Are You Focused on a Goal or a Lifestyle?

Lifestyle Focused

Lifestyle has been a pretty popular word for a long time already, but it seems to be popping up more and more for me lately. Maybe that’s because it’s my main focus.

I’ve realized that all of my programs, coaching, workouts and focus is around living a healthy lifestyle. I’m not focused on short-term anything and I won’t even give that to my clients when they ask for it.

Something I just learned with a client is that you are either goal focused or lifestyle focused. They are very different and they require very different approaches to training.

You are goal focused if your normal process is:

Something motivates you, you set a goal and you go after.

I think this is most people.

While the motivation is high or you are seeing results, you go hard.

However, at some point the motivation withers away, the results slow or you reach a certain level of results and just stop. (I may write another article about this last one)

Anyway, the only focus here is some end goal. It’s what gets you going but what’s crazy is that it’s also what stops you in the end.

Someone who is lifestyle focused is more concerned about the process than the end goal. In a sense, the end goal is almost unreachable or it’s so long term that it isn’t about actually getting there, it’s just about the process of moving in that direction.

Being lifestyle focused means you are focused mostly on being consistent. There are good times and bad, there are ups and downs, there are successes and setbacks, but overall your key focus is consistency.

Not just consistency in a week or month, but consistency over a long period of time.

To me, you are consistent if you do exercise and eat healthy at least 5-6 days per week, 50-52 weeks per year.

It may seem like a high standard, but it’s the difference between someone who lives a healthy lifestyle and someone who intermittently pursues a goal whenever their motivation is high enough.

So ask yourself, are you focused on a goal or a lifestyle?

There’s a difference.

If you want to build a healthy lifestyle, I can help.

~ Chad

Making new year resolutions? Read this first! 

You just spent a bunch of time with family, enjoyed opening some new gifts and ate your weight in turkey, ham, potatos, stuffing and likely a few varieties of pie and/or cookies.

Now is the time we reflect on the year that passed, what we did and didn’t accomplish and what we want to do in the new year. For many, this includes fitness and health related goals.

If this is you, I have some questions that will hopefully trigger a new perspective for your goals in 2017.

Please read on:

First thought: 

What if I told you thath you WON’T reach your goal within the next year?

What if I told you it will take 5 years to reach your health goals?

Would you try?

Would you not even bother?

Would you stop reading this and try to find someone who will tell you differently?

I ask these questions specifically because it challenges our perspective on goals. Most of the time we think we can reach our goals within 3 months or even within a year. Especially health goals.

In my experience, that’s just not true and for many people it can take many years. But so what?

The key question is: do you plan on living for 5 more years?

I’m sure the answer is likely well beyond that.

So?

Let’s say you think you’ll live 30, 40 or 50 more years. And let’s say that in that time you never truly reach your health and fitness goals?

Is it still worth the effort of trying?

Do you think reaching 50%, 70% or 90% of your goal is worth the effort?

If it’s not, then don’t bother. If it is, then why ever stop?

I know this article has been mostly questions, but I encourage you to honestly answer them for yourself.

Whether you decide it’s worth it or whether you decide it’s not, you’ll be happier either way.

~ Chad

The Lifestyle of Running, It’s Not Just Logging Miles

Running plans are everywhere these days, however, just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you will stick to it… or even see results.

The truth is, being fit is about more than just running. Sure running receives the glory – but it’s what you do away from the roads that make the biggest impact.

The biggest gains in fitness come from how much you sleep, what you eat, how you hydrate, how you relax – that’s how you optimize your training.

You have to live the lifestyle of a runner!

Something I would preach as a college coach, “You don’t PR off of 5 hours a night”.

Check out my latest A Day In The Life Video for a little more insight.

 

~ Justin

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Lifestyle Coaching

AnthroPhysique just celebrated it’s 5 year anniversary!

This means we have been working with clients online around the world for over 5 years now. In that time we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.

The biggest thing we’ve seen is that so much of our industry of fitness, nutrition and health is based on 4-12 week plans. There are literally millions of products that focus on jumping into an intense program to maximize your results within 3 months.

The sad reality is that after those 3 months, whether or not results were achieved, the majority of people drift back into the lifestyle they had before they started. The eat the same foods and they exercise (or not) in the same ways they’ve done for years.

In short, their lifestyle never actually changes.

At AnthroPhysique, we are committed to helping people achieve true and long-lasting lifestyle changes. In our 5 years of experience, we’ve learned 1 major truth: Continue reading “Lifestyle Coaching”

Do your short term actions match your long term goals?

What’s your long term vision of your health?

Do you want to be healthy for the next week? 3 months? 12 months? 3 years? 50 years?

Seriously, this is no joke.

When I ask people this question, most people answer in the 50+ range or “the rest of my life”.

Like it’s a no brainer.

However, their short term actions don’t match their long term goals.

They are only focused on a short term goal, and if they don’t see results within weeks “it’s not working” and they give up.

Sound familiar?

People want long term results but only have a short term plan.

Do me a favor: comment below with your 3 month, 12 month, 36 month and 30+ year vision of your health.

Then let me know if that activity has changed your perspecitve.

~ Chad

From fitness newbie to loving exercise. Yes, it can happen!

Fitness Newbie

It’s 1999. Y2K was fast approaching, Haley Joel Osmet was seeing dead people and I was a pudgy 10 year old hating her life in PE. It was the day of the Presidential Fitness Test and I was shaking in my Skechers. Based on my recess activity, I already knew that I wasn’t athletic and I was positive I was going to fail.

The mile run was where I started to lose it.

I began to hyperventilate, paralyzed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to complete the long distance. In the end I (miraculously) did and later I scoffed at my 15 minute run time. “I’m just not athletic” I said, munching on my dunkaroos, “I hate sports and I hate exercising. I’m just never gonna be good at it, ya know?”

Fast forward to high school. I’d traded my Skechers for Uggs and I’d successfully gotten out of every physically demanding thing (other than dance classes) that was thrown at me thus far. I’d conveniently been sick for every trying day of PE in middle school. I’d even persuaded my doctor to suggest that I had “exercise-induced asthma” to get me out of running in my cheerleading practices. So, when my best friend suggested that we go to the gym after school, I almost dropped my Nokia brick phone.

Workout? By choice? Me? Was she joking? I laughed it off, pretended there was a Gilmore Girls marathon on ABC and slowly slinked away. There was NO way I was going to workout for pleasure! Continue reading “From fitness newbie to loving exercise. Yes, it can happen!”

Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters

Getting Started - it's the only thing that matters

Getting started on something is usually the hardest part. I believe it’s the only thing that matters!

I actually wrote a similar version of this article about a year and a half ago but just realized I never got around to publishing it…

I apologize because I feel I prevented a learning opportunity for you.

I’m writing about it again now because I had a new realization about this concept the other day. I even did a Snapchat rant about it.

Continue reading “Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters”

Vibram FiveFingers Lawsuit – where is the fault?

Vibram FiveFingers

Have you heard about Vibram FiveFingers?

They are those funky toes shoes that you may have seen people wearing on the street or at the gym. Unfortunately, they now have a lawsuit out against them.

Vibram FiveFingers
Me and my Vibram FiveFingers circa 2009

The funny part for me is that I had planned to have a post about barefoot running and the “barefoot movement” on this blog yesterday. I wrote it a week ago because it was in my plan of blog posts I wanted to do. Funny enough, as soon as I finished the draft, I found an article about a Lawsuit against the Vibram FiveFinger shoes.

There are now plenty of articles online highlighting the lawsuit settlement and even bashing the shoe makers for “crimes against fashion and humanity”. Check out these articles from FittishNBC News, and Vox.

The good news, in my opinion, is that you can also find some articles taking the other side of the argument. A writer at The Atlantic doesn’t want a refund, and apparently a survey says 70 percent of FiveFingers owners will keep toe shoes despite lawsuit.

I’ll add my opinions and non-scientific evidence about barefoot lifestyles next week. For now I’d like your opinion.

What do you think?

Where do you think the is the fault and who is to blame?

How Many Habits Have You Built in 21 Days?

Have you ever heard the phrase “It takes 21 days to form a new habit”?

I’m sure you have. I’ve likely heard it hundreds of times.

Have you ever actually tried it though? How many habits have you formed by doing something for 21 days?

I’ve tried many things for at least 21 days. Heck, I’ve even practiced handstands every single day for 130 days! After that though I stopped. It wasn’t a habit. I didn’t continue doing it here and there or even at all. So what happened?

I recently read an article by James Clear called How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? Like most of his articles, I really enjoyed it.

The phrase itself came from Dr. Maxwell Maltz. His actual quote came from his experiences around forming new behaviours and was specifically written as: “These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

Not quite “It takes 21 days to form a new habit”.

Like many quotes it’s been shorted and paraphrased down to a simpler form and, unfortunately in this case, steers people in an unrealistic direction. It sounds nice, but it’s rarely successful.

So how long does it really take?

Jame’s article goes on to talk about a study by Phillippa Lally at University College London. The study revealed that it actually takes 66 days on average to build a new habit.

The average is 66 days but the variance was between 18 to 254 days. This is a far cry from 21 days!

In the world of fitness this hasn’t exactly been a hard conclusion to make through observing people’s patterns.

How many thousands if not millions of people flock to the gyms every new years? Of those, how many do you think build a strong habit after just one 1 month?

I don’t have any accurate facts on this but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was less than 10%.

Most of those memberships drop off after 3 months, still proving that a habit can take a really long time to be built.

What can we learn from this?

For me, it’s that there isn’t a quick fix. You may get quick results, but if you want them to last you’re going to have to dig in for the long run. If you truly want to change your life and build a new lifestyle, you’re going to have to focus on long-term.

As James concludes in his article “embracing longer timelines can help us realize that habits are a process and not an event”.

I’ll leave you yet again with my favourite quote:

“Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

Have you struggled with the “21 days” concept? Share your experiences of habit building in the comments below.

Is Your Workout All or Nothing

I work with a lot of clients who really struggle to be consistent with their workout routines. Actually, for MOST of my clients, the #1 thing we focus on in the beginning is developing their consistency. I’ve written about it recently.

A big struggle they have comes from a belief that seems very common.

I call it that All or Northing belief.

The basic principle is that my clients believe they need to be all or nothing. As in, when they workout, they need to do the whole workout, at 100% capacity for it to be worth it. Otherwise, what’s the point. There’s some level that they SHOULD be able to achieve and if they can’t then there’s no point.

Have you ever thought this?

You had a 60 minute workout planned, you only have 30 minutes so there’s no point. Right?

Many people think they need to do the program 100% to get results. They need to be able to get a personal best or put in their best efforts for it to be worthwhile.

If they’re sore, they need more rest.

If they don’t have enough time, they need to do it later.

Often, these are really just justifications for why you can’t do it now. The problem is that this creates negative habits that get harder and harder to overcome as time goes on. You get so used to putting it off that you really struggle to get up and do it when the time is right.

You end up doing nothing.

To get a different perspective, let’s do some simple math:

If you have three 60-minute workouts in a week and you do none of them, how much time have you spent working out?

Right, ZERO!

Now, if you have three 60-minute workouts in a week but you run out of time in each one and only do half, how much time have you spent working out?

Right, 90 minutes!

Now, go ask a 5th grader: which is bigger; 90 or 0?

Right, 90!!

My point here is that you’re going to be better off in the long run even if you only do half of your workouts. Half the time or even half the intensity. It’s not worthless if you can’t do the full thing.

JUST DO IT.

Besides, reduced capacity workouts are actually a great thing for your body and mind. It can help the muscles recover and you get a sense of accomplishment, not failure.

Doing 50% of a workout still feels like you at least did something.

Doing 0% of a workout feels shitty.

If you’ve ever run into this thought pattern, break it immediately by doing something. As I wrote recently , the perfect program is the one you’re doing. Stop thinking you need to do it all or nothing and just get out there and do what you can.

Have you ever done this? Share your experience in the comments below.

My So Called Unplugged Sunday

Since the beginning of this year, one of my new years resolutions was to have an Unplugged Sunday. “Unplugged” is the word I originally chose, but I’m not fully satisfied with it. The goal isn’t just about unplugging from technology, as is often understood when using that term, but more about unplugging from work and the hustle/bustle of the week. It’s more about re-connecting with me and my values.

My nutritionist Jennifer Northrup called it Sacred Sunday which I also like but I’m not sure if that fully fits either.

I want to find a better term…

A good friend of mine Bec Spink (@MissB_2), who is also and Evernote Ambassador gave me a link to an interesting article called The Pointlessness of Unplugging.

The article raises some interesting points about “how quickly the digital age turned into the age of technological anxiety, with our beloved devices becoming something to fear, not enjoy”. It talks about how we need to disconnect from our devices to reconnect with the real world. To reconnect with people. Yet, much of the time spent online IS to connect with other people.

I agree with many of the points because I’m not using it to escape some form of anxiety. I don’t feel like a slave to my technology and feel I have pretty good habits with it. Sure, I’m connected at all times, but it doesn’t stress me out.

Again, for me unplugged Sunday was never about a complete disconnect from technology. To be honest, this article was drafted on a Sunday because that’s when I was thinking about what this meant to me.

Here is what this Sunday looked like for me:

Today I slept in, grabbed a coffee then took the dog for a walk with my wife. We came home, made brunch then I spent over 2 hours soaking up the sun on my balcony while catching up on reading articles that caught my attention during the week. I read them in Evernote on my Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. After that I cleaned, did laundry then watched a hockey game on TV. Finally, we went out for dinner before our weekly grocery shop and now I’m writing this article.

Overall, it was definitely NOT unplugged. However, I did make a solid effort to avoid work emails, texts and todo’s. Working from home I tend to be a workaholic and that’s why I want to spend 1 day of the week not working. I spend the one day on me. Sure as the weather gets better I want to spend more of the day outside, but overall I want to spend the day doing things I love to do.

Now the point of this post was to come up with a better term for my day. Maybe something like: No Work Sunday, Personal Sunday, whatever-the-f@¢k-I-want-to-do Sunday or maybe even Selfish Sunday.

What do you think? Do you take a special day for yourself? What do you call it? Comment below.

Building a Healthy Heart

chia seeds

You know that big organ beating away in your chest? You know, that life line that keeps going without us really thinking about it.
You’re right, our heart.
Just sit and take a second to appreciate just how amazing our bodies are designed. It’s pretty hard to comprehend how every system works synergistically with one another. Designed to protect, react, feel, grow, thrive.
The heart and vascular system is one of the most important systems our body has. Not only does this system deliver vital oxygen and nutrients throughout our entire body, it also aids in the removal of waste products.
But these days, we sure do like to push our bodies to the limits, and our heart and arteries taking majority of the blow. Stress, processed foods, and stimulants being the big kahunas. Sure, our bodies are designed to adapt, but if we push too far there comes a point when it has to tell us enough is enough. And this message comes out loud and clear, usually in different form of heart disease and stroke. According to Stats Canada, heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. The major risk factors for these being:
  • Smoking
  • Elevated blood cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
So what can be done to keep our hearts healthy and happy? Below are 8 simple nutrition or lifestyle recommendations that every single one of us has the ability to adopt for a healthy heart.
1. If you’re a smoker, take the steps to stop.
Probably stating the obvious here, but did you know that smokers who quit this habit cut their risk of heart disease in half over the span of just one year. Amazing, right?
2. Increase your consumption of fiber-rich plant foods
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, raw nuts and seeds all contribute to a healthy ticker.
3. Reduce caffeine consumption
I’m not telling you to cold turkey cut it out of your system, but instead savouring that cup in the morning, grabbing a green tea in the afternoon, and making sure you have a water bottle with you at all times. Baby steps. Don’t shock the system. General rule, for one cup of coffee consumed, you should be rehydrating with two cups of water.
4. Regular exercise
Regular exercise is extremely important in reducing your risks. And I’m putting emphasis on regular exercise. Not only does moving our bodies help to balance out cholesterol levels and improve the supply of blood and oxygen to our heart, it makes us feel great! Go endorphins go.
5. Magnesium and whole foods
Magnesium is essential to proper functioning of the entire cardiovascular system, and it’s not uncommon that most of us are not meeting the daily requirement of 350mg for men and 300mg for women. And guess what? In nature, magnesium occurs abundantly in whole foods. Best sources being legumes, seeds, nuts, whole sprouted grains, and dark leafy greens.
6. Ease up on the processed foods
For many reasons: reducing empty calories, trans fats and sodium levels. Remember, the closer to the whole form of the food the better. An example of a simple change: Replacing a bag of potato chips with homemade baked sweet potato fries.
7. Watch your sodium intake
Sodium is essential for the heart to function, however in today’s Standard American Diet, the sodium level is through the roof leading to high blood pressure. Staying clear of overly processed foods, getting your whole foods, and lightly seasoning with a high quality sea salt are all steps in the right direction.
8. Love your healthy fats
Fats used to get a seriously bad rep, where all fat was categorized into one big bad scary thing to avoid. I could do an entire blog post just on fats, but for now remember this: steer clear of the bad fats such as highly processed vegetable oils, corn oils, soy oils, reduce saturday fat from red meats, and incorporate in healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, sesame oil, cold pressed olive oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, free range eggs and cold water fish.
In health and happy hearts,
Jennifer
References
Heart and Stroke Foundation 
World’s Healthiest Foods