BE CAREFUL WITH COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Thankfully we are not all the same. Each one of us have our own unique gifts, qualities, genetic traits, tastes, skin tones, accents, and other features that makes us individuals. The same is true for our fitness levels, weight loss issues, and overall health status. A common barrier to achieving optimal wellness is the belief that someone else is the same as you. We all have different chemical makeups, strengths, hormone levels and other traits that make us different, especially when it comes to weight loss. Some people “can eat anything” and never gain weight; some can lose weight faster than others despite what feels like a greater effort, and still more never have to exercise and still look great. What gives? Comparing yourself to others and feeling as though you have received an “unfair hand” from the “weight loss Gods” is a fast recipe for failure. It is NEVER you versus them. It is only YOU VERSUS YOU!

See the little changes as they occur.

With the latest reality show or weight loss infomercial touting super-fast ways to lose weight, many people who believe these “get fit quick schemes” look for the fastest and easiest weight loss methods. With television shows displaying dramatic weight loss episodes of people losing as much as 20 pounds in a seven day period, many in the real world believe this is possible for them. But usually it is not realistic for someone who does not live on a wellness ranch or have the time to devote to several hours of exercise per day. Most of us have families or significant others, full time jobs or go to school.. Additionally, it is generally not safe to lose weight too fast and in most cases the weight loss does not last for the long term. So it is a VERY WISE practice to pay attention to every little change that occurs. The successful person with significant and permanent weight loss will notice changes in strength whether it is in a workout or walking through the mall. As you modify your behaviors and begin this journey of wellness transformation, PLEASE notice the small changes from the way your pants fit to climbing the stairs to your increased energy level throughout the day. Remember where you are starting; some of the difficulties you’re having, the pain, tight clothes, fatigue and other symptoms that have led you on this mission to gain better health.

It is easy to get caught up in the belief that if they do it on TV or if someone else can eat any and all foods without gaining weight then you can too. Compare yourself only to yourself. Keep trying to achieve the wellness and well being that you are capable of and deserve. NEVER GIVE UP resilient. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Want to become your own miracle? I am inviting you to come and see why Miracles of Phoenix has such a high rate of client permanent lifestyle change. We offer safe, effective, personalized fitness training with the most in depth educational system available in a welcoming and fun environment. Can’t make it to the gym? Our online program had 90% of participants reach personal goals last week. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE! 

The Fitness For Everyone Else and Build YOUR Healthy Life Programs are evidence based, healthy, and safe lifestyle modification programs designed specifically for people who struggle to maintain healthy habits. If you need help with exercise but are not a traditional gym rat or athlete, the Fitness For Everyone Else program is the one for you. The Build YOUR Healthy Life Program helps participants learn how to develop boundary based food choices, overcome anxiety and dislike for exercise, and live life in a healthier way both mentally and physically. Each program has helped hundreds of people make permanent positive health choices. Please join us!
We have gym, home, and online programs for everyone. All fees are paid in advance of service.

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

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OVERCOME THE BARRIERS YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE

Unfortunately, many people believe that they cannot accomplish goals because they are “lacking something” or that something or someone is “against” them. My clients who struggle often list the following barriers:

  1. Age: I am too old to change.
  2. Failures in the past: I have tried many times to get healthy, exercise, stop smoking, and to lose weight. I cannot ever seem to succeed.
  3. Current weight: I have too far to go, it is a lost cause.
  4. Economic level: I am too poor to exercise because I cannot afford a gym, trainer, or equipment.
  5. Environment: My family, spouse, and roommates do not support me enough when I try toe at clean and exercise. They tempt me with food and want me to stay home and not exercise.
  6. Physical limitations: I have disabilities, pain, and I am not very strong. I cannot do what other people can.

On the other side however is the person who has accomplished the goal you are seeking and has had greater or equal disadvantages. They were able to accomplish the goal despite the assumption that they are at a disadvantage. Getting over this mindset and belief is hard to overcome, especially if it has been going on your whole life.  BUT IT CAN BE DONE!

  1. Age: I have witnessed people in their 70’s 80’s and even 90’s get stronger, lose significant amounts of weight, and change their whole life.
  2. Failures in the past: Same as above. Eleven people in 2017 have lost over 50 lbs after long term struggle and you can too. Resilience and doing the work without giving up is the key ALWAYS!
  3. Current weight: You can see everywhere on the internet today people who have lost as much as 200 lbs or more. It is difficult and attainable. Stay with it!
  4. Economic level: You do not need any equipment to exercise. All that you need is to get out there and move. Walking, calisthenics, and body weight exercises do not cost anything.
  5. Environment: There is no doubt that who we surround ourselves with really matters. If you do not want to divorce your family, you must learn to manage the triggers that provoke you with them. Managing internal responses to external cues is the key and it becomes easier over time. Also have people in your life that support your goal of a healthier life.
  6. Physical limitations: Our client Shar lost over 100 lbs and could only walk with a walker. But walk she did. She got up to a mile with the walker and lifted weights 3 times a week. Your only limitation is in your mind. Focus on how you can be successful with where you are at in your life, not the limitations.

It is important to do the work necessary to overcome the struggle you face. Behavioral modification works when we do the work. In the space below, list 5 areas where you see yourself as having a disadvantage that may inhibit your goal of a healthy life. Please handwrite the answers and communicate clearly with yourself when answering. I list examples for you to help when you answer.

Examples:

  • I have tried in the past to lose weight and I have never been able to lose it and keep it off. I am starting to believe that I am just supposed to be this weight.
  • My husband does not support me with my health goals. It is harder for me because he brings all of the bad food into the house and tempts me.
  • My [mother/coaches/teachers/classmates] criticized me a lot about my weight when I was young. I now feel that whenever people talk to me about my weight whether it be doctors, trainers, or friends I automatically feel “attacked.”
  • People don’t understand how hard it is for me. Other people can lose weight and eat anything and I put on weight just looking at food. I get angry at people who are skinny and overeat and feel that it is unfair to me.
  • All of my friends eat unhealthy foods and drink. It is hard to resist and everyone gives me a hard time when I try to eat healthy foods when we are out.

Now it is your turn:

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

In the space below, list 5 ways that you can believe differently about your “disabilities” that will enable you to reach your goal of a healthier weight and life.

Examples:

  • I have tried to lose weight in the past and have not been successful. This time will be different. I will practice healthy nutrition habits every day. I will exercise regularly and I will stay determined to reach my goal of a healthier and lean body even if it is hard. I will stick to my goal no matter how big the temptation, no matter how easy it is to go back into old habits or give up. I will read inspirational stories of weight loss regularly to stay motivated. I will surround myself with people who support and challenge me to improve my overall self. I will not give up.
  • My husband/spouse/partner does not support me in my weight loss goals. I will find support from friends, online, trainers or other people at the gym, and other family members. I will lead by example and will motivate others by my actions.
  • Although many have criticized me and I have allowed them to impact me in a bad way, I will not allow it ANYMORE. What judgmental or hurtful people have to say about me or to me will not affect me other than to motivate me to reach my goals. I will value only those peoples’ opinions that have my best interests in mind and the experts that can teach or challenge me to be better. I will also be more open to the feedback of people who genuinely are trying to help me.
  • It has been hard for me in the past to lose weight and keep it off. But I also know that it has been hard for others but they learned how to be successful. We are all unique genetically and require different things. I will try harder!
  • I love my friends but also want to be healthier. I will eat something healthy before I go out or choose healthy options while I am there. I will also add people in my life that support and share my goal of being healthier in every way. I will stay resilient to be successful!

Now it is your turn:

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

Is it REALLY harder for you because of your “limitations” or can you (like others) overcome and gain the health and wellness you desire?

 

THE ONLY BARRIER YOU HAVE IS THE BELIEF THAT YOU HAVE BARRIERS!

I hope this helps. Our health is so important to every aspect of our lives. It will impact everything from our finances to our relationships. If you struggle with the beliefs that you are limited, begin as soon as possible to learn how to manage those limitations so you can be successful. It will change your whole life. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

GRATITUDE AND YOUR HEALTH

From a health perspective, it is important to be thankful. Being thankful for great friends, sunrises and/or sunsets, the love of a pet, beautiful scenery, an exercise session, or anything else you can express gratitude about is great for long term health and coping with life. So many people struggle with this or intellectualize gratitude without actually feeling it. It is SO IMPORTANT  to truly feel gratitude and to not just say it. There is a lot of research that shows that people who feel grateful regularly live longer, healthier,         happier, and with less disabilities than others.                                                                               Do It Intentionally But Feel It                                                                                                        You can intentionally create a “time of thanks” where time is scheduled to focus on the good things in life or you can have “spontaneous thanks” where you witness, hear, or feel something in the present moment that makes you feel grateful and happy. Please do not make this a material object. It is recommended that you do this with passion and sincerity! To have the healthy physiological effect we are looking for, it is important to deeply feel the gratitude as an emotion. Here are some exercises that has helped others.

Examples of Spontaneous Thanks:

  • During your morning walk you see a beautiful sunrise. You can be grateful for healthy eyes that can see, the ability to walk, another day to improve yourself, or the weather.
  • You can get home from work and be grateful for your job, income, ability to work, food and shelter that it provides, appliances or anything else you can see to be happy about.
  • You can feel gratitude for your spouse and other loved ones. Sincerely appreciate and value those who love and support you and what is best for your overall good.
  • You can express gratitude when you complete an exercise session that you originally did not want to attend.
  • You can feel grateful when you have just completed a tough work or school project. Be thankful for your abilities and the “trials and tribulations” that led to areas of personal growth and resiliency.
  • You can feel deep gratitude for time spent with friends. Enjoy the present moment with all of the relationships that you have and the experiences you share with them.

Please list any occasions where you felt spontaneous and sincere gratitude for an experience, a view, a moment with a friend, spouse, or other loved one, or an ability you have. From a health perspective, it is important to continue the practice of spontaneous thanks for your entire life.

Examples of intentionally creating a time of thanks:

  • I will spend 10 minutes while breakfast is cooking each day to focus on all of the good things in my life. I will spend two minutes writing it out.
  • I will intentionally look for things on my morning walk to be grateful for in the present moment. The sunrise, the ability to walk, a beautiful landscape or anything else that makes me say “wow.”
  • I will take ten minutes during my lunch break at work each day to list and reflect on all of the good things in my life. I know that no personal or professional relationship will ever be perfect but I will strive to see the good in all.

 

Bonus Gratitude Exercise:

I love and believe in Positive Psychology. The following exercise is from Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Dr. Martin Seligman.

Select one important person from your past who has made a major positive difference in your life and to whom you have never fully expressed your thanks. (Do not confound this selection with newfound romantic love, or with the possibility of future gain.) Write a testimonial just long enough to cover one laminated page. Take your time composing this; my students and I found ourselves taking several weeks, composing on buses and as we fell asleep at night. Invite that person to your home, or travel to that person’s home. It is important you do this face to face, not just in writing or on the phone. Do not tell the person the purpose of the visit in advance; a simple “I just want to see you” will suffice. Wine and cheese do not matter, but bring a laminated version of your testimonial with you as a gift. When all settles down, read your testimonial aloud slowly, with expression, and with eye contact. Then let the other person react unhurriedly. Reminisce together about the concrete events that make this person so important to you. (If you are so moved, please do send me a copy at seligman@ psych.upenn.edu.)

 

Seligman, Martin E. P. (2002-10-02). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (Kindle Locations 1299-1304). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

Please do not overly stress about the recommendations above. Time management will be required but most of the recommendations on the list can be done together.

Example of a day:

I will go for a walk in the morning before work for 20 minutes. I will notice things that make me go “wow” and intentionally think about things that I am grateful for in my life. When I get home I will eat breakfast and read for 10 minutes about how important exercise is for the brain. On Wednesday I will go play in the park with the children and enjoy every minute of it. I will play with them. At work I will look for people to praise and compliment and I will call my mom during lunch and tell her thank you for being such an awesome mom. I will schedule two hours of volunteer work on Saturday at the animal shelter and serve with the best of my ability. I will meet with my personal trainer to ensure accountability. It will be a great week!

STAY FOCUSED ON THE BENEFITS OF SELF GROWTH. IF YOU GIVE ENERGY TO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT ANYTHING THEY WILL GROW. IF YOU GIVE POSITIVE THOUGHTS TO ANYTHING THEY WILL GROW TOO. GROW IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION! GREAT HEALTH FOR LIFE IS ACHIEVABLE!

So why do people change? It begins with an individuals’ choice to begin to “do the work” necessary to begin the change process. It is often a struggle for many. If you are sincerely tired of where you are at in life and truly desire to change, then the struggle will be worth it. Jack Lalanne, a true pioneer for good health and fitness once said, “Your health is your wealth.” No words could possibly be truer. Without our health, we cannot work, enjoy time with loved ones, or even function normally in daily life. We will not have the time forever to make the changes we are seeking. Unfortunately, our time is finite and as we age it will become increasingly difficult to make the changes you are seeking presently. So CONGRATULATIONS to you for making this commitment and taking the steps to change your life and health forever. GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY!

TWO KEYS TO ANY GREAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE DESIRE AND RESILIENCY! NO MATTER WHAT KEEP TRYING!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HELP FOR UNHEALTHY CRAVINGS

The way the brain and body work together is such a complicated process. There are so many things involved in the choices you make, whether healthy or unhealthy. They include:

  • How you believe
  • The way you began to cope with life in your teen years
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Brain function
  • Sleep
  • Cultural and Family Conditioning
  • Liver function
  • Gastrointestinal tract and neurotransmitter interaction
  • Environments that you put yourself in
  • And more

What you crave in moments of stress, sadness, anger, and reward are much more than just a simple mental choice. If it were that easy we all would be able to make the right one and we would have a healthy planet. Your body, brain, emotions, conditioning, and autopilot coping skills go into the choice. They all work together to create the cravings you experience and the choices you make with your health. For many of us who continue to make choices we wish to change, there is hope. There are many example of people who experienced change despite years of struggle.  I have witnessed hundreds of people over the years change everything from hardcore food and drug addictions to unhealthy cravings of love. Here is what I have learned from both the people I have witnessed and the research I have conducted on eliminating unhealthy cravings in your life. This includes food, drugs and alcohol, sex, shopping, and more.

Managing The Cravings

  1. Take responsibility for everything. If you are an adult it is so important to be responsible. Many of us experienced trauma, loss, and other severe negative events as youth. I understand sadness and self-pity believe me. I am so sorry if you experienced abuse or trauma in your youth but to continue to give energy to self-pity will only help you to crave unhealthy things. Get professional help if you need. Take responsibility for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and the way that you respond to life TODAY. Stay present, see the good in your life more than the bad, and be willing to go through the discomfort of growth for your overall better health. Today is all that matters. Be responsible.
  2. Be prepared. If you know that you crave things that are not the best for your health, preparation is a key to managing the craving. Having healthy food and water available, a place where you can take a break for five to ten minutes, strong support, intentional distractions, positive affirmations, and other methods in place when you have unhealthy cravings will help you. The key is to recognize the unhealthy craving as soon as possible. Replace the unhealthy craving immediately with healthy food, water, exercise, positive emotion (something that makes you smile, thankful, or peaceful), contact your support if necessary, and distract yourself with work, projects at home, pleasurable activities etc. Be prepared and stay connected with yourself to change.
  3. Give Up Guilt. Many of us were taught by religion, parents, teachers, and others to feel guilty about the choices we make. As I have stated, making a choice is very complicated, especially for those who struggle. While the need to address your unhealthy choices should take priority immediately, it is more important to learn from your “mistakes” than to feel guilty about them. If you feel guilty about the choice you will create the multiple layer process of the unhealthy craving. Learn and make the healthier choice next time.
  4. Keep fighting but fight for the right cause. Fighting against the craving will only lead you to give into the craving. Willpower is a limited resource. When you have an unhealthy craving immediately give thought, energy, and focus to what your health goal is for the day. The quicker you can change the mindset to being successful versus fighting against the craving the quicker you will be able to manage the craving. Stay focused on only today and fight for your success!

So much goes into why we crave unhealthy things and make the choices we make. Please begin to move toward making healthier choices for yourself, your future, and for those who care about you. Please know that you can overcome anything that you have struggled with like many have. Begin today! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

The Build YOUR Healthy Life Program helps individuals and organizations create permanent positive health practices through evidence based, unique, and highly effective lifestyle education. It teaches how to live strong for decades and create permanent, healthy, self-care practices. If we can help you or your company improve your health practices please feel free to contact us at miraclesfitness@gmail.com We offer educational seminars and products, individual life coaching, healthy fitness training in our gym, your home or business as well as online. BECOME A MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

REWARD YOURSELF

Many of us have been given or chosen food as a reward for good behavior, a job well done, a long day, etc. The media and advertising also helps us with reward conditioning. “You deserve a break today” was the slogan for a leading fast food chain. The commercial showed a woman with two children, her hair standing up, a frustrated look on her face and obviously overwhelmed. The commercial touched on the emotions of all who watched it but it did not promote healthy outlets—it promoted easy and even worse unhealthy eating practices. What happens with the person that has a rough day and wants to be healthy? The person who wants to be healthy rewards themselves by treating the body with care and respect. This individual has re-conditioned his or her reward system to include healthy eating, responses to life events and yes—even a tough day. Reward yourself with long term good health and you may also teach the children in your life to respond the same way. You will be healthier, happier, and impact future generations. Way to go!
I Deserve It!
The “I deserve it’ thought process usually stems from two directions. The first example I will use is when we feel as though we have done something good and “deserve” to reward ourselves with “a treat.” Many of us have been conditioned to do this through sports, home or school activities as a youth when we have won a game or worked hard to achieve some level of success. The way that many of our brains work is that we get “locked into” telling ourselves that unhealthy food is a good reward. When we have had a good accomplishment in our day, gone through a tough exercise session, or worked extra hours it is very common for some of us to reward ourselves with unhealthy practices such as food.
The other “I deserve it” is created when we have not had such a great day or feel as though we have not been recognized properly, feel overwhelmed by events of the day, or feel as though we have been “done wrong” in some way in our lives. Having stress, anxiety, and sadness during our day will lead to the “I deserve it” response because of our automatic (brain locked in) way of coping with discomforting situations in our lives. The advertising geniuses at companies that promote unhealthy eating practices play on our emotions to billion dollar profits for them and poor health for many of us.
What You Truly Deserve
Everyone that I know works hard and are generally good people. They devote their lives to career and families and often neglect personal health and self-care. The “I deserve it” that you do actually deserve is a healthy life. You deserve to spend your hard earned money on vacations and things that you can enjoy with long term good health practices. You deserve to play with your grandchildren, to walk normally and without pain, and the happiness that good health brings. Your family and those who love you also deserve someone who cares for their health and does not cause extra work or burden prematurely. Begin to create the life and health you deserve as soon as possible. Begin to be your own miracle!

NEED HELP?

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

TO EXERCISE OR NOT WHEN IN PAIN?

This morning I went running despite pain in my left foot and lower back. Yesterday I did the same thing and the day before too. The pain was there every day and has been for at least three years. It is so severe that when I sit for a while, every step forces me to stop and regroup before advancing with another step. I do not take traditional pain meds and hope to never do so. Is it unhealthy or healthy that I do this? It is healthy for a few reasons.

  1. First, I am getting my aerobic exercise of at least 150 minutes per week. I run on mostly soft grass and make sure my foot is supported well and warmed up before running. I do not bounce up and down but instead focus on moving forward quietly on my foot. I stay tall throughout the run and know that if I slouch I will bring more weight down on the foot, resulting in more pain. I also listen to my body and do not risk injuring myself further. My foot will not get any worse if I am smart and focused.
  2. Second, I have learned through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) how to view my pain differently. I have learned to question the beliefs that lead me to think that the pain can stop me from being as healthy as I can be. I know that if I warm up and secure my foot properly that my foot will feel better. I know that my self-talk and the way I view the pain is critical to my long term health. CBT has taught me that I create my own experiences in life and that includes the way I cope with any kind of pain.
  3. Thirdly, running helps manage any depressive symptoms I have because of the physical pain I feel now or the emotional pain I’ve felt forever. Depression is so hard on our physical bodies and it is so important to learn to manage our depression for our long term health. CBT and other evidence based theories along with moderate aerobic exercise has helped many of us. Treat yourself well.

What we tell ourselves and the way we relate to the pain in our lives is critical to our long term health. It is vital that you exercise and work around the ailments that you use to stop you from achieving your best health. No matter what you struggle with, you can keep and achieve good health. It just takes your belief that you can work through things that stop you. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

THE REAL KEY TO HOW HEALTHY WE WILL BE AS WE AGE?

In recent weeks I have been studying and sharing with you about telomeres, the caps at the end of each strand of our DNA that protects our chromosomes. I have telomeres described by several people as being like the plastic tips at the end our shoelaces. And like the tips at the end of our shoelaces, as telomeres age with time they shorten and lose their effectiveness. And why are they important? Telomere aging is most likely the key to how healthy and functioning we will be as we get older. The shorter the telomeres become, the more likely we are to suffer with more disease, ailments, and a less functioning life. In other words telomeres are vital to our life and it is important to take care of them.

Taking Care of Telomeres

  1. Aerobic Exercise While resistance training and being strong is important to the way we age, our telomeres prefer you to do 45 minutes of aerobic exercise or High Intensity Interval Training. The HIIT workout consisted of also performed three times a week, was high-intensity interval training, consisting of a 10-minute warm-up, four alternating intervals of fast and easy running (at three minutes each) and a 10-minute cool down.
  2. Watch The Yo-Yo Weight Loss If you regularly lose weight and gain it back again you are harming your telomeres, according to research. It is important to lose the belly fat and to limit the amount of sugar we take in for healthy telomeres but yo-yo dieting is more harmful than helpful,
  3. Eat Fish, Flaxseed, and Seaweed Longer telomeres are linked to a diet rich in omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are also great for our heart, brain, and joints. Eat fish!
  4. Manage Depression  Research is showing that depression directly affects our telomeres in a negative way. Depression is also known to be a direct path to heart disease, many cancers, and bone deterioration. If you suffer from depression, there is help available. Get it! On the other side of the coin, meditation is showing through research to lengthen and strengthen our telomeres. Meditation can also teach you how to manage thoughts of depression if done correctly.

It is so important to take care of our telomeres. I am not shocked that the same things that affect our overall health also affect our telomeres. Exercise, eat fish, maintain a healthy weight, and please manage your mood and seek fulfillment in your life. Your happiness and health depend on it. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com