You can't move forward unless you let go of what's behind you.
So, I've decided to do a Spartan Race.
Probably one of the craziest decisions I've made in a while. Running 3 miles and encountering (read demolishing) 15+ obstacles; walls, rope climbs, monkey bars, MUD, barbed wire, ICE, and more MUD. Did I also mention Burpees? And this I do for fun. (If you want to join me and a couple other crazies, it's August 11 in Portland).
Why do I tell you this? Part of the training includes the monkey bars and rings. When I was in grade school and middle school I LOVED them. Truth be told, I still love climbing onto the bars and sitting atop a playground, swinging through the bars and hanging from my knees. But what I don't love? Going hand over hand, bar to bar, ring to ring. That's just HARD! But the only way to avoid the mud and water below and the Burpees from not finishing the obstacle is to complete the bars, complete the rings. One at a time, hand over hand.
There's a catch though. You have to let go of the ring behind you to get to the one in front of you.
"Wow! Leslie. That's not rocket science," you might be thinking. And you'd be right.
But it's scary as all get out!
Ok, ok, I'm not 'afraid' of the mud, the water OR the Burpees.
I'm afraid of failing, of disappointing myself and my team. Afraid I don't have what it takes. Afraid I'm not really a 'warrior Spartan.'
So, I practice. I've been doing more pull-ups, more upper body exercises, more core work. I'm trying to develop a stronger grip and thickening my calluses. It's really crazy because, in reality, the race doesn't really matter. Hundreds of people will be running alongside (and past) me. Most will be better than me. So, why do it?
To learn to 'let go'. To leave behind the known. To let go of my 'safety net'. To lean heavily on my teammates so we can accomplish together what is difficult to do alone. This is a profoundly personal challenge for me. And it scares the heck out of me.
What about you? What are YOU holding onto? What is hanging right in front of you that, if you just let go and reach out, you can have it? I'm asking you to name it today and, if you like, share that with someone. Out loud.
I'm going to be a Spartan!! AROO!
I know you've all seen the warning. It's everywhere and it shouts at you with danger in its tone. "DON'T EAT THIS IF YOU WANT A FLAT BELLY!"
What is this horrible, fat laden, health sucking, disease laden food?
But what's more unbelievable is how many people get sucked into this myth.
A banana is GOOD FOR YOU. "Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper." Check out this chart from the website, theWorld's Healthiest Foods.
vitamin B60.43 mg254.3very good
vitamin C10.27 mg142.3good
I hear the argument brewing now. "But aren't bananas full of SUGAR? Simply put, not really. There are 14g of sugar in a medium banana (7" - 7 7/8"). And the sugar in bananas is fructose which is naturally found in fruit. Check out thisexcellent explanation about why fructose in fruit is actually helpful to you.
So here's this week's TIP: Just EAT the Banana! It's not the banana that's causing your weight gain or increased girth. More likely causes are those fancy coffee drinks, the afternoon trip to the vending machine, the energy drinks, or even lack of sleep. So try trading out a snack full of ADDED sugars for a snack with natural sugars.
That's a funny question. I thought I was trying to LOSE.
What would happen if we shifted our focus from what we're trying to get rid of to what we're trying to gain? I suspect the outcome might surprise us.
For example, what if I stopped trying to 'lose weight' and started trying to 'gain strength?'
Or what if I quit trying to lose fat and started to gain mobility?
What if I stopped denying myself a piece of cake and instead allowed myself a bowl of fresh fruit?
What would that one shift in mindset do to our overall health? I suspect a lot.
So this week's tip: Shift your mindset to what you want to gain: strength, mobility, flexibility, better eating habits, more sleep, a walk after dinner. I suspect that if we do this, the other (lose fat, inches and weight) will take care of itself.
Really?? Is that the only way to make progress? All or nothing? Not in my studio and not in my life. Real, lasting change happens slowly. Sure it makes for great TV to see someone push themselves to the edge and make staggering strides toward weight loss and health goals but that type of activity is not sustainable and often leads to injury, disordered eating patterns, and a sense of defeat.
Not surprisingly, we often eat way more food than we realize. Simply raising awareness of the amount of food we eat helps us make small changes that bring big results.
Try these food trackers until you find one that works for you.
Your heart rate. It's something you probably don't think about very much, unless you're at the doctor's office or you're wearing your fitness tracker and the little heart icon is blinking. While your heart rate is affected by many things, it is good to know your average heart rate range. Here's how to find it. You might need to get out your calculator.
How to find your Target Heart Rate (THR)220 - your age = answer
Take the answer and multiply it by .60 and then again by .90. That's your average range. Let's look at an example of someone who is 38 years old.
We're going to wade in the deep weeds today and begin a conversation on a very serious issue. Disordered Eating. Notice that I didn't say 'Eating Disorders' because there is a difference between the two. An 'eating disorder' is diagnosed whereas 'disordered eating' represent eating patterns that fall outside of what we might consider 'normal eating.'
Precision Nutrition defines Disordered Eating as thoughts beliefs and assumptions that include:
We live in a culture obsessed with weight, where the number on the scale often determines our self worth. Too often this leads to disordered eating, bingeing, purging and anorexia. If any of these descriptions fit your own eating patterns, please get help. Don't know where to go? Click here for help.
So what's the tip?
Put away the scale.
Use other indicators such as how you feel, how your clothes fit, and energy levels to determine your success. Remember, the scale just tells you how much gravitational pull the Earth has on your body.
It does NOT determine your worth
Games are supposed to be fun. They're meant to engage your mind, your body and invoke a sense of play. However, one game that we play everyday is anything BUT fun and is often just plain dangerous. When you play the 'Comparison Game' you will always lose. Always.
If you don't believe me consider how the following statements, mostly stated in our own minds, play out in real life.
This week I wanted to share some great information I heard and learned on a podcast. The School of Greatness podcast is hosted by Lewis Howes and has some seriously great interviews and topics from health and fitness to leadership, reaching and setting goals and many others. I've listened to and learned from some of the greatest minds in various fields. This one was so good that I wanted to share it with my own tribe and community. I hope you find it as informative and thought provoking as I did. Click here to listen or follow the link below.
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Precision Nutrition Coach,L1, ACE Certified Personal Trainer,Health Coach, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor.