Point A to Point B

point A

Getting to Different Points

How you get from point A to point B and how much you move can affect your wellbeing.

One of the easiest ways to stay in good health is to integrate movement into your every day.

I have not paid too much attention to this in my life, until now.

We have often lived in places where I have had to use public transportation and walk to work.

Every day I had physical activity that was simply part of my day.

I have also lived in places where I drove to work and had to get exercise outside of my everyday commute.

My current situation of working remotely and commuting from my bedroom to bathroom to living room is the most challenging.

Homebody By Default

Being a homebody by default makes working from home even more of a challenge.

At the end of a long work day, the last thing I feel like doing is leaving my home.

I want to have nice meal, read a book, watch TV and hang out with my cat.

There can occasionally be days between when I go outside.

Figuring out how to get myself outside and moving has been a mind bender.

I do get a little stir crazy after awhile.

Re-thinking Breaks

Maybe if I re-think my breaks. Think of them more like recess in school, I will venture out.

After all, my favorite parts of school were PE and recess.

Getting out on the play ground was the highlight of my day.

Running around playing on the monkey bars and trying new tricks was my comfort zone.

The classroom was not where I felt at home, it is where I felt out of place.

I felt much more myself and able to learn and perform doing physical activities.

It was where I built my confidence.

Right now, I am not accessing that confidence.

I think it is time I went out for recess!

How about you? Does our life integrate physical activity into it? If so, how?

Take an opportunity to train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Recognize Resistance and Keep Going

recognize resistance

Recognize Nay Sayers

Recognize nay sayers, whether it is your own voice or the voice of others.

As someone who faces self-doubt and the “I’m good enough” gremlin many times a day, I can attest to still having to just plow through and get stuff done.

If you are training to tackle an athletic goal, or trying your hand at a new creative challenge, knowing what you want will be a helpful filter.

Everyone has an opinion and is willing to provide feedback.

Try and find the voices that you trust, the voices that matter to you.

Remember the final word is yours. You are the one who knows where you want to go.

Many Ways

There are many ways to train for a marathon.

Depending on your lifestyle, your genetic make up and overall health, one method may be better suited to you than another.

There could be that one plan to give you the edge and get through the mental struggle.

Since we all are different, it is hard to know which one will work best.

Ask anyone in a running group and they will have an opinion on what works the best.

A few people realize that you actually can get to the finish line in a number of different ways.

Other people are more rigorous about what to do.

For them, one way is probably far superior to any other.

“You would be a fool not too […]”. “Proceed at your own risk […]”

Until you actually try, it is hard to know what will actually work for you.

Knowing what you want can help narrow down the field.

There is a different program for folks who want to just get across the finish line vs. the folks who have a specific time they want to achieve.

Not only is the goal different, but so is the overall mindset.

If you like high levels of structure and routine, then having a time or pace in mind fits right in with your mentally.

Wanting to get to the finish before they roll up the carpet is a completely different mindset altogether.

Slow and Steady

See slow and steady will get you to the end.

Slow being relative.

What is slow to you, make be fast to someone else.

Finding a level of exertion that you can sustain, for an extended period of time, is what matters.

Being in a race and hitting “the wall” is horrible.

Giving it all away at the start might feel like the right thing to do, but when you can no longer run or walk and have a couple of miles to go, it is not so great.

Regardless of your goal and how you train, you will eventually run into that little voice. The one that is always trying to convince you to quit.

Find a role model, keep your goal in mind and ask yourself; Is quitting what I really want to do? If so and so was in this situation, would they quit?

Then own your choice.

Find your way to train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Exercise and Burning Calories

Fat Loss and Calorie Burn from Exercise?

“Burn more calories” is the default advice from fitness professionals if you ask them about how to achieve fat loss.

The how and what typically includes “exercise and eating right”.

True, exercise/training/working out will cause you to burn (more) calories.

But you burn calories by simply being alive too.

So how come, after years of hard training, you’re somehow gaining weight again?

Know the biggest single consumer of calories in your body?

Hint: It’s not your muscles…

It’s your big, beautiful, brain.

It consumes about 20% of the energy produced in your body every day.

Exercise does help burn more calories

Most people lose weight when they start working out!

It’s true.

Another thing that’s true about that period of their life..?

Exercise is probably not the only thing they changed.

People rarely decide to “get in shape” and simply start exercising, without also “going on a diet”, paying close attention to what and how they eat.

The diet chosen doesn’t actually matter.

Sure, calorie burn from exercise does help, a smidge.

Before you start protesting…

That device/app you have on your wrist, the treadmill, or on your pocket/phone is not an accurate measure of your metabolic rate (calorie burn).

According to the article, the rated measurement tools are off by +/- 10 to 20 or more percent.

That, in turn, assumes the formula used to calculate the calorie burn is accurate.

It’s not.

It represents an average.

That average can be off by as much as another 20+ percent.

Feel enlightened and depressed yet?

Back to how much more energy you burn during exercise.

Calories burned during exercise

Frankly, the number of calories burned during exercise is normally pretty small.

When I used to guesstimate my calorie burn I found that

Actually, if you “carb load” before/after your class, we can pretty much guarantee that whatever extra you burned during got replenished in full (plus a bit more).

On the other hand, that minimal increase in the daily calorie burn from that new shiny exercise class is not what brings the number down on your scale.

Oh, and that “afterburn” (EPOC) thing they talk about in fitness circles…

It doesn’t last for 24-48 hours (oops!) and the amount of extra calories burned as the result of EPOC isn’t all that significant either. (PS: I’m guilty of touting “Afterburn” as a benefit of weight lifting, sorry!)

That typically comes from the fact that most of us are suddenly also paying attention to what we put into our pie-hole.

And that our body starts shedding some water.

Mostly due to the sudden increase in available water.

All that fruit and vegetables, plus lean protein, equals a more consistent supply of water from the food.

Plus, depending on the specific changes, there could also be an improved inflammation response.

Less inflammation means less water retained by the body.

Then the number on the scale starts dropping.

(Paying close attention to the number isn’t all that good for your overall health either, but let’s talk about that some other day!)

The conclusion?

It’s quite simple, really.

Fat loss hinges on your nutrition.

There is no such thing as out-training poor nutrition choices.

What makes for a good nutrition choice?

My favorite “quote” in this area has always been:

Don’t eat foods that have ingredients. Eat foods that are ingredients.

I.e. Eat vegetables, lean meats, fruits and whole grains.

Then, because training does help you look good naked, hit the gym and complete your HIIT training for today.

Yes, I want online training!

Keep it Simple

Today's tip: Keep It Simple
Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

After writing a daily 300+ word reminder every single weekday for over 3.5 years, we’re going to keep it simple today…

Just a simple piece of advice:

Whatever you choose to do for your purposeful movement – aka training – today; Simplicity is the name of the game

Whether you decide to do the HIIT routine we designed for you – available on the VPT Dashboard – or something else:

Well done for getting out there and doing it, once again!

We’ll be back tomorrow, with something more substantial.

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Yes, I want online training!

Breakfast: The most important meal?

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Did your mom ever tell you that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”?

Turns out, it’s possible she was misinformed…

Skipping breakfast

If you’re wanting to lose weight, there’s new data about having breakfast.

[…] the addition of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss, regardless of established breakfast habit.

“Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” – British Medical Journal on Nov 28, 2018

The purpose of this study was to review randomized controlled trials focusing on the effect of eating breakfast on weight and energy intake. The researchers used results from studies published between 1990 and Jan 2018.

All of the studies focused on adults from high income countries.

In those countries, is body weight/energy intake affected positively by having breakfast?

In truth, there is only a small difference in weight (loss) for participants who skipped breakfast during the periods of the studies.

The bad

As is the case with a lot of studies, the headlines in the news will focus on how having breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day.

As a matter of fact, if you want to lose weight, having breakfast is a bad idea.

Few journalists will spend the time to actually read more than first sentence in the conclusion from the study (I’ve included it):

This study suggests that the addition of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss, regardless of established breakfast habit.

British Medical Journal on Nov 28, 2018

The truth?

If you look at what the difference in weight is, it should cause you to be a little skeptical of what you read. (There’s about a 1 lbs difference…)

The study highlights how there is some risk when it comes to the consistency of the trial results they reviewed.

How consistent was the follow-up of the target study test subjects?

Was the quality of the target studies they used to come to this conclusion good enough?

To skip or not to skip Breakfast?

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

In truth and for practical application, this study conclusion does very little to confirm either way.

If you want to lose weight, will it hurt your chances to eat breakfast every day?

Probably not if you’re eating slow, to 80% full.

Make those meals with a balanced amount of protein, vegetables, whole grain and healthy fats and “Bob’s yer uncle!”

For a lot of studies with small research populations, the real conclusion is that more study is needed.

This study is no exception, so until we know for sure;

If what you were doing, before this study saw the light of day, works for you then keep doing it.

If it doesn’t…

Try to find something useful to change instead.

You can, best, find it by experimenting on your own.

Get a baseline of your your own objective weekly measurements; weight, height, circumferences, etc.

Continue measuring your progress a couple of weeks. If nothing changed, try a different action.

Maybe that means trying to go without breakfast.

Or adding breakfast if you haven’t been eating it.

Pick something that will have a direct impact on your life (and waistline).

Something to ponder while you’re training today…

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Yes, I want online training!

Loosening Up After A Steady Work Day

loosening-lululemon athletica [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Loosening Up

Loosening up after a long steady work day does not mean trowing back a couple of beers…

Instead, I’m referring to moving around with purpose.

Even if you trained in the morning, when you have a tasks during the day that require extended periods of stagnant work, consider moving around a bit.

Each day I turn off my work computer, I feel wiped out.

All I want to do is have a nice meal and chill out.

When I do loosen up a bit, I can feel the clicking and hear the popping of joints and ligaments getting back into place.

Twisted Pose

Do you find yourself, during different moments of the day, coming back into your body and wonder why you are holding a certain pose?

I know I take on this one arm hunch. My left shoulder rolls forward and I hunch down, twisting to the the right.

It is almost as if I am folding in on myself.

To correct it in the moment, I sit up straight and roll my shoulders back.

At the end of the day I still feel tightness in my neck and shoulders.

Bend A Little

Adding a little post work active joint rotation might do the trick.

I do not mind doing them, it does not take long to do, and it feels good.

That will be my plan.

What do you do to shake off the workday?

Find a way to train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Mental Tank Is Reading Empty


Tank On Empty

It has been a long classic Monday and my mental tank is on empty.

I have been trying to find the inspiration to write a motivational post.

Checked out Facebook to see if anything would trigger a thought.

Did not happen.

Read a couple of pages of a book about thought change that a friend gave me over the weekend.

Nothing came up.

Talked with Thomas on the phone a little, after he told me he was heading home.

He suggested writing about the struggle it is to find motivation when you feel you have nothing left.


Honestly, I am not the best person to provide motivation to you today.

I can let you know that regardless of how you feel, getting something done that you feel needs to be done, it feels good.

It sure feels better to get it done than it does to do the mindless things you would “likel to do instead.

Like watch TV, read a little fiction, or take a nap.

This is the grind and the need to keep moving so the inspiration might happen.

I find I tend to re-evaluate life and proprieties in these moments too.

Asking questions like what do I really want out of life?

A Good Night of Sleep

I am looking forward to a good night of sleep, now that I feel like I know a little more of what lies ahead tomorrow.

Knowing that slowing down is a good thing.

It means you see more. You can evaluate what is important and necessary to act on, instead of just acting.

Fast is not always better.

Efficiency can come through effectiveness.

Which beats reaction time and speed.

Thank you for bearing with me today.

I hope you find effective ways to make it through the grind and find your motivation.

Training is a one way to connect with what matters… For you and your priorities. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Visions Of The Future

visions-Mukumbura [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Visions Of What Could Be

Dancing visions in your head of what the future could be.

Is creating a vision of what you would like to be a smart way to live?

This is a difficult thing to answer.

On one side there is the idea of living in reality and being comfortable with where you are at.

There is power in accepting and loving yourself as is.

Yet, there is also power wanting to improve and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Two Good Options

In a way you have two good options to choose from.

It is possible to do both, I would think.

Finding ways to love and be comfortable with where you are in life, but still wanting to improve sounds like the best of both options.

Each way of being can be a great way of living.

Being content isn’t a bad thing.

Feelings of joy and happiness can come from contentedness.

Excitement and feelings of growth can come from working towards improving yourself.

Just like exercising, or training for an event works better in stages, so might life.

A piece of mind can come from not being so strict about how life “should” be lived.

When you feel an abundance of energy, maybe it’s time to consider adding or learning something new.

Feeling run down and tired?

Spend a little time taking stock of what works for you and enjoying the comfort that exist in your life.

Is today a day to get comfort from the familiar, or to try something new in training? Cheers!

Yes, I want online training!

A Fort of Mental Fortitude

fort-Kenta Mabuchi from Fukuoka, Japan [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fort of Fortitude

What do you need to build a fort of fortitude?

Obviously, there are different building blocks that go into building a fort like this.

The first thing that comes to mind is perseverance.

Getting back up and trying again, while learning from mistakes.

Finding the joy in the process of trying, over and over again.

Building blocks of self awareness.

Knowing yourself, so you know what will work for you and what will not.

Where are your boundaries and do they always apply.

Recognizing what upsets you and how you may get through it, or past it to continue on.

Celebrating the little success with personal atta-person’s.

It is nice when others recognize your efforts, but waiting for others to do so can take a while.

Plus, other people do not know what matters to you.

They are coming at it from what matters to them.

Coaches and Such

If you do want to get feedback, find a coach.

A coach is supposed to listen and learn what matters to you, and help you to reach your next goal your way.

Sometimes they may suggest other options.

If your way is not working for you, they can help you figure out another angle another way to move in the direction you want.

Laying out the choices that lay before you, so you can pick the path that you think is doable.

Building your Fort does not have to be a solo act.

Knowing some of the items you are using to build your fort with will help you, plus anyone you ask to come along on your journey.

Kick a little butt in your training session today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Stoic Mindset, Hmmmm

stoic-Danae Theoharis [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Stoic Is What?

Stoic is defined as;

a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

Google Dictionary

Is “not showing your feelings” the same as “not feeling”?

I do not think so.

Is it unauthentic?

That, I think, is a personal call.

Since I am sensitive to other people’s emotions, it would be great if being stoic was more of a thing.

These days emotion seem to be used as a weapon.

There is so much shared outrage over small to big things.

If a person feels it, they have a real choice to express their outrage to a wide audience.

Responsible Emotions

Being selective about sharing emotions could be considered responsible.

There is a difference between feeling it and emoting it, but choosing not to express it.

Growing up with a person who did not know how to express anger, but you knew when they were angry, gives me an understanding of emoting feelings.

The silent treatment is an expression of emotion, even if it is not being verbally expressed.

Can a person feel an emotion, recognize the emotion and decide what to do with it, without expressing it?

I think with practice a person can do this. In meditation it is called equanimity.

Maintaining calmness, especially in difficult situations.

Sound familiar?

Cutting Anger

Feeling anger towards getting cut off or seeing somebody jump in line is something we all face.

Filling in the backstory of why someone cut in can help ease that anger.

It is a minor annoyance in your day.

Does it really need to impact the rest of it?

How we choose to react to our feelings of anger is all on us.

Maybe recognition of the emotion is enough. Something like this;

“Yeah, that person cutting line sure made me feel angry.

But that is over now and I do not need to feel that anymore.”

By the time you are out the door, you have moved on with your day.

Sounds nice. 🙂

Something to contemplate while training... Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!