Motivations

Your Perception Makes You Suffer or Joyful

In life we find people who succeed in their goals and others who will only try, but fail. To be more specific, less than 8% of people will succeed in their weight loss goals. There are people who have all the possibilities to succeed in their weight loss goals than others and fail. Then there are others who have less possibility to achieve their goals and succeed. What differs between these two types of people?  The consequences obviously are not a factor. Sidike Conde is a great example, with no legs he could achieve more than people with legs. The way people perceive life is the biggest reason why people succeed or fail.  I was talking to my landlord the other day and she was telling me how some tenants are full of excuses. Even though they have all the possibilities to leave everything under good circumstances, they prefer to leave everything to the last minute and come up with all types of excuses. Interesting enough we are all full of excuses. We blame anyone and/or everything, but we don’t take responsibility of our own life decisions.

Here let me illustrate, two different people same event: one is doing her best to lift weights and get out of her comfort zone.   Every time she is squatting she thinks, “The burn and the pain will help me get my legs and butt toned and lose fat. I can do this: no problem. I have done it before. I like this feeling of accomplishment.”  When she is running, she tells herself, “Running is only for the strong and I’m strong. I can run 20 miles. My body was made to run”. When she chooses to eat the right foods, inner thoughts are, “My life is healthier with these foods. Healthy foods are the best energy I can consume for my body.” While the second person, when she is squatting says, “Oh no, this is very difficult. My legs are killing me. I can’t do this. I will never get what I want. I should stop now.” She comments to herself while running, “It seems too long. My body can’t handle the running. I better walk because running does not feel comfortable.” When she chooses what to eat she says, “I will only eat processed foods once. Why should I cook when there is food that is already made? Processed foods are the easiest thing to eat and I don’t care about my health anyway, because I will still someday die.”

Can you feel the joy of one of them and the pain of the other? If you picture these two people, I would hope that you would want to be the first example. I could be wrong. Maybe you would want to be example number two and continue making excuses? I know you are smarter than that ;). Anyway, did you notice that both these people in the same event were affected differently by how they perceived the same event? The reality is that you create your reality. You are the one who decides if it is painful or enjoyable. How do you perceive events?


The Results You Are Getting Are From Past Decisions

Sometimes when I assess members, they start the conversation with, “This week was a horrible week. I ate pretty badly.” Usually what they’re thinking is that the food they eat will affect their fat gain right away, and it will show in their results. While it’s true that eating the wrong foods will affect the body right away, it’s also true that the body takes times to store food and convert it into fat. What you eat this week won’t affect your fat levels until next week.

When I changed my ways to a better life, I remember going through some of the residuals of my past. This means that even though I was doing the right things, I would still have negative effects from the past negative actions I took.

One of my friends had a pretty unhappy life because of the decisions he had made. One day he decided to start taking the right actions, but after he started, he would still have negative effects from his past negative actions. He complained that even though he was doing the right things, his results were not changing, and life still brought him misery. I told him that of course he still needed to deal with the residuals from his past decisions.

The residuals of our actions usually come a while after we take them.

For example, all the damage we did to the earth in the ’80s and ’90s by mistreating it with waste and pollution we are suffering from now.

Your body responds the same way. Many people say they can eat anything and never get fat or suffer from disease or have any physical problems. However, years later, it catches up with them.

I called it the residual effect. It will take time to see the results of actions taken now. But there will be results. This is why so many people don’t change their ways even though their brain is telling them that they are not making the best choices. Or when they are making the best choices, they usually aren’t satisfied because they are not seeing the results fast enough.

This is how recession, depression or environment degradation starts: Everything begins by slowly neglecting the system.

History can teach us a lot of what happened and how it happened. Many times we expect the inevitable so we ignore it. We continue taking the wrong actions thinking that everything will be okay because something magical will compensate for our wrong decisions.

We can avoid these disasters by making the right decisions now. It’s common sense, right? If you don’t want to gain any undesired fat, then don’t eat the wrong foods and do your exercise. Don’t just hope that fat magically will just “melt down” or that taking a pill will take care of it.

We want the best place to live, and we want our descendants to inhabit it, but we have not stopped to think about how our decisions are affecting this earth and that they may need to suffer to fix our mistakes. We want to be healthy, have a nice body, be young, strong, happy, disease free. But we have not stopped to think about how drinking, eating junk food, drinking energy drinks, doing drugs and not exercising is going to affect us in the future. We mean to do well, but many times when we make decisions we think about how we are going to benefit short term without thinking about the future.

I understand it’s difficult to live a perfect life. I have made many wrong decisions in my life, and I still make them. However, I do my best to make conscious decisions thinking about how I can improve my life and this planet to enjoy all the results of the residuals of my decisions in the future.

Something that makes me happy is thinking that together we can change this world and make it better not only for ourselves but for all future generations. Remember that it’s ingrained in human biology that thinking about others makes us happy. In addition, when we think about our decisions and how beneficial they are in general, we are not only thinking about others, we are thinking about our own life, and this is in turn how others benefit. In the end, the real beneficiary is oneself.

Either thinking about your weight loss, the planet, your financials or the way to treat people around you, there is always residuals from your decision.  Start thinking about the future consequences of your decisions and you don’t have to worry about fixing anything in the future.


Starting Your Motivation

I love having new members walking into Custom Body Fitness (who does not love people walking into their business). Even though it seems common sense that I love people coming in, the real reason why I love it is because I love hearing people’s stories.

When people walk into Custom Body Fitness door it means that they have a reason to come (another common sense sentence). My job is to discover these reason or reasons.

I had all type of clients. People are not usually looking for an exercise program. They are looking for something more. They are looking for a solution for their problem. So this is one of my first questions, “What brought you here.”

Of course, many people are shy to tell me the real truth. I get superficial answers in the beginning. I am a stranger for them, why they should tell me the real reason why they are requiring my services? Many are afraid I am going to judge them and others think I won’t be able to understand them. I don’t blame them. It is difficult for many people to empathy now in days and be guanine to others problems.

Once they know how sincere I am, they start telling the real reason why they are at Custom Body Fitness. I am telling you my secret for my success. I pay attention to people’s reasons that brought them to me. This is the key- the reasons.

These reasons made them come to a stranger and pay him to find a solution to their problems. Here, let me repeat this again. These reasons are the cause of people coming to me, so I can help them.

To make it clearer, many people are motivated by their reasons. This is why they decide to change. It could be because they don’t fit in their old cloth, they don’t feel comfortable trying new cloth because don’t fit right, the doctor told them that are diabetics or borderline diabetic, they are getting married, they quality of life have diminished, they are tired of feeling tired, their family are following their bad habits, and developing the same body or they are getting out of a break up. You get the idea.

Now, my questions to you is, why are you reading this article? reinforcement? Knowledge? Starting your new life? Support? You also have a reason.

Let’s make it even more clear, your reasons are the motive of your life and this is what I remind people, every day, if you want to succeed in your goal, you must read and go over reasons every month that brought you here looking for a solution. If you forget your reasons, if you forget the pain, you will stop finding a solution.

Write down all your reasons why you are motivated to stay healthy and never forget. The decisions that you are making today will affect your tomorrow and if your decision is not moved by your good reasons, chances are that you are going to make the wrong decision.

Get all your reasons straight, clear and ready to work for you and go over them everyday, very week, every month, every year and you will see how everything else becomes easy.

Eating will be easy, exercise will be easy, feeding your mind the right information will be easy and developing good habits will be easy.

It works for me, it works for my clients, I don’t see why it won’t work for you.


The Power of Direction and Goal Setting

How strong is the power of direction? How can a purpose change your life? Does goal give a sense of living to your life?

When I was younger and I had no direction, I remember getting up everyday late, play video games, surf in the computer, or cruise in my car. My life had no meaning. I spend a lot of time washing my car, talking to my friends and really doing nothing productive. Being unable to walk for at least 4 weeks it reminded me of this.

There is no meaning in life without a purpose. Many of us wake up just living and doing, many times because we have responsibilities and many other times because we are looking just for pleasures. This is why many of us can’t find our happiness.

Having a purpose and setting up goals to see my life is changing, how I am helping to change other’s people’s life, and how I can improve the world, give me all the motivation and passion to continue moving forward. Life make sense.

Now I understand how many people who created are very happy of their creation not because the creation itself but because of what the creation is doing to help others.

Setting goals give excitement to life, getting out of the comfort zone and do something different every time. Life becomes boring doing the same routine without excitement to look for. This is one of the reasons why many people choose to travel, go to vacation, spend weekends out their town, go party and try something new. And there is nothing wrong with it. However, I find it more fulfilling to risk my sense of security and continue moving forward by creating. I have some level of fulfillment when I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. It is rewarding looking back and see what that challenge has made me.

Goal setting plays a hue role here because I write and go back to my goals every week to find out what I have achieved and what I have not and why. Is it my fault? I am procrastinating? Do I am waiting for someone else’s decision? Is it the capital? I can’t seem to get the resources? Is it not the right time? I am too busy with other projects? Why I have not achieve my goals.

I have been waking up (if I sleep) for four weeks thinking about my limitations, thinking about who I used to be and how I used to waste time. Not having anything to aim for make my day depressing. The truth is that having a purpose gives me the courage to just go day by day and knowing that one day I will be charging towards my goals.

If you are in the same situation I was, I don’t blame you. I needed to suffer before I could find my purpose. Many people tried to tell me about how I could live my life, but I ignore everyone. What they know about my life? However, my goal here is only to help you spark your life by making your days more exciting and start reaching for your dreams. It is important to know that you can achieve your dreams no matter the age, gender, race, religion and others.

The power of purpose, goal setting and the sense of direction will give you the desire to wake up to continue living everyday with excitement.


How Far Are You Willing To Go?

I have heard many stories about women who were anorexic or overweight, men who used to drink, or do drugs who have changed their habits to exercise.  Even though exercise is a good habit, it can become negative.

After these people found a better way to cope with their negative behavior, they start going to the extreme.  Now they do almost anything to get a perfect body.  They take steroids; they start doing unhealthy dieting and spend an unhealthy time exercising.   Now, if you research, you will find many testimonials from these people and how they got lost in the other end. When they find out that their lives were not sustainable and realistic, they start looking for a balance.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a nice body, lose weight and tone your body.

My fat levels are 11% and I am happy how my body looks and how I feel.  Back in the past I wanted to be like the guys on the magazines. Then, I found out that they are not natural and they health is in risk. Also, I am not willing to be a fit only by season.  Many of these magazine models are fit only for the season and when they are in off season usually are out of shape and overweight.

I am not against their decisions and desires or I don’t think what they do is wrong.  However, I don’t know how someone can sustain that lifestyle and stay healthy.

This is what I teach my clients., to be healthy, look great, have a balance and have a happy lifestyle.

Everything has a price.  The more you want the more you need to pay.

What would you like to do? Lose a 5, 10 or 20 pounds? Or tone your body? Anything is fair, but you need to make sure what is that you want because your program depends of this.

I know I am not going to look like Arnold looked in his best because I am not taking the extra help with steroids.  But that is okay because I am happy the way I look. I keep a balance.

The same you should take into consideration. Before starting your weight loss rutting, it important for you and your trainer to know how far you want to go.

If you want to increase some strength and lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds, almost any exercise and eating healthy can do it.  You can do zumba, you can run, hike, swim, bike or light weight lifting. However, if you are planning to tone your body, you need more than just any exercise.  You need a structured weight lifting program that allows you track your progress with periodization.

The body accustoms to the resistant you put it into it.  For example, according to NASA, if astronauts don’t exercise, their bodies start losing bone and muscle, bone and muscle loss mean decreased size and strength.  Once they land on Earth, weakened muscles and bones would make walking difficult.

This is because the body is adapting to the gravity in space which is much less than the one in earth.  In other words, if you give minimum resistant to your body, your body will accustom to it.  If you want your muscles to tone you must increase your weight lifting as you progressing.

One more factor, we are fighting against aging, as we age we lose muscles mass and the only way to regain muscle is by strength training.


Are We More Capable Than Animals?

Many members of my family have or have had struggles with addictions, especially alcohol. I have an uncle who almost puked his liver out. The story goes like this: He has been beaten up several times for getting in trouble due to bad decisions he made because he was drunk.  He has been sent to the hospital often for cirrhosis.  He has been sent to rehab more than 6 times. He lost his family.  He depends on other family members. Two years ago he went to the hospital vomiting blood.  The doctors said his liver was giving up, and he had only a few hours left to live. He finally went into a coma.  However, he recovered.

I thought for some reason this event would change his life. I was wrong.  He still drinks just like he used to.  I have seen similar stories with lots of other people. For example, my mom got into a lot of trouble thanks to alcohol.

I saw the story of a famous American drug dealer who got arrested and spent most of his life in prison. When he got out, he thought the next thousand-dollar drug deal would be the last one, and he got caught again.

People eat the wrong foods and overeat, regretting it every time, but then they do it again. Other people gamble and lose it all thinking the next time will be the last time.

One of my dogs, Pelon, overate last year. His was served more than he usually gets due to miscommunication.  My bed is around 3 to 4 feet high. Pelon is a small dog that has the strength to jump onto and down from the bed.  You probably know the story already about when he got hurt and slipped a disc because he jumped down with the extra weight of overeating.

He loves food, as many dogs do.  He will get in the trash to eat bones, and he will eat the leftovers from the other dogs I own.  I do my best to be careful and put the trash where he can’t reach it and make sure food is not around him.  This year he has overeaten three times to the point where his health is in danger.

The first time, I got in the shower and forgot to move the trash to a safe area. The second time I was given organic ham to take home, and we forgot it in the car while we stopped at the supermarket. When we came back to the car the ham was gone.

And this last time, I was given dry food for another dog that I was taking care of. I never used the food because I feed organic ground beef to our dogs, and I fed the same to our visitor. The dried food was in the car, and I completely forgot to get it out, so Pelon got into it when I left him in the car. This was the worse time ever. His stomach was very big, and he was in a lot of pain.

I got very upset with him, very upset. The reason it bothered me was because he was in a lot of pain, and he is very valuable to me. I bet no one wants to see their loved ones in pain. I also got upset because it could have been avoided. How many times does it need to happen for me to understand that I need to be careful with Pelon’s bad habit? It could have been avoided, but I can’t go back to the past.

Now, when is Pelon going to learn about the pain he experiences when he overeats? Or the real question is, does Pelon have the capability of adding 2+2? Does Pelon understand his behavior? Who is going to get it first, Pelon or me? The truth is that I am a human, and I have a more developed brain than Pelon (or at least that is what I want to believe).

This is what makes us so different from animals: We can make conclusions about cause and effect. We have the potential to change our lives for the better when we notice that our behavior is not helping us to grow, feel better, stay healthy, or to be alive, free, without pain and happy.

We can make a couple of mistakes and understand that we are doing something wrong that is not contributing to our lives in a positive way. When do we stop being animals and become humans? Or is being human determined by our psyche instead of our actions?

What I certainly know is that I have control over my decisions and control over my desires, and I make conclusions about my behaviors. I want to think that all of us humans have something in common.


This Is How To Start Your Weight Loss Program

Last week two different women stopped me to congratulate me on my writing.

One of them wished me good luck with my book and told me that to lose weight people need to stop eating sugar and go gluten free.

After a couple of days, the other woman approached as I was getting into my car.  She said she reads all my columns in the Post Independent and that she likes my writing, which is unique. She thinks I can help a lot of people. She thanked me for taking the time to write the columns.  She also said America needs this information on losing weight and that she does not understand why so many people are overweight and unhealthy, even educated people with college or university degrees.  She thought that educated people shouldn’t have a weight problem.

This past Sunday, I ran into a friend.  We used to work together for a fast food restaurant in the Snowmass resort area.  I was surprised when I saw him.  He had completely changed his body.  He was at least 30 pounds lighter, and he seemed healthier.  (Sometimes people lose weight using questionable methods, and it’s obvious that they are not actually healthy.)

My friend told me that in fact he lost 50 pounds.  He said he feels better, more alive and healthier, has more energy and you already know all the positive effects of adopting the exercise and healthy eating habits.

But what I really wanted to know was what made him adopt the new positive habits.  He told me that his health was deteriorating.  He used to have a physical job (not the restaurant job) where he made very good money, but it was deleterious to his health.  He went to a doctor, who told him that he needed to find a different job.  He decided to find another one that paid less but was better for his health.

It has been more than two years since he made the change, and he is happier than ever.  My friend was telling me that he is now 50 years of age, and he regrets wasting so much of his life by drinking, smoking, eating junk and working in the wrong place.

Now after a few years, he has a better life and is happier than when he was pursuing his happiness with bad habits.  All he did to change his life was to drop bad habits and adopt new good habits.

Yes, it’s true, maybe people need to eat less sugar, eat gluten free foods and exercise, etc. Also, obesity and diseases does not discriminate educated people.  However, just like I told the two wonderful women that approached me, everything begins in the brain.  When people have decided to change, eating healthily and exercising is not difficult anymore.  This is what my book talks about.


What Motivates You To Lose Weight?

I have been helping a lot of people lose weight. My specialty is to help them realize that they can do it, and that is very simple when I understand their desires.

I have lots of people come to see me who tell me that they have tried many things to lose weight. Some have the notion that counting calories is the key, others exercise, some dieting and others are sure that protein shakes work.

While I’m not against of any of those, the first thing I make sure my clients understand is that none of that matters if they have not set up their mind to achieve their goal. It doesn’t matter how effective the program is if the individual is not ready to change.

You must be ready to leave your past and the bad habits that sabotage your success. You must be ready to think about the future that your weight loss success will bring you: no more medications, no more back pain, no more feeling tired, no more hiding your body in loose clothing, no more picking clothes that fit instead of the clothes you want to wear, no more worries about your health … These are only some of the benefits of losing weight healthily.

It is very easy to get motivated by other people’s results, the mirror, your friend or your doctor and sign up for a weight loss program. However, the most difficult part is to stay motivated, to remember why you decided to sign up, to remember that life is short and if you give up now, you’re losing time and your dream may become impossible because you could be doing the same thing over and over again, giving up.

I can honestly tell you that I have seen a lot more results from people who are committed and do not know anything about weight loss than those who know and do nothing about it.

We set up a plan, they follow it and — boom — magic happens, they lose more weight than they expected.

But staying motivated is not enough to get results: You have to understand why you are doing everything you are doing to lose weight, to understand your motivation and desire to lose weight.

Once you understand that, everything else is secondary.

Eighty percent of your success is psychological and the other 20 is physical. Many people fail not because they stop counting calories, the diet didn’t work, life was too busy or work got in the way. They fail because they haven’t made a real commitment to lose weight and find out the reasons why they want to.

Next time that you think about a car that you want, the partner you’re looking for or the trip you’ve been dreaming about, think about how nothing will prevent you from getting it. Why? Because you really want it and have set up your mind to succeed.

Same thing applies to your health: Set up your mind, get rid of excuses, and go after it. You will see that counting calories or dieting won’t matter anymore since you’ll be following the perfect program.


Find Meaning In Your Life By Setting Worthy Goals

How strong is the power of direction? How can a purpose change your life? Does a goal give a sense of living to your life?

When I was younger and I had no direction, I remember getting up late every day, playing video games, surfing on the computer, or cruising in my car. My life had no meaning. I spent a lot of time washing my car, talking to my friends and really doing nothing productive. Being unable to walk for at least 4 weeks reminded me of this.

There is no meaning in life without a purpose. Many of us wake up just living and doing, often because we have responsibilities or because we are looking just for pleasures. This is why many of us can’t find our happiness.

Having a purpose and setting up goals to see how my life is changing, how I am helping to change other people’s lives, and how I can improve the world give me all the motivation and passion to continue moving forward. Life makes sense.

Now I understand how people who have created something are very happy about it, not because of the creation itself but because of what it is doing to help others.

Setting goals gives excitement to life, especially when getting out of the comfort zone and doing something different. Life becomes boring doing the same routine without any challenge. This is one of the reasons people like to travel, to go on vacation, spend weekends out of town, go party and try something new. And there is nothing wrong with it. However, I find it more fulfilling to risk my sense of security and continue moving forward by creating. I have some level of fulfillment when I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. It is rewarding looking back and seeing what that challenge has made me.

Goal setting plays a huge role here because I write and go back to my goals every week to find out what I have achieved and what I have not and why. Is it my fault? Am I procrastinating? Am I waiting for someone else’s decision? Is it the capital? I can’t seem to get the resources? Is it not the right time? Am I too busy with other projects? Why haven’t I achieved my goals?

I have been waking up (if I sleep) for four weeks thinking about my limitations, thinking about who I used to be and how I used to waste time. Not having anything to aim for made my day depressing. The truth is that having a purpose gives me the courage to just go day by day knowing that one day I will be charging towards my goals.

If you are in the same situation I was, I don’t blame you. I needed to suffer before I could find my purpose. Many people tried to tell me about how I could live my life, but I ignored everyone. What did they know about my life? However, my goal here is only to help you spark your life by making your days more exciting and start reaching for your dreams. It is important to know that you can achieve your dreams no matter your age, gender, race, religion, etc.

The power of purpose, goal setting and sense of direction will give you the desire to wake up to continue living every day with excitement.


Try It As Many Times As You Need to Succeed

Have you often achieved a goal and then lost it? Have you found yourself repeating the cycle of losing and gaining? Has life treated you unfairly? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. It does that to everyone. That is life.

I want to tell you how I deal with it by telling you my story. It works for me. It might not work for you. But it might. You’ll never know until you try.

I have been exercising since 2001. In 2004 I reached my goal: I finally got the body I wanted. In 2008, I had a knee accident. I had three ligaments sprained from the bone (ACL, PCL and MCL). Back then I got only the ACL replaced because that was what the doctor recommended.

After 9 months of hard work regaining all the lost muscle, I needed to go back because my knee was not stable. This time the doctor reattached my MCL. I lost my muscle mass again and regaining after a year. After this surgery, my knee was better and useful but not trustworthy for many activities. Anyway, I compensated with my right knee, which is the good one, and got on with life. After 8 years, those ligaments gave up after one day of snowboarding. I had stopped snowboarding for 8 years because I was afraid this would happen. But I thought my muscles were strong enough to handle the twist that snowboarding makes me do in my knee.

After this third surgery, I now have the three ligaments replaced, finally.

Anyway, the reason I am telling about my three surgeries is because each time what took me so much time — years — to gain, to achieve, I would lose in 3 weeks. Not everything but a big percentage. Each time was like starting over, and it would take me a year to get to the fitness level I was before.

You might be in the same situation. Maybe you went through a hard divorce, your health was not good, or you lost your job. Before this you were in shape but after it you regained a lot of fat or lost your fitness level. It’s okay, that’s part of life. It’s okay to start over. Like I said, I know how difficult it is to lose what you have worked for, but what else are you going to do?

The key here is to be resilient. It is to be patient again. It is to have a plan in place and follow it until you reach your goal. If you have done it once, you can do it again. Remember that it’s not about what you have achieved in your life. It is about the person you have become in the journey achieving your goals. You have acquired the knowledge and the skills to put it into practice and do it again.

Life is about reaching your goals and setting higher goals to continue progressing, and if for any reason you lose what you’ve worked so hard for, go after it again and put your heart into it. Like Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t how hard you hit… It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

This is life. Life has misfortunes, and we can just become depressed and complain about “why me” or we can just get on our feet and continue fighting.

So today you are going to get on your feet and go after the body you had when you were happy with it.