Yes and No

I can’t remember from whom I first heard it, but this axiom has stuck with me ever since.

“Saying ‘Yes’ to something means saying ‘no’ to something else.”

Saying ‘Yes’ to being on another board means saying ‘No’ to that evening with my wife.

Saying ‘Yes’ to that early morning political meeting means saying ‘No’ to breakfast with my girls.

Saying ‘Yes’ to taking another training course means saying ‘No’ to some needed down time.

Saying ‘Yes’ to hitting the snooze button (again) means saying ‘No’ to a much needed workout.

Saying ‘Yes’ to a glass of wine every night means saying ‘No’ to optimal fat loss.

Are any of those ‘Yes’ answers “wrong”?

It’s not a matter of right and wrong, it’s often a matter of better and best.

Can it can be flipped around too?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to more fruits and veggies mean saying ‘No’ to filling up with more bread and pasta?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to getting to training mean saying ‘No’ to the effects of disease and aging?

Does saying ‘Yes’ to talking a walk with your wife and kids mean saying ‘No’ to sitting on the couch (like I did for so many years) and staying fat and lazy?

Yes, or No?

 

Off The Scale

scaleI have to admit that I have had an unhealthy obsession with the scale. In spite of the fact it is a poor day-to-day indicator of body composition, it is a hard habit to break. Some people do just fine with it, but others let it drive them crazy. Do any of these things sound familiar?

  • You are up a pound, so you eat less that day.
  • You are down two pounds, so it’s ok to have dessert that night.
  • You are up one day, down the next, up the next two, etc., and it is driving you crazy figuring out what you are doing “wrong”.

I think most people are susceptible to thinking and feeling this way.

So what’s the solution to keeping track of our body fat (which the scale doesn’t do anyway)?

Phil Maffetone offers some great insight:

“The most practical way to monitor body fat is to not step on a scale, but rather to measure your waist. Measuring your waist is easy, and most people already know if they have gained body fat because their pants fit too tightly or they have had to increase their pants size. If you want to be more accurate, get a tape measure and wrap it around your waist at the level of the belly button, keeping the tape parallel. But don’t do this every day. Just as with the obsession of daily scale weigh-ins, this only contributes to mental-emotional stress we can all do without. This added stress can contribute to fat storage, too. Instead, measure your waist once a month on the same day and time (in the morning before breakfast works well).”

You know the interesting thing is I have a MyoTape sitting on my dresser, and until recently I have chosen to ignore it all too often. I really would rather play “the scale game” than know the truth – is my waist line getting bigger, shrinking, or staying the same? It has always been an accurate indicator of my bodyfat, so for the past 3 months I have been checking it every other week to see what’s going on.

As far as weighing yourself? Research indicates that Wednesdays are the most accurate day of the week. The same research correlates regular weigh-ins as aiding in weight loss, and once a week on Wednesdays seems to be the best.

Taking Action:

  1. Don’t feel like you have to weigh yourself every day. Use the indicators above to see if it’s actually counterproductive.
  2. Measure your waistline at least monthly, I prefer every two weeks.
  3. Weigh yourself and log on Wednesdays.

Remember: Obsessing leads to Second Guessing which leads to Stressing. Let’s break the cycle.

 

Don’t Wait To Stop Procrastinating

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

Or was it the other way around?

Heck, I can’t remember, I’ll look it up later. 🙂

Seriously though, did you know there is a “brain” reason why we tend to procrastinate?

Why eating the doughnut right now is much more desirable than fitting into your wedding dress in 6 months?

The good news is there is way we can start to break that vicious cycle.

Click here now (not later) and read how “Two Harvard Professors Reveal One Reason Our Brains Love to Procrastinate”

 

 

“Tired of starting over?”

We just recently finished a 6-week nutrition challenge at the gyms my wife and I own.

I have a love-hate relationship with short term challenges like these.

On the one hand they are awesome for getting people to focus on some changes they need to make in order to reach their goals.

On the other hand there is a “end” to the challenge, and that can be problematic. As soon as the challenge is over, for many there tends to be a gradual (or sometimes not so gradual) regressions back into old patterns of eating.

Which brings me to Shia LaBeouf’s monologue posted below.

While he make look a little crazy saying the words, what he actually says is some of the best advice I have ever heard.

What he says at the end is what caught my attention the most.

It applies to 6-week challenges, and so much more.

“If you’re tired of starting over, Stop, giving, up.”

Action Before Motivation

In conversations with my coaching clients we talk about “Outcome Goals” and “Behavior (or process) Goals”.

An outcome goal might be “Lose 20 pounds”.

The behavior or process goal is in reality the action that it is going to take to get there. “I will plan every meal, eat protein with every meal, and eat vegetables with every meal.”

Process goals are ACTION oriented.

We must DO something if we want to get somewhere.

This may sound like heresy, but motivation is really irrelevant. Nobody is motivated all the time.

It’s the results of taking action that creates motivation.

It looks like this:

Action —> Motivation —> More Action —> Consistency —> Results (Thanks Jen Sinkler!)

Here’s another “secret”. Make your action steps so easy to do you can’t possibly not do them.

It’s not about the volume of action you take, it’s the consistency of what you can really do that counts.

One action consistently done is better than 10 actions done 10% of the time.

What action can you take today to create the results you want?

 

 

 

How Do You Know?

How do you track your progress?

How do you know your behavior goals are leading to your outcome goals?

Outcome goals are pretty easy to track.

You want to lost 20 pounds? You step on the scale every so often and it’s pretty easy to tell if you have achieved that outcome.

But tracking your process goals (action steps) is even more powerful, because as we discussed previously, it is consistent action that will lead to the outcome.

So are you tracking your action steps?

Use this chart to create and track your action steps.

action step tracking-page-001

Don’t worry about filling in all seven, it’s not how many actions steps you have, it’s how many you do.

Create as few as possible, one is a great start.

Every day you complete your action, give yourself an “X”. At the end of the week you are shooting for 90%.

Start tracking those actions!

Click Here for the Action Step Tracking chart in .pdf format

Organized and Prioritized

In what ways do you organize your life?

I think that is a better question than “Are you an organized person?”

If you were to look at my desk you would conclude I am not very organized.

However if you were to take a peek inside my training log or food journal, you would probably conclude I am highly organized.

So which is it?

Am I an organized person or not?

I am organized in the areas of my life that are really important to me.

Date nights with my wife and outings with my kids are on my calendar.

My training logs are written and logged.

I know what I am going to eat for the day.

Business meetings are prepared for in advance.

The desk? Not as high on my priority list, so it’s not as highly organized.

Don’t put yourself in a box. The “organized” or “no organized” box.

Understand you only have so much time and energy to get things done.

So figure out your priorities.

And spend your time being organized there.

 

No Limits

What are the limits you are placing on yourself?

If you have 20, or 30 or 50 pounds to lose, do you have the expectation that it will happen?

Your answer either way guarantees nothing, but having the expectations of success will likely create the action that leads to it.

Conversely if you expect nothing you will surely receive it.

Don’t let that voice in your head limit what you can do. It is just as easy to tell yourself you can do it as it is to tell yourself you can’t.

I tell myself I can’t only when what I really mean is I don’t want to.

The quote below sums up why I love being a coach:

“If we can help just one person refuse to accept false limits, we’ve made a contribution. If we can give people the education, the tools and the access they need to reach their goals, we’ve made a difference. And if we can help erase the systemic stories, traditions and policies that push entire groups of people to insist on less, we’ve changed the world. ” – Seth Godin

No limits.

Consistency

Consistent action, concordant with our goals, is key to real progress.

We want to complicate things too much.

Some of us are worse than others.

For example I often hear that “I am bored” with eating chicken, fish, and beef.

Aside from the fact there are thousands of ways to prepare the aforementioned foods, is that really the problem?

Or are we creating a problem because we don’t want to get down to the hard work of being consistent, for long enough, to see measurable progress?

 

What’s the big deal about “Mindset”?

“It starts in the mind”

“You have to believe it to achieve it”

“It’s all in your head”

True or False?

In her book “Mindset”, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck writes about the “Fixed” vs. “Growth” mindset.

Look at the graphic below (from Precision Nutrition Level 2 coaching course).

Can you see where it all begins?

A fixed mindset looks at intelligence as static, with the desire to look smart as the driving focus.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, views intelligence as something that can be developed, which in turn leads to a desire to learn.

Look at the graphic.

Can you identify your “mindset tendency”?

What is the benefit of one over the other?

fixed versus growth mindset