Know your CPR

While I think it is important for you all to know CPR  (and mandatory for all you trainers out there), I am speaking of another kind of CPR vital to your success when trying to achieve or maintain a fit lifestyle.  These qualities are present in all the people you see out there who have mastered a lean, muscular body. You have to be:




Consistency is probably the most important of all, as it may perhaps be a result of the other two parts. How often don’t we hear our friends, colleagues, family or gym buddies tell us of one diet followed by another that is the ‘next big thing’, while their bodies don’t seem to change at all.   “Oh, I’m on this new diet now, it’s supposed to turn all your fat to energy if you eat before 3” blablabla.. As modern human beings, we’d like to hear that it’s easy and quick, there is some sort of magic formula that will turn our bodies into abs, buns and legs of steel while still being able to eat, drink and do whatever we feel like.  Wouldn’t that be nice!   Meanwhile, if you glance across your gym you might see a number of fit people there among the not so fit ones.  Do you think they all have the same schedule, eat the same thing and do the same exercises? Of course not. But what the fit people have in common is consistency.  They go to the gym every day, they stick to healthy, low fat foods and they constantly set new goals to work towards, not just have one single date they obsess about.  They may not have the most advanced training program or the most high tech equipment, but they are consistently training, whether it’s weight lifting, biking or running or both, and even a  less than optimal training program will produce results after a while.  Which brings me to the next point.


PATIENCE is just as important as consistency. Many people I come across only want to know “how long is it going to take to look like that”, not what they have to change or do or how they need to act in order to achieve their goals.  This is when the mind has not connected with the body, and as we know, the mind is a powerful thing.   Whether it is fitness or weight gain, the mind is the most important part of your body you need to change.  You must learn to love your body whether it is 300 lbs or 120 lbs, and understand that working towards your dream body will take time, just as it took time for you to gain those extra pounds you no longer want to drag around.  Know that if you eat right or as healthy as you possibly can every day, get your workouts in and at the same time be kind and gentle with yourself, you WILL get there.   Gaining a great physique is a life long job, there will always be some parts you want to modify or improve upon; this is what is so motivating and inspiring about fitness.  We can always get better, whether it is esthetics or strength (you may want to keep pushing to lift heavier, and set new PRs, etc)  thus our task is never done. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud and happy with your body- just that there will always be a new goal and a task you can work on if you are a person who need continuous goals to strive towards.  Don’t just hold your breath for when those 10 lbs are gone – who knows what you will look like? The scale doesn’t tell you anything. Just because you reach a certain weight, doesn’t mean all your problems disappear or you become a brand new person inside. Be patient with yourself in every aspect of your life while simultaneously respecting yourself enough to constantly (and patiently) working towards greater achievements. Because you are capable!!


RESILIENCE is what separates the winners from the losers, the ones who make it and the ones who just can’t seem to collect their minds to get there.  When reading about successful people, I can guarantee that everyone has had a story of failure – a time when they attempted something and did not achieve what they had hoped.  Failures at one point or another is guaranteed, so learn how to recover from them. While some might get so discouraged they stop trying, successful people shrug it off and try even harder the next time.  In fitness, you won’t always jump out of bed in the morning, excited about the day, full of energy, feeling happy and ready to hit the gym. Some days you will feel lethargic or have low energy, be depressed, experience an emergency, have sick kids, and your day will be all messed up.  This is when it is really easy to give yourself an excuse not to keep going.  These are the times that build “character”, and makes you stronger too, if you just decide to go about your day and continue eating right and working out anyway.   Keep thinking of the importance of consistency in our first point and I guarantee your body and mind will thank you.  Embrace your failures because without them, you wouldn’t know how to succeed. You learn more from the times that don’t work, than the times that do. So be grateful for tough times, because they shape you as a person and make you more interesting.

I read somewhere that it takes just as much energy to be miserable as it does to be happy – so why would you choose the former? You have a choice how you look at your life, your day, your opportunities, problems, strengths and weaknesses.  We all have them, just as we all have the same 24 hours in a day.  Choose to be resilient and the feeling of victory is near!!





2013: A year of action or excuses?

This morning at breakfast I happened to come across a panel discussion consisting of a handful of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders on one of my favorite morning shows.  I always find it inspiring to listen to people’s life stories, but what particularly struck me today was the one common denominator they possessed; they all lead by example, showing the world by action how they came to be a success. Why are they admired by hundreds of thousands, if not millions? Because they have applied action to theory, they stuck with their idea and belief in that their model would work.  One person, now the owner of  a multimillion dollar business, described how he used to live in the back of his car for months, while another recalled how his family and friends thought he was crazy to give up a well paying, steady job to pursue his dream. These people had the guts to be honest with themselves, to go for their big goals, despite criticism from others.  Holding on to the belief in a positive outcome may be the toughest for most people, especially since they may see next to next to no progress some days.  It is easy to stay motivated and inspired when things go smoothly, but very few people have the patience and guts to keep going when times are hard.  I see that many times in the clients I coach, if they don’t see immediate results, they start regressing, getting lazy or stop paying attention to details of their programs which, while not seeming very important at that moment, are vital to long term success.

The question raised by the moderator of the panel discussion was ‘is the pursuit of success in your DNA?’ and while many times this may be true, hard work seemed to be more important than anything.  When we look at people who have arrived at fortune, we tend to think ‘oh, he must live the perfect life’, or “must be nice”, etc.  What we don’t see is the struggles, the bad days and all the troubles they’ve had to overcome or are even experiencing today, in order to arrive at this state. The host of the morning show may rake in millions of dollars, but he /she has to get up at 3 am every morning and will have to give up time with their families at night in order to get sleep, they are scrutinized by media and the public every day and have next to no privacy, while the CEO of a million dollar business is living under constant pressure from shareholders.  Life is not perfect, and we all have to do things we don’t always love to do, in order to achieve what we put our minds to. This is the price of success. Anthony Robbins, a successful motivational coach, offered a very good suggestion to those who wish to pursue their goals and that is to surround yourself with successful people. You will soon start to think like them and act like them, which in turn will materialize into the results you have envisioned for yourself. This goes hand in hand with choosing to stay in positive company; people who bring you up, not down. Life is too short to spend time with anyone who doesn’t make you feel that you too, can become great.

How similar isn’t the business world to the fitness world?  We see which athletes have achieved greatness; the ones who apply methods of training and staying on their diet, while remaining vigilant and positive even in their darkest, most difficult times. They continued to push through by staying persistent, consistent and hard working.  Did they have some sort of magic formula that the rest of us have yet to discover? Of course not. Because they decided to take action, and stop philosophizing.  They chose to see the possibilities, not the problems, they refused to make any excuses.

Avoiding complacency is another one; what happens then? If you get cocky and think ‘now I’ve got it, I’ve got the secret’, your shape starts deteriorating, or as business leader, if you don’t stay abreast of the current trends or constantly come up with new inventions to stay current, your company will lose market share and eventually fail.  Staying successful is probably even more difficult than becoming successful, much as maintaining your fabulous new shape is harder than losing the actual weight. This requires constant work, continuing dedication and most of all; patience. You think you have all the answers now? Sorry, life isn’t that easy. But how boring would it be, if there were no more challenges ahead?  Humans were given a brain to keep using it, meeting new situations that require solving, and a body miraculously created to do amazing things.

Equally important as taking action, is changing your mindset. If you constantly keep telling yourself “I will never make it”, “I’m so fat”, “everyone else seems to have such a wonderful life” you will invite those thoughts into your life, and they will become reality.  We have seen that people whose success stories have materialized, have this unwavering belief in themselves, which not only is impressive but should be mandatory for us all. Believe in yourself. Make your mind up this year to be positive – as I have mentioned before, it takes just as much energy to be negative as it does to keep positive, so why would you choose to continue wallowing in thoughts that won’t help?

I spent most of 2012 focusing on my problems (injuries, financial trouble, etc.) and therefore came up with a number of excuses. Did that improve my situation? Not one bit. I’ve decided that in 2013 I need to apply the theory of the saying ‘if you want what you don’t have, you have to do something you haven’t done’.  Another good one is “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  By taking action my life will change for the better. I will stay true to myself, believe that I have everything in my power to become successful both  in my professional life and as I continue to improve my physique. No more excuses. What will YOU choose??