Happy Easter Monday to you! Whilst a lot of people may have seen and heard the news reports about Eddie Izzard completing 27 marathons in 27 days there is another human completing a much more gruelling challenge at the moment.
I believe what Eddie Izzard has done is fantastic feat of mental and physical strength, but if you have been following this blog for a while you'll have read my post about the 401 Challenge - if you haven't read it then click here, have a read then pop back over to this tab and keep reading.
Ben Smith has been running a marathon each day for 209 days now, that's a total of 5476 miles, which is almost the distance between London and Rio! As well as raising money for two charities Ben is bringing running clubs and people together from all walks of life, it is a tremendous undertaking and if you have some time to check out his website then click here to be inspired by his journey!
The coolest part about his challenge is that you can join in too, I was speaking to a friend at the gym recently about the 401 challenge and we have decided to go and join Ben for a run on the 8th of April in Stratford Upon Avon. I have never run a marathon, but I'd like to go along, run for as long as I can and have a bit of banter along the way. If you'd like to join in then feel free to get in touch and we'll arrange to meet there!
You don't have to look far to find inspiring, good people in this world, there's a good chance if you are reading this on a train, plane, at work or even at home you'll be in the vicinity of someone who has a story worth telling; an experience that can bring people together and appreciate all that is good in this world. This week make this your goal - discover something new and truly interesting about someone you don't know very well.
Annnnnd don't forget to add good purposeful exercise into the goal as well!
Have a great week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Today I thought that the week should end well for everyone that comes in reading distance of this blog post. (You might even be reading this a year from now and hopefully it will help you refocus.) It is safe to say that no matter who we are, or where we are in life right now we have all faced some kind of hardship. Hardship may be self inflicted or just unfortunate, that doesn't make any form of hardship more superior to others.
I was in a very dark place in my mind a few years back, I couldn't see a future for myself, I kept waiting to my future to arrive in a package at the front door. Unfortunately Amazon don't deliver hopes and dreams, nevertheless I kept waiting for them to come and find me. Truth be told, you can't sit around and wait to get through the tough times, you have to pick yourself up and just try to make those small steps each day towards some form of betterment. It took me a long time to realise that, and I often think that the destination of wellness in my mind was so far away it distracted me from the amazing journey ahead.
That's why my slogan is STAY STRONG and KEEP MOVING and that is why I share my ramblings, because I believe that if there is a beacon out there then at least it might help to guide some people out of the hardships and into a better place.
I found my beacon in movement; being able to move with more purpose each day gave me the drive to pursue a healthier life, it brought back the hunger for me to be the best I can be. I don't want you to think that I share my story of weight-loss for the purpose of praise, far from it. I share it because I want you to see that I'm just a normal person who took a few steps in the right direction and kept moving. I have absolutely loved the journey so far, and you know what? I'm less concerned about the destination now than I have been in the past.
Moving with purpose gave me my life back, I hope you can always look to this blog for inspiration when times get tough! Here's a video to end the week, if you'd told me two years ago that I would be able to move as freely as I am in the video I would have laughed at you. It just goes to show that consistency and good work ethic towards your goals can pay off, now go out there and have fun over the long Easter weekend!
As promised for you lovely folks that read my blog posts I have compiled an outline of my seminar on Saturday! Can I get a 'WOOP WOOP?' Now I know that an in your mind you may have gone 'WOOP WOOP!' But research has shown that to make you smile, even if you are having a really terrible day, you NEED to say 'WOOP WOOP' really loud and do it three times in a row. Try it now, and I bet you'll smile! Don't worry I'll wait....
Anyhoo, I started the seminar off talking about the weight that I had lost, I spoke about the multiple times that I have lost weight in my life. If you're just joining the Raw Motion Fitness blog brigade then I highly recommend you check out my story here.
After the story about how I became a 22 stone (140 kilo) monster, I spoke about my strategy to overcome the mindset I was in. There were three things that I focused on and I have covered them before in previous blog posts.
That is the abbreviated version for you, I hope that some of it helped and hit home. Maybe you'll find it helpful for someone you know... Maybe it will plant a seed in your mind to help you towards tomorrow! Either way the fact that you have read this far is something I am very grateful for.
Have a great week ahead and don't forget to STAY STRONG and KEEP MOVING!
When I was living in Woolwich (London) in 2013 I would sometimes have to avoid suspended services and take the DLR train from Woolwich station, across the Thames. It was always quite a pleasant route, and each time I would travel on the train I would stare out the window at the huge Tate & Lyle Sugar plant on the river.
I would think about all the homes around the plant, the jobs and infrastructure that the factory would have created; towards the latter part of 2013 all I could think about was how damaging their product was and still is on the health of the world. I would think about how quitting sugar was harder for me than quitting smoking! Just the sight of the building is enough to make you think that it is a nuclear power plant rather than a food plant.(HA! Food plant, oh the irony!)
All of this rambling has a point, and I'll share that with you now; basically I am very much on the fence about this whole 'Sugar Tax' issue. I have read a lot of people's opinions saying that they are for the tax and others saying that another tax is ludicrous.
In light of the last few weeks on this blog you'd think that I'd be quite happy, but realistically there are a few things I think about when I hear the word "TAX."
If I can add my 2 cents to the whole equation, I call for a boycott off all sugary and fizzy drinks! I call for everyone to question the preservatives and additives in each item they drink, from the high street coffee shop to the major supermarket. If it is not a cold pressed juice from natural ingredients or nice fresh spring/ mineral water then be honest with yourself and ask yourself why you are drinking it!
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts!
Have a great weekend, STAY STRONG and KEEP MOVING!
Howdy there and a big happy Friday to you!
I hope that you have had a fantastic week and that you have been moving with purpose this whole week. I wanted to close out the week with an announcement.... Insert drum roll here..... I will be holding a weight-loss seminar on Saturday the 19th of March at Virgin Active in Solihull! Is that a "Whoop Whoop" I hear?
My aim with the seminar is to reach as many people as possible and let them know that lifestyle changes don't have to be scary; that collectively we can make the world a happier and healthier place. It just takes one person to light the way and many more will follow!
Now I realise that this might not be ideal location for everyone that reads this blog, especially if you are reading this somewhere other than the UK. Have no fear, I will be doing a summary of the seminar in a separate blog post on the same day.
Have a great weekend ahead and if you are interested in coming to the seminar then please reach out and let me know, using the form below.
Over the last year the topics covered on this blog have ranged from goal setting to breathing techniques to self doubt and motivational stories that have engaged and connected people from around the world. I hope that this post can add quality to your life and hopefully the lives of others as I strive to continue to write articles that resonate with people.
The other day I was doing some reading about cognitive behavioural therapy and a few techniques that one therapist is using relating to the field of positive psychology. I thought that sharing them with you could be the best way for you to start your week.
The concept is about developing an attitude of gratitude; being grateful has been linked to more happiness, better health, better sleep, less anxiety and kinder attitudes towards others. If you think about it, just by being able to read this blog post you should be grateful, not because you are reading my wise words... That goes without saying! ;-) But because you have a computer, tablet or a smart phone. There are people in the world right now who don't even have shoes for their feet.
There are two techniques below that you can use to help develop an attitude of gratitude and it might help you re-align your thoughts and become more positive.
I'd be very interested to hear what you are grateful for, and as a personal trainer I believe that the two techniques above coupled with some purposeful movement each day (even if it is just a 30 minute walk) will have a profound affect on the way that you feel.
You have the power to change your life today, so go out there, be positive, STAY STRONG and KEEP MOVING.
I woke up this morning to several top story news reports about the negative affects of tackling in rugby in schools in the UK. BBC news reported that, "More than 70 doctors and academics are calling for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in UK and Irish schools." - BBC Article -
My question is simple: HAS THE UK GONE MAD?
This topic being raised has made me so angry that I decided to write an extra piece this week.
I am in no way saying that the doctors are wrong about the injuries and rates of recovery in kids. I am not trying to dispute their evidence. All I am asking is that we take a step back for a minute and look at the situation that is being blurted all over the media.
These doctors are creating yet another barrier to entry for kids; parents are now going to look at the news and think twice before signing their kids up to certain sports. To me it is not about the injuries it is about where we draw the line as reasonable human beings. Soon it will be far too unsafe to let the kids go outside of the house because they might put their foot down on the ground, I mean, we all know that movement and contact with the ground combined with gravity can cause long term use of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We wouldn't want that now would we?
The most absurd thing to me is that 70 medical professionals have backed an open letter in the hope that the petition gets enough signatures and is passed for debate with MPs. Yet these are the same people that could be writing an open letter to MPs about the unhealthy way that processed foods and fizzy drinks are marketed to children.
Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful that we are trying to help kids have a better (injury free) future but where is the open letter by 70 health professionals calling for a ban on sugary treats at tuck shops? Where is the letter calling for a ban on the sale of highly processed and fast food to children? Where is the letter calling for a ban on chemicals being added to food to reduce the cost? Where is the letter calling for more PE lessons in school with fun, low impact exercises to help kids move more? I could rattle off 100 more questions before getting to the question about safe rugby tackling.
I guess my rant today is more about trying to see the bigger picture, yes I believe in safe an effective exercise for everyone. Yes kids might get injured playing sport, but we could also get injured walking down the stairs in the morning, we are creating what I call a 'cotton wool' culture in this country. Everything is regulated to provide safety, but are we focused on the wrong types of safety at the moment?
Im interested to hear your thoughts!
Stay strong and keep moving!
A big happy Monday to you, I hope that your day is filled with purposeful movement and laughter! I have a pretty big secret that I'd like to share with you today.... Well it is kind of a secret, certainly something that I never thought would be a problem. I have become addicted to technology, to being connected. Shocking right? But seriously I have become accustomed to checking my phone way too often - sometimes at 3am after visiting the toilet I lie there checking my phone with one eye open - and you know what? I feel like my attention span is so limited as a result.
That being said I made an executive decision in my life a few days ago and I turned the majority of notifications off on my phone. I know, I'm now living dangerously! I figured it would be less distracting and I would be able to focus more on the world around me. It has worked out really well, I feel like I am more attentive, however, there is still the slight lingering fear of missing out, A.K.A - FOMO.
I can't quite decide if it is comforting or worrying that on my break the other night there were 5 members of staff all sitting reading their phones, myself included, or that when I got on the bus yesterday I looked around and everyone was on their phone, heads down staring at palms. I'm leaning toward the idea that we are becoming so connected that we are forgetting ourselves.
In 2012 it was said that smartphones, especially email to smartphones, has added at least two hours to the work week. Whilst all of this technology is amazing, I know a lot of people who find the constant buzzing, bleeping and need to be connected very stressful. So how do we solve this problem? How do we stay connected but control ourselves?
Well, I believe the best way of finding balance this out is setting aside a quiet 10/15 minutes each day to sit, or lie down with eyes closed and BREATHE. The more technical term would be diaphragmatic breathing, taking deep controlled breaths to relax the mind, ultimately reducing anxiety. This technique is similar to meditation and can help to relieve tension and stress, not only that but if you look at the routines of very successful people, you'll find they always make time for meditation.
Add this to your routine for a whole week I can guarantee that you'll feel more calm and in control, this will ultimately lead to better decision making and a healthier lifestyle. Sounds simple right? That's because it is simple; I quoted Kate Corcoran in one of my previous blog posts. "If we don't make time for health, we have to make time for sickness." That includes our brains melting from information overload!
If we can create some time each day to channel our thoughts and breathe then we are opening up a world of possibilities. I am not just writing this for you, I am writing this for me too. It is crucial for us to progress in life no matter what we do, if we allow distractions to cloud our judgement and thoughts then we will find it harder to move forwards. When our minds are more balanced we can find that intrinsic motivation to chase the dreams that we have, to do the things we want with our lives!
I challenge you to try it out this week, who knows, you might learn something awesome about yourself in the process.
Have a great, peaceful week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.