Knowing What To Do – The Straightest Road To Success

Straightest Road to Success

Last week I wrote an article about knowing what to do, and how much people waste time trying to get information on a very micro level. They’re searching for the straightest road to success.

They’re constantly in search for that one thing that’s going to make all the difference when in reality there’s a lot of things that factor into getting results.

As an online fitness coach and I’ve worked with hundreds of people on their health and fitness goals. I, like many others in my field, would like to say that I know what I’m doing and that I have the answer.

However, this comes with a grain of salt. I don’t always have THE answer first try, but I do have many ways to find the answer.

Let me explain:

Like my last article, when we are searching for micro level answers like “the best exercise” or “the best food” for some specific outcome, we have a very limited vision. We are only focused on one thing and we want one answer. We are trying to find the straight road to success. The linear path.

Sadly, there are plenty of people in my industry that are offering their program as THE answer and THE path.

This is probably because what they’re selling worked for them. They found an exercise, food, routine, habit, schedule, etc that works for them.

And in truth it does or did work!

…for them.

They found a path. One.

 

The question is whether or not that path will work for you.

 

So, when I say I know what I’m doing, and even if I say I have the answers, what I actually mean is that I have a really good idea of what I’m doing. It’s a very well educated guess that comes from years of experience and hundreds of clients testing different methods. Testing different paths.

I like to think of it like a nature guide, mechanic or computer repairman.

You hire a nature guide because they know where to go. They know the path and they’ve traveled it before. However, in nature unexpected things happen. There’s avalanches, floods, fires, rockslides and wild animals. The real value in the guide isn’t that they know the one path to get you where you want to go, it’s that they know many paths and can navigate the obstacles that come up.

The mechanics and computer repair men are similar in that they have a deep understanding of how their products work. If it’s not working, they are ready to navigate the obstacles. They have the skills to troubleshoot by looking at many different aspects and finding the area the needs to be addressed.

All of these people know how to do this because of years of experience, study and trial and error.

NONE of them know the perfect answer when they start.

They will probably be close, but what’s most important is from there they have many options and paths.

They will use education, trial and error, and experience to reach their goals.

They will navigate the obstacles and find the straightest road to success.

The great thing is you too have the ability to use trial and error to find your path. You can jump into the wild and figure it out. It will have many setback and struggles, but if you keep pushing you’ll find a way.

The key is that whether it’s on your own, or with support and guidance, there is always a way to reach your goal. However, it won’t be straight and it there’s no one or perfect answer. It will take trial and error.

 

Straightest Road to Success

 

My conclusion is very similar to last week:

 

Don’t waste time trying to find the perfect answer or one path, it doesn’t exist.

No one thing is going to work for everyone. And even if it does work for you, it usually won’t keep working forever.

There is no straight road to success, but an experienced coach will help you find the straightest.

~ Chad

You Know What To Do, You’re Just Not Doing It

“You know what to do, you’re just not doing it”

I’ve said this exact quote in many client consultations over the years and it’s a fundamental belief of my coaching model.

I have the assumption that everyone knows WHAT to do, it’s just that they AREN’T DOING IT.

I believe this and bring it up because it’s the most common question we get as coaches:

  • What do I do to work my: obliques, butt, inner thigh, love handles, jiggly bits
  • What do I eat to help me lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, not lose muscle, get toned
  • What’s the best exercise for…
  • What’s the best food for…
  • What’s he best protein, BCAA’s, creatine, Vitamin D, B, A, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K (you get the point) to take
  • What, what, what…

On some level it may be true that you don’t actually know the answers to these questions. But unfortunately it’s not the lack knowledge itself that’s the problem.

The problem is that it’s that it’s at such a micro level of focus.

And honestly, most people don’t know the perfect, specific answer to these questions fully because it’s always going to take some level of trial and error. (I’ll expand in next week’s article)

However, the micro focus questions are not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the general sense, the higher level view, the bigger picture focus on knowing what to do.

In the big picture we all know what to do:

Exercise more an eat less junk!

Until you are DOING that foundation, the microscopic view of individual vitamins or exercises, as expressed in the example questions above, mean nothing.

First you need the habit and discipline to do what you need to be doing.

I was inspired to write this because I recently watched a Keynote speech from an internet mentor of mine: Gary Vaynerchuk

In that keynote he says:

“Information has never been less valuable than it is today”

If you want to see it yourself, watch about 45 seconds and then come back here. Please. (you can watch the rest later)

His point is that the internet has everything we ever need to know and is literally at our finger tips on our phones. In seconds Google or Siri can tell you anything you want to know.

I digress back to my point.

Not knowing what to do is not your problem, it’s that you’re not doing it.

Getting answers about what to do will take you less than 30 seconds with a google search on your phone.

Heck, I’ll make it even quicker for you with some links:

But the truth remains, whatever knowledge you gain, you’re still going to have to get out there and do it. You’re still going to have to take a step forward and move.

My suggestion: put down the phone and step away from the search. Just go do something.

Anything.

Literally.

Do any damn thing you want that moves you one step closer to your goal.

Once you do, Tweet or Snap me and let me know what you did.

However, the next part is the actually the hardest.

Now you need to keep doing it. Over and over again. You now have to continue the journey.

Key point:

You may not know everything, but you know something you can do to get started. Just start doing it!

And no you’re not going to be perfect at it. No one is.

Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Why I stopped 1-on-1 personal training.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing in Mexico with Fitmix25 and what I’m doing with AnthroPhysique. I’ve dedicated my life to these two systems because I deeply believe in their benefits for someone’s health and fitness.

I’ve been thinking about why my belief so strong and what truly is the benefit of these systems?

It comes down to something that happened to me 9 years ago in early 2007. Continue reading “Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer”

The Health Benefits of Improving Your Sleep

improving your sleep

I like to classify sleep as one of those things we “know we need more of” but fail at actually getting more of (kind of like veggies :P)

There are many health benefits to improving your sleep and without getting too sciencey on you, here are a few quick facts regarding our bodies and their need for Zzzz’s

A lack of sleep can actually cause the body to act similar to a state of intoxication

  • Less sleep can mean more weight gain (due to a lack of time for the regulation of necessary hormones)
  • A lack of sleep can impede any muscle building attempts due to HGH (human growth hormone) not having enough time to release and regenerate
  • While you sleep your immune system restores. A lack of sleep can cause you to become more susceptible to colds and flu
  • There is such thing as sleep debt. While you may function “just fine” on four hours of sleep, your body and hormones do not. Eventually you will have to makeup that time

Now, I won’t bore you with the different kinds of sleep but know that in order to function optimally the next day (increased brain activity, creativity, improved energy etc) you need to have hit a deep sleep (or your REM stage). Continue reading “The Health Benefits of Improving Your Sleep”

Your New Year Resolution Won’t Last! – Here’s why

Your New Year Resolution Won't Last, but that's ok!

It’s January. What that means for a TON of people is that their new year resolution has started.

It’s an exciting time with tons of visions, tons of motivation and tons of goals!

The next exciting time will be when you fail!

I say that failing is exciting because it really can be if you’ve set yourself up for success and planned for that failure. Most people fear the point of failure but guess what – it’s going to happen.

You are going to fail.

I guarantee it and it’s okay.

The point here is to help you realize it will happen and in fact it should! Instead of setting yourself up problems and struggle with failure by avoiding or denying that it will happen, don’t deny it, know it will and plan for it.

How many times have you started something and been perfect at it from the start? Ya, probably not many.

Also, how many times have you really grown or learned from something that was easy the whole time and didn’t push your limits? Ya, probably not many.

When I work with my clients, I always have a plan for when they fail.

It’s never been a matter of if they will fail, it’s when.

I’m constantly pushing them and challenging what they can handle. I’m actually trying to find that point where they’ll fail. From there, we re-work the plan, pick them back up and carry on our merry way.

Your New Year Resolution Won't Last!

So this year, if you’re working on a new year resolution, do yourself a favour and plan for your failure. As the old saying goes: “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”.

If you truly want to make this a new YEAR resolution and not just a new JANUARY resolution, plan to pick yourself up. A lot.

Chad

As an Athlete: What Do I Do When I Retire From Sports?

Nicole athlete picture - pole vault

There are millions of post collegiate and post professional athletes out there who are venturing into the “Normal” world as we would like to call it. Your day changes and does not revolve around practice and meet schedules anymore, you no longer have to plan everything in your life around your training. Some people might look at this and think that sounds great, but for many former athletes this creates a lot of anxiety!

I myself have finally stopped pole vaulting – after trying my best to just meet my potential for the last 3 years as a post collegiate athlete and after an illness took a lot of my capability away (physically and mostly mentally) adding real life into the mix on top of all that with a Masters program (That I am proud to be finishing up) Jobs (I had and still have 3) It was the best and most stressful times of my life.

what do i do when i retire from sports

This Article Without the Game written by Lexi Panepinto really sums up this major life event. I encourage you all to read it!

Personally I struggle a lot now – trying to find my place, “who I am now that I am not the pole vaulter? What defines me?”. I have broken down a lot; in and out of the gym and on my final days of practice. I wish I let a lot of the pressure go during my final season so I was able to enjoy it more but I still have my moments where I break down because I am not that athlete anymore. Even though there is still so much to come in life, you can seem lost in the moment and this moment can last a long time.

My advice to all who are going through this or about to enter into this is try your hardest to enjoy your last “hoorah”. If you do not you will look back on it in a negative way and always feel like you did not give your last shot your best. If you are already past your last season and struggling to move on, look at the highlights! Who have you become because of this sport? What did you gain from it? Friends, lessons, motivation, courage? Regardless of how your last meet, game, practice, or whatever it may be ended, end it with pride, happiness, and passion that will never leave. Find your next goals. There is always something more that can be just as fulfilling and exciting.

Nicole athlete picture - pole vault

Luckily I have very supportive people by my side who are cheering me on in my next adventure. Find what motivates you – for me: that is my family, nutrition, and fitness. Having my family grown with my husband to be, growing my knowledge in nutrition and pursuing my doctorate, and increasing my fitness both as a hobby and as part of my career. As much as I miss pole vault and I always will I am excited for this next adventure. Just one step at a time!

Nicole

Fitness apps – tracking your sleep

This past weekend I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a very long time!

I went to bed at 2am and woke up at 10:30 am. Nothing in between, just a solid 8.5 hour sleep with some vivid dreams. It was great and I felt rested.

While laying in bed for a little while longer I did what we all do and played on my phone for a bit. One item of playing was a notification from the S Health application on my phone. I’ve been using it a little bit for tracking water intake, caffeine intake and sometimes take my pulse. A pretty cool app.

About a week or so ago I saw that the app could track sleep so I figured I’d check that out too. You can put in a goal of when you want to go to sleep and when you want to wake up.

During the week my sleep is pretty regular so I put my bedtime as midnight and my wake time as 6:20. So, each day during the week I crushed it. I was getting badges and awards all over the place because I consistently went to bed at that time, give or take and hour, and got up at 6:20 every day.

This time however, was Saturday. I wasn’t working so there was no alarm set. I went to bed later and got up later.

As I said, it was one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time. When I entered my data however I got this:

Screenshot_2015-10-24-13-42-20

It was considered a “poor” sleep because I didn’t got to bed nor get up at the times listed in my goal.

Maybe there is a way to have a separate weekend goal but I’ve only been using this feature for a few days and didn’t really dig into all the options.

Either way, I still have the same issue of: how can the app really know how good my sleep is? All week I’ve been reaching awards by the apps standards yet still feeling tired. However, when I sleep well and finally feel good, my sleep gets rated poor.

This is my point for the whole article.

I really appreciate apps and technology and what they’ve been doing for our lives. Just the other week actually I had an incredible experience of Facebook notifying me and my friends our “safety status” because we were in the affected area of hurricane Patricia. However, I still have a hard time getting on board with most apps because of how limited they are.

For something like sleep, and any other health variable as far as I’m concerned, there are many factors that will affect the quality. Basing everything on when you go to sleep and when you get up really doesn’t tell you much. It’s kinda like saying I’m unhealthy because I weigh 200lbs or because my BMI is over 27. One metric can’t give me that conclusion.

When you’re only looking at one small piece, you’ll never understand the whole puzzle.

So Galaxy S Health sleep app, and fitness apps everywhere, thanks for being a fun toy that allows my inner nerd to feel incredibly special while quantifying my life, but I don’t think you’ll ever truly know how well I slept last night. Thanks but no thanks.

~ Chad

Accountability – how Gary Vaynerchuk got serious about his health

Accountabillity

One of my mentors: Gary Vaynerchuk recently figured out how to get serious about his health. It was all about accountability.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve talked about and written about this topic so much that I’m beating a dead horse. However, I just read another article that inspired me to hit the topic again.

I strongly believe that it’s the key to success so I’m going to continue to beat that horse till the message gets across!

The article I just read was by Gary Vaynerchuck and he posted it on Medium. I’ve been following Gary, his YouTube show, his books and all of his advice for years. He’s a very smart guy. So when he decided yesterday to write an article called “How I Finally Got Serious About My Health” I jumped on it! Continue reading “Accountability – how Gary Vaynerchuk got serious about his health”

Healthy Snacks for Busy Kids (and Parents!!)

 

photo: www.superhealthykids.com

Calling all mamas, papas, aunties, uncles, big brothers and sisters!

School is OFFICIALLY back in session, which means that routines are back into full force and time saving tips are in high demand!! The most loving thing that you can do for your little one (and yourself as a role model) is to properly fuel their growing bodies and brains with high quality nutrition!  Now I know that this is a lot easier said than done, as our little munchkins can be picky little eaters at times and of course time is at a premium. Here are my top picks for kid-taste-bud-tested and adult-time-sensitive-approved:
1. PUMPKIN AND CINNAMON SPICED APPLES:  This snack tastes just like apple pie, without all the added WHOA sugars and WHOA pastry!  Learn more about Go and Whoa Sugars here!
How To: Slice and chop an apple into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with pumpkin spice, and cinnamon to your liking, stir the apples around, option to warm them up in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a pot over medium heat on the stove.
2. CRUNCHY ROASTED CHICKPEAS:  Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibre and protein that will curb sugar cravings and keep your little athletes satisfied until dinner time!  This does require a little prep time and use of the oven.
How To: Check out this awesome recipe!
Roasted Chickpeas

3. PB AND BANANA ROLL-UPS: Bananas are an excellent source of energizing and mood boosting B vitamins, and natural peanut butter provides protein.  Just make sure there are no added sugars or oils in the nut butter.  For a nut free alternative I love pumpkin seed or sunflower seed butter.

How To: Spread peanut or almond butter onto a whole wheat or rice tortilla, place a banana on one end, roll it up, and slice it into bite size pieces!  Option to warm it up to soften the tortilla.

4. FROZEN FRUIT KABOBS:  These are super refreshing after a sweaty dance, tennis, or running activity!  The healthy GO Sugars in fruit replace the energy used up in the activity!  Have the kids make their own after school kabobs the night before or after school!

How To:  Cut your fruit into bite-size pieces (bananas, strawberries, grapes, peaches, and or pineapple), with a wooden skewer arrange them in a fun pattern, place then skewers on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  Option to drizzle chocolate sauce or yogurt over the skewers for an extra treat!  Store leftovers in a sealed Ziploc for another day! 

photo: www.creativeandhealthyfunfood.com

5. ANTS-ON-A- CEDAR- LOG:  Switch it up from using classic celery by subbing a sweet orange pepper as the ‘log’.

How To: Slice an orange pepper into think strips, spread on some peanut butter, and let the kids place the ants along their own logs! 

6. TOAST WITH AVOCADO AND BOILED EGGS:  If you have more than one child, have them draw faces or their initials or names on ‘their’ hard boiled eggs so there’s no confusion at snack time!

How To: Hard boil your eggs. Toast 1 or 2 pieces of wholegrain toast.  While toast is cooking slice an avocado into thin slices, and cut 1 or 2 boiled eggs into 4 slices.  Layer the avocado and egg on the toast and sprinkle with sea salt.

photo: www.heathersdish.com

7. HUMMUS AND VEGGIES:   Have a big container of chopped up veggies that they can chose their own from!  Challenge them to make a fun design with their veggies!

How To: Chop your veggies as a family in the evening or on Sunday.  Ask your kids to pick their own veggies at the grocery store.  If buying store bought hummus, look out for a lot of added ingredients like oils and ‘flavours’.  Choose one that has 6 ingredients or less. Making your own could be as easy as blending chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, and a little water in a food processor.

Happy Snacking!!!

Until next time,

Jen

 

Your Mountain is waiting! What’s standing in the way of YOUR motivation?

A few months ago, I was in a downward spiral of self-doubt and felt like I wanted to just give up. I went for a run to try to shake it off, but the grip it had on me was too strong this time. I had a potent case of the “I’m not good enough’s, I’m not smart enough’s, the who do I think I am’s, and the what will they think’s”. Self-doubt and worry have been something that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. And at times I still do. I catch myself choosing the safe route for fear of what ‘might’ happen, or assuming that someone else is more deserving, can do it better than me, or that everyone is judging me. I have a habit of shutting down when this happens, but this time I chose to reach out instead.

So on the corner of the street, all sweaty from my run, tears streaming down my face; I called my twin brother Justin. Because I know he can always make me laugh. After I shared my fears, my doubts, and shed a few more tears, I paused and it was his turn to talk.

This is what he said:

 

At first I was impressed…. When did he become so good at rhyming??? And then I realized that he was reciting my favourite childhood poem. I had given this very book to my nephew for his birthday a few months prior. I even read it to him (with tears streaming down my face) the night before I left Toronto to fly home to Vancouver. And now, it came full circle. My brother was reading it to me. As a grown adult.

Something clicked for me that day. Of course, I’ve had my ups and downs since this poem hit me right in the heart. But I KNOW that I AM destined for big things; I’m here for a bigger purpose; and if it’s meant to be, it’s up to ME!

I am far too smart to be the only thing standing in my way – and the same goes for all of YOU reading this. We all have so so so so much love, passion, knowledge, energy, excitement, sass, adventure, courage, and unique gifts to share with the world. Don’t let fear or the excuse of lack of support stand in your way – ask for it, and be willing to receive it.  Yes silencing negative self-talk and limiting beliefs takes time, and definitely a lot of consistency, but the first step is deciding that you’re worth that time. YOU ARE. WE ALL ARE. What ever it is you’re telling yourself that you can’t do or that you don’t deserve. Stop it. Stop it, right now. Don’t deprive the world of your gift, or wait any longer to make that positive change in your life. TAKE THAT FIRST STEP, no matter how small it may seem.  It’s in the right direction.

Because TODAY is YOUR day and YOUR Mountain is waiting!

Do you have something holding you back? Comment below with your NEXT FIRST STEP!

 

Until next time,

Simply Love Yourself, Eat Real Food, and Move Your Body.

Nutrition Coach Jen

Knowing what exercise to do isn’t enough, here’s why:

what exercise is best

I’d bet good money that you’ve done at least one internet search for a workout program or nutrition plan to help you reach your goals.

Am I right?

You may have even found THIS article through such a search.

The good news is that this interwebs thing happens to hold a TON of information. A simple search should yield hundreds, if not thousands of websites with daily workouts, hundreds of recipes, nutrition plans, and other sites blogging about what you should be eating and/or not eating.

There are 2 major problems that come from this: Continue reading “Knowing what exercise to do isn’t enough, here’s why:”

Training for an event to help you reach your goals

Mudderella?……Mudderella…..MUDDERELLA!!

Working as a personal trainer for many years, I encouraged individuals to train towards an event. It gave a tangible goal to work towards and one that was achievable.  It gave many people a direction for their training.

Coming off of a 6 week recovery from surgery – which I might add is awful – I needed a new goal…so what did I decided to do? Mudderella!  Having done many different style of events (from running 10k up to 1/2 marathons, adventure challenges, triathalons, cycling events) I felt I needed a new challenge.

I had never done a get-down-and-dirty obstacle course event so I looked into Mudderella.

SOOOOOO, what would training for this type of event look like?

Run lots of hills – EEEEK!

Crawl around in a push-up postition – AAAHH!

downinmud
Photo from shebuyscars.com

Climb over walls – ya okay I could probably manage that

Mudderella-teamwork-660x440
Photo from self.com

PIGGY BACK A FRIEND UPHILL – are you for real?!? This is definitely going to be a challenge!

mudderella
Photo from fitbottomedgirls.com

I decided to do it!

Mudderella Whistler, I will see you on September 26th with my group of 15+ ladies and we will take you down!! We WILL be READY and we WILL take on the mud and finish this race with smiles on our faces!! Follow my journey of training through this blog!

Anyone else want to join us?! Training is just getting started and if we can do it, so can you – drop me an email and let’s get started!!

~ Leslie, Online Fitness Coach

What does a Nutrition Coach eat?

There’s one question that I consistently get from clients, friends, family, and even complete strangers at the grocery store when they find out that I’m a nutritionist: “What do YOU eat?”

The answer to that question is, well…it’s complicated, yet pretty simple.

Food is a HUGE priority for me but I try not to let it run my life.  I eat well, and keep it simple. Yes I love to try new recipes and experiment with new foods and cooking techniques, but the reality is, I know what I like to eat and what makes me feel vibrant and energized so I usually stick with that. Well until I get super bored of it, which believe me, definitely happens.

My schedule as a fitness trainer and nutrition coach calls for some pretty early mornings and occasionally later evenings, so I am very mindful to schedule my meals around my training schedule. As a result the time that I eat meals can vary greatly, but as much as possible I still try to stick with 3 meals a day and 2 or 3 snacks depending on my activity levels. This takes a little bit of planning, but it makes a world of difference.

Here’s the play by play: Continue reading “What does a Nutrition Coach eat?”

Recipe: 6 Ingredients To A Better Sports Drink

Recipe: natural sports drink

Why are we still buying Sports Drinks?

Look on the label of your favorite Gatorade and you will see ingredients such as Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium  Phosphate, Gum Arabic, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Glycerol, Ester of Rosin, and Yellow 6… because… what sports drink shouldn’t be fluorescent Orange?

I first heard about making your own post run drink from Roger Banister’s book, The Four-Minute Mile, where he describes finishing a run at the local pub and dissolving a few salt tablets in his water in front of a very confused bartender.

Since then we have had many variations on the sports drink, from what could probably be called salt water to the notorious Gatorade itself. Unfortunately, the industrialization of products such as Gatorade and other sports drinks leads to this long list of otherwise non essential ingredients to make their product look artificially appetizing, as well as prolonging its shelf life.

Well, last week I had had enough and I decided I would try my hand at making my own sports drink, sans the bright Orange coloring… sorry. Continue reading “Recipe: 6 Ingredients To A Better Sports Drink”