Got your attention?

Good.

Admittedly, I’ve written a lot about motivation recently.  I meant every word and firmly believe that motivation is a beautiful thing.  Up until this point, however, there has been a flaw that I have failed to mention.

That flaw is the title of this article.  Put another way; motivation is useless.

Bare with me, I promise it will make sense.

Think about all of those times that you’ve felt incredibly motivated.  I’m talking about those moments where you’re on top of the world and nothing can pull you back down.  Now, try hard to remember what occurred right before that moment.

Chances are pretty good that you saw, read, heard, or smelled (if this is you, I want- nay- need to know) something that caused you to decide that. “Today, I will [FILL IN THE BLANK]!!!”

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Maybe you accomplished that goal.  Maybe you started something that’s going to take some time.  Either way, that motivation spurs you into action of some sort and that is awesome.

Until, you know… it’s not.

Until that day you wake up with rain pounding your roof, a cold floor freezing your feet, and a non-existent supply of coffee.  That last one being a disaster in my case.  You know the feeling of having absolutely zero motivation, we all do.

It sucks hard.

Now you’re thinking, “Thanks for that uplifting article… said no one ever.”

I hear ya, I’m gonna fix it.

We can all agree that motivation is an awesome kick-starter.  The trick is finding ways to prolong the results of that initial motivation; luckily, that can be boiled down to one word.

Habits.  Remember those?

I saw a nifty little thing on the interwebz that, with a little modification, should help visualize what it takes to build some solid habits.

Time + Effort = Success.

Sounds good, but I’m going to add one thing:

Time + Consistent Effort = Success.

It doesn’t matter how much effort you put forth when you’re feeling motivated; certainly not in the long run.  The real effort comes when you’ve passed that initial feeling of motivational euphoria and you’ve got to dig deep to stick to your goals, values, and integrity.

When it comes to health and fitness I believe this counts twice as much.  Our society is not engineered to help you be healthy and fit; turn on the T.V. for 5 minutes and you’ll see what I mean.

The key to overcoming that is to set yourself up for success and use that initial motivation to create habits that will help you achieve your goals long after the feeling has left you.

For example, I forced myself to become a morning person so that I could wake up and get to the gym before other distractions take hold of my day.  Sometimes I despise my alarm clock but I get up because it’s become part of my routine.

Look at that equation again up there again.

Consistent action is the key.  If I only make the effort to get up early and workout once; I waste my time.  If I only eat healthy 10% of the time and binge completely the other 90%; I waste my time.

Don’t get me wrong; “consistent” in the world of us regular folks with jobs, commitments, and families definitely does not mean getting it right 100% of the time.  If you can pull that off I’m happy for you, congratulations.

I like Guinness too much.

So, if you’re like me, don’t sweat it.  In fact, if we flip around those numbers I used up above that’s some pretty solid effort.

If you can consistently make all of the right choices for your goals even 90% of the time, you are both human and pretty damn awesome.

So, go and be awesome.

-Moody

P.S. Happy New Year!

I’m gonna change things up a bit this week and let some of my friends do the talking for me.

Kind of.

In reality, I’m going to quote them and then throw my opinion into the mix. Okay, so nothing is actually changing; my bad.

First up is a pretty awesome post from my workout partner via Facebook. I had no idea he was feeling this (publicly) motivational until it popped up on my feed. I think it’s worth a read through:

“I love hearing the excuses people come up with for why they can’t at least make an effort to be active and keep in shape. “I don’t like working out, I don’t have time, don’t have money, don’t have childcare, don’t know what to do or where to start, I’m not motivated”. Today I saw a mother with her one week old baby IN TOW, crushing curls at the gym (get it girl!!). Earlier this week I spoke with a man in his 60’s who after multiple joint surgeries just took up a full combat self defense course (hell yeah!!). Earlier this year my workout partner was like, “meh…I guess I’ll shed 100lbs and get diesel”…and HE DID! (insert spartan battle cry!!) I know a woman near her 3rd trimester who does an hour of muscle endurance work every day (amazing!!). Not long ago I saw a military veteran hobble into the gym on 2 prosthetic legs as he tried to re-learn how to run on a treadmill (oorah!!..and thank you). So anyway… umm…what’s your excuse again?”

I couldn't NOT include this in here.

I couldn’t NOT include this in here.

What I like about this is that these are not hypothetical situations. These are real people, accomplishing real things, dealing with real challenges (and he also gave me a shoutout… awwwwwww) . More importantly, I routinely witness the women that he mentioned doing nothing but kick major ass in the gym. It certainly makes my occasional excuse of, “I’m tired,” seem absurd by comparison. Fellas let’s be honest, if we had to deal with being pregnant we would NOT handle it well…

“The Gym? How about I just wallow here in my self pity?”

Our excuses are self made.  We can choose to make them insurmountable obstacles or we can choose to overcome them and be stronger for it.  It’s all on us.

My next friends post comes from a different place entirely:

“Sometimes you have to ask yourself who you really want to be. It doesn’t matter who others expect you to be or where they see you going; It’s your life to live, don’t let others attempt to live it for you.”

Disclaimer: His statement may not have been aimed at what I’m about to pull the trigger on but I think he’ll be okay with my interpretation. (Dude, if you’re not… whoops.)

He really describes what I had to go through to get to this point. The first part describes how I had to sit down one day, evaluate who/what I was, evaluate who/what I want to be, and come to the realization that change needed to occur.

I’m talking brutal self criticism.

I looked at myself and said, “This does not match what I want for myself. This does not match how I view myself. This must change.”   Of course, it took me a long time to distill it down to those three sentences; sometimes I get wordy.

Hence the blog.

Moving on,everyone should take some time to look at themselves in the metaphorical mirror. I ended up feeling pretty awesome about figuring out where I wanted to go, despite the distance I knew I was going to have to travel to get there.

The second part was a pretty tough pill to swallow. Simply put, it doesn’t matter what other people expect of you.

End of story.

Don’t be fresh, I’m not talking about your boss’ expectations at work. I’m talking about the other they. The people at the gym. The people in the hallway at work. The people who hold absolutely no power over how you choose to live your life.

Many of my biggest fears used to stem from the insecurity that everyone tells you goes away once you break out of your teenage years. I’ve said it before that on some level we are all teenagers who just want people to like us. With age, all we do is get better at hiding this.

Once I got passed everyone else’s expectations, both perceived and otherwise, I was able to focus on me. It’s been a rough road. Lots of people don’t like it when we choose to cut our own path and disregard them and their expectations. The ones who don’t mind, though, those are the people we should keep in touch with.  Fortunately for me, these two guys I’ve quoted up above are just a few examples of that in my life.

Merry (belated) Christmas to everyone, Happy New Year, and all that good stuff!

-Moody

I’m a little rusty on my algebra, but what I’m trying to get across with my title is that working hard is hard work and vice versa.  If you want something you’ve got to work for it because relying on luck isn’t much of a bet.  Kind of a no brainer, right?

Short answer: nope.

I wish I could say that I always bought into the hard work mentality.  I was raised knowing what hard work was, but it took me a while to pull my head out of my ass (as so eloquently put by my Dad…again) and start applying it to my own life.  The truth is that, for the most part, I coasted through life.  Now, that’s not to say I was a societal burden; I worked jobs in high school, was a decent student, volunteered at a fire department, and hung out with friends.

All in all, I was average.  What I wasn’t, though, was ambitious.  Thankfully, who I am today is a far cry from that person.  I think that Jonathan Safran Foer sums up my thoughts best on how I feel about that period of time, “My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”

My problem was that I just expected life to happen a certain way.  Graduate high school, go to college, graduate, get job, etc.  There was no thought on my part that things would happen any other way and, when they inevitably did, I floundered.  I thoroughly believed that the sun would rise again the next day and I would keep moving inexorably towards the next phase of my life.  What happens on the day the sun rises and suddenly you’re 80?  What do you say to yourself then, when you realize that your yesterdays outnumber your tomorrows?

Hindsight being 20/20, I can point to the one thing I dislike most about who I was before.  Frankly, I actually find it to be one of the least attractive qualities anyone can possess.

A lack of ambition.

Now, I’m not defining what any one person’s ambition should be.  If you want to go to Starbucks every day and become a connoisseur of all of their offerings with a specialization in their lemon pound cakes (because you guys, YOU GUYS, they are so damn good) be my guest.  But you better attack that goal daily.

Every single day I do something, anything, to get me closer to my goals.  Even if all I manage to accomplish is one thing, it’s a successful day.

Take fitness as an example; eat right, exercise, learn something new about fitness/nutrition, try something new, etc.  Today, I’m not getting to the gym because its rest day but I am eating right and I’m also going to do a little more research into stretching because I suck pretty hard at that.

All of that = today gets a gold star.

Do something every day that brings you closer to your goal and eventually you’ll get it.

When in doubt, though, here’s my old standby :

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-Moody

It’s a funky little word that always seems to get a negative connotation.

Smoking is a bad habit.  This sleep aid is non-habit forming.  Or the one I tend to hear, “You’ve got a real habit of pissing me off.”

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Seems to me like “habits” get a pretty bad rap, good thing it doesn’t have to be that way.

We all know I peruse the interwebz regularly, but it wasn’t until I got into this whole blogging game that I started actually looking specifically for blogs to read.  Fitness/health blogs that I actually care to read on a regular basis are pretty few and far between but I have found a few.

Thesecretlifecoachofdc.wordpress.com  ← gets to gettin people, it’s one of those few I follow regularly.  Also, for my discerning local readers, that does indeed appear to be another D.C. metro local.  I don’t know them, but it’s definitely nice to see another blogger in the area that likes to write about health related stuff in a positive way.

The article concluded with something that was told to them by a former coach, “First you make a habit, then a habit makes you.”  The best part is that they weren’t talking about something negative, in that particular post, they were talking about making running a habit.

Spoiler Alert: that’s a good habit.

Now, this didn’t click in my head until a few things happened.  First a coworker made a comment when I walked by a pound cake that my boss had brought in, “Man, you are way too disciplined with the food thing.”  I disagree… sort of.

I will concede that I used to be disciplined.  When I first started out I would have had to struggle to not grab a quick slice of the latest treat and it would have required some discipline to avoid it.  Now, though, it’s just normal (see also: habit) for me not to eat junk food.  Sure I indulge every once in a while, but I would be happier if somebody brought in some pineapple.

I love me some damn pineapple.

The second thing that made it click was the short walk from my house to my car at 3:45am on my way to the gym before work.  As I looked around my street I noticed the stillness of everything, the lack of lights in windows, and the distinct lack of noise.  I realized that this is normal for me but clearly not for anyone else in my neighborhood.  It’s my morning routine (see also: habit).

Neither of these things used to be a regular aspect of my life.  I used to eat whatever was offered and the gym was an occasional excursion.  Now it’s different; I don’t think about being healthy anymore than I would think about brushing my teeth twice a day.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy to start doing healthy things on a regular basis.  There will be mistakes and setbacks but if you keep making the effort, eventually, it becomes no effort at all.

Keep going, it gets easier.

-Moody

WHAT?! TWO POSTS IN ONE WEEK?!?! ERMAHGERD!!!

At least that’s what I like to imagine my followers are saying, because it baffles me that people actually read my blog.  So, to begin with, thank you folks for internet stalking me.  It’s truly an oddly gratifying experience.

Moving on, this double feature was brought on the other day when my sister dropped a knowledge bomb on me.  I’m not all that shocked by this considering she’s the “good child”.

You know the type; went to college to learn college things, got her masters in those college things, and now teaches college things to new college going people.  A vicious cycle, if you ask me, and one much better suited to her.

Because this:

It's just not my thing.

It’s just not my thing.

Luckily, she had my fitness endeavors at the forefront of her mind when making these decisions because she majored in something related to exercise physiology and subsequently has become my main source for questions.  A decent perk if you absolutely must put up with another sibling.

She also makes killer banana bread.  Hint sis, it is Christmas time.

In my never ending quest for improvement, I started looking into tracking my caloric intake which eventually led to me to a whole bunch of articles about these things called Macros, leading to a very important question.

WTF is a macro?

The answer is that macro is short for Macro-nutrient which refers to the three main things we eat; protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  All of which are completely necessary to having a healthy human body.

Just for the sake of answering the question, there are also Micro-nutrients which refer to the stuff you might get out of a daily vitamin.  Also very necessary.

Anyways, we all know that this isn’t really my shtick.  I don’t write this blog to wax poetic about scientific things that I barely understand.  Sure, I’ve taught myself a lot about tracking my caloric/macronutrient intake and it seems to work for me, but the real purpose of this post is my sister’s aforementioned knowledge bomb, probably to her complete displeasure.

“Here’s the issue: you can number crunch all you like, however your body will act the way it naturally does regardless of all the “perfect” ratio numbers I could throw at you.”

BOOM.  KNOWLEDGE BOMB.

While out of context, you might compare me to Indiana Jones in search of the golden ratio of macro’s I should be eating (which I totally would never do because there is no way I could compare to him….unless, you know, you wanted to) I really wasn’t.  I was just asking for her help since she’s all educated and junk.

Regardless, her statement got me thinking.  There is definitely such a thing as obsessing too much over the little things when it comes to fitness.  For instance, I casually track my intake.  Seriously.  I don’t freak out when my numbers vary a bit from day to day because I’m not a figure competitor or bodybuilder, nor do I plan to be.  For that, you are welcome.

I think this over-thinking can ultimately lead to over-complication and, subsequently, not achieving your fitness goals or even giving up altogether.  I’ve mentioned in the past that people should “trust the process.”  Don’t you just love ubiquitous statements that tell you absolutely nothing?

That’s my bad, I’m gonna clear it up right now.

All you have to do to be healthy is:

  1.  Eat good/healthy food.  Whole foods.  Vegetables.  Fruit.  Skip the fast food.
  2.  Exercise.  Be active.  Workout at the gym.  Go for a walk.  Don’t sit on the couch or in your        office chair all day.
  3.  Repeat.  Keep going.  Commit to a better lifestyle.  Don’t give up or let an “off” day lead               you to quitting.

Anything that becomes more complex than that is completely unnecessary.  The KISS principle applies to being healthy.

Keep it Simple Shithead.  (In my defense, that’s how my Dad used to say it to me.  I guess you could substitute “Stupid” in there.  To each his own.)

So, trust the process and don’t over-complicate things.

Oh, and sis, seriously… the banana bread.

-Moody

You all are in for a treat because this week’s post is basically derived entirely from Jim Carrey’s movie Yes Man.  Which can mean only one thing; the gratuitous use of pictures from Jim Carrey flicks.

Prepare yourself.

alrighty

As usual, a little background is in order.  This week I accomplished a goal that I didn’t even know I wanted.  I ran the Glo Run Washington DC 5k with some friends.

It.  Was.  Awesome.

Let me first say that I don’t really enjoy running.  I have to “practice” running, if you will, because it’s not something that I’m naturally good at.  That being said, because I do it somewhat regularly, I’ve gotten decent at it.  When my buddy said he had an extra ticket for this 5k and asked if I wanted to go I said, “Sure, why not?”

This is out of character for me.  I used to be the guy that would find any reason to not do something that I either had no interest in or that, Morgan Freeman forbid, might even challenge me.

          “I can’t because…of… things.  Things I have to do that aren’t that…,”

          “You don’t know me! You don’t know my life!”

           “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!!” followed by a stomping of feet and a childlike tantrum.

All of these would be suitable methods for me to avoid things.  Lately, though, I’ve been trying a new tact.

Saying, “Yes.”  Turns out it actually works pretty well.

Shocker, I know.

I’ve been pushed, pulled, and straight up dropped out of my comfort zone so many times in the last year I can’t even count them all.  The cool thing is that it usually seems to pay off in some fashion.

In the case of the 5k, I wasn’t so sure.  Most of my training right now focuses on high intensity interval training and not distance running, so I was a little apprehensive about how I was going to do.  Not to mention that a little over a year ago I would have scoffed at the very idea of running a single mile, let alone 3.1.

The .1 matters people… don’t judge me.

So, at the race I started off slow to let my muscles warm up.  I was feeling pretty good, “This ain’t so bad,” I’m thinking.  Then I look around and I have completely left my group behind… or have they left me behind?!  Nope, they’re back there taking selfies (you know who you are, and you know it’s true).  Then I start to realize I’m passing people and—what is this black magic?!—I’m not getting tired?!

BLASPHEMY!

Because I was going to pass up an opportunity to put Morgan Freeman in my blog? Nay.

They said I couldn’t fit Morgan Freeman into my blog twice in one post.  BOOM.

Or…. Not?

Maybe, my work has been paying off.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m actually in shape.

Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, I’ve finished with a time of 26:13.  That ain’t lightning, I know that, but for me to have run even one sub 9 minute mile a year ago would have been nothing less than a pipe dream.  I had just run 3.1.  YES, 3 POINT 1.

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The takeaway here is that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to achieve this if I had said no.  It was an impulse decision that took two seconds to make and, had I gone the other way, it could have been a missed opportunity.  I wouldn’t be learning what I’m learning in the gym if I told my buddy, “Nope, I’ve never done that so I don’t want to try.”   I wouldn’t be where I’m at now if I hadn’t said, “Yeah, I’ll make a change and I’ll go 100%.”

I mentioned in the last post that I seem to jump into things with both feet, occasionally without looking; I think I should clarify that this is a newly learned behavior.  Certainly, more measured approaches have their time and place, but I’ve learned that sometimes you’ve just gotta go with your gut, take the leap, and see what happens.

Don’t be afraid to jump.

-Moody

 

As with most things I write about, it’s a fickle beast.  One day you’re on top of the world; the next, you’re not leaving bed because… well, this:

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We’ve all been there.

I think it’s pretty easy and common for people to get to a point where they feel like they’re stagnating.  Sometimes one rough day turns into two, then three, and next thing you know it you’ve spent a whole week just not meeting the mark.  The trouble starts not when you have an off day, that happens to everyone; it starts when you begin to question why you’re even bothering.

It would be easy to stop, wouldn’t it?  It would be better to not have to think about what type and how much food you’re eating.  It would be easier to just eat whatever your friends are having instead of going your own way.  It would be nice to not take time out of your already busy day to workout.  Right?

Wrong.

Taking a break from any of these things isn’t the issue.  I’ve written about doing just that, so we know that there are plenty of ways to recharge the batteries.  The issue here is when you’ve done those things, you’ve taken the breaks, you’ve changed things up, and now you’re starting to think it’s not worth the effort.

To be honest, I’m lucky that I haven’t gotten to that point or even approached it with my fitness goals.  I’ve seen people who have though; I’m sure everyone has.   I’ve certainly gotten to that point with other parts of my life in the past.

As per my normal behavior, I’m gonna be a little blunt.

Don’t do that shit.

Don’t.

Do not sit there and tell yourself you’re ready to quit.  You just think you want to quit, but you haven’t really thought it through.  Have you actually done everything you can to succeed at your goal?  Honestly, have you tried everything?  You think long enough and I’m pretty sure you’ll find another way.

I figured out during a conversation the other night that the reason I’ve succeeded at the things I have, and failed utterly at others, all comes down to whether or not I was willing to accept any other outcome.  It comes back to a few words I’ve already written about, Intensity and Focus.

Not to go full hippy on here, but a little self visualization can go a long way.  If you can see yourself at the finish line before you even get started you can’t lose.  It used to go against my very nature to jump in with both feet, but then I did it and it worked.

As for this fitness goal of mine, somebody once called what I’m doing a “fitness kick”.  I don’t really know for sure, but that sounds an awful lot like something that doesn’t last; I’ve kind of gotten over that stage of my life at this point.  What I do know, is that even if I wanted to quit, I couldn’t do it.  I’ve come too far to quit.  I’ve invested too much of myself in this to just give it up.

So, to paraphrase what turned into a rant (sorry, except not really); when you’re ready to quit, think about how far you’ve already come.  Do you really want to give all of that up?

-Moody

In the not so distant past, I wrote an article about listening to your body.  I, being completely biased, think it’s pretty good and has some decent info.

So I promptly ignored it.

I didn’t ignore what my body needed nutritionally; nay, t’was not nearly so subtle.  My body chose to alert me to my stupidity through pain, and lots of it.

Luckily it wasn’t an injury, it was due to me changing up my routine (again).  I started working out with another friend and our plan for that week essentially scorched all of the accessory muscles that I had been ignoring.  These muscles do not take scorn lightly, but I figured, “Meh, I’ll be fine.  Push forward”.

I was wrong (again), which is a trend of mine.

I woke up one day in a state of pure fire the likes of which can only be compared to that of ten thousand burning suns.  All.  Over.  My.  Body.

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I didn’t do a damn thing that day.  On one side, this was okay because it was my scheduled rest day.  On the other however, it could have been avoided.  I know myself well enough to know that it would have taken an injury for me to rest before my rest day, which is stupid.  I also know that, after my two rest days, I felt absolutely fine.  The problem is that I was pushing the outside edge of the envelope.

I like pushing myself, its part of why I’ve succeeded and, I think, a necessity for anyone to be successful at anything.  I also like knowing my limits; this gave me some new insight as to what those are and what things I need to work on.

The lesson I’m walking away with, though, is that I came really close to pushing it a bit too far and hurting myself, which would have been a huge setback for me.

Lots of people, including myself, will tell you that your mind will give out long before your body does.  Even believing that, there is a fine line between when you should push yourself because you are capable of more and when you should rest because your body needs time to recover.

For most people who are hitting the gym 3-4 times a week, this isn’t going to be an issue.  If you are just starting out and haven’t done much in the way of exercise, you’re going to feel those initial workouts a little bit more than someone who has been at it for a while.

I wish I had some definite piece of advice for when you should push yourself versus when you should rest, but I don’t.  All I can do is leave you with the ubiquitous, “Listen To Your Body” mantra.

And hope that you learn from my mistakes (again).

-Moody

It’s not as hard as it sounds, but it seems like lots of people I know are struggling with this right now.

Recently, I posted a progress pic to Facebook and I shall shamelessly put it here as well.  No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks…that is, indeed, a mirror selfie.

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DON’T JUDGE ME.  Mostly because I kind of loathe myself for stooping so low ( and I may have made fun of my own mother for posting a selfie…again, sorry Mom).  As usual, I digress.

After I posted it, my kickass family and friends gave me all the wonderful support that I have come to expect from them because they are awesome.  What I started running into, generally from people I saw in person, was, “Man, I wish I had half the strength you do.  I’d love to get in shape,” or some derivative thereof.  This was followed by a, “I don’t know how you do it,” type statement.

I wasn’t sure what to say to this, at least at first.  I mean, I knew they weren’t talking about what I literally did to get in shape.  Most of them had seen me eating piles of spinach and chicken at some point.  They were talking about how I maintained the self control necessary to see results.

The answer is twofold: Baby Steps and Focus.

The first part is the easiest to explain.  I took every day as it came.  I didn’t worry about the next day; I concentrated on each challenge as it came my way.  I mentioned in the first post that, once I started seeing results, it became easier to keep on going.  I became my own perpetual motivation machine by the mere realization of, “Holy hell, this is working.”

Stick it out for 2-3 weeks, give yourself an opportunity to see results, and you will succeed.

That’s the easy part… sort of.  To achieve that initial push, and continued success, you need to focus.  You need willpower.  I’m not trying to go Mr. Miyagi on you, but you need self discipline.

Luckily, I firmly believe that willpower is a muscle; all you have to do is exercise it.  Which, brings us back to the baby steps thing.

I know, my thought processes are whack.  Bear with me.

Start making small changes.  For your next meal, instead of fast food, go hit the grocery store and get a salad.  The next time you go shopping, knock one of the unhealthier items you always buy off of your list and replace it with a healthier alternative.  Do this every time you go to the store and, soon, you’ve revamped your entire shopping list.  Go for a 10 minute walk tonight, tomorrow do 15, and so on.  Make small changes that will build on themselves to improve your life.

This is gonna sound weird coming from me, and I tell a surprising number of people this; don’t do what I did.  Not unless it’s going to fit the way you live and want to live.  I, admittedly, went to the extreme in my lifestyle changes to achieve my goals.  Not everyone can do that, and that’s okay.  That doesn’t make me better than anyone else who’s trying to become healthier.  I made the changes I did because I knew that I was cutting my life in half, at the very least, by they choices that I had been making.  That being said, don’t sell yourself short, I wasn’t positive I could pull off what I did when I started either.  A huge lesson I’ve come to learn; you’re capable of more than you know.

I guess I’ll come back to what seems to be the running them of this blog; do what’s right for you.  Trust the process, make baby steps, and focus.

Results will follow.

-Moody

In the interest of full disclosure; I’ve been desperately searching for something to write about, and this post has proven to be a most elusive beast.  I think, though, that it’s a nice change of pace.

First of all, I have nothing I am currently struggling with in my quest to be fit and healthy.  I’m not dealing with people who are being kind of douchey about me being healthy.   I’m not even dealing with some existential issue that defies all logic (like some people still think that Han didn’t shoot first).

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I came to a pretty awesome conclusion, though; that’s okay.

Not every day has to be a struggle.  We don’t have to be working through some minor crisis on the way to our goals every step of the way.  So this first little blurb is all about taking the good days with the bad.

If you had a kickass day at the gym, hold your head high and be proud of it.  If you ate all of the healthy stuff you needed to eat, be happy about it.  If you managed to say, “NO” to your boss’ wife’s delicious double chocolate brownies with nuts in them and those little cream cheese swirls; go ahead and cry a little bit, but do it with a smile.

Carry that confidence into the rest of your day.  Yes, this was my gratuitous segue into a post about confidence.

I didn’t used to be confident.  Hell, sometimes I’m the exact opposite.

“Heyyy hot girl with hot friends, wanna see my sweet room at my parents house?  Do you like Xbox?”

See? It comes naturally.

What I started doing, though without realizing it, was faking it until I made it.  There’s a sweet TED Talk I’ve posted below about this; so if you want to avoid my mindless rants then, please, skip ahead.

If you’re still here, however, I’ll attempt to boil down my main takeaway.

I had not seen this TED Talk until very recently and it made me realize what I had done to build my confidence.  No, I didn’t take 2 minutes a day to pose in some power stance (I’m totally not attempting to type this in a power stance at this very moment.)

Seriously, I’m not.

Mostly.

What I did was start acting like I belonged wherever I was.  It could’ve been school, work, the bar, the gym, the sidewalk, etc.  Regardless, wherever I was at I made an effort to simply belong there.  So I walked confidently, made eye contact, greeted people, and kept on moving.

Eventually I not only made it, but as Amy Cuddy mentions in the video, I became it.  That confidence somehow became a part of who I am.  Now, again, that is not to say that I’m a cocky bastard.  We all know there is a fine line between confidence and cocky, don’t mess with that line.  There are certainly days and situations where I’ve got to put back on the “fake it” mentality and hope for the best.

Ladies, I’m looking at you.

I am saying, though, that it doesn’t matter where you are in life or maybe even your fitness journey; confidence is half the battle.  Own wherever you are and whatever you’re doing; the results will follow.

Be sure to check out the video, it’s worth it.

-Moody