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10 Success Strategies to Transform Your Body

10 Success Strategies to Transform Your Body

Make a conscious decision to change!

Why do so many people, who say they want to change, remain the same, year after year? I will tell you why. It is because they overlook the essential first step – the step which begins to close the gap between knowing and doing. That step is… making a conscious decision to make a change.

I am not talking about making ambiguous claims like, “Yeah… this year I’m gonna get in shape.” Most people tell themselves this is one of their objectives every month. But how many people are truly moving in that direction? Unfortunately , very few.

And the reason? Because it is one thing to just talk about changing and it is a completely different thing to decide to actually do it. You see, when you make a conscious decision to make a change, your mind ‘awakens’ and starts searching for a way. You begin to develop a feeling – a deeply rooted need to make it happen. That sensation is what many people call ‘desire’. Before you know it, you will crave that change all day and night – the desire becomes a ‘burning desire’.

Fortunately, we all have desire. We may have buried it. But it is there. You have to let your desire propel you toward the goals you have decided to achieve. Do not let people, your surroundings, or circumstances convince you that you really do not have desire. When you decide you are not going to go on living the way you are living, when you decide the way things were last year is not the way there are going to be in this, you have taken the first step.

Find a reason!

“So I need to make a decision to do something here, to get off my butt and start moving. And keep moving. That is fine, but how do I do it?” Well, you just have to find a reason to change. I will say it again. Find a reason.

It is one thing to tell yourself you would like to get fit this year. It is a whole ‘nother matter to think of the most dreadful thing imaginable heppening if you do not get control of your body and your life, pronto! It is having a reason that fuels the intense desire and power (the inspiration, as I call it) for getting started and for following through. There is a world of difference between simply wanting something and having to have it.

Please made sure you clearly identify your reason for deciding to change, write it down, and read it every morning and night. Be particular. I know that you know deep down inside you have a reason, actually several reasons – good reasons – to decide to change.

Honestly “see yourself”!

Since we ‘see ourselves’ every day, we often do not notice if we are ‘slipping’. If we are not careful, before long, the image we have of ourselves in our minds will not be in sync with reality. What I suggest you do is have someone take a photo of you in a pair of shorts or swimwear. You may find this embarrassing, but trust me, it is worth it.

Now take other photos every month, and put them side by side in your bedroom, on your refrigerator door… someplace where you will see them frequently. This is help you honestly see yourself.

When you look at your photos, ask yourself if you are really satisfied with what you see and feel. How do you feel inside? How do you really feel about yourself? Are you confident, energetic, and proud? Or do you now honestly feel ever more insprited to follow through on your decision to change? What are the pros and cons of continuing on in the same direction you are going? Would you like to feel better about yourself and know you are creating a brighter future? Remember, right now you are the youngest you will ever be, and time waits for no one!

Set specific Goals!

You might be thinking: “I have heard about this goal setting mumbo jumbo before. It can’t possibly work. If it were so easy, everyone would do it.” Well listen, I really do not know what you might have heard before. But I do know this is powerful stuff. And if you find those echoes of skepticism creeping in and starting to chop away at these ideas already, you might want to take a minute and ask yourself where that is coming from. Change is about being open. It is about releasing old ideas to make room for new ones. It is about creating a better future for yourself. It is not about closing your mind. And it is certainly not about being cynical and negative.

Setting goals is vitally important to your success. However, I have discovered many people are not clear about what goals are – they do not know the difference between goals and dreams. It is important to clarify this – dreams are things you hope for – things you enjoy thinking about but really do not know when or if they will happen. Goals, on the other hand, are specfic things you have decided you need to accomplish within a clearly defined period of time. For example, the statement ‘Someday I am going to get in shape…” is a dream. However, if you declare that, “Within 12 weeks, I will lose 20 pounds of fat and gain 10 pound of muscle,” you are setting a goal.

This is interesting: when you accomplish your goals, you are reqarded with a tremendous boost of positive energy, which allows you to set and achieve ever grander goals! So, once you get this process started by achieving your first goal, you will feel it, and you will allo f the suddent start to create many exciting dreams for your life. That creates optimism and hope, which both feel pretty darn good to me! When I am optimistic, I can’t help but focus on the future. It is just so exciting, I can’t wait to get there!

The bad news is, when you don’t set and achieve specific goals, you can’t create greater dreams, and when you stop dreaming, you don’t have anything to look forward to, so you don’t look forward, you look down or back… you lose hope.

Here is a tip on how to set goals: find an example – someone who has achieved what you want to accomplish with your body and/or life – and set your goals based on that. Find someone who was in your present condition, or thereabouts, and take a long look at what he or she was able to achieve. The fact that they have done it is proof you can too.

A simple, yet very powerful practice is to be sure that you write down your goals. It works! Here’s proof: back in 1953, a Harvard University study showed that 3% of the students graduating that year actually wrote down their specific career goals. Twenty years later, a team of researchers interviewed the class of 1953, and found that the 3% who had written down their goals were worth more financially than the other 97% combined. (Make no mistake, writing down goals pays off, big time!)

Honor self-promises!

When you set goals, what you are really doing is making promises – not to me, your family, or your friends, but to yourself. The promises we make to ourselves, although they are the ‘easiest’ to break, are by far the most important ones to honor. You see, the very essence of confidence is self trust.

Would you trust anyone who repeatedly lied to you? Someone who broke the rules of the game, again and again? Of course you would not? So, if you have developed a pattern of not honoring self promises, this is a great time to make a change. If you can’t honor, trust, and depend on yourself, well that may be the root of a lot of the challenges in your life – a lot more than you realize.

The thing about lying to ourselves is we never, never get away with it. We may fool our conscious mind into ignoring or not admitting what we are doing, but deep down, in the place where all truth resides for each of us, in the place where we know and see ourselves as we really are – in that place, we are causing pain and damage every time we are not totally honest with ourselves. Lie to yourself often enough and your self trust – your confidence – will fade away. Into that emptiness will seep uncertainty, anxiety, and a whole lot of complex crapola you do not even want to know about.

But you can change that. It is a lot easier to keep the promises we make to ourselves than it is to break them. And keeping those promises unleashes enormous energy and potential – that potential emptiness created by self-deception can also be filled with strength, certainty, and yes confidence if you honor self-promises. (We have all heard the phrase, “The truth shall set you free.” Well, nowhere is that more true than when we apply it to our relationship with ourselves.) Better yet” “To thine own self be true.”

Focus on your future vision!

Unfortunately, most people will never delovep a strong future vision for their lives. They will never admit to themselves, or anyone else, what their dreams really are, and they won’t put a deadline on those dreams and transform them into goals. Thus, most people will never even begin to harness their true potential. What they don’t realize is if they are not focused on their futures – if they are not consciously creating their lives – ten they are living accidentally, not intentionally. They are merely reacting to life.

When you have faith in your future vision, it creates resilience: when things do not go your way, you will be able to pick yourself up because your future vision will be stronger than your setbacks. Doing the particular things you need to do to move toward that future vision will become automatic, a habit. It is close to the certainty of religious faith – the comforting, assuring feeling that whatever happens will happen, but in the end, you will succeed.

It helps me to surround myself with photos and reminders which keep my future vision and goals on my mind. This is another simple yet powerful strategy.

Remember that everything we experience in the ‘real world’ is merely an external manifestation of what has already happened in your mind. That is where the relatively well known maxim, “If your mind can conceive it, you can achieve it” comes from. And it is true. If your mind , you see, anything is possible. So nourish your mind with postivie uplifting images… it’s worked wonders for me!

Face your fears!

Most people are afraid to change. They’re afraid to face the uncertainty which we all feel when we leave our ‘comfort zones.’ Some afraid of failing, and others, believe it or not, are afraid of succeeding. What is sad is most people do not realize they have become paralyzed by their fears. Millions of people with great potential have been ruined and their entire lives wasted because they do not face their fears head on.

You may recognize people who are afraid and hiding out in their comfort zones by their constant complaining about people who are moving forward. “See that guy over there? I’d have a great physique too if I worked out,” (Well then, why don’t you do it instead of just talking about it?) Rationalization and excuses have become the only form of “exercise” many people get.

Remember this: if you move away from your fears, they will eventually dominate your life. But if you move toward your fears and face them head on, they get smaller and smaller.

Make mistakes fast!

One of the things I have noticed is, people who try to get in shape or make another change, don’t measure their progress often enough. This is not good. I call this “failing in slow motion.” Some people do not notice what is not working until months or even years have been squandered. Then they look back and realize their error – they did not notice their mistakes sooner!

If you want to succeed fast, you need to be willing to make mistakes fast. And you must learn from your mistakes.

Don’t be one of those people who do exactly the same things in the coming months that did not work in the past and expect a different result. If you have not achieved the level of success you want, do not be so naïve as to think that if you make the same mistakes in the future as you did in the past, you will get a different result. If you want different results, you must allow yourself the opportunity to learn fast and take a different approach.

So, evaluate your progress at least once a month by measuring your bodyfar percentage and having a photo taken. Remember to celebrate your progress and also look for opportunities to do even better in the future. If you are not making progress, make a change, and keep changing until you start getting the results you want.

Take action!

Please, don’t be afraid of change! Don’t do what so many good people do, which is “accidently” smother their true potential by clinging to what “seems” comfortable. Success is created by action. People who get results keep moving, even if they are a little fearful! They do not quit. Sure, there are always some forms on inconvenience and stress in your life that seem like they might be obstacles that would keep you from taking action. Your challenge is to succeed in spite of all this!

Don’t wait until you feel “ready” to take on a new challenge. Don’t fool yourself into believing now is just “too soon”. If you wait until everything is “perfect” in your life before you take action, you will be waiting forever! The time to do it is now.

The longer you wait before you take action, the more you delay the rewards that are rightfully yours. “Waiting” to change is not enough. Do something – please do something!

Don’t give up!

At times it might seem as if your goals are not attainable, in spite of your best efforts. That is normal – we all feel like that sometimes. In every challenge, there will come a time when the going gets tough! You have to break through these barriers! When you do, you will discover they were blessings in disguise. You see, we become stronger because of them!

Remember that as long as you are trying, you have not failed! When it feels like you have given it your best and it is time to let go, just keep holding on. Keep pushing like your life depends on it – it just might. Prove to yourself and others that you are a winner (winners finish what they start)! Honor your self promise! Focus on your reason for deciding to make a change and please do not give up on yourself! No matter what! You deserve to succeed! And when you do, you will feel a powerful, peaceful sense of pride and joy which no one can ever take away!

5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes

5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes

Too Much Fat & Sugar

The twin demons of nutrition. Fat is calorically the densest of all nutrients, with nine calories per gram. Fat is hard to digest and is the body’s preferred storage material. Though a certain amount of fat is needed for brain and other bodily functions, the little that’s required is easily acquired through regular low fat eating.

Excess sugar is easily converted to fat once in the body. Buyer beware: A food may be advertised as low fat and still be loaded with sugar. Taken in excess, this sugar can be quickly converted to fat. Quite a few a few of the sports drinks and nutritional sports bars are loaded with sugar. Limit fat intake to roughly 15% of your total caloric consumption.

Not Drinking Enough Water

As we know, the body is 67% water, and we should drink lots of water throughout the day. Water courses throughout the body’s plumbing; downing copious amounts throughout the day keeps the pipes clean as chrome. So flush the system continually and regularly, regenerating muscle cells through water replenishment. Drink 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day.

Lacking Positive Nitrogen Balance

Positive nitrogen balance is the physiological state in which muscular growth is possible. How to achieve it? Take in a fresh supply of muscle building nutrients every 2-3 hours. The human body works most efficiently when given small feedings at regular intervals throughout the day. These evenly spaced feedings should be composed of high quality protein and carbohydrates.

How can you eat every 2-3 hours when faced with the rigors of a job, family and real world responsibilities? A nutritious sports bar and a glass of skim milk can supply 50 grams of protein and 50-100 grams of carbohydrates. How long does it take to eat a sandwich? Or drink a protein shake? How about a piece of fruit and a chicken breast? You get the idea. This ties into food preparation; pack clean food snacks and graze throughout the day. When an athlete is in positive nitrogen balance, the body is ready, willing and able to grow.

Lacking Food Balance in Meals

Imbalance is rampant in this off kilter world. Food consumption is no exception. Balanced eating as defined by some nutritionists is not quite the same as balanced eating as defined by the muscle elite. The optimal feeding, according to the elite, is a skillful blending of lean protein, starcvhy and fibrous carbohydrates, minuscule amounts of fat and no sugar. The proportional divisions vary depending upon individual characteristics. Some folks are carb sensitive and need to keep starchy carbs to a minimum, otherwise they blow up like cartoon characters who’ve swallowed an air hose. Others thrive on a diet heavy on potatoes and rice with no ill effects.

How you metabolize food is as individual as your hair color or height. You need to determine how foods affect you. Rule of thumb for proportional balance: 50% calories from carbs, 35% from protein and 15% from fat. This is a good starting point, and careful monitoring once on this 50-35-15 regimen will dictate any necessary adjustments. The goal is building muscle and reducing bodyfat. How do you achieve a real world balance with traveling around with a scale, calorie book, and calculator? At each meal, fill 50% of your plate with carbohydrates. Half of these should be dense, starchy carbs (rice, potatoes) and half should be fibrous carbs (broccoli, green beans, lettuce, etc.). The other half of the dinner plate should consist of lean protein (skinless chicken, turkey, fish, etc.). Don’t worry about the 15% fat… it’s there!

Ignoring Supplementation

We all have little holes and shortcomings in our diets, and supplements help us round them out. All elite athletes use supplements. The expense, hassle and confusion of diet supplementing scares off some trainers. Big mistake. State with a prepackaged multipak. In addition, a quality protein powder, a high grade carbohydrate powder, and a big supply if beef liver tabs will do wonders for your recuperation, training, and physique.

3 Big Mistakes in Nutrition

3 Big Mistakes in Nutrition

Insufficient Protein

The fact remains: Protein is the single most important nutrient for muscle regeneration and building. The trick is to use only lean protein. Protein and fat usually coexist in food sources. Meat, fish, fowl, dairy, these primary sources all can have much fat content. In the old days, we did not worry about such inconveniences. As a result, heavy protein consumers developed nasty clogged arteries and astronomical cholesterol rates. The fault wasn’t in the protein, but the fat attached to the protein.

Nowadays, we hardcore weight trainers confine our protein to nonfat or low fat sources. Skim milk, egg whites, fish, skinless fowl, flank steak, and of course that staple of weight training, protein powder. These foods represent powerful, clean protein sources. Start by ingesting 1 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. To stay anabolic, divide the total intake into 4-8 equal portions and eat these low fat protein sources at regular intervals throughout the day.

Failing to Cook for Yourself

Meal preparation is a critical skill. To be truly successful as a bodybuilder, you should be able to prepare your own food. Nutritionally sound foods eaten throughout the day are necessary to obtain anabolism. Most male bodybuilders (and more than a few female ones) do not cook. Big mistake. Why depend on mom, your spouse, restaurants or fast food joints for the endless succession of small, nutritious feedings required to mount a serious bodybuilder effort?

Not only do you have to come to grips with cooking, but you have to develop a wide and inventive repertoire of dishes and meals. Otherwise you are locked into the equivalent of prison chow. Jail house cuisine is bland, unimaginative, tasteless. Kinda like the clean foods we bodybuilders choose to contend with day in, day out.

You need a lot of imagination to deal with clean food. Tuna and egg white need not be dull. How do the ignorant become enlightened? Comb the magazines. Read low fat cook books. Assemble your ingredients, set aside some time and have at it. Plus, you’ll impress the heck out of your mom when you serve her a low fat gourmet feast some fine Sunday.

Not keeping a Nutrition Log

As cumbersome as it might sound, the muscle elite keep daily records of what they consume and when they consume it. They write it all down in a log. This allows them to keep a running tally of their nutritional progress. They establish a long term game plan and keep daily tabs on food and supplement consumption. Tracking results, identifying trends, finding what works, discarding what doesn’t, a log becomes your nutritional report card. You can make truly accurate assessments and implement intelligent corrective action when you base your adjustments on factual data and objective analysis. Otherwise it degenerates into wishful thinking and self-delusion.

So begin by assembling data. The truly complete nutritional log lists date, time, food type, and carb, fat, sugar, sodium, protein and caloric content. Body stats are notated along with short descriptive phrases on the athlete’s general condition. Drawn up in column format, the comprehensive notation of a meal takes about two minutes. And you’ll find that the purchases of a food nutritional value book (available at any bookstore) will be of a great help. Did I hear you say what a hassle? It could be worse. Thomas Jefferson wrote down every financial transaction he made in his adult life and he lived to be 83.

Seven Steps Toward Establishing Yourself As A Bodybuilding And Fitness Professional

Seven Steps Toward Establishing Yourself As A Bodybuilding And Fitness Professional

Do you have aspirations of becoming a bodybuilding and fitness professional someday? Although my journey has not been an easy one, I’m fortunate enough to earn a living doing what I love to do.

I want to save you some of the pain and frustration that I suffered through by offering my insights. I want to share with you what I’ve learned, help you succeed, and achieve your dreams:

  1. Develop, create, or invent a “turnkey-type” system or structured plan (i.e. training, nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, or a combination of all of these factors) for targeted audience or niche market.
  2. Create a highly recognizable, gimmick-type name or title for your system would be an extremely helpful marketing tool now and in the future (i.e. Thinking Big, Mass Machine, MAX-OT, Heavy Duty, etc).
  3. Master your craft and develop your style as an inspirational WRITER. Get together a short, 10-chapter book going that explains your unique story and system-and do so as soon as possible in your journey in the business of fitness.
  1. Master your craft and style as an emotion-inducing SPEAKER. Get in front of as many people as you can and as often as possible.
  2. You must treat your passion for bodybuilding and fitness as a moneymaking endeavor from the very beginning of your journey. That’s if, of course, you ever hope it will eventually become a moneymaking business. Sure, you love to help people-and so do I. And, yes, you will have to share your expertise for free as you establish yourself as an authority. But let me make this point perfectly clear: There will be a point-in-time when the thrill you get from helping others for just a “pat on the back” will no longer be a satisfying. That’s what forces many health and fitness professionals to stop what they are doing. They move on to other things in their lives-long before they’ve mastered their skills and touched as many lives as they wanted.
  3. Remember that, while you are in a business with the specific purpose to earn money, you must really connect to your audience and have the sincere desire to help them improve the quality of their lives.
  4. Be persistent. Stay true to yourself, your dreams, and your plans and keep searching for ways to create the extraordinary life you wish to have in the bodybuilding and fitness world. The road you are about to embark on will be challenging at times. But isn’t that true of anything great that’s worth having in life?