Sunday, June 25, 2017

July Plans

Not going to lie... I'm not actually pumped about my July.  The thought of no coffee, makes me a little angry.  I usually drink anywhere from 1-4 cups per day, so this is going to be an adjustment.
But I know I need to do it.  I know I'll feel better and drop pounds and all that and probably for the first time in a good number of years, I'm going to shut up and follow someones else structure with discipline.
And you are invited to do it with me!!! haha wasnt that a sales pitch??  "Hey, I'm mad about this coffee rule... so you should join me!"

Here's whats going on.  For a couple years, two people (mostly one) have been trying to give me info about a supplement line.  Every time they did, I responded w some dumbass reply about make up or beard oil or vegan blah blah blah, because it was Arbonne.  I'm just not huge on supplements outside protein, creatine or nootropics, so I declined multiple times.  After another attempt, I thought "alright, this might suck for me, but my wife might like... because its Arbonne and all."   Not trying to be funny, this is just how I thought.  I only knew it as a healthy, skin care line.
At some point, my wife was talking about her routine being stagnant and not being pleased with the nutrition plan or such, and just wanted something to help light a spark and turn a corner, so I said "give this a shot, talk to these two, maybe you'll like it."  (for the record, her routine or nutrition is NOT a reflection on me, I rarely train her... it doesn't go well).

Fast fwd a bit.  She is into Arbonne and enrolled in this 30 day challenge thing.  I didnt know much about it, but assumed it had the basics of all of these cleanse clean ups.  The products came, she had some friends do it with her for support and fun, they organized and went to work on it.  This is the end of their 3rd week and as a group, averaging 10lb loss per person, across the team, some higher, some lower.  Obviously, people lose at different rates, but it is what it is, 10lb average in just 3 weeks.  If they all bust ass this week, it could probably jump to 12+ per.
Now, this is a cleanse and a "reset," not a weight loss product.  It's a nutritional plan with proteins, fiber kit, supps to aid in overall digestion health, and a pretty awesome thing called a fizz stick which I reviewed on my snapchat about 2 weeks ago... very legit.  The proteins that I made fun of for the previous 2 years... I hate saying I'm wrong, but whatever protein drink she made, was THEE best shake Ive ever had.
So this kit is a cleaner and over the course of the 30 days, it will help you not only clean your system, but reset your brain into becoming more aware as to what you really need vs what your brain tells it what it thinks you need.   Many of us are sugar junkies, not because our bodies crave it for energy or to stay alive, but because of the brain chemicals that release when we get a little taste.

Lets wrap this up, heres what I'm doing:
A) I'm signing up for the 30 day challenge.  I need the reset.  Maybe more mentally than physically, but I need it.  I need a strict plan and some accountability.... posting his damn thing will keep me in line.
B) IF you want to do it with me, I will give you all the recipes and set you up with all the info my wifes group just used during their plan.  So all the recipes and tips and things to know, you'll have all that info too.
C) IF you do it with me, I will also write up your training program for the month and 4 free sessions over the course of the month ($298 value right there). Either at Titans or Hambden Health & Fitness, your gym providing they allow outside trainers in. One way or another, we'll make it happen.
D) IF a handful people sign up for this, we will have a check in day where I'll register everyone for a contest.  Not just weight loss, but body fat% and fitness test.  This will keep it fair.  Trust me, if a guy jumps in on this, real good chance he can drop 20-30 really fast and win.  A full assessment will be a very level, fair way to assess the work for the month.  So if you win, you receive a 3 month gym membership to Titans or Hambden Health & Fitness, a $50 gift cert towards fitness classes or training in Hambden, and a goodie bag w/ free supps, gift certs and prizes from around Lake and Geauga County.  *We may also add a couple bonus points for social media posts telling the world wide web about your awesome results and badass body.
E) FREE #POWERUL tank or t

With my football schedule coming up, I need to have this wrapped up by early August so I'm looking to start between July 5th and July 10th.  Probably best to shoot for the 10th to have time to order, deliver and organize.

Some details about the actual Arbonne package:
Vegan-certified, no animal ingredients
No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
No trans fat
No high fructose corn syrup or fructose
Standardized plant extracts
Low glycemic index (Protein Shake powders)


These Arbonne Essentials products are included in your 30-Day Nutrition Starter ASVP:

  • 7-Day Body Cleanse:   Use once per day following the packaging directions.  
  • Protein Shake Mix:   Enjoy twice per day to supplement a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.  Two different flavors if you like.
  • Daily Fiber Boost:   Add a scoop to your Protein Shake, favorite foods or beverages once per day. 
  • Energy Fizz Sticks:   Use once per day when you are feeling low on energy.
  •  Digestion Plus:   Use once per day. 
  • Herbal Detox Tea:   Enjoy a cup each day

If you sign up before Wednesday, you get an early BONUS assessment to help set up goals as well as a session plus a free Arbonne water bottle.  

Quick recap:
30 day Nutrition Plan & Cleanse Kit (you will lose 10+ lbs)
Free program
4 Free sessions
If 5+ sign up, chance to win a bunch of free stuff yet (ill be shooting for gift cards at spas, hair, nails, dinners etc., it wont suck), plus the gift cert which can be used for training or yoga in the fall.

Any questions or on the fence, text me.
If you're in and want to kick ass with me next month, call or text Scarlett at 440-478-2083 or email her at

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"First," Yoga Class

Decided to take my own advice for once and stopped making excuses with a busy schedule or intentionally sabotaging my schedule to "never have time."  So I made sure I packed my mat and a change of clothes to make sure the door was open.  Around 11am I checked a local schedule and found a class.
Ordinarily, I would find excuses to easily bail.  Things like "I've never been here before," or "I dont know how they teach," some bs to give me an easy out and just go workout. But I knew deep down, I need balance.  I cant just lift weights a few times per week and think I'm going to find new thoughts or balance in that.  So I pulled into the lot and walked in.
A nice, small lobby.  Found some comfort in the books they were selling as they represented a percentage of my shelf at home, then the obvious yoga "symbol," a large ohm on one wall, reminding me of what I once felt a home in.
That was all I needed to start getting comfy but I still felt a weight.  But I think I was nervous and a bit in my head.  I noticed this when I began to change clothes near the shoe rack... which is right next to the lobby and definitely not private by any means.  I had my pants undone and around my butt before I noticed, "Hey dumbass, you're in the hallway."  from there, I moonwalked back 8 steps into an actual changing room.
My usual space in a yoga room is secluded and near an exit.  A situation I felt mirror'd my behavior in real life.  So i made sure to choose my space differently now and chose dead center of the room.  I wanted, maybe needed, people around me.
Despite my absence, I got right into my comfort zone while waiting for class to begin.  I usually move around on the mat a little, stretching my hips or low back, before sitting at the rear of my mat, relaxing and breathing, attempting to take in a few moments to focus on intentions.
Class began and I remember thinking of how I was enjoying the flow.  I like when vinyasa instructors dont feel bound to the cookie cutter sequences and just flow.  Its the difference between karaoke at the local dive and a Hendrix guitar solo.  (Hows that for Buddhism?  But real yogi's will like the analogy).  We moved in and out and a variety of poses and movements, early twists and back stretches, really nice pattern and rhythm.
Physically, my body felt a tad behind a comfortable level.  Yoga can put you to work regardless of who you are or what you do, but you an build to a point where things are comfortably challenging, I'm probably about a month behind where I'd enjoy.
During a class, with practice, things can happen for you, the way they can during a nice run or any time you find in the zone.  My focus on this afternoon was just to breathe.  I had no magnificent goals or intentions, just breathe and focus only on that.  Things were moving along well.
Then we transferred from a lunge to airplane to tree....
OF all poses, f'ing tree pose, is where I heard "your mom just died," and I went down.
Didnt get mad at myself, just stood still for a second. That can happen in the early days.  You think "I should be able o get this pose," and you cant and you might bitch yourself out for a second.  But I stood there, and then got back in line with the class.  They were off to the other leg, "lunge.... pinky fingers to your side, retract your blades and open your chest... chin, deep breath... start to lean into the lead leg and stand..." again, airplane to "your mom just died,' but this time hip cramps and shaking legs and I went to the mat.
Took some water and childs pose.
Face down in the mat, I just wanted to sleep.  I heard that phrase probably another 6-10 times.
I thought "What would that one coach say to me right now..."
Dont let this be your exit.  Dont use this as excuse to fade or fail.  Get back up and keep working.

Thats all I tried to do from there on out.  Keep working, finish how you started, focusing on the breath.
Recognize those whispers.  They can be news and alerting or just distractions.  And sometimes we have to steer into the pain and face it so that we're able to recognize it and use it as a lesson.

There is no app to download.  No pill, no weekend retreat.  You have to to dig in and get the work done.  What you need is probably the thing you've been avoiding.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Someone asked "Can yoga help with that?" and I said yes.
Then a couple days later, another conversation came up and I said "you know, you should give a slow flow some opportunity..."
Then about a week later, another young guy asked "think yoga could help with that?" and I said yes.
Then I'm sitting my back yard, enjoying some fire and I start receiving a text...

You're a personal trainer, right?
So you tell people how they should exercise, what they should do and such?
          Along with a few other things, but yes
Ok, so when you're training someone, what is the ideal body image?
          It's all up to the client.  Whatever their goals are, thats what we work for and everyone is different.
Ok, what would you guide them against?  Like if someone wants to look like a certain person of a magazine that is all skinny and crap, do you help them get there?
          Against?  Want to make sure I'm reading your question correctly.  (in my head I'm thinking, so much for a relaxing fire)
Yes, like if they wanted to be unnaturally skinny, would you help them achieve that or would you guide them against the idea?
          Ok... I would work w them and slowly start introducing yoga and balanced nutrtiion plan, emphasis on balance and overall body health.  Introducing yoga and continuing would help them see a better plan.
And what if they dont believe in that?
          (I laughed to myself, she responded like yoga was a religion or faith to be believed in).  We chat... I work it in over time.  Yoga is more than a class.  Yoga theory is all around us and in my opinion, rooted in Buddhist philosophy.  Thats the stuff that is worked into talks and helps people find a way.


Its never really a non-topic.  After one of the above occasions, I followed up the conversation to be more direct.  I dont want them thinking I generically say "yoga," to everything they ask... but I do.  I explained why I say it in more detail.
Not to be judgy or an ass about it, but yoga in the US or at least the popular reach for it, has changed considerably.  It's been a long, long time since I found the class I was looking for.  A lot of yoga has turned into "workout yoga," which has its place and many benefits but the instructor is crucial.  I believe a yoga instructor must be grounded in Buddhist philosophy... (ironically, as I judge away.  But I dont need to be perfect. And thats the round and round we play).
When I followed up I explained that a focused yoga practice with an honest intention can take you to places you have not yet been.
(and they go "ho-ly shit, what is he talking about?)
When we were young, learning was all around us.  We were in school or experiencing new events and moments, learning valuable lessons every single day.  Lessons that helped, for better or worse, shape the character we portray during the week.
As our bodies grew older, age rises with birthdays and we transition into particular roles.  Roles that maybe we created.  Maybe your title is mom or boss or coach or accountant or landscaper, could be anything.  "you are a _____," and your identity is suddenly defined.
Ten internally we say "I'm supposed to be ______," and we can fill it in with any adjective.  Rich, smarter, skinnier, funnier, better looking, on and on.  And those adjectives are rooted in comparison.  We often compare ourselves to others or the story in our head of how its supposed to be.  As you probably know, I just turned 40 and 16 days later, my mother passed on from the effects of cancers, so you can imagine the little mind game thats been bouncing around.... especially if you actually know me.  By 40, I should've ______ by now.  make sense?   I think we all do it.
So then all these little head games alter our character.  The stress and anxiety, creates a troubled mindset and thoughts dont quite connect with clear vision.  As if static has been introduced to the picture.
And this is exactly what yoga can do.
Remove the static.  It removes that voice, that ego is what it really is, and replaces it with truth.  The youthful truth we lived inside of when we were 6.  Before anyone ever introduced what you're supposed to be.
Can yoga and meditation heal?  I believe so.  I am a very, very strong believer in the effects of the mind and what your mind can do to you physically and emotionally.  There are many studies that have shown the great benefits of meditation, and that's a large part of what yoga is, which is why the instructor is so crucial.  Harnessing the power of the mind can, like I said above, with an honest intention can take you to places you have not yet been, by uncovering whats always been covered.  Your true vision and voice.
And its hard, for many reasons, but worth it for one reason.
It's hard because in many ways, we're barely ahead of monkeys.  In many ways, we are still animals with wild minds and intense egos.  Its the flaw in humans.  We're not designed for perfection and this society, this world, is a playground that can be manipulated anyway the momentum likes.  Just look around.  Does culture look civilized?  Do we really appear advanced?  I think barely.  We have our primal urges and they control a good deal of how we think, feel and act.
But why its worth it.... to disconnect.  To unplug from the above.  What if your vision was washed and clean of comparisons?  What if you didnt think about your 401k or how much money you need to make this year?  What if you suddenly stopped caring about your abs or gap in your teeth.  What if the only thing thats important is right now and your interactions with other living beings and thats literally it.
There are many games in todays world and yoga can remove a great deal of the rules.
In yoga, you will start to hear yourself again and for the first time.  You will see the truth in our existence.
And dont misunderstand, we do have to operate here and now, so we cant go broke and move up on a mountain to meditate all day.  Health is important, but health all around.  Many people are only concerned with particular branches of their health.  Like financial health, social health, appearance health, while their minds, organs and souls are in constant battle, even if they rarely feel or hear it.  Thats the subconscious.  Thats the root of stress, pain and the uncomfortable feeling you cant seem to put your finger on.  You are out of balance.

What to do... buy a nice yoga mat and ignore the label on it.  Then buy a bottle of water and head into a yoga room for a class.  Dont look around the room, you're not prepared for that.  Why?  You'll judge your clothes, your body and wonder if you've made a mistake.  Just unroll your mat, take  sip of water and wait quietly for class to begin.  Just sit and breathe.  When class starts, dont judge yourself with "my _____ pose sucks," or "why cant i ____?"  Just be the version of you that happened to walk in today, and breathe.  Let your breath be the soundtrack, regardless of the pearl ja, er, I mean music thats playing.  Set an intention.  Something calming, a word to focus on, something your kindest coach would whisper in your ear during times of struggle.  "You're going to be fine... you got this... breathe, get a sip, lets get to it..."

This Is Blue Chip