Caveman Resurrection

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

Archive for the tag “weight”

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.

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