How To Do That Stuff That Scares You

Did you know that those things that scare you are things that, deep down you really want to do?  The reason why you feel scared is because you’re imagining a negative outcome.  I’m going to share some ideas on how to do that stuff that scares you.

  1. Figure out the worst-case scenario.

Don’t just think about it, write it down.  When you see it on paper you’ll probably realize that it’s not that bad and even if it did happen life will go on.  At very worse you will have learned something and will be able to grow from that experience.

  1. Stop over-thinking it.

All over-thinking does is break your confidence.  Over-thinking something will never serve you well.  You’ll imagine all sorts of scenarios that will convince you not to try that thing that scares you.  By not even trying that thing that scares you, you’re doing a major disservice to yourself.  Just take the first step and keep going without looking back.

  1. Do it!

The way to get better at something and therefore kill that fear is to do it until it feels comfortable.  Know that each time you do that thing that scares you, it’s going to make doing it again a lot easier and actually result in making that thing like second nature.  An example is public speaking.  The first few times will be nerve wracking but before you know it you’ll actually become quite comfortable with it.

  1. Fake it till you make it.

Did you know that your internal physiology responds to bodily movements such as posture and facial expressions?  When doing something that scares you walk into it like you feel completely confident about it.  You’ll be surprised by how well this works.

  1. Banish negative thoughts.

When you’re feeling insecure it’s because you’re expecting negative results.  Those negative thoughts in your head are holding you back so get rid of them.  It’ll take some practice but any time you have a negative thought stop yourself and force yourself to come up with something optimistic.  It’s hard to do at first but if you’re persistent it’ll become habit.  After a while you’ll actually start to naturally think more optimistically.

Grab Life By The Balls!

Don’t let your fear and insecurities stop you from doing something you really want to try.  Take the first step and then keep going no matter what.  At the end you will discover just how amazing you are and this will give you the confidence to keep trying new things that interest you.

Living In The Moment

In our busy world few of us really take the time to be in the present moment and really appreciate it.  Often people miss out on right now because they are too preoccupied with the past and what’s going to happen next.  Living in the moment is a skill that is very underrated.

Benefits Of Living In The Moment

It helps you deal with physical pain.

When you take the time to acknowledge the pain you’re feeling and explore it, it helps you to deal with it.  When you try to turn away from the pain this can lead to feelings of resentment and blame as well as other kinds of mental neediness.

It makes your workout seem easier.

When you think about your workout it might seem like a long grueling endeavor.  When you’re actually doing it all you’re doing is completing one thing at a time.  If you stay in the moment it’s always just one action that you are performing right now.  Keep your mind in that one moment and don’t worry about what’s coming up next and you’ll find you get through your workout a lot easier.

Big projects don’t seem as big.

When you have a big project to complete, thinking about it can make it seem impossible to you.  If you just choose to start at step one and commit to being totally present with each step before you know it the project is complete and you’ll wonder why you were so stressed out about it.

You eat less and enjoy more.

When you savor what you’re eating you’ll not only enjoy it more but you’ll actually eat less.  You’ll be more aware of when you’re satisfied rather than mindlessly going from bite to bite until everything’s gone.  Eating is so much more pleasurable when you take the time to experience each bite and savor the moment.

You don’t stress out about things that don’t matter right now.

We all have stress.  Paying bills can be a huge stress for people but it shouldn’t always be looming over you.  If you’re not going to act on something right now, don’t let that thought invade your mind.  Have a set date for when you pay your bills and for the rest of the month don’t let that stress take you away from the moment.

Enjoy This Moment Now

What are you doing right now?  Are you fully immersed in it or are you thinking about other things at the same time?  Shut out the other thoughts and really focus on what’s happening right now.

Why Cross-Train?

You’ve probably heard of cross-training but are you doing it?  Here are answers to your burning question: Why cross train?

Injury Prevention

One of the best reasons to cross-train is because it helps prevent injury.  When you use the same muscles the same way every day you risk over-use injuries and muscular imbalances.  While the main muscles used for your sport get stronger the other surrounding muscles become weak by comparison.  This can lead to chronic injuries that could plague you for years to come.

Active Recovery

It’s important to have a day of rest planned into your fitness routine for recovery, but you can also recover while staying active.  The benefit of this is that you can keep your fitness level high while still getting recovery for the muscles that really need a rest.

Rehabilitation

Most people who are active will at some point experience an injury that will require time off.  If this happens, cross-training will keep you from losing your fitness level.  While taking time off from the activity that caused the injury you can keep your fitness by participating in an activity that doesn’t involve the injured area.

Muscular Balance

If you predominantly use the same muscle groups the same way the majority of the time the opposing muscle groups have a tendency to get weak which sets you up for injury or chronic pain.  A cyclist uses their quads, hamstrings and glutes but not so much their abductors and adductors.  It’s important to create balance by focusing on the muscle groups you don’t use as much for your sport.

Improved Performance

If you participate in an activity that requires strong glutes, such as cycling, but your glutes are weak you’re at a big disadvantage.  Strengthening your weaker muscle groups will lead to much better performance.

The Boredom Factor

Even if you love your sport/activity if that’s all you ever do, you’ll get bored.  By adding in other activities you get to take a break from the usual and focus on something different.

Take Care Of Your Body

You only get one body so take care of it so it can serve you well.  Create balance and nurture yourself so you’ll be able to enjoy your sport/activity for many years to come.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Workout vs Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Workout

We all know working out is good for us but many people don’t.  Some people seem to love it while others will avoid it at all cost.  Here are the top 5 reasons why people workout and the top 5 reasons why people don’t workout.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Workout

  1. Enhances self-image.

Research has shown that when people workout regularly their self-esteem tends to be higher.  They also have a better sense of well being.

  1. Relieves depression.

Researchers have found that people who suffered from mild to moderate depression experienced a positive shift in mood after just 2-3 weeks of exercising 15-30 minutes at least every other day.

  1. Increases metabolism.

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body uses while you’re awake and in a state of complete rest.  BMR is affected by such things as gender, body composition and physical activity level.  Exercise helps to build and maintain lean body mass which results in a higher BMR.  That means that if you’re in shape you’ll burn more calories at rest than someone who is out of shape.

  1. Reduces stress.

Studies have indicated that exercise actually dissipates hormones and other chemicals that build up during times of stress.  Anyone who’s ever exercised has also experienced that ‘runner’s high’ brought on by the release of endorphins.  Exercise also causes substantial emotional and physical relaxation about an hour and a half after a relatively intense workout.

  1. Improves quality of life.

A proper workout program will give you the energy, strength and mobility you need to do the things you love to do.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Don’t Workout

  1. No time.

If you really value your health you’ll find the time.  You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get fit and healthy.  You can even break your workout up into short sessions done throughout the day and still get results.  Try doing 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes on your lunch break and then 10 minutes before dinner.  With all the at home and equipment free workout options available now you can fit in a quick workout anywhere.

  1. Too expensive.

You don’t have to pay to exercise!  You can go for a walk or jog, or do a workout at home.  If you want more guidance there are inexpensive programs that you can do from the comfort of your own home.  A small investment into an at home workout program can mean adding years of active pain free living doing what you love.

  1. It’s boring.

Take the time to find something you enjoy.  Try a new class at your gym, or try an at home program that gives you thousands of options  If you’re bored than change it up!

  1. It didn’t work for you in the past.

If you’ve tried working out in the past and you didn’t get the results you wanted then something was missing from your program.  Either the program wasn’t right for your goals or your nutrition was bad.  In order to get results from your fitness program you need the proper workouts to support your goals, a meal plan that supports your goals and support from others.  With these three things it’s impossible to fail.

  1. You don’t want to bulk up.

This reason drives me INSANE.  You will not bulk up unless you are on a specific program with specific nutrition that supports bulking up.  It is super hard to bulk up!  It takes a ton of work and very specific nutrition.  The only other way you might appear bulky is if you work on increasing your muscle mass and continue to eat foods that put extra fat on your body.  Your results are directly affected by your nutrition.

Your Health Is At Stake

If you’re not exercising, eating right and getting enough rest your health will suffer.  You might feel fine now but the compound effect of not taking proper care of yourself will have devastating consequences.  Don’t be that person who is suffering with constant pain and poor health wishing you had done something while you still had the chance.

Why Foam Rolling Is So Good

You’ve probably heard of foam rolling, and you may even be doing it already.  Do you know why foam rolling is so good?  Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that anyone can do.  It works by using the body’s natural response to pressure.  As you move over tight spots, or trigger spots the muscle relaxes.  For really tight muscles you can just apply constant pressure without rolling.  It’s like getting a deep tissue massage but a lot cheaper.

Here are some of the other benefits of foam rolling:

  1. Breaks up scar tissue.

Most of us have scar tissue and adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.  These need to be broken up so that your body can move pain free.  Foam rolling puts targeted pressure on fascia, releasing the trigger points that are causing you pain.

  1. Improves your range of motion.

Foam rolling releases tight muscles that inhibit your range of motion.  Releasing those tight muscles takes pressure off your joints and allows for more dynamic moves during your workouts.

  1. Improves circulation and removes toxins.

Foam rolling stimulates your lymphatic system.  Your lymphatic system helps rid your body of toxins.  This helps with better oxygen delivery to your cells which improves circulation.

How To Use It

Foam rolling works with your body weight so you need room to be able to get down on the floor with it and roll over those tight muscles.

You can find some examples of how to use a foam roller here.

Whether your physically active or not you can benefit from foam rolling.  If you’ve got chronically tight areas invest in a foam roller and start using it regularly.  It might be a bit painful when you first use it but the benefits far outweigh that little bit of discomfort.

Your Health: Cost vs Value

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for a lot of years.  I’ve heard a lot of ‘reasons’ for why people neglect their health and fitness.  The reason I hear most often is that it’s too expensive.  When someone tells me it’s too expensive to look after their health I know that what they’re really saying is they don’t see enough value in it.

Cost vs Value

When you feel that something adds value to your life you’ll find a way to afford it.  Whether it’s fancy coffees, fast food, alcohol, spa visits, jewelry, beauty products or whatever, you will find a way to afford the things that you view as valuable.  So why isn’t your health valuable to you?

I’ve Been There

Growing up there was not a lot of money so I learned to be thrifty at a very young age.  I got my first job at A&W at the age of 14 and squirreled away as much as I could.  Even when I had a little extra cash I was still very thrifty.  It was ingrained in me.

After I graduated high school I moved to Vancouver to go to BCIT.  I had to get student loans to go there and had this dreaded feeling about starting my adult life in debt.  So once again I was super thrifty.  I once bought a large sack of rice and ate only rice for a full week because that big sack of rice was cheap.  Even though I was super cheap when it came to buying food for myself I had no problem dropping money on cigarettes because at that time I felt that cigarettes held more value for me than healthy food.  No wonder my physical and mental health was so bad.

A Change Of Heart

When I got older and had had enough of always being sick and suffering with depression and anxiety I started to take my health more seriously.  I got into the health and fitness industry and learned about nutrition.  I applied what I learned about nutrition to myself and could not believe how it changed my life.  It changed everything about me.  When I think back to who I was then I don’t even recognize that person.

I finally got to a point where I really did value my health.  When this happened, I was suddenly able to figure out how to afford the things that I needed to be healthy.  For me health was value and if I had to give up something that wasn’t serving my health in order to afford what I needed, then that’s what I was going to do.

What Holds Value For You?

So what’s more valuable to you?  Things that give you instant gratification but slowly destroy your health?  Or something that will improve your health and give you a better quality of life as you age?  We all have choices.  It’s just a matter of seeing the value in something versus the cost.

Why People Who Join Groups Are More Successful

Did you know that by joining a group of like-minded people you are actually setting yourself up for success?  Not saying that you can’t achieve your goals on your own, but typically people who join groups are more successful at reaching their goals more quickly

The Psychology Behind Groups

People tend to join groups because groups meet their psychological and social needs.  I tried running my business on my own and did okay, but it wasn’t until I joined a group of like-minded business builders that my business really began to grow.  Here are some reasons why we do so well in groups.

  1. Motivation and inspiration.

When you’re trying to accomplish a goal motivation is high in the beginning when it’s all new.  After some time though motivation starts to fall off.  In a group you’ll get motivation and inspiration from your fellow members.  You’ll see that they struggle too, which makes you feel like you’re not alone.  You’ll also see their triumphs showing you that you can achieve your goal if you stay on track.

  1. The need to belong.

As humans we have a deep and strong need to belong.  Feeling isolated and/or rejected has a very negative effect on you.  Being a part of a group makes you feel happier and more satisfied.

  1. Improved performance.

When you’re a part of a group you feel a sense of duty to not let your group down.  Even when things get really tough and you don’t feel like doing the work, knowing that others are counting on you and want you to be successful motivates you to stay on track.

  1. Knowledge in numbers.

Have you ever been trying to accomplish something and then you get stuck and you don’t know how to progress forward?  For most people this is where they give up.  If you’re a part of a group you can let your group know you’re stuck and your group will be able to help you.

Your Group, Your Tribe

When you join a group, bonding immediately begins.  You become like a family and you know that your group has your back.  Trying to reach goals alone is lonely and, in most cases, frustrating.  Want success?  Define your goal and find a group of like-minded people to join. 

Meal Prep Tips For Us Lazy Ones

Meal prep can save you time and money, not to mention keep you on your healthy eating plan.  But what if you’ve never meal prepped before?  Where do you start?  And what if you’re just plain lazy?  Here are some meal prep tips to help you out!

Pick out some easy to prepare recipes.

There are a ton of great, easy to prepare recipes on Google and Pinterest.

Make a grocery list.

See what ingredients you already have and make a list of the stuff you need to prepare the recipes you picked out.  If you hate grocery shopping like I do be sure to pick recipes with just a few ingredients 😉

Gotta get containers!

You’ll need different sized containers for your pre-portioned food.  Check out Walmart or Amazon for a set of meal prep containers.

Cook all your meat in one pan.

You can cook different meats in one pan to save time and effort.  Season them the way you like them and then throw them in the oven.

Use a crock pot.

Crock pots are genius for meal prepping!  Just throw in your ingredients in the morning and then your meal is ready for you when you get home.  You can portion out the leftovers for lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.

A Little Prep Goes A Long Way

It might sound a bit daunting, but a bit of time spent on meal prepping is going to save you a ton of time later.  Just think how great it will be to not have to figure out meals for an entire week.  It also really helps to keep you on track with healthy eating.  When you prepare the food you control exactly what goes in it so you can be sure you’re getting the healthiest meals possible to suit your goals.

How To Recover From A Sugar Binge

Certain holidays such as Easter tend to be filled with sugary treats.  It’s fine to indulge once in a while but you usually pay for it the next day.  Here are some steps to help you recover from a sugar binge.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up.

You’ll probably feel like crap the next day and that’s probably punishment enough.  It won’t do you any good to beat yourself up over something that happened yesterday.  Keep in mind that it’s not what you do on one occasion, it’s what you do the majority of the time that matters.

  1. Don’t try to undo what you did by not eating the next day.

You might be tempted to not eat the next day to make up for the calories you had from all the sugar.  Never do this!  Your blood sugar spiked when you consumed the sugar and if you starve yourself the next day your blood sugar will crash.  This not only feels bad but can do damage.  Instead you want to stabilize your blood sugar by eating protein, healthy fats and food with fibre such as fruits and vegetables.  Your body needs that healthy food to help it recover.

  1. Drink lots of water.

After a sugar binge your body is left dehydrated and acidic.  Drink lots of water and also try drinking water with some fresh squeezed lemon juice.  The lemon has an alkalizing effect which will help bring your body back into balance.  You can also try drinking a green juice for the same effect.

  1. Take magnesium.

Magnesium is essential to help process sugar and most of us are low in magnesium.  It also aids in insomnia, digestion and mood.

  1. Get rid of the bloat.

A sugar binge can leave you bloated because the sugar disrupts the good and bad bacteria balance in our gut.  Make sure to use a good probiotic supplement to help restore balance.  Not all probiotics are the same quality.  I use my favourite shake to make sure I’m getting a healthy dose of high quality probiotics.

Keep Moving Forward

As you work toward improving your health and fitness there will most likely be times that you don’t adhere to your healthy plan.  That’s okay!  That’s part of life!  It happens and all you have to do in order to be successful in reaching your goals is move on and keep your goal close to your heart.

How To Be Happy And Successful

I think pretty much everyone wants to be happy and successful.  Do you know people who are happy and successful?  Have you ever wondered how they got there?

Happiness and success don’t necessarily come easy.  People who are happy and successful tend to have a few key habits in common.  Let’s look at what some of those habits are.

They don’t dwell on the past.

Everyone has a story and some people have had major struggles in their lives.  Happy and successful people have found a way to let the past go and focus on the future.  Until you can let go of your past you won’t be able to find your future.

They focus on what they believe.

Happy and successful people stay true to what they believe.  They take action on what is true to them not what they think will please others.  Stop trying to please others so you can work on pleasing yourself.

They are open minded.

They know when things aren’t working and are open to trying new things in order to make them work.  If you’re feeling stuck open your mind to the potential in the opportunities that come your way.

They finish what they started.

They know that there’s no point in starting something if they don’t finish it.  Every time you start something and don’t finish it it has an effect on your psyche.  Deep down you start to believe that you can’t accomplish anything because you never have.  When you start something new commit to finishing no matter how tough things get.

They trust themselves.

Happy and successful stick to their guns.  They don’t let uncertainty get in their way.  Being uncertain is a key component of failure.

They’re open to constructive criticism.

They know that they’re not perfect and they always want to learn.  For them constructive criticism helps them to be better at what they do because it gives them a different perspective.  When you receive constructive criticism learn from it and make the necessary changes.

They take risks.

People who are happy and successful don’t let fear keep them stuck.  They know that in order to move forward they need to face their fear and figure out how to conquer it.  When you conquer your fears your life changes.

They give back.

Most people have a need to help others.  When you’re able to help others change their lives your level of happiness rises to amazing heights.

They question convention.

These people know that just because things are done a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way.  If things aren’t working out for you by doing it the conventional way it’s time to look at alternative means.

They learn from others.

Happy and successful people know that they don’t know everything and that listening and learning from others is a key factor of personal growth.  When you find your mentor and really study them you’ll have guidelines to help you get to where you want to be.

They look after their health.

They know the power of good nutrition and physical activity.  If you’re not taking care of your health your mind and body will be out of balance.  True happiness is not possible when your mind and body are out of balance.

Be Happy And Successful!

You have within you the power to be happy and successful.  The key is to decide what you want to happen in your life and go after it.  Don’t just simply let life happen to you.