Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.
- Start by setting realistic goals!
If you’d like to be a runner, lose the muffin top, tone up your entire body or get back to your healthy weight… that’s great! Congrats on deciding to take time to feel better about yourself! But no matter what your motivation, make sure you’re not asking too much of yourself. If you have unrealistic expectations of yourself, you are setting yourself up to fail! Instead, set yourself up to win!
- Plan to start small and gain endurance over time.
If you haven’t been moving your body much, you may not be able to do the exercises you’d ultimately like to be dedicated to. Your first couple of weeks working out, keep your workouts under 30 minutes! Your body needs to get used to moving! Start with the resistance low/medium and work your way to feeling comfortable working harder.
- Be consistent and COMMIT!
A workout plan sounds great until the plan is too overwhelming for you to continue! If you plan to move your body every day, you’ll soon form a habit of it, and you might even start to feel cravings for exercise once your body realizes how much better it feels when it moves!
- Listen to your body.
When you’re exercising, you want to make your body work, but not so hard that you can’t catch your breath, you feel pain in your limbs or you feel dizzy.
- Form is important!
For cardio, make sure your back is straight and you’re engaging your core as you exercise.
For strength training, make sure your posture is always good, and try to engage the muscles being targeted. If an exercise is too hard or you’re using too much weight, no one is winning because you’re not exercising the proper muscles. You are the one who may end up injured if you do the exercises the wrong way. Stay safe!
- Be positive.
Don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout- that will make you want to go LESS next time! Don’t tell yourself that you are currently worthless because of how your body looks! With that mentality, you may never be happy! Appreciate your body and what it CAN do, and feed it properly, move it often, and know that you owe happiness only to yourself.
- Try to set up situations in which you’ll succeed.
If you are not a morning person but you want your body to suddenly wake up every day at 5:30AM to get to the gym, you might have some rough starts! Instead, try putting yourself in situations where it’s an outlet to exercise, you’re exercising at a time of day when you have a lot of energy, or you plan to meet a friend at the gym. However you will succeed!
- Cardio AND strength training are important!
Cardio will help keep you lean and mean- not to mention be a real fat blaster if you do it right!
Strength training will, well, make you strong! Simple day to day tasks like lifting things, standing up straight, wearing sleeveless dresses and having sex (for those of you having it) will be way easier if you dedicate two days per week to toning!
- Stay Hydrated.
I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but while you exercise, you’re losing a lot of water, and that needs to be replaced! Try filling up two water bottles every night, putting them in your fridge and having them ready for the next day!
- Fuel yourself.
You don’t want to be completely empty when you show up to do your workout, but if you’re having a meal beforehand, make sure you wait about an hour before you start exercising. To start off with, a full stomach while exercising might get upset. If you need to eat something before hitting the gym, though, a banana (maybe add some peanut butter) is a great, easily digested option.
After your workout, make sure to eat some carbs and protein (egg and toast, yogurt and granola, good cereal.) If you feel ravenous after your workout, you should probably be eating more beforehand, but remember, try to keep big meals an hour apart from your workout.
- VARY YOUR WORKOUTS
Try lots of different kinds of cardio -running, rowing, walking, elliptical machine, biking… anything that gets your heart rate up! To boost strength try yoga or pilates and look up videos of routines you can do at home. Whenever you can, play sports for recreation! Soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, volleyball- all of these are fun and even if you don’t know what you’re doing at least you will be running around. Also, you can look into rock climbing, rowing, kayaking, swimming or hiking.
If you’d ever like help with an exercise plan, we can work together to find out what may work for you, personally!
I’m with you
Hi Back when I was in school, I used to work at a gym as an annoying sales rep for training. I feel for these guys! Worst part was selling trainers I didn’t believe in or particularly like a lot (db factor high) and also having to be annoying to people who just want to work out.
But the BEST part was waking up every day and being surrounded by committed weirdos who casually talk about 1RMs and the balance of their gastrocs. It just became normal to eat raw veggies and lean meats and carry a gallon of water around. In this environment, being off your game still meant you were WAY on relative to the average individual.
Now it’s just me as I have a job I love and relegate my fitness to the private part of the day I fit it into while I live amongst the unlifting masses again. Now I see the pictures on IG and tumblr of people all working out together in the gym and get a little jealous of how powerful that real life community is. Turns out, you don’t even have to like them! It still influences you.
So that is why this whole fitblr thing is amazing to me. There is an elite group out there that are committed and have so much knowledge and motivation and are looking to share it with people just like them. Positive peer pressure! So, for all you fitness loners out there competing with yourselves, experimenting and adjusting and ultimately succeeding…let’s do this together.
On that last rep… I’m with you. This is how we do. We’re that elite group that normalizes the habits of excellence. Membership dues are paid in sweat and uncelebrated discipline.
I’m with you. Who’s with me?
To answer a question, and in case anyone else is wondering, I’ll be keeping it simple and basic.
Bulking means you’re eating above your regular calories to gain muscle (the term dirty bulk is when people are getting calories from bad foods like pizza to get more calories).
Cutting is when you…
Follow these tips to brighten your morning!
- Stretch. It’s a wonderful way to loosen your joints and increase flexibility. It will also get rid of any knots in your muscles from sleeping! You can try yoga or meditation, too.
- Take a shower. Showers wake you up and will leave you feeling fresh and ready for the day!
- Make your bed. You’ll be less likely to get back in and it will make you feel productive!
- Eat a healthy breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, so give your body the calories and nutrients it needs!
- Turn on some music. It’ll leave you feeling happy, relaxed, and ready for the day!
- Wear something cute. You’ll be feeling confident and comfortable all day long! To save time, prepare your outfit the night before.
- Read an inspirational quote. Find one that motivates you!
- Wake up early. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning. If you’re less rushed, you’ll be in a better mood for the rest of the day.
- Drink a tall glass of water. It’ll get you hydrated and feeling good!
- Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Reward yourself at the end of the day if you complete all of your tasks. A list will help keep you focused and satisfied when you can check everything off!
Old School Tips And Tricks
by Bradley Joe Kelly T-Nation
Bodybuilding from the 1930s to the early 1960s was much simpler. Creatine monohydrate was decades away, protein powders were in their infancy, and the military press was still an Olympic movement. It was also a time when anabolic steroids were not widely abused.
The fact that drug use wasn’t rampant not only helped keep the athletes healthier, it also helped keep “the physique ideal” somewhat attainable.
It meant that the average trainee could emulate the routines from top guys like Reg Park, Leroy Colbert, John Grimek, Clarence Ross, Marvin Eider, or John Davis and experience some degree of success.
This article is intended to serve as a wake-up call to the modern bodybuilding industry (and the gym rats) to get back to the basic principles that built the healthy champion physiques of not that long ago.
The Good Old Days
The “good old days” phenomena extends beyond the bodybuilding context. Despite a shorter life expectancy than today, people back then just seemed a whole lot healthier in general.
They were more active, walked more in day-to-day life (not just on a treadmill), and their kids grew up playing sports outside, not on Xbox’s, which made for healthier teenagers and adults.
It also made for better-conditioned gym rats. Take a look at the age-old lift, the behind the neck press. Fifty years ago you’d see it recommended everywhere, but today in a world full of limited shoulder mobility, poor flexibility, and weakened rotator cuffs, this movement that built countless championship shoulders has almost been black balled.
What’s happened in the last 50 years? First, apart from the bench press, people just don’t seem to like to lift heavy any more.
Today the hot point in the magazines is “muscle confusion,” all of which merely serve to confuse a young trainee from what his true goal is: adding weight to the bar.
Trainees today think that if they want big arms, all they need to do is follow a routine that consists of a few sets of concentration curls and triceps kickbacks, interspersed with phone texting and Tweeting.
The problem is, these random-ass routines – when applied by a gifted bodybuilder on a cornucopia of pharmaceutical goodies – will actually yield results.
So young, misguided trainees gravitate towards these easy routines instead of practicing a more basic, yet proven routine that the great Bill Pearl used and recommended in the early 1960 – a routine that would give them twice as much arm mass, twice as fast:
Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 8
A2 Incline Triceps Extension 4 8
B1 Lying Dumbbell Biceps Curl 3 8
B2 Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension 4 8
C1 Concentration Curl 3 8
C2 Dumbbell French Press 4 8
Bill Pearls’ routine attacks the muscles with intelligent exercise selection along with moderately heavy weights – a classic example of an old school arm workout.
Personally, I’ve added 3 inches to my arms in a year on modified workouts like this. Mix it in with modern training discoveries such as loaded stretches and you’ll be shocked by the results.
HMH FIT TIP #14
This is a fantastic set of stretches emphasizing DURATION over INTENSITY, a key concept of effective stretching. Just as training the lower body nets full body benefits, keeping a free, unrestricted range of motion in the lower body prevents musculoskeletal restrictions system-wide. Pain and restriction in your legs and hips (hip range of motion is so important!) creates compensatory movement patterns that can negatively impact your spine, neck muscles, breathing patterns, etc. Your lower muscle groups are connected to your upper muscle groups by complex, elegant, symmetrical fascial lines and slings (bands of connective tissues that hold us together). Imagine pulling on the bottom lace of your tied shoe. This may tighten up the bottom of the shoe at first but after walking around, the entire lace system will adjust itself and compensate for the changes at the bottom. That’s right, a sore ankle CAN mean a sore shoulder! As athletes, we may compartmentalize some of our training (though fitness training is evolving towards full body functional training) but understanding and working with our body becomes easier (and more interesting) when we relate to it as the interdependent system of systems that it is. So, even if you’re not a runner, try these stretches, get a massage, get a foam roller, soak in heat, get acupuncture, whatever will help you to keep your hips and legs swinging freely. The rest of the body, their passenger, will reward you for the smoother ride.
-HMH- Fit tip #13
Make extra protein shake to pour into moulds for protein pops later! They make a good sweet snack and even kids will eat them :) Today’s were three scoops of whey protein, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 cup of frozen mixed fruit, a handful of flaxseed, a handful of shredded coconut and 2 packets of splenda with as much water needed to give it a smooth but somewhat thick consistency. I got the moulds at Michaels but I’ve seen them at Ikea. Can’t wait to try! Freeze faster!
-HMH- Fit Tip #12
Use Mental Rehearsal For Fitness Success
“When we create something, we always create it first in a thought form. If we are basically positive in attitude, expecting and envisioning pleasure, satisfaction and happiness, we will attract and create people, situations, and events which conform to our positive expectations.” ~Shakti Gawain
Picture it. You’re in a championship basketball game. The clock has 3 seconds left on it and you’re a point behind your rival. Fortune is in your favour when you are fouled and brought to the top of the key to nail your free throw shots. You’ve physically practiced this shot and know you have a 50/50 chance of making it. The gym is quiet with anticipation, heavy with pressure, all centred on you. How could you increase your chances of making the shot? What could you do to prepare for this situation beyond taking that shot in no-pressure situations? The answer may lie in mental rehearsal. Perhaps you’ve just completed some good working squat sets. On the final rep, you hit a wall and barely push through to standing and putting the bar back on the rack. Your legs are weak and noodley. You’re resting, breathing and drinking water and preparing for another 8 repetitions, unsure of how it will go based on the last set. How could you assist yourself in finishing your squats successfully? What might you do in order to recruit all you have to complete your leg workout? Again, you may want to try visualizing yourself completing the repetitions smoothly and successfully first, thus laying the tracks for your action to follow.
The term mental rehearsal refers to thinking about doing something successfully before physically doing it. You picture yourself going through the steps and getting a specific outcome. It works best when you make it realistic and include as many senses as possible. Play the movie of success for your brain and it will have that to imitate, engaging a mind/body connection that helps us get more out of both.
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Yes, practice can cause improvement, but “perfect practice” can lead to better results than practice full of failures. Because mental practice is perfect practice, it is also a confidence-booster. Experiencing success increases confidence, even if that experience is imagined. It is a question of self-efficacy. If your brain has a history of success to follow, the required actions to ‘repeat’ that history are more readily available to you.
Mental rehearsal can be done in the moment, immediately prior to the activity or at a set time where you can sit, relax, prepare and visualize the fullness of that moment. The more relaxed you are and the more detail you add to it, the more effective it can be.
In the moment, it is as simple as visualizing (eyes closed if you’re comfortable in your surroundings) exactly what you want to happen with the best possible outcome. In the case of the 8 reps of squats, feel the weight of the bar and the power coming from your legs and core to drive it up with good form and certainty. Follow this through to the end of the set, adjusting your visualization for each rep and its declining energy/increasing load. Watch yourself complete the final rep with strength and power. Take a deep breath and immediately begin your set. Watch as your mind and body work together to make a better final set.
If you are going to set aside a time to fully relax and prepare for an anticipated difficulty, I recommend trying the following exercise:
- Find a time and place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Recline or lie down, and close your eyes.
- Relax, concentrate, and focus. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly. As you exhale, imagine that stress is leaving your body. Start at your feet … feel all the stress leave your feet … then your legs … then your chest … all the way to the top of your head … feel all the stress leave your body. Free your mind of distractions and allow your mind to focus on the relaxation process.
- Once relaxed, focus on the specific challenging task.
- Mentally tell yourself that you are confident and that you have the ability to perform this task successfully. Repeatedly tell yourself, with confidence, that you will be successful.
- Imagine what you will see just before you begin the task. Visualize yourself as an active participant, not as a passive observer. For example, to mentally rehearse putting a golf ball, imagine that you are standing on the green rather than watching yourself from the gallery.
- Remaining relaxed and focused, mentally rehears successful performance of this task. Imagine going through the process and seeing successful results.
- Repeat step 7 several times.
- Finally, open your eyes and smile. You have successfully performed in your mind, which is great preparation for actual performance. You should now be confident that you will perform successfully in the real situation. Remember to praise yourself for being successful. Self-reinforcement is another a key to self-motivation.
If I were a guard on the aforementioned basketball team, I may wake up on the morning of the game and perform this exercise, consciously relaxing my body and fleshing out a Step 7 that includes all of what my senses may experience. I would imagine the gym’s sounds and colours, my heartbeat, the sound of spectators, players and coaches. Finally, from a first person perspective, I would watch the ball rise in front of my face, feel the movement of my arms and hands as they lifted and launched the ball into a perfect arc that ends in a ‘nothing but net’ game winning point. Once this visualization is established, I would repeat it over and over again until my brain fully stored the experience of success for me to later draw on in the real situation.
I personally practice the ‘in the moment’ mental rehearsal at the gym all the time and can anecdotally attest to how well it works. I find myself not only reaching my goal but exceeding it with strength and focus that I’m certain came from visualizing it just prior to actually doing it. Don’t limit yourself to just athletics either. Studies have shown that imagined practice improves performance in diverse contexts that include communication, education and clinical and counseling psychology.** Picture a difficult conversation going well. Spend downtime imagining success in all of your goal areas. This is more than just daydreaming. It is, in fact, laying neural pathways for your brain to follow, a road map to that excellence you feel is just out of your reach. Go ahead and try it. Dream it real. I would be happy to hear from anyone who has experienced success with it.
*Based on Manz, C. C., & Neck, C. P. (1999). Mastering self-leadership: Empowering yourself for personal excellence, (2nd ed.), pp. 70-71. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
** Neck, C. P., Nouri, H., Godwin, J. L. (2003). How self-leadership affects the goal-setting process. Human Resource Management Review, 13(4): 691-707.
-HMH- Fit Tip #11
Oscillating Progress - Pushing Your Set Point
Starting in February, I made a firm commitment to fitness, something I’ve experienced in various peaks and valleys over the past 15 years. It’s safe to say that my home is in ‘fit and strong’, occasionally cottaging in ‘fat and lazy’. Just the fact that the reverse was once true is a triumph I’m proud of but not satisfied with. Since the middle of April, I’ve been at ‘the cottage’ mostly because of a lower back injury, coupled with a demanding work/study schedule. Things got pretty loose. Instead of pounds, I lifted pints. More lounging, less lunging. No more burpees. Just burps. You get the picture.
However, despite the setback, I’m not discouraged or let down. I’m not disappointed with myself. I know every time I push myself out to that outer edge of my experience, I give myself new ground to call my own. Every time my pendulum swings past the ‘set-point’ in me and reaches just a little further than ever before, I know that ‘set-point’ has been moved incrementally towards my very best. So as I near the end of my swing backwards, I notice how I didn’t really go back all that far before I felt that swell of motivation turn me around and get me heading back to my best.
I call it Oscillating Progress. It’s a simple concept based loosely on ‘Set Point Theory’. According to the set-point theory, there is a control system built into every person dictating how much fat he or she should carry – a kind of thermostat for body fat. Some individuals have a high setting, others have a low one. According to this theory, body fat percentage and body weight are matters of internal controls that are set differently in different people.
Loss of our set amount of fat gives our faithful and dutiful body the message that there is an environmental threat (flood, drought, etc.) and it then engages systems to preserve itself. “According to the set-point theory, the set point itself keeps weight fairly constant, presumably because it has more accurate information about the body’s fat stores than the conscious mind can obtain. At the same time, this system pressures the conscious mind to change behavior, producing feelings of hunger or satiety. Studies show that a person’s weight at the set point is optimal for efficient activity and a stable, optimistic mood. When the set point is driven too low, depression and lethargy may set in as a way of slowing the person down and reducing the number of calories expended.”*
First of all, it’s just a theory. Some people buy it and support it with research. Some people find it discouraging and fatalistic and dismiss it. Many people have proved it wrong with the permanent loss of hundreds of pounds. This guy thinks it’s stupid. http://www.weightymatters.ca/2010/12/set-point-theory-is-stupid.html He does go on to acknowledge that there is a range of weight within which a person can comfortably live.
The concept of oscillating progress simply expands on this to support what a lot of research says, and that’s that we do have a body fat level at which our body is comfortable and accustomed to. However, we also have the ability to raise or lower this set point and give a new ‘zero’ from which to venture up and down. Regular exercise was the most promising influence on the movement of this set point (Wilmore et al. 1999). All of the hard work put in is actually permanently moving the starting blocks, so when we slow down or go backwards, we go back a little bit ahead of where we started. This also means that the same amount of effort, redoubled and applied, will take you further than you’ve ever been and move your set point to a new permanent home ahead of itself. This is progress!
As you swing out to your best, and naturally swing backwards in response to real life, accept that this is part of change. Return to your effort when you are naturally ready. It will be irresistible when you are. Begin oscillating out past where you’ve been, knowing you’ll never really return as far back as where you started. Make room for the ebb and flow of life while making progress by permanently moving that set point with your best physical effort.
*check MIT medical for more information on set point theory http://medweb.mit.edu/pdf/set_point_theory.pdf
-HMH- Fit tip #10
Use Momentum to Create a Habit
They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. I once heard that after Jerry Seinfeld hit it big with his show, he wanted to remain true to his craft of stand-up comedy by continuing to perform at stand-up clubs with new material. He still considered himself a student of the craft and knew that he needed to keep performing in order to be creative and to hone and perfect the skills that had brought him so much success.
However, given the fortune his television show had provided him, without the ‘hunger’ of an aspiring comedian, he felt little motivation to leave this comfort and put himself in front of an audience night after night. It was something he valued but now needed extra motivation to bring himself to act on.
It was in this that he came up with an easy method. He simply marked an X on the calendar every time he went to the comedy club to perform. He stated that this X lead to a string of X’s and the longer the string became, the more motivated he was to persist in order to avoid breaking the chain he had built. It was as simple as that. Not only was it a system of accountability but a method to show his momentum. Mr. Seinfeld used the visual display of past successes to drive himself forward in the same direction. He saw each step create a path and this helped him stay that path.
How can you apply the principle of momentum? How can you give yourself an unbroken chain of successes that will be large enough to prevent smaller slips? How will you display it to yourself. I personally have tried and like the calendar X idea. It’s simple and strikingly visual. Tumblr itself is a great place to check in and create a daily routine that grows into a demonstration of habit. Just be sure that you tumble outside and act like your posts. Journalling is a great way to show up to the habit, even on off days. It is a way of noticing, noting and troubleshooting. It is a way to recognize your priorities everyday even if you can’t act on them.
If you’re not much of a writer, I do recommend the calendar. Get a free insurance broker calendar. Put it on your wall with a Sharpie on it and put in the effort that earns your X. A day of clean eating, going for a run, getting to the gym, going to bed early, etc. Whatever you are trying to bring into your life, do it one day at a time and document it. Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into a new you that can’t remember not doing it.
Get your ball rolling and trust in inertia - the fundamental physical law that things keep on doing what they’re already doing unless acted on by an outside force. You may find that you won’t be able to stop yourself!
-HMH- Fit tip #9
Control Yourself With Grounding Techniques
Have you ever not wanted to eat something but found yourself going to the fridge and eating it anyway? While you were eating it, were you trying to quiet the voice in your head telling you that this is contrary to what’s most important to you?
Have you ever set your mind to go to the gym or go for a run, but found yourself facebooking or tumbling away the time alotted, unable to rouse yourself towards the action that you value?
Have you ever had your ACTIONS in conflict with your VALUES? Maybe you’ve even observed this conflict in real time, knowing it was happening, but still unable to control it and change direction. This is something most people can relate to and is the result of emotions overriding thinking and taking the steering wheel of your life, leaving you to simply observe it all happening and be discouraged by your lack of control over it all.
Often our emotions lead us to do things to cope with them that may provide some ‘positive’ effect but also create an adjacent ‘characterological conflict’, with byproducts of guilt, shame, loss of a sense of personal power, anxiety, depression, etc. Then you have these new, strong emotions to cope with as well, often leading to more of the ‘maladaptive’ behaviour that started them in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle. What to do?
When the first emotion presents itself, it is important to first recognize it is happening. Say something like, “I am feeling sad. I am not this emotion. This emotion will pass.” Observe it non-judgementally. Make a place for it within yourself. Observe how it feels in your body. You first must notice it to then begin what are called grounding techniques.
Grounding techniques are ways that you can get off the ride of emotions and inhabit the peace of the moment rather than the thought-and-behaviour noise the emotion is creating. One such technique is the 5,4,3,2,1 method. I present this because it is easy to remember, portable, and takes only a second to do. It can give an almost instant path back to the peace and control of the moment’s thinking mind, rather than the unrest and lack of control experienced sometimes in the feeling mind. All you need to do is remember 5,4,3,2,1 and the five senses.
It’s like this:
First, be still for a moment. Make sure you’re taking deep breaths and then begin.
5 - see five things - absorb your attention and thoughts in the practice of fully ‘seeing’ five things around you. For example, this moment I can stop and see the water bottle in front of me, its shape, scratches, contents, etc. Then I can turn my attention to the corkboard and all of its random but uniform mashed together cork. I then look at a stack of papers and observe the paper’s colour, how uneven the stack is… WHAT you see isn’t as important as THAT you see it. Conjure up a few observations of each item until you’ve reached five things and then;
4 - hear four things - focus your awareness on your surroundings and listen for distinct sounds. I hear the sound of the TV in the other room, the whirr of the computer fan, the rise and fall of my own breath, and if I wait for the fourth thing…there I swallowed and I’m ready to move on to;
3 - touch three things - now use your sense of touch to really experience the textures around you. I can feel the temperature of the water in the bottle. I can feel the chair pushing against my butt and legs. I can feel my tongue on the roof of my mouth. Next;
2 - smell two things - if you’re around others, this doesn’t have to be too strange. Just consciously smell the air around you. If you want, pick up an object and smell it. I often like to use my shirt just to get that Apple Mango Tango goodness ;) Finally;
1 - taste one thing - if there is something edible around, eat or drink it slowly and fully experience its taste as it washes over your tongue. If not, just swallow your saliva and take note of the taste in your mouth.
There. That’s it. You’re done. Welcome to the present moment. What do you want to do with it? Make a choice instead of watching the emotional auto-pilot crash you into your favourite walls. This, of course, won’t make the feelings go away, but it will give you an intentional pause and a trap-door exit from the emotional gauntlet. It will separate you from the emotional experience driving the behaviour and offer an opportunity to decide and be in control.
Please feel free to message me for any other tips on grounding and meditation, an indispensable lifeskill on the path of personal growth, self control and self fulfillment.
-HMH- Fit tip #8
“In beginner’s mind we have many possibilities, but in expert mind there is not much possibility.” Shunryu Suzuki
Wherever you are in your journey, let it go and start again. Today’s weight is your starting weight. Today’s lift is your base strength. Infuse your approach to your goals with the energy and momentum of the beginner’s mind. Halfway through the race we pace ourselves, but we burst out of the gates with vigor. Midway through the day, we tell ourselves we deserve a siesta. Give yourself the hope and opportunity of the morning.
To ‘begin again’ is an essential tenet in Zen philosophy that allows one to access the ‘original mind’. Progress can distract you from the mind that initiated and applied the effort to change. When it comes to health and fitness, ask yourself what you would like to have back from your beginner’s mind? How does it feel to be in the middle of your old story? How would it feel to be at the beginning of a new one?
Start telling your new story today. With THIS as your starting point. How is that story different from the one you just left? Is the end different? I bet its further, stronger, better than you had originally written in for yourself.
Good job getting yourself here. Be proud of your accomplishments. Then let them go and begin again.