I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and that you spent some quality time relaxing. Hopefully you even read last week's Monday blog post and you have created your goals list going forward.
I have had a lot of people asking me about how to lose the holiday weight already... I have even had people asking how I don't go crazy with all the nice food over the holiday season. All these questions brought to mind a blog post that I read recently by Tony Horton. Tony has such an awesome perspective on life and his book confirmed a lot of things for me in terms of how to approach health and fitness.
Tony talks about how to Train Your Brain in order to break the habit loop and create new ones. Here is an excerpt from his post:
How Bad Habits Form
“Good” and “Bad” habits are created over time through consistent action. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit says that all habits start with what he calls, “The Habit Loop.” It’s a 3-part process that consists of a cue (or trigger,) a behavior and a reward. Over time behaviors become automated and the decision-making part of the brain can shut down to focus on other things. Think about things you do on a daily basis that have become second-nature without much thought, like driving your car, brushing your teeth or showering."
This can happen with the food you put in your mouth, and/or your habits, or lack thereof around exercise. If you are in the habit of eating bad food, and you get a reward from it, then it becomes a way of life, until you are ready to change it and start a new behavior in place of it. If you have a habit of scheduling your workouts in the evening, and you find you are too tired and tend to skip them, this becomes hard-wired in your brain.
You must take time to create new habits and take different actions, so that your brain catches on. You need to understand the reward you get from having the bad habits, so that you can shift what you are doing to include a healthier action."
Now there is no magic pill that you can take to change a bad habit or make it go away. There is consistency though, it is a whole topic that I have written about before and will continue to mention over the coming years. If you spend time each day trying to form a new habit then it will become second nature to you. You have to remember that the "reward" of triggering your pleasure centres with bad food needs to be replaced by a positive thought about the reward for your body when you eat well and exercise regularly.
"See the Change - Yes, I know it all sounds simpler than it is, and we are complex beings with a complex psychology. Just know this, you DO have the power to shift your behavior and it all starts with your awareness around the behavior, knowing what the reward is, and then making a different choice. You are the only one that can choose for you, so commit to the process and see for yourself how your consistent action trains your brain to effortlessly make better choices. Now get busy!"
If change and forming new habits is something that is really important to you then you'll act upon those desires. A lot of people talk about change but never act on it, believe me I was one of them for a looooooong time, but eventually I got tired of making promises to myself that I couldn't keep. You might be at that stage yourself, or know someone in that position, NOW is the time to kick your own butt (or the other person's) and get stuck in to making your life what you want it to be! If you'd like help in the process don't be afraid to reach out for support.
Have a great week ahead and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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Merry Christmas to one and all! I'll keep this one short and simple; we often let the festive season or special occasions stop us from achieving what we want in terms of change. How many times have you heard someone say that they'll start fresh on the Monday, or next week?
If you missed my post on Monday look back over it and you will see that there is no logical reason to put off your goals until tomorrow, start today and live it with purpose! I have two drills for you to do today. There is no excuse and I'll be very disappointed if you don't do them.
Now is the time to live and fight for what we have lost!
The first drill is ZUU in TWO:
30 SECONDS OF FROG SQUATZ TO OPEN UP THE HIPS
30 SECONDS OF BEAR CRAWLS TO MOBILSE EVERY JOINT
YOU DO TWO ROUNDZ - VIDEO BELOW
The second drill is:
20 SECONDS OF FROG SQUATZ FAST
20 SECONDS OF BEAR CRAWLZ
20 SECONDS OF JOEYZ
YOU DO 3 ROUNDZ -VIDEO BELOW
And that's a wrap! Just keep moving through Christmas day and eat a healthy meal, you'll feel better about yourself going into the weekend!
Have a wonderful day and enjoy doing the ZUU exercises, let me know how they go for you too! Add me on Facebook and post a picture or a video and tag me in it!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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The festive week is upon us and I bet that you have been preparing for finishing work, you might even be on holiday already or rushing around finalising Christmas plans. What ever you are doing, I thought I'd take the time to write today and give you some ideas that might help you in the new year.
In late 2013 I was in the middle of my weight loss and I picked up an injury, it was tough mentally because I had to rest for a whole month and manage my diet accordingly. During the December I set myself some goals to reach in 2014 and I stuck to them as much as I could.
According to the survey people, otherwise known as 'they', it would seem that in the region of 8-10% of people actually stick to their New Year's Resolutions... Why? Well I truly believe that it is because they follow a simple recipe.
So don't sit there waiting for 2016 to start, get your pen and paper now! Put your goals down on it for the year ahead. Pin it up where you will see it every day and then use another piece of paper to strategise your path towards the goals.
Here are two of my goals going forward:
My strategy towards both is to practice handstands every day and to read, research and write every day. Simple goals and simple strategy.
Here is my first part of handstand practice caught in front of a Botswana sunset.
I wrote another post on goal setting before, there is so much potential in each one of us to achieve what we want in life it is silly to squander our time. Start making progress towards your goals today to make 2016 the year for you! Have an awesome Christmas and look out for a Christmas Fitness post on Friday morning!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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Since the blog post on Monday I have travelled across the world to spend Christmas in Botswana. Technically I have gone home for a break, and it means sun, swimming and relaxing.
Often we go on holiday and put exercise on hold, we become relaxation monsters in the sense that we don't want to push ourselves too much. Now I say let us get the job done on our fitness even when we are away. Our day jobs are the thing we want to distance ourselves from, not taking care of our bodies...
My goal over this holiday is to mobilise my joints, increase my fitness level (after all the altitude in Botswana is higher than the UK) and have a happy, healthy holiday! With that in mind I thought I'd share a little drill that you can do next to the pool on a warm holiday, (or at home if you are in a colder climate) it is FUN, effective and leaves you feeling accomplished. I don't need to harp on at you about how good exercise can lower blood pressure and help to fight off the stresses and strains of everyday life. All I can say is that if you want to come back from a holiday feel refreshed and re-juvinated then these moves are for you!
I don't have a video today as the internet here would take a while to upload so I have broken the routine down into pictures! I hope you enjoy and I hope that you feel inspired to take this routine with you on holiday. Check into the Fitness page on the site in a couple of days and you'll see a 20 minute routine that you can do by the pool as well!
The moves are simple with Tabata style of training:
20 secondz of work for each move with a 10 second rest.
10 ROUNDZ EACH (So 10 rounds of Explodez, 10 Rounds of Polar Bearz
CLICK THROUGH THE SLIDESHOW TO LEARN THE MOVES!
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Have a great time working on your fitness goals over your holiday period. And remember if you are in a colder climate you only have to sacrifice the pool, you can still do these exercises in your own home!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Over the last 12 months I have been lucky enough to learn from and train with some of the most inspiring people. I think back to when I started my process to become a personal trainer; I was in a room with about 10 people I had never met before and they all looked super fit and ready to make their way in the industry. The moment easily ran away with me and I had to remind myself that each person in the room had a unique story that led them to become personal trainers.
One person who's story resonated with me was Lauren McCartney; Lauren started her move into fitness because of the person she had become. "I used to live for the weekend, going out partying and drinking, my diet consisted of anything unhealthy, dominos was always a hang over cure!"
After a while Lauren had put on some weight and became more nervous about how she looked to others. "I had developed anxiety and didn't want to go out because of the way I looked. I couldn't even eat in front of people that I didn't know because I was scared they would just see me as fat!"
Realising that it was time to change Lauren decided to do the best thing she could do, seek support. She reached out to an online company and got onto a 16 week plan which changed her life forever. "It was a rude awakening, I didn't realise how big I had actually gotten and how much my unhealthy lifestyle had caught up with me. At the end of those 16 weeks I saw how much weight I'd lost and caught the bug!"
Once Lauren had a taste of a healthier lifestyle she could see how much of a positive change it made in her life, she was able to set new goals and have a positive mission in mind. It catapulted her into a career as a personal trainer and motivator where she helps people make positive changes in their lives each week.
Lauren found a mentor in Emma Brace who is (and has been) helping her reach her goals in BodyBuilding and with her approach to eating. All these changes gave her the chance to focus on what is important to her and also meet the man she loves!
They now run a gym together in Tewkesbury - MJS Gym - http://m.mjsgym.co.uk where she plans to make people stronger and happier for years to come.
I truly admire the effort and dedication that Lauren has shown in implementing a lifestyle change, her choice to lose weight through a sensible eating plan set her up for success. So far she has gone from being 11 stone 7lbs (74kgs) down to 8 stone 13lbs and is now putting on lean muscle in a healthy positive way, building towards competitions.
"I am not saying losing weight will automatically help you find the man of your dreams but I do believe you will make better choices for yourself throughout your life. If I could give people any advice it would be: Always do it for yourself! Don't do it for any other reason other than you wanting to change your life."
As Christmas is fast approaching and the New Year's resolution beckons its important to remember that you don't have to wait for the new year to become a stronger version of yourself. Lauren is a testament to all the ladies out there who want to change the way they look and feel in a positive way but don't know where to start. She is proof that if you are unhappy with the way you feel then you have the power to change it. The journey of self discovery that change can take you on is a powerful thing and I hope that Lauren has helped you feel motivated to achieve your goals today. I wish her all the best for her goals in the future and I hope you do too.
Have a great week ahead and remember to.......
STAY STRONG AND KEEP MOVING!
We've all had those moments, we know that we should move and do something with our bodies to de-stress and feel good, especially after a long day at work; but the overwhelming desire to do nothing is easy to fall victim to. Missing a day due to our mindset can turn to two, then before we know it we are months away from our last bit of exercise.
Today this can all change for you! Let's set up a NO COMPROMISE policy when it comes to movement, it is what I set in my mind when I started training seriously at the beginning of last year. Sure I was running and exercising before to lose weight, but January 2014 was when I decided to step it up a gear and make a commitment to move with purpose in some way every day of the year. It doesn't have to be crazy, just purposeful.
The trick for me was forming a positive relationship with movement at first; trust me the last thing that you'll want to do if you have had months away from purposeful movement is to smash your body to pieces. We want to start off with a few minutes building to something bigger and better each day. This is the reason I post a workout Wednesday video on my social media each week and why so many people have told me that they are trying them out, they are short, sweet and you can do them literally anywhere!
With that said, Friday is my day to share with you a completely free mobility and heart raising drill that you can try out over the weekend. The idea is that you can take that forward into each day of the week to get you to be more active. Honestly if you can't find at least 5 minutes to flex muscles and strut your stuff then you shouldn't be complaining about feeling rubbish. If you feel like I have challenged you then you should, you are capable of amazing things and by not moving with purpose you are not fulfilling your potential!
Here's this weeks drill video below, have a great active weekend and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I hope that you have had a great weekend and you are ready for the week ahead!
A few blog posts ago I shared a story about a chap called Marc Cayeux who battled through 5 years and 27 surgeries to get back onto both feet after a car crash. You can check out his story by <CLICKING HERE> then come right back to this update!
I mentioned that Marc was set on returning to golf again at the Zimbabwe open next year however, things have moved a little quicker than I thought. Last week Marc made his return to professional golf which turned out to be an emotional and uplifting experience. He played the season finale of the IGT Pro Tour shooting good scores and most of all making the cut in his first tournament back.
“I don’t know how long it will take me to get back to winning form or if I will ever win again, but nothing is going to stop me from trying..."
Huge progress has been made in Marc's life over the last few years and I am really happy that his wife, Jana, was able to caddie for him and share the experience. I thought I'd share this positive update with you to let you know that no matter what you are facing in your life right now, things can improve; you can keep fighting each day with a positive demeanour and become the person you want to be! It all starts with a little faith in yourself and having a bit of support along the way! Life is not about winning or losing, its about showing up and doing your best each day; about living your life to fullest and feeling good about yourself and your progress when you put your head on your pillow each night.
You can follow Marc's progress over the coming months by following the link below, or you can keep checking in on these blog posts as I will be following his story with great interest! Onwards and upwards Marc!
With that said, go out there today and be AWESOME!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
(Image Credit - IGT Pro Tour Facebook)
Given that my back has been a little tender this I have decided to skip a workout video this week and focus more on some good food! It's a nifty little lunch idea that tastes awesome and fills you right up! All you need is the following:
Rye bread with a toaster
Chilli flakes and a half a lemon if you wish.
Avocado why all the hype?
Possibly one of the most awesome foods in the world. I remember as a kid I found the texture a little strange and I could only really have it with Aromat sprinkled on the top. (Turns out that Aromat is highly addictive due to all the MSG in it). Little did I know it would turn out to be a lifesaving food. I had avocado every day for the first 2 weeks of my weight loss journey.
Since changing my taste buds over the last few years and eating a more plant based diet I find I go through phases of craving different foods, sometimes it is oranges, grapes, melon and most recently avocado. Avocado has had a bad rap and people often talk about the fat content, but it grows from the earth and is a fruit to be consumed and enjoyed in it's most natural state. It is not made in a refined manner with chemicals and additives.
150 grams of avocado has around 240 calories, making it calorie dense, some of the many vitamins and minerals it contains are Vitamin A, Calcium, Vitamin C and Iron. It also makes you feel full as the fibre content is nice and high. Health benefits derived from making an avocado part of your meal plans will be: healthier skin, a stronger healthier heart and reduced inflammation. The list continues but you didn't come here for that you came to see what the concoction is... It is so simple, it's scary.
Cut your Avocado in half
I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did when I ate it! Have an awesome weekend ahead and remember that you can fight the fitness battles as much as you like in the gym and on the road or wherever you choose to train; but if you are not eating right and nourishing your body then you are setting yourself up for a fall. I have been there and got the T-Shirt, it was a XXL!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.