HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY!

HAVING A TOUGH DAY?

This morning I woke up at 3am to get my run in before heading on the 25 minute drive to the gym. As I was beginning my early day I broke a coffee cup, spilling coffee all over the counter. I also stepped on my wiener dog’s bone and my foot hurt for a few minutes. These were things that traditionally would have led to me having a “bad day” and finding things throughout the day to support me having a bad day. I would have also not gone on a run and would have started to plan how I would have comforted myself throughout the day. I easily would have justified eating poorly, smoking, and drinking. When faced with events in life that are not so favorable, I still have a quick thought of returning to the comfort of unhealthy decisions because that was my “autopilot” behavior for years. But then I went out for my run. I know that my self-talk is and how I justify unhealthy behaviors is something I can control and change.  I also know the “energy that I give to things,” rumination, or obsess about is something I can control and change as well. On my run I focused on having a good run despite the spilt coffee and dog bone contusion. As I progressed on the run I began to focus on how awesome my life is despite my best efforts to destroy myself in my 20’s and 30’s. I do not run real fast but am thankful I can run. The weather is cooling down which is awesome for us here in the Phoenix area. There are so many things happening great in my life that my run became a way to see that and to create the beginning of an excellent day.

Evidence to Support This!

The all or nothing approach to negative life events is not healthy. It leads to situational depression, anxiety, and “bad days.” I used to say things like, “Why do bad things always happen to me” and “it is going to be a bad day.” But it is not true and led me to justify poor health choices. I now know the effect on the brain and body of both good and bad health choices. I know that cardiovascular exercise will trigger a neurotransmitter effect that will help stimulate the reward centers of my brain and body which will make me feel better. I know that focusing on the good and being thankful will help to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain and body and make me feel better. There is countless amounts of evidence to support this. The way we see things can have either a positive effect on the brain and body or a negative one. The way we treat our body with physical exercise and nutritious foods is shown to have a positive effect on depression, ADHD, anxiety, and bad days. We all have events in life that are not so fun. It is important for our health to not turn it into an all or nothing “bad day.” Exercise and focus on the good in your life and the body will respond with a great day. Use every day to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com.  Good luck on your health journey!

Self Care In Today’s World

There are lots of reasons to care for your health as you age. Whether you are 19 or 60, what you do the next 10-20 years of your life with the health choices that you make will matter more than what you did the last 10. And I am not just speaking about your physical health. How you care for your emotional, mental, and spiritual health will also matter. There is more and more research listing the importance of self-care in today’s world of stress and unhealthy temptation around every corner. The pressures of career, family, and education can be overwhelming at times. I work with many clients that have high pressure 60 hour a week jobs, others who are working on their PhD’s., and many others who combine work, school, and family commitments into a weekly calendar. We all know of the consequence of stress on the body. High blood pressure, heart issues, and other unhealthy outcomes are the result of stress not handled in a healthy manner. Depression also causes us physical problems if not addressed in a healthy way. The outcome is similar to stress on the body and will eventually lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Stress, depression, and anxiety can even increase some people’s chances of developing dementia and other mental disorders prematurely. Thankfully there are healthy options to help those who are suffering from too much stress, depression, and anxiety.

Not Being Judgmental

With my background in mental health, I fully understand that people have different issues in life. I watch people with “great jobs” that are under a tremendous amount of stress who know the importance of self-care. I work with people who have experienced tremendous trauma or loss in life that are happy in all areas of life. Really? Yes really. I have also studied extensively self-care practices and have found that people who respond in the healthiest ways are similar in many of their daily practices. I have compiled a short list of what I have discovered.

  1. They all exercise. You do not have to work out with the latest insanity program to practice self-care with exercise. Moderate strength training, walking, hiking, yoga, bicycling, swimming or any other form of healthy exercise can have benefits for the brain, the body, and the physical impacts of stress, anxiety, and depression on the body. Try to get 20-50 minutes of exercise daily and see it as beneficial and you will have a healthier physical response and quality of life as you get older.
  2. They all do things unrelated to food, drink, or television that bring pleasure. Reading, playing with pets, gardening, helping others, creating something and spending quality time with friends and loved ones will lead to better health in response to life’s stress. Be proactive about doing things that bring you pleasure and you will be healthier in the long run of life.
  3. They all continue to move forward. Ruminating on past negative life events will serve only negative health consequences. I am not trying to downplay past traumas. There is research where as many as 85% of us have suffered from some sort of trauma. That is almost all of us. Whether you need professional help or are able to accept those portions of your life that have been difficult to go through, it is healthier to move past the things that have happened to you and “give energy” to the present and how you can be successful with good health and happiness for the future.
  4. They all are resilient. Everyone that I have witnessed respond to life in healthy ways all understand that things happen in life that we would not like to happen. People who are the best with self-care continue to “get back on” no matter how many times they have fallen off. And you can too.

If you continue to struggle in areas of your life that you wish to change for the sake of happiness and health then I beg you to do so beginning today. What you do today can affect you in a positive or negative manner when it comes to your health. Your health impacts those who love you and how happy you will be as you age. Treat yourself with care and your physical health will respond with the quality of life you deserve. And you do deserve to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com.  Good luck on your health journey!

Me, Myself, and I!

For the first 35 years of my life I made the most unhealthy lifestyle choices possible. I drank too much, smoked too much, ate terribly, and was often self-centered and inauthentic. I grew to a weight of 340 lbs., felt lost and showed it through the way that I interacted with myself and others. I often blamed my family history, town, coaches, people at church, and teachers for the way I acted at 35.  And although our upbringing does play a major role in the way we cope with life, our belief systems, who we surround ourselves with, and even our health practices, at some point it is our decision 100% to be where we are at. As it was mine and still is today. If you know anything about behavior or lifestyle change you know that it is a difficult task if you have been practicing the behaviors for a while. To put it simply, the brain and body “lock in” to the way we deal with life, our belief systems, coping skills, and lifestyle choices as we develop. These hardwired and “locked in” belief systems and behaviors are difficult to overcome for many. But not impossible. To begin to be healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually we must take full responsibility for the way that we respond to life events the health choices that go along with it. It doesn’t matter what our spouse, friend, co-worker, parent, dog or cat do. It only matters how we respond to what they do. A healthy approach is to respond to other people’s craziness (kidding) with calm, without attaching to it, and with the understanding that others are responding with a different brain, outlook, and history than you have. Give no responsibility for your happiness, sadness, success, or failure to others. Please eliminate any barriers that you place yourself in by blaming others. It is true freedom!

The One-Legged Cyclist

Yesterday I was driving down the road and saw a man riding a bicycle with only one leg. He was pedaling the bicycle at a good pace with his left foot and leg amputated just below the left knee. And with no prosthetic. He was literally pedaling with one foot and leg. He has barriers that he could have blamed others, felt sorry for himself about, and not ridden the bicycle. And although I do not know his motives, I do know that he took responsibility for getting to where he wanted to go, eliminated any barriers that he had with riding a bicycle, and pedaled. And he pedaled fast. I am asking you to get on your own bicycle today. Take full responsibility for your health choices, eliminate any barriers that you have in your mind, and pedal fast. Honor yourself and the ones you love by making good health choices, by taking full responsibility for everything in your life, and by loving YOURSELF and others through example, action, and non-judgment. Be the one who takes committed action to make great change. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

one legged cyclist

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com.  Good luck on your health journey!

TV HELPED ME BE HEALTHIER!

I try not to watch too much television but I do love to watch CBS Sunday morning. The show features a lot of “feel good” stories of art and culture, people who have overcome large obstacles to serve the world with great things, and historical pieces that tell us of the one room schoolhouse and how dogs have been featured in art. I especially enjoyed the story yesterday of Malcom Mitchell, a star football player for the University of Georgia. In a time when football players are being highlighted for abuse, Malcom Mitchell shows us that we cannot and should not judge all by a few. The story did not tell us how many touchdowns or receptions Mr. Mitchell had but rather how many books he had read with the book club where he was a member. Huh? Yes his book club. To top it off, the book club was mostly women over 40 who DID NOT know he was a football star. He explained in the story how football was easy to him and that improving his reading skills was much more difficult during his early college years and that he had only a junior high reading level when he entered college. Mr. Mitchell said that he had to step out of his “comfort zone” to better himself as a reader and man did he! He is 22 years old, African American, and male who just a few years earlier was a struggling reader. The majority of the book club members are over 40, female, and Caucasian. And most of the book club members had been reading for years without any difficulty. The member of the book club that he initially befriended tried to explain to him that he might not feel comfortable in the group because of the age and gender differences. But he persisted and they welcomed him with open arms and now he meets monthly with the group to discuss the books that they have read.

Now Its’ Your Turn!

As many of you know, my mission in life is to help people see the importance of honoring themselves and loved ones through the health choices that they make. So how does a young college athlete who has improved his reading relate to our health? IN EVERY SINGLE WAY! Mr. Mitchell was not a good reader at first but accepted the discomfort that he had to go through to get better. He also placed himself in environments that fostered the growth he was seeking and he was hungry for improvement in his life. We all sometimes have to go through discomfort in life to get better, especially with our health choices. It is not always comfortable to exercise but necessary if we are seeking improvement in our health. It is often difficult to pass up happy hours and good times with friends to hit the gym or go for a walk. But just as Mr. Mitchell recognized that if he did not improve his reading skills life would be more difficult for him in the long run we must recognize that our quality of life will be enhanced greatly with good health choices. PLEASE try your best to take care of your health today with the choices that you make. Honor yourself and those who love you by exercising, eating nutritious foods, and managing unhealthy thoughts that lead to unhealthy choices. Step out of your comfort zone and do what it takes to improve all areas of your life today. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com.  Good luck on your health journey!

Exercise For Improved Relationships

Exercise is more than just “getting a workout” and can enhance multiple areas of your life including relationships, self-esteem, communication, educational/career opportunities, overall happiness, and the aging process. If you feel better about yourself, create healthier cognition, and become happier in life it will be reflected in your relationships and if done with your partner can enhance quality time together. The key is always how you see it though. If you see it as some sort of punishment then exercise will not be effective because of the way the physical body responds to the negative mindset. Please see it as beneficial and necessary for a good quality of life and it can improve you which will improve your relationships with others. At most importantly in my opinion, exercise will help you be healthier which will impact those who love you. Being healthy out of love for others can help them to avoid sadness, having to care for you prematurely, and even financial burdens in some cases. A recent story on 60 minutes told of a research study that has been conducted for over 20 years. The study followed people in a California retirement community as they aged and recorded the health habits, outlook, and social interactions of the participants. Many of them are in their 90’s now and living a very high quality of life. And the study showed basically the same thing for all of them in the post 90 category. They did not eat “perfectly” but managed how much they consumed.  ALL of them exercised and had great relationships. Enough said! Having a thriving Thursday and BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com.  Good luck on your health journey!

Not All About Me

As I sit here and gather my thoughts and begin to write, I am heavy hearted. “If I had only known what I know today” is something I am sure many say in a situation where life events make you wish you had made different decisions earlier in your journey. But you didn’t. And neither did I, my brother, my father, uncles from both sides, and my great-grandfather. Today I am watching my brother suffer, someone who I love deeply and who wishes he had made different decisions earlier in life.  I wish he had too. I have also watched him suffer because my father made decisions he regretted and I watched my father suffer because of the decisions that others made who were responsible for his early life conditioning. I can go back for generations in my family history and list how the decisions the males have made have deeply impacted the generations that followed. And now both my brother and I are impacting the generations that follow us. As are you and everyone else in this world. We impact ourselves and others with the decisions we make that leads us to undesirable and/or unhealthy consequences. The awesome thing about this journey we call life is that we get many second opportunities to change or improve the way that we make decisions with our health, our relationships, and how we impact those around us. That change can begin today!

My Father’s Fault! Or Not?

            We are conditioned in several ways to become who we are later in life. We have genetics which gives us what we are “hardwired” to be if the circumstances are right. We also have home environments, school environments, small town and city environments, religious environments, and social environments that in many cases teaches us what to believe, what is “right” and what is “wrong,” and even the health choices that we make. We develop our own belief systems, reward systems, coping skills, and worldview based on all of the things that I just mentioned. My father did not realize at the time how he was impacting us. He taught us what he knew and gave us the only set of genes that he had. We adopted the rest. Do you know how your choices, especially the ones related to health, are affecting the ones you love?

Change Your Genes

I remember reading a wonderful and well-known Cherokee legend that had gone viral on the Internet: An old grandfather is speaking to his grandson about what causes the violence and cruelty in the world. “In each human heart,” he tells the boy, “there are two wolves battling one another—one is fearful and angry, and the other is understanding and kind.” The young boy then asks, “Which one will win?” His grandfather smiles and says, “Whichever one we choose to feed.” This is so true although I didn’t understand it for the first 35 years of my life. Temperament, addictive behaviors, weight, and depression in some cases can be HEAVILY influenced by genetics. I will classify this type of genetic as the angry wolf. If the “conditions were right” and you began to respond in life by feeding the angry wolf genetic then the consequences will probably be an unhealthy outcome whether its’ hurt relationships, addictions, pain related to health choices, or chronic depression. But thankfully the angry wolf genetic can be altered if we are willing to do the work necessary to alter it. It is not easy but so worth it. Here is what I have witnessed through myself, others, and sound research that will help you to change the physical hand that we are dealt with and feed the loving wolf:

  1. Accept without judgment of yourself that you are preconditioned to be a certain way. You were dealt the hand you got and now you can play it differently.
  2. Change what you put into your mind and body. Food, what we read, what we watch for entertainment, music, and the things we tell ourselves will either feed the angry wolf or the loving wolf. Healthy nutrition, materials that help us to learn and grow as humans, being thankful for or hating things in life, and how we justify things through our own self-talk are all things we can control. It takes some work, some pain, some struggle, and a hunger for change. It beats what my brother is going through.
  3. Have people in your life that will challenge you to be better and support you without judgment during your work to change. Support does not always tell us what we want to hear but rather what we need to hear. It is mandatory for growth.
  4. Exercise! Physical activity is shown to regenerate damaged neurons in us and at the same time make us feel better both physically and mentally. It is important too to see exercise as beneficial and not as punishment. The way we see exercise will impact us physically and mentally as well. Seeing exercise as beneficial will help the process of feeding the healthy and loving wolf while seeing it as punishment will feed the angry and unhealthy wolf.
  5. Stay resilient! The story is told of how one of the biggest gold mines in US history was not found by the person who had originally sought it out. He worked and worked and worked and found only minimal gold. He decided to sell the deed, his equipment, and move on. The person who purchased it from him “did the work” necessary to find the gold and discovered that the original owner had stopped just a few feet away from a fortune that would change his life and the generations that would follow him.
  6. THE MESSAGE OF THE DAY: Remember the impact you have on others through your choices. Everything you do impacts someone. Feed the loving wolf and impact others positively!

It is time to discover your fortune and fight for it. It is time to make the health choices that will impact you in the future and the generations that follow you. It is time to enjoy the greatest fortune that has ever been given—the ability to love your life because of the lifestyle and health you have created. It is time to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

 

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling with 12+ years as a personal trainer to develop the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.amazon.com or http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com  Good luck on your health journey!

 

I Was Sick For Years

I struggled for years with Major Depressive Disorder, constant mood swings, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and lack of focus (ADHD). My outlook and relationships suffered, my self-esteem was very low, and life was miserable in ALL areas. I ate fast food on a daily basis, processed sugars and carbohydrates on a “several times daily” basis, and by the time I was in my early thirties I was over 300 pounds and in both physical and emotional pain. The weight I had gained from my food choices helped to create knee and back pain, the confidence of a “scaredy cat” and a dim outlook in life. I also had failed or dropped out of college six times due to my inability to learn and focus. And none of this was caused by what happened as a child or any other exterior source of blame. It was simply what I fed my body and mind.

New Research Shows That Food Affects Brain Function and Mood

“New” research out of Denmark is showing how the food I was consuming played a central role in my mood, physical pain, and the yo-yo I could never seem to unleash myself from. Certain foods, specifically processed sugars and carbohydrates create a response in our gut microbiota and brain that ultimately affect mood and behavior. The research is showing that when we consume foods that are high in processed sugars and unhealthy fats our bodies produce lower amounts of the things we naturally need to stay happy. Our bodies begin to rely on the unhealthy food to produce the “happy stuff” within our bodies, leading to a reliance on food and other sources for comfort and elevated mood. And because it is only a temporary “happy pill” we need to consume more and will still ultimately experience the depressive states that we are trying to avoid. The Denmark research study also shows that the unhealthy food choices lead to inflammation in the body which slows down the production of healthy neurons as we age and LARGELY impacts memory and our ability to learn. ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, Alzheimer’s and other mental diseases are all affected by the food we eat. NO WONDER I COULDN’T LEARN, WAS DEPRESSED ALL OF THE TIME, AND COULD NOT CONTROL MY IRRITABILITY AND IMPULSIVENESS!

Time For a New Strategy For Holistic/Integrative Health

            I am certainly not trying to be offensive to my friends in the medical community when I say that it is time for some changes in the way we treat mental health disorders. I understand that medication is necessary in some cases but not most. The people that I work with that suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health diseases do not seem to get better with medication. They may not get worse and now are able to “manage” the disorders with meds but I have seen few that actually become happy, calm, and fully present in daily life. It did not work for me either. What did work for me and many that I work with was changing the food that was put into our bodies, adding exercise, working on outlook and automatic negative world views, and having nonjudgmental but challenging support through the process. Supplementing with b-complex, fish oils, and vitamin d3 also helped as did meditation and daily SINCERE gratitude for life. It is not a pill and takes some work but ultimately will help with much of the suffering we deal with in our mental health because we are producing the “happy stuff” within our bodies ourselves and not relying on exterior, short term, and quick fix sources.

Start Today

The beginning of each day is a chance to start over with a fresh slate. “Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift and why we call it the present.” Today is your chance to start over with the way you treat your physical and mental health. You can choose to feed yourself healthy foods, exercise, and the way you respond to the events in the day. You can choose to learn and grow, inspire, support, love, and compliment. You can choose to read materials that help you grow, to serve others who struggle, and to become the healthiest you mentally and physically. Beginning today you can choose to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby utilizes a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling with 12+ years as a personal trainer to develop the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellness in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.amazon.com or http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com  Good luck on your health journey!