Friday, April 18, 2014

WendyBurbs Easter Cupcake

Good Morning to All!
Happy Good Friday! I wanted to take this opportunity to quickly update my blog with a recipe I am making for Easter this year. It is not low carb, paleo, or any other classification of "diet" however, it fits the macronutrients I need for the recomposition work I am doing right now to build more muscle. I will be writing more on IIFYM at a later time, but for now, here is the recipe, as requested by my gals:

WendyBurbs Easter Cupcake (that's how it's listed in MFP)

1 box white or yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker White Cake with Rainbow Sprinkles)
12 oz. clear diet soda (I used the Wal-Mart Pineapple Coconut sparking water, but you can use Diet 7-up)
1 4 oz package sugar free vanilla jello pudding
2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
8oz. crushed pineapple in juice
24T (360 grams) heavy whipping cream
72 grams shredded coconut (~6 T)
Few drops green food coloring
2 small boxes of Reese's Easter Eggs (they are the like the mini chocolate eggs and are about the size of a peanut m&m)
Splenda/stevia to taste

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.
Step 2:Beat cake mix and soda together in a bowl until well combined and smooth (just a couple minutes)
Step 3: Put liners into cupcake tins and divide batter- I just eyeballed it until they were all about half- 2/3 full.
Step 4:Cook for ~25 minutes or until cake is set and tops are just golden.
Step 5: While cupcakes are cooking combine pineapple with juice and stevia or spenda in a small saucepan (I used splenda, about 8 packets). Cook until boiling. You want to cook it down just a smidge, so that way the juice is evaporated and you have a super sweet pineapple sauce (it will be thick and chunky).
Step 6: In a bowl combine sugar free jello pudding and almond milk and beat until there are no lumps and pudding is sett.
Step 7: Once cupcakes are done (while they are still hot) poke the tops of them with a fork and scoop a little spoonful of the pineapple over the top- pressing it gently into the cupcakes.
Step 8: Spoon pudding over pineapple layer (once again, divide evenly among the 24).
Step 9: Refrigerate the cupcakes and allow to cool (I left mine in overnight so the whipped cream would be fresh the next morning, but do what works for you).
Step 10: In a medium bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with splenda or stevia (I used 8 packets of splenda) until it is stiff (but don't beat it too far or it will turn to butter.
Step 11: In a small bowl, combine coconut and green food coloring and combine (just use a spoon and mix it all together until your coconut is green).
Step 12: Set up an assembly line: Remove cupcakes from the fridge, and get your scale out. Put a cupcake on the scale, zero it out, add 15grams of whipped cream, 3 grams of coconut and 3 little Reese's eggs to the top.

Serve to your loved ones. Eat. Smile :)


Calories: 178
Carbs: 22
Fiber: 1
Protein: 2
Fat: 9

Happy Easter ALL!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Food in News This Week: Check It Out...

Good Morning Friends and Happy Food News Friday!!!!!



I come to you particularly impassioned today because this has been a week of crazy news for me.

As I opened the intranet at work, I was greeted by a news feed article that was headlined, Non-GMO cereals lack added vitamins.

My personal problem with this is that the author sees the problem being "there are not enough non-GMO vitamins on the market to add as supplements" therefore cereals like Grape-Nuts miss "nutrients" and Cheerios "misses vitamin B-2." OK, lets back up here, because assuming I did eat cereal, I most likely would not be concerned with where I would supplement my vitamin B-2 (or riboflavin). Meaning, I wouldn't purchase a cereal or not if one box said, "Now with Vitamin B-2" and one did not. As a non-cereal/grain eater, I actually find awesome ways to get riboflavin through things like cheese, almonds, beef and lamb steak, oily fish, eggs, pork, mushrooms, spinach, seafood... the list goes on.  My point is that the geniuses over at Brownfield Ag News are missing the fact that the massive problem we are facing with food and health isn't lack of B-2, its the fact that these companies are using GMOs to begin with. A-HA!

According to the American Academy for Environmental Medicine, GMO consumption has been linked to "infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system" (Institute for Responsible Technology). The popular Monsanto corn, which has made a bit of news over the last couple years, and is publically known for using GMOs has been linked to cause problems with kidneys and liver. Additional research shows that GMOs also produce havoc on gut bacteria and intestinal health. Ever wonder why so many people have digestive problems (IBS, Chrons, Colitis)???

Since now more than 80% of processed foods on the market have GMOs and because the USDA will likely NEVER be the institute to educate you about the negative health effects of GMOs- please, please know that articles like the one above are, in my mind, a representation of how stupid the USDA must think consumers are. However, if you're reading this I know you're a rather intelligent (and probably very attractive :) individual, and I would definitely encourage you to see these kinds of articles as a warning and reminder that we have to be our own detectives when it comes to food knowledge.

OK, next up: Meat as Deadly as Cigarette Smoking!!!??



I'm not taking long on this because there's been an awesome rebuttal already done by Robb Wolf, which adequately explains the validity of the research (spoiler alert... it doesn't pan out) but, here is the basic news piece. A couple days ago, Fox News released an article entitled "Eating large amounts of meat, cheese may be as deadly as smoking, study shows" The study is first off complete crap because at their "high end," participants were eating 20% of their diet from protein. If you've ever been on a low carb diet, been a bodybuilder, tracked your macros, pulled your head out of a hole, then you know that 20% of your diet from protein IS NOT HIGH! I don't even want to say much more because clearly there are other things at play here. This is where the importance of being a wise consumer/researcher comes into play. When someone tells us they've done a study of high protein levels, my reaction is that the low level of the participants is 30-50%. But this "research" is clearly fluff; don't buy it!

OK friends, that's our Food News Friday! I am looking forward to exploring some awesome local food finds this weekend at the Sonoma County Farmer's Market. It's my first venture out since relocating to Nor Cal, so I'm pumped to see what awesome local food finds I will have to brag about next time.

Have a great day everybody! You are intelligent and attractive--- now act like it :)




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Uncovering the Real Path to Achievement!

Hello Friends and Happy Friday!!!!

I hope you all enjoying your day! I wanted to write a quick blog because one of my resolutions for 2014 is to spend time every day writing about gratitude. While the majority of my gratitude will be condensed in my journal, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you why I think embracing gratitude is important, especially for those who have not achieved their major goals... yet.

You see, as part of the human condition, we are trained to think that life will be awesome WHEN we finally have X (lose weight, six pack abs, more money, a home, a hot husband, beautiful kids...) you see where I am going. The truth is that while these things are all great (and I fully intend on having a hot husband), we learn more about ourselves during the journey than we do in the acquisition.

I am often reminded that despite the fact that I have not "arrived," or completed what I would consider my major life objectives up to this point, I am fortunate that I have what exists for me presently. I am enjoying the journey because I know that it's providing me more information about what the future holds.

Now, I know when you are on a journey, it is difficult to look back and celebrate how far you've come when you still feel you are so far from the finish line. But, if you are anything like me then your goals are not a clear from child-birth, and as I evolve and become better at things that are important to me, I also want to enjoy that this is a new layer of self discovery. However, if I'm busy beating myself up because life isn't perfect, or I don't have a mission statement, or I missed a workout, then am I really enjoying myself?

I want to share a thought I had the other day because I have been fiddling with my diet lately (as I always do) and have been diving more and more into ketogenic dieting. There are loads of health benefits to a keto diet (including curing cancer and epilepsy) and while I have neither of those ailments, my father died of cancer and my mother has epilepsy, so obviously, I want to take arms against anything that would potentially stifle my personal goal of living to be 100.

Back to the thought... I had a thought a few days ago that I wish I could just wake up once everything was perfect. Immediately I reminded myself that while this would be awesome in theory, it would completely eliminate my experience of actually having a journey. One of the things in life I value most is that I've had wonderful learning lessons thus far by transforming my body. I didn't get good at working out and eating healthy because I woke up one day and I was "fixed." I got good (if I can be so bold) because I committed to working out every day I went to work. I "got good" because I dared to try something different even when it was uncomfortable. 

Friends, I'm just like you- a person on a journey wanting to be better. When I want to change, it's hard. When I want to grow, it takes significant effort. But, the thing that keeps me going day after day is the fact that there is strong desire within me that tells me that I have the ability to be the greatest version of myself. I am not a super human, but I am a woman on a mission. If you're on a mission, too, then you know that there are changes you have to make: changes that will challenge you, changes that will make you question everything about your heart, body, and soul. But there are changes you will make in this lifetime that will produce a wonderful result if you simply stick with it.

Every time I overcome an uncomfortable experience, I grow. Every time, I do something that my body or mind tells me is crazy or challenging or hard, I learn something new about myself. Friends, there is power in knowing yourself. There is power in anticipating and embracing your challenges because you know that means you are growing!

So, I wanted to share with you, friends, that uncovering the real path to achievement actually includes making mistakes, falling down and getting back up again. Dusting your knees off is a far cry from throwing in the towel. So, today I encourage you: grow with me, friend. The real path to achievement is the gratitude for the journey. It may not be perfect yet, but when you are thankful for the process, it can enhance your perspective.

Have a wonderfully grateful day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

I LOVE YOU!!!!

 
Hi All,
So, I usually don't get smooshy in my posts, but it is Valentine's Day, and if ever there is a day when getting smooshy is allowable, today is it! You will find that in this post, I am not going to tell you how to eat sugar-free/paleo chocolate and be happy, nor am I going to tell you to count your carbs or what you eat today. My goal today is to inspire you to be healthy in another way- and that is through love.
 
When you are not in a relationship, Valentine's Day can honestly seem like (let's be honest) the suckiest day of the year. But, I figured that instead of thinking of the love I don't have in my life, I'd instead focus on the love I do have in my life, and have henceforth dedicated this blog today to celebrating those things. It's not often that I recognize people in my life publicly, so I hope that my friends and family aren't embarassed, but rather I hope they understand that they are what make me whole, and the person who I am am. So, whether you are celebrating with the love of your life today or not, take some time to acknowledge the loves you have, share some gratitude, and celebrate those who have brought you joy. My list is below. I hope this inspires you to acknowledge your loves today, too!
 
1. Jesus- you the man!
2. Mom- you the lady and you brought me into this earth (I think you've told me you could take me out as well, so if I ever go missing, y'all know where to look :)
3. Bros- You are so special to me, and I am fortunate to have been raised in a community of such amazing men. I love you all dearly, Paul, Jeremiah, and Leonard. You have really made me the cool person (I think) I am today.
4. Aunt Suzie, Uncle Tom, Jeania, Tim, Courrtney Sam- You all make me smile. I love that even though we spent time apart in our early years that we immediately all felt like family.
5. Uncle Jimmy- I laughed so hard the other day when you called the railroad crossing sign the RXR. Ha ha!
6. Ana and James Fread- You were my surrogate San Diego family. I love that you have brought a beautiful baby girl in this world to share your legacy. Ana you have really saved me so many times- I love you, amiga!
7. Nick and Heather- Super pumped for your wedding, and so excited for what is ahead for you two. Thanks for always visiting me when you came back to town- it really means a lot.
8. Stacie Meyers- We have been friends almost 30 years and we still laugh- I love that! So happy to see you with your beautiful family.
9. Carley Smith- You taught me how to keep going and push my body even when my mind stopped.
10. Jeli- You are my sister from another mister. I am so blessed to have you in my life-- there is still more to come!
11. Cash Flow- I just love you guys (and Jessy). Its always good to have a group of good looking men (and a hot lady) in tour life to dish out advice and show a girl a good time :)
12. Roy Lindenmeyer: You are hilarious!
13. Ebony Pearcy- Filter-free Friday! ;)
14. Maxberg- You have been my mentor and you give me awesome pants. What's not to love!? Many people come in and out of life, but I am grateful for all the years of advice you've given me. I will always be a better woman because of you!
15. Mary Southall- I would not be the woman I am today without you. I am so grateful for all the encouraging words over the years.
16. Jeanne and Leanne- I can tell you guys anything, and we have shared so many wonderful stories over the years. I love your friendship, charisma, and sense of adventure!
17. Tracy Lynn- You always have wonderful things to bring to my life- thank you!!!!
 
 
OK- I've already passed my writing limit for the day, and I figured that it's better to skips a few people than to miss out on an opportunity to tell people in my life who have inspired me: I LOVE YOU! Have a great day all!!!!
 
 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year, New You- Accountability Team or Not!




Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone!

I have been off the map lately because I have recently made a huge (no wait, HUGE!)  life change and relocated myself from beautiful, sunny San Diego, up to Sonoma County, CA (also beautiful, just less sun :) to spend some quality time with family. I figured I would use this opportunity to share a very real challenge that people face not only when they are relocating, but as they are looking at the new year ahead: goal-setting and self-motivation.

Now, as someone who has made countless attempts to lose weight and be fit in the past, one of my sticking points was that I was frequently going at it alone. If I would have had a consistent partner to train with and keep accountable with my diet, then I'm sure things would have gone a lot smoother, faster, easier, etc. I have personally seen this play out beautifully at work where a good portion of our crew all worked out together at the same gym, which created not just an opportunity for people to get more fit, but it also served to provide a great community of friendships. If this is something that you have available to you then awesome! Go for it!

But, for me, early on in my journey, I always seemed to be going at my efforts alone, and I also found that when I did have a partner, I had to be the one to motivate them. So not only did I have to overcome my own struggles with whether or not I should have a cheat, but then was getting sucked into their derailment plans as well. This is what I would call the opposite of effective. If you have found yourself in this situation, then I recommend graciously removing yourself from it.

Case in point: in college I was doing Weight Watchers, and although I had already achieved my lifetime goal on my own, I had started to gain some weight back, so I decided to return to meetings every week to tighten things up. I saw a girl in one of the weekend meetings that I recognized from my Renaissance Literature course, and when we realized that we were on the same path, we decided to be each others accountability partners. What I didn't know at that time is that I was really signing up to be her coach (big mistake at the time). While this individual was a great friend, she was a horrible accountability partner for dieting. She was consistently making comments like- "I really want to go get Mexican food when we study" or "We should make cupcakes tonight" or "This diet isn't really working for me." You can guess what happened with my intentions of getting back on track. Total disaster, anyone?

I mention this only because when selecting a new path, there are times in life when you will easily find and maintain relationships naturally that support your goals, and then there are times when you will have to go at it alone. If you are someone who has a great community to support you, then you are on the right path. If, however, you are going at it alone, then I definitely want to encourage you to keep on going. Despite the fact that the road is lonely now, the habits you are creating for yourself will serve to keep you on track regardless of the situations you are in, whether people come or go, whether you move or stay.

That being said, if you are new to fitness and health, you want to get started and you don't know where to go, here are some tips that may help...

1. Find a plan that serves you.
While I have had success with a variety of eating styles and workout regimes, when people ask me for a recommendation on what to do, I usually respond with something like, "do the plan you can stick with that makes you feel awesome." That will be different for everyone, and you know what? That is the way it should be! You are a unique individual, and unlike anyone else on this planet. The greatest pitfall you could happen into is one where you feel like you have to follow a diet out of a book because an author "says so." I am a huge fan of self-experimentation and manipulating my macronutrients, so please find what works best for you. If an IIFYM plan is exciting to you, do it! If low-carb sounds good, do it. The point is: do something that YOU like.

2. Work out when its convenient for you.
Full disclosure: for the last several years, I've been waking up most days around 4am to go to the gym. My usual work day looks like this:
  • 4am: Wake-up, coffee, reading
  • 5am: Workout
  • 6am: Post WO meal, shower, pack lunch, prep for work
  • 7:30: Arrive at work
  • 8:30: Meal 2
  • 10: Meal 3
  • 12:30: Lunch
  • 3: Meal 5
  • 6:30: Dinner
  • 7:45: Remove makeup, brush teeth, prep am coffee, read, then bed by 8:30
I wake up before the sun because I know that if I wait until after work to do my workout then it never happens: I get tired, people want to go out, I get tired, I have to work late... you get the picture. The point is that I realized that working out after work never happened for me, but when I scheduled workouts before breakfast that I did them consistently.

3. Eliminate negativity!
When you are on a path for greatness, you will find that some crazy stuff comes out of the woodwork: negative people suddenly appear, nay-sayers suddenly have opinions, and people who are threatened by your success and dedication will no doubt be (even subconsciously) trying to knock you down. The truth is that this doesn't just start with fitness, friends, this is everywhere... (warning, rabbit trail ahead)...

So, my brother, who is a gem of a human, recently finished his GED. When we were in high school he was busy whooping it up while I was studying, and his long-term career plan was to be a rock star. While I have always supported this endeavor, believed in his talent, and felt like anyone would be lucky to have them in their band, at some point he realized that the long-term sustainability of this career endeavor was netting him many years of day-job work at Costco. When he wanted to make the change to go back to school at the age of 36, many people were aghast that he would even consider leaving a "good" job at Costco to pursue his own academic endeavors.

Since my own day job is interviewing people, and advising them on their careers, I immediately informed him that what he was experiencing was that many people are remorseful when they haven't made the personal change to achieve greatness when they should. If someone is being negative toward your achievement goals, then they are most likely just disappointed in themselves and looking to share their disappointment with others: DON'T BUY IN! Be strong in what YOU want. This is YOUR life, and you only get one, so give the Negative Nancy's a nice kick!

4. Do not focus on the past!
While modern psychology tells us that the best predictor of future behavior is past performance, ask anyone who has been successful at anything how many times they ate it before they actually succeeded. Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Einstein... all failures. You can check out this video So You Think You're A Failure? to see some of the cool people we respect in life and in business who have also failed. You know what separates them from you today? They kept going; they didn't let no stop them.

It is a misconception that success only happens to successful people. Guess where successful people were before they hit it big? They were in your shoes, making another attempt. Once you achieve success, it is then easier to identify other opportunities, but don't let lack of success in previous efforts keep you from what you deserve today. What you deserve is to live the life you want, and to stop being afraid of getting what you truly deserve!

5. REMEMBER THE WHY! Y>X!
In order to keep your goal at the forefront of your mind, you have to remember your why. The Y (why/reason) must be greater than X (your excuses). I find that listening to podcasts in the morning when I am getting ready or driving to the gym is one of the things that keeps me beyond motivated to pursue my goals with passion every day. The latest on my personal list is School of Greatness. There was one of Lewis Howes interviewing Jamie Eason that knocked my socks off. You think you got it hard? Try fighting cancer, and today being a fitness model. So cool!

The point is that when you wake up and get ready for your day there may not be days when you feel like actually doing anything. You may think about your goals and think: who has time? This is too hard! And you need an anchor to remind yourself what you are doing this for.

Friends, by taking the time to make yourself accountable to yourself, first, then you will not only be a great accountability partner (when the opportunity arrives), but you will ensure that you will achieve your own goals for this year. And who knows- you will probably inspire others along the way, too :)

Happy New Year!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Stop Weighing Yourself Challenge

 

Hi Friends,
Hope your day is off to a nice start. I just woke up from a great rest, and went downstairs to make my coffee. As I shuffled into the bathroom, closed the door, removed every stitch of clothing and pressed the "On" button of my scale with my big toe (as I do practically every day), I was suddenly alerted to the fact that there was no beep (signaling power) and nothing was happening to the digital screen in front of me. So I did what every other smart person would do, I pressed the button again (though this time, admittedly harder). The scale remained silent, sleeping. I know it is Saturday morning, so I applied more force, this time practically kicking the digital demon, and raising it up and repeatedly hitting the on button with my finger. No response. Before I launch into a total meltdown and start tearing apart my office supplies looking for new batteries, I had a brief recollection of a post from Jonathan Bailor over at the Smarter Science of Slim.

I've mentioned Jonathan's work a lot in previous blogs, but I wanted to mention it again because he posted something the other day on twitter that caught my eye. Jonathan frequently makes mention to the fact that he is (by American weight standard's) "obese" and his wife is "overweight." He then proceeded to post a video of their wedding day, where you see two (very attractive people) in very healthy, fit bodies, starting their journey as man and wife. While Jonathan does a great job at explaining more about this in his article the point is that we are all obsessed with the numbers on the scale as opposed to how we actually feel, what we are eating, and a muriad of other factors. While I could literally write a whole post on the other things we should be focusing on instead of the number scale, I want to keep this (somewhat brief), so I will focus on my personal story in hopes that it resonates with you.

Here's where it gets real. Since I have lost 80 pounds, I have a strong attachment to that specific number. At my highest weight of 206, losing 80 lbs means that I am at 126. I have made a ritual of weighing myself every day because I want to make sure that:
1. I am being honest with myself, 
2. I stay connected with where I am at in my journey, and even though my weight may fluctuate, I am still keeping myself accountable for maintaining my weight loss.
3. I know that it is a slippery slope when you start gaining weight and that 5 pounds easily turns in to 10, 20, 30, etc. It's the whole "eating because I ate" philosophy that gets us all into trouble. For example: I had a fro yo and that's not paleo, so to make up for it, I will also eat an apple fritter, which is not low-carb, a load of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, which who cares since my insulin is spiked already, and top it off with a box of Lucky Charms, since I'm now magically in  my own hell. You may have something similar you deal with. The point is, that I have used that weight number to keep myself in check.

Recently, I've noticed that to keep my weight within my safety zone, that I have manipulated my diet to a point where I am not holding onto muscle. As I am a big fan in the n=1 theory of self experimentation to find out what works for you, I find that some things I was doing in my diet were not effective at preserving muscle, but they were good at keeping my weight down, so I kind of shrugged it off until the other day.

The last weeks I have spent a greater amount of time at the gym focusing on my lifting as opposed to any formal cardio, but I have noticed that my shoulder (albeit, post-competition) which have maintained a nice cap for some time are now just FLAT, like pancakes, though I don't eat pancakes. The point is that I have lost muscle, and I know that my muscle loss has been due to the fact that I have been so focused on the number on the scale that I don't give myself any flexibility around my diet. Whoa there, cowgirl!

Back to Saturday morning, I was thinking that while perhaps all my scale needs is new batteries, perhaps what I need is a reality check, BINGO!,  and so I am taking on the stop weighing myself challenge for 21 days. I'll be honest, it freaks me out! But as my friend, Paul Shively (and so many other great motivational speakers) says, "if it scares you, you should do it." So, I am launching into my tape measure/feel good in my jeans/get my shoulders back without weighing myself experiment. While I suspect that it will be about 4 weeks for some good, identifiable progress in that department, I thought 21 days seems like an achievable number for a short weighing break. If after 21 days I want to try to fix the scale then I'll revisit it at that time.

So, my question to you is this? Are you constantly weighing yourself and then beating yourself up because of the numbers on the scale? Is your performance where it needs to be, or is it somehow lacking because you aren't eating enough? I would definitely, then, encourage you to take a break from weighing yourself. Join me in a 21 day scale-free challenge. Are you ready??? I am. I will be posting more on this as we go through the next 21 days, so feel free to hop on board whenever you're ready!

Have a great day!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Small Changes and Massive Results



Hi All,
So it seems that August has just flown by for me. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. Today, I am sharing with you some great resources I have recently discovered, and sharing some thoughts about making change.

First, I had a really cool opportunity over the summer to meet Gary, the Primal Guy. He has an awesome company, New American Nutrition, a couple great books, Primal Power Method and Primal Power Method Meal Guide, and a ton of great free resources online. Gary's story is very unique to this community, as he is a former USDA Special Agent, and has been exposed first hand to what is really happening with food in this country (you can read his full story here). I totally love the way he makes primal living and eating as it should be: simple. So feel free to check out any of the bazillion links I've provided above.

Second, I want to talk about making change. Lately, I've seen a lot of information out there about getting detoxed and/or cleansed from cravings and food addiction. It seems that everyone and their momma' is selling a story that goes like this: do this super extreme diet that is totally different from your usual lifestyle for 3, 4, 12 weeks or more and lose a bunch of weight/optimize your health, and you, too can finally get in shape/have ripped abs/lose body fat, etc. While I have no problems with any of those things, the thing that makes me cringe about these plans is that people really commit themselves to the stringent measures prescribed, but only with the hope of what they can do once it's all over. What happens on day 1 of your real life again?  Seriously, what good is a program if its design is so restrictive that all you can think about while you are on it is what you're going to eat as soon as you get off it?

While I am the first to admit that I have fallen prey to the lure of a 6-pack in 6 weeks, I have really been doing a lot more searching on what makes people adapt to changes in order to reach their long-term goals, and I've come across a couple very useful tools below.

#1: The Power of Perception We all make decisions: am I going to make my bed today, or am I going to leave it a mess? Am I going to eat to fuel my body, or eat to fuel my addiction to sugar? It's all a choice, but at the same time, how we perceive our power in this choice is a critical factor.  James Clear, is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur and weight lifter who has some great content out there on transforming your habits. In the podcast I where I was introduced to James, he discussed the difference between people who are on a specific meal plan and who say that they "can't" have a treat and those who say they "don't" have treats. While saying "can't" implies helplessness, saying "don't" actually implies making a choice and taking control.

#2: Make Small Changes The second component of looking at change stems from something I learned yesterday from a personal development training at work. This particular training was called "What Makes People Great" and was conducted by Pat Precourt, who is a total genius in the field of real estate. One of Pat's points was that great people set goals that are a stretch from where you are today, but are still achievable. So, they set goals that they can meet by changing one thing, not setting goals that they will have to drastically change 10 things at once to achieve. At my company, we use what we refer to as SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely), and it falls under the same guise.

While there are times in life when I believe that an overhaul can be necessary, I think that employing these two tactics combined is a great recipe for initiating change.Think of it this way: what is one thing you can do today to get you closer to creating a long-term habit of people who are in great physical shape or have exceptional health? Is it going to the gym? Swapping out one fast food meal per week for a home made meal? Taking supplements? The take away is to find what that one thing is that you can achieve and do it. Then don't look at your old habit as something you "can't" do, but more so as something you just "don't" do.

I hope you are all motivated to take a look at your big, long term goals, and identify simple things you can change. Though it may seam small now, over time these changes will be the building blocks to massive future transformation.

Have a great day all!