“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”
There have been many people all over the world throughout history that have fought for freedom. Some who I’ve heard about are Chief Joseph, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama, Pancho Villa, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson and Cesar Chavez.
Of course, this list is nothing compared to how long slavery existed, and it’s not possible to count every single person who has fought for freedom all over the world. And it’s true we can find all kinds of slavery and all kinds of revolutions.
The Truth Is….
that I am very happy that I am free, not only free from slavery but also free to become a better person. I bet that any of these leaders, before they could free other people, needed to free themselves.
Can you imagine creating a revolution where you could be killed or incarcerated for life?
These leaders needed to overcome some real fears before they could lead other people.
Remez Seasson said, “Your mind is your instrument. Learn to be its master not its slave.” I think the first battle to win is the one with oneself. My thoughts used to enslave me, but now I have more control over them. One thing that has helped me is to differentiate the carnal or superficial desires from the things I really want from the bottom of my heart.
There is not a better battle to win than the one with myself. I understood that I can control my superficial desires and I can do better in life and overcome my fears and put all my energy to improve myself. I can control my thoughts instead of my thoughts controlling me. Battles with oneself are the hardest ones, but freedom begins here.
If you want to control your thoughts and overcome any difficulty and achieve your goals, here are a few tools I use to do it. By the way, personally, I can tell you that putting my life in the hands of a Superior Power has helped me the most.
Being with myself and giving me time alone to think about what is in my head allows me to understand my thoughts and find answers. At the same time, it helps me to focus on the future and the goals I want to achieve.
While all this is part of my meditation — and it helps me understand myself and what I really want — the best thing about meditation is that I can manipulate my thoughts and focus on them. When a negative thought comes into my head, I replace it with my dream. I focus on all the positive events.
Be aware of what you are thinking…
During the day there are many thoughts running through my head such as fears, negative events, negative feelings and others. I don’t let these thoughts occupy my head. I am aware of them but think about the good side of everything. It becomes easier as I become more aware of what I think. Now it is a choice to put good thoughts in my head instead of just thinking wherever my brain wants to think.
Accept That Some Of Your Negative Thoughts Bring You Pleasure And Suppress Them…
Many times we get pleasure from our negative thoughts, such as seeing someone fail, reading or hearing gossip, seeing other people in a negative stage, thinking about junk food, thinking about getting drunk and so on.
For some reason we have bad habits.
There is nothing wrong with getting pleasure from these thoughts: The problem starts when we allow these thoughts to occupy our brain. It is important to cut out these feelings and think the opposite right away. Otherwise, our brain gets full of negative thoughts and we become what we think.
Start Putting In Only Positive
Information And Real Knowledge…
There is no doubt that we become what we have in our brain. If we put junk or trash in our brain, we can’t expect to come up with ingenious ideas. If we put trash in we get trash out. If we want to become positive, we must input all the best information provided in the world by reading, listening to other capable people and leaving behind negative people, TV programs and gossip magazines.
Surround yourself with the perfect environment…
I make my environment. I meet different negative people. I choose my friends carefully, and when negative people are around me I turn their negativity around at least for the moment. If I can’t do it, then I let them be and walk away. I choose what I am ready for, what I am watching online and what I am spending my time on.
Focus On Your Dreams…
Your dreams are not going to come alone. Your dreams affect your life. You behave according to your dreams. The only way you can achieve your ideal life and be happy is by you winning your own battle. You decide if you let your dreams go by not fighting or winning over your thoughts.
I am not perfect by any means. But I have grown a lot thanks to controlling my thoughts.
“Conquer your thought and you will conquer the world.”
What Should I Eat To Lose Weight…
Let’s start by determining for how long you want to lose weight. If you want to simply lose weight but not fat, you can start by cutting carbohydrate intake and dehydrate yourself and lose 5 pounds in a week. You can also fast and lose weight. Or you can follow a diet for 3 months and lose some weight. Believe me, any of these methods will work. But the important question is: for how long?
I think it all depends on how long you are willing not to drink water or to live without the energy carbohydrates provide. Or it depends on how long you are fasting or following a diet that does not fit your lifestyle. Remember that the real problem is not the extra weight you are carrying. The real problem is your lifestyle. If you are looking to lose a couple of pounds only for a special occasion, a short-term solution may be fine, but I am not sure if your body, health and appearance will be at their best.
Now, if you are looking for healthy, energetic, effective, lasting weight loss results, you may want to take into consideration a lifestyle change where weight loss happens without you even needing to pay attention to what you should or should not eat. Instead, you want to learn what we are made to eat and what foods are made for profit.
If you study our past, you will discover and learn a lot through our existence. We did not know a lot, and we probably fed ourselves only from plants and fruits. This is the best food our body can digest. However, as we evolved, we started trying new things, such as hunting and creating cooking methods and using oils when cooking.
Nevertheless, we got worse about our food intake when we got busy making money and focusing on work. We take time away from cooking, preparing our foods and even from eating. Therefore, we start buying processed foods that are full of chemicals with no nutrients. These days, many companies are saving money by keeping their products on shelves longer. They don’t want to lose profit, and they want to sell their products. Consequently, they find the way to do. It is by taking the nutrients out and adding chemicals, as I mentioned.
The real reason human beings eat is because we need nutrients to have energy, survive and repair our bodies. Nutrients are found in whole foods, which are perfectly made for us to digest them (or we are perfectly made to digest such foods). The truth is that when we started to refine foods and break them down from their natural state is when we started having problems. For example, sugar has created so many problems in society, such as diabetes, tooth decay, metabolic problems and obesity. It is the same thing with refined flour, and if you start researching vitamins, you find out that the same thing is true.
Let me tell you what I have learned about the body. There are enzymes in the body that are in charge of digestion. These enzymes break our food down into a simple state. Imagine your house being 300 years old, and it is falling apart. All the components of the house are old and some are rotten. You hire a construction crew to basically take the house down and build a new one. Of course, if you want the house to last another 300 years or more, you want to buy the best materials that you can find. Otherwise, you may need to replace them often.
This is the same thing that the enzymes are doing in your body. The enzymes are breaking down all the food that you are eating into specific nutrients, and they are rebuilding your body by taking the old cells down (taking the old house down and building a new one). Your body is regenerating every second even though it takes 7 years to completely finish every single cell. So what you eat is super important not only for weight loss but for your health as well.
By now maybe you are making some conclusions about what foods you should avoid and what foods you should be eating. Nevertheless, let’s get more specific about it. Let’s talk about what you should be eating and avoiding.
Let’s start with what you should be eating. Now before you get all excited about the foods that are going to help you lose weight, keep in mind that the foods that you avoid are as important as the ones that you should be eating. I know that by starting eating the right foods, there will be no space for the bad foods. It helps if you learn about bad foods and be conscious about it.
Make no mistake about this. There is no diet that says that veggies are bad. I think it’s one of the only things that doctors, diet practitioners and other professionals agree on. Veggies are the key for weight loss and a healthy life.
Veggies have all the nutrients you need to survive, to heal, to exercise, to sleep, to have a clear mind, healthy skin, healthy sight and healthy bones and anything you can think of. There is no whole food more dense in nutrients and healthy than veggies. If you do some research it will confirm this. However — and this is not to contradict anyone — it seems that some people do need meat to have a higher quality of life. I read in the Bible that two men were invited to eat what the king eats to stay as strong as the other soldiers, and they refused, asking to eat only veggies. These two men were the strongest of the army. However, I also read that one of Jesus’ disciples had a fish ready for Jesus.
So if you eat meat or don’t eat meat, make sure veggies comprise the majority of food you eat. In other words, think about eating at least 50% veggies in your lunch and dinner. Everyone can eat veggies, and make sure you eat them if weight loss and being healthy is your goal.
There is a myth about fruits. Many people think that eating fruits will make them gain weight because fruits are high in sugar, which makes people fat. While it is true that sugar contributes to obesity, sugar in fruits comes in a natural state and with other nutrients needed by the body.
When we eat fruit we eat more than sugar. In fact, the highest percentage of an apple is water. Have you seen a dehydrated apple? After what is left, we get also fiber (which it helps with weight loss), minerals, vitamins and sugar. However, the sugar that is left needs to be broken down and used as energy almost in the same moment. Also, it is difficult to overeat fruits. Try to eat 10 apples in one sitting and let me know how it goes.
On the other hand, refined sugar is already in its simplest state, and it can be overeaten. The body does not really need to digest it, and it goes straight to the liver, becoming fat to be stored. In addition, this type of sugar is everywhere in the processed food industry: bread, chips, frozen foods, pickles, salads, dressings, dried meat, beverage, canned foods, and anything you can think of that comes in a package. This is another way of overeating sugar. This is the real cause of obesity.
I have not met an overweight person who eats only fruits. I have even met a couple of fruitarians who are very skinny. Fruits are like a vegetable with a sweet flavor. You determine the logic for me. Is it better to eat a pastry made of refined flour, sugar and other ingredients than a fruit?
You should be eating fruits for all their nutritional value and weight loss benefits as well.
Meat is a contradictory topic. Many people have done research on this topic that leads to a conclusion that humans fare better without meat. However, many of these studies are done with treated meat and animals that are grown with hormones and other harmful chemicals.
I think one of the problems with our society now is that our animals are treated with so many chemicals to make them bigger and profitable. In addition, when the animal is dead, the meat gets treated even further for preservation and also for profit. Furthermore, nowadays people are most likely eating predominately meat in their diets (bacon with eggs for breakfast, hamburger or a Philly sandwich for lunch and for dinner steak and potatoes). My grandfather is 100 years of age, and he is very healthy, skinny, still walks, sweeps, showers alone and gets up at 4 a.m. to do his home chores. He eats meat in his diet. But the meat that he eats is not treated like in America.
Maybe I am only defending my point of view of eating meat because I do eat meat. As I mentioned before, I think the best diet is vegetarian. I have tried to become vegetarian, and every time by the third week I run out of energy, and I feel tired no matter what I do.
I think because of my level of activity and my training, meat is something that my helps me with my energy levels. Also, I believe that we all have been raised in different environments. Just like some people are able to eat grains and others are able to eat legumes, I think many people are able to digest meats better than others. If you study many cultures you find out that they eat according to their environment, and some cultures are completely different than others. For example, people in many Asian cultures eat a lot of rice and never have an overweight problem until they arrive in the U.S. In the U.S., the second generation of these Asian families struggle with overweight problems if they adopt the American diet. My family in Chiapas, Mexico, would eat meat every day — chicken, beef and fish — and never had a health problem until they adopted the Western diet. However, they combine everything with veggies and grains.
However, like I said the problem with society now is that we eat too much meat with harmful chemicals in it.
These are my recommendations about eating meat: First, find the best meat and invest your money in it. Don’t be cheap when it comes to food. That means find people and companies that raise animals in a humane way, without hormones and antibiotics. Also, make sure that the animals eat what they’re supposed to eat; for example, cows eat grass instead of corn. Next, don’t make meat the main ingredient on your plate. Veggies should be the main ingredient, and meat should be only a complement, the smallest percentage. Keep in mind that you can survive without eating meat, and if you are better without it, there is no need for you to eat it.
Grains and legumes…
Grain and legumes are a source of protein and carbohydrates that many people avoid because of a myth, just as it is with fruits. Many diets have discriminated against carbohydrates, and people have not taken the time to differentiate between good and bad carbohydrates. The body needs carbohydrates to function at its optimal level, especially if you are active. Carbohydrates serve as energy that no other nutrient can provide as quickly and efficiently. Grains and legumes are not the reason why people are overweight. Nevertheless, there are other carbohydrates that need to be avoided that I will mention later.
Oatmeal, rice, quinoa, beans, lentils and wheat are some examples of good grains.
If you noticed what I have mentioned are whole foods in the most natural state they can be. You can’t go wrong with whole foods. This is what you can eat to lose weight and stay healthy without a problem. It is time to talk about what to avoid.
Sugar never was a problem until men intervened to extract it from its natural state. The same happened with oils and carbohydrates and protein and vitamins. Now we not only refine our foods, but we alter it. Years ago we used to cure meats, vegetables and other foods with salt, vinegar and other natural substances to keep them from spoiling. As we evolved, we found (really the corporations found) other ways to preserve foods. We do this to economize and save energy, as we can use it to do other things.
Nevertheless, flavor, for many of us, has become our goal when eating. We are always looking for ways to make foods tastier. We end up eating what has more “flavor” than what taste appeals to us. This is why some restaurants are more popular than others.
As you probably know someone else concluded what I have concluded before I did. Many companies do not care about you and your health. They really care about money. No one wants to lose money, and many are willing to lie and hurt others for it. It sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true. Many companies have discovered how to create more food, keep it longer on the shelf and make it tasty, hence making a bigger profit.
Now companies (unlike your grandmother or mine) are using chemicals that hurt our health and make us hungrier so we can eat more, and it makes us overweight. So the first foods to avoid are processed foods.
Refined foods and beverages with added sugar…
These are not too different from processed foods. As I mentioned, our problem started when we refined our foods. Our foods are not whole anymore, and we don’t digest them as we are supposed to, and our body ends up storing them as fat and/or creating a disease. Of course, if sugar, flour and refined foods are not good for losing weight, you probably already concluded that added-sugar drinks such as soda, bottled juices and energy drinks are not good for losing weight.
Keep in mind that I am not here to dictate your life and tell you what to do. I am only passing information according to your desire to lose weight and be healthy. To make it possible, you need to take all into consideration and weigh the benefits of your dreams and your habits. Alcohol is a worldwide accepted legal drug that contributes to many problems including overweight.
Calories are the energy that we use in our bodies. When calories are not used, they are stored as fat. There are calories and empty calories. Calories are what you find in whole foods. For example, when you eat broccoli you are getting nutrients with calories. You are eating zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, C, B, and much more. All these nutrients have a role in the body, from creating new bones, to helping with your sight and digesting foods. They are useful, and this is the real reason we need them. However, alcohol has empty calories. There is not a single nutrient that benefits the body. In fact, it intoxicates the body. In addition, these empty calories go straight to the liver and get stored as fat.
Fast food restaurant…
Have you see the documentary “Food Inc”? There is basic and good information about how food is treated in fast food restaurants. It is very similar to processed foods. In fact, fast food restaurants use processed foods. These foods are raised with hormones and pesticides, and nutrients have been removed and chemicals have been added.
These are the foods that you should avoid to lose weight and stay healthy. If you do this there is no mistake you can make. Nevertheless, I also recommend you do a sensitive food test to find out if you are allergic to any healthy foods from any previous damage you have done to your intestines due to these harmful products.
How much weight you want to lose, how healthy you want to be, for how long you want to lose the weight and how you want your body to look is up to you. Choose wisely.
It is not coincidence that all successful people set up goals. Many do it in writing and others picture it. Any good leader knows how important goal setting is.
When we have a goal, we have a clear destination, we prioritize important tasks, we control our future, we get motivated, we effectively manage our time, we live an effective life, and we accomplish our dreams more quickly, achieving better results.
When I did not know about goal setting, I had goals, but they were useless or vague. For example, some of my goals were to make more money, make my car faster, pay my bills, go party over the weekend, and become a waiter (because I was a busboy). I never really accomplished anything except for getting speeding tickets, getting drunk, and wasting the money I made. But yes, I paid my bills.
Now my life is different. I have accomplished a couple of goals that contribute to my happiness, to the world and to my freedom.
For example, I opened Custom Body Fitness Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, founded Canine Outreach Care and Rescue, wrote two books, and own two pieces of real estate. I know many others have achieved more than this, but the point is that goal setting has helped me to achieve my goals. I could never have accomplished these without the help of goal setting. Therefore, I know goal setting works.
Let’s clarify how goal setting helps…
For example, if you know you are losing 30 pounds because you want to improve your health and defeat diabetes, to fit in your wedding dress, or to increase your self-confidence, most likely you are going to be investing your time doing the right things because of your clear destination. We can compare this to going to the supermarket — when we know we are missing tomatoes to make a delicious sauce for our dinner, we go straight to get tomatoes. However, if we don’t know why we are going to the supermarket, we can end up buying potato chips, a pastry, canned food, candy or anything else that may not help us with our sauce.
We prioritize important tasks…
If the goal is losing those 30 pounds, we know that we need to eat on schedule, eat whole foods, stop eating junk food, exercise at least 30 minutes every day and stop drinking alcohol, among other things. Since we have a clear goal, all our energy is focused on achieving it, and even if we relapse, we get up and continue moving towards your goal.
Because our goal is important, instead of wasting time watching TV, surfing the web, or going out at night with friends, we invest the time in the priorities that will get us closer to our goal. Instead of going out, we cook; instead of waking up late, we wake up early and exercise.
Controlling our future…
Many of us lose our temper when we lose control of a situation. Having control of the future helps us be more secure and gives us the self-confidence that everything will be okay. While we are not certain about our future, goal setting is the best way to know what can happen in our future based on what we have control over. For example, if you don’t want to develop diabetes or be overweight, we can control that part of our lives by setting goals. On the other hand, if we have no goals and just make bad choices, the chances of us developing diabetes or gaining weight is greater.
It help us get motivated…
When we predict the future and we know that the future seems promising, we get motivated to practice the right habits. We get extremely inspired because the future seems great. For example, when things happen that were not supposed to happen and demoralize me, I continue practicing the right habits because my future motivates me. This happens to me when I project my future and set my goals. If there are no goals or promising future and we only live for what life brings us, we lose motivation when things become hard.
There are only 24 hours in one complete day. When we don’t have goals we do whatever we feel like depending on our mood. If we feel like sleeping long hours, we do; if we feel lazy and want to watch TV, we do; if we feel like eating junk food, we do because there is no goal at which to aim. This can be compared to shooting. If we don’t have a target we can shoot at the sky, the tree, the car, the other tree and anything that we can think about. Like I mentioned before, when we have goals we invest our time meticulously towards our goals instead of just doing what we feel like because of the mood we are in.
Living an effective life…
Many of you already know that being in shape helps in many ways, from increasing self-esteem, having a better appearance, losing weight, having more energy, being independent, avoiding diseases to setting an example for our family. When we set goals and achieve them, we have conquered only part of our real purpose. We become more knowledgeable, resilient, and a better person over all. That gives us the courage to continue moving forward and live our purpose, leaving a legacy as we do it. This not only improves our lives and our families but improves the whole world.
Setting goals is the fastest way to get to our destination, realizing our dreams.
When I set my goals, I keep in mind a couple of things:
Goals should not be vague. For example, “I want to lose weight.” If you said that, you could get rid of an arm and lose weight, dehydrate yourself or even lose one pound and you’ve achieved that goal. So it should be clear: How much fat do you want to lose per month? Is fat the only thing you want to lose? Do you want to add muscle? Or do you only want to fit in your wedding dress? Or do you want a toned back to show when wearing your dress?
Setting goals should have a purpose, and the purpose should give you a positive sustainable result. For example, my goal was to make my car fast to feel cool and to win street races, but how would that contribute to my future and fulfillment?
Losing weight for the sake of losing weight does not give you enough motivation. If you focus on losing weight, it does not mean anything until you attach it to your emotions. When your emotions are involved your motivation increases. For example, losing 20 pounds to fit into your wedding dress sounds better than just losing 20 pounds. Or losing 30 pounds because I am tired of not enjoying life and doing what I love to do such as hiking, running or anything with my friends because I am embarrassed when they have to wait for me. If your mom died of a heart attack and you don’ t want to die the same way, that is also attached to your emotions.
Set a time limit…
If you don’t set a specific time, you could take all your life trying to achieve your goal. For example, when I bought my first apartment I wanted the freedom not to pay a mortgage, and that helped me to create a specific goal to know how much the apartment should cost and when I wanted to pay it off. Even though I asked for a five-year loan, I ended up paying it in two and a half years. So this goal has a purpose: I don’t want to pay rent, and I want to have my freedom. The time I gave myself to pay off the loan was 5 years; it is very specific. If I hadn’t done that, I might have gotten distracted with fancy cars and wasted my money on one of them when I can’t afford it and have it take 30 years or longer to pay my mortgage.
I did not spend money on unnecessary things, I worked hard to make that money; I could see myself owning the place so I wouldn’t have to pay rent. That gave me the motivation to continue working and improving myself even when I didn’t feel like it. I managed my time and invested it into working and saving money instead of spending it. My life was more effective thinking about the future, and I am living my dream. Same goes to your weight loss, if you have it clear why you want to lose weight and set a time limit, you may even get faster to your desired weight.
Keep track of goals:
The fact that I could see how much money I was paying and how fast I was saving it gave me the motivation to pay the apartment off even faster. When you take measurements and see real results, you know where all the effort of eating healthily and exercising is going, giving you the endorphins that you need to continue moving forward, motivating you even more to get there.
Now that I mentioned chemicals, let me mention how the following two special chemicals work…
Is a happy chemical that we release when we achieve goals. This is one of the reasons visioning our dreams and writing down our goals is so important. If you remember when you were a child and thought about Santa Claus, you thought about the presents. Those goals were so exciting that we even behaved and did what our parents told us to do to achieve the goals. When we went on a trip or passed the exam or anything like that, we got excited because dopamine is what we release when we achieve our goals.
Is what keeps us focused with no pain to get to the goal. When a runner experiences the “runners high” or a weight lifter feels the best in a weight lifting session and don’t really feel pain, the reason is they are releasing endorphins, which helps mask the pain. This is what endorphin does: covers the pain until they reach their goal. However, after hours or days they feel sore because the endorphin levels are lower.
This is why it is important to set goals for success…
Let’s recollect everything we talked about today.
Goals are important because we have a clear destination, we do the needed work to get there, we prioritize important tasks, we control our future, we get motivated, we effectively manage our time, we live an effective life, and we accomplish our dreams more quickly, therefore achieving better and faster results.
When we set goals, we should make sure we take into consideration:
Be specific, know your purpose, set a time scale and keep track of your progress.
If we set goals and follow the plan, it helps us to be high every day, and we won’t need cocaine, antidepressants or any other drug because we naturally get dopamine and endorphins.
To me it is very important to understand my clients in order to help them reach their goals. When I interview them, one of the questions I ask is what they want to get from exercising. Many of them are shy about telling me the real reason. But I don’t blame them because I would be shy as well talking to a stranger and telling that person about my life or the real reasons I want to exercise.
As we warm up and start talking about their real issues, we discover many things. I have come to the conclusion that most of us are looking for almost the same goals, but we express them differently.
Let me tell you what I have found out…
maybe you can relate. We want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape (tone body and low body fat) and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase our sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into our clothes, among others positive things.
If you related to this and know how it feels (low self-esteem, not happy with the way our body looks, unhealthy, tired, embarrassed not to be able to do many physical activities, old, lethargic, weak, and not able to buy the clothes we like but instead what fits), you probably agree that it’s time to change.
This is why many of us look for help…
We are tired of the pain of those feelings, and that pain is stronger than the pain of changing. However, many of us don’t want to take the steps in life required to really experience such change.
Many of us spend $4 for a coffee at Starbucks, yet we think that a dozen organic eggs are expensive at $4 compared to the conventional ones that cost $2.99. Or we spend $100 in a night out every weekend or twice a week when we can cook at home and save $60 each time and we don’t want to spend $150 in a good exercise program. Or we buy a couple of drinks for $9 each plus tip, and we complain that organic is more expensive.
Many of us complain about how expensive healthy food, a gym membership or a personal trainer is, but we don’t pay attention to all the money that we spend on things that don’t contribute to our goal.
With this I am not saying that people should not buy a cup of coffee or go out and eat…
What I am saying is that many people don’t notice how their money is spent. Even when it’s about an investment to improve our life, we think it should be cheaper even though farmers worked hard to bring such healthy food to our tables. But, once again, we are willing to spend dollars in toxic things such as alcohol.
When I learned that conventional foods contribute to many diseases such as cancer and diabetes, I decided to start buying organic. The issue back then was that I was broke and in debt. I was at least $5,000 in debt, had no job and owned a business that was taking money instead of providing me with it. Also, my car was broken. But something just made sense to me, and if I wanted to save money and avoid diseases, I need to start buying the right foods. So even though I was in debt, I decided to put a couple hundred dollars more into my credit card.
When I was in that situation I learned a lot about saving money…
and investing it in the right places. That was when I paid a lot of attention to my spending habits. I got out of debt, bought an apartment and helped my business grow. This is what I learned:
Television only takes my time and money. I could save at least $80 a month from cable.
Back then the smart phone was the new thing, and everyone had one. Any plan with data was between $100 to $150 (compared with a plan for calling and texting that cost $40), plus the phone itself that cost from $800 to $1,000. I saved between $60 to $110 a month, and I kept my Sony Erikson i810.
I stop driving everywhere and taking unnecessary trips, which saved me a couple of tanks of gasoline a month from $20 to $0.
I stopped eating out, which saved me around $80 a week.
I stopped buying clothes because I liked them and bought only when I needed them. That saved me around $150 a month.
I stopped spending money on my car, which was one of my hobbies. I concluded that all the money I put into it will devalue just like the car itself. I can only estimate how much money I wasted, around $20,000. So I am guessing I also saved a good amount of money here.
Once I did some accounting, I was saving at least $600 a month. I can only imagine how much money someone who eats out every night and buys drinks at the bar can spend a week.
Even though there are some people who can’t afford a gym…
or personal training memberships, they should at least be able to invest their money in their food, buying the most healthy and organic food available. In the long run, they will save more money avoiding cancer and other diseases.
When someone comes to me and tells me they can’t afford a gym membership or a group training program, I can only think that they don’t want to afford it or they simply don’t see the value of it.
We are always going to spend money, either for bad habits or good habits. The problem is not spending the money; the real question to ask is, are you wasting your money or are you investing it?
So if you want to change your life and get any of the results I mentioned earlier, you have to ask yourself, is where I am putting my money helping me reach my desired goals or getting me away from it.
No matter how much money you end up making…
you always are going to find a way to spend it, and the truth is that many times what should be a priority is not and what is not becomes a priority. I see some people driving luxury cars and stopping in a fast food restaurant.
Nowadays I invest my money in seminars, courses, books (a lot of books), exercising, food, real estate, Custom Body Fitness, my family, charity, tools that I need for work and to help others, anything that is going to drive me closer to my goals and not farther away from them. For example, I would never spend $8 for a drink, but I would spend $30 for a book. If I buy a pair of pants that cost me $150 and I wear them very often, it is money well spent. But if I spend $15 for it and wear it only once, I have wasted my money.
So if you want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase your sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into your clothes, invest your money in the right place.
When it’s about losing weight, nothing superficial works in the long term…
though things might work for shorter periods. For example, a weight loss pill may work for a couple of weeks, but then people can’t lose any more weight and usually regain the weight they lost. Surgery works for a couple of years, but soon people start gaining the weight back.
The real problem is the habits that are still there. Those same behaviors will make the person regain the weight. When I sit with our members at Custom Body Fitness, I always listen to their stories. I can make a lot of conclusions from these stories and give our members feedback. One of the reasons why people can’t change their habits is because of their beliefs.
Beliefs are what make us…
For example, the other day I had a discussion with a friend about our different beliefs. She said that she had a thyroid condition that is genetic, and I told her that there is no disease that is predetermined by genes. She said that I was wrong. My goal was not to convince her about my beliefs versus her beliefs. So I told her that I do respect her opinion, and she is entitled to think what she believes is true.
I have another friend who had the same thyroid condition, and, after she did some research, she knew that her way of eating was bad and was a big factor in her thyroid condition. Even though her mom had the same thyroid condition and the doctor told her it was genetic, she opted to believe that the problem was under her control. She now has a healthy thyroid without medications and their side effects.
Based on their beliefs, friend number one decided she has no control over her thyroid problem, and therefore only medication can help her. However, friend number two asked for a second opinion from a different doctor and found out that she needed to change the way she eats to control her low thyroid, which she is successfully doing.
My point is not whether the disease is genetic or not…
My point is that based on their beliefs each took a different approach.
So many people come with a belief that a diet or any other superficial method for weight loss will help. For example, I interviewed one of our members who is doing the Keto diet. She said that she was eating more meat than veggies. She continued talking about this diet, and, according to her (because I do not know a lot about it), the diet is more meat, no sugar of any kind and no carbohydrates. She told me that fruits in this diet are out, and she also told me how cottage cheese is okay in this diet.
The Keto diet is now part of our new member’s beliefs…
and even though we have talked about healthy eating, she forgot about some very important points that this diet is not taking into consideration. For instance, fruits are not only sugar, and there is not a considerable amount of sugar in fruits that will make people overweight. As a matter of fact, I have not seen an overweight person who eats only fruits. I have eaten fruits all my life and never had an overweight issue. Also, I have a friend whose diet is fruits alone, and he is one of the skinniest guys I ever met. Steve Jobs ate only fruit, and he was not overweight.
And that’s because fruits are not refined sugars; fruits are whole foods that come in a perfect state for our body to digest. The biggest percentage of a fruit will be water, followed by fiber, vitamin and sugar.
When refined or processed sugar is eaten, it goes straight to the liver, where it needs to be processed into fat and stored. When a fruit is being eaten, the body needs to break it apart with fiber, which helps with digestion. Even the sugar is used for digestion, and no sugar is actually stored. Also, your body will allow you to eat only enough fruit. With refined sugar, usually the body does not how to handle it and you may end up eating more than what you can handle.
Another belief when dieting is that everything that is allowed in the diet…
such as nutrients (protein in this case), is okay to eat. For example, since it’s okay to eat foods high in protein in the Keto diet, it follows that cottage cheese is good. But one of the big factors of being overweight and having diseases is eating processed foods. Most cottage cheese brands have ingredients like grade A lactose, grade A whey, guar gum, carrageenan, locust bean gum, citric acid, lactic acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate, natural flavoring, Vitamin D3 and enzymes.
Another example is when we hear the word vegan. We believe it’s healthy. Beer, alcohol, processed foods such as energy bars and McDonald’s french fries are vegan, but that does not mean they’re healthy.
So when we talk about beliefs, many people have different opinions: the doctor, the other doctor, the nurse, the dietitian, the guru … everyone. The reality is that to find what is true we need to step back from everyone’s opinion — because that is what it is, an opinion — and do our own research from various sources, take our time to meditate on it and make the most educated decision without persuasion.
or a specific exercise for the abs or a hormone treatment. Losing weight is about a lifestyle change, and this is why it is so difficult for so many of us to lose weight. We don’t want to pay the effort of getting off the couch or open time in our busy schedule to exercise, cook, buy whole foods, eat on schedule and make conscious, healthy choices. We want an easy and fast solution to our problems.
So to lose weight the first thing we need to take into consideration is our beliefs and to challenge our beliefs even though that makes us angry, sad or wrong. This will open a door to new solutions that will require action from us and yes, effort getting the real results that we always wanted.
Don’t be a follower be a student.
When I was in my depression, I was going to college. I was taking a couple of psychology classes. At the same time I was doing my own research about human behavior and mental diseases. Some of the information I was learning in college simply did not make sense to me. It had a lot of contradictions about psychiatric drugs and people’s beliefs. Even though I was learning from school, it simply did not make sense. So I decided to continue my research, and I found out many people and even organizations are releasing the truth about psychiatric drugs, and they are fighting against this madness and making people aware of their danger and ineffectiveness.
Here is something funny:
I know that 1/3 of my readers will agree with what I am saying about psychiatric drugs, 1/3 will not be convinced and 1/3 will completely disagree with it. But my goal is not to convince you about the madness of psychiatric drugs. My message is simply that what did not make sense to me, I questioned instead of following what was being taught. The same I think will be good for you. It is important that you question all professionals and ascertain the teachers’ motives and beliefs and do your own research about the information you are getting. If you want to know that truth about anything, it is important that you do a whole unbiased research about the topic you are learning.
Before I used to follow advice from friends, professionals and other sources, such as the television, news programs and documentaries, without questioning their information. I really never learned anything because all I was doing was following instead of studying the information. I was lost trying to be other people by copying exactly what they said.
It was not until I started to question…
that I started to look for other sources of information and— adding what I think is the most important piece — meditating the information. Meditating the information not only made me curious about it, it also led me to more questions and to dig even deeper into other topics. By doing this it helped me find myself and be myself. I became passionate about helping people.
This is when I think magic started because by understanding myself I could start to understand others, empathize with them and understand why we make the decisions we make.
I started to forgive people who hurt me in the past, and I started to accept my mistakes and understand why I was selfish and hurt others. I think forgiveness is very important for the human being. When we forgive others, we get rid of many negative emotions that stop us from growing and make our life miserable.
I have the habit to continue learning…
and the habit of being skeptical, not because I don’t trust but because I like to learn. I usually gather information, meditate it and apply what I have concluded. This is a daily habit: read, meditate and apply the conclusion from the information taken.
Many people are not happy with themselves. Pay attention around you. Many of us are on our cell phone texting, talking, surfing the internet, on Facebook, listening to music, watching television or talking to someone most of the time. Many people don’t have even 10 minutes of silence because they are running away from what’s in their head. This is why they can’t have a moment of silence. And the question is, do you want to be with someone whom you don’t like? Once you find yourself, you are going to love yourself. Once you love yourself, you are going to start loving everyone else and live a happier life.
For me finding myself was one of the most important events…
It is like finding your child after looking for them desperately.
Anyway, there is a lot of myth about fitness and weight loss, a lot of contradictory information. Many times people, who hire me, come confused with so much information. I help them clear their thoughts, but what is more important, I teach them to be independent and start questioning anyone who calls himself authority. We can be persuade for money when we are giving and advise, we can honestly wrong because the information we learned is just wrong from text books and we can be ignorant. You will only discover the truth when you make your research and take time alone to find yourself and make your own conclusions. So don’t follow blinded, be curious and make your research.
Remember that is your health, life and body what you are putting in the line.
I recently got two puppies, and I was potty training them. I am not an expert in the subject, and therefore my puppies had a lot of accidents in the house. I used the two usual training methods: punishment and reward. What I noticed is they learned faster when I gave them rewards than when I was punishing them. In fact, when they were punished, they even got confused and did not know what to do when I gave them rewards. However, confirming with them that they did something against the rules also helped them understand what they should be doing.
I also noticed in my career that people get courage and motivation when there is a reward…
and there is no better reward than achieving their goals. In addition, helping people understand their mistakes and how those mistakes are keeping them from getting to their goals is very helpful.
When there is punishment there is force, and when there is reward there is power. This is the topic that I am reading in a book call Force vs Power.
A train needs to be supplied with fuel to produce force to overcome inertia. As more force is produced, there is more resistance. So there is a constant fight that requires energy supply.
Gandhi use power against the force of Britain, Martin Luther King Jr. used power against the force of discrimination, and Jesus used power against the force of his enemies.
The point is it doesn’t matter how strong force is, power will always defeat it…
Force needs a constant energy supply, but power is just there. Power is smart, prepared, patient, decisive, persistent and peaceful. These are only some of the characteristics of Gandhi, Martin andJesus.
Many times when members start with our program they come very excited to change, or I help them to become very motivated about achieving their weight-loss goals. However, when we start creating a plan, I notice that many want to use force to achieve their goals. They want to follow a diet, a trend or a belief they don’t even understand. This is why many people can’t reach their goals — or when they do they end up regaining the weight — because of the constant energy required to produce force.
However, when we use power instead of force, losing weight becomes easier. You probably have read one of my articles or watched one of my videos where I suggest finding the real reasons you want to lose weight. When you are using your whys you start to use power, because now you are not just forcing yourself to follow a diet. Now you have reasons to change your eating. For example, one of my reasons to eat healthily is I want to preserve my body young, strong and healthy because I like how I feel and how I look. I don’t let myself get overweight or weak. I don’t use force to avoid processed foods — I use my reasoning (power) instead.
Another way you can use power is by understanding your real needs rather than your wants…
For example, you need four basic chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin) to be happy, and you can produce every single one naturally. For instance, you can produce dopamine by exercising, endorphins by constantly progressing and achieving your goals, serotonin by mentoring and being mentored and oxytocin simply by loving or healthily bonding with others.
In these ways you are using power. Or you can use force, by using psychiatric drugs, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, irresponsible sex or video games, behaviors that will cause negative consequences to come into your life. And don’t misinterpret my meaning; I am not saying that playing videos games, for example, is bad. I am just saying that making these behaviors the source of your chemical will create an addiction, using force to get what you need to be happy.
I have helped many people to lose weight, and they continue with me losing weight, and others are capable enough to do it alone after they learn how to use power instead of force. Following a trendy diet or superficially having a reward is never better than the real reasons you are losing weight and the knowledge of understanding yourself. Power defeats force.
This year start with the right program and mindset with your weight-loss program. Find your power instead of your force.
I remember when I went to school to learn writing…
It was overwhelming (I bet that is what a person, who started a weight loss program, thinks as well). To write an essay of 500 words seemed to be impossible. Now I can write whole books. The same was true when I studied algebra. To learn how to factor and solve for x or y seemed very hard, but I learned.
The truth is that none of these are hard to do, but because we focus on the end results, it seems very difficult and we often get discouraged or afraid to start.
To be able to learn how to write, I needed to know what a sentence is and how to make one. Not only that but how to put my ideas in order, how to deliver the message and so on. The same happened with algebra: I needed to know when to subtract, add, divide, multiply, exchange character places, etc.
Like I said, if you see the whole algebra problem or the whole two pages of writing, it seems overwhelming. Nevertheless, if you focus on only one division or one sentence, it seems simple. This is how life works.
I have many goals in life, and I often get overwhelmed because I get stuck and don’t seem to move forward. I focus on the long-term goal and forget about the small tasks I do that help me get closer to my goal. You may focus on your car, house, business, weight loss, family or investments and become desperate to achieve what you want because it is taking time. But don’t forget about the process that is leading you to your goal.
The process is what matters.
To resolve an algebra problem or write a book takes a process. If you skip one of the steps it messes up the end results. For example, if you do one of the divisions for the algebra problem wrong or you divide instead of multiply, or move the variable to the wrong side, your results will be wrong. If you write an article without engaging your reader or lose your train of thought or don’t come to a conclusion, you lose the reader, and your ultimate goal is lost.
For example, many people who want to lose weight focus on the end results, and they are weighing themselves very often if not every day. They start exercising and they don’t eat healthily. By the end of the month or two months later they don’t see any changes on the scale. They get discouraged and stop making the effort to lose weight. This is like using only division in one of my algebra problems or checking my results each time I take a step without luck of getting the right answer.
Or many people when they start their weight loss program focus on everything they need to do to get results, such as cooking, being aware of whole foods, weight lifting 3 times a week, walking 3 times a week, waking up earlier, taking time from other practices, getting a gym subscription, hiring a personal trainer, learning about healthy food choices, delegating tasks to the family, driving to the gym and so on. To them it seems a lot. Just like when I started to write a page essay. It was a lot. What was I supposed to say? Who can write so much? Who is going to read it? Who can I explain it to? How can I start? What is going to be my conclusion? Is it going to take a lot of my time? I might need to rewrite a sentence many times? I need to think, and it’s boring.
When we focus on the whole process it is overwhelming just like when we focus only on the results without seeing them.
Once again we forget that we need to take every single step and do it right to get results…
For example, in an algebra problem, instead of thinking about all the division, addition, etc., we start by distributing the negative sign to the numbers needed and then we can add like terms and so on. We are following a process step by step. It is not overwhelming anymore. If we continue taking the right steps we will get the right results without having to be checking every time we take a step forward.
The same applies to weight loss…
Instead of thinking about all the things we need to do to lose weight we can start with the basics, such as cooking every day, eating breakfast, and going for a 30 minute walk 3 times a week. If we continue taking the right steps without checking the scale every day, just as with the algebra problem, we will get the results we desire.
When we get overwhelmed and start thinking about the results only, we lose sight of the small tasks we do to get the results. Can you imagine an athlete thinking about only her next match and being desperate for it without focusing on her training regimen, doing anything at anytime whenever she wants and not tracking her progress? What do you think would be the results?
To get real results it is very important to focus on the small tasks, because they add up to the results we get in the end. If we don’t, chances are that our results will be the wrong ones.
I have being paying close attention to how our body and our life transforms about every 7 years. For example, our cells are replaced every 7 years, our bones are replaced every 7 years and we are programmed for life in our first 7 years. I remember reading in a book by Carlos Cuauhtémoc Sanchez where he mentions that if we go back and check our pictures from seven years ago we will have changed our way of dressing, our facial futures, our hair style and other features.
What really caught my attention was a video of Bruce Lipton explaining how what we experience in our first 7 years influences how we are going to behave for our rest of our life (unless we do something about it). He further explains that our genes do not have any control over our future.
For example, if in his first 7 years of life a child has been taught to live in fear and he has been overprotected, he will behave like that for the rest of his life. If the child was abused or was taught violence for those 7 years, the child will become a violent adult. This will become his blueprint for life.
This is why it is so difficult to help people change their ways when they’re adults. They’re already programmed to be the way they are. This is the subconscious program that kicks in every time. Many people blame their behavior on their genes, but really it was the behavior that they were taught starting at birth, and because our parents are the ones with such behavior, we think it’s genetic.
It is like a machine that is controlled by a program. It will do only what the software or the program is commanding. To help the machine behave differently, a different program needs to be downloaded.
People who want to change their life do have an option to be happy instead of negative or to be in shape instead of overweight. People who don’t have a successful relationship can have one. People who are alcoholic can become sober. This is a matter of choice, and I will disclose what I have discovered in a moment.
Let’s go back to the 7 year period. Like I said in the beginning, every 7 years we are a completely different person depending on our environment, food, beliefs, acts and other things.
For example, let’s say that all you eat is junk food the first 7 years. By the time you’re 7 you have already developed a disease, or you are overweight. Or let’s say that your parents are negative and that is what you learned in your first 7 years. By age 7 you are already negative about your life.
To begin with, junk food is tasty and addicting (or if all you know is being negative) and you believe that is who you are and you don’t see your behavior, it will be very difficult to change the way you are eating (or your thought pattern).
Nevertheless, you may become aware of the harm junk food is doing to you and understand that to succeed in life and be happy what you need to do is be optimistic and that you have a choice about it. When you decide you would like to change your way, it’s the first step and the most important one you need to make. Now, I am only saying you have done this for 7 years. There are people who have done it for their whole life — 25, 40 or 60 years. The faster you find the behavior the easier it is to change. The longer you practice the behavior the harder it will be to change it.
In the past I was a mentally lazy person, an impulsive shopper, an alcoholic, addicted to cigarettes and destructive relationships, and quick to get angry or emotional in general. I did not know better. I honestly thought I was that way and I could never change my personality. I did not change for 28 years until I understood that I could be better, and if I wanted to be happy I needed to change my life. There is when I made the change. Even though I was changing every 7 years before my real change, the previous changes didn’t amount to much because I was continuing practicing many of the same behaviors.
It was not until I started reading, being conscious of my actions, listening to people who are more capable than me, meditating, eating healthily, setting goals, planning, saving money, forgetting about materialism and caring about others that I started to change, and my life reflects the change compared to 7 years ago (Many people don’t believe who I used to be when I tell them, and people who know me from my past don’t believe the change I’ve made).
Do this experiment: Go back to your picture collection and compare your pictures every 7 years, and you will notice the difference. If you compare pictures that are 2 or 3 years apart there will not be a big difference.
Here is the key to changing your life. You need to be aware and make an effort to do the things that are difficult for you. For example, if you never exercise and you quit a week after you start every time, you need to understand that you will be quitting every time unless you make a conscious effort not to; it will be difficult to exercise unless you decide to do it no matter what stands in your way. When your subconscious takes over, you will quit again, but when you consciously think you need to start exercising again, you will. This will be a fight until your new behavior gets recorded in your subconscious, and then you won’t have to fight any longer because it is a new habit.
If you have a negative thinking pattern, you can start recording your thoughts, or you can ask people around you to tell you when you are negative and you need to change one of those thoughts to a positive one or focus on the positive. For sure, you will relapse and think negatively again, but you need to consciously think positively again. It will take time before you change your thinking, but once again, once you have done it long enough, the fight you had in the beginning will be there no more.
All your fights will be difficult at first, but after a while you will need no effort once your subconscious has recorded the new program. It will take a lot of repetition and persistence to do it, but it will happen.
So if you want to change your way and be a better person, lose weight, have a successful relationship, have a job that you love or open your own business, be healthy, stop living paycheck to paycheck, be optimistic, and be successful in all areas of your life, you need to start practicing new habits. You need to start now; you will relapse many times, but you will be on your way to being a different person in 7 years.
I personally can tell you I am so happy I have changed my life for a better one even though it was difficult in the beginning. The only thing I regret is that I did not do it 7 or 14 years earlier; I would be in a better place now.
It is never too late to start enjoying your life, but don’t waste any more time living a life that you don’t truly enjoy. Stop blaming it on your genes and take responsibility for your happiness. When you’re 7 years older you will be glad you did.
One of the things I think is fun is checking things off my list…
I have a list of goals that I check every day, and I have another list of goals that I check every week.
The daily goals are usually systems that I have created that help me achieve the long-term goals, which are the ones I check weekly.
Having the list not only helps me save time, but it also helps me be less stressed and determine if I am moving forward on the right track. If I don’t follow my list of daily goals, I notice that I start getting busy with things that don’t matter and end up getting stressed because I have not achieved anything.
You know the days when you have not done much, but you have a feeling of accomplishment? That’s because you focus on your daily goals and know that you have progressed. However, other days you feel like you did a lot yet have a sense of frustration by the end of the day because you didn’t follow your goals and wasted your time on trivial things.
This is how many of us live our lives…
I used to do this. You can turn 28 years old (or 35 or 50) and have the frustrating feeling that you’ve done nothing because you don’t have goals and just go with the flow.
When I turned 28, I meditated my life and noticed that I had nothing. Well, I had a couple of thousand dollars in debt, but that was it. It was because I had no direction or goals to follow. I examined my past life, and everything I had done was nothing more than throwing my life and time in the trash. Now after 8 years I feel different. I have created more than ever in my life. I have two businesses that my co-workers run, I published one book and am ready to publish a second one. I paid all my debt. I have an apartment.
I know all this is not much, and I can lose it at any time because life is never safe. But what I am proud of is that I have become a person who can create, and this is the power of goal setting.
When you know what you want and set goals, you start working towards them…
This is like exercising or building a brick wall. In the beginning you may not see much of a difference. But if you continue working towards your goals, you start seeing results as time passes.
You can set financial goals, spiritual goals, relationship goals, business goals, health goals, charity goals, material goals, hobby goals and personal goals. I set goals in my spiritual, family, health, professional and financial area.
Here is a great example: If your goal is to own a house, maybe you can start by saving a down payment for an apartment, buy the apartment, save more money while you pay off the loan, sell the apartment and buy a house. You can set how much money you need and how long and what you need to do to save it, how long it will take you to pay off the apartment and how to save extra to pay for your new house. This may take you a few years, but if you have your goal in your head, you can do extra stuff every day to reach your goal compared to going with the flow and not achieving anything.
The same thing happens with weight loss:
If you have the goal of losing 50 pounds, you know you need to lose at least 4 pounds a month to get to your yearly goal. If you keep your goal in mind, you will be working on your eating and exercise and choose the right behaviors every day. It may take you even less time. Four pounds a month may not seem like a lot, but over a year it adds up.
Goal setting gives you the opportunity to aim for something. Can you imagine playing basketball or soccer without a basket or goal? What about driving without a destination? This is how many people live their lives, without sense. Goal setting gives you the opportunity to keep track and not waste your energy trying to aim at something that doesn’t really exist.
All successful people use goal setting. Many write their goals down, and others only think about their goal every day, but they have set a target. I think writing them down is more effective so you can refer to them when you are getting discouraged. But for many, especially the driven ones, it’s not necessary to write them down. But once again, what is important is that you have a target or goal.