Our brains are powerful. They have the ability to alter reality. Often what we see is not the same as what we believe, the truth gets twisted. Our bodies send us signals, but it is our minds that determines how we interpret those signals. It is our grit, our mental toughness, that takes an uncomfortable moment or event and either propels us forward or stops us dead in our tracks.
How do we build our mental toughness? How do we push through? How can we train our brains that we can do more even when it looks like everything is against us?
Well, like many things, it takes practice. The great news, mental toughness is not something you are born with and only have so much. You are not predetermined to have more or less grit than your friends. You have the ability to build up your mental toughness, but it’s going to take some work.
All you need to do is push for small wins. You will not go out today and have developed all the mental toughness you need, it’s not a switch you can just turn on. Rather you need to push its boundaries a little bit each day.
Today, I challenge you. Push yourself for 1-extra rep at the gym before you rest. Hold a higher pace than is comfortable for just a few moments longer. Forget what others are doing around you, that will only allow your brain to alter your reality.
Push aside any obstacles that might stand in your way. Make a choice and a plan to get the work done regardless of what outside circumstances might be tugging at you. Remember you are capable, repeat it to yourself over and over.
What do I have to do to get into the Committed Club?
It’s easy! Just attend classes 12 times during the month or an average of 3 days/week and you’re in. 3 days/week is that sweet spot where you can really make some serious progress and not get burnt out. As you continue to develop as an athlete you will be able to handle more days and really accelerate your progress.
February 2018 Committed Club
Congratulations everyone who has made the choice to prioritize their health and fitness. If you want to be a good parent, spouse or friend you have to be healthy. If you choose to let your health suffer in order to take care of others you may not be around when they need you the most. Just like on a plane put the mask on yourself first before putting it on others.
Runners Up with 11 classes.
Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!
Hands down, the #1 thing you can do to improve your healthy lifestyle is food prep.
This allows you to have nutritious meals ready (or mostly ready) in those times of need when you are starving and you need to eat NOW! It allows you to make sure you are getting quality calories not just empty fillers, that will leave your searching for more.
But I know that actually doing food prep appears overwhelming. You might find it inconvenient. You have no time. You don’t have the energy. You don’t know how. The excuses are plentiful.
This is where we need to shine a spotlight on all the benefits of meal prep because they vastly outweigh the negatives. And I’m not just talking about it leading you to healthier eating and all that comes with having this habit, but things you might not have thought of.
It might seem like it takes a while to meal prep (and it does) but once it is done, there is nothing else to do. Ask yourself…How much time to you spend daily preparing meals? Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day over the course of a week that is 3.5hours. Once you are in the habit of meal prep it takes less time than that.
How often are you asking… What do you want to eat? How much mental energy are you using thinking about what should be for dinner. With meal prep, this happens just once a week. Your food is ready so you don’t need to waste your decision making.
Cooking each night requires the use of multiple dishes, but doing your food prep all at once allows you to use minimal dishes each night. Sure, you’ll have to do them on food prep day, but once you do them you basically only need 1 pan to reheat your dinner…or you could just use the microwave and eliminate even more.
We sit a lot. We figure out ways to move less, to make things more “convenient”, but at what cost? Have you ever thought about the way you move your body on a daily basis? You’ve heard that making small daily changes can have huge impacts on your life. Parking a little further from the store your going into or taking the stairs means you are moving just a bit more and over time it adds up in your benefit.
You can think of your meal prep day as active recovery. Standing, chopping, bending down, stirring, carrying dishes & cleaning up. All of this movement helps reverse the effect of our chronically oversitting habits.
Doing tasks, like cooking, that don’t require a ton of brain energy are great to reset the mind. Sure you might need to look at your recipe and make sure you are adding the correct items, but when you are chopping & stirring you can let your mind wonder, it’s when some of our best ideas are revealed.
On a final note, don’t wait for perfection. Your meal prep does not have to be 100%, you can start small. Maybe you focus on just one meal? Or you can prep a bunch of protein; grill chicken & steak, brown up ground turkey meat and toss taco seasoning on it. This way all you need to add are some veggies and you’ll have a whole meal.
Try it out this week. Focus on how meal prep will improve your life, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The 2018 CrossFit Open kicks off in less than 12 hours, it’s our time to shine. For many it is the time to test themselves and see how they have progressed over the past year. A time to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and achieve new heights.
If you have participated in the CrossFit Open in the past, you know that it has a way of humbling you. Weaknesses are exposed. And it lights a fire within you to work on those weaknesses. At the end of the Open people are usually hyped up to really crush the coming year. They list lofty goals of improving their olympic lifting, their gymnastics skills, becoming more flexible to achieve a particular movements and gaining strength.
Of course, months (or maybe just weeks) later those goals don’t seems as important. Summer sneaks in, you forget all about what happened during those last 5-week of winter when you participated in something called the Open…..Oh yea…you wanted to get better at lifting….
And now here it is again, the CrossFit Open, you knew it was coming, it wasn’t a surprise, but those goals you had…you were going to get better…..you were going to be ready for the Open.
I have heard multiple people say “i’m not ready for the Open” I still need to work on X..Y..&..Z. Of course you do, we all do, we can all get better, even the very top athletes are working on their skills trying to improve by that 1%.
And we will continue to get better year after year.
But the GREAT news is, you HAVE GOTTEN BETTER. You have been working on those skills. You’ve put in the time & effort. Now all you need to do is the best you can.
Too often we enter the Open thinking…I wish I was better at this…I still can’t link my double unders…..I still don’t have a muscle up….But what about all the things you’ve done over the past year? I have written out a lot of PR (personal record) postcards, so I know you have been achieving new things.
Reflect on all your bright spots and be proud of the effort you give during this years CrossFit Open.
It’s the “final” week of the Lurong Nutrition Challenge, I say “final” because at the end of 5-weeks we have have learned a thing or two, we may have changed our body composition, but we are far from done because there is no “done”…this is an ongoing journey.
Our nutrition challenges give us an amazing opportunity to analyze what we are consuming, which wouldn’t happen if we just made the pledge to eat healthier. Due to their short nature (5 to 8 weeks) and having prelaid guidelines we are forced to focus on our consumption daily. At first it can seem overwhelming, your constantly thinking about what you should and shouldn’t eat.
The biggest hurdle is overcoming the feeling of hunger. Due to the fact that you are thinking more about food, your brain tricks you into thinking you are hungry, but this will pass. Your body and mind will adjust and those false hunger pains will subside.
But as the challenge nears its end we need to refocus. What habits can we stick with? Which ones made the biggest difference? Are we ready to enter a maintenance phase where we can be a little looser with our guideline, but not go off the deep end?
Our mission for health and wellness will continue throughout our lifetime. Chances are the better we take care of ourselves, the longer we will live, and the longer our mission for health and wellness will be. Finding balance is the key to maintaining this lifestyle.
If you need help with nutrition we offer nutrition coaching which provides you with someone you are accountable to and who can guide you on the right choices for your goals. To set up a nutrition coach email email@example.com
This week I saw an instagram post of 92-year old Betty doing some burpees. Then there is Grandma Betty 97-years old who should inspired all of us. Or what about all of those participating in the Senior Games…oh you didn’t even know that was a thing. Well, it is and these seniors are living an active lifestyle and will give you a run for your money.
When I think about all these amazing people who are taking control of their lives and their health I see a bright future where as we age we don’t slow down. Our healthcare system is completely revamped because those preventable chronic diseases are no longer an issue.
But then I go to the local grocery store…..and reality hits.
It’s astounding how many people have given up. That what we consider “normal” is unhealthy. The 90+ year old Betty’s, the athletes in the Senior Games, and all of our members at CrossFit True we are the outliers and should be proud of that label.
Every workout you do, every time you chase you kids at the park or take your dog for a hike. Every time you choose not to overindulge on processed crap foods. Every one of those little moments are building to help you have a long active life. Think of these things as deposits into you “Health 401k” so your retirement is not spent at the doctors.
Day by day learn to move better, to choose a more nutritious option, get fresh air, improve your quality of sleep, learn how to de-stress and make the most of this life. I’ll see you at the Senior Games!