From Flickr User Cristian

Everyone likes you but you are desperately lonely and here’s why.

I’ve always been a pretty laid back guy.  Ask my friends.  I’m annoyingly laid back.  Like I’m so down for whatever that it’s sometimes tough to be around me.

A couple years ago, I was transitioning out of one job and into another and asked one of my mentors to kind of give me an overall eval.  Exit Interview.  What were my strengths while at that job, what were my weaknesses?

It’s tough to ask someone to evaluate your competence and character but I’m down for whatever so I asked.

His response…

“You let people walk on you and you never stand up for yourself.”

I was blown away.  It seemed like pretty harsh criticism coming from a guy that was one of my best advocates.  My first reaction was to casually defend myself in my own mind.  See that’s what I do.  I defend myself… to myself.  Which is exactly what he had just identified was the problem.

I’m so frieking laid back that I never fight anybody, on anything.  I just take it in stride.  I roll with the punches but I constantly forget one very important thing.

If all you do is role with the punches you’re gonna get knocked the heck out.

A couple years later, a different mentor of mine, helped me work through this flaw with this simple phrase.  He’d look me in the eye and say “You are a grown-ass man.”

This became his catchphrase for me and it was his subtle and humorous way of empowering me to fight back.  Throw a punch occasionally.  Stand up for myself.

Some of you may have my problem.  You fight too infrequently for far too little.  What you’ll find, is what I found.  A lot of people like you, but not many people know you.  You are the stranger, trapped and desperately lonely in the middle of a crowd.

But here’s the cold hard truth, like a stiff jab right between the eyes.  It’s not the crowd’s fault.  It’s yours.

Others of you have the opposite problem.  You fight so often, for so much that your arms are like limp noodles.  You’re like the guy at the gym that’s always hogging the heavy bag.  Unfortunately you probably also tend to practice on your friends and what you’ve  found is that though people know you really well… not very many of them like you.

You’re lonliness comes from a completely different place.  You push people away because you just can’t let the little things go.

This whole blog is obviously way over simplified but I hope you see my meaning.  Life is about balance.  If all we do is duck and dodge, we never win anything and the bad guys just keep coming.  But if we are always fighting, we are also always creating enemies.

To those of you who are like me, it’s time to stand up and be counted.  Work on that haymaker punch and make it count.  We’ve spent so much time choosing out battles that we’ve never actually stepped into the ring and touched gloves.   No time like the present.

And those of you with a sick left jab and right upper cut.  Maybe it’s time to step away from the heavy bag and give us roll-with-the-punchers a turn.  We know that you could take us, and we’d probably let you, but maybe, I don’t know, just let us have this one.

Don’t forget to like, and share.  Heck a comment wouldn’t hurt either.  Thanks so much. 

Photo by Cristian see it here.

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Interviewing Awesome: Joanna Frances

 IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!!  

Welcome to the FIRST EVER Interview with pure Awesome.  Okay maybe it’s not the first ever but it’s my first ever so I’m excited about it!!!!

If you are excited to please share this interview on social media using #InterviewingAwesome  The more people that are inspired, the better.  

 

Today on the blog, I will be interviewing my friend Joanna Frances.  Joanna and I went to High School together and we’ve kept in touch through Facebook ever since.  She even coached my through her beachbody and shakeology businesses. (I lost 40 lbs) So when I tell you that she is awesome, it’s not just because I know her or that she’s paying me to say it cause she’s not.  It’s because I’ve seen her in action and I know that what she does works.  

So let’s start this thing off.  

Joanna, Thanks so much for doing the interview with me. 

To start off can you just introduce yourself and tell us a little about you and then a little about your business?

Hello friends! My name is Joanna Frances and I am here to commit to YOU and your fitness goals. I wanted to tell you about my journey and to encourage you that living a healthy lifestyle is a journey and one to embrace!!

It was about two and a half years ago when I was approached about being in a challenge group and was asked to state MY goals. What was it that I wanted to change about my life? What is my big WHY for changing and pursuing a healthier me? These were all things that I hadn’t really thought about.

I knew that at this point in my life I had been doing just enough to get by…

*Gym a couple of times a week

*Not eating out as often but still not eating what I needed to fuel my body

But enough was enough. Not only was I only doing “just enough” physically, but mentally and emotionally I was ready for a change. I needed something for me, something that was going to push me to new levels and challenge me to be better. Once I had {decided} that this was something I needed, {committed} to the 90-day challenge group (by the way, Turbofire was my very first wkout program, Chalene is the BEST!!), I created new habits and saw results and I {succeeded}! For once in a long time, I felt like me—full of confidence, full of energy, and completely renewed!

My passion now, is to pay it forward!! I love being a coach and find such joy in encouraging others to achieve their goals and live their life as an unspoken testimony of desire and commitment!

Setting goals and accomplishing them are what I thrive for in all areas of my life. Turbofire has become something I can’t get enough of and look forward to sweating and pushing myself beyond new limits everyday with each new workout! I am learning to listen to my body and reach new heights physically and mentally!!

Being able to feel so good is WELL worth the hard work and such a blessing. I am thankful everyday that I can work that much harder and reach new break through’s as I go!

Here’s to a FIT life and one that is beyond what I ever imagined! God Bless!!

The fitness industry is crazy! It seems like there is something new out there every time you turn on the TV or scroll through Facebook.  Why did you chose to work with beach body products and what do you do to stay ahead of the game and keep your product from becoming just a fad?

This is a great question! When I was in and out of the gym working hard to “stay fit” and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it seemed as though I was running a race I’d never win. I would go for a couple of weeks and be on this high which would eventually wear off, causing me to bounce back into old habits. Not to mention, majority of my “motivation” came from the way I was feeling that day or at that particular moment.  Basing things off of my feelings made for quite a bit of inconsistency in addition to continuous disappointment. Then I was dealing with the idea that I needed to be perfect or that things had to be just so. When something would come up, or I’d “cheat’ as some would say, I would feel like a failure, resulting in me throwing in the towel completely-“Oh I’ll just restart again on Monday” would be an all too familiar phrase when things such as this would occur. In addition to battling with my own feelings about getting to the gym, I was also bouncing back and forth between eating healthy and just eating junk. I would commit to eating healthy and would begin to see results but then after a week or so, or there was a cake brought in to work or something, I would fall off the wagon and completely sabotage myself. It was horrible! My “fitness pursuit” was off and on, back and forth, and after a while I grew tired of feeling defeated.

I decided to join a challenge group and commit to finishing the 90 day program with my coach. I needed something different and I needed change! After about a week into the challenge, I knew that this was what I had been missing all along. It wasn’t that I didn’t go to the gym or try to stay active, that I didn’t eat healthy, or even that I didn’t give it my all…I was missing the support and accountability from someone!! I was doing this all on my own and expecting perfection! After completing my first program I was blown away not only at my results physically but how I was completely transformed from the inside out as a person! I had not felt that good in a long time.

Beachbody has created a system that allows you to workout from home, create life long friendships, and have the support you need! Through my challenge groups led by –ME–, you get the accountability, support and encouragement you NEED to be successful and see results! Each time I run a challenge group I keep things different by changing things up in terms of what we focus on or have discussions about, in addition to targeting different audiences who are ready for change! Until I was able to fully participate and commit to a group, I was spinning my wheels and getting no where. After having gone through a 90-day challenge myself, I realized having people to support and encourage me was the most important piece to the equation for me when it came to my success! Not to mention the convenience of being able to workout from home and not have to go anywhere (AND surpass my goals with the results I wanted).

I have personally been coached by you and I lost 40 pounds during and after the insanity program that I did with one of your challenge groups so I know that both you and the product are amazing.  What is your personal coaching philosophy and could you share an example of how you have implemented that philosophy?

My coaching philosophy is understanding that being healthy and fit is a LIFESTYLE! And lifestyles take time to reset and re-create… and that’s the beauty in it. There is no perfect way of doing it, there is no right or wrong, it is YOUR personal journey so you get to pursue this any way you want! And the blessing is that I get to be here to encourage and support you along the way! If I had never taken that leap of faith, because that’s what it was-a leap of faith in making that decision to try something new and different that I had never done before, I would more than likely still be spinning my wheels getting no where. All the while feeling down about myself and not seeing the results I wanted. My favorite phrase is “I get to have my cake AND eat it too!” because although I am only human, living a healthy life is something I am learning how to be better at every single day!

Your job is to stay positive and motivate others to push through the tough spots, conquer the plateaus, and achieve success but I’m sure that behind the scenes you struggle like anyone else with self-doubt and discouragement.  What have you found is the best way to break out of a slump? 

Absolutely! I struggle just as much as each of my challengers and face my own insecurities as well. I have found that keeping my “WHY” (this is your reason for change, your reason for wanting something different for yourself, that one thing that just consumes your heart and your desire to pursue this healthy lifestyle) close to me where I can see it DAILY!! Your reason for a healthier lifestyle and for making this change HAS to be so big and so obvious day to day that it’s almost screaming at you! So on the mirror, as your background on your phone, maybe you hang it up in your office for all to see as well–you have to look at it and really make it a part of what you are focusing on daily! Another way that I find myself pulling through the struggles is by reading through my goals. I am old fashion and LOVE to write down my goals so that I can read them over and over again and even change them as I go along…I have seen others even make vision boards and get super creative and fancy about it! I have done this, but also find that for the day to day struggles, you need something NOW and you need it to be available.  The last thing that I have found as stated before to be HUGE to my success, is to have people around me who I can call, text, have relationships with who will encourage me to do what I need to do when I just can’t do it on my own.

I know that you have new challenge groups starting all the time.  When’s the next one?  What is it?  How does it work?  And how can people get signed up if they are interested?

I run challenge groups EVERY MONTH! There is always a place for everyone regardless of their fitness level and knowledge behind what it means to start living a more healthier life! I have individuals who just want accountability, individuals who are just starting and have never even done any sort of workout program or been to the gym, and individuals who get stuck and are facing a plateau and just need something different…again that’s the beauty of these groups, they are uniquely designed to assist anyone and everyone regardless of where they are at in their fitness journey!

If you would like to be a part of a challenge group or would just like to chat and get more information, you can find me on Facebook  or Instagram and send me a private message saying “You are ready for a change-and want more details!” and we can chat! 😉 It’s that simple! I look forward to hearing from you and am beyond blessed to get the opportunity to be a part of this journey with you!

Awesome!  Thanks so much for doing this interview Joanna and good luck to you and all of those that are involved in your next challenge group.

If you are interested in learning more about beach body  or shakeology, you can check those out here and here.

You can also follow Joanna on Facebook or on Instagram.

Don’t forget to comment, subscribe, and share using #InterviewingAwesome

2 fitness secrets that my 4 year old taught me

IMG_0570The other day I was working out from home and my 4 going on 15 year old daughter, Zoe, was watching me.  (I’ve got one of those cool sets of dumbbells that allow you to adjust the weight. You know the kind, and you know you’re jealous)

After a particularly difficult set, Zoe looked at me with that questioning look on her face and said, “Um… Daddy?”  “Why do you keep… like… stopping?”

Part of me was instantly offended.  “I stopped cause it’s heavy!  You try curling 10 pounds! PER HAND!”

After I got over my initial hurt feelings, I tried to explain.

(Side Note: Yes my four year old sometimes hurts my feelings and no, your judgment doesn’t help.)

I told Zoe that sometimes we have to take breaks.  As I tried and failed to explaine this concept it became apparent to me that the idea of rest was foreign to my 4 year old.  She has unlimited energy and she never gets tired, especially at bed time.  When she wants something, she throws everything she’s got at it; physically, emotionally, and mentally.  No holds barred, no barbie left undressed!

This is great when it comes to learning new things.  She attacks new problems with vigor and determination.  Mind, body, spirit: every part of her is in it. 

There are two things that I learned from my daughter that day about fitness.

1) When you are going… GO!  Her total dedication is inspiring.  She doesn’t do anything half way, and we could all learn from that.  Though her passion is less than pleasant when she wants to stay up after bedtime there is something to be said for her all or nothing approach.  Her whole being fights rest!  She physically squirms, emotionally breaks down and cries, and mentally plans the perfect time to remember that she needs a glass of water.  It’s poetry in motion… constant motion.

But it’s not all gogurt and apple juice for my determined little girl.

2) Her energy runs out, and when it does, she crashes… hard. Don’t believe me… Check out this video of her falling asleep trying to eat a cupcake.

Zoe taught me two things about fitness but that video should have taught you two things about life.   First, my daughter is hands down, way cuter than yours and it wasn’t even close.

Second, WE ALL NEED REST!

The reality of life is that we can’t go forever.  Nobody has unlimited amounts of energy and everybody eventually runs out.  When kids run out, it’s cute and they drop their cupcakes, but when you and I run out, we drop our kids, we get sued by CPS, we lose our job, spidermonkeys take over the world, and bananas start getting traded on the stock exchange.  Don’t let bananas be traded on the stock exchange.  Learn how to rest.

The problems that you and I face are a bit more complicated than those that Zoe faces, as are the goals that we’ve set for ourselves.  For us, rest is vital and it has to be planned.

When a kid misses a nap, bad stuff happens.  Ask any young parent.  When you fail to rest, worse stuff happens. Ask your kids. Ask your spouse.

You will burn out if you go balls to the wall 24/7.  You need to take breaks.

This is true in fitness, but it’s also true in business and personal life.  We need to rest.

Now, just like anything in life, balance is important.  If we rest too much we become lazy, If we work too hard for too long, we get burnt out. 

But for a lot of us, rest has become very ineffective.  We make it to the weekend but are no less rejuvinated come monday morning.  We go on vacation only to come back more exhausted than when we left.  We sit and watch TV while we think about work and call that “rest”.

IT’S NOT! 

Rest is not a passive action.  At the gym, in between sets, I don’t sit and stare at the wall, I focus on breathing and stretch the muscles that I just worked so they will be ready for the next set.  Rest is active.

Rest involves actively turning work off but that’s only the first step.  After we actively turn work OFF we have to actively turn rest ON.  Rest is actively focusing on family or a good book or a great movie. If our mind is consumed with these things, there is no room for work or stress.

The unique ability to shut off one part of your brain and turn on another, is not a skill that you will learn overnight.  It will take some time and some patience, but as you train your mind, much like you train your body, your ability to turn off and/or turn on different parts of your brain will grow.  This will allow you to actually rest.

 What do you do, to actively rest from work?  Maybe you read, maybe you write, take your kid to the park, eat gelato and sip wine at a coffee shop called ground control?  (okay that last one is mine.)  

Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, subscribe and check back on Friday.