Day 56 End of week 8!

End of week 8 would you believe! 8 weeks at the start probably didn’t sound that long, but now you know it can be quite a long time to get your eating right, your training going well, and the most important part probably, get your mind right in order to give the effort required.

Had my first sunday morning run for a while today, as the demands of two small children over the last few weeks have taken over. Back to normal now that the first 6 weeks of a new baby are over, and this was the best sunday morning in some time, and the temperature was good enough to run in a t-shirt and shorts, the first time since last summer! The run felt great, and once you get a run in for the first time in a while, you realise how much you missed it!

The temperatures in january and february just gone will have actually done us good, however icy and snowy they may have been! If we can find a way to get our workouts in during the coldest time of the year, and the coldest temperatures in the last 30 odd years, then the current weather will only allow more activities, and it should be a breeze from now on to get more workouts in exactly when you want to.

This challenge started during the most demanding time of year, and working in the toughest times gives us more skills and discipline that we ever thought. Most businesses i know have had the toughest times since the Great Depression, but most of them are coming out of this recession leaner and meaner, and better equipped to handle a change world and economic environment.

The same should happen with you, we have a lot of ups and downs from most of you in the past 8 weeks, and from that you will have developed your very own strategies on how to overcome the challenges that life always throws at you. Once you develop these skills, you won’t miss so many workouts, you won’t use the same old excuses to eat sugary/fatty food, and you won’t write whole week’s off anymore, you will tend to recognise bad habits beginning sooner than you did before, and you rectify your habits before they become destructive.

Sunday is always a great time to get out and about, and a means of making sure you start off your new week with a bang. We talked about hangovers yesterday, and now’s a great time to get rid of it, eat some decent food, drink plenty of water today and get back to feeling your old self. I never see sunday as a “let’s break some records day”, i see it more as a relaxing, and gather your thoughts kind of day, and a morning run is a key element in that process for me.

I’m looking forward to the start of week 9 tomorrow, and a big last month from all of you!

Day 55 Ireland V Wales day!

Evolution has happened for most of you on this site, and all of this is illustrated very well on a day like this, a Wales versus Ireland rugby international traditionally used to mean lots of alcohol, some fast food half time, and then a nightmare headache the following morning! It may also have been a fried breakfast before the game too, and the morning after so it would have been “calorie city” for most of us on these grand occasions.

These grand occasions that many Welsh people will have gone through will have meant calorie excesses of between 2000 and 4000 calories in one day!

This means that you are likely to put on one pound of body fat in one day (3500 calories) and are likely to give your artieries a severe thrashing, along with your liver of course! Most people then will not try to minimise the damage caused with a workout the following morning,  as their “headache” will be too bad, and bed will be the most likely option!

Many of you who used to follow such a ritual will testify that you wouldn’t have properly recovered from all of this until the wednesday or thursday, or did you simply get used to that lifestyle?!

Living in such a world leaves only room for functioning in the most basic of ways. You go to work and simply “go through the motions”. Your exercise plan starts on a wednesday, and peaks on thursday! Then the whole process starts all over again. Which brings us back to today.

Nothing wrong with a couple of drinks today, but everything doesn’t have top be “fried” all day! You don’t have to drink as if it’s your last day on earth? The big key for me has always been going for a run early the morning after. Your head says no as you have this huge headache, but once you are 10 minutes into it, you actually feel amazingly better.

Have a decent breakfast on the sunday morning, and you’re set for the day! You don’t want to stay in bed all day and you may actually want to “do things” on a sunday! What a concept!

Your monday then starts off with a bang and by the wednesday, you are absolutely flying, which means a great week!

This is always a great strategy and whatever you decide, take it easy and enjoy your big saturday!

Day 54

Day 54

If there’s one thing that made you do this challenge, or made you duck out of this challenge, or even join this challenge half way through, it has to be the need for certainty in your life.

If you started this challenge and wanted to be in the best shape of your life, you wanted certainty it would happen, so hopefully you will have known what i‘m all about by now, and that I was able to help you get there.

If you didn’t join the challenge, you didn’t have certainty within yourself that you could stick with it, so was it worth all the effort you were asking yourself if you didn’t succeed?

If you have just joined us, you have seen and heard people do well on here and you are pretty certain now good things in your life will happen because what we are doing is tried and tested, it’s kind of like jumping on a horse when he’s 6 lengths clear with just 50 yards to go, you WILL be successful if you start adopting some simple principles.

Certainty dominates all out actions in life, making us do things or makes us avoid different challenges that we would “prefer” to avoid.

I remember going to see certain people in authority when I was 18-21 years of age, and asking for things for potential business expansion. I spoke quietly, was lacking conviction and these people saw it!

The reality was that these people in authority giving out grants etc had never taken a risk in their lives, never poked their heads out of their comfy taxpayer paid offices, and were often in the job by default. I had no reason to be afraid of them, and they actually had no “wisdom” whatsoever! The reality was had i had complete “uncertainty” that I was good enough to deliver the project, and had fallen at the first hurdle.

I was fortunate when I started my business, that I relied on no such public body, and the previous rejection fuelled my desire to be successful, and all the “you’ll never make it’s” pushed me to become even more focused and driven to reach new standards.

If you focus on a goal, you have to get the certainty in your mind that not only is it possible, but that you will get there as long as you are prepared to put the work in, and you have to focus on the fact that when you reach your goal, your life WILL be significantly improved when you get there.

You have to have the certainty too in this challenge that the road to your best ever shape is never a straight line upwards either. We always talk about “bumps in the road”, and I think we have mentioned them so much by now, that we expect them!

The bottom line is that I found out myself, that if you do your training on time, you eat well most of the time, you sleep well, if you keep your attitude in positive territory even if it all hits the fan at times, THEN YOU CAN BE CERTAIN that this programme will work EVERY SINGLE TIME for you!

I am trying to pass all this certainty on to you, that if you are consistent with anything you try to do, you have enough belief, and that you’re strong enough not to let any negative people put you off, that YOU WILL and can right now achieve anything you want, as many of you are proving.

From all of this, you will have certainty with your health and abilities, and that means much more than all the money in the world!

Day 53 Take pressure off yourself!

Many people started this challenge with a bang, and achieved great things in the first month, and some have started well, then fallen off a bit, and now are bang on course to achieve big things of course. Whatever your situation, I don’t think it is realistic at all to expect you to be perfect all the time, that simply isn’t possible!

It’s always good to take the pressure off at times, and you will realise by now that 12 weeks is quite a long period of time to give your very best effort.

This is why I give everyone a 80% target on eating good natural food. I gave you a target of 8 out of 10 in each workout you do, because 10 out of 10 is highly unlikely each time.

If you manage to get these kinds of averages in, you’re going to be classed as working amongst the top percentage, and pretty much guaranteed to reach your goals in your programme in a relatively quick period of time.

Putting undue pressure on individuals to do well has never been a tactic I’ve considered successful. I remember in my teens, we had a captain in our cricket team who would berate you if you bowled slightly off the mark, or it wasn’t your day when you batted you would have a verbal outburst directed at you.

 Hammering someone because they weren’t performing at their best proved to be a potentially damaging tactic to myself and destroyed my confidence.

I remember another captain years later who would always give me a reassuring pat on the back if I was having a bad day, and told me that he was sticking with me no matter what. The result? My game and confidence came back sooner than I thought, and that meant my performance was up to its normal standard very quickly and that reassuring pat on the back helped me an enormous amount, and put a spring back in my step.

All of us need someone to show confidence in us from time to time, and you have seen it on this site with some members seemingly be at all time low’s recovering to be at all time high’s in just over a week sometimes!

 I tend to use the tried and tested method of showing great encouragement when someone is a bit down, and having a harder time than usual. I’m in the business of getting the very best out of people, and less is more sometimes!

So when you are looking to assess your progress so far, try and look at the big picture.

If you are getting it right most of the time, then there’s no problem and your condition will be improving naturally.

If your food and training is all over the place, and you’ve gone back to your old ways, then you need to reassess your priorities, and ask yourself if you really want to be in the best shape of your life, or not?

Answering this question honestly will help motivate you to take immediate action, and make you realise if you have put too much pressure on yourself, or too little even?

The focus should not only be on this 12 weeks, but creating the trends and patterns that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Nobody’s perfect all the time, so if your lifestyle is healthier now than when you started, you are still making steady progress, then that’s perfectly acceptable to me and keep having confidence in your abilities, that is the vital element you always need!

Day 52 pain versus pleasure

Day 52 Pain versus pleasure

We all have this choice every day in our lives, and making the right choice is critical at it will usually shape our future.

If a couple of weeks ago like jean, you were frustrated by the scales and whatever you seemed to do, the scales wouldn’t come down, then the easiest thing in the world would have been to wrap it in.

 This is avoiding the pain that you think will permanently be there if you carry on what you’re doing, so you go for pleasure instead and that could be instant gratification of fish and chips you haven’t had for a while? It could be a bottle of wine, it could be two bags of crisps, it could a big huge tub of Joe’s ice cream, whatever it is, that idea of pleasure in that precise moment seemed highly attractive!

Through looking at the reality of her progress once again, jean realised that the scales were not reality, and there were in fact lots of positives she has achieved so far, enough to carry on with the programme and not only that, but to have the confidence to raise her performance several notches, to a level she hasn’t been for years.

 This is now HER pleasure, the joy of feeling out of this world and making rapid physical improvements that take her back in time almost!

So you can see, the power of pain and pleasure can literally shape your destiny.

The feeling of throwing it all in must have happened to all of you at times, and it’s interesting to find out what keeps you going.

It’s also interesting to see what happens when you do “come off the wagon”, the way you feel after a binge on food or alcohol, or both! Most of you tell me that all of that sugary/fatty food actually makes you feel sick now, gives you a bad stomach and even headaches! This is actually a positive sign!

A positive sign in the fact that your body has now become used to good, natural healthy food, and it doesn’t tolerate “chemical experiments” going off in your body any more with all that junk you used to put in. Your body wants to be “looked after” now and wants the good life!

The idea of working out through the most icy and snowy January and February for some time has been off-putting, and even seemingly impossible for some. Those of you that managed it probably worked through the pain and got the instant pleasure afterwards when you had a bath or shower, knowing deep inside that you had improved yourself that day, and you actually felt better because you got some fresh air in your body, which as you know by now gets rid of dead cells and regenerates your body.

The pain of doing 84 days straight on this challenge is too much for some before they start, this is “too long” they say, but how can 84 days seem too long if it changes your life for good?

Those of you in day 52 today will be thankful you have made it this far, and have that warm feeling inside again because you know you have found new things out about yourself again, overcome all those challenges I have thrown you, and are still here to tell the tale!

 This should now give a lot of pleasure because you know you now have a diary of success, the fact that you’re still here means you are becoming truly successful, and are beginning to master the emotions that have troubled you in the past, and not allowed you to become the person you really wanted maybe?

Pain and pleasure are facts in life, but using them to our own advantage and not taking the easiest option every time are great strategies that allow us to become our true selves, and finally achieve what we know we are capable of.