As with many weight loss stories, there tends to be a period where we may or may not gain some of that weight back. For some, it’s a complete 180 degree turn and they gain it all back due to many reasons: lack of sustainability, lack of continuing motivation, traumatic event, poorly developed habits, or pizza. For me, it was a gradual gain of weight over the span of 3 years after losing 75 pounds. But first here’s a recap of my weight loss story.

July 2014, my starting weight was 210 lbs. After my post graduation trip, I gave up alcohol for 90 days straight. Lost about 20 lbs from removing alcohol and the accompanying late night foods that normally followed.

October 2014, I started P90 with Jay Flores as my coach. Went from 188 to 164.

February 2015, I completely give up alcohol FOREVER.

April 2015, I start 21 Day Fix Extreme. Finished around 154 lbs.

May 2015, I run my first OCR – Spartan Stadium Race at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

June 2015, I start P90X3. Even though it was a 90 day program, I think it took me about 4 months, because I had to repeat a few weeks from skipping workouts.

September 2015, I hit my leanest weight at 134 lbs.

By the end of 2015, I had run 3 OCR races.

In 2016, I had run 8 OCR races.

In 2017, I did 15 races and had a perfect season — all races with 100% obstacle completion. I also qualified and raced at Obstacle Course Racing World Championship in Canada.

In 2018, I did 3 races, and began doing CrossFit in August.

April 2019, I’m weighing in at 169.2 lbs.

My weight gain story isn’t as dramatic as others’, but it’s one of the most relatable. We gain a few pounds here and there and we think nothing of it. We tell ourselves, “it’s just water weight” or “I had a big meal this weekend, that’s all.” Pants get a little tighter, shirts a little more snug, but we don’t mind it too much. Then one day, we get tagged in a photo on Facebook, and it’s like WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED.

I mean I definitely noticed that I was gaining weight each time I stepped on the scale. My friends and I even have an accountability group where we check in on each other to make sure we’re eating healthy and working out, so I thought I was doing the right thing. For the last year, I tried to lean out, but my lack of consistency meant that I would also have a lack of results. I knew I was putting on muscle from doing more heavy weight lifting due to CrossFit, but at the same time, I also knew that my body fat was increasing too. I didn’t want to be another one of those guys that say, “it’s bulking season” but really, they’re just giving themselves an excuse for their current state. I would always look at them and think in my head “well I didn’t know bulking season lasted all year.” But now I’m the person in the mirror I’m saying it to.

So what was the trigger for me to kickstart this new run to lean out? After I started going to classes at CrossFit Citrine and developed that desire to want to become a coach, it clicked.

Previously, I lost weight to prove to myself that I could do it. This time, it’s to prove to others that they can do it.

Like most gyms or group based fitness, there’s the committed athletes and then there are those who are trying, but don’t fully believe either in themselves or the process. There are hundreds of books written to help someone believe in themselves, and usually it’s something that is developed intrinsically. But to develop belief in the process, one of two things needs to happen.

  1. They see the results of the process for themselves.
  2. They see the results of the process for others.

Since I can’t control the actions of other people, I decided to focus on what I can control.

And so, I set myself up similar to how I had done it in the past.

  • I took my before pictures.
  • I set up my accountability system with my friends.
  • I decided my workout routine: one hour afternoon class at CrossFit Citrine, 5 days a week with Thursday and Sunday as rest days.
  • I had coaches to help guide me to make sure I was moving well and showing up.
  • I decided to retake control of my eating habits by following a Renaissance Periodization Diet Template — to simplify it, I just ate whole unprocessed foods for 80-90% of the time (eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no added sugar).
  • I established how long I would strictly adhere to this: 12 weeks (just under 90 days).
  • And most importantly, I had a strong why: to prove to the athletes at CrossFit Citrine that if you CONSISTENTLY eat well and just show up to class 3 to 5 times a week for 1 hour, the results will follow in time.

Like many, I sit at a desk when I work. If you have just one hour of your day to workout, that’s enough. And you don’t have to be 100% perfect when eating, but you have to at least try to eat well for 80% of the time. The goal is to keep it as simple as possible so you can be consistent in showing up. Consistency is key.

I also wanted to do something that was sustainable so I don’t get burnt out which happened to me during my OCR career. I got bored of the workouts and so when my routine of exercising was broken, all the good habits that accompanied it also dwindled. It’s important that once you get the momentum going, you only need to add small pushes to keep the wheel turning. And just because these 12 weeks are over doesn’t mean I’m going to throw all these good habits away. I’m here to play the long game.

Starting April 9, 2019 and “finishing” July 2, 2019, I have gone from 169.2 to 158.0. My pants aren’t as tight anymore. My energy levels are higher. My eating habits are in check. My shirts aren’t as snug. Performance in the gym has noticeably increased. And my hair is shorter.

To end this post, I’m going to leave you with a graph, because who doesn’t like graphs.

Image result for the plateau of latent potential
We often expect progress to be linear. At the very least, we hope it will come quickly. In reality, the results of our efforts are often delayed. It is not until months or years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in a “valley of disappointment” where people feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results. However, this work was not wasted. It was simply being stored. It is not until much later that the full value of previous efforts is revealed. – from Atomic Habits

Every year, millions of people around the world tune into Super Bowl Sunday to watch the National Football Association Championship, but many only tune in for…commercials. Companies put together their greatest marketing minds and story-tellers to create a memorable emotional response from viewers. Due to the ridiculous number of viewers that watch the Super Bowl and the expensive costs of securing an ad spot, companies release their best of the best ads on this night.

With over 110 million viewers, commercials are fighting to achieve a few core goals with their ads:

  • Bringing awareness to their company or message, especially if they are new
  • Encouraging you to take action, whether it’s to buy something or visit a website
  • Dominating your attention, so you think of them when you’re shopping

In 2018, there were some amazing commercials that caused howls of laughs or heart-wrenching tears. Some honorable mentions include:

But there was one commercial that took the win for me that night — and it’s a Tide ad.

Tide made a play on utilizing familiar commercials that we’ve seen countless times as well as some of the most memorable ones from past Super Bowls. And with a quick swerve to reveal that it’s actually a Tide ad, audiences were left with a chuckle. However, the reason I chose Tide as the winner of the 2018 Super Bowl Commercials is not because of how funny it was, but because of what it did to our mindset for the rest of the night.

After their minute long ad spot, Tide sprinkled in some more 15 second ad spots throughout the night — continuing on with their theme of twists and revealing that “It’s a Tide ad.” So every single time, a new commercial would come on, I would sit there waiting for the Tide punchline or look for clean clothes to predetermine if it’s a Tide ad. Talk about dominating a viewer’s attention!

With an impact like that where you’re constantly thinking about Tide, the company easily took first place for me in terms of achieving their goal for advertising.

If you haven’t seen the main ad yet, check it out below! And leave a comment below which commercial was your favorite!

“Don’t let the opinions of others dictate your future.” We hear it ALL the time, and yet we can’t help ourselves when we get criticized or made fun of. Only when it’s too late do we get over the fact that other people’s beliefs about us don’t matter in the end.

Dr. Daniel Amen said it best.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.

We believe this to be true, but we still let the potential thoughts of others paralyze us from taking action on our desires. So what are some things that we can do to start to move us forward away from this paralyzing effect? Here are some strategies that will guide you to self-acceptance so you can achieve the goals that have been lingering on your vision board for too long.

1. Monitor Your Self-Talk

If you said out loud to someone else half of the things that you say to yourself, you’d probably get slapped across the face. We have been conditioned to criticize ourselves so strongly; we ARE our own worst critic, and that’s holding us back. Self-acceptance must be reinforced within first, before we can shape our environment to support us. By bringing awareness to what we say to ourselves, we can slowly shift our thinking to a more supportive mindset. A great resource that can help with self-talk is What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter.

2. Celebrate Your Strengths

Too often we try to develop our weaknesses to be at the level of our strengths. We’re so preoccupied with our shortcomings and obstacles that stress us out that we forget to acknowledge the accomplishments and strengths that we do have. It’s time to flip the script to generate gratitude for our abilities and skills that have got us this far.

3. Forgive Yourself

Holding on to regret is one of the big walls from self-acceptance. We must realize that what has already happened is out of our control. Understand that we did the best we could with the information we had at that time. The decisions you make now are vastly more important than the decision you made in the past. It’s in our failures, not our successes, that we learn the most about ourselves.

4. Elevate Your Support Circle

Getting out of our own heads to see things clearly will significantly help you on your path to self-acceptance. Talking through your issues with another person will help you release some of the stress. Take an inventory of your circle and remove those who reinforce negative self-talk. There’s a difference between the people who criticize you for your benefit and those who do it for theirs.

5. Focus On What You Can Control

When you feel negative emotions, see it as a separate event and not a part of you. Good things and bad things will happen to you. It’s just a matter of when. And when they do happen, understand that you can’t control what happens, but you can control your reaction and your attitude.

You’re worth it, and you deserve to be happy.

A few years ago when I was in college, I learned a concept called the Pareto Principle. Have you heard of it? Essentially it states that 80 percent of our results come from the top 20 percent of our priorities. It matters because I discovered early on that there is never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the most important things.

Ok, for those of you who are a little slower with your math (like me), let me break it down for you…

  • 80 percent of the food at a picnic is consumed by 20 percent of the people.
  • 80 percent of the questions are answered by 20 percent of the students.
  • 80 percent of the clothes in your closet are worn 20 percent of the time.
  • 80 percent of the project is done by 20 percent of the team members.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? When I learned this concept in college, it changed the way I spent my time. I learned two things fairly quickly: I was doing too many things and I was doing the wrong things. I needed to work smarter, not harder, to get where I wanted to go.

As you develop your inner leadership and start increasing your influence with others, it’s imperative that you evaluate your priorities. If you’re managing your time and cramming your days with the wrong things, you’ll stalemate, my friend. You’ll get stuck on managing instead of leading yourself well. That’s why today I’m going to give you three R’s to determine the few priorities you need in your top 20 percent.

There is never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the most important things.

~John C. Maxwell

Use these three questions to determine your top 20 percent. These three R’s will help you evaluate your priorities so that you’re successful in leading yourself and avoiding a stalemate at all cost.

  1. What’s required of me? What must I do that only I can do?
  2. What’s my return? What areas of my life give me the most joy, fulfill my passion, and fuel me?
  3. What’s rewarding to me? What areas of my life are most satisfying?

I encourage you to answer these three questions. Make a list and determine your top 10 priorities. Then circle the top two. These are the two areas that deserve 80 percent of your energy.  Reflect on those top two. Are you stuck or are you succeeding? If you want to see change in your life and really develop the leader within you, then taking charge of your time and filling it with the things that matter most to you is a critical step.

[bctt tweet=”Remember, you don’t work for your to-do list. Make your list work for you.”]

If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the toughest person to lead is ourselves.

~John C. Maxwell

1. Learn to follow before you try to lead.

Only a leader who has followed well knows how to lead others well. Good leadership requires an understanding of the world that followers live in. In contrast, leaders who have never followed well or submitted to authority tend to be prideful, unrealistic, rigid, and autocratic.

2. Develop self-discipline.

Each of us is the “king ” or “queen” of our own lives, meaning that we are ultimately responsible for our actions and decisions. To make good decisions consistently and refrainin from wrong ones, requires character and self-discipline.

3. Practice patience.

Most leaders I know struggle with impatience, including me! However, being able to look ahead doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right time to move ahead. Few worthwhile things in life come quickly. Remember that your growth is happening in a slow-cooker, not a microwave.

4. Seek accountability.

This is an important step because this is where our enemy (ourselves) really trips us up. Good leaders know they can’t trust themselves, they know their own fallibility, and they put measures in place to keep from stepping into danger. First, don’t rely on just yourself. Second, be accountable to someone worthy and reliable. Then, be willing to explain your actions and get advice from those holding you accountable, and I trust you’ll stay on track.

The WORST president in history…

According to a U.S. News & World Report article I read recently, Warren G. Harding ranks as one of the top ten worst U.S. Presidents of all time. So, naturally I looked into his life and how he led. I found some interesting red flags that contributed to this flop in leadership. I want to share them with you here because I’ve talked about the value of great mentors and how their character and their accomplishments should be worth modeling after.

[bctt tweet=”One way of knowing what to do is to look at what not to do.”]

So, here’s what I learned about President Harding. Use these as guidelines for what you should avoid as you scout out potential mentorship relationships, and as you assess your own life while seeking to mentor others.

A GOOD MENTOR IS NOT INSECURE.

Instead of selecting advisors on the basis of their competence, Harding surrounded himself with admirers to feed his need for personal affirmation. Among these followers were men who had been imprisoned, had accepted bribes, had been charged for corruption, were forced to resign, and one man who committed suicide in the wake an investigation for fraud. Putting his corrupt buddies in powerful government positions only caused him one headache after another.

Good mentors are confident in and of themselves. They know their value, and they surround themselves with others who seek to add value.

A GOOD MENTOR IS NOT A PEOPLE-PLEASER.

In aiming to please people rather than hold them accountable, Harding created a culture of suspicion. People were aware of misdealing in his administration, but they couldn’t count on him to confront the corruption of the people closest to him. When news of government corruption reached the public, the culture of suspicion expanded nationwide. Citizens were distrustful, and no amount of back-tracking could change the damage that Harding had treated passively for so long.

A good mentor speaks the truth. He or she behaves in the spotlight and in private with the utmost integrity.

THE TAKEAWAY

President Harding’s time in office got me thinking about role models—people we follow and look up to. It’s crucial to our success in life to have people ahead of us to follow, and it’s just as crucial for those leaders to have exceptional character. They must lead by example.

The people we follow must demonstrate character worthy of emulating. You see, we become like the people we admire. Jim Rohn says you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The truth is, if you’re going to grow, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your role models and their teachings. They should be worthy examples to follow.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

I encourage you today to consider the five people with whom you spend the most time. Ask yourself what kind of example they provide for you. Do they inspire and teach you or deflate you?

Or, if you don’t have five, make a list of the specific strengths or skills you want to improve to reach your potential and the areas where you know you need ongoing guidance. Then consider a few people you know or would like to know who can help you in those areas, even if you just ask them one question at a time.

 

This post was originally shared by John C. Maxwell.

You hear “no” 150,000 times before you turn 17.

Did you know, by the time the average person turns 17 years of age they hear the word “no” an average of 150,000 times, and the word “yes” an average of only 5,000 times?

If you have a teenager, then you probably think there’s good reason for that. But if you think about how that kind of constant negative feedback can affect your image, then the imbalance of “no” to “yes” can result in you feeling negative toward certain aspects of your life.

What about you? Do you believe you have value?

Are you positive about who you are, where you’ve come from, and where you’re going with your life?

I’ve been thinking lately about the idea of self-image because I see people all the time with incredible potential destroying their chances at doing something great because they look in the mirror and dislike what they see. They don’t value themselves as they are; and therefore, they cannot become who they want to be. People never out-perform their self-image.

Here are three suggestions to growing and developing a great self-image:

  1. Guard your self-talk. Tell yourself you will and can do better.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Focus only on what you can do today to improve where you are now.
  3. Move beyond your limits. Identify something you believe about yourself, determine how it’s holding you back then recreate that belief. Make sure you also create a statement to affirm that new belief and tell it to yourself over and over again.

You must value yourself if you want to add value to yourself. It’s crucial to your growth and foundational to the person you want to become. I believe you have potential and you have reasons to be proud of who you are. Start there, and then start uncovering reasons to believe in yourself.

Source: John C. Maxwell

Too many of us have had the idea that people who are in the top 1% of income earners have gotten there because they lie, cheat, steal and step on other people. This is just another false generalization and stereotype. Sure there are a few bad apples in the bunch, but this assumption that super wealthy are evil is holding many of you back from your own financial success.

We’re all familiar with the fear of failure, but we don’t talk enough about the fear of success. How do we figure out if we have this fear of success?

If you…

  • procrastinate, work slowly, hesitantly, or not at all
  • are quick to respond to social media notifications or other people’s needs and emergencies
  • make detailed plans and strategies, but never follow through on them
  • don’t complete projects that you’ve started
  • still have the same things on your vision board that were there five years ago
  • work on multiple projects at once and can’t focus deeply on one

There are also underlying fears that lead to the fear of success.

1. Fear of Selling Out

You believe that if you reach a high level of success that you will be leaving your friends and family behind. You fear hearing the phrases like “you forgot where you came from”, “you’re a sell out”, “you’ve changed”, or “I don’t even know you anymore.”

  • Truth: There will always be people who will trying to pull you back down to their level, because they realized they have no excuse for making it too. You came from the same circumstances and situation that they did, yet they’re still in the same position.
  • Action: Focus not only on your new standard of living, but also who you are a role model for.

2. Fear of the Spotlight

With a certain level of success comes a new level of notoriety and recognition. You fear that people who disagree with you and the internet trolls will come out of the woodwork to say nasty things about you.

  • Truth: It’s easier to blend in. It’s easier to not rock the boat or stand out. It’s easy to just do what everyone else is doing.
  • Action: Focus on the praise and positive feedback. You don’t need everyone’s opinions — that’s why they’re only worth “two cents.”

3. Fear of Change

You don’t want things to change, because you are comfortable with the way things are. You don’t want to enter uncharted territory. You enjoy the familiarity of life and your current routine.

  • Truth: Change is a part of life. Nothing will stay the same forever. If you aren’t growing, then you’re dying.
  • Action: Embrace the process and the challenges that life has to offer. Think of every obstacle as a way the universe is trying to spice up your life’s story. Your story is what will inspire others to live a better life.

4. Fear of Appearing Selfish or Greedy

If you are familiar with any of these phrases, you might have had these negative connotations about successful people planted in your subconscious: “rich people are greedy”, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “money is the root of all evil”, “successful people are loud and snobby”. We’ve seen it a hundred times in movies where the bad guy is some CEO of a corporation who is out to rip off the poor and make everyone else’s lives miserable.

We have this false belief where if we pursue success at a high level, that we will become this selfish or arrogant person that thinks they are better than everyone else.

  • Truth: Success will only amplify the person you already are. If you are a jerk, then you will be an even bigger jerk. If you are a giver, then you will be an even bigger giver. Plus, I’ve met more generous CEOs than the greedy CEOs that are portrayed in movies and the media.
  • Action: Self-assess what false ideas of been planted in your brain and how they got there. Usually it’s your peers or your parents that have thought you these things. Work on elevating your circle of influence to shift your perspective of successful people. You’ll realize that they are not very different from you.

Some final thoughts on pushing past this fear of success:

  • You must have a CLEAR vision of what success means to you. Will you hit a certain monetary goal? Will you help a certain number of people? Are there smaller successes along the way you can set to get to your big success?
  • Figure out what you need to let go of. This includes people that are holding you back and your self-limiting beliefs.
  • Understand that you will not be able to please everyone. There will always be someone that disagrees with you.
  • It’s time for you to take FULL responsibility for whether or not you achieve success.

It’s a losing bet to wait until you feel ready.

~Mel Robbins

Have you ever hesitated or put off a task that you KNOW is important, but you can’t seem to push forward? Maybe you believe it’s the lack of confidence or your bad habits of procrastination.

On Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness, he interviews Mel Robbins, a bestselling author and the most booked female speaker in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her speak on stage multiple times and she’s blown me away every time. I highly recommend you check out the interview below where you’ll learn:

  • How habits (good and bad) will determine your level of success
  • The significance of controlling your thoughts vs. your feelings
  • Why people continue to be stuck EVEN though they know what to do to move forward
  • The power of the 5 Second Rule and how it will help you gain confidence

In one of my latest FB lives, I discuss the post-grad slump or in other words — the quarter-life crisis. What is the quarter-life crisis?

It’s that feeling when you feel trapped or you have the “is this it?” moment in your life as you enter the “real world.” Maybe you have anxiety about your career, unemployment, or college debt. It’s when you’ve run out of things to Google, because you’ve wasted so much time at work surfing the internet. It’s when you feel like you’re 99.9% sure that all your problems will be fixed with a road trip. It’s when your part-time gig as a bartender or barista has lasted over two years.

Watch the video below to learn why it’s important to get over this slump and how to overcome this period of your life.