By Josh Bowen, on Wed Dec 16, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
It is December. It is holiday time. The amount of stress increases exponentially. More people get sick with the cold or flu and their time decreases because of the demand of parties and social events. Instead of taking to over the counter pills or doctor prescriptions, what if you just moved? How can movement help in making you feel better?
Over the last 30 years, as Americans, we have been obsessed with medicine. From antibiotics to steroids and everything in between, we medicate our selves and quite honestly and quite simply we OVER medicate ourselves. We don’t move as much as our ancestors did, we get sicker more often, we carry more body fat and our stress levels seem like nuclear time bombs just waiting to go off. True, we live longer but in my opinion we don’t live as quality of lives as generations before us. We live on prescription and over the counter medications. And they are killing us.
I am not a doctor, I am not what you would call a “health professional.” I am person who specializes in fitness and movement and have watched first hand how movement can better people in the following areas; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even sexually (get your mind out of the gutter, I have not witnessed that first hand but people have told me and I take their word for it, dammit.)
Lets define movement for a second. Movement defined as “the act of moving your body or a part of your body.” Now I will had a phrase to the end, “in a fashion that increases blood flow to the body’s tissues, decreases harmful inflammation and increases feel good hormones the body.” That is how we will define movement, anything where you move. Like weight training, walking, going up stairs, running (oh god), sport activities, playing with your kids etc. You get the point…MOVE!
So, can I ask you a question? Has anyone ever been to a doctor for something and instead of prescribing medication that doctor told you to “start moving?” That is not a shot at the medical professionals but I would dare to say that movement (as defined above) could treat and prevent many of the diseases that kill us. From diabetes to heart disease to certain cancers, movement has scientifically shown to decrease the death rate and improve a person’s well being.
You people who are reading this are smart. You are educated. You know what is important overall but what about during bouts of constant stress and anxiety or when you have a cold or infection. How does movement work then?
Activities to Consider When Sick
Light weight training
Activities to Avoid
Heavy weight training
CrossFit style workouts or High Intensity Interval Training
Sprinting or running long distances
Exercise in extreme temperatures
How Exercise Affects Your Immune System
(One time exercise)
Brief Vigorous Exercise- no immune suppressing effect
Moderate Intensity Exercise 45-60 minutes- can boost your immune system
Prolonged Vigorous Exercise over 120 minutes- can decrease immune function causing you to get sicker
Long term moderate intensity resistance Training– stimulates innate immunity (natural immunity; white blood cells, mucous, stomach acid)
Chronic moderate exercise– strengthens adaptive immunity (acquired immunity; acquired white blood cells, vaccinations if any).
Textbook Guidelines to Exercises While Sick
(From Precision Nutrition)
To close this out here are a few tips
To Keep From Getting Sick
Eat organic food
Eat green vegetables
Drink a ton of water
Don’t eat crap
By Josh Bowen, on Wed Dec 9, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Time vs. Money
Although important, money only buys things. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less.
The most unpredictable measurement of human existence. Why? Because you never know when it is going to end. Time is the most important currency in existence. Time allows you to create something that could, last forever. Money doesn’t do that. Time may no last long but time could have unlimited value. A dollar will always be a dollar.
The biggest excuse one can give is to say they don’t have time. When in fact, they are saying, “I don’t want to make time.” The point being, if it were important to you, you would make time.
If that relationship was important, you would make time
If working out were important, you would make time
If your health was important, you would make time
If it were important to you, you would make the time.
We all don’t have 24 hours in day. The concept of hours, minutes, seconds is man made. Something to organize your sleep and work schedules. It gives us a guide to lead our lives by but its not factual. YOU decide the measure of your time. Your decided how much you are willing to spend on a given item or task. You and you alone decide where to put your energy. Time is up to you. Are you using it wisely?
None of us are making it out of here alive. No you. Not me. The reality is, one day our time will be up. We will fade off into the distance and only be memorialized by the people we leave behind and the value we added to the universe. How would you like to be remembered? Are creating something that will last forever?
Here are a few ways to use your time better:
Stop Wasting Time
Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste other’s time. Many of us that say we don’t have time, waste more time than we are given. Is that you? Do you waste your time on pointless activities? Do you waste time on toxic relationships? Do you waste time by eating poorly and drinking substances that ultimately reduce the amount of time you have? Start with your why. Why do you exist? Why are you on this earth and what are you here to do? What is your passion? You must answer these questions and go back to them daily in order to use the time you have better.
Reality check. Some of the things we do are pointless. These activities keep us from being able to do the things we really would like to. Simplify your life by getting rid of the things, activities and even people who are distracting and not contributing to our mission.
You think WAY too much and don’t do enough. On a daily basis I repeat the following to my clients, “don’t think, just do.” We spend wasteful time thinking about what we are going to do next, instead of taking action on what we want. You don’t have forever, so stop thinking so damn much.
Know How Little Time You Have
On average, each day, you will spend time doing the following:
7.6 hours sleeping
8.8 hours working
1.1 hours eating
1.1 hours doing chores
Leaving you with 5.5 hours to do with as you choose. Add in an hour to work out and you don’t have very much time. Compound this over a life time and it gets really bad. You must make the time you have count. Make the time to do the things that set your soul on fire and help you follow your passion. At the end, you will be glad you did.
Time is our most precious commodity. It is also our most unpredictable. It can be over in a split second. Let your why lead you.
Oh and PS… stop wasting time!
By Josh Bowen, on Wed Dec 2, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
The battle of body fat can be a slobber knocker. The amount of misinformation is appalling. The amount of self proclaimed “fitness professionals” is even worse. This leads to a lot of information out there and hardly an ounce of it is credible. Thousands of diets, workout plans, calorie counting etc., are common ideas thrown around the world for people who are trying to lose weight or more importantly, body fat. Have you ever wondered why big tasks broken down to simple strategies, performed daily in the exact way, often leads to success? Somewhat like the assembly line that lead to more efficiency in car building and other industries. No? Well I have and I know the secret to losing weight and fat and I will share here. And surprise surprise, its not rocket science and it sure as hell isn’t a secret and everyone could do it, if they wanted it bad enough. Got your attention? Good…here we go:
Weight Loss vs Fat Loss
Are they the same? No. If you are continually weighing yourself, you are wasting your time. Weight loss does not equate to an effective, healthy program. So what you lost 5lbs, its pretty easy, just drink a lot of water and call it a day. Worry more about your composition, what your body is composed of not he actual number it says on a scale. Its literally irrelevant. Point being, focus on fat loss and throw your damn scale away…nobody cares! To go deeper, check this article I wrote about stopping the process of weighing yourself http://eepurl.com/bcqeDv
Stop drinking it. Stop drinking it. Stop drinking it. I cannot stress this enough. If you want to change your physique, you have to at least cut back, if not take it out completely. I promise you, you will thank me someday. It is making you fatter, consume more calories, and when you drink too much you act weird in public. Drink water instead. Simple enough. For more on this check out this article I wrote about alcohol and working out http://eepurl.com/2aaSz
Weights over Cardio
For the love of God, stop running. Please stop it. It tears your body down, makes you completely inefficient at burning fat and you run your muscles off. Push a sled, do some farmers walks, or get on the rower or bike but stop running. Lift. Weights. Please! For more on this topic click this link http://eepurl.com/bglMZP
Quite possibly your best fat burner. Those who get less sleep, tend to have higher body fat percentages. Moral of the story…sleep more.
Nutrients and Calories
You’re not fat because you are consuming too many calories, you are fat because the calories you do consume are not nutritious and have no value…period. McDonalds has no nutritional value whatsoever. Your body looks at it as foreign and doesn’t know what to do with it. Lean proteins and fruits and veggies, it knows how to process and how to use the energy. Look at your labels, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. In fact reduce the amount of foods you eat that have labels. It will come off easier that way. I go into more detail on this article http://eepurl.com/bwPvun
To effectively lose body fat, you need a plan, you need strategies and you need to be consistent. At Aspire Fitness we offer specific nutritional plans for a variety of preferences and lifestyles. Each program is consistently designed for the client and their needs and wants. Check out one of our nutrition clients and their 2 month check up:
3 lbs 3% bodyfat 1 inch off chest 1 inch off shoulders 2 1/2 inches off arms 2 inches off waist 1 inch of thighs 2 inches off hips Total of 9 1/2 inches lost in roughly 2 months of work.
She worked out with weights, got plenty of sleep and ate a balanced nutritional plan. With our custom nutritional plans we can specifically work with you on portion control, focus on macronutrients and get results.
By Josh Bowen, on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
“If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.”
I have heard it a thousand times. I have seen it just as many. Being honest with you, I have done it too (more on that later). The attempt of proving yourself to someone or multiple people is common, especially for people who want to please others. And lets be honest here, even the most stubborn and rogue of us have people we want to please. We find the need to try to “fit in” or be somebody we are not just to get an anticipated reaction from someone we care about or are interested in. The practice of constantly proving ourselves to others is futile, destructive and a waste of time. The only person you need to prove anything to is you. No one else matters. Not your husband, not your boyfriend, not your boss, not your best friend, not even your parents…just you.
Personal story time.
At several points in my life, I was on this self destructive path. While not as detrimental as other’s stories, it was abnormal for me to focus on being something I wasn’t to be liked by someone, who at the time, mattered. About five years ago, in the midst of running up and down the road traveling from city to city, I miraculously found a girlfriend. It was a very strange relationship with a lot of ins and outs that don’t matter for this topic but I found myself constantly having to live up to a standard that was foreign to me. Essentially, I was living up to a physique that I never worried about before. Just like when women try to get in shape to be more attractive to men, I found myself killing myself to be leaner and more athletic than I ever had before. Without her knowing, I was trying to compete with boyfriends of the past who were ripped out of their minds. I was trying to be something I wasn’t and honestly never wanted to be, just so I guess she liked me more. This obviously was a waste of time. But the result was awful. I completely altered my diet and my workouts, going completely off what I normally did. I would drink protein shakes, eat tuna and rice cakes and do a bunch of CrossFit style workouts and then cardio (I have never done cardio since).
As you can imagine, I bottomed out physique wise. I did a lot of cardio, ate very little, and lost my damn muscles and myself. All to try to impress a girl. What a waste huh? Here is the result of all my hard work:
I weighed 175lbs on the day that was taken. I had not weighed that amount since I was 19 years old. I had lost myself trying to prove something to someone, who at the end of the day didn’t care much about me anyway. So what was the point? There wasn’t one. After, I got out of that mess I put the weight back on and now I am at a comfortable 200 lbs.
This happens all the time. People will chose the job their parents want versus the job that they want. Women will starve themselves to look more attractive to their significant others. Men will do whatever it takes to impress a girl that they like no matter how much it deviates from who they are. Stop this process! it is unhealthy and will not get you anywhere. Here is why..
The people worth impressing just want you to be you
If it matters to you, it should matter to them. If it doesn’t they aren’t worth your time. I believe you only have a few close friends, everyone else will go in and out of your life serving some purpose and then leaving. You being you should matter to the people who love you the most. If the guy you are dating can’t accept you for who you are, dump his ass. Same goes for the guys too.
Only you know whats best for you
Everyone will give you advice. However, they don’t have to live in your skin. You know whats best for you. Act like it. Let others take you as you are, or not at all.
Society’s message to us leaves a lot to be desired. To be honest, its evil. Magazine photos are photoshopped to create an unrealistic perception of what a woman should look like and even what a man should look like. Its unfair to our psyche to expect us to look and be like something that isn’t real to begin with. Let go of this, be yourself and be who you are.
You can’t please everyone
Its impossible to please everyone. So why try? You end up not pleasing the person you should be pleasing in the first place…YOU.
When we embrace our authentic selves, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness and real success. Your time is NOW!
By Josh Bowen, on Wed Nov 11, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Are Carbs the Enemy?
To over simplify the destruction of the American diet by saying any one thing is the culprit, is in fact a problem. No one “thing” is the problem and the reason so many are overweight and out of shape. Yes, our nutrition is an issue, but quantifying it by labeling carbs or fats as the sole issue is a gross generalization. Carbs are no the enemy and in many cases can be very helpful for muscle growth, energy levels and nutrients we need. The type of carbohydrates matters more than anything. Lets discuss.
What is a carbohydrate?
Carbs are organic molecules classified according to their structure, simple and complex. A simple carb are smaller, more easily processed molecules known as mono and disaccharides since they contain one sugar molecule or two molecules linked together. Complex carbs are polysaccharides since they contain more than two sugar molecules linked together. Example of a simple carbohydrate would be processed sugar, example of a complex carbohydrate would be legumes, vegetables, anything high in fiber.
Everything is digested as a simple carb no matter what it is. It is just that “healthier” carbs are digested slower than sugar. This digestion can be dependent on several things however:
1. Enzyme action in the gut or mouth
2. Fiber and fat slow digestion so coupling foods can decrease the digestion rate
3. Our perception of the sweetness of the food
The digestion rate is important because the cause of Type II diabetes is due to a constant uptake of insulin due to high blood sugar. The receptors get tired of receiving insulin and quit working, driving your blood sugar up and causing diabetes. This is why it is important to have at least 35 grams of fiber in your diet to help slow the insulin rate. The best fiber will come from vegetables. For more on your digestion and how it works click this link http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=16#digestion
What is up with low carb diets?
Low carb diets became popular via the Atkins and Paleo diet. For the most part, one would eat high protein and fat and very low carbs, carbs only coming from vegetables. Will this work? Short term yes but nutrients will always out trump calories or source of calories. If you are some one who works out regularly, going low carb for a long period of time may hurt you rather than help you.
What is wrong with restricting carbs long term?
(from John Berardi at Precision Nutrition)
1. sluggish metabolism: when carb intake is low T3 cannot be converted to T4 through your liver thus slowing your thyroid function, stalling your metabolism
2. lower levels of muscle/strength building hormones: Cortisol goes up and testosterone will go down
3. higher levels of stress hormones: Cortisol, that bastard stress hormone is increased when carb intake is low
4. weight loss will stall: refer to #1. If your thyroid sucks so will your weight loss
We needs carbs
Carbohydrate intake is dependent on: your activity level, carb source, goals, and genetics. The more active you are the more carbohydrates you need. If you goal is to build muscle and thus lose fat, low carbohydrate intake is not going to get it done. The type of carb source (more on that in a minute) matters as well. Your genetics will always override everything, some people tolerate more carbs than others.
Here is a great illustration of portion sizes to keep everything in check and it is extremely easy to apply to you:
Use this as your guide to have a healthy portion of of all the macronutrients without having to count calories.
A few people do best with low carb diets
1. People with neurological disorders; epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
2. Very sedentary people. The less active you are the less you need carbohydrates
Use this as your guide to eat carbs
Any time meal
Post workout meal
To summarize the carb myth, it is important to realize what you are putting into your body and WHEN you are taking it in. Anything can be done in the short term and reveal results, however long term is much more important and these are tried and true strategies.
By Josh Bowen, on Tue Nov 10, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Are you full of s**t?
I hope not because that would be unfortunate. But as odd of a topic as your own poop may be, its very important to your health. What you put in your body reflects what you put out. If you eat sh*t you will feel like sh*t. As I dive deeper into my own health and trying to find clues as to why things are the way that they are, I have been reading more on the gastrointestinal tract and how it is the key to our longevity. If you GI tract isn’t healthy, you aren’t healthy. That health is dependent on your eating habits more so than anything. Unless acted upon by disease (which could be nutrition related and often times is) the foods we eat can either make us stronger or be slowly killing us. Your poop and pee will tell a lot about us and unfortunately we are too embarrassed to talk about it.
But being the brash person I am and someone who wants to educate the masses, I want to talk about things poop related. Looking in the toilet after you take a “William Shatner” may give you heads up on your health or lack there of. So lets begin.
A famous quote by a guy I have never heard of states, “everyone poops.” And he would be correct. The equation is simple; you eat and then you shit. Easy enough right? Well not so fast.
How is food digested?
For a short and concise step by step on how your food gets to your colon check out this link http://www.mydr.com.au/gastrointestinal-health/how-your-food-is-digested
The 4 S’s
Once your food is eaten it has to travel 30 feet of the intestinal tract to get to the point of excretion. From there, once you hit the “john” you can base your findings on the four S’s” size, shape, smell, and shade. These four will tell you more about your health and are more consistent than nearly any thing outside of a blood test. Your poop tells you how healthy you are.
When evaluating the situation, check out the color/shade to find out an underlying issue.
Red- lower GI bleeding, beets
Green- undigested bile, Crohn’s disease, Antibiotics, green leafy veggies
Yellow- gallbladder problems, parasite
White- antacids, liver disease, pancreatic disorder
Black- upper GI bleeding, iron supplements, meat, Pepto (learned that the hard way, no pun intended)
Little lumps- it is staying in the intestines too long, so water is being reabsorbed. A lack of dietary fiber.
Too liquid- it is moving through the intestines too quickly so water is not being reabsorbed due to an increase in fiber, a cleanse or infection.
Pencil thin- a mass in the colon could be restricting the stool. Could be an indicator for colon cancer or polyps.
Floats and stinks- body is not absorbing fats. Could be the result of a malabsorption condition, weight loss drugs or Olestra.
Hard and dry- it is staying in your intestines too long, so water is being reabsorbed. Could be due to dehydration, constipation or medications
Non-existent- a sign of disease is not going at all. Your body will become toxic because it cannot excrete it’s waste. Drinking water and increasing your plant fiber will help in making you become regular.A few facts
1. During the course of a lifetime a person will do #2 to account for 9,000 lbs.
2. A healthy turd should look like a torpedo
3. Artificial sweeteners are not recognized by the human body and thus not absorbed, so they pull water into the intestines leading to loose stool
4. Poop is made up of 75% water and the rest a combo of fiber, dead and live bacteria, and mucus
5. Normal is relative: different cultures go more or less depending on location. South Asians go three times more often than British people due to the higher fiber count. Once a day is common for Americans
6. Diarrhea is your stool on speed. It should take 24 to 72 hours for your food to become fully digested and to move on to be excreted. Diarrhea passes all those steps.
7. Poop should sink. Floating stool is cause for concern and meaning you are not absorbing the fat content of your diet.
I realize this may have been uncomfortable to read but it is also a very important topic. Your poo could give you clues as to how healthy or unhealthy you are. Pay attention to signs. I leave you with this funny..
By Josh Bowen, on Wed Nov 4, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Here are a few statistics for you to wrap your head around:
1. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of all Americans 35 and older 2. 2700 people die daily from heart disease, thats almost 1 million a year 3. in 2010 it cost Americans $108.9 billion in services, medication and lost wages 4. 1 in every 6 adults has high cholesterol as defined as higher than 240 mg/dl total cholesterol 5. From 2002 to 2012 the percentage of people using statin drugs (cholesterol meds) is up from 20 to 28%. 6. Heart disease continues to climb every year even though statin medication has climbed as well 7. CEO of Pfizer (the company that makes Lipitor) makes $87,500 per day or $21 million per year. He needs you to take your medication.
Cholesterol is a funny thing to me. All of our panic and focus to put people on (potentially) harmful drugs came from research done 50 years ago. One study essentiality spurred the increase of statin drugs being prescribed to millions of Americans each year. Is it necessary? Does cholesterol cause heart disease? What causes high cholesterol? All very good questions.
What is cholesterol?
It is a waxy, fat like substance found in all cells of the body. It helps make many hormones, Vitamin D and and substances that help digest food. There is HDL and LDL cholesterol. HDL is looked at as good cholesterol because it carries part of cholesterol to your liver and your liver disposes of it. LDL is looked at as bad cholesterol because it supposedly builds up in your arteries. This is the reason doctors focus on increasing HDL and lowering LDL.
What causes high cholesterol?
Years ago it was thought that fatty foods clogged your arteries and would give you a heart attack. This is the reason for the 1980’s “low fat” craze. This low fat obsession also led to a dramatic increase in obesity and heart attacks and strokes. Go figure. Now we know that it isn’t necessarily the high fat content of your diet that causes high cholesterol but rather the amount of processed sugar that is driving the numbers up. Eggs and meat are not contributing to the problem as much as donuts and cake. Period.
How Dangerous are Stain Drugs?
Here are a few:
1. Statin drugs interfere with the production of CoQ 10 which supports the bodies immune system, maintains normal blood pressure, boosts cardiac and skeletal muscle health 2. Inhibits Omega 3 fatty acids from the metabolism of Omega 6 fatty acids. Causing increased inflammation and increasing insulin resistance leading to diabetes 3. Negates the bodies ability to make cholesterol, which is essential for brain health 4. Causes excessive muscle damage and soreness 5. Studies have shown that statin use increasings calorie consumption by 9% 6. Speeds aging and lowers sex drive 7. Causes liver damage
Is it worth it? In my opinion, no.
Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?
(excerpt from “The People’s Chemist”)
Searching for a correlation between cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis is as simple as looking at the arteries of dead people. This search began in the early 1960s. In 1961, researchers Mathur and colleagues studied the levels of cholesterol and the degree of atherosclerosis seen at autopsy within the arteries of 20 deceased patients as well as 200 more cases selected from medical libraries. All cholesterol levels were taken within 16 hours of death. No correlation could be observed between these patients’ blood cholesterol levels and the amount or severity of “atherosclerotic plaque” within the arteries. Cholesterol levels, whether high or low, had no impact on the growth of atherosclerotic plaque – the major cause of heart disease. In 1962, The American Heart Journal published the research of Dr. Marek and colleagues who also searched for a correlation between cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. Among 106 cases studied, the level of cholesterol did not affect atherosclerotic changes in plaque. His results matched others that were conducted by the same methods, in the same laboratory, and in the same populations.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that at autopsy, postmortem patients who died suddenly showed no correlation between total cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. Researchers Jose Mendez, Ph.D., and co-workers point out that their findings agree with previous studies. Notably, they cited researchers Lande and Sperry, who as early as 1936 also failed to find a correlation between cholesterol levels and atherosclerotic plaque. These studies shake the foundation of the current medical model for treating or preventing heart disease.
Let’s go ahead and hammer the nail into the cholesterol myth coffin. If it is true that the risk of heart disease rises as blood cholesterol rises, then we should see elevated total cholesterol among those who die early from heart attack. This, too, has not been the case. Specifically, half of all heart attacks and strokes occur in persons without elevated levels of cholesterol.
Let’s cover the coffin with a layer of cement. If cholesterol caused atherosclerosis; then we would find atherosclerosis throughout the estimated 100,000 miles of adult blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) within the body through which cholesterol travels. Yet 90% of the time when atherosclerosis is found in the coronary arteries the rest of the arteries remain unharmed by cholesterol.
By Jonathan Miller, on Thu Oct 29, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
“So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even knew we had the key.”
Strong lyric from The Eagles “Already Gone,” but it pretty much sums up the topic for today’s entry. I have written about it countless times and you may be tired of hearing it but its the beyond the truth, we are our own worst enemy. You are. I am. We all are. The eight inches between your ears will derail you faster than any opposing person could. It’s not your talent or lack thereof. It’s not your readiness for change. It’s not your background or where you grew up. It’s not where you went to school or where you didn’t. It’s you. It’s your thoughts. It’s what you tell yourself, secretively, where no one else can hear. Outwardly, you may be confident but inside you are telling yourself, “you can’t do it.’ As my mentor, Todd Durkin calls it “head trash.”
If you buy into psychology, which I do, you will remember something called “Self Fulfilling Prophecy.” This simply means that if you think it, it happens. For example; if I constantly tell myself that I am fat, every time I look in the mirror that is what I am going to see. Your mind is stronger than anything else. You literally can think yourself into believing anything. Often times this works against us more than it helps us. We get in our own head, believing that we aren’t good enough for something and of course the result is exactly what we thought. If we could flip it and get rid of the shit between our ears, imagine what could be possible? There literally would be no limits.
Everyone on this earth goes through this. Self doubt, negative thoughts, past mishaps, broken relationships, death, disease and all points in between cause our head trash. It sits there in our mind, camping out on your brain just laughing at you because it knows it has you beat. It toys with you. It baits you into believing it’s bullshit. And whether you believe it or not sometimes you like it. It keeps you from responsibility. It is the easy way out to not face your fears or you past heartache. Its easy to wallow in your own self-pity. Its easy to be mediocre. But this isn’t what life is about and its sure as hell not what you want. This head trash has you in hand cuffs but you can break free. You can shut the door on negative thoughts and open yourself up to positive ones. You can, if you want too.
Take the damn trash out! Here is how..
Make a List
On several occasions, I have had clients write a list of what they like about themselves. It is easy to pinpoint the flaws but what do you like about yourself. What makes you happy? What components of your day get you excited or are aspects you love? Let’s start here first. Then make a list of what makes you happy and a separate list of what you do everyday. Compare the lists. Do everything on that list that makes you happy and throw the rest in the trash. Positive thoughts make for positive realities.
Say Goodbye to Toxic Relationships
Lets be real here, if you are around positive people you will be more positive, if you are around negative people, you will be negative. Period. It is that simple. In times of life crisis you need positive energy. If the people you surround yourself with are negative, they have to go. They are making you worse. They are feeding into that little monster in your head who is camped out telling you that you are not worthy. I would be willing to bet that this reason carries nearly all the head trash in our minds. Kick that shit to the curb.
What People Think of You is None of Your Business
Sorry for the language but I come from a good place when I say, “F**K what people think.” This has just as much to do with your thoughts that anything. “What will we they think about?” “How will people react?” Who cares. Don’t fall into the mental tug-o-war over who thinks what about you. They aren’t you. They don’t walk in your shoes. What they think does not matter. What you think does. The less you care what people think about you the better you life will be and the less head trash you will have.
Thought + Decision = Behavior. Change the thought, change the behavior. Say goodbye to negative thoughts. Say goodbye the heartache that sits on your mind. Say goodbye to the self doubt that consumes you. Say hello to being your absolute best.
By Josh Bowen, on Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Have your ever heard the expression, “you are your own worst enemy” or “they can’t seem to get out of their own way”? These statements are common descriptions of people who sabotage themselves, whether conscious or subconscious, from achieving a desired result. It can often be frustrating especially if you are not aware it is going on, like in terms of addiction or you are conscious of your behavior but cannot seem to control it. Many times we often wonder why we did something because we knew it would end in the opposite of the way we wanted. Like procrastinating studying for a final exam the before the test, knowing that you will not do well but putting it off nonetheless. This is self sabotage. You are sabotaging your results by doing the opposite of what you should.
Psychologist and author, Robert Firestone says that self sabotaging thoughts and behaviors are perpetrated by an inner critic we all posses,naming it the “critical inner voice.” This inner voice is not positive and often reflects self doubt, procrastination and the “anti-self.” This undermines our goals, stunts our growth as people and flat out tells us we don’t deserve what we are trying to achieve. Firestone also says this come from early life experiences that have molded us to who we are today. The negative we heard early in life, transforms us to who we are today. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can chose what thoughts to listen to, just as we chose what clothes to wear everyday. No matter the circumstance of our early lives and how they shaped our minds, we can chose to fight against that. Life is all based on choices, we can chose to listen to the naysayers or we can make a conscious choice to believe in ourselves. We can chose to be our own worst enemy or we can chose to be our best ally. The choice is ultimately yours.
Here are a few self sabotaging behaviors I see exhibited:
Procrastination is the assassination of motivation. It is the king of all self sabotage. It is the gap between intention and action and it is in this gap where the self operates. We make an intention to act but when the time comes, we make a choice to do nothing or leave it incomplete. We set a goal with zero intention on ever achieving it. Why? Because we perceive it as hard or too much or we are too busy. All of which is bullshit. If you wanted bad enough, you would of done it. If you want to drop bodyfat, you would of ate better. If you wanted to get a better job, you would of done everything in your power to get it. If you wanted a better life, you wouldn’t sit around complaining about the one you have. We procrastinate because we think tomorrow will always be here, one day it won’t and you will be sorry. If you want to do it, go do it. You are not too busy, you have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else.
We think of procrastination as an irrational delay because our reasons for action simply aren’t sufficient to motivate action. More accurately, procrastination is a-rational, without reason—because the real issue is emotional. Although we may know intellectually what we ought to do right now, we don’t feel like doing it. So we focus on short-term mood repair: Feel good now, worry about that intention later. Short-term gain, long-term pain.
With procrastination, we delay taking action longer than we know we should. In the case of chronic procrastination, we waste time that we can’t afford to waste. We can actually wind up wasting our whole lives. Make it happen.
When attempting to attend to negative emotions we often put road blocks in our chosen path. We “shoot ourselves in the foot” to quote a phrase, by ignoring negative feelings with food, alcohol or other substances. Food addiction is real and is different than alcohol and drug addiction because in order to live, we need food. Therefore, food addiction can be very difficult to attend to because we cannot shun food because that creates a whole new problem. I often find people behave irrationally nutritionally because of their state of mind, at the time. They have negative feelings and then use food as a medicine of sorts, taking to processed sugar and starch to make them feel better, which in turn makes them feel worse. We essentially try to deal with our issue but create more issues instead of tackling the issue at hand. This is the root of self sabotage. Many a client I have seen mask their pain via food. Some to more of a degree than others but it is real, very real.
Again, I am no psychologist but this problem exists, I have witnessed it. Being the problem solver I am, dealing with the root or the source of the issue is more beneficial than the site of the ordeal. At some point we all have to face ourselves and our problems to become stronger and better people. Masking our pain with food, alcohol, drugs, sex etc. does nothing but hurt us. Rise above.
Not Good Enough
The psyche is a strange thing. It can make you feel like you can put the world on your back and walk with it or it can beat you to your knees and make you afraid of anything an everything. The phrase, “I don’t feel good enough” incites a vigorous response in my gut. I detest when someone tells me that they do not feel good enough, no matter what it is. We have become such a society where it is shunned upon to be confident, that you can’t say “HELL YES I’m good enough.” It almost seems more appropriate to say, I’m not deserving of it” or “I don’t belong.” This is negative thinking and complete bullshit. YOU are good enough….for anything and anyone. There is always self doubt, we all have it. I have it. But there is also a difference between going after what you want and not achieving it and wanting something and never going after it because you don’t feel like you are worth. You are always worth it. In high school they said Michael Jordan wasn’t good enough either. In case you didn’t know….he is the greatest to ever touch a basketball. Case closed. Believe in YO SELF.
I have learned a very valuable lesson, if you want it go get it. As cliche as it sounds, tomorrow doesn’t exist and what you do today will ultimately take you into the rest of your life. Challenge the status quo and be yourself.
By Josh Bowen, on Thu Oct 15, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Breakfast. The most skipped meal of the main three we typically eat. Why? Well, most people will give you the greatest excuse of all time “not enough time.” I will tackle this “time” issue in a moment but would also like to offer this piece of information:
In a recent study by the American Diabetes Association of 5,000 men and women found the following of people who eat breakfast consistently;
34% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes
43% less likely to become obese
40% less likely to develop fat around the midsection
Now I realize this breakfast “debate” could go on forever but when you look at the root of the word, it literally says break the fast. Therefore, I am behind the breakfast concept and really believe this is all about behavior rather than just eating. If you eat first thing in the morning, you are less likely to be starving by the time lunch rolls around and less likely to gorge yourself on whatever is in front of you. Eating breakfast also allows you to get the required macro (protein, fat, carbs) and micro (vitamins and minerals) nutrients your body needs for daily performance and body fat decrease. Basically, it is a requirement of life!
So I have you bought in one breakfast, now lets talk about the objections to eating breakfast.
I don’t have time
Make time. Period. You make time for other activities, you can make time for this. Some of you are rolling your eyes but this is important. Waking up 30 minutes early is not going to kill you. Diabetes, obesity and fat around your stomach will.
I don’t know what to eat for breakfast
This is a fair objection. So lets dissect it and help you out.
So you are a busy mom or dad and you have to get the kids dressed and out the door as quickly as possible. Or you are a stressed out college kid who needs to get to class but wants to sleep an extra 15 minutes because you were up studying last night. Or you are a hard working personal trainer who needs to get to the gym before 5:30 am to meet his first client on the day and needs to get a lot of food in quickly. Did that cover everyone? Good. Here are few ideas for breakfast that do not take a long time and still satisfy the objection of good sources of protein, carbs and fats.
Always a good option for breakfast, whether whole egg or just egg whites, they do not take much time at all and are pack with protein and micro nutrients to help start your day. If you are in a hurry get the liquid egg whites and zap it in the microwave or add them to your smoothie.
I use the brand “Love Grown Foods” oat clusters that are GMO, gluten and everything else free. It literally tastes like cereal and can be used as such by adding a little almond milk. Quick, easy and a great source of carbs. My preference if you are going to eat cereal. You could always sprinkle some protein powder on top as well.
Many of my clients love smoothies for breakfast. They are easy to make and you can get really creative with them. Here is a great illustration on how to make a smoothie:
Everyone knows I have a love for Quest bars and while I don’t always recommend eating them for breakfast, if you are in a hurry a bar plus a handful of almonds would do the trick. Stop with the Power Bars, Coby.
To go along with the smoothie idea, having a simple protein shake mixed with almonds and oats, would be a great substitute for the old school eggs and oatmeal.
I mentioned these already but almonds and nuts are packed with great nutrients and more importantly fat that your body needs for high performance. If it were a matter of nothing or nuts, go with nuts or you’ll go nuts.
Side Note: McDonalds Egg White Delight does not count as breakfast.
I realize we are all in a hurry. I realize that we can all make a zillion excuses. And I realize not everyone will read this email and put anything into practice. BUT I hope you see the value of breakfast and some of these options will help you get something in your system before you go to work or school.
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