This morning I spoke with this twenty-something year old Ethiopian guy who moved here to pursue the American dream. You know the one: money, kids, cars, a big house – am I forgetting anything? Well, he explained to me how his family is considered wealthy by Ethiopian standards, with a nice house and a live-in servant for $20/month (yes, $20), and how he’s basically had to “start from scratch” since arriving two years ago. Because regardless of his perceived wealthy past, he’s had to start from square one here in the United States. Just like many people and their fitness programs. If you haven’t worked out in a really long time, well, you’ll just have to start from scratch. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, why not make it a good thing! Like with my Ethiopian friend – who has his own apartment, works a full time job and goes to technical college – starting over doesn’t have to be feared. Keep it simple and keep it short, as in 1% of your day. Embrace the challenge and have fun with your new beginning. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
When you’re a base-runner it’s always best to get a good lead so you’re in a better position to advance. And just like in any sport, and in life, it’s always best to be well-conditioned and well-prepared to achieve whatever advantage you can over the opposition. So let’s consider Mother Nature and Father Time the pitcher and the catcher, and let’s say you’re on base. Why not get a good lead by starting your new daily fitness program today, if you haven’t started one already? Because with all the punishing weather out there it’s easy to just curl up in a ball and chill out on the couch for 12 hours. Well, that sounds relaxing, but don’t forget to get your workout in, even if you stretch out and work your abs for 15 minutes. Hint: “Thursday’s 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout”. Plus, you’ll get a head start on your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get in shape or start sculpting that bikini body for next summer. So take advantage of Mother Nature and Father Time and get started today. And don’t forget the sugar-free hot chocolate! R
I spoke with my sister yesterday after I received her beautiful pictures of my nieces and nephews, including my brother’s children. This holiday season my family is 3,000 miles away, but for sure I’m there in spirit. And keeping with that holiday spirit, my sister told me she just started my fat burning workouts and intends to lose 12 pounds. The key word here – intends – as opposed to hopes. Because with anything you do that requires action, it’s better to set your intentions and make it happen than to hope for something good to happen. She also told me the first two days her legs were so tired she couldn’t go for her 2 mile walk – which she also just started. I told her after a week or so that muscle fatigue will get better and she’ll be jogging those miles in no time. This Ode’s for you sis…
Burn Fat Burn
Sometimes the path seems filled with pain,
but the only thing that hurts is your ego in vain.
Who says you’ll find success by pushing yourself daily,
when the results seem as far as the comet Halley.
But wait, you say, there’s a simple solution,
because reasons and excuses are just an illusion.
So keep on trucking with that positive attitude,
with fat burning workouts there’s no room for platitude.
Always set your intentions and just let’em fly,
no judgment, no worries, to your old ways goodbye!
Merry Christmas Everyone – R
This morning I met this fifty-something gal in the gym with a great body who’s always there. The first thing I asked her was if she worked out everyday. She said yes. Then I said, 5 days as week, and she gave me this look like are you crazy, and emphatically says, “No, 7 days”. Then along comes her fifty-something guy friend who meekly says, “ahhhhh, I won’t be here tomorrow so Merry Christmas”. She then gives him the exact look she gave me and asks why not. The man hesitates and says he won’t be there because he has to baby-sit his grandkids. So she proclaims, “At 5 o’clock in the morning, oh come on Johnny, you better be here!” Now what are friends for, right? Just that. To care about you, to support you, to motivate you, and to make you accountable when things get hard – like working out everyday at 5am. I totally understand why some people have more success with a fitness or weight loss program when they have a partner, or network of like-minded, mutually supportive individuals to help them through the tough times. So if you’re that type of person who benefits from the extra push from your friends, then embrace it and find your workout partner today! And get started with your daily fitness program – whatever it may be. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
In my opinion, this is the most important lifestyle and yoga principle that everyone should embrace. And I truly dislike that word should because it implies that one is projecting their personal standards and opinions upon another. But in this case it applies. Because whether or not you did or didn’t do something, like shirking a responsibility, or not working out, or partying too much, or being mean to your parents or your dog, well, forget about it and don’t judge yourself for doing it. It’s in the past and every new moment gives you a new beginning. No reason to waste energy, effort and feelings on something you can’t change. Especially when it comes to other people. Because for sure we can’t change what others do or say. And why should we or even want to? That’s what makes life interesting. The uniqueness of people we meet who impact our lives and help us evolve in whatever subtle or major way. All this coming from a guy who was once the life of the party who also judged. Believe me, anyone can change at any given moment, if you really want to. Or like my father used to say to me in baseball, “you gotta wanna bunt”. So let go of any judgment you may have for anything you did today or this holiday season. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
I was speaking with a friend today about how most people are sick and tired of the same old thing. That is to say, the state of our economy, the 12.5% unemployment rate in California, the depressed real estate markets throughout the country, how it’s more difficult to make the same amount of money for the same amount of work (or more), how going to a gym or yoga studio has become so expensive that it’s prohibitive for most of his twenty-something peers – $15 for a gym workout and $25 for a drop-in yoga class in his neighborhood, and finally, how bad overindulging with food and alcohol at holiday parties – or anytime for that matter – and not working out can make you feel. But really, who isn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired? There’s a new year coming, it’s time to reflect, refuel and re-focus, and it’s time to get your mind and your body in the best possible condition via the simplest and most affordable way. So forget about being sick and tired and get with a 15 minute fat burning daily fitness program today! It’ll make that same old same old seem much much better. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
Everyone knows the feeling when the weather’s got you down and you’re ‘a little under the weather’ right? Well how about turning the tables on today’s bad weather and telling yourself exactly the opposite – that you’re a little above the weather! Because that weather malaise is just a temporary mindset you can enthusiastically change. I know for most of you Mother Nature has been rather frigid and snowy and all around nasty, but for those of us in LA it feels like we should be boarding Noah’s Arc right about now. And since we’re relatively spoiled with our clear blue sunny skies – well, who says you can’t move to LA – it’s especially easy to feel under the weather and fall off your daily routine. Don’t do it. Or if you do, just make it one day only, not two or three in a row. Because while everyone else around you feels a bit more weather-like with each passing day, you’ll be the bright a cheerful one who got your workout in. For sure you’ll feel better and for sure your positive energy will radiantly affect everyone around you. And maybe you’ll even motivate your loved ones to do the same, so they can bask in the sunshine of their own positive energy. So get your 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
After my workout this morning I ran into a friend who just started doing my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts. I would describe this twenty-something gal as rather solid, with about 25 pounds excess weight. She told me she started with Tuesday’s Workout – which happens to be one of the more challenging ones – and that she was “sore in a good way”. For someone who doesn’t workout much – or at all – being sore was certainly a good thing. It means the workouts are affecting her muscles in a fatiguingly positive way, opening them up to receive new energy and nutrients, thus making them stronger and firmer. It’s the sore in a good way feeling that burns fat and conditions the muscles for future workouts, allowing that soreness to diminish over time. Because that soreness does go away folks. Although it may return from time to time based on where your body is on any given day – a topic for a future blog – your muscles become accustomed to the workouts and respond more amicably, i.e., no soreness. So don’t get worried or discouraged, and certainly don’t stop working out just because of a little discomfort. Always remember: pain is bad, soreness is good. Enjoy the good with the bad and get your workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
Everybody knows what comes next, right? I mean, how many times have you heard your best friend or someone you just met say, “Look, you don’t understand”, immediately followed by some reason or another why they’re in that predicament or why they can’t do something. More importantly, when was the last time you said this? Because whatever reason that follows, and I’m sure it’s a good one, is totally irrelevant. If you just change your mindset and start thinking of solutions and not reasons for the problems, you’ll be much better off. And soon you’ll be in a much better place. Case in point: Last night I met this thirty-something gal who said she lived with her boyfriend for the past 3 years and was not going to marry him because he was the wrong guy. I asked, why don’t you just be honest with yourself – and with him – and separate amicably so you can both move on? Because with relationships, I said, 3 years becomes 5, then 5 becomes 7, then 7 becomes 10. And who wants to spend TEN years with the wrong guy. Pretty stupid if you ask me. So what does she say, look, you don’t understand. We have a house and two cats together”. And I said, well, why not have him buy you out of the house, or you buy him out with an investment partner, let’s say, and you each get a cat. She just looked at me with a blank stare. Then I smiled and left thinking, it takes courage to make what anyone might consider as bold and risky moves, but they’re really not. Keep it simple and honest and stay in the present. And don’t forget to get your workout in. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
The cycle of domestic violence occurs when abuse or victimization is passed down from one generation to the next. More specifically, it’s when children learn destructive behaviors from their parents, and then carry these acceptable behaviors with them into their lives. It must be broken. Case in point: Last night a friend called me to talk about his 22 year-old neighbor who was being verbally accosted by her drunken boyfriend. He said the screaming and shouting from the jackass was so bad that he was concerned for her safety and wasn’t sure what to do. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, he said it was a regular event. He also said that when he passes the young gal in the hallway, he feels her insecurity and lack of self-confidence as she always looks away, avoiding any type of eye contact or conversation. Why does she put up with that crap, and what can he do to help her gain the self-confidence to get rid of the bum, my friend asks? Breaking the cycle of violence begins with re-building one’s self-worth and turning acceptable behaviors into non-acceptable behaviors. Like choosing to respect oneself everyday by making healthy choices and by constantly strengthening your body and your mind. Because it’s all about the choices we make. And each good choice leads to another good choice, and so on and so on. So respect yourself and make the healthy choice. Because anything is possible…if you believe you can.