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HOW TO GET HEALTHY AND STAY HEALTHY – FITNESS/NUTRITION TIPS 2013

May 13, 2013

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Throughout the Winter 2013 adult Hip Hop dance session, FUNKMODE’s fitness experts gave 12 essential tips to help all those making the New Year’s commitment to improving their health. Here’s a recap of those lessons …

WEEK 1 – GET BAD FOOD OUT OF YOUR HOUSE / ANYONE CANDO THINGS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME

———– No magic here … if it ain’t there, you can’t eat it. However, some of us seem to miss this simple reality.   If you’re doing the grocery shopping in your home, you control what enters your home. If someone else is requesting food that you don’t want to eat (i.e. evil spouses), make that person go get it and keep it somewhere out of sight. Sound hardcore? So is committing 100% to your goals. A theme of this list is that there are no shortcuts and you cannot find success without making the sacrifices and putting in the work. With that in mind, realize that no matter how hard it is to make any particular change, ANYONE can do any number of crazy things for a short period of time. Don’t tell yourself that you are going to stop eating sugar for the rest of your life. Tell yourself you are going to stop eating sugar for 90 days. That is very attainable, even if it seems insane at the outset. How many cycles of 90 days have you lived so far? The next 90 days will go by whether or not you make a change. However, the next 90 days can be the most successful of your life by doing something insane (but attainable) and sticking to it. You are capable of far more than you think. Give yourself the opportunity to show yourself how capable you are.

 

WEEK 2 – LEAVE YOURSELF WANTING WHEN SETTING GOALS

———– Can you stick to 1800 calories a day? Start with 2000 and work down over time. Can you workout for 1 hour a day? Start with 40 minutes and increase it over the next month. The trick here is to keep yourself wanting. Knowing that you can do more will make you continue to strive. Starting off at or beyond your abilities sets up a situation where you are potentially struggling from the get go. More importantly, it puts you in the habit of making and KEEPING promises to yourself. Most people fail with making changes because they know how many times they’ve told themselves they were going to make changes and then didn’t follow through. You walk in with baggage and it gives you an easy out. The more often you break promises, the less you trust yourself and the harder it is to believe that you will follow through in the future. When you keep your goals slightly below what you know you can do, crossing the finish line is easy. You start a pattern of continuously hitting your goals and you begin to trust yourself again. Success begets success. Keep your goals easily attainable and you won’t fail.

 

WEEK3 – TELL EVERYONE AND ANYONE ABOUT THE GOALS YOU SET – MAKE PLANS/GOALS WITH APARTNER FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

———– It’s a fact of life that we are much more likely to do something if we’ve told someone else that we are going to do it. We may let ourselves off the hook easily, but it’s much harder for most of us to break our promises when others know what we’ve committed to. With this in mind, set goals with a partner. Keep each other accountable and honest. A partner not only helps with accountability, but with problem solving when either of you hit a plateau or difficult challenge. Finally, there is power in declaring your goals. Spiritual beliefs aside, your mind makes things far more concrete when you say it out loud. 

 

WEEK4 – SET A BIGGER GOAL THAT REQUIRES GOOD FITNESS/EATING

———– If you want to eat well, start an activity that is impossible to keep up with if you don’t eat right. If you want to be in great shape, start an activity that will be impossible if you are not in great shape. Most people don’t love going to the gym. However, they may love rock climbing or riding bikes or skating or gymnastics or softball or running or hiking or mixed martial arts or parkour or swimming or powerlifting or any other number of activities that require excellent fitness and nutrition. If you are going hiking tomorrow and you’re really looking forward to it, you are much less likely to eat in a way that is going to make you less than your best. If you are entering a race this weekend, you will do things throughout the week to set yourself up for success. If you don’t, you are going to know about it once you hit your activity of choice. When you are engaging in a larger activity that catches your interest, it is much easier to make the exercise/nutrition choices necessary to support that activity.

 

WEEK5 – FIND EXCUSES TO MOVE (STAIRS INSTEAD OF ESCALATOR, PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS)

———– Don’t go to the gym and try to find the closest parking spot. Fidget. Run don’t walk. Dance. Don’t use the remote. Take the scenic route. Movement becomes a habit. The more you move, the more your metabolism increases and the more calories you burn. Be like the shark … move, move, move.

 

WEEK6 – EDUCATE YOURSELF

———– No simpler way to state this. If you wanted to become a mechanic, you’d go to school or pick up a book or connect with your Uncle Ray who owns a shop or Cousin Vinnie (yeah, that Cousin Vinnie) who’s tinkered with his Camaro since ever you can remember. If you want to learn how to change your body, learn about exercise and nutrition. Is it easy? No. Is it worth the effort? Consider this … of all the things you’ve spent time learning about in your life, what has been more essential than knowing how your body works? Take away everything in your life for a moment. What you are left with is you. You will never escape having to be concerned with how your body works. You might as well learn how to make it work in the best way possible. If you take the time to learn about exercise and nutrition, you will be able to make any change to yourself at any time. What’s more, as new diets, workout routines and products come along, you will have the power to make choices about their usefulness or lack thereof. Take the time to learn about YOU. You’ll never regret it.

 

WEEK7 – START WITH THE THINGS THAT YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO DO

———– Again, success begets success. Gain momentum on your goals by knocking out the things first that are easier. Baby steps lead to big kid steps lead to tween steps lead to young adult steps lead to grown-up steps (yes, that IS a lot of steps). If you drink soda every once in a while but know you can do without it, knock that out first. Then increase your 30 minute daily walk to 40 minutes. Little by little you are making and keeping promises that will give you the confidence and power to take on bigger challenges. Start small then go BIG.

 

WEEK8 – CUT EATING PORTIONS IN HALF (ESPECIALLY WHEN DINING OUT)

———– Most of us in this country have less of a problem with food choices as we do food amounts. It is entirely possible to get overweight by eating entirely healthy foods. Do not get caught up in the errant thinking that you can have whatever amount you want of a food because it’s “good for you”. It simply is not true. At home, serve less. At restaurants, cut portions in half, thirds or quarters and bring the rest home. Most people should be eating 200-400 calorie meals 4-6 times a day. Most restaurant entrees are 1000+ calories. Eat smaller amounts and drink large amounts of water as you eat. You will find yourself satisfied far sooner than you think. Bonus tip: slow down as you eat. It takes 10-20 minutes for your body to register that it is satisfied. Give it the time to tell you what’s up.

 

WEEK9 – FAILURE ISN’T FAILURE (DON’T MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL)

———– There is always something to learn in every experience. Even when you fall short of where you wanted to be, you have the opportunity to correct your behavior in a way to guarantee success the next time. Furthermore, many people will fall short on some minor point (e.g. you overate at breakfast) and then completely give up on pursuing a goal (e.g. binge the rest of the day with the promise that you’ll start again “tomorrow). You didn’t “ruin” anything. You fell off the horse? Get back up and get back on. Don’t wallow in the mud. Let’s say you’re trying to stick to 2000 calories a day. But last night, you went buckwild on pizza and knocked out 4000 calories. HOLY SMOKE, YOU PIG! Kidding, kidding. Instead of just staying off the wagon for the rest of the week/month/whatever, consider this … it would only take eating under by 200 calories a day for the next 10 days to make up for that crazy night. Skipping 200 calories a day is pretty easy unless you are already very calorie restricted. Many would be able to skip out on 400 calories/day and knock that overage out in less than a week. Don’t make a mountain out of molehill. Stop giving yourself the easy out and get back in the game.

 

WEEK10 – SLEEP

———– You love to sleep, yet you constantly don’t get enough. You have good excuses but your body doesn’t care about any of them. Your body is an adaptive mechanism. It wants to maintain homeostasis. It doesn’t like change. However, when you give it enough reason to (e.g. take in less calories, work out harder every day), it has no choice. However, however, if you don’t give it time to recover and adapt, you put it in a position where it can do nothing but break down from being overstressed. Sleep is when our body makes all of the changes we are looking for. Sleep is when muscles grow, fat moves from storage to useful energy, and your body repairs. Without that sleep, you can make all kinds of positive change but your body won’t have the opportunity to deliver the results you want. Eat right. Exercise. Rest. Repeat. 

 

WEEK11 – COMMIT TO WORK TOWARDS YOUR GOALS IN ALL SITUATIONS (SUPPORTED,UNSUPPORTED, OPPOSED)

———– Tell yourself that come hell or high water, you are going to make this happen. Don’t say, “as long as it’s easy, I’m going to do such and such.” Say, “even if the angels descend from heaven and try to stop me, I am going to get this done.” EXPECT things to be hard. EXPECT to be opposed. DO IT ANYWAY! There are no shortcuts. There is no easy way out. If you’re going to do this, DO IT! Stop giving yourself excuses of circumstances, people, environment, holidays, family visits, kids, spouses, health issues, dietary issues, money, work and whatever else your life concocts to prevent you from being the person you want to be. Know what you want and do not let anything or anyone stop you. Easier to say than do? Sure is. DO IT ANYWAY! But you don’t know my life? Sure don’t. DO IT ANYWAY! But I’ve been this way all my life? So what? DO IT ANYWAY! DO IT ANYWAY DO IT ANYWAY DO IT ANYWAY!!! You won’t regret it, whiiiiich brings us to the final point …

 

WEEK12 – THE SACRIFICE IS WORTH IT – NO ONE EVER SAYS IT WASN’T – PLUS, IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY ONCE YOU GET THERE, JUST GO BACK TO HOW THINGS WERE BEFORE. AT LEAST NOW YOU KNOW.

———– That pretty much says it. If the sacrifice wasn’t worth it, hey, you gave it a shot. At the very least, you gained the power that comes with setting a goal and overcoming all challenges in the way of achieving that goal. You were happier when you were 100 pounds heavier and you miss cheesecake? Go grab yourself 100 pounds of double chocolate and knock yourself out. But know this, very rarely, if ever, does this happen. Most people are so ridiculously pleased with themselves once the effort has been put in and the goal has been achieved that there are just not the words to express the elation, fulfillment and satisfaction. Doing positive things for your health and fitness are unlikely to ever be regretted. Give yourself the gift of health and you will not be sorry.

 

Finally, know that most or all of these principle are applicable to just about any other type of goal that you can set for your life. Consider what you want to see improved and adapt these lessons to help you achieve any thing you can imagine. Celebrate who you are today and continue to strive to improve. Being your best inspires others to do the same. Be a light and illuminate the world. 

 

ALL LOVE – FUNKMODE

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