you are automatically 50/50? Of course not, group statistics show 50% but if you pull an individual out of that group their risk will either be higher or lower than 50%.
I hate generalized statistics because they don’t tell the whole story. They lead people on the wrong path or make them feel awful about themselves or their situation when that number MAY NOT APPLY TO THEM PERSONALLY AT ALL!!!! So the next time that someone tells you that your chances of success are 50%, your chances of doing this or that are only 50%, that you only need 2000 calories a day because that’s what is recommended for all people, remember that all of us are different. Things that work for some will not work for others. Don’t let group generalizations cause you to feel you have failed or have no control over your life. The fact remains that the only person who can decide that is you.-Coach Adam
Anyone who knows me well would read this would surely think “is that Adam really writing this?”. I have a very bad habit of jumping to the first negative conclusion about myself, or when something happens in my life. The funny thing about it is that when it comes to others I am very much the opposite. So while some may not believe me when I say this, I can tell you it is true. A lot of good can come out of problems from the past. It’s all about learning to recognize patterns in your life. It is not a simple thing to take a step back and look at a problem from different angles at the time, but once you are further removed, a lot of great information can be gained.
For example, lets say you have trouble at night with eating foods that do not support your goals. You eat it, you feel upset about it and maybe even angry with yourself for indulging. You can learn a lot from those days believe it or not. What happened that day? Did you not eat all day then felt ravenous when you got home? Was it a particularly stressful day? Over time patterns emerge that when realized, can be broken.
I had a pretty bad back injury recently and am realizing just how much I learned from it. That knowledge is now helping me help others with somewhat similar problems. It is hard to see the good in a difficult or stressful situation while it is happening. However if you find yourself falling into the same cycle over and over, it may be time to take a look back and think “how can this happening before, keep me from making the same mistakes now?” or “what strategies did I try last time that worked, and which didn’t?” that may be the key to course correcting. The past is filled with useful information and patterns that can show you how to proceed, all it takes is the time to look.
Every Friday the Get Fit NH team does what is called a weekly review. This is a tool Coach Dean introduced a number of months ago to help us (coaches) to pat ourselves on the back for what we did well this week and set our week up for the following week. This tool was implemented to help us “turn work off” on the weekends.
This tool has proven to help my productivity tremendously and I believe everyone could benefit from this tool. If not for work, then just for self-reflection. Here is my challenge to you…
Each Friday, write down:
This simple exercise is a great way to get your head clear going into the weekend and getting your week set up for success.
Who is up for the challenge?
Did you ever have one of those days where you are wondering why the universe is against you? Your car is making a funny noise, inspection month is coming up, and oh look identity theft! Clearly your life totally sucks so what better way to treat frustration than with binge watching Netflix with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s during your training hour...
Okay, that was an excessive illustration. Obviously I was having too much fun with that, but you get my point!
Obsessing! You cannot change what IS! You cannot change the fact that your car broke down or you ate like garbage last week or you missed an entire week of training because of work commitments. You cannot change it, you can only learn from it!
Maybe this will hit home with what I am trying to get across- you cannot change the fact that your doctor diagnosed you with diabetes or put you on medication for high blood pressure or anxiety. You cannot change that, but you can sure as heck learn from it and DO SOMETHING about it! If you don’t like the outcome then it is time to make a change.
Keep doing the same thing that left you with a negative outcome. Do what you always did, get what you always got! That is what my favorite coach, Martin Rooney, says! You know the definition of insanity, right? If not, look it up. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I used some examples that can be genetic. Maybe the outcome will not be totally reversed, but it can most definitely be improved! Nutrition and training control a lot more than looking good naked (no offense!).
Throwing in the towel. So you got some bad news? You are mad because you have been doing EXACTLY what you should have been doing, right? Training, eating supportively, taking your vitamins, sleeping well, etc and BOOM pre diabetic! Well, a lot of good this has been doing you, right? What the heck! Might as well go on a sugar bender since all the veggies are trying to kill me!
Slow your roll! You have a team of coaches ready to talk you down and get you on the right path. You are not in this alone. Bad news totally stinks, but you can’t leave yourself in a puddle of sorrow. You can’t change the cards that have been handed to you right away. It takes time and it takes consistency and commitment.
If you don’t like where your health is headed, then do something about it! We are here to help you get to training, train smart, train hard, be consistent, eat well, sleep well, get educated and get results! Everyone needs a coach and don’t ever forget that!
Give high fives more often!
Here’s your challenge this week: Give out 21 high fives this week. That is 3 high fives a day. Real ones - actually slap hands with a friend, colleague, spouse, kid or fellow Get Fitter.
I think high fives are underestimated. When someone does something GREAT, they deserve that encouragement. When someone shows they are PROUD, they deserve excitement from you too. When someone is struggling, but pushes through they deserve recognition and enthusiasm.
I was reminded of how far a high five goes after observing the sled push for our August movement challenge. The energy in the room was unreal. Every single person in line was clapping, cheering and encouraging whoever was pushing the sled. When this kind of encouragement takes place it gives me goose bumps. It makes me so happy to see so many amazing people on the same mission and encouraging others. After the sled push, the one pushing the sled received well deserved high fives from those around. I took a minute to observe the change on their face when high fives were received and it was a truly proud and accomplished look. Like they were part of a big giant supportive family and they were proud to be here. I just happen to know that one of these people needed those high fives that day and it made a huge difference in their day and their attendance the rest of that week.
You may think it is silly, but your high five could go much farther than you even know. That is why I want to challenge you to celebrate success and encourage those around you. Everyone needs a high five sometimes.
There is a reason that often I am so acute at picking it up when someone is all up in their own head, when they put themselves down, when they think they aren’t good enough, not strong enough… just overall disappointed and negative towards themselves. That, ladies and gentleman, is because I am the biggest head case you will ever meet. I constantly have those thoughts and it can cause major damage, which is why I can see it in others. I say that to tell you this story about how that ruined something I may never see again in my lifetime.
For all of you that watched the Super Bowl this past year, let me tell you how it went down on my end. Patriots trail 28-3 and the only reason I haven’t thrown the remote at the TV is because I am at a friend’s house and it’s not my TV. Next play is a long pass down the sidelines completed to Julio Jones. That’s it, I’m done, so angry, so upset that I get up, leave and go home to go to bed. I’m woken up by a call saying they are coming back and I should turn on the game. I refuse because:
#1. I don’t believe that they will come back
#2. I think that because I’m not watching it is part of the reason they are coming back, like I am not allowed to see it if they do well (convinced I’m a head case yet?)
#3. I’m stubborn, I made the decision to leave and not watch so I wasn’t getting up
How’d that turn out for me? Just missed maybe the greatest Super Bowl ever. Putting yourself in that headspace has real consequences. You never know what amazing thing you may miss out on. It could be a vacation you didn’t go on, a friend you didn’t make the time to see when they were in town, or some junk you ate because you were so mad at yourself you figured why bother?
Don’t let it come to that. At the time, you may think you aren’t missing out on something. However, once you miss it, you can’t go back. I can never really see that game, never feel the emotion, the excitement. I can watch the replay but I will never be able to feel the connection the way all of you who watched the game did. I know to some of you it’s just football, but it could have just as easily been any number of other things I missed out on. Don’t let it happen to you.