LIVE LIKE YOU WANT A LIFE

I have thought about the finality of death for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, dying was on my mind and the thought of it brought fear to me. As I have grown older, I have surrendered to the fact that it is inevitable and that no one escapes this life alive. I am no longer afraid of dying but instead afraid to live a life that lacks purpose, fulfillment, and growth. I worked in many jobs and did well with all of them. I cleaned bathrooms, sold windows, and was a Lieutenant in a maximum security prison. But there was something always missing and I knew it each day I reported to work in the jobs and life I had chosen. I chose work I did not like, relationships that were dysfunctional, and health that was painful, sad, and miserable for me and those around me. I suffered the loss of a very friend and it opened my eyes even more about the finality of death and how I want to live my life. Although a successful man in business, my friend struggled with depression, alcoholism, and failed relationships. Because of this, I knew that I wanted to help those who struggle.  I thought about my dad whose addictions took him away from us way too early and I knew that I wanted to take care of my health for myself and those who love me. I thought of all my friends and family that worked all of their lives in jobs they were miserable at and knew I wanted a life’s work that I loved. I knew that I did not want to waste any days not serving God and my fellow human. What is it that you want out of your life? There is data that states many millennials list being rich as the most important thing to them in life. Being the richest person in the graveyard is not what our goal should be. While making wise financial decisions leads to security financially, being rich with fulfillment leads to a happy life. Serve something larger than yourself through your work. Help someone who is struggling. Make health choices that impact you and those who love you in a positive way. Practice gratitude throughout your day and live a life that you choose and not one that is chosen for you. And don’t waste any more days being miserable. Life is too short. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

HATE EXERCISE BUT NEED TO? HERE IS SOME HELP FOR YOU

There is no question that our health is an extremely important subject and should be a priority in our lives. One area where people create a barrier for themselves is the extreme NEGATIVE emotion placed on exercise. For many, exercise has been a miserable experience and often times began as a youth. Some individuals can do things physically with ease while others doing the same activity will experience excruciating pain. There are many biological, mental, and physiological reasons for the way we experience pain. If we are struggling with weight issues as a youth, it is obviously harder to do physical activities and participate in sports because of the extra weight, added stress on the joints, muscles, back, and even lungs. If a person who is not struggling with weight issues were to carry 50 pound weights all day and participate in sports or other physical activities he or she would more than likely be miserable too (we can discuss later if a child has a full choice in what they eat or even if they can exercise).  It would be painful, harder to breathe, uncomfortable in a chair, not much fun doing physical activities with others. They would probably want to give up, as many of us have. Your response to the pain you experienced with physical activities is completely normal. It hurts but as you grow in this endeavor to be healthier and of a lean weight the pain you experience the rest of the time will be reduced. Recognizing that going through a small amount of pain for a few minutes a day with exercise will minimize constant pain and potential large scale handicaps later. Stay focused on the bigger picture.

Another factor playing into the misery of exercise is a terrible experience with it in the past. As children, we are forced to attend physical education classes by our school or play sports because of a desire by ourselves, parents, or others to play the sport. One tough aspect for some youth participating in these programs is the individual who is teaching the class or coaching the sport does not understand individual levels of fitness or fitness education and in many cases begins with an exercise program or class that is beyond some individuals’ capabilities. The obese child cannot run as fast as many of the other children, the sport or activity requires more of an effort than a child who has been fit his or her whole life, and the pain associated with the activity is more intense and greater than a child who has played sports or exercised regularly before. As a result, the individual playing the sport or taking the class is miserable and begins to hate and fear exercise at a young age.

The time we spent with other youth could be a conditioning factor in our association with exercise. We all have been given different gifts and for some it is the ability to be athletic. Many others do not have this gift but possess countless other abilities. Unfortunately for the ones without the athletic gifts, ridicule and humiliation by class or teammates seems to accompany the inability to participate in fitness activities at a high level. The individual receiving the humiliation usually associates another negative experience with exercise and fitness, leaving them to hate it. This feeling for many sadly is carried into adulthood.

In the space below, please list any negative experiences or memories related to exercise during your youth. Please communicate clearly.

Examples:

  • Other children laughed and made fun of me because I was the slowest runner.
  • The physical education teacher made me try pull-ups in front of everyone even though I was an overweight child and he knew I could not do it. It was humiliating.
  • When I was eight years old, I made an error at Little League practice and the coach made me run until I urinated in my pants. It was so embarrassing I never wanted to play sports or run again.

Now it is your turn:

If you have unfortunately listed or experienced any negative experiences in your youth related to exercise, please list in the below spaces how those experiences may have impacted you as an adult. Please communicate clearly and with complete sentences.

Examples:

  • I hate running because it is boring and it hurts. As a child I did not find any sport or activity that I was interested in and the ones my parents and teachers made me participate in were so painful and miserable that I hated every minute of it and I still do today.
  • I hate lifting weights because I get extremely sore. My physical education teacher made me lift weights and it hurt. I am afraid to feel that terrible pain today and even to try to join a gym.
  • I hate riding a bike because I fell on my bike once and got hurt. I will never forget that experience and have not tried to ride a bike since.

Now it is your turn:

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In the space below, list five ways you can overcome your personal barriers and negative outlook toward exercise. Utilize the portions of the book that you have completed so far to assist you (Self-talk, Impacts on Yourself and Others Etc.)

Examples:

  • Even though exercise has been painful for me in the past, I will stay aware that going through 30 minutes of “pain” today with exercise will help me minimize or even eliminate the chronic all day pain of disease and premature aging in the future. I will recognize when I am defeating myself through self-talk and change the conversation that I have with myself to how I can be successful with exercise. I will stay focused on the bigger picture.
  • Whenever I begin to focus on the negative experiences of the past that I have had with exercise, I will shift my energy and focus to how I can be successful with my health mission. I will read stories of other people who have overcome large obstacles to achieve big goals. I will talk to my accountability partner about how I try to talk myself out of exercise. I will focus on the strength and high functioning quality of life I will gain because of exercise.
  • I will find exercises that I enjoy and play my favorite playlist while doing them. I will keep the music motivational and inspiring while also understanding I am 100% responsible for everything in my life. I will prepare for success!
  • I will not make exercise too much of an emotional experience. I will know that it is in my best interest to exercise and I will perform all exercises in a safe and effective manner without overdoing them. I will exercise smart, accept that there is a tolerable amount of discomfort with exercise, and stay resilient with the health mission that I have.
  • Given the way I have treated myself over the years, I will stay thankful that I can exercise at all. I will do what I can and intentionally focus on things that I am grateful for while exercising.
  • I will look daily at inspirational weight loss stories and remember that anything is possible with determination. I will put materials into my mind that promote the improvement of all aspects of my life and have nonjudgmental people in my life that support and hold me accountable.

Now it is your turn: In the space below, list five ways you can overcome your personal barriers and negative outlook toward exercise. Utilize the portions of the book that you have completed so far to assist you (Self-talk, Impacts on Yourself and Others Etc.)

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In the space below, please list three forms of exercise that you may enjoy.

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Only in small, hardcore bodybuilding or exercise circles do we hear that people enjoy the pain that is experienced during exercise. In fact, most people that exercise regularly will say, “The exercise part of it is not fun but I do like the way it makes me look, feel, and improves my health.” If you can, please list three benefits to exercise that you see as a benefit for yourself in your current weight or health situation. Examples could include improved health, less pain, or even to attract a spouse or partner. Please think about this carefully and make it YOUR OWN reason.

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I hope this exercise helps you to move toward exercising more. It is so important and involves past experiences, genetics, and belief systems that take some careful work to manage differently. The beautiful thing is though we are witnessing people all over the country change their belief about exercise and changing their lives because of it. If you are not exercising please begin to as soon as you can. If you need help from a nonjudgmental trainer/coach who has helped thousands of people learn how to exercise safely and effectively, then please contact miraclesfitness@gmail.com so you can begin. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

Great Research

A study published in The American Journal of Medicine is showing how important it is to stay strong as we age. The study followed 3695 people over a 15 year period and all of the men were over age 55 and the women over age 65. Researchers found that participants who had greater muscle mass were 20% less likely to die, had fewer overall disabilities, and functioned at a higher level than those with less muscle mass. You do not have to be perfect, a bodybuilder, or a gym rat. But it is important to stay strong for longevity and quality of life.

The second article that I will share reveals how important your outlook is when exercising.  Researchers had two groups who exercised in the same manner but were told two different things about the exercise. One group was basically told it was a “workout” while the other was given music, told to be social, and were educated regularly about the benefits of the exercise. The second group not only had better results physically but also made better choices with nutrition. “The way we see the world creates the world we see.” Please see exercise as beneficial. Most of the time exercise is more about learning how to cope with uncomfortable situations in life more than anything else. Learn how to work through 30 minutes of discomfort with exercise and it will help you learn how to deal with a lifetime of uncomfortable situations. Our coping skills need a workout too!

Please do your best to make an effort to care for your health today. Move some vigorously but safely. Mange what you eat most of the time. Your organs, joints, back, brain, and those you love will enjoy it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

The Fitness For Everyone Else and Build YOUR Healthy Life Programs are evidence based, healthy, and safe lifestyle modification programs designed especially for people who struggle to maintain healthy habits. If you need help with exercise but don’t want to go through misery the Fitness For Everyone Else is the program for you. The Build YOUR Healthy Life Program helps participants learn how to manage food, negative emotion, exercise, and life in a healthier way. Each program has helped hundreds of people make permanent positive health choices. Please join us!
We have gym, home, and online programs for everyone. All fees are paid in advance of service. 

 

BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE MONDAY!

I am loving the Time Magazine issue devoted to The Science of Exercise. From beginning to end, the magazine details all of the reasons all of us should exercise. Exercise helps every inch of our body; our brain, our organs, joints, muscles, and mood. I exercise for my physical health but I have more of an immediate emotional and mental health impact when I exercise. My mood is better, mind clearer, and I feel more confident, especially after aerobic exercise. There is so much evidence to support why I feel less depressed, anxious, or even less angry after a moderate aerobic session. It continues to concern me why more doctors, psychologists, and other medical professionals do not prescribe moderate aerobic exercise for mental health and strength training for physical health. I witness the benefits personally as well! Seeing a client stand up for the first time in three years, watching a young man become more confident, and witnessing the dozens of people each day feel better with exercise when they have never exercised before certainly supports my case for exercise. But what supports your case for exercise? Do you struggle with weight or fear of exercise? Do not worry. The evidence clearly shows that safe and moderate exercise is key to long term health. Do not have time to exercise? Even 20 minutes of movement a day will impact your health in a positive way. Do not know what to do? A program is important so please consult a nonjudgmental fitness instructor that will keep you safe, healthy, and help you to feel empowered not shamed. Please begin this week with some exercise. Become intentional with your health choices and start over fresh daily. What you do today will impact you and those who love you tomorrow in either a positive or negative way. Go with the positive impact. Go with exercise. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HELP FOR HANDLING THE TRIGGERS THAT PLAGUE YOU

People regularly seek advice on how to manage “triggers” that do not serve their health in a positive way. They will regularly list triggers such as “when I drink coffee I want a cigarette” or “I crave sweets when I am stressed” and “When I am around friends at dinner that eat bad I crave what they are having.” If you are trying to change anything that you struggle with then you may have triggers that “make” you do the thing that you are trying to change. It is an automatic response to an external cue or event that may seem uncontrollable. On the other side of the coin however is the multitudes of people who have made the change you are seeking and learned to manage the triggers that now manage you. Here are some of the ways that you can manage your triggers and achieve the health goals and life that you are seeking!

  1. Keep your goals at the top of your priority list. Learning to manage your internal response by focusing on your goals when faced with an external trigger. Giving thought and energy to the craving or fighting against the trigger will only lead to you giving in to it. Acknowledge that this is a trigger in the moment and say to yourself something like, “I really want that _________ but I want my health goal more. I am moving toward my health goal with all that I can.” Focus on success!
  2. Plan for events or cues that you know may be triggers and have alternatives in place if possible. Knowing healthier options at a restaurant in advance and sticking to it, eating before you go to the party, and having support outside of the “trigger environments” can help you get through the minutes or hours that traditionally have led to unhealthy choices. Manage yourself and stop allowing the trigger to manage you.
  3. Keep practicing your healthy choices. There are times that you will give into the trigger and choose an unhealthy option. Get back to good health choices as quickly as possible. The more you prolong the unhealthy choices the longer it will take you to get back on track. Do not judge yourself harshly. Learn from the experience and how you can make a healthier choice next time and continue to move forward with your goal. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO MANAGE THE EXTERNAL EVENTS IN YOUR LIVES! YOU CAN ONLY MANAGE THE WAY YOU INTERNALLY RESPOND! CHOOSE GOOD HEALTH!

BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

WHAT IS SAVING MYSELF AND OTHERS FROM DEPRESSION AND ADDICTION?

There are many skillful counselors and psychologists in the world who truly are committed to doing great work. My Master’s Degree is in Counseling and I worked as a counselor for a short time and met many who were committed to sincerely helping others. I also attended counseling off and on for 10 years for depression, bereavement, addiction problems, low self-esteem, and trauma. My counselor helped me to change my life in so many ways but I believe the biggest thing he did for me was insisting that I exercise. I was 345 lbs, a pack a day smoker, and miserable. I had failed or dropped out of college 6 times and worked in jobs that I hated.  As I began to exercise, I also began to see that I was feeling better emotionally and clearer mentally. I slowly started to become confident, learn how to cope with adverse life events in a healthy way, and achieve goals in life I had continuously failed at. I responded more mindfully during relational disagreements and learned how to study to educate myself. There is a growing body of research that is showing how exercise can impact our mental and emotional health in positive ways. In one study, depressed people were assigned to three groups. One group was assigned to a traditional counseling group, another a relaxation group, and a third a run at your own pace group. After twelve weeks all groups reported improvements in mood. But three months later, only the running and relaxation groups reported continued improvements in mood and psychological wellbeing. There are many more studies that support this. I support this because I am a living example of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. I witness many a people a day as well also manage their mental and emotional health with physical exercise. Depression is not a healthy state to be in. It affects the body in so many ways from heart disease and brain disorders to cancers. It is possible to recover from depression if you treat it with appropriate wellness practices like exercise. Seek help if you need it but help yourself with exercise. It is vital to you and those who love you to begin as soon as possible. Please BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

MY BIRTHDAY GIFT TO YOU

I turned another year older today. Yesterday I was one age and today I am another. The one thing that I have learned in my over five decades of life is that things can change in an instant. People who loved you may not anymore. People that didn’t may now believe you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. The first 30 years of my life were spent trying to understand why I was dealt the hand I was dealt and why I was cursed with addictions, shame, depression, and poor relationships. I could not figure out why I could not stop what cost me the promise that so many said I was capable of. I was simply lost and did not know what to do. And then I learned my life’s greatest lesson. A friend told me that every decision I had made in my life had put me right where I was. Homelessness, misery, bitterness, and underachieving in every area of life. My decision.  At first when he said this I felt sorry for myself but he cautioned me not too. He said right now you are a slave to your own mind and do not know it. You let life create you and now you have freedom. Freedom to choose a great and happy life. Freedom to create strength, good health, and fulfillment. This is knowledge you may not have had. Once you have the knowledge it is yours to create the life you deserve or continue the same path you are on. I chose to be free and to quit blaming life and to start living it fully. I have met NO ONE who has a smooth life all of the time. Life is hard but how you react to it really matters. Like my age it can change in an instant and you can too. Please be present with how you respond to adverse life events. Be prepared by taking care of your health, finances, and relationships. Be free to be the best you can be. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

IS ADDICTION A CHOICE? MAYBE NOT

I was listening to the radio the other day and the sports talk hosts were blasting a football player seeking reinstatement after a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The player was a former all star who had failed multiple drug tests and had not played football in over three years due to the suspension. The hosts I am sure have never struggled with anything in life and believe that their opinion was right when it comes to addiction and the ability to overcome the struggle many of us face daily. They said it is just a choice. Many of us know that it is more than that. Whether it is a food, drugs, sex, gambling, or another addiction, it is genetic, psychological, environmental, and physical. It is far more than a choice. It is a brain disorder that once it becomes hardwired into us, it is almost impossible to manage without help and treatment. Addiction is so complicated that most researchers cannot fully explain it. But so many people judge it. How we coped with life in puberty, genetics, our home growing up, and many other factors play a role in the choice. Many of us are given a hand genetically that automatically will create an addiction if all of the cards are placed right in our young lives. The brain is such a powerful force that when it becomes hardwired into an addiction, it does not matter whether you are an all star athlete or day laborer. It will overtake you, keep you hostage, and cause you shame, guilt, loss of loved ones, and terrible internal and physical pain. It becomes not a choice but something that we cannot control and wished in every way that we could. Please understand that no one shames, judges, or hates the addiction more than the person going through the struggle. It takes a complete rewiring of the brain, the body, and environments. If you are struggling in addiction and sincerely want to overcome it, seek treatment. It takes some work but you can recover and ultimately live a life that is happy, healthy, and fulfilled. Be resilient and surround yourself with people who understand, love and challenge you. Begin as soon as possible to get healthy in every way you can. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

PLEASE GET HELP

If you are struggling in any area of your life, please seek help. If you are having a hard time managing food, drink, drugs, mood, emotions, or are being abused in any way, it is vital to your overall wellbeing to get the help you need. Do not keep trying to solve the problem yourself, hope that it goes away, or that someone else will change. Begin immediately to seek help, get rid of denial, and to study yourself for personal growth. Become the person you were meant to be; a happy, fulfilled, and healthy version of the best you possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

FOOD CAN BE MAKING YOU SUFFER MORE..IT DID ME

I struggled for years with Major Depressive Disorder, constant mood swings, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and lack of focus (ADHD). My outlook and relationships suffered, my self-esteem was very low, and life was miserable in ALL areas. I ate fast food on a daily basis, processed sugars and carbohydrates on a “several times daily” basis, and by the time I was in my early thirties I was over 300 pounds and in both physical and emotional pain. The weight I had gained from my food choices helped to create knee and back pain, the confidence of a “scaredy cat” and a dim outlook in life. I also had failed or dropped out of college six times due to my inability to learn and focus. And none if this was caused by what happened as a child or any other exterior source of blame. It was simply what I fed my body and mind.

New Research Shows That Food Affects Brain Function and Mood

“New” research out of Denmark is showing how the food I was consuming played a central role in my mood, physical pain, and the yo-yo I could never seem to unleash myself from. Certain foods, specifically processed sugars and carbohydrates create a response in our gut microbiota and brain that ultimately affect mood and behavior. The research is showing that when we consume foods that are high in processed sugars and unhealthy fats our bodies produce lower amounts of the things we naturally need to stay happy. Our bodies begin to rely on the unhealthy food to produce the “happy stuff” within our bodies, leading to a reliance on food and other sources for comfort and elevated mood. And because it is only a temporary “happy pill” we need to consume more and will still ultimately experience the depressive states that we are trying to avoid. The Denmark research study also shows that the unhealthy food choices lead to inflammation in the body which slows down the production of healthy neurons as we age and LARGELY impacts memory and our ability to learn. ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, Alzheimer’s and other mental diseases are all affected by the food we eat. NOW WONDER I COULDN’T LEARN, WAS DEPRESSED ALL OF THE TIME, AND COULD NOT CONTROL MY IRRITABILITY AND IMPULSIVENESS!

Time For a New Strategy For Holistic/Integrative Health

I am certainly not trying to be offensive to my friends in the medical community when I say that it is time for some changes in the way we treat mental health disorders. I understand that medication is necessary in some cases but not most. The people that I work with that suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health diseases do not seem to get better with medication. They may not get worse and now are able to “manage” the disorders with meds but I have seen few that actually become happy, calm, and fully present in daily life. It did not work for me either. What did work for me and many that I work with was changing the food that was put into our bodies, adding exercise, working on outlook and automatic negative world views, and having nonjudgmental but challenging support through the process. Supplementing with b-complex, fish oils, and vitamin d3 also helped as did meditation and daily SINCERE gratitude for life. It is not a pill and takes some work but ultimately will help with much of the suffering we deal with in our mental health because we are producing the “happy stuff” within our bodies ourselves and not relying on exterior, short term, and quick fix sources.

Start Today

The beginning of each day is a chance to start over with a fresh slate. “Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift and why we call it the present.” Today is your chance to start over with the way you treat your physical and mental health. You can choose to feed yourself healthy foods, exercise, and the way you respond to the events in the day. You can choose to learn and grow, inspire, support, love, and compliment. You can choose to read materials that help you grow, to serve others who struggle, and to become the healthiest you mentally and physically. Beginning today you can choose to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

The Fitness For Everyone Else and Build YOUR Healthy Life Programs are evidence based, healthy, and safe lifestyle modification programs designed especially for people who struggle to maintain healthy habits. If you need help with exercise but don’t want to go through misery the Fitness For Everyone Else is the program for you. The Build YOUR Healthy Life Program helps participants learn how to manage food, negative emotion, exercise, and life in a healthier way. Each program has helped hundreds of people make permanent positive health choices. Please join us!
We have gym, home, and online programs for everyone.

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com