Dear Friends,Welcome to December (a few days late, I know). If you’re like most Americans, you’re feeling the chaos, pressure, full calendars of office parties, business parties, friends’ parties. Not to mention if you have children or family in town, you probably hear your child saying “I want that for Christmas!” at every commercial they see, or every time you go into the store. Did I mention that at every party, and mostly everyday this month your co-workers and friends will be tempting you with fresh-baked goodness?So how do you stay healthy and fit this month? I have a few simple tips that will help ease the chaos, keep you feeling good about yourself, and even get a jump start on those 2014 New Years Resolutions!
- THINK BACK TO YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013. Did you write them down or perhaps even make a poster board for them? When was the last time you looked at them? A good starting place to end this year strong, is to remember the energy and enthusiasm you began the year with!Don’t even be thinking about next year, if you haven’t completed this year! There is still time in 2013 to get as close to your goals as you can. Don’t quit. Even in the month of December.
- SET YOUR GOALS FOR THIS MONTH. Although there are only 27 days left in the month, remember that it only takes 21 days to change a habit. That means that if you start now, you will have 22 days before Christmas to develop that habit! If you start tomororw, well, you have exactly 21 days. It’s always a good idea to set short-term goals to meet long-term goals. But, that is no new information to you. So, if you have the information, why not put it to use?
- ELIMINATE NEGATIVES FROM YOUR DIET. So many people try to change everything all at one time. Be realistic with yourself. Yes, I said it. Realistic. Don’t say “I am not going to eat any candy at all! I am done!” If you know that you will eat that candy at some point. Don’t view your food as your enemy, view it as your fuel. If you know that you usually resort to the office baked goods for your lunch instead of the healthy meal you packed, maybe your goal will be to eat your healthy food from home first. Then, if you want to have a singe piece of a treat, have it. Eliminate as many negative factors as you can before you start to add positive ones.
- DON’T NEGLECT YOUR EXERCISE. Now, I am not saying that you have to work out every single day, and never just get a day at home to enjoy with your family. In fact, during this season as the busyness sets in, and the travel takes up more time than you wish, you may actually have less time than usual to hit the gym. That’s okay. Work with the time you have whether from home or in the gym.
- MAXIMIZE YOUR INTENSITY DURING WORKOUTS. If you don’t have the time you usually would have to devote to your workout, make sure that you’re increasing your intensity to acheive maximum results. If you only have 20-30 minutes, get a hard run in and some pushups/stretches. No workout is worthless if you’re working hard; regardless of the time.
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Find someone from work, or even just a friend in another state to help you manage your stresses, and keep you focused with positive, and encouraging words. Set goals with each other and parameters for what your relationship will look like. Will you hit the gym at the same time after work together, and then call each other after to talk about how good you feel? Or will you simply text each other throughout the day for empowerment and encouragement? You determine who this person would best be for you. If you know you’re an emotional eater or stress too easily, do not choose someone you are emotionally sensitive with. If you know you’re prone to arguments with your spouse or best friend, choose someone who is not as intimate with you. That way, you know for a fact that you won’t storm off on that person. Whomever you choose, be committed to them as well as your success.
- JUST SAY NO TO SUGARY DRINKS! Did you know that the average American under-reports their caloric intake? On top of that, on average, Americans consume 20% of their daily calories in liquid form. This means sugary coffees, hot chocolates, whip creams, all of it. If you want to indulge that is ok, but don’t excuse yourself into believing that you can have that Venti Peppermint Chocolate Mocha Quad Shot with Extra Whipping Cream at no cost to your health. Limit yourself to gatherings, or vow to drink tea instead of coffee for the month. If not, you may do what I do – drink black coffee all but 1-2 days per week (on my weekend).
- MATCH YOUR ACTIVITY TO YOUR INTAKE. This seems simple. Calories in vs. calories out. Now, I know what you’re thinking! Who in their right mind is going to track their calories during Christmas? Well, our health is just as important today as any other day of the year. For me personally, I no longer track my calories on a counter, but I do make sure that I run extra on days that I know I may indulge or have a feast to attend. It’s a good way to find balance while still caring about your body.
- AVOID TEMPTATION. We all know those people who like to seemingly sabotage our goals. You know, the ones who you tell them that you’re not drinking, and they offer you a glass of wine? Or the ones who you tell them that you’re not eating bread this month, and you come in to find a whole home-baked pumpkin bread just for you on your desk? Do not allow yourself to be guilted. Yes, have manners and be polite, but don’t feel like you have to try and eat or drink everything that someone gives you. Listen to your body first and foremost. Avoid these people as much as possible.
- LIMIT ALCOHOL. If you’re like many whom are part of dysfunctional families (all of us in some way), you may be emotionally driven to drink in order to just relax. Be very careful about how you conduct yourself, and the types of drinks you’re choosing. My drink of choice is wine or whiskey, but I know some people who choose all of the fruity, flavored alcoholic drinks at the holidays. Limit and control your intake. Be in control of your judgement, mind and your body.
Most importantly, remember that the season is not about gifts, being careless, wreckless or just plain chaotic. The season is about the real reason. Be and stay blessed.With Love,Channéll
Welcome back to my second interview with Max Bradley, recent inspiration for many looking to lose weight! Max was featured on Eric Thomas’s video TGIM series in October called “Thank God I Lost Weight:. The video now has over 49,000 views. I’ve had the privlege of becoming friends with Max, and helping share his story.
Channéll: What does your current workout schedule look like? How many days of strength? How many days of cardio? Flexibility? Recovery?
Max: My current work out schedule is at least cardio everyday for various lengths of time; depending on what I’m doing that day. I lift 4 times a week, and work abs/core every other day. I stretch but not enough. I really should stretch more, and would like to get in to yoga.
Channéll: In the fitness world we often use a principle called F.I.T. which means frequency, intensity, time. In order to bust through plateus it’s important to switch up the routine by changing the frequency, intensity or time, or just changing the workout all together. How often do you change your routine up?
Max: I change up all the time. You have to! Once your body get used to a certain work out you’re only going to get so far before hitting a plateau. I always give it everything I have, every single workout. There’s no other way to do it. Intensity is always high, and I`m always pushing. The time changes a lot too mostly not by choice. If I’m working,I workout during the night. When I’m at home I work out in the mornings and definitely prefer that. There is nothing like a good run outside in the morning sun before the gym.
Channéll:How essential has proper nutrition been in your weight maintainance? How about in the weight loss process?
Max: Nutrition was the most important part. Without a good diet you’re not going anywhere. Getting your eating habits right is KEY. Do research, read articles, knowledge is power. You can do anything you set your mind to if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it.
Channéll: Have you considered becoming a Certified Personal Trainer yourself?
Max: Yes I have Iwould love to be a trainer/health coach. I just would love to be able to help others, and see people change for the better.
Channéll:What do you believe it the biggest lie people tell themselves when trying to make a major change in lifestyle?
Max: That they can only push themselves so far, and once they hit their wall they believe they can’t push further. Also, people cheat and don’t hold themselves accountable. They need to make up for it in activity. It’s all about holding yourself accountable. No one is perfect, you will cheat, but if you do cheat, you have to devote extra time at the gym. If I would eat something I know I shouldn’t, I would make sure to spend extra time on my cardio to burn it off. People need to push past their boundaries or they will never know their true limits. People are always satisfied with just going through the motions and that’s not enough!
Channéll:Will you give a sample daily menu and sample workout for someone at home that doesn’t know where to start in their weight loss journey?
Max: When I started this journey I would eat:
BREAKFAST: 2 egg whites and a protein shake
LUNCH: Salad with very little dressing usually some grilled chicken.
DINNER: 2 turkey burgers (with no bread of any kind)
***Please be aware that each individuals caloric and macronutrient needs differ. Please consult your doctor, dietician or fitness professional for guidance on caloric intake needs.
When people ask me what workouts I do, they should realize that what I do/did, isn’t goign to work for everybody. For 1) people don’t necessarily have the determination that I do 2) it’s not just a diet, it’s not just a workout, it’s really a lifestyle.The changes made have to be long-term and consistent.
With that, here’s what I did initially:
I started with just cardio 5x per week for about 3 weeks. I started with 20 mins on the elliptical because I was big and had bad knees, so there was no added pressure; it was the only thing I could do. I used only the elliptical for about the first 4 months. As I progressed, I went from 20 minutes on up to 40 minutes. Then, I would do 40 minutes and add weight excerises. My exercieses were basic curls and just a few machines I knew.
2-3 sets of 10 reps as little rest as possible
Basic Free Weight Curls
Shoulder Press Machine
Chest Press Machine
I’d watch people around the gym pick up things also do ur research again! Knowledge is power. If you know areas you want to target look up the best ways to do that.
Channéll: How did you select your weight, sets and repetitions?
Max: I just went off of feeling. I’ve never written down any of my workouts or my weights. I always try to move my weights up the following week. The main thing is to feel challenged, and get a good burn. It doesn’t necessarily matter what weight you’re using if it challenges you.
Me: Who are you? How would you define yourself as an individual?
Max: I`m 24 yrs old ,and would describe my self as a outgoing, dedicated, motivated and always striving to be the best person I can be. No matter what I’m doing: from work, to working out, or sports I always want to give and do my best. Love pushing my limits and seeing what possible.
Me: Tell us about your life and goals
Max: I live in Oak Park, Michigan currently. During the day, I work inventory control for a company that liquidates furniture stores, so I get to do a lot of traveling.
My goal is to inspire as many as I can with my story. Eventually I also want to get into personal training and motivational speaking, I know first hand what a lot of people are going through, and definitely feel it’s a callling of mine to help. I also, as a more of a personal goal, want to move out west somewhere and start this journey from there.
Me: What’s your story? Share your struggle…
Max: Well, I was always on the bigger side (never really huge) early in life. I always played sports so that kept me fit in school, but after high school and organized sports, I progressively got bigger and bigger. During the weight gain, I would try diets here and there, and started doing a little working out; nothing serious.
I was even offered money to lose weight, I tried to lose weight for girls I liked too, but nothing ever stuck. I was always doing it for the wrong reasons. In July 2011, I weighed in at 295-300 lbs. I was going out for a job in Alexandria, VA. They had this amazing gym and indoor basketball court (gym from the video). I said too myself, “It’s time to stop living this way. You had your fun, it’s time to man up and change things”.
Me: What was the hardest part about being almost 300 pounds?
Max: I just decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired just like ET said. I knew it was my shot for a better, healthier life was now and I had to run with the opportunity. The hardest part was just looking at my self and being so unhappy with myself; knowing that I did this to myself. I was disgusted. Another hard part was my physical limitations. Not being able to do what my friends were doing because of my size.
Also, (I never really told this story before because it was the most embarrassing thing of my life), but I went with some friends of mine we waited in line for bout an hour for a ride. When we got there, I couldnt fit in the harness to the ride and had to get off. It was embarassing. All of these things inspired change…
Me: What changes did you make to your eating and workout habits?
Max: I was in the process of quitting pop/soda drinking and eating fast food. Then, I stopped eating fried foods. At the time, I was working about 65 hrs a week, but committed myself to working out after work every night. I also did tons and tons of research on what to eat, what boosts metabolism and started eating the right way.
I started small because I didnt really have a clue on what I was doing. I did this all by myself: no trainer, no nutritionist. So, I went with what I knew didn’t work to determine what I should do. For example, I knew that running on the treadmill killed my knees, so I decided to try the elliptical instead. That process started slow, about a mile at a time. It took me 20 minutes the first time to get that mile in.
I progressively got faster and after 2 weeks of just cardio. I continued to do a lot of my own research on the best type of work outs to do, attempting to find anything that was working for other people. I also watching other people workout at the gym.The bottom line is that I wanted change!
Me: Is being FIT, in your opinion purely physical, or do you feel that it’s mental too?
Max: Being FIT is 90% mental for sure. the physical part of this was nothing compared to the mental hurdles I had to jump over. Your mind is a very, very powerful thing. Without having a clear focus and the right environment, you’re not going to achieve anything you want in life; not just weight loss.
Me: How do you KEEP your weight off?
Max: Keeping the weight is the hardest part. If you saw ET and Giavanni Ruffin’s HBDYWI Part 1 & 2, after I lost weight is were my personal part 2 started. Now I`m redefining the grind, by still eating healthy and continuing to workout. If I stray (which everyone does sometimes), I still know I could put in that work!
Also, always switching up routine, and not always going to the gym to work out! I like to take it outside and get creative with what I`m doing so I never get bored. I also always set new goals. Always striving for that perfect you! The only thing I can think to add right now is that I did is a trainer. I did all the research my self and did not have any expert advice of a trainer or nutritionist; now I want to become an expert! People need to hear my story to help them overcome battles such as mine.
Me: What advice do you have for others looking to acheive a huge weight loss goal, or goal in general?
Max: Don’t be scared to watch others! To me, it’s the best way to find new workouts. You have to hold your self accountable, and if you eat extra or things you shouldn’t, you gotta put in that extra 10-15 mins in the gym that night no excuses/no days off from not only working out, but living that healthy lifestyle.
For me, after I initially lost weight, I fell into this place of over-confidence because you got all these people telling you how good you look and how amazing you are. With all the attention, I lost track of my goals and felt complacent on where I was at. I started eating whatever I wanted because I thought I was invincible and shot up 15 lbs quick. That was hard, but I looked at my self and said “You came this far don’t go backwards now”.
So it was gametime fo rme. I had to not only re-lose weight I gained back, but had to get refocused and really lock it down; which I did. The KEY to all of this is doing it for YOU, because no one else but your self is going to chose to eat that salad over fast food for you, and only YOU are going to drag your ass to the gym after working 10 hours everyday. When you want nothing more than to lay in bed and pass out, but you do it anyway is when it counts the most.
This goes for most things in life, no ones going to hand you anything you gotta work for it, So once I got back to the gym, I hit it even harder!
Me: So what are you doing now to further your goals?
Max: Currently still grinding a pushing limits! I am also trying to become a personal trainer and would love to motivational speaking to help others!
Me: Who inspired you to finally make a change?
Max: At the beginning I just started for me, but throughout this process I have found huge influence, and one of the biggest would be my boy ET. Hearing his speeches changed my whole outlook, and really lock down that focus, Also Giavanni Ruffin ! His ambition to succeed is amazing. He is a good role model for hard work, and seeing what it takes to perfect the you! Im also a huge skier, I love it with a passion, and my all time favorite skier is Tanner Hall. He has over come 2 signifigant injuries to where no body thought he’d ever fully recover, but he put in that work through had his road blocks he’s coming back.
Me: You want to become a Personal Trainer now that you’ve lost so much weight & literally saved your own life; what do you want to say to inspire those who are currently struggling with their weight?
Max: I would like to tell you guys your not alone out there, people change their lives for the better all the time, YOU CAN DO THIS!! Keep grinding, stay focused and never, ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Make sure your doing it whatever it maybe for your self and the right reasons because if your doing it for someone else or the wrong reasons it will never stick.
Throughout your journey you will hit road blocks, might even go backwards, but never let your self get down because one bad meal, one bad work out wont ruin month/yrs of work. So stay positive and hold your self accountable because in the end your only lying to/hurting your self.
So there you have it! To all of my clients & readers, make sure to check Max out on Twitter!
Today I lead a busy day, like most every other day, but found myself touched by a specific individual I didn’t even know. After an early and filled day with clientele at the gym, I headed off to go teach at City Hall downtown Reno for the Shape Up Program I’ve had the pleasure of being a major part of.
|When people love us even in the shadows of our darkness,
they shine on to us their light…
On my way I decided to stop at Walgreens to buy some cold water for the hot outdoor bootcamp about to take place! On my way in, I noticed a young man who was covered in dirt and a somber look on his face. He was probably about 20-25 years old. As I passed him, I smiled and couldn’t help but think about him when I got into Walgreens. I looked around for something to buy him, and felt lost. I didn’t want to offend him, but wanted to help at the same time. I decided on Trident gum (I know he hasnt brushed his teeth), Gatorade (every man loves the red kind), water, and mixed nuts (high in caloric density).
As I walked out, he politely aqsked me if I had a dollar to give him to catch the bus. I informed him that I did not have cash, but instead handed him the bag telling him I purchased those things for him. He seemed taken back before he looked at me square in the eyes, and I could see the person underneath the filthy external appearance and the unapproachable demeanor I saw when I walked in to the store. He thanked me. I said “you’re welcome” as I walked only a short distance to my car. Looking back at him, I watched a college-aged couple throw a quarter at him and heard it bounce to the ground; obviously in the most demeaning and cynical way. The young man did not say anything, but instead went to pick up the quarter silently. I felt horrible for him. My heart could not let me just rush off to teach my class; even though I had only 15 minutes left to get there and set up.
So, I found a receipt in my car, and wrote down a website that I felt could inspire this young man. WWW.ETINSPIRES.COM. One of my favorite motivational speakers and life coaches that was once himself homeless. I walked back to the young man and told him of the website, and that I was unsure of his present situation, but that I also know what it’s like to be alone and down and out. In fact, I was once myself “homeless” living in a motel in Reno trying to pursue my destiny. Again, he seemed shocked.
At this point, he couldn’t look me in the eye. Emotions surfaced, as he tried to surpress them, and all he could do was thank me. He asked what this guy Eric Thomas does. I told him that he was a speaker and life coach who has overcome struggle, and has personally helped me see my life more clearly. He assured me he would “check it out”. I walked away feeling sadenned, and wanting more time with him. However, I knew it wasn’t the time or place. I can’t save the world, but I can only plant a seed.
As I drove off, I watched the young man’s gaze follow me all the way down the block. I didn’t even get his name, but somehow I know I have to have had an impact. And guess what? Even though I was running late for my set up, not one single person showed up on time today. Nope! Not even the director Andy Bass, named 1 of 100 Most Influential People in Reno! He always helps me set up for my class. This tells me that this was no “coincidence.”
Maybe taking a few extra minutes even though I was running late could be strong enough to save his life. You just never know where God will place you, and I believe it’s our duty to act when he feel our heart strings being tugged on.
Now, I`m not using this story to boast or to say that you should give to every needy person you encounter because that is impossible. What I am saying it that is so important for us to recognize life outside of ourselves, and help others in need. The more you give the more you get! But, do not give expecting anything in return.
Today my heart was truly touched as a young man was willing to listen to me, allow me to help nourish him (even temporarily), and even in the hardest of situations that he seemed to be encountering, he trusted me enough or was desperate enough to reveal some emotions to me. For anyone who knows anyone down and out or on the street, this is a difficult barrier to break more often then not.
Imagine if our community of people all helped plant a seed one life at a time. Could you imagine the turn around in the poverty and the depressing nature of someone struggling? I can see it…
My life today was put in perspective by a young man who doesn’t even know my name. I think he helped me more then I helped him. I helped him on his path, and he helped me on mine…
|When our path is lit, we can gain confidence
in the journey of our destination knowing that
our path leads to somewhere beautiful.
Is your life in perspective?
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