Six Steps To Success

One of the most common questions we hear is, “How do you do it?” Here’s the great part. It almost doesn’t matter what the “it” is! Whether it’s, “how do I dial in my nutrition, how am I going to drop 20 pounds, or how am I going to get my spouse to come in and train with me,” the system for achieving what you want is held within these six simple steps.

Here’s what you do:

#1 – Figure out what you want.
Get specific. Having a clear definition of what you want is integral to actually getting it. Want to drop 20 pounds? Why? What are you going to do and how are you going to feel when you’re 20 pounds lighter?

#2 – Create a plan.
Many times it’s as easy as writing down the first step. More importantly, taking the time to create a plan can help you preemptively tackle potential obstacles, discover resources you might need, and give you a foundation to return to if you lose your way.

#3 – Seek out a mentor
There are people out there that have done this before. There are people out there that have done this hundreds of times and happily do it every day. They’re called coaches.

“It’s my job to change people’s lives. There is a tremendous amount of trust involved, and it’s my responsibility to earn that trust through consistency an awesome results.” -TR

A great coach will pay attention to your individual needs and help you refine your personalized plan (Step #2). They’ll encourage and guide you all the way to the finish line.

#4 – Take consistent action every day.
This is a big one. The Grand Canyon wasn’t carved from a singular force of action, its beauty and majesty was created over 5.4 million years of persistent force. It’s what we do every day that defines us. Changing one habit at a time will make it easier to stay consistent. Don’t start out trying to eat the perfect meal five times a day. Just start with breakfast.

#5 – Review your progress.
Track it, track it, track it! Monitoring your progress will boost your confidence when you are successful and help you reassess if you wander astray. Tracking is also imperative to isolating the individual parts of your plan. You’ll be able to answer questions like “What can I dial in even more?” and “Where am I putting in more effort than necessary?”

#6 – Renew your goals.
What happens when you achieve your goal faster than expected because you used these simple steps? By now you’ve built up all of this momentum and as Sir Isaac Newton said, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

Because you’re following this 6-step success cycle, you can apply this momentum to anything. You can circle back into new fitness goals, re-direct the energy towards your financial goals, and even apply your forward motion into learning a new skill. It’s easier to maintain and reassign than to start over.

The secret to achieving whatever you set out to do is following ALL of the steps. Like any system, it only works when you use it!

Your Coach

TR

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How Manage Your Expectations

Does this sound familiar? Your following a pretty strict meal plan in hopes of losing some body fat. You could only white-knuckle your way through the meal plan for so long before you started sneaking in extras, usually in the form of nuts and nut butter. You toss back a heaping spoonful of almond butter and was immediately hit with a huge wave of guilt.

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You tell yourself, “Great, this day is ruined!”, and then proceeded to do what the majority of people do when they fall off their meal plan: swan dive into the pantry for more snacks, blowing the rest of the day to smithereens.

Over the years and even more recently in our Drop 2 Jean Size program, I’ve had many conversations with people just like this who were frustrated by this seemingly lack of control and overwhelming feeling of guilt. Heck I can attest that I have been there myself many times in my own life.

They viewed their success with nutrition and training as either “good” or “bad”, leading them to either feel like a total rock star or a total failure. All it took was a small handful of chocolate or some extra nut butter to make them believe the day was a monumental waste, which then resulted in a landslide of poor food choices for the remainder of that day.

Without exception, they were expecting perfection from themselves, which was a huge mistake.

Whether you are working towards improving your nutrition skills, losing body fat, or getting stronger, how do you set realistic expectations?

Two of the most common questions that we get as a Coach here at Fit-2-The-Core are:

·       “How much weight should I expect to lose in ‘x’ amount of time?”

·       “How much stronger should I expect to get in ‘x’ amount of time?”

These are fair but tricky questions: we don’t have the answers, because they depend on so many factors.

By learning to better manage your expectations, you can help avoid becoming too emotionally attached to a specific result, and cope better if things don’t pan out exactly the way you envision them.

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The One Thing You Can Control
Life is guaranteed to surprise you: it will surprise you in positive ways, and it will surprise you in negative ways. You can have your workout schedule in place, only to see the gym suddenly close for the week due to a burst pipe. You can plan all of your healthy meals for the week, and be surprised by your family paying you an unexpected visit and bringing over pizza for dinner.

When we set expectations, it’s easy to be let down because things don’t systematically happen as we predicted. No matter what happens, however, you can find peace in knowing that you are doing your very best with whichever situation comes your way. This means taking responsibility for your actions when things aren’t going according to plan. If you can’t go to the gym, can you take a walk instead? If you are served pizza, can you enjoy one slice and then eat later when there are different food options available?

The one thing that you can expect and control is that you are in charge of your own actions and reactions, regardless of outside circumstances.

Not Every Day Will Be a Day to Work Towards Your Goal
It can be really easy to expect perfection in terms of nutrition and working out, but the fact of the matter is that not every day will be the right day to work on your goals. Some days are better for focusing on maintenance, and that’s great!

John Berardi owner of Precision Nutrition uses a great analogy,

When life is dialed up to 10 (you are traveling, your kids are sick, you’re working overtime, your spouse is out of town, your sick etc.) you have to dial down your expectations and goals for that day week or month”.

This expectation can set you up for failure, because not every day can be a fat loss day, or a day where we become stronger, or a day where we improve our eating skills. Know that life will happen, and the most we can do is handle it in the best way we can and come up with a strategy that will fit into the context of your life at any given time.

Put in the Work
This is closely related to what I mentioned above about only being able to control your actions and reactions, but it’s worth mentioning in a different way:

Rather than focusing on expectations, what would happen if you poured all of your energy into simply committing to doing your very best with the hand you are dealt each day? Doing good enough, in relation to what life is throwing at you at any specific moment, adjust your workout, your nutrition and most importantly your mindset.

If you planned a 60 minute workout, 15 minutes will have to do, if you’re stuck in a meeting and all that’s available is pizza, eat one piece and then focus on what you have control over, the next meal etc..

Ultimately, that is all you can control.

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Zoom Out
When our expectations don’t pan out the way we had hoped, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things. Don’t to let an extra heaping spoonful of almond butter detract from the fact that maybe you ate veggies at all of my meals that day, drank plenty of water, got lots of sleep, and exercised. I see this often, the focus is solely on the fall, not that you got back up on your feet and took control over the rest of your day.

When it comes to expectations, there are a lot of variables at play. This means that we can’t always predict an accurate outcome, which can leave us feeling disappointed. It’s important to refrain from letting expectations steal joy from the experience.

The key is to focus on what you are able to do with what’s available, and commit to do your very best, consistently everyday!

 

 

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The Battle of the Yummy Splurge vs. The Lazy Cheat

Your week is snowballing from one commitment to the next, no time to stop and get refocused; at some point you make the decision to either take a moment for yourself and plan your meals in advance, making sure your kitchen is stocked and food is cooked ahead of time or…you never get around to it and get “lazy” figuring you’ll get back on track tomorrow or next week.

It usually starts after a long day of working or running around fulfilling commitments, giving your energy all day long. You get home just in time for dinner…you’re hungry, your family is hungry, you haven’t taken a moment to think through what you’ll eat tonight; you open the fridge and maybe there are some chicken breasts you could grill up, but that isn’t really hitting the spot and you’re tired and really don’t feel like cooking so you decide…forget it, let’s order pizza or let’s go out.

Have you ever looked back at your week and realized you used all of your splurges for the week and didn’t really enjoy any of them? They were lazy cheats, convenient at that moment, but overall not really worth it.

Yummy Splurge:

100% nutritional discipline is never really needed to completely change your body. The difference between sticking to the rules 90% of the time and sticking to them 100% of the time is minor, really.

And that extra 10% splurge means you can feel free to eat the food you like.

Follow the rules 90% of the time. The other 10% splurge? Eat anything you want.

I’m not kidding around here. I actively encourage people to eat any food they like, because the reality is that good food can be one of the great joys of life.

But being overweight, unhealthy and lethargic are not. And certain foods eaten too frequently or in too large an amount will quickly make you all three of those things.

So Fit-2-The-Core members are given a simple instruction: eat any food you like, in up to 10% of your meals; in the other 90% of your meals, eat the foods that will fuel your body to success. This can include a glass of wine, 1-2 slices of pizza or a scoop of your favorite ice cream etc.

That ratio will give you the body you want AND allow to enjoy the food you love.

 

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The Lazy Cheat – The lazy cheat is a cheat that you did not plan to have ahead of time. It isn’t because you’re really looking forward to a splurge – something you have been craving – or as part of an experience that you don’t want to miss out on – it is not a part of the plan to get you closer to your goals. BUT (yes, Behold the Underlying Truth) occasionally, it happens. Unfortunately a lazy cheat is usually not worth it, and you end up using up one of your splurges and not enjoying it. And unfortunately, once you give in and have a lazy cheat it tends to perpetuate a whole week of lazy cheats.

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The secret to overcoming lazy cheats – have strategies in place. The fact is that “Strategy trumps Willpower” every time and is the key to your short and long term success. When you’ve had a long day, are hungry and out of energy, your will power is not going to be strong, so you must have a strategy.

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Next time you find yourself having that conversation in your head leading to a lazy cheat…you know the one… “I don’t feel like cooking tonight, I’ve had a long day, I’ll just order pizza tonight since I should eat something,” turn to the strategy you have planned out ahead of time.

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Here are a few ideas for the next time you find yourself heading for a lazy cheat.

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Have menus in your car of places you know you can get a healthy meal that are your go-to restaurants. Simply have a whole stack of menus in your car of places where you can get grilled fish and cabbage salad, or chicken and vegetables, or a healthy salad. If your on your way home from a busy day with no plan for dinner, you can just call and place an order to go and pick it up on your way home.

take out menu

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Have easy meals that you fall back on at these times. An easy meal can be a chicken breast with a can of lentil soup – Just grill up the chicken breast, heat up the can of soup and pour the soup over the chicken breast – done. Or you can pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from whole foods and some precut veggies to grill or for making a quick salad.

Whole Foods Chicken

 

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Have a Super Shake: It’s okay to have a shake for dinner.  Dinner doesn’t have to be a big, sit down meal. Blend up a scoop of protein, some fruit or peanut butter and call it dinner or try this Delicious Super Shake recipe:

POPEYE’S SUPER SPINACH SMOOTHIE

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INGREDIENTS:

• 1 scoops SFH Low Carb Grass Fed Vanilla Protein

• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

• 1-2 cups spinach

•½ frozen banana

• 1 tbsp natural peanut butter • stevia (to taste)

• 5 ice cubes

Blend and Enjoy:)

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Plan out your week ahead of time, including your splurges. Your week should include 10% to relax and enjoy yourself, just don’t waste it on a lazy cheat!

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Enjoy your week!

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4 Proven Steps For Turning Your New Year Resolutions Into Reality

Over the last 14 years, I have helped countless people make permanent improvements in their eating habits, lifestyle choices, body composition, and health. Put bluntly, I know how to help people lose ugly, unwanted body fat with proven strategies that ensure long term success. Now, make no mistake about it, a big reason for this is because our integrated fat loss training and nutrition system is second to none. I have done countless hours of research and trial and error and I have had hundreds of people as real world case studies to prove that our system flat out works. But, today I am going to share a secret with you that is much more powerful; a secret so powerful that if you fail to put in place before you even attempt to lift a weight or eat your next vegetable, will lead to an 85% chance of failure.

So, let’s just get right to it. What do you think is the real secret behind my client success? Well, if your answer was as integrated and proven training and nutrition system, then your answer is wrong. Yep, it’s an incredibly effective program, but unfortunately it’s useless if someone is unwilling to start it AND stick to it, right? New Years is just around the corner and there will be millions of people who will start an exercise and nutrition program and by February most will have quit. So, it appears that the most important component of changing your body is finding the motivation to achieve your goals, and that’s the main focus of this article today. I am going to literally walk you through our initial strategy session and four step goal setting process that each one of my clients undergoes before they start working with us. This is so important to fat loss success that It is a requirement for any new client to be considered for joining our program.

Before I get into this goal setting process, I just need to get something off of my chest. I know a lot of people think goal setting is just a cheesy, useless thing. Unfortunately, these people just don’t get it and frankly if you are one of those people, please do us both a favor and stop reading this article and go buy another useless weight loss book or pill because I simply cannot do anything for you. I can only help people who have an open mind and are willing learn. I simply cannot help people who already think they know it all and think they are too good to take some time to figure out what the hell it is that they actually want to accomplish. The bottom line is that the most successful people out there, and I mean not just weight loss success, I am talking business, lifestyle, etc., are shamelessly goal driven. They know exactly why they want to do something and harness that super motivation to figure out what and by when they want to go about accomplishing it. Furthermore, they plan and prepare for every possible roadblock they will encounter in their path to success. This is what I want to teach you how to do today, so let’s get to it!

Step One: The What (The Goal)

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The first thing I need to know from a prospective client who first walks in my doors is what do they hope to achieve here at Fit-2-The-Core. This is an objective goal such as lose 20lbs of fat, lose 3 jean sizes, tone up in my arms, abs and legs (basically lose inches) etc. These are SMART goals that are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and that have a Timeline, this is the gold standard of goal setting. Now that we have the goal, we move on to step 2.

Step Two: The Why

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This is where it’s time to get real. In almost every initial consult I do, when I ask why achieving this goal is so important to them, here is the typical blanket response that I first hear:

“Well, I just want to get healthy and lose some weight I guess.”

Nope, I don’t buy it. Sure, I know they want to lose weight and be healthy, I mean who doesn’t, but really WHY do they want to do this? Seriously, what is it that’s going to get them up at 5 am to get their butt here for their morning workouts in or take a couple of hours on Sunday to plan and prepare their meals for the upcoming week? Your why must be very powerful motivator for you, or else everything else that gets in your way, time, money, stress, the weather, no energy etc. will always take precedence over your goals.

Let’s face it: everybody, including YOU, wants to look better naked. Stop giggling, you know it’s true and frankly that’s okay because the desire to improve one’s appearance is the most powerful motivator there is. This shouldn’t be such a big surprise since the main life mission of humans, or any species for that matter, is to procreate. This is instinctual. And obviously, looking better makes this more of a reality.

So, after a little digging, I find out the real reason why they want to do this; I find their past or pain and then establish their current and future ambitions. Some people want to be able to take pictures with feeling self-conscious, in other words they want to feel confident in how they look, which will positively impact their social life and personal life, which will lead to more positive relationships with family friends and coworkers. Others want to get back into their favorite pair of jeans that they haven’t been able to get one leg into for the last five years, in other words they want to feel sexy again, which make them feel powerful and in control over how they look and feel about themselves. Then there are those who want to look and feel more attractive to ignite some passion back into their relationships and/or put for their best image at work. And of course, my personal favorite is preparing for big events that have built in deadlines. Wanting to get as lean and tight as possible to rock that dream bathing suit in Mexico, or get off the plane in New York when visiting family, you haven’t seen in two years to blow them away with your new body, or being a classic beauty in your wedding dress on the big day, it all works! This is the stuff that gets people jacked up and ready to commit to making some real changes. How do I know? Well, I just shared with you verbatim the exact “WHY’S” of some of our clients here at Fit-2-The-Core.

You must figure out your personal WHY. To make this even simpler for you, just answer this question: What awesome things might happen if you did make progress, how would your life be different, what would you be most proud of? How would your social life, mindset and environment change if you achieved these goals. Once you establish this, everything else is becomes so much easier.

Step Three- The When: When do you want to accomplish it by?

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So we already figured out the what and why it so important to you: So, now we need to establish when the goal(s) need to be accomplished by in order to realize this subjective dream(Your Why).

Well, from a logistics standpoint and keeping things as cost effective as possible, there are three major ways I track “look better” progress with my clients:

1). Measuring Body Composition:

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Many people get stuck by simply measuring their bodyweight. Unfortunately, the scale only tells you how much you weigh, not what your weight is comprised of. This is very short sighted when it comes to changing the way your body looks and works. Using a measurement tool such as the In-Body you can measure how much fat you lost and how much lean muscle you gained while also monitoring your total body water. We can even measure your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is calorie burned at rest. So lose fat gain muscle and your body looks better and burns more calories each day at rest. This is great because when we are talking about gaining control of the way your body looks and feels this is the holy grail of fat loss. This tells us a lot about your hormonal profile and if we are upregulating fat burning or fat gaining hormones. So if you just focus on deprivation of calories and bodyweight lost on the scale, more often than not you will soon be right back where you started or even worse, fatter than when you started. But if you can measure your body composition then you can make sure you stay on the right track, losing fat and gaining metabolically lean tissue on your way to a much better version of yourself.

2)Dress/Jean Size:

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This is probably the simplest and most effective method I believe people should use for tracking whether or not you look better. I think it’s safe to say that if you are dropping dress and/or pant sizes that you will be looking better, right? Your best bet is to also select one dress or one pair of jeans that you really want to get into since that is the true end goal in mind. I tell my clients to assess how they are fitting in their preferred dress/jean size tracker on a weekly or bi-weekly basis either for tracking maintenance or for tracking continual change. We call these thermometer jeans, if their cold they to to cinch things up, if their hot, then their right on track! For those of you would want to argue that every outfitter has different sizes, well that’s a mute point if you use the same pant or dress size to track. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to feel yourself comfortably get into clothes that used to almost rip when you put on.

3)Digital Pictures:

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Pictures don’t lie, that’s the bottom line. If you want to look better, what better way is there to assess this than pictures? I cannot begin to tell you how important this is. Taking a before picture is essentially you telling the whole world that you are ready to change and that you are ready to do whatever it takes to make those changes. They key is take pictures wearing exactly what you want to look your best in. Now, don’t be sending me nude pictures of yourself, ha (though you can keep these for yourself to track if you’d like). Maybe it’s taking pictures of you in the dress or pair of pants that you are using to track your dress or pant size. Or maybe it’s a sleeveless shirt and tank top that you want to wear during the summer. And if you want to see your abs, then you best believe that you need to take pictures of your abs to track how much more definition you get. Take a front, side, and rear view picture and be sure to note the exact conditions in which the picture was taken (lighting, distance from camera, time of day/week, etc.) to be as accurate as possible in your assessment. The clients whom I’ve transformed that failed to take before pictures in the past have nothing but regret about it. Your before pictures will become your trophy and they are an absolute must if you really are serious about getting results that count. We tell our clients to take new pictures either bi-weekly or monthly until they reach their goal(s).

Step Four- Planning and Preparing for Roadblocks:

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What are the big obstacles that will prevent you from having the success you desire? What’s contributed most to past failures?

Now that we know the what and why, it’s time to plan and prepare for any obstacles that might get in your way of getting the job done based on your own personal schedule. These are considered your process goals, the behaviors and habits that will lead you to your goal. This consist of nutritional habits, workout habits and mindset habits all which require that you plan and prepare.

In general, the number one thing I hear is that people are too busy and tired and don’t have enough time to get their workouts in or make their meals. Well, I don’t care how busy you think you are, there is always hidden time throughout the day and week that can be freed up if your re-prioritize. It’s simple if you plan and prepare you will save more time than just trying to wing it. Seriously 2-3 hours of preparation on the weekend will save you triple that during the week. So think back to why you wanted to do this in the first place and then examine what’s most important to you. Make your workouts and your meal times just like work appointments. Either you make the appointment or you don’t. And if you want to keep your job (or get your dream body) then you better make that appointment.

Another big obstacle is alcohol. People like to drink and unfortunately alcohol is about as detrimental to burning fat as it gets. Again, what’s more important to you, looking and feel sexy or getting hammered. The choice is yours. Remember, once you achieve your goal(s), alcohol can be added back in with moderation. But know this, lean people just don’t get wasted unless they are genetic freaks. Low alcohol consumption is needed if you want to look your best year round and that’s a fact.

Lastly, many people deal with boredom eating or emotional eating. Boredom eating means just that, eating to fill up dead time when you have nothing better to do. The best way to deal with this is, you guessed it, to do something! Find an active hobby to keep your mind off of eating when boredom strikes and you can beat this trend. Emotional eating describes the use of food to cope with stress or to reward for accomplishment. Food is not unlike drugs or alcohol in this regard, it can be very addictive. There is no quick fix for emotional eating other than avoiding trigger situations (bars, parties, etc.) and trigger foods (starches, sugars, fast food, etc.) in the short term to break bad habits. You can only do this by being mindful about when you come across these situations, once you become aware then you can come up with strategies on ensuring they happen less and lees overtime.

So you must first have a goal, then you must figure why achieving this goal is so important to you, this is your true motivator. You then must come up with a plan or a timeline to reach that goal. This consists of introducing new habits bi-weekly or weekly depending on your personal readiness to change and then you must take action by planning and preparing. And most importantly understand that the road to success is littered with ups and downs, so treat the downs as learning opportunities not a time to beat yourself up and feel sorry for yourself. Get back on your feet and remind yourself of your why, then take the next positive action toward your goals and leave the past behind moving forward to making your New Years Resolution a Reality.

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