Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Your morning attitude ...

Loved the way you all got after it with your Monday workout: Cardio Relays = a FANTASTIC endorphin-filled start to the week!

An important question for you: "What is your attitude when you wake up in the morning?"

This is important insight because the attitude you choose sets the tone for how you will feel later in the day, when people, circumstances and our own insecurities try to steal away our inner peace. 

First thing in the morning, you are by yourself going through the first couple actions of the day--getting out of bed, turning off your alarm clock, brushing your teeth, etc. In these moments, it is important to choose an attitude of gratitude and peace because if you can't choose that when you are by yourself, when can you? Once you start about your day, other people's needs can affect us, various scenarios unfold and things happen that are out of our control--each of which challenges our ability to maintain our inner peace.

Every day, there will be situations that challenge us. But if you don't already, begin making your morning attitude a choice. Play a game with yourself to see how long you can maintain your inner peace and grateful attitude as your day progresses. Stay mindful of how other people and circumstances are affecting you. If you catch yourself drifting off course, change back as soon as you can. 

Think of your morning attitude as the bricks you are laying for each day's path. And keep that path going in the direction YOU want it to go, regardless of any obstacles or challenges that might get in the way.

Here's to a Great Week 2!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Introducing WLAG's ...

I was recently introduced to WLAG's from Todd Durkin, a great method to help plan out your week.

WLAG's stands for:

  • "Wins" of the past week.
  • "Losses" of the past week.
  • "Aha" moments from the past week.
  • "Goals" of the upcoming week.

All-in-all, it probably takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

Wins and losses from the past week allow us to pause and reflect for a few minutes on what was accomplished or didn't get accomplish. It puts us in a more reflective and present state of mind versus always just thinking "what's next?"  What did you accomplished, and what got missed?

"Ahas" simply give us an opportunity to go a little deeper and think about any moments from the previous week that made you stop in your tracks or made an important impression on you.  

For example, my "ahas" from this past week are:

  • "So proud of Kayla. I loved watching her prepare for her class presentation next week, how she lights up when she sees her friends, and her dedication to dance and gymnastics."   
  • "Loved getting back to camp, talking with campers and hearing their focus on nutrition, planning out fat loss foods, the questions I've gotten on various distinctions with eating the right foods, etc."

And finally, write out your GOALS for the upcoming week. "Goals" are simply what you WILL accomplish in the next 7 days. While I typically put down 15-20 things on my "To Do" list for the week, I narrow it to a BIG 2 - 5 for the week. These are the 2-5 things that MUST get done this week, regardless of what else comes along.

Planning your week is vitally important and will set you up for successful days and a successful week. And I believe that a successful week starts BEFORE the week actually starts.

Take a few minutes out of your Sunday and do some "WLAG's." And if you would like to share them with someone in camp, your instructor, or your family, it makes it even that much more powerful.

Have an inspired Sunday!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing ...

We seem to have need for finding the "right" answers.

We have all heard the adage, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."  This is an incredibly debilitating piece of advice.  

We think about a new idea or possibility, goal or endeavor, but then realize we can't execute on this new initiative "well" because we have never done it before, so we look for another idea. The original idea might be a good one, but since we have never done it before, we resist the idea because it isn't comfortable. Instead of making progress, we look for an easier answer.  Instead of growing, we stay stuck in our comfort zone.

I think progress is made by adopting a new mantra: Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly... at the beginning. Not forever, only when you begin.  It's how you learned to ride a bike, swim and drink out of a cup... you did it poorly at the beginning. 

Here it is on a bumper sticker:  Everything you want lies outside your comfort zone.  

To help you, think about the questions below:

  • Where are you letting perfect get in the way of possible?
  • What are the skills you need to learn that right now are outside of your comfort zone?
  • What do you need to try that will be done poorly (at the beginning) but which is critical for your success?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Kicking the can ...

We love the enthusiasm in Adventure Boot Camp … people showing up early to run around the track, talking about and planning out their fat loss foods, and putting in the extra effort during the workouts.

Looking back over some of the fitness challenges at ABC, it was a turning point in health and fitness for some.  They pinpoint a challenge as being the push they needed to get moving in the right direction, and ultimately the stimulus to set a new standard. 

As we alluded to yesterday, a huge victory over these 8 weeks would be to get to 2015 without the "baggage" the holidays bring.  Losing body fat would then be another major win.  And then on top of those victories, continuing into the new year with some new lifestyle skills and patterns might be the ultimate victory. 

Consider this about human nature: all other things being equal, we would rather have what we want sooner rather than later, easier rather than harder, and more rather than less.

In other words, we tend to be impatient, lazy and greedy. That's not a judgment on any of us individually, rather a general tendency that's built into human nature.  We tend to want what we want NOW, not next year, or in 10 years from now.

That built-in tendency is fertile ground for marketing the quick, easy and magical results from the Bowflex, the Shake Weight, by drinking that shake or taking that pill. 

Anyone can lose weight, and many do.  The key is keeping that weight off.

If you look at anyone at the top of their game.... the ones winning gold medals, or those with abundant health and fitness year in and year out, ... you will find a common denominator: They did not achieve this success overnight.

Instead they "Kicked the Can."

Remember as a kid coming upon a rock, or bottle or can as you made your way to a friend's house?  It was in your path and perhaps you gave it a kick over the asphalt for a yard or two.  And then maybe you kicked it again?  

My best friend Steve loved to kick things as we walked a couple of miles to our favorite pizza place (Pizza Jake's in Fairfield … the pizza was pretty good, but they also had arcade machines!)  Much to my displeasure, Steve kept kicking a crumpled up Coke can for our entire two mile walk!  

What is the likelihood that my friend could have seen this can at the beginning of our walk, got a running start and kicked this can as hard as he could and it travel two miles with one mighty kick? Zero.

You already understand and have employed the analogy of kicking the can.  Pick anything you are currently good at and ask this question: Did I achieve mastery at this as a result of something huge I did last Tuesday or was it a result of consistent effort over a period of time?

Think about the outcomes you want for the 8 Week Challenge in terms of Kicking the Can on a daily basis.  What do you need to do day in and day out, consistently? 

Here it is on a bumper sticker: Ordinary things consistently done produce extraordinary results.

To help you, think about these questions:

  • Where are you avoiding paying the price of hard work or learning and practicing new skills? 
  • Where are you searching for shortcuts where none exist? 
  • What are the ordinary things that need to be done on a consistent basis which will produce your desired outcomes?                                                                                                  ·                                                                                                

Recommit EVERY DAY. 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

"And the winner of the 2014 Holiday Fitness Challenge is ..."

Yesterday we talked about the difference between body fat loss and weight loss and how you can win free boot camp.

We're pleased to reward your hard work and the results you create over these 8 weeks.

But at the same time, even if you won a lifetime of Adventure Boot Camp, it is meaningless in comparison to the real prizes you'll "win". 

While nearly everyone you know (not in ABC) will be mindlessly overdoing food, drinks and stress during the "season", you're doing the opposite. 

  • What kind of an emotional win will you experience when you avoid the 3-7 pound holiday weight gain?
  • How much better will you feel on Christmas or New Year's knowing that you didn't give in to the seasonal excess? 
  • What sort of new pattern or new standard might be taking root over these 8 weeks, and where could that take your health and fitness?  What if that new standard got you off the emotional weight gain/loss rollercoaster forever?
  • How might your confidence/esteem soar as a result of your efforts between now and the start of 2015?

$1800 is the most someone could win in cash equivalent prizes at the end of the Holiday Fitness Challenge.  Most people I know have wasted well more than $1800 on junk food this year alone.   It's less than $35 a week … just add up the vending machine, Starbucks, fast food, and stuff from the convenience store, and most of us are over that amount.

The point is, it's impossible to put a value on sound health and great fitness.  We're excited to give you a well-deserved bonus, but the real reward extends well beyond something we can measure.

Keep this in mind over the next 2 months. 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Weight Loss Versus Fat Loss

We had a few questions on Saturday at 8WC evaluations on how to qualify for the prizes.

First, anyone can win. 

To qualify for free boot camp sessions, a minimum of 6 pounds of BODY FAT lost is required.   This will put you in the running for 3 primary prizes in YOUR ABC location: 1, 2 or 5 FREE ABC camp sessions.

And everyone that loses 12 pounds of body fat by December 19th gets a FREE camp session.

The key distinction is body fat versus weight loss.  This will be determined based on how your body composition changes over the next 8 weeks. 

You want to lose body fat.  You don't want to lose muscle tissue, or water. 

The weight on your scale at home will fluctuate up or down 3-5% daily, based on hydration levels and digestive contents.  Your body fat won't fluctuation up and down daily, but will stay the same (maintenance), slowly move upward, or slowly move downward based on your nutrition.  

Click here to see the results of 2 hypothetical people:

Camper 1 – lost 12 pounds of weight on the bathroom scale:

  • Overall, this person lost 12 total pounds of something: options include body fat, muscle tissue, water, digestive contents.
  • Of the 12 pounds, only 2.22 pounds came from body fat.  :(
  • 9.8 pounds lost came from muscle tissue, water content, blood volume, etc. :(
  • In spite of the scale dropping down by 12 pounds, this is a not a good scenario.  Weight will come back on quickly, and this person actually has a less firm body under this scenario. :(

Camper 2 – lost 7 pounds of weight on the scale, but 12 pounds of body fat:

  • Overall, the scale only dropped by 7 pounds.
  • But, this person lost 12 pounds of body fat, resulting in a smaller person. :)
  • In addition, this person gained some muscle tissue, a really good thing for future fat loss, and a firm, toned body today. :)

If these were real people, they both stated at the same spot – 150 pounds with 30% body fat.  Camper 2 ended in much better shape, leaner, smaller, and healthier.  Compared to Camper 1, she has lost nearly 10 pounds MORE body fat, even though you would never know looking at the total weight loss between the two. 

Although hypothetical, we see both of these results commonly.  Weight loss versus fat loss – here's a visual.  Unfortunately, the one with 12 pounds lost on the bathroom scale is usually the more excited of the two, even though the 7 pound bathroom scale loss realized significantly better results. 

Make sure you plug your numbers into this tool, so you can track real progress over time: http://www.cincinnatifitnessbootcamp.com/ABC-Measurements.xlsx

No one wants to lose 12 pounds when that weight is 2 pounds of fat, 4 pounds of muscle, 4 pounds of water, and the final 2 pounds simply being a change in digestive contents. 

This might be crystal clear to you, or possibly a little confusing.  Let's not get hung up on these numbers, here's what you need to remember:

Following these guidelines, the results will take care of themselves. 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Recommit EVERY DAY.

Setting the goal is easy.  The hard part is the ongoing commitment to work toward it even when things aren't going your way. 

Some thoughts that can help you stay on course through the end of the year:

  • Think about your WHY every day.
  • Set a NEW standard by coming to ABC 5 days per week for the next 8 weeks.
  • Plan your nutrition in advance, every week.
  • Minimize distractions and surround yourself with people that live by high standards.
  • Don't overthink or complicate things.  Keep it simple.

Recipes and resources are here.

Your friend in fitness, Brian 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eat THIS to Lose Fat ...

When it comes to losing body fat, the key to success is in nutrition. 

It's a stumbling block for many. 

We all have our favorite foods that we love or crave, or that give us some temporary relief from stress. 

And you don't have to give up those foods. 

For those that have a goal to end the Holiday Fitness Challenge with less body fat, we need to eat foods that fill you up, keep your energy high throughout the day, and minimize your hunger/cravings.  We have to eat these foods 90% of the time. 

Over the coming 8 weeks, we want to put THESE types of foods into the body FIRST.  These are the "go-to" foods for fat loss because they do fill you up quickly, which drastically minimizes your overall calorie intake. 

That right there is the key to fat loss.  Keeping your body energized, through eating just enough food so that your body can then burn stored body fat.  Those foods are what we refer to as Fat Loss Foods. 

They aren't some weird bogus herb that only grows rampant in some far region of the world.  They are normal, everyday REAL foods that keep you going strong for all the stuff you do in life.

The simplest way to identify them is they score a 10 or lower using the Food Label Rule.  This rule makes sure you're getting sufficient fiber and protein, while not over-doing the carbs.  We gave you over 50 options of Fat Loss Foods to choose from yesterday, but you're not limited to those.  Use the label rule, and create any meals that you like. 

In a nutshell, Fat Loss foods are high in protein, water and fiber.  Those that eat these foods weight less than those that do not.  Those that eat these foods struggle far less than those that eat the typical American diet. 

I'm not saying that fat loss eating is always easy, but it doesn't have to be complicated either. 

Save or print this email, keep it close by, so you can refer to it regularly over the next 8 weeks. 

Your friend in fitness, Brian

A Goal versus a Standard ...

Consider for a moment – a goal versus a standard. 

I've set a goal to run a half marathon perhaps 10 times over the last 6 years.  The goal usually drives me to increase my focus around running.  Most of the time I've done a reasonably decent job of getting to the half marathon prepared to run at a pace that made me feel like I achieved a successful outcome.   

However, after each half marathon, once the goal was achieved, my running had less purpose, focus and importance.  Usually I'd drift about with little clarity, until I got the itch to run another event in the future.  There was always a sense of a letdown after "achieving" the goal.  Sometimes that feeling led to me setting too many half marathon event goals, to the point where I'd either hit running burnout, or perhaps end up with an overuse injury. 

Through enough of these "letdowns", ups and downs, trial and error, what I found to be more productive for me is to create a standard around my fitness in general, and running specifically.  So instead of getting super focused for 5-6 months preparing for a half marathon, then wandering somewhat aimlessly until I set another half marathon goal, now I have a standard of how I am as a runner.  Today my standard is that I run 4 days per week, regardless if I am preparing for a half marathon. 

It's a little distinction, but the payoff is significant.  My running now has fewer ups and downs.  I love running half marathons, but gone is the short-term "high" of chasing a goal, only to have a subsequent "is that all there is?" feeling once accomplished.   I'm inspired to run more consistently.  And even though I haven't run a half marathon in 18 months, I've rarely missed one of my running days. Running 4 times per week is my "standard".  It doesn't mean that I'm perfect every week, but at the same time that standard keeps me from veering too far off track.  

The essence of a standard is that it works innately, intrinsically to keep us from violating the standard. 

Goals are really helpful, as we mentioned yesterday, they give us something to strive for.  But then once we reach the destination, or the end of the goal period, often human nature kicks in and we resort back to pre-goal behaviors. 

What if in striving for our goals, we took it a step beyond and established a new standard?

Here's some possible examples:

  • Over the next 4 weeks my goal is to lose 3% body fat, and my (ultimate) standard is I live in a body with 25% body fat. 
  • I'm exercising consistently between now and the end of 2014, because my new standard is that I do some type of workout 4-5 days per week.
  • My current goal is to eat healthy, within my calorie requirements, and my standard is that I feed my body with foods that fill me up, keep my cravings in check, and energize me for all the activities and responsibilities in my life.   

Goals tend to be temporary, whereas holding ourselves to a standard is inherently more enduring.  You already have many high standards in place - what if in the process of reaching for a goal, we also created a new standard? 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Why I MUST weigh 170 pounds ...

I've received several responses to Tuesday's "Start With Why" email asking for help, or an example of how to create a "why" around the 8-week Holiday Fitness Challenge.

So let me share my "why" with you.

My goal: "I MUST weigh 170 pounds by December 31, 2014!"

Why?  What does that mean to me?

So let's start with what it doesn't mean for me. 

It doesn't mean I think I "need" to lose weight or be thinner (I'm at 175, and I fluctuate between 170 and 180, depending on where I am in my training). 

It doesn't mean that I think that I'll look more fit, or because I feel like I'll be healthier, or that I should drop 5 pounds so I can go to the beach and feel good about my appearance.  I actually feel pretty good at 175.  When I hit 180, though, an alarm bell rings in my head!  Time to get focused! 

But what 170 DOES mean for me is that it's my optimal running weight. 

The difference between 180 and 170 pounds for me is the difference of 37 seconds per mile faster over a half marathon, or finishing at 1:40:35 versus 1:49:07.  That probably doesn't mean much to many other people, but to me it means a lot.

It means that I can run faster at age 45 than I could at 41.  A lot faster. 

Why is that important to me?  Well, because somehow my brain is wired that I always want to improve, in some way.  Again, maybe it doesn't make sense to you, but is meaningful to me.  Remember, all that matters is the meaning YOU have around something, not what your best friend, boyfriend, husband or co-workers think. 

Also, running faster at 170 pounds means that I feel more fit the older I get.  I like feeling like I still have some athletic ability left in this body.  

Even though I can't stop aging, being at 170 pounds for me means that I'm optimizing my body for this stage of my life.  Ever run into a high school friend and you barely recognize them?  I don't want to be that guy my high school friends can't recognize.  And I like it when someone says, "Oh my gosh, you look great!"  Seriously, who doesn't? 

Reaching 170 pounds also means that I'm maintaining my personal standard around my health and fitness.  It means that I'm disciplined (and trust me, I'm not a super disciplined guy).  It means that I have a lot of energy for my work, and my 8 year old daughter.  It means that I feel good about my efforts in training and eating.

So there's a snapshot into some of my "whys" for reaching 170 pounds. 

Every time I've ever tried to lose weight without any real meaning behind it, it just doesn't happen for me.  I need reasons.  Compelling reasons to me. 

You might not think going from 175 to 170 is a big deal.  But they say the last 5 pounds is always the hardest, right?

What is meaningful to you around your biggest health and fitness goal?  Start With Why!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Start With Why ...

The 8 Week Fitness Challenge starts on October 20th, to give you some structure & accountability to LOOK and FEEL your best for the Holidays. 

Registration is open through Thursday of this week here: http://www.cincinnatifitnessbootcamp.com/2014-8WC.html

"Start With Why" is the first of several emails created to get you prepared for the start of next week's challenge.


Start With Why

In his groundbreaking book, "Start With Why", Simon Sinek illistrates the successful characteristic shared between Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr, Southwest Airlines, and Oprah.

Their success all started with strong, compelling reasons WHY they wanted to make a difference. 

Sinek's work shows us that we too can achieve what we want, and easier than we thought ... when we start with why

Here's what a few clients had to say recently when asked, Why are you doing the Holiday Fitness Challenge?"

  • To LOSE weight by Christmas or New Year's Eve
  • To avoid gaining weight over the holidays, and feeling like I have to start over again in January
  • Reduce stress, increase energy and feel good for the holidays

The answers to this question are endless.

For the 8-week challenge, I want to challenge you to go deeper with what you want, and ask WHY you want these things.

For example, "losing 12 pounds" doesn't mean much more than you are 12 pounds lighter.  It is what losing that weight REPRESENTS, or MEANS to you that determines your outcome. 

When we discover the REAL meaning behind our important goals, all of a sudden those goals become inspiring.  The actions to reach the goal become more doable and sustainable.

So ask yourself, "Why do I want to ____________________?"  "What does that mean to me?" Ask, "How am I, once I achieve that goal, going to be different or better off than I am now?"  What is it about achieving that outcome that means something important to me?

Start with WHY!

What is meaningful to you?  Staying fit?  Improving your fitness?  Honoring yourself?  Honoring your standard, or commitment to yourself?  Taking control over your eating?  Achieving a fitness goal around a milestone birthday?  Being mentally sharp?  Feeling strong emotionally?  Feeling confident?   Experiencing unbridled energy? Wearing a certain size?  Getting an edge on a promotion?  Being able to keep up with your kids, or having more stamina and less stress at work?

The possibilities for you are endless.  Because all that matters is what achieving your goal MEANS to YOU!  No one else matters when it comes to why something is meaningful and important to you. 

What you really want is always a layer or two or three deeper. It comes after we think about "WHY" we want it. 

Spend a little time this week to get in touch with WHY you want certain things … it will give you tremendous clarity on what's really important to you.  And it will give you the fuel to move full speed ahead in reaching a key milestone between now and the end of the year.

Why do you want to achieve ____________________?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com