This is a really tough and personal post for me to write. But here it goes…
Last week my 92 year old grandma had two massive strokes within two days.
My sister and I had to make the extremely difficult decision of putting her into hospice care. That means her time here is very limited.
I flew down to Florida to be with her on Thursday and plan to be with her until the end.
I keep telling her much I love her. I keep asking if she’s comfortable.
She’s able to nod back when we ask her yes or no questions. Every now and then she musters up enough energy to say, “I love you too,” after we say it.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing else we can do. I so wish there was. Ugh. It’s really, really hard to be in this position.
When the doctors were advising us on what to do, three words kept coming up over and over:
Quality of life.
My Nanny (that’s what we call her) has been fully independent until now. She was sharp as a tack until she had the first stroke.
As I sit here in her hospital room, as she’s resting comfortably, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful memories I have of / with her. I also can’t help but think of life itself.
As Linda Ellis wrote: “The date you were born and the day you died, aren’t what really matters. It’s “the dash” — those years in between and what you do with them — that does.”
Like many, I’ve experienced my fair share of loss.
Because my mom’s parents were divorced, I was lucky enough to have two sets of grandparents on her side. My Nanny is my last remaining biological grandparent. My uncle passed away when I was three years old. My parents got divorced when I was four years old.
One of my two aunts passed away when I was six.
Unfortunately, my wife’s grandfather (who was like a grandpa to me) passed away in October.
One of the toughest parts about death / loss is that we tend to relive all prior losses we’ve experienced with each new loss.
It’s hard not to reflect on your own life when you’re around death. The fact that we’re all going to die — my biggest fear — motivates me immensely to live the best possible life I can, and to realize my full potential because we’re not here forever. (One of the reasons why I’m so scared of death is because I feel like I have so much left to do. So many people left to help!)
When you’re around death, it’s so easy to think about all that you’re going to change. The areas you’d like to improve on. The things you’d like to start doing. The things you’d like to stop doing. The things you’d like to do more of. The things you’d like to do less of…
But, like all motivation, it fades away…and we eventually go back to our old ways, if we’re not careful***.
To me, fitness has never just been about looking and feeling good naked. It’s never just been about looking and feeling good in my clothes either.
After all, I started focusing on my health when I was nine years old. (Yes, I’m weirdo.)
Sure, it is/was a fun side effect, but it’s always been about way more to me.
To me, it’s about realizing my full potential.
I’ve always wanted to live the best life I can and help others do the same. I always hope to be growing, evolving and improving. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so into personal development.
There is no better way to realize your overall potential than to realize your body’s full potential.
Being healthy and fit and taking care of ourselves is a signal to others – but most importantly, ourselves. It’s a commitment we’re making to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Many MBT-ers reach their health and fitness goals and ask, “What’s next? What else can I conquer?”
Bingo. That’s the idea!
The best way to change your life is to change yourself. Focus on what you can most control. Once we do that, and as we do that, you’ll notice how powerful you feel. That power spills over into every aspect of life. It allows us to do everything better.
I get it. We’re all juggling a million balls. One of those balls is our health and fitness, though.
If we drop that ball — or neglect it — everything else is going to drop too. Everything impacts everything. The more we take care of ourselves, the better we’re able to take care of everything else. The better we’re able to do everything else. We’re a better version of ourselves. When we feel and look great, it impacts every aspect of what we do.
In other words: Quality of life.
To me, that’s what it’s all about.
I only hope to enjoy the quality of life my Nanny did until the very end, and help others do the same.
Nothing but love,
P.S. While this is a tearjerker (at least for me), I highly recommend watching this video. It reminds us of the powerful question, “Who do you want to be?” It ties in so nicely with my theme for 2016 of ‘living up to my ideals’.
P.P.S. ***What do I mean careful? Relying on a feeling to make lasting change is like relying on motivation or willpower. It’s the same reason why gyms are so crowded early in the year and start getting less crowded by February. All motivation inevitably fades. This is why we’re so good at starting all kinds of things, including diets — but not so good at following through with them.
If we don’t set ourselves up for success by having accountability + a system to monitor and track our progress along with support, we’re fooling ourselves. Life is too short to waste time. Life is too short to not love the way you look and feel. Why not give yourself every advantage to be the best version of yourself you can be. Why not try a program that has been proven over and over again with a guarantee. It’s entirely risk free.
I’ve made it that way because I sincerely want you to experience that powerful feeling like Janice (50 pounds gone) and Tara (Former Miss America contestant) have and countless others. What are you waiting for? Together, we’ll make it happen.
Many of you tell me how you always feel hungry.
First off, let’s ask ourselves this question while we’re thinking rationally: Is it possible to be hungry all the time?
Rationally, we know that it’s not possible to be hungry all the time. So what’s up?
Well, most of the time it’s emotional hunger.
Real/physical hunger comes on gradually. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. Real hunger can be satisfied with any food. Yes, that’s right – if an apple doesn’t satisfy our hunger – or if it doesn’t seem appealing, we’re not physically hungry.
Emotional hunger comes with a craving for a specific food. And, unfortunately, it’s usually not for apples. You know those times when you eat snack after snack and nothing seems to be hitting the spot? That’s because we’re not physically hungry. We’re emotionally hungry…
We’re hungry for something else.
When we get “hungry” it’s worth asking ourselves some questions.
I’m a huge fan of questions. The right questions can change the way we see, think and react to things for the rest of our life.
So, let’s get to the questions. Ask yourself:
1. How long has it been since I’ve eaten?
2. What am I really hungry for?
3. Is anything bothering me?
4. If I had a magic ‘easy’ button (remember those commercials?) to help me with what I’m dealing with right now what would I use it for?
Perhaps, what we’re really hungry for is affection, assistance, rest, excitement, peace of mind.
Is it possible to have the need met by someone? How about by yourself?
Here’s the challenge: Many times we feel like our needs can’t or won’t get met – so food becomes our escape.
When we’re “hungry” that is a need we feel like we can actually control.
Sometimes, it can be very helpful to explore what it feels like to have the need go unmet by simply writing about it. Many clients have reported that this eases the discomfort tremendously.
This is also how we can find out what we might really want for ourselves because typically we’d shovel food into our mouth so we don’t have to experience or face the feelings.
Because when we’re not suppressing feelings, they’ll come to the surface, and we’ll be able to identify what it is we really want.
How do you like them apples?
He had a dream…
And so do you. We all do.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
It’s easier to sit on the couch and watch life on TV as opposed to actually living life. It’s much easier to remain the way we are, and hope and wish.
If we hope and wish, we don’t have to face any rejection, failure or discomfort.
We can just hope and wish!
Sure, that’s fun. But it gets old pretty quickly.
The problem is, after a while, even the most non self-reflective person, will see through their own bull secretion. And that hurts.
BECAUSE when there is a disconnect between our desires and our actions, unhappiness ensues.
Deep down we all have a story. We all have desires. We all have wants.
We all have dreams.
What is your dream?
Sit with it for a few minutes. Sit with it for a few hours, if need be.
If we’re brutally honest with ourselves, we’re either working towards our dreams, or we’re burying our dreams…
Either we’re working towards the person we want to be or we’re not.
Here’s another question: What do you get to avoid in your life by carrying the extra weight?
Questions are powerful. The right questions can change the way we think, see and react to things for the rest of our life. Questions can change our perspective. Seeing things in a different light is what a breakthrough is.
So, I’ll ask you one more time: What do you get to avoid in your life by carrying the extra weight?
This is a very powerful question that taps into the psychology of our behaviors. When we understand that all of our behaviors (positive or negative) serve us in some way, it’s easier to change them. Understanding how they serve us is the first step.
Either you’re working towards the person you want to be or you’re not…
Unless you have a system of daily support, and daily accountability in place, it’s very difficult to maintain the consistent effort that is necessary to become the person you want to be. And without understanding the psychology of weight loss, we’ll go from one diet to the next, without really ever changing anything.
Sure, anyone can follow a diet for a few weeks. But that’s based on sheer willpower, and willpower is not sustainable…
Getting to the root cause of our behaviors is. Changing the way we think and react to food is. That’s why our clients are able to get and keep the body of their dreams.
Am I biased? Of course! However, I’ve seen first hand what daily and personal accountability + expert support has done for thousands of people of all ages, sizes and shapes — and I sincerely want you to experience that as well.
Another question: Why not guarantee your success with our program?
You know the people who lose weight only to gain it all back. That doesn’t happen with our clients.
We help you build habits and behaviors that are sustainable. So you don’t have to deal with losing weight all over again, year after year, season after season. Plus, once you reach your goal with us, you get access to our lifetime maintenance plan, for free. That is my commitment to your long term success.
Not to mention, MBT is 100% money back guaranteed. Zero risk. You have nothing to lose. Will you ever regret being healthier and more fit? I sincerely ask you. (Yet, another question!)
Let’s make 2016 the year you finally take control of your health and fitness. I know you never dreamed of being where you are right now. Life happens and gets in the way. Either we keep going on the path we’re on – the path we’ve been on before – or we get the help we need and live happily and fit ever after!
What are you going to do?
Remember: Either we’re working towards our dreams or we burying our dreams. And the first step to going after our dreams is taking control of ourselves. When we focus on our health and fitness – our choices, actions, habits — it snowballs into every aspect of our life. It’s extremely empowering!
Let’s go. I’m on your side. My team is on your side. We’re here for you. We’d absolutely love the opportunity to help you take control of your health and fitness and help you get (and keep) the body of your dreams. I know you won’t regret it. Together, we’ll make it happen.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
I feel like all I’ve been hearing about for the past few days is this $1.5 billion Powerball lottery.
Some friends are playing and asked me if I wanted to join.
I reluctantly said yes. I’m essentially buying myself insurance to prevent pain. Not that I wouldn’t be happy for my friends…I’d be thrilled for them! But to know I would have also won, had I just played, would be painful.
Us human animals are far more sensitive to loss than gain. This is known as loss aversion.
Which leads us into…FOMO.
FOMO – is very real.
FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
Some people will never miss something in fear that they’ll be missing out on something great.
Here’s the thing: We’re always missing out on things. That is life. It’s impossible to do everything. We have to make choices, of course. Some choices cause more regret than others.
When it’s very real…”I would have won had I just played!” it becomes a lot more painful.
So what the heck does this have to do with anything health/fitness related?
I’ll tell you…
Let’s say there is a cookie in front of us.
There are many psychological reasons why we want to eat it. One of them being that we don’t want to feel deprived because everyone else is partaking.
Here’s the thing: In the moment, we’re only focusing on the discomfort of not eating that cookie. We’re thinking irrationally, and because we feel that we deserve the cookie, and that we’re entitled to it — because we work so hard — our short term/irrational mind is egging us on. “You deserve the cookie!” “How come everyone else gets to eat the cookie?” “This isn’t fair!”
But, of course, in the moment, we don’t think about all that we’re giving up.
Let us not forget: We also want to feel and look healthy and be energized and be who we really want to be.
Again, this is our fear of loss happening in real time. We’re only focused on what we’re not getting to have in the moment because we don’t want to feel deprived.
Here’s what I try to remind myself: If I give into the discomfort (instead of embracing it) and listen to my short term / irrational mind, I’m also depriving myself of getting to feel awesome.
And thankfully, the discomfort from not eating the cookie is fleeting. It’s actually just as fleeting as the pleasure we get from eating the cookie. Except one leads to guilt and regret while the other leads to feeling energized and empowered. Think about that for a second.
The second…the moment…we’re done eating that cookie, the pleasurable feelings we get vanish. That is exactly why sugar/salt/fat is addicting. We need more and more of it to get that dopamine spike.
If we choose to indulge our irrational mind because we don’t want to feel deprived, we’re actually depriving ourselves of our long term goals and true desires that’ll bring us far more happiness than two minutes of pleasure.
When we look back on our healthy choices we never regret them. When we look back on our unhealthy choices we usually do regret them. Unless, they’re memorable. And if something is truly memorable, go for it. But savor it. Pretend you’re a food critic while eating it.
And if your friends are playing the lottery, play with them.
P.S. Two thoughts on the lottery:
1) You can learn about a person when you ask what they’d do with that kind of money. Some people immediately think about all the things they’d do for themselves, and others immediately think of all they’d do for others.
2) If I win do not fear, MBT will still be here. This is my life’s work. I sincerely hope to be doing this for the rest of my life. I explained it in more detail here —> Click here to read about the two greatest days of my life. (Can’t believe I wrote that post 8 years ago!)
Now that we’re back to life / back to reality (Warning: This is throwback to a classic song) I wanted to share my theme for the year.
Every year, I like to have a theme.
For example, two years ago my theme was, “The monster is never as scary as it seems.” That applied to many things (still does) but for me — the biggest monster was the birth of my son. I was worried how it was going to impact my first baby — MyBodyTutor (turning 9 years old next month). Thankfully, it has worked out (the other monster turned 21 months old last week!
Anyway, this year’s theme is: “Ideals”
I like to have a theme that can double as a mantra.
To me, ideals, is about being who you really want to be.
Your ideal self is a combination of all the qualities and attributes of other people that you most admire. Your ideal self is a description of the person you would very much like to be if you could embody the qualities that you most aspire to.
To me, ideals, is about answering the question, “Who do you really want to be?”
Living up to my ideals is about acting like the person I really want to be.
I’m a big fan of asking ourselves questions because it changes our perspective, and that’s the idea. This is a very powerful question because it cuts right to our desire to be healthy and fit. It cuts right to our desire to choose what’s best for us in the long run. (Of course, the fun twist – and there is always a fun twist – when we choose what’s best for us in the long run, we feel better in the short run too because we know we’re doing good for ourselves.)
Let’s say you’re thinking about skipping exercise. Or you’re thinking about having that cookie that isn’t all that special…
Ask yourself: “Who do you want to be?” It helps a lot.
It cuts through all of those rationalizations and justifications we come up with in the moment. It almost stings a bit – but that’s the idea. It’s a wake up call because it channels our desires.
Our desire to be healthy and fit never goes away. We just cover it up with rationalizations. Unfortunately, most people do the latter the moment their goals become challenging. (This is one of the reasons why daily support + accountability is so key.)
The moment they become challenging is when we have the biggest opportunity for success. The moment they become challenging is when we’re faced with a decision: Doing what feels most comfortable or doing what feels most uncomfortable. (Again, this is why daily support + accountability is key. It makes the inevitable discomfort any change brings a lot more tolerable, not to mention the expert coaching you’ll be getting on a daily basis.)
In other words, doing what we *think* we want to do vs doing what we’re supposed to do. Too often we trade what we most want for ourselves for what we think we want for ourselves.
I’ve found that whenever I make the most uncomfortable choice in the moment, I feel the best afterward. When I make the most comfortable choice in the moment there’s often guilt and regret afterward.
There’s two ways to get what we want: Either get what we want…or change what we want. Since humans are about minimizing discomfort, we tend to *try* to change what we want because that’s the “easier” thing to do. (“Eh, I don’t really care about my fitness.” “He/she should love me for me!” “I only live once. I rather enjoy now. YOLO!”
However, the ‘easier’ thing to do doesn’t lead to satisfaction and happiness. It usually leads to short term pleasure, which is extremely fleeting. We wind up feeling deeply uncomfortable later on because we have all of these lingering desires. And that wears us down.
This is why when our actions and desires are in alignment, we feel incredible. We feel like we’re acting like the person we want to be!
Of course this doesn’t only apply to our health and fitness. This applies to every aspect of life.
The cheesy (but accurate) line: Your future is unlimited.
Improvements to your ideal self start with your imagination.
What is your ideal vision of the very best person you can become? How would you behave each day if you were already that person? Answering these questions and then living your life consistent with the answers is how you become ‘who you want to be’.
We can’t wait to help you do that in 2016 and beyond!
Question: Do you have a theme for this year? If so, message and let me know.
Here’s to living up to our ideals,
P.S. Do you need help acting like that person you really want to be? Many people hesitate to ask for help under the mistaken impression that “self-reliance” in the form of isolation is a virtue. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m a firm believer in the power of “do-it yourself,” but that doesn’t have to mean “do it ALL by yourself.” Besides, if you could have done it all by yourself, you would have. As the saying goes: “Yesterday’s weather is the best predictor of today’s weather.”
The most important thing to realize is that whatever anyone else has done or become, you can do or become as well. Here’s the coolest part: We 100% guarantee it…or your money back. That’s how much we believe in what we offer.
If someone offered you a guarantee on getting the body you’ve always wanted, wouldn’t you take them on it? I made it risk-free for you because I know the impact reaching your health and fitness goals will have on every aspect of your life, and I sincerely want you to experience that.
What are you waiting for? Together, we’ll make it happen. Click here to join. Don’t let this be another year that comes and goes.