Acknowledge your successful past

All of us have had ups and downs in the past, some more than others. We do tend though to focus on the negative periods in our lives, the times when we took a chance on something, whether it was a business opportunity that never came to anything, a relationship that went wrong, when we got injured from exercising in a freak accident maybe, when we lost all of that weight, then put it all back on and more! When we perhaps trusted people and got let down, when we never got the recognition for doing something well in work, when we did anything really, and it turned out badly!!

The facts are that when we bring these moments up, and we talk about them, it usually destroys our ambitions to try the same thing again. Most people will try certain things in their teens and early 20’s maybe, and because they never worked, their lives become a graveyard of ambition. They often moan that the person who did succeed was “lucky”, had “more money”, or had more “influence”, and life can become full of bitterness and jealousy is you let this mantra run your life.

Let’s turn it around, think of those moments that you WERE successful in life, come on, there must have been a few, or even more than a few! What are those moments you were proud, and actually blushed when you were complemented on doing a good job at something? When we think of these times, its hard not to being a smile to our faces, or deep down inside, and the world of possibility that existed in our lives exactly at that moment.

People usually take the next step at that moment or they act when they are desperate! Most people never take action because taking action takes confidence. Confidence is not often achieved until you overcome challenges, so taking that action suddenly becomes a nervous thing to do, and it seems something very difficult to do. The good news is that once you take action, it will become a habit and once you take the next piece of action after that, you will be on your way to becoming successful.

Taking action right now can be easy as making a new shopping list out, cutting all the rubbish out, cutting all or most of the alcohol out, cutting the ready meal out etc. What about signing up for a new educational course that will help get you promotion at work, or get another job for instance, now that’s a pretty powerful course of action even in these dark recessionary times, but one thing’s for sure, it won’t be a recession for ever and if you improve yourself, you’re going to come out stronger.

How about signing yourself up and commiting yourself to more workouts a week, demand more out of yourself and really commit yourself to as higher standard of health which automatically leads to a higher quality of life. What about making those calls you have been putting off, to improve realtionships or getting that business off the ground you always thought you had the talent for?

Do the “rocking chair” test. Imagine you are 80 years old on a rocking chair, and imagine you’re regretting not doing something that would have changed your life for the better? When you’re 80, chances are that you would have really given EVERYTHING a go at least once, or if you fail the first time, try a different approach that may have a better chance of working, keep trying and show you can do it!

When a child starts to crawl, and then walk, you wouldn’t tell him/her to give up if the child kept falling over. You would give them time because most kids eventually walk. If you take action, and actually follow through and go after what you want, and don’t give up until you get there, you can be sure you’re going to be majorly more successful than if you never tried in the first place.

It’s great having all this chat, but unless you take action, you won’t get anywhere. Homework today is to do TWO things by close of play tonight that can/will change your life, however small or big!

Let me know how you get on or are you going to let another opportunity pass?!!


Chicken soup

Hopefully, you have lasted the weekend so far with slightly reduced “bad” calories and are feeling better going into sunday, with the roast and whatever substantial to come! Changes however subtle to sunday lunch can make all the difference, less gravy, no salt on your food or not in the cooking, no dessert would be good and keeping your portion size anything less than monstrous would be great!

Back to the title, in the famous “chicken soup for the soul” series of books, ( basically self-help books with lots of stories that are truly inspirational, and help you retain your faith in human nature), the author became very successful in helping others become motivated and do something worthwhile and inspiring with their own lives.

After he wrote all these books from stories of real-life people, he wrote his own “how to” guide in life on being successful in life. Almost a recurring theme in this number one best seller was the need to get rid of negative influences and people in your life. In the author’s case, he experienced many negative people that nearly destroyed him.

The bosses he encountered were often “little hitler’s”, his friends weren’t exactly “friends”, they would demean any good he was trying to do and destroy his self-worth, his relationships in the main would turn out disasterous, as he had no self-confidence and would be used to being a “door mat”. His mother actually would turn out to be a huge bully, who dragged him up, and would often leave him alone for days on end, as she “enjoyed” herself in her own “pleasure” activities revolving around drink and drugs.

Then one day, he realised the negativity was destroying his life and others as he craved a more successful life for himself, to cut a very long story short, he surrounded himself with positive influences, lost his old friends, gained positive new genuine friends one at a time through his giving and good work, applied for jobs with ethical companies that treated their employees well, developed positive relationships with like minded people, he even famously ex-communicated his mother, as she was a draining and destroying influence on his life, and in his own words “was better off without here and vital to his future success, because she almost destroyed me”!

He became interested in how others overcame adversity and through the many thousands of interviews he did, he noticed some common threads he was able to apply for himself. He noticed that those truly successful in life (not just in money terms) were people who usually gave a lot of their time to others and didn’t ask for anything in return, he noticed they are “do’ers” and not “talkers”, their word was their bond and most of all, they never set any limits on the possibilities they had in life, often against huge odds.

These stories became legendary and inspirational, and life-changing for many of its readers. As you try to create your own success story, getting rid of your negative influences in your own life is paramount, and will be like getting rid of a massive weight off your shoulders.

Have a great week and if you’ve followed the weekend recommendations, you should start off monday in great spirits and a couple of pounds lighter!


Saturday’s calories challenge!!!

Ok, we have got through friday night, we have reduced our takeaways or not even had them at all!! What about today, i never really do fried breakfasts but what about you?

What about eating out lunch time, or the weekly visit to the chip shop?

What about the binge you usually do on a saturday, the extra beer, the extra wine, the extra starter, main course and dessert?!! Saturday night pizza anyone?!

What about all the extra stuff you do whilst you shop, “that won’t hurt, that doesn’t really matter, and there’s only 200 calories in this ready meal”!!

Once a week, the “cheat meal” doesn’t really matter as it will keep your sanity from the rigours of the week but i’m telling you now that as most of the people i have trained notice, once you eat well, you’re not so tempted to go mad ALL weekend because you will have negative side effects, like i said i suffer from wheezing from sugary/fatty food, and by sunday night i will feel like a 90 year old who has smoked all his life, if i have 3 days of eating badly, plus i can easily put on a few pounds, and then monday morning runs are not a great feeling at all, in fact they can be downright horrible and a massive struggle.

I encourage you this weekend to feel what it’s really like to cut down a little bit if you have an excess weekend, and let me know how good it feels on monday morning? Do you feel lighter, do your workouts feel better, are you motivated to do better because things are suddenly “easier”?!

Let’s work through this weekend by analysing each day, this is saturday so let’s see what happens!!

P.S. If you are in the supermarket, have a look in other people’s trolleys and look at the person pushing it, the trolley will be full of good or bad food, this will often tell you if that person is in shape or not! A fun game for you this weekend!

Have fun whatever you do!


ONE takeaway or DOUBLE helpings!

We all go through it, and it’s confession time for me too! I have taken a liking for Thai takeaways, but i do try to keep it good, i have a chicken stir fry with lots of vegetables, i drain any sauce left over and i have some coconut rice with it, this is my treat for the week. I have noticed though the other things on the menu, and started a month ago getting TWO main courses, such as a beef dish, again with lots of vegetables, but as i have a mega-appetite, the idea of chomping through two thai main courses wasn’t that bad, as it’s not really like doing two indians, or two chineses!

However, as an asthma sufferer since a child, when i started doing the two main courses, i started to wheeze afterwards, and didn’t really enjoy the bloated after effects, but guess what? Now i was used to the two courses, i tried another two courses the week after, and the week after that, and so on…………….until tonight!

I went back to normal and thought i wasn’t really leading a good example here, so did one main course again, and funnily enough, it is enough and i don’t feel bloated, and i’ve saved some money!!

The bottom line is here that we all get carried away with takeaways, saying we will “try” different things, but end up eating the whole lot! The extra main course can make a big calorie difference, plus get our stomach’s used to bigger helpings, all in the name of helping ourselves.

Supermarket time tomorrow, and how many of us have said that pizza looks nice, and have no intention of eating it, but come saturday night, you end up sharing it and really enjoying it, until you feel the horrible bloated effects afterwards!!

Okay, that can be Saturday’s treat amongst others, and what about sunday, sometimes we say “i’m going to eat well starting monday again”! This is an excuse to gorge ourselves on sunday lunch with the odd less than healthy breakfast preceeding it!! And i’m not going to accuse anyone here of a sunday night takeaway to finish the weekend off!!

We are talking 3 bad nights here, and this means we need a mega good week to get rid of all the rubbish of the weekend, plus we haven’t even mentioned alcohol yet!!!

Here’s something to think about, have one glass of wine and it takes 20 minutes of moderate exercise to work it off, or 10 minutes of intense exercise, work out if it’s worth it?!

Let me know if you have a mega-calorie weekend or will it be something more moderate, yet still enjoyable?!!


FIVE weeks to xmas!! Panic time!

Most people have two choices this time of year, they either throw in the towel, or they go on some crazy schedule to lose as much weight as is humanely possible in the next 5 weeks to get into that special dress or suit! Neither are great examples of health being at the top of the list and here’s why;

If you say “that’s it, i’ll start back after xmas, no point going for it now”, then that’s fine, but the facts are that you are wasting 5 weeks of your life, and are going to be miserable going into christmas, and even more miserable after christmas, when not only will you be feeling rubbish, your immune system will be down due to all the bad food and likely alcohol consumption, and you will be prone to all sorts of colds and viruses. Have you ever noticed why cold and flu remedies are advertised in force after christmas? Simple advertising because statistically they know the country is in it’s worst shape in early january!

If you go on the very restrictive route, you will typically go on a very low calorie controlled diet. If you go under 1200 calories per day diet, you are classed as being malnourished, if you go into any doctor’s surgery or hospital and ask if that is true, you will find it is.

The best way to go about any eating reduction is to bring it down gradually, 250-500 calories per day being the maximum amount. This has been proven to have a longer lasting effect on weight loss, and it will be better for your sanity too! The best way to do this is, like i always suggest, to “clean up” your eating habits and shopping lists.

Doesn’t it make common sense to use lean white meats, fish, whole grains, fruit and vegetables as the foundation for good health, instead of worrying about every single last calorie you are consuming? This way, food doesn’t become your only thought all day, and you are able to relax more and get on with the more important things in life.

Doesn’t it make sense to eat these good foods to look after your insides, and protect yourself more against serious disease? It must be common sense to eat well, drink more water, workout more and get some fresh oxygen into your system every day? You will find your body will react by getting into great shape, and truly being energised by the good care you are taking of your body! Keep your portions small, measure your carb and protein portions by the size of your fist, pile on the veg, snack on fruit and nuts and your skin will look amazing too, it really is the way to go and there’s no other way around it.

The quick fixes of this world will encourage you to go on calorie reduced diets of sometimes 3 digits, they are a sure-fire way to fail, and the weight always comes back on, plus 5% on average according to studies.

Members of this blog have posted privately and publicly about how, after a while, your body rejects the sugary/fatty food, because your taste buds will have changed for the better, and those high calorie snacks will taste “sickly” to you now. It’s a process that’s tough for the first couple of weeks, but once you have gone through it, you will appreciate how good it feels to feel energetic, and how it feels for your body to be getting tighter and leaner.

Summing up, if you take a longer term approach based on science and common sense, it may take longer to get there but you won’t have so many of those roadblocks in the road to come, there will be no more yo-yo dieting, and you will be sure your insides will be firing as well as possible. Don’t become obsessed with weight, look at the overall picture and aim to get that waist down to under half your height in inches, that will be a far more realistic measurement of progress and overall health.