Caveman Resurrection

Strategies & Tips for a Primal/Paleo Approach to Enhanced Health

Archive for the category “Motivation”

The One-Two Christmas Knock-Out Punch

Now that Thanksgiving is firmly behind us and the Christmas spirit is in the air, I have a quick offer that I want to extend to everyone who is a reader.

The end of the year is near and you know what that means – New Year’s Resolutions.  I have my own theories on resolutions and how little they actually stick.  Studies mentioned in the New York Times suggest 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day.  But if you start thinking about your resolutions RIGHT NOW and plan appropriately, you have a better chance at success.  And when you start planning right now, who says you have to start on January 1?  Start today!

Do you like what you see in the mirror?  Is there room for improvement?  Do you need a few ways to get motivated?  If the answers are yes, then you’ve come to the right place.  For the month of December, I’ve discounted Caveman Resurrection, available on Amazon, down to ONLY $5.95.  You can get a copy for yourself or gift a copy to a friend.  Whether they have a Kindle Reader or not doesn’t matter – the Kindle App is available for the Mac, PC, iPad, etc.

For the first 5 people who pick up a copy on Amazon, email me your receipt to jpickett1968@gmail.com (yeah…I’m 43….) and I’ll send you an invite to the newest motivation/social site in the fitness world:  Fitocracy.  Fitocracy is only in its beta stages right now, but has some very cool features to it that will bring out the competitive spirit in you and keep you on.  You earn points for weight and reps lifted, you aspire to various levels based on those points, you can add yourself to any number of groups that you have similar interests with and you can also join challenges that are time specific which gives you even more ways to keep up your weight or strength goals.

Take advantage of this special before others do and get your copy of Caveman Resurrection along with an invite to Fitocracy.  And keep the holiday pounds at bay, best of all.

 

 

PS:  For everyone who wants some visual motivation – check out my Pinterest Motivation Board – I found some great quotes to take with you into the gym or to start the day.

What do Kim Kardashian and the St. Louis Cardinals Have in Common with the Primal/Paleo Lifestyle?

I love a good riddle.  So is it true Kim is going Paleo or that someone from the Cardinals is Primal?  I wish that were the case, but alas this is not the case nor subject of this post. Let’s get started.

Before Gaddafi‘s recent demise, even with him hiding under a rock, he had no doubt heard of the famous Kim Kardashian wedding.  We all did.  It was well televised and covered in all the tabloids.  Good looking basketball player marries gorgeous model – and they lived happily ever after.  $10 million dollars and 72 days after exchanging vows, we were all surprised when the news of her divorce got out.  Who would have predicted it?

Enter the St. Louis Cardinals.  As a wildcard team making the playoffs with no faith they would go anywhere, they beat the Phillies and then the Brewers to make it to the World Series against the Texas Rangers.  On October 19, as this image shows, 22 of 26 ESPN experts chose the Rangers to win the World Series.  With odds like that, you’d be a fool to think the Cardinals were going to win.  After one of the most memorable games in baseball where the Cardinals fought back to even the series, they won the following night to take the World Series.  No one would have predicted that – at least not if you work at ESPN.

So what does all of this pop culture talk have anything to do with the Primal/Paleo lifestyle?  It’s simple my friends.  It’s about predictions.

Like those who were shocked at Kim’s divorce and at the Cardinals pulling it off, how many of your friends and family think this Paleo/Primal thing will actually work for you – and for them?

A good friend recently mentioned some struggles he was having with his Paleo pursuits – basic peer pressure.  A buddy at work was making fun of his new Paleo food choices and attempting to convince him he was wrong for abandoning a high carb diet.  His buddy is on a different plan you may have heard of:  Weight Watchers.  In his infinite wisdom and while he was knocking my friend, he was monologuing how horrible the Paleo plan was as he devoured an entire plate of nachos and cheese.  I guess WW’s points allow for that, huh?  My friend is new to the Paleo plan and was caught off guard explaining insulin resistance; as if it would have done any good.  (I hope to lunch with my buddy and this guy in the near future.  Should make for fun conversation, don’t  ya think?)  Do you have friends like that?  Most of us have at least a few.  Or we did…before we snapped back at their ignorance.

If you are one to go with the masses, please read through my metaphors/analogies and understand this simple concept:  just because THEY say it’s good for you, doesn’t mean you have to believe it.  Do the research yourself.  Question the medical community.  Question the health/fitness community.  Question the government and their agencies who were designed to protect our health.  Question the experts and their predictions of your health.  While you’re at it, look at a plan that has been taken from our ancestors – and come to find out it helps to resolve most, if not all, systemic issues our culture is facing at an alarming rate.  Who would have predicted that in an age of technology and the industrialization of food, the real answer is in our past?  (One last question before I end this:  Question your friends and if they are really supporting you or standing in your way?)

Let others stick to the Standard American Diet and here are a few conditions they’ll likely experience:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • System inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of energy
  • An addiction to Angry Birds that keeps you on the couch
  • And the list goes on and on
Eating Primal/Paleo may not help your addiction to Angry Birds, but I do predict one thing:  you’ll experience a new high with what your body can achieve, regardless of age, no matter what anyone else tells you. For inspiration or proof, look no further than the Success Stories on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Did your friends and family support your decision to go Paleo/Primal?  How did you handle their unsolicited input?

Why You Gotta Be Like That?

Last year I learned a valuable lesson.  Imagine that.

No matter what hobby, affiliation, religion or group you become a part of, the inevitable happens.  You learn.  You act.  Pretty soon, you form some opinions.  Later on, you hunker down and you start defending your beliefs.  For anyone who cares to challenge that thought, go visit your nearest sports bar on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

So it should come as no surprise that even within the Primal and Paleo communities, such thoughts have reared their head.  There are those who tolerate dairy or those who workout minimal times per week.  There are those who only lift weights, others who believe in a weekly routine that includes running; those who advocate the lifestyle and others who just complain.  Let’s face it – we are all different.  That doesn’t make us right or wrong.  It just is.

In the past year or two, we are starting to see some thoughts challenged.  Enter the Ancestral Health Symposium and some of the lively discussions had that week.  Me, I enjoy the healthy debates – it brings out the best in us, forces us to look at what we used to take for granted and brings in some fresh thought.

When I wrote my book last year, Caveman Resurrection, I had a few naysayers who asked why would you write a book when Mark Sisson already laid down the law?  Just a few months later, Robb Wolf came out with his take, Paleo Solution, and on any given week we see more cookbooks and family approaches to Paleo.  Kudos to all.  I love seeing the heightened awareness come out.  We already know the benefits of the Primal/Paleo lifestyle.  Tweaking things here and there while learning even more is everyone’s prerogative (and not just Bobby Brown’s).

Where my book deviates from the rest, in my own opinion, is the motivation and psychology I include that teaches anyone a few things about themselves regardless of what nutrition or program they get on.  I talk about ways to save money on the Paleo/Primal plan.  But above and beyond it all, I provide a different perspective that I believe supplements the other books already on the market.  In other words, it’s information on top of the science.

We all need to celebrate our differences.  To date, there are over 600 blogs which you can find HERE.  Wow!  We all need to celebrate this great community.  And in between, our growth depends on great minds adding to the conversation.  Order your copy of Caveman Resurrection, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  For only $6.95, you get over 200 pages of great content guaranteed to help you and your health.  If you don’t agree it can help, then refunds are available.

So the next time someone challenges your unconventional wisdom, hear them out, listen and then tell your side.  At the end, you may both learn something new.

Are You a Creature of Habit….or Hobbit?

Ok, my apologies to the Lord of the Rings crowd, but I couldn’t resist.  I can think of no better analogy for my post than between a creature of habit…and a Hobbit.

How many people reading this post are creatures of habit?  ‘Fess up – if you really think about it, do you tend to gravitate to the things in your box, rather than things outside your box of comfort?  Me, too.

A few weeks ago I was part of a weekend retreat that totally challenged me and my comfort zone.  I participated in activities I would never engage in unless there was some serious cash on the line.  I saw others, like me, who for that weekend, allowed ourselves to be challenged.  Truth be told, although it was hard, I enjoy a good challenge.  To not know what is coming around the corner.  To live the unexpected.  And the after-effects are still within me.  It is fun to live a little on the edge.

When was the last time you really challenged yourself?  I don’t care if you are super-fit or super-fat.  Maybe you’re that guy who does 750 push-ups.  Congrats.  But have you fallen down THAT hole and only do push-ups?  Or do you challenge yourself now on another activity?  If you are inactive and recline on the couch to watch TV – what is holding you back from a new activity?

C’mon people!  Wake up!  When was the last time you took a look at yourself?  Are you stuck going through the motions?  Need a challenge?  Then here are a few words of advice.  Just Do It.

At some point in time, we all just got too damn analytical.  But in our hearts, we know when it’s the right time to act.  And I have to believe, for many of us, it’s simply time to be a Hobbit.  You remember Frodo, right?  Just a small shadow of a man, basically a boy.  But he embarked on an adventure way beyond his expectations.  He surrounded himself with friends.  When challenged, he stood tall (or as tall as he could be), he did what was right, and he finished the task.  Yes, he was tempted.  Aren’t we all?  But he stood for his friends – and his friends stood for him.

Success never stops.  It can be snatched away in a flash.  So what are you doing TODAY to ensure success is in your corner?

The unexamined life is not worth living.  – Socrates

Take a few moments and look deep inside.  What did you do today?  Or what will you do tomorrow that will push you to your edge?  Will you be satisfied doing the same old routine?  Or will you take one small step, one small challenge?  That one small change could improve your life.  So why over-analyze it?  Embrace the challenge within you.

Is it “Who Me?” or “Yeah, it was me….”

OK, let’s talk a little caveman today.  This blog is about Primal/Paleo after all right?  And while the term “caveman” is probably used more than “cavemen,” no man/woman is an island unto themselves.  Hunting wild game back in the day, as well as today, often involves coordination amongst the tribe.  And once the game had been and killed, can’t you see the tribe dancing around the fire, drinking some prehistoric, fermented Wooly Mammoth pee and loving life?  Man is a social creature after all.

Sadly, there are those who think they don’t need anyone or they hide from others, but at the end of the day, the result is the same for these individuals.  No support.  And for those with no support, it kinda sucks, huh?

SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Who Me?

Support and accountability is a key component as you begin your Caveman Resurrection.  Once you’ve identified your WHY and your HOW, logged it in your journal and you’re progressing, seek out a friend who will support you and create a process to check in and report how well you are doing.  In this day and age of social networking, you can have several accountability partners instead of just one.  I recommend finding at least one who you can interact with face to face and then find another mechanism online to trade stories or support others.  Start a blog of your own, tweet your workout, update your Facebook status and confess your sins – whatever it takes.  Above all, admit your faults, identify them, journal them, but NEVER deny them.  You’ll only be hurting yourself.

One nice way to hold yourself accountable is through the use of Google Docs.  Construct a spreadsheet where you log your meals and workouts each day.  Include a notes section.  Then share that spreadsheet with an accountability partner so they can see what you are eating and how you are doing.  Give them permission to call you out and highlight in red the areas you strayed but to highlight the areas in green you did great.  It’s easy, it’s real-time and it is one more way you can journal your progress.

An accountability partner is a close friend but one you give full permission to remind you and steer you back on the path when things go off track.  Sign a contract or agreement that you both sign as a formal way that this change/journey you are going down is something you take serious.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

When those moments of weakness hit, and they will, remember this quote from George Burns.  None of us got fat overnight, right?  And your weight loss won’t be resolved overnight.  Remind yourself that all of those little steps you used to take created the avalanche you are now cleaning up.  Stop snowing and start melting that fat.  You can do it.  One step at a time.

SPOUSES ARE NOT ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS

Spouses do not count as accountability partners.  While they may support your efforts, when push comes to shove they may have a hard time holding you accountable.  Marriage is tough enough; then when you give them the right to pound you down when you have a moment of weakness and they act on it – NOT A GOOD THING.  That stressful day at work that “forced you” to eat that chocolate just got a lot more stressful when your spouse thought they were gently reminding you of your goals.  Before you know it, you not only went back on your word, but you put your spouse in a difficult spot where they came out the loser instead of you.  So, let’s be clear – accountability partners can’t be your significant other UNLESS you can seriously face the critiques you asked them to give you.

How does being accountable feel to you?  Do you see that as a hindrance or a help?  If you see it as a hindrance, why?  Add your thoughts in the comment section!

It’s the Most Overlooked Piece of Equipment in the Gym

On any given night, set your DVR or VCR (do they even make those anymore?) to tape a few hours on any random channel between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.  and you’ll no doubt learn of the latest ab device that will melt the fat with less effort.  Oh wait, you own that, don’t you?  Let’s be honest, we’ve all been suckered and probably own more than one device to shed the pounds.

At the end of the day, there are several pieces of equipment that are the “go to” pieces that never fail: barbells loaded with weight, squat racks, kettlebells, and a host of many others.  But the most overlooked piece of equipment in the gym isn’t usually found in the gym – unless you bring it with you.  It’s low-tech, pretty cheap, very portable and extremely powerful.  It’s called The Journal.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote above.  Regardless, it rings a sincere note of truth.   In the area of transformation and resurrection, there are many ways you can measure and track in your journal, right?

  • Bodyweight
  • Body fat percentage
  • Inches (hips, legs, waist, biceps, stomach, chest, etc.)
  • Strength (how many lbs. you can lift or how many reps you did)
  • Endurance (how far or how fast)
  • Blood pressure

The journal is an amazing tool – and something I personally use almost everyday.  I log my workouts, my nutrition, my highs/lows and areas of opportunity or challenge.  It allows me to go back and see how far I’ve come or how far I have to go.  I can see my progress, good or bad.  I highly encourage everyone to track progress, but before beginning, be sure you’ve discovered your Why? and write that on the initial pages, as we discussed yesterday.  And now there is one more thing you can add to your initial pages.  What is your HOW?

Your HOW? is something you won’t usually find in weight loss or transformational journeys.  To me it is one of the most important.  We’re not talking about how you are going to lose the weight.  Oh we’ll get to that, trust me!  🙂  At this early point in time, let’s go deeper, just as I promised we would.

Your HOW? focuses on this question: how did you get into the place you are in today?  Whether you are overweight, lacking self-esteem or simply making poor choices – how did you arrive in that space?  Sheila, a past client of mine, was overweight, divorced and wanting a new life.  Through a series of questions and introspection, we identified Sheila’s HOW.  During her childhood, Sheila was advancing, branching out, and becoming independent.  Her mother interfered with Sheila’s progress and took various steps to stall Sheila’s independence.  Buried deep inside after many years, those months of sabotage were still showing up in Sheila’s subconscious.  Her mom’s voice telling her she wasn’t good enough continued to echo thirty years later.  Our parents aren’t perfect, just as we will never be.  The exercise about HOW we arrive at our own places of inadequacy isn’t so much about blame but one of forgiveness.

Whether a parent issue, divorce, abuse or something else, dig deep to determine where in your  life did things start to go wrong.  Write that down in your journal.  Then start the next sentence with “I forgive…”  The person you forgive for mostly contributing to your state of inadequacy may be your parent, spouse or perhaps even yourself.  Forgive that person.  There is no magic time machine we can jump in to take away the hurt that may have led to your weight gain.  So forgive.  With that written down, it’s now logged as a reminder that you know the HOW and it is forgiven.  If forgiveness is hard to arrive at, seek the help of a professional counselor or therapist in your area.

Is your HOW a new step in determining how you will change for the better?  Does writing in a journal seem like a good idea or something you’ve seen that helps you progress?  If so, tell me about it in the comments section.

Why? Why? Why?

For those who remember the Olympics when Nancy Kerrigan got hit by a pipe and cried out, “Why?  Why?  Why!?” let me just say we’re not going down THAT road.  Our best to Nancy and all, but this post takes us to the root of it all – to the root of why you seek a resurrection.  Why are you here?  Why do you want to improve?  Why do you think THIS TIME will be different as you pursue a healthier, more improved you?

As a former personal trainer, I always liked to lead off a program with my clients by asking that basic of all questions –  “Why?”  This is a question that typically catches people off guard, but it’s important because identifying your WHY? makes your reason to change so much more compelling.
This would be a typical scenario:

Client:  “Hey, Jeff, I came here today to get better, to stop over eating, to change my appearance and my lifestyle – can you help me?”
Jeff:  “Why do you want to improve all of that?”
At this point the client would look at me a little dumbfounded.
Client:  “Uh, well, I want to get healthier.  Isn’t that pretty obvious?”
Jeff:  “Why do you want to get healthier?”
Client:  “Well, I watch those shows on TV and they make it look doable and I think I can do it.”
Jeff:  “Why do you think you can do it?”
Client (now a little annoyed):  “I think I can do it because I’m sick and tired of looking or feeling like I do.”
Jeff:  “Why are you sick and tired of feeling like you do?”
Client (now really annoyed):  “Why are you asking me all of these questions?!  Isn’t it obvious?  I’m overweight, I’m not happy and if I don’t do something about this, my doctor says I have serious health risks and I could end up dying!  How’s that for Why?”
Jeff:  “Good.  Let’s get started.”

Determining why you are ready to begin a transformation journey or a lifestyle change is not an easy task.  For that and many other reasons, it requires a hard look at things – and inside YOU.  Wanting to get in better shape so you can impress the opposite sex, run a 5K, fit in clothing, gain more friends – I’m not here to say there is anything wrong with that reasoning.  But why do you want to impress others?  Why do you want to run a 5K?  Why do you want to fit in clothing?  And the bottom line is usually close to this as the question “Why?” probes deeper:  something is missing from your life.  There’s a hole, a void and no matter how much you eat, you can never fill that void.  Right?

That void, that unhappiness, is partly your subconscious and it’s reminding you that if you continue, you will eat yourself into a casket having left many things undone in your life, including friends and family.  I encourage you to deeply examine your Why.  For me, my daughters are my Why.  If I choose poor habits and unhealthy choices, not only does this impede my health, but it sets a poor example for them to follow.  Imagining them growing up without a father – or a father who dies before seeing them married or with kids of their own – those are images I can control by making improved choices today.  Knowing your WHY? is usable in many areas of your life, including your financial freedom.

Before we go any further down this journey, what is YOUR WHY?  I challenge you to identify it – and then post it in the comments section.  Whether you are just beginning a program or ongoing with a lifestyle transformation – tell us your WHY? and post it in the comments section below.  You’ll be glad you did – and one step closer to a new YOU.

Not Just Another Blog

Welcome world to yet another blog.  I hope the information you find here is actually useful and not just another person droning on about a topic that has no meaning for you.  So, let’s skip right to the relevance of it all.  I mean blogs are supposed to be about relevant content, so let’s get to it.  This blog is about resurrecting one’s self.  It’s about making healthy choices.  It’s about making quality choices.  It’s about honoring those past mistakes you’ve made – that we’ve all made.  None of us are perfect.  But we’re ready to attempt it again.  We’re ready to resurrect ourselves.

Now, when I use the word resurrection, some people may get a bit uncomfortable.  Is this guy getting all religious on me?  The answer is no.  Resurrection, quite simply, is the re-birth of one’s self.  And, to make that point more clear – you can’t have re-birth until you have allowed a part of you to die.  If you are ready to make some healthier decisions in life, then it’s time to see the error of your ways and close that door.  That person doesn’t exist.  That’s not to say you won’t mess up again.  But let’s not even acknowledge that person is there any longer.  Today is about a new YOU.  Today is about looking back one last time and then turning to the present and future – and seeing a whole new opportunity to be the person you always wanted to be.  It’s about opportunity.  It’s about resurrection.

For some of you reading this, you may have been a past reader of my former blog, Primal Chat.  You can try to Google it, but you won’t find it.  You’ll find a former Twitter account and some other references to PrimalChat or Primal Chat.  But those days are gone.  I have died to that self.  But my mission is still the same.  Helping others achieve the best within themselves.

So, what’s different about this blog than any other?  Well, to demonstrate, I have a great e-book I wrote called Caveman Resurrection.  It is for sale.  But not today.  And not next week.  It’s for sale when I have proven to you, the reader, that this content is actually what I say it is and worthy of purchase.  It’s not about a quick fix.  It’s not about topical decisions.  This work is deep.  It will force you at times to look within yourself to the decisions you make and why.  It may be uncomfortable at times.  But discomfort on this side leads to freedom on the other side.  And who can’t use a little freedom?

Look for more to come – the journey is about to begin.

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