be better

So You Don't Have To

I watch A LOT of YouTube and there is sooo much great information that can be extremely valuable. Buuuuut there can also be a ton of videos that are a complete waste of time. Over the next several weeks I want to share the most valuable videos that I watched during the week in several different categories. Check em out below:


Top 3 Videos For Health and Wellness

Video on two different approaches to fasting

Coach Glassman speaking on how to change lives

Will Power is an extremely useful tool on your road to better health


Top 2 videos on personal development

Simple Tips for personal finance 

An old video from Simon Sinek that inspires you to take a second look at how you approach life


1 Video purely for entertainment, but maybe you'll learn

Authenticity

“Don't let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It's your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.” 

Roy T Bennet -    

Photo by Bruce Klumph

Photo by Bruce Klumph


Being honest and true to yourself is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself to improve your health, happiness, and self confidence. Often times I hear the saying, be in this world, not OF this world. So much of what I have learned is that our culture (US predominetly) is not conducive of real happiness, real health, or real purpose. We are surrounded by values and pressures like

"Fake it till you make it"

"Black Friday"

"Consumerism"

"Keeping up with the Jones"

"Stable job so you can afford the nice house, nice car, nice things" 

Not everybody buys into these values and that's abundantly clear, but it is very easy to get sucked into and before you realize it, the twister of false happiness keeps you from escaping. 


Being a health and fitness professional, something that I believe is one of the most important aspects of helping others create success is being honest and transparent about your journey and what they can and should expect. 

I am on The Road to Better Health just like everyone else, and like everyone else, I have areas that I struggle with and am continually learning and improving in. Just because I have a degree and several years experience does NOT mean that I am perfect and have everything figured out. I am real, just like you. 

I struggle with consistency on my workouts. Throughout the year I find that there are times that there is a close to a week between my workouts and at times maybe even a little more. Staying consistent with training when work is really busy (Ocean lifeguard for me) or while traveling  (lots of road trips and traveling to see family). I do often find ways to "play" during those times with things like surfing, hiking, and maybe even some skateboarding, but I am less consistent with getting training in. Don't get me wrong, I train regularly and I would consider myself in great shape, but sometimes life grabs you and it takes a little while to figure out how to wiggle free. 

Another thing I struggle with is DONUTS, I am someone who really enjoys donuts. I always have, and always will. I have done several things to help me figure out how to better control how many and how often I eat these. I often used to buy a dozen donuts at a time and I could eat them all in one sitting or over the course of a couple days. I NEVER felt good after eating those donuts but would continue to do it to my body over and over. In 2016, I vowed to stay away from donuts for an entire year. after about 2 months it was much easier to stay away for the rest of the year. Nowadays I let my self have a donut here and there when I really feel like having one. No longer do I let my self eat SEVERAL at one sitting or let myself do it nearly as often. No I still don't feel great after eating a donut, but I enjoy it while I eat it and I don't feel guilty or shameful for doing it. 

I also struggle with productivity when times are slow. Most of every summer the past few years I have been lifeguarding for Los Angeles County and also coaching and training, during the winter when I am not lifeguarding I work significantly less hours and find myself twiddling my thumbs looking for things to do (a few hours here, a few hours there) and know there are better things I can be doing with my time from planning some adventurous trips, to taking continuing education courses to further my knowledge in the health and fitness world, deepening my friendships, playing, even taking some time to do some leisure reading that I have been wanting to do. There are endless possibilities and I need to step out and turn those possibilities into realities. In the past year I have been developing this site and writing blogs more and more. I have even stepped in front of the camera a few times to share. One of the biggest fears of mine and possibly a reason why doing these things takes so much intentionality is my fear of failure. I let the idea of failure or the actual act of failing paralyze my actions. It has been increasingly humbling to understand that failure IS normal and that in fact a necessity to move forward and learn, grow, and mature.  


Sometimes joining The Road to Better Health can be pretty terrifying but I am here to tell you that despite what everyone tells you, we ALL struggle to keep our journey on the right path. Don't be deceived by by the cool photos, awesome websites, and miraculous before and after stories. Don't get me wrong, they are awesome and are absolutely a TRUE part of the journey but they are not the ONLY part of the journey. Be ready to embrace the hardship alongside all the benefits and remember that you want someone who understands those struggles to be along side you with you during your victories.


I leave you with with this quote from one of our former presidents Mr. Teddy Roosevelt:

"Nothing in the world is worth having or doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many of people who led difficult lives and led them well."

Now grab a friend and go do something worth doing, live authentically  

"They are able, who think they are able" -Virgil

Liz here this week. Hope you enjoy :) ...

I believe people don’t just accomplish their goals on accident. Those who are motivated to reach a specific goal usually write it down, look at it everyday, and continually find ways to get themselves closer to reaching it through training, practicing, and putting in the hard work to take themselves where they want to go. You may have heard goal-setting tips before such as writing your goals on the mirror, setting timelines for yourself, and mapping out the steps you will need to take along the way. But what people sometimes forget and is one majorly essential attribute in striving for your goals: self-efficacy.

Self – Efficacy: One’s belief in their ability to succeed in a specific situation, accomplish a task, or reach a goal

Maybe you’ve heard of this term, maybe you haven’t, but I know everyone has heard the main idea of what self-efficacy encompasses through phrases like “Believe in yourself and anything is possible” or “Have faith and all your dreams will come true” or one that I personally resonate with more “The body achieves what the mind believes.” Although these may be extremely overused, cheesy, and not very effective in motivating you to get fired up, I believe the underlying message here IS EVERYTHING when it comes to accomplishing your goals.

The definition of self-efficacy is someone who has a belief in his or her own ability to succeed. I realize not everything you want to be, do, or become is attainable through simply ‘believing in yourself’’ but if you create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals) – maybe I’ll have Kolby write a blog on SMART goals soon – then a huge part of reaching these goals is knowing and believing you actually have the ability to accomplish them. I believe our human bodies and minds are so much more powerful and capable than we give them credit for, myself included.

IMG_0032.JPG

Kolby has been asking me to write a blog for a while now and I finally got around to it, inspired by two sources. The first-  I am currently working on getting my Group Fitness Instructor certification and the term self-efficacy came up in my reading for how to help your fitness class participants be more successful in class. This instantly fired me up as I often experience this with my friends and clients through the direct correlation between increasing someone’s self-efficacy and helping them reach their goals, especially with the ocean.

Which brings me to the second real-life inspiration. My friends Cecily, Chelsea, and I went for a swim the other morning out at Zuma Beach where there is a buoy offshore about 250 yds. (I got Cecily’s approval to tell this story as she exemplified the perfect example of just how powerful self-efficacy can be). Cecily and I have been swimming together regularly over the past few weeks as she is training for a triathlon and wants to get more comfortable swimming in the ocean and getting through the waves. We kept our fins on to swim to the buoy and while we were blissfully enjoying the morning sun and calm water, she said something along the lines of, “It’ll be so cool one day to swim out to the buoy and back without fins.” As soon as she said this, I got an idea! And tried to hide my mischievous excitement as much as possible... We made it out to the buoy and as we were nearing the shore again we checked our watches and had some extra time before we needed to go. I suggested we do another buoy swim, seeing the dread on her face, but knowing she would accept the challenge because of her willing and constant adventure-seeking spirit. (She’s definitely a do-er, if you read Kolby’s blog last week). After I proposed another swim I added, “But with no fins.” I had seen her swim almost twice this distance in the pool without fins and had no doubt she could do it. She wouldn’t have the pool’s wall to grab if she wanted to rest or the comfort of seeing what’s below her feet, but I told her I would swim next to her while holding her fins, just in case she needed them. I wanted to give her this peace of mind as I somewhat felt like I was tricking her into swimming more than she was planning to today, and maybe more than she even thought she was capable of. Although slower, we made it to the buoy and back and once her feet touched down on the sand in the shoreline I reminded her of the words she said not more than 15 minutes before.

"It’ll be so cool one day to swim out to the buoy and back without fins."

Little did Cecily know that "one day" statement was going to be that very day. So what goals do you have for yourself currently? Do you believe your body is capable? Is a belief of incapacity stopping you from even trying? Because I believe 100% in the amazing capabilities our bodies have, but you have to believe it too. I suggest finding someone who has reached or attained a similar goal as yours and asking them about their experiences. What did they do to get there, what would they do differently, and if they have any recommendations for you. They most likely will have some advice that will increase your self-efficacy in the pursuit of your goals. They might even tell you it will be easier than you think. All goals start in the mind before doing any physical prep for your body. One of my favorite quotes my mom gave me at my high school graduation is

You are braver than you believe & stronger than you seem & smarter than you think.
— Said by Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh.

 

Your mind is your body’s biggest obstacle. Or it can be your biggest source of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. Take a leap in the direction of your goals by changing your mindset and not letting the belief of inability or inadequacy get in your way.

Courage and Commitment

In keeping with the trend that I have been writing about the past few weeks on why being healthy is hard, I am writing about courage and commitment and how they can help you live a healthier life. 


Courage is the ability to do something that scares you and the opposite of this would be cowardice. Now most of us (myself included) wouldn't consider ourselves cowards, but are we walking in the truth that we ARE courageous? Do you look at things in your life that scare you and tell yourself and others around with you that you can and will do them? This can be anything in your life, not just health. Take my fear of heights for example. Can I walk up to a 30 foot cliff and jump into the water below!? At first, I lacked the courage even to do this. My fear was crippling. Even after watching several other people jump and be totally fine (actually having fun) I still had this crazy fear inside of me. 


Guess where I found my courage to jump?


It was the community around me that pushed me to overcome my cowardice. I was surrounded by people who wanted to ENCOURAGE me. I really didn't do that much, it was the people I was with who made the biggest difference. I jumped off a 30 ft cliff (which wasn't that big for some of the people that I was with...) and I actually ended up feeling like a stronger and more confident person because of it. 

This is one of the first times that I realized that courage and community were connected in a special way.

4433983-lion-wallpapers.jpg

Commitment is another aspect that I want to focus on. It is very easy to make commitments to yourself and sometimes commitments you make to yourself are the most satisfying, but they are often the first to go when we encounter struggle. The commitments we make to ourselves are also the most vital to our health and well being. So why don't we practice commitments with accountability? Why don't we start with smaller practices that we are more likely to succeed with? Here is an example. I want to commit to losing 25 lbs this year. This may seem like a scary commitment because you have a fair probability of failing and not being able to lose those 25 lbs, so you don't tell anyone. This commitment to yourself is actually REALLY important, you know you would be healthier and happier if you commit to this. 


Here's the deal: we are ALL human. which means on our own, we typically make mistakes on a regular basis. 


If you think your exempt from this, you should probably do some self reflection and really think about it. I also have good news for you. We as humans, THRIVE on community. we were meant to live and interact with one another. Here is a second look on how making a commitment to others can impact your life differently than when you make them to yourself. This doesn't mean to stop making commitments to yourself, just practice more with commitments to others! the commitment is the same lose 25 lbs, but this time you're surrounding yourself with useful tools. You also speak to a trainer or good friend who you tell that the next 8 weeks you are committing to workout for an hour two times a week and you need them to check in with you. Next you write this commitment down on paper and tell AS MANY FRIENDS AS POSSIBLE. This might sound crazy, but the chances that you follow through with this commitment skyrocket when your community is involved. You might even find that they find ways to help and ENCOURAGE you on your journey. 

ZpBfRl.jpg

So how do you align yourself with courage and commitment in your life? Look back to a few weeks ago and this theme is becoming clear: Surround your self with like minded people. 

I gave you a few ways to do that a couple weeks ago but I want write a few more out so you can get yourself on The Road to Better Health. 

  • Join a fitness Facebook group
  • Follow motivational Instagram accounts
  • Join a CrossFit gym (not just any gym)
  • Speak with a health and wellness coach
  • Join a wellness challenge like The Whole Life Challenge
  • Invite friends to a cooking class
  • Attend a fitness or wellness expo
  • Go to a farmers market
  • contact us @The Road to Better Health 

These are just a few of the numerous ways that you can join a community of people that will encourage you to grow and support you in your commitments. If you have more that you think I should add to this list, add them in the comments! I want to hear from you! 


Don't forget to subscribe and share with friends. My mission is to positively impact as many people as I can in my life and if I have improved your life in any way, chances are your friends might be encouraged or informed too. 

Why is Being Healthy So Hard?!

So often when I approach others about being healthy I am almost instantaneously hit back with reasons being healthy is too hard and un-achievable. I wanted to know why this is always the first response to a change that seems to be a no brainer. 

The first thought that comes to mind is the quote from Teddy Roosevelt, "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty..."

But I want to dig deeper into why being healthy is hard and I want to look at one thing in particular that lets everything else fall into place. That piece is HABITS. 

I looked up several different ways that habits are built and broken and why change is hard. I came across this video about making and breaking habits and it's AWESOME! I linked it below

This sparked my interest and opened my eyes a little bit to why and how others see habits and of course how I see the simple habits all over my life.

The 3 things that he talks about are SINGAL SPEED, WILLPOWER MUSCLE, AUTOPILOT. He shows pretty good visual explanation of how each of these influences habits in very real ways. 

Connecting habits with health, Charles Duhigg wrote a book called "The Power of Habit" where he talks about how our will power is finite. 

What does this mean? Well if we try to form too many habits at the same time, or make BIG changes in our lives, our willpower gets tired and we end up not being able to form the habit. 

While trying to take on all the new habits associated with healthy living our willpower is spread VERY thin and the likelyhood that we give up is high. Don't get sucked into too many habits at the same time. 

He also found that as people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives - in the gym, or a money management program - that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. 

So we know that once you can steadily build your willpower, it DOES start to effect all areas of your life. 

Here is my lesson for you today. If living healthy feels like too big of a task, I ask you to focus just one ONE aspect until it becomes habit, then move to the next aspect. I have found that this, like goal setting, cuts the image from the massive mountain to the next step and become much more attainable. 

What do I think everyone's first step should be? Easy, Join a community of like minded people. This could be a Facebook group, it could be a newsletter HERE (shameless plug), it could be a challenge, it can seriously be anything where you are exposed to more information about health and wellness. Once you are consistently learning about what it means to be healthy, Then it's time to take the next step. That step can be different for everyone! You can take THIS quiz to see where that step should be. 

Next time the thought of being healthy makes you feel overwhelmed, remember, all things worth doing are hard, but YOU have the tools to make it easier on yourself. 

Welcome to The Road to Better Health

IMG_4362.jpg